Eagle Lake Nurseries is a Wholesale supplier specializing in plants tough enough for the Prairies.
We are a family-owned Wholesale Nursery, supplying Prairie-grown trees, shrubs and perennials throughout Western Canada and the northern United States. Our values of honesty, hard work and excellent customer service has kept our nursery growing since 1970. Based in Strathmore, Alberta, Canada the nursery has become one of Alberta’s largest suppliers for commercial and residential landscapers, garden centres, landscape architects and municipalities.
Eagle Lake’s nursery encompasses over 800 acres of production including field dug caliper trees, container grown shrubs, evergreens and trees, and over 700 varieties of perennials. Our horticulturalists are continuously testing and adding new varieties so we can continue to offer the best selection of plants and trees hardy enough for southern Alberta’s climate. We are also happy to source unusual species for your special job or project.
Here at Eagle Lake we grow the majority of the plant material we sell. This enables us to ensure all pruning, plant health, and Integrated Pest Management is supervised by horticultural professionals. We are one of the first nurseries in Canada to earn a Clean-Plants Certification under the careful watch of the Canadian Nursery and Landscape Association (CNLA). As the name suggests, it is the objective of the Clean-Plants Program to produce plants that meet high phytosanitary standards ensuring that plants are completely free of all regulated pests and substantially free from all other insects and diseases. Eagle Lake can deliver your order throughout Southern Alberta and beyond, with our own truck fleet or with a selected group of reliable freight movers. Please contact our knowledgeable sales team for more information on our products and services.
Nearly half a century of Reliability.
How It All Began: In 1959, Tony Heuver immigrated to Canada from Holland. After working on a farm in the Calgary area for about a year and a half, Tony started a landscaping company. In 1962, Tony’s brother Henry also emigrated from Holland. Together they incorporated Tony’s landscaping company and became partners. In 1966, Tony and Henry purchased land near Strathmore, Alberta to start a sod farm and nursery. They worked together landscaping and growing plants and trees at their nurseries until 1970; when they divided the company. Henry stayed with the landscaping company. Tony and Anne moved with their young family to Strathmore and incorporated the nursery and sod farm as Eagle Lake Nurseries Ltd.
The 1970s: Throughout the 1970s, Eagle Lake grew and improved to meet the needs of the developing horticultural industry in Alberta. We improved our selection of plants and expanded the garden centre’s capacity by constructing buildings for storage and potting, and building greenhouses. Eagle Lake Nurseries has always been proactive and is continually seeking better production techniques. Because little information or research was available for growing plants on the prairies, developing new production methods often meant on-site experimentation. One of the major achievements in the early years was the move to growing containerized shrubs. Eagle Lake Nurseries was the first nursery on the prairies to produce plants in containers. The early container yard was fondly referred to as "the swamp" because the pots were always under water. Through the years the container area has been dramatically improved by providing proper drainage and slope, better watering methods and a graveled surface.
The 1980s: The highs and lows of the economy in the 1980's were very challenging for businesses in Alberta. Eagle Lake Nurseries philosophy has always been "controlled growth" so the up and down cycles were manageable. We built our cold storage building in the 80's. It greatly improved the storage of bare-root plant material and provided much needed space for potting. In 1988, Tony purchased a new parcel of land (now called the East Farm) to expand the nursery. With more land available, better crop rotation and new production methods were implemented to increase production of sod and Caliper trees. The new nursery was set up with a drip irrigation system for the production of caliper trees. This was another first for nurseries in the prairies. In the late 1980s a second generation of Heuver's, Eric and Anita, became involved with the nursery full-time – after completing schooling in horticulture. They worked their way up through the ranks and secured management positions over the next several years.
The 1990s: The 1990s were a time of growth for the industry as well as the Nursery. The growth of Calgary impacted the development of the nursery. Pot-in-pot production was started in the early 1990s. This production method had not been attempted on the prairies before. Since then many other Alberta growers have adopted this production method and have benefited from our trial and error. Pot-in-pot production has greatly improved the health and quality of trees grown at Eagle Lake.
The nursery also expanded its greenhouse area over the last ten years to increase its perennial production, which continue to grow in popularity. The container growing area was also expanded in the 90s. Container growing has now almost completely replaced field production of shrubs. In the 90s, Eagle Lake Nurseries also established its own trucking fleet for sod, tree and shrub deliveries. Our marketing area expanded into the United States. Eagle Lake also set up a brand name for their plants, "Northern Classics," complete with a picture tag program.
In 1998, Tony’s son Eric purchased the sod division which operates under the name Eagle Lake Turf Farms. The separation of the sod farm and nursery has helped to improve our customer service. Many of the changes at the nursery throughout the late 1990s improved the organization of its production methods and made its systems more efficient. In 1999, a new potting and storage building was constructed and our existing cold storage building was expanded.
2000 and Beyond: Anita Heuver joined Eagle Lake’s ownership group and the nursery purchased another parcel of land to the south to make room for expanded caliper tree production. This area is now known as the South Farm. The container production yard was also expanded by several acres between 2006 and 2008. In 2004, Eagle Lake built a storage and work shop site on its East Farm and re-designed its shipping yard to improve its shipping efficiency.
The stewardship of our land and the surrounding environment has always been a priority at the nursery. We are working with an integrated pest management consultant to improve our pest control methods. Eagle Lake also works with agriculture consultants on soil fertility and management. In 2009, we became one of the first nurseries in Canada to receive our Clean-Plant Certification status. As the name suggests, it is the objective of Clean Plant program to produce plants that meet high phytosanitary standards that are completely free of all regulated pests and substantially free from all other insects and diseases. The Clean Plant program is an industry developed program which has enabled Eagle Lake to create a system for monitoring and preventing the introduction and spread of invasive pests and diseases in the Nursery.
Eagle Lake Nurseries continues its commitment to bring new plants and varieties to the prairie market. In 2008, we became a host site for the Western Nursery Growers Group Prairie Tree Trial. These trials test the hardiness of trees throughout the prairies and increase the diversification of plants in our urban landscapes.
Eagle Lake Nurseries has recently altered our business plan by closing our Retail Garden Center to become an exclusively Wholesale Operation. Although the general public can no longer purchase directly from Eagle Lake you can still find our products in many reputable Garden Centers throughout Southern and Central Alberta. Our trees, shrubs and perennials are used by many fantastic Landscapers and Municipalities. As Calgary and the surrounding area expand, the demand for plants has increased proportionately. Our commitment to efficient production systems and improved production methods has helped Eagle Lake to progress and keep up with demand.
The future looks exciting for the nursery with continued interest in gardening, the growth of our market area, and the ever increasing professionalism of the horticultural industry. The opportunities for our employees and business look great. We are proud of our successes and look forward to continuing to supply quality trees, shrubs and perennials for many more years.