Annual plant auction will be held Saturday

2:52 pm | April 15, 2013

A plant auction will be held at the Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area Saturday, April 20, from 9 a.m. until noon.

Attendees may arrive at about 8 a.m. to look at the 700 to 800 plants being auctioned.

The auction is sponsored by the Elizabethton/ Carter County Chamber of Commerce, the East Tennessee Nursery Association and UT Extension.

This annual event has been held for the past 19 years, according to Keith Hart, extension agent and county director of the UT/Carter County Extension Office. Hart said all of the plants are donated by participating nurseries. Unique plant species include Kousa Dogwoods, Japanese Maple seedlings, rhododendrons, numerous apple varieties, blueberries, various hollies and an array of daylilies.

“Of the Japanese Maples available for auction this year many will be new grafts,” Hart said. “We’ve had a lot of them in the past and this year we’ve got a good selection of grafted Japanese Maples.”

Proceeds from the sale are used to sponsor local students, to provide nursery and educational tours and plant introductions.

“Our goal is for everyone who comes to leave with a plant,” he said.

Hart, who noted that the plant auction is well attended, said his role in the event is educational in nature.
“We talk about the plants, where they grow, how they need to be cared for,” he said. “We have a real good array of experts there to answer various kinds of questions.”

Plants will be auctioned by Bobby Alley of Valley Realty & Auction, Firm No. 2063, and Rainbow Realty & Auction, Firm No. 5516.

For more information, call the UT/Carter County Extension Office at 542-1818 or email Hart at

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