Newlyweds Frank and Evelyn Schmidt planted their first trees in 1946 on 10 acres west of Troutdale, Oregon. The rich alluvial soils that sloped gently northward toward the Columbia River were ideal for growing nursery stock. The post-war building boom was on, and there was a great demand for trees in cities, suburbs, industrial parks and public places. Frank saw the need for trees of consistent quality, form and survivability, grown from selected, superior parent stock. He selected a number of superior clones and was always on the lookout for trees that grew well in the nursery and performed well in the landscape. Frank soon carved a niche for himself by perfecting the mass production of bare root shade and flowering trees produced from budded cultivars. From the start, it was important to Frank to produce the best quality trees possible and sell them at a reasonable price .For over 70 years, J. Frank Schmidt & Son Co. has been “Growing New Ideas.” As originators of the Red Sunset® Maple and introducer or co-introducer of more than 50 other patented or trademarked cultivars, the company is known as a premier source of up-to-date deciduous tree cultivars and new introductions. More than 500 varieties and cultivars of deciduous trees are carefully grown on rich Willamette Valley soils in the heart of Oregon, “The Nursery State”. Learn more about J. Frank Schmidt, Jr. and his family at www.jfschmidt.com/aboutjfs.html.
Founded in 1986 to mark the 40th Anniversary of the company, the J. Frank Schmidt Family Charitable Foundation has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to horticultural research through the Horticultural Research Institute and private grants. In addition to funds earmarked for horticultural research, thousands of dollars are donated each year to local hospitals, charities, youth organizations, medical research and other non-profit organizations. Washington State University is fortunate to receive funding each year for scholarships.