R.W. Byrnes Nursery, Inc.
Introduces New Plant

by Diana Barnum, Correspondent
Don’t compete. Be unique. That’s the idea behind successful niche marketing. And that’s just what R.W. Byrnes Nursery, Inc. does.
Located in Geneva in northeastern Ohio, “Heart of the Nursery Industry,” R.W. Byrnes Nursery grows specialty plants, topiaries, field and container grown shrubs and evergreens for the wholesale landscape and nursery industry. Their niche is grafting. And their first patented plant is out on the market, the Ilex Crenata Aurea, ‘Drops of Gold.’ “It’s a round bush-type evergreen shrub,” said Ron Byrnes, owner of the nursery. “The inside of the plant is dark green; the outside is bright yellow.”
The new grafted plant actually began back in 1987 when Byrnes spotted a yellow branch sticking up in the midst of his field of green Japanese Holly plants. He took the yellow cutting, rooted it and went through the 7-year phase until it could be patented and ready for selling. Last year people purchased liners or 2-inch potted plants from him. This is the first year that larger plants are available. “We’re the originators,” explained Byrnes. “I’m basically the sole distributor at this point, until their liners grow.”
Byrnes hooked up with The Conard-Pyle Co. for help handling the patenting and marketing of his new plant. He chose them because Conard-Pyle is experienced with patents. They know the ins and outs of the testing, logging and other details involved in the process, making sure that the plant doesn’t revert back during the first seven years, that the leaves are correctly measured to accuracy, etc. Since they already have major marketing in progress, they handle the campaigns for ‘Drops of Gold,’ sharing half the royalties with Byrnes. This joint venture frees up time for Byrnes so that he can focus on his own operations and other grafting projects.
Byrnes offered these tips for others seeking joint venture opportunities:
Finding a new plant is the biggest thing. You have to be aware and be out there to spot inconsistencies in growth. Propagate the new plant a couple of years to make sure it doesn’t revert back. Specs are needed - take time to measure plant growth, leaf characteristics, color, etc.
Located about a half mile from the southern shore of Lake Erie, R. W. Byrnes Nursery, Inc. was established in 1976 when Ron Byrnes was right out of high school. He went to work for other nurseries that did grafting and learned the trade well. About a third of his approximate 60 acres hosts a few ponds, a large 25 HP pump with overhead irrigation system and a growing number of more than 60 poly houses, many earlier ones made of pipe.
R.W. Byrnes Nursery is a first generation, family run operation with goals to continue to increase their production in grafted and topiary plants over the next several years. They currently have more new plants in various stages of being patented and ready for the public.
For more information, contact R. W. Byrnes Nursery, Inc., 4150 N Countyline Rd., Geneva, OH 44041. Call 440-466-7056 (ph), 440-466-4635 (fax) or email unit@velocity1.net” unit@velocity1.net. Visit them online at www.rwbyrnesnursery.com.