Courtenay Koontz is general manager at Trees of Corrales (TOC) in Corrales, New Mexico. His parents founded the nursery in 1976 and grew field trees. In the early 1990s TOC started the container division. “The container division has continued to expand,” Courtenay says. “We still do western natives but the bulk of what we grow is grasses and perennials.” TOC is a wholesale operation selling directly to nurseries and the landscape industry.
Long History in the Nursery Business
“For as long I can remember, I’ve worked in the nursery,” Courtenay reflects. “When school got out my brother and I would work in the nursery. I also remember going to ProGreen when I was still a kid in school.” By the time he was a teenager, Courtenay was operating equipment and as soon as he had a driver’s license, he was driving a delivery truck. Now, years later under Courtenay’s leadership, TOC is developing a larger plant palette in the container division with an emphasis on growing Plant Select® plants.
Most of Courtenay’s learning about plants – he says about 95% – came from “on-the-job training” and being hands-on. He also minored in horticulture in college. He attended Texas A&M University where his major was agricultural systems management.
New Mexico Participation is Important
Courtenay believes that if he’s in the industry, he needs to participate with others in the industry, and in particular he wants to be sure New Mexico is represented. A mentor of his, and the former general manager at TOC, participated on the board at CNGA for several years and was instrumental in opening New Mexico chapter of CNGA.
As a new board member, Courtenay will first be learning how the CNGA organization and board work, and meeting the other boards members. As he learns more, he is looking forward doing his part. “Being from New Mexico, which doesn’t have as much representation in CNGA, I hope to bring a different perspective,” he says. “Some things are same between New Mexico and Colorado, but there are certainly some differences.”
“Trees of Corrales has been a CNGA member for a long time – since when it was still Colorado Nursery Association – and I look forward to being a part of it.”