About Us


Mt. Zion Nursery is a family owned and operated nursery and Christmas tree farm located in Fairmont, WV. Now in its fourth generation, Mt. Zion Nursery has been growing Christmas trees since the 1940′s and has recently celebrated its 40th year in the nursery business.

 

 

DIRECTIONS

Traveling South on I-79. Exit 139 – Prickett’s Creek / East Fairmont Exit. Take a right at the end of the ramp. Pass the Exxon station, take a right at the “T” onto Rt. 73. About a mile and a half, take a right onto Mt. Zion Road. Nursery is two miles on the left.

Traveling North on I-79. Exit 139 – Prickett’s Creek / East Fairmont Exit. Take a left at the end of the ramp. Pass the Exxon station, take a right at the “T” onto Rt. 73. About a mile and a half, take a right onto Mt. Zion Road. Nursery is two miles on the left.

 

The following article taken from the Official Bulletin of the West Virginia Nursery & Landscape Association from May 15, 2005:

Mt. Zion Nursery

Where the 4th Generation is Now Taking Part

Probably the quickest way to get to Mt. Zion Nursery is to take Exit 139 (Prickett’s Fort) from Interstate 79 north of Fairmont, drive west about 1/3 mile to County Route 73, turn north (right) and follow 73 about 1.6 miles to County Route 76 where you’ll see a sign pointing the way to Mt. Zion Nursery.  About 1.2 miles on Route 76 should bring you to the Mt. Zion Nursery sign on your right under a magnificent Kwanzan Cherry.  Turn left into the nursery, drive up about 100 feet and the office is on your right.  Lucille Martin greeted me there in May 3, 2005, inviting me into the office and began to tell me about Mt. Zion Nursery.

Mt. Zion Nursery was started as a Christmas tree farm in the 1940′s by Gilbert A. Martin and son Robert (Lucille’s husband).  During the 1930′s, Gilbert has visited Hyde Park, NY, and seen Christmas trees growing on Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s estate.  At the time, a major source of Christmas trees for the U.S. market was Canada.  A problem with the Canadian trees was that they were cut in the fall and stored in refrigerators.  By the time they arrived in U.S. homes at Christmas time, needles were already falling and quality was short-lived.  Also, many of the them were cut tops of trees felled for lumber and so form was inferior to trees shaped by hand.  Gilbert saw this as an opportunity to grow domestic trees which could be specially grown, shaped, cut and sold much closer to Christmas, giving the consumer a more aesthetic and longer lasting tree.

The Christmas tree farm was named G.A. Martin & Son and had 4 locations: Beverly Road (now Mary Lou Retton Drive), where Robert and Lucille grew up and went to school with Daniel and Richard Biafore, in Fairmont; Mt. Zion; Glady Creek Road in Taylor County; and Eldora (near Hauge’s Flower Store).  First trees grown were spruces and pines.  Gilbert invented items commonly used today in the Christmas tree trade – a stand which screwed into the base of the trunk, a tree planter on wheels, and a mechanism to drill a hole in the tree base for the stand.  Gilbert was the first President of the WV Christmas Tree Growers’ Association begun in 1954 and first Secretary-Treasurer of the National Christmas Tree Growers’ Association begun 2 years later.  Robert has served as President of the WV Association.

The Christmas tree farm gradually evolved into a nursery as the Martins began growing hemlock and junipers.  In 1972, the firm name was changed to Mt. Zion, Inc., and they began a retain operation of landscaping plants, along with planting, hardscape and limited design service.  Lucille recalls, “the nursery was on 2 levels with a picnic table for my office.”  (The present office building was installed in 2001.)  Development of container-grown plants was occurring about this time, a fact which revolutionized the nursery industry, creating a whole new field of items for sale to consumers.  At first, the Martins bought small plants of some items in gallon size for up-potting to large size containers.  This phase of operation was phased out and now they buy all landscape size plants.

Four generations of Martins have worked the nursery, starting with Gilbert A. and wife Lenore, presently Robert H. and Lucille D., their sons Bruce R. and Brian E. when younger, and now Kara A., daughter of Bruce.

Robert Martin received a BS in Business from WVU, was owner and operator of Hunter Insurance Agency and then sold it to WesBanco Insurance.  Lucille received her AB in Home Economics from Fairmont State and an EdD in Higher Education Administration from WVU.  Bruce received his BS in Business from Fairmont State, went into Hunter Insurance with his dad and is now President of WesBanco Insurance.  Brian received a BS in Business from WVU and then started Winner’s Choice in Fairmont, which offers trophies and recognition awards and which he operates to this day.  Kara is a Junior in Business at WVU.  Mt. Zion, Inc. sells landscape plants and services in the Morgantown, Fairmont, Bridgeport, Clarksburg and Salem area.  They also sell plants to 2 greenhouse operators, 1 in West Union and the other in Summersville.  Lucille, thank you so much for telling us about Mt. Zion, Inc. and for taking me around to see some of your very attractive landscapes.

© Copyright 2012 Mt. Zion Nursery