About Us

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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

Brent Markus – Founder

Since an early age, Brent has had a passion and talent for landscape design and horticulture. As a teenager, he explored the Chicago Botanic Garden on weekends and landscaped his family’s property with unusual conifers and plants to give it year-round color. Brent went on to graduate with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in horticulture from Cornell University, and conducted research toward a Ph.D. on the root hardiness of containerized plants in the landscape. During the summer months between years at Cornell, he landscaped properties across the Midwest, his specialty always leaning toward Japanese Maples and dwarf conifers.

Brent began growing plant material for his landscape designs, and the numbers multiplied. First 10X, then 50X, then he was growing exponentially more trees than was necessary for his landscaping business. His focus gradually shifted from design to tree propagation and nurseries, and in 2007, he founded Rare Tree Nursery that specializes in supplying dwarf conifers and Japanese Maples to garden centers and landscapers. Brent founded Conifer Kingdom in 2012 for direct-to-consumer conifers and Japanese Maples, and also InstantHedge, the first nursery of its kind in the United States to sell modular sections of pre-grown hedges for garden centers and landscapers. He manages these three nurseries remotely and has also been building landscape design businesses in Chicago and Boston. Since 2007, Brent has grown 2,000 different varieties of conifer, Japanese maples, and unusual woody plants in Oregon.

Brent’s landscape designs have been featured in Better Homes and Gardens, Fine Gardening, and Garden Conservancy Open Days. In 2020, Brent was highlighted as one of the 40 under 40 young industry professionals in the Greenhouse Garden News.

Sam Pratt

Sam is our sales/inventory manager and resident plant expert. His interest in plants began at a young age, and he has a remarkable amount of knowledge regarding the 1000+ varieties we offer! Although most of Sam’s knowledge is self-taught, he also studied horticulture shortly after beginning work at Conifer Kingdom. Sam assists customers with plant inquiries and facilitates visitors on-site to find the ideal plants for their gardens. Overseeing propagation and capturing the beautiful photographs seen on our website are among Sam’s other numerous responsibilities at the nursery.

Jackie Murray

Jackie joined our team in 2020 as our Horticulture Specialist. Jackie has a strong background in horticulture that began in childhood.She earned a B.S. in Horticulture from Oregon State University and has experience in both retail and wholesale nursery settings. Her passion is plants; collecting, growing, and propagating them. Jackie assists with many aspects of the business at Conifer Kingdom, including sales, customer service, order preparation, and logistics.


Jennifer fills many roles at Conifer Kingdom, including customer service, sales, marketing, and keeping our office operations running smoothly. She has a diverse background in agriculture and a passion for helping others. She is a valuable member of our team!

Larry Stanley

Our newest member as of July 12, 2021. Mr. Stanley brings 45 more years of experience in the horticultural industry to our team. One of the founders of Stanley & Sons Nursery, he brings the knowledge of having processed over 3,000 varieties of conifers and 425 varieties of Japanese Maples in his life time.

As an production manager at the nursery, he will be over seeing plant selection, propagation, production, and marketing.

His own personal focus in conifers is now directed towards miniature cultivars.

A least needed benefit of Mr. Stanley experience is his endless tales of adventures over the many years. Collecting in foreign countries and meeting ‘Broomers’ or as he affectionately calls them ‘ConeHeads’.