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Our History

Keel Nursery, began in Rock Island, TN in 1979 by Carl Keel. Carl was taught the nursery business by his father, Charlie Keel. Charlie, well known in the nursery industry, had taught all his children the meaning of hard work. Charlie had been in the nursery business for years working for Forest Nursery, one of the largest nurseries on the east coast back then. Carl took the lessons his father taught him and established Keel Nursery. The roots, ethics, and values remain strong today with the customer being the #1 priority.

Our Owner

Carl began the nursery on 7 acres and it has developed into 80+ acres today. He still has the original 7 acres which now serve as a propagation and container area. The container area has over 25 greenhouses and various growing pads. At this facility, liners and 1 gallons are produced and sold to wholesale growers. On the additional acreage, field grown trees are produced.

Caring For Our Trees

Our trees are cared for with the utmost care. Drip irrigation is used upon planting. Trees are staked to ensure quality. Pruning is done for maintenance on the trees as well as to stimulate new growth and maintain nice branch structure. All evergreens are sheared to help encourage healthy shaped plants. Our soils are checked once per year and altered dependent on the nutrient levels at testing.


Our trees are cared for by accessing drip irrigation on 75% of the nursery and each plant is fertilized with Florikote® controlled release fertilizer. Our trees range from 1.5" caliper to 6" caliper and evergreens ranging from 3 ft to 25 ft. Our trees are fed throughout the summer and go into winter with adaquate nutrients when using controlled release fertilizer.We believe in best management practices and use fertilizer responsibly while minimizing its impact on the environment with runoff. All plants ranging from liners to containers contain Florikote® as well.

Customer Relations

All of our fields are open to customers. Carl still hand tags each tree to ensure quality and service to the customer. We also encourage our customers to visit our fields for tours while also giving them the option to select their own trees. We appreciate all customers and we're thankful for the 30+ years of support.