HICKS NURSERIES TODAY
Our mission is to be your favorite destination for quality home, garden and outdoor living inspiration and solutions. We are dedicated to helping gardeners, homeowners and landscape professionals achieve their goals by offering expert advice and providing an outstanding selection of unique products. We make gardening success easy and enjoyable for everyone!
“Our business philosophy has remained the same for six generations with a focus on the highest level of products and services for our community. We continue to be innovative and adjust our offerings to stay relevant and meet the changing needs of our customers.”
Stephen Hicks, President.
Along with the largest selection of high-quality trees, annuals, perennials and houseplants on Long Island, the nursery carries tools, seeds, fertilizers, decorative and gift items, outdoor furniture, silk flowers and arrangements, and other garden ornaments.
In the spring of 2019, we introduced an elevated shopping experience for our customers that takes the guesswork out of selecting plants. Customers can browse through over a dozen garden displays and combinations, to envision the result in their own homes. They can visit our new Landscape Inspiration Center to select different levels of services for their project needs such as planting, delivery, buying now-picking up later and complete design/build services.
In fact, our award-winning Landscapes design/build team is the go-to solution for everything from small foundation plantings to major landscape redesign, installation and beyond. We focus on an easy, stress-free and pleasurable process for our customers providing the unparalleled service and reliability that Hicks has built its reputation on, since 1853.
We are also known for our highly anticipated annual events that bring the community together. The Spring Flower & Garden Show draws tens of thousands to see our stunning display gardens and hear lectures by outstanding specialists. The Fall Harvest festival features a myriad of family-friendly events including a giant pumpkin weigh off, hay rides, face painting and scarecrow stuffing. Don’t miss our famous fudge and irresistible roasted corn on the cob! Our two seasonal animated shows for children include the Halloween show featuring our famous ‘Otto the Ghost’ and our Christmas show. Both shows emphasize the value of friendship and being of service to others. We have more exciting events in the works for our customers.
Introduced in 2008, the Hicks Commercial Sales division serves horticultural professionals and quality-oriented landscape contractors with the products they need for their customers, when they need them. In addition to trees, shrubs and perennials, the commercial division stocks fertilizer, mulch, soil and other supplies landscape professionals need. Our clientele includes landscape contractors and designers, movie and television sets, zoos, golf courses, interior plantscapers, florists, municipalities and other garden centers.
Our continued promise is to listen to our customers and provide them with the tools they need for garden inspiration and success.
HICKS IN HISTORY
The Hicks family started farming on Long Island as early as the late 1600s, but it was in 1853 that the business that was to become Hicks Nurseries, Inc. had its beginnings. Isaac Hicks began selling trees to his neighbors and he named his new company Isaac Hicks and Son. Since the first sale, Hicks Nurseries has maintained its reputation for providing carefully selected, top quality plant material. Each succeeding generation of the business has left its stamp on the nursery, responding to the current horticultural needs of the Long Island community.
For over 165 years, nobody has helped more gardeners succeed in more ways than Hicks.
At the turn of the century, Isaac’s son Edward, who taught at Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute, invented and patented the equipment for moving big trees that were desired by Long Island’s new estate owners. Full grown trees – sometimes in full leaf – were carefully extracted from the earth and taken primarily to the Gold Coast mansions, where many still flourish today. Many of the most famous estates that included the Vanderbilt, JP Morgan and the Phipps (which is currently Old Westbury Gardens), coveted the unique landscaping services that Hicks offered in the early 1900’s.
Edward’s son Henry was the first college-trained horticulturist in the family business becoming a premier botanist. After receiving his degree from the New York State College of Agriculture at Cornell, Henry returned to Westbury, where he specialized in studying the suitability of new plants from Europe and Asia for the Long Island environment. He kept up a wide correspondence with the leading horticulturists of the day. One such correspondent was the chief plant explorer for the US Department of Agriculture, Frank Meyer, who roamed the earth looking for new plants. Whenever he came upon a new plant, he sent three back to the US. One went to the USDA in Beltsville, Maryland; one went to the Arnold Arboretum in Boston; and one went to Henry Hicks in Westbury. The cross-breeding of plants from different parts of the world was Henry’s forte, the best known being the Hicks Yew (Taxus x media Hicksii). This plant became – and remains today – one of the most widely used plants in the landscape industry throughout North America.
William and Edwin Hicks (Henry’s sons) kept the business going during the Depression. Around 1930, in an innovative move, William made pre-dug plants available for customers. This marked the beginning of the walk-in, cash and carry customer business that developed into what is now called a retail garden center.
In the 1960s, with western Long Island’s evolution from a rural to a suburban community complete, Edwin’s son Alfred (Fred) saw the need to refocus the business in order to keep pace with the new generation of Long Islanders. At that time there were still 245 acres of nursery production in Westbury. Fred kept the best of what was already established, and over the next ten years converted the nursery into a thriving family-oriented retailing and growing operation that served hundreds of thousands of people each year. Garden center owners from across the country continue to visit every year to get ideas.
Two of Fred’s children lead the family business today, Stephen Hicks as President and Karen Hicks-Courts as Director of Human Resources.
As President of Hicks Nurseries since 2004, Stephen is making his own mark on the family business to meet the growing and changing needs of customers. Hicks Commercial Sales was launched in 2008, Hicks Landscapes was re-launched in 2011, and in 2019 the Landscape Inspiration Center was introduced, providing retail customers with a new and innovative way to shop.
One of the trickiest professional accomplishments is to successfully transfer a family business from one generation to the next. Very few small businesses make this transition past one generation. Hicks Nurseries has overcome many obstacles and has been able to not only survive but thrive as an industry leader and a vital part of the Long Island gardening and landscape community – through six generations.
Since Isaac Hicks’ first sale, Hicks Nurseries has maintained its reputation for providing carefully selected, top quality plant material. Each succeeding generation of the business has left its stamp on the nursery, responding to the current horticultural needs of the Long Island community and beyond.