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About Us

The Conifer Kingdom team is deeply rooted in a lifelong passion for plants. We supply the everyday gardener to the serious collector. We offer the largest selection available with over 600 varieties, in sizes from sapling to large, mature specimens.

We love conifers for their four-season interest and the variety of forms, colors, and textures. Similarly, Japanese maples are possibly the most versatile landscape tree due to the thousands of available cultivars with unique forms, growth rates and colors.

There is a Japanese maple or dwarf conifer appropriate for every landscape space. Our plants will transform your landscape!

Meet Our Team

Even with our extensive selection, we are a relatively small nursery supported by a team of individuals with a combined 85+ years in the plant and horticulture industry.

Our seasoned staff are passionate about horticulture with a genuine interest in providing our customers with the healthiest and highest quality specimens available.

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Brent Markus

At just fourteen years old, Brent began his life as a landscape designer with a distinct interest in dwarf conifers and Japanese maples. His parents let him renovate their gardens which after three years (at age 17) would go on to win the Chicago Tribune Garden Contest Best Collectors Garden. Brent pursued his passion and attended Cornell University to study landscape architecture and horticulture. He continued at Cornell in the Urban Horticulture Institute studying under renowned professor, Dr. Nina Bassuk.

Brent's research for his Masters focused on influencing low temperatures in the root zone of containers with media type, saturation, and insulation. His Ph.D. research expanded on the container environment by investigating root freezing tolerance of several ornamental trees and shrubs. Additionally, he investigated the influence of drought, pre-freezing temperaures, and application of stress hormones on root freezing tolerance.

At present, Brent manages Conifer Kingdom, Rare Tree Nursery, and Markus Specimen Trees, Inc. He is as passionate about landscape design as he is about finding new plants.

In his free time, Brent loves to travel and is a major grilling enthusiast.