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NEWS: NewGen™ Boxwood (Saunders Genetics)

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    Saunders Brothers and NewGen® Supply Boxwood For The White House Rose Garden Renovation 

    Piney River, Virginia, USA (September 2, 2020) – Saunders Brothers, Inc. and NewGen® Boxwood, introduced by Saunders Genetics, LLC, were instrumental in the renovation of the White House Rose Garden, unveiled to the public by First Lady Melania Trump on Saturday, August 22, 2020. The iconic space had changed very little since 1962 and a major overhaul was long overdue to protect and maintain the garden for future generations. In June 2020, the Saunders were invited to the White House to consult with landscape architecture firms Perry Guillot, Inc. and Oehme, van Sweden and Associates on options for boxwood cultivars. This collaboration was the first step in a process that culminated in the selection and installation of over 400 Saunders Brothers boxwood, including 350 NewGen Independence® from the NewGen® Boxwood collection.

    “The most renowned garden in America was in trouble,” said Bennett Saunders, general manager of Saunders Genetics and co-owner of Saunders Brothers, the parent company of Saunders Genetics. “I had seen the problems from TV news coverage in the Rose Garden. An intensive garden like this needs to be renewed every 20-25 years. The boxwood were suffering from insect and disease damage. On top of that, they were in danger of attracting Boxwood Blight, an invasive fungal disease that entered the United States in 2011.”

    Saunders Brothers advised the project committee in the selection of better Boxwood Blight resistant NewGen Independence® for the formal parterre hedges. Identifying Boxwood Blight resistant cultivars for the update was specifically a part of the master planning. Saunders Brothers also supplied more than 50 large ‘Green Beauty’ boxwood to create the pairs of groupings of specimen shrubs that frame the sides of the Presidents step landing outside the Oval Office. In July, assisted by the Saunders team, landscape architect Perry Guillot personally selected all the specimen shrubs from the Saunders Brothers farm fields.
    The Saunders family’s integral connection to the Rose Garden spans two generations. In 1962, Paul Saunders supplied 1500 boxwood for First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy’s historic Rose Garden initiative. Paul and his sons Tom, Bennett, Jim, and Robert now manage Saunders Brothers, Inc., and have continued to supply boxwood and consult with the White House throughout the years, highlighted by the extensive renovation this summer.

    “The Rose Garden is an American treasure that has been spectacularly restored to a classic design similar to the original design of 1962,” said Robert Saunders, general manager of Saunders Brothers. “It is an honor for our company to continue a 58-year tradition of assistance to the White House Rose Garden.”

    Saunders Brothers, Inc., celebrates over 100 years in business, beginning as a partnership between five brothers in 1915. The nursery has been a leading grower of boxwood for 70+ years. Today, third-generation brothers, Tom, Bennett, Jim, and Robert, with their dad, Paul, operate the wholesale nursery, orchard, and farm market. The wholesale nursery operation now consists of approximately 100 acres of container production and 150 acres of field boxwood production, shipping over 1,000 products to garden centers, landscapers, and re-wholesalers throughout the mid-Atlantic region. A 175-acre orchard provides fresh fruit for the on-site farm market as well as other wholesale and retail markets.

    Saunders Genetics, LLC, was formed out of research and development by the Saunders family to understand and find solutions to the challenges of boxwood, including blight, disease, and pests, to usher in a new era of boxwood performance and choice. NewGen® Boxwood is the marketplace brand identity for Saunders Genetics’ two 2020 introductions, NewGen Independence® and NewGen Freedom®. NewGen® Boxwood is characterized by better disease and pest resistance and superior garden performance and beauty. 


    Sonya Lepper Westervelt
    Saunders Brothers- Chief of Wholesale Sales 434-277-5455 x24

    Lindsay Day
    NewGen® Boxwood- Marketing Manager 434-277-5455 x38

    Tom Kegley
    Tom Kegley Communications

    Today’s Solution - Tomorrow’s Standard    
    With the continued pressure on the boxwood we cherish in our landscapes today, NewGen Boxwood offers growers, landscapers, and garden retailers hope for the future of boxwood by trialing, selecting and marketing superior boxwood selections. A new generation of genetics, knowledge, and vision, is here to revolutionize America’s garden classic. Find out more about our story, our mission, and the results of our dedication to finding a solution.

    Address:   2717 Tye Brook Hwy, Piney River, VA 22964
    Email:     Contact:  
    Phone:  (434) 277-5455   FAX: 


    NewGen Freedom® Boxwood

    This excellent boxwood was selected due to its better resistance to Boxwood Blight and resistance to Boxwood Leafminer. Its vigor creates an attractive plant quicker than many cultivars. This plant makes a fabulous addition to any landscape.

    Cultivar: Buxus NewGen Freedom® ‘SB 300’ PP32421

    Zone: 5-8

    Growth Rate: Fast, 3 to 6 inches per year

    Sun Exposure: Sun, part sun, shade

    Attributes: NewGen Freedom® is a relatively vigorous, rounded cultivar that is slightly taller than wide. It has beautiful glossy medium green foliage. Its habit is more uniform and tighter than Buxus microphylla ‘Wintergreen’ or Buxus microphylla ‘Winter Gem’ making it an excellent choice for many formal and residential landscapes. Deer resistant!

    Care: NewGen Freedom® should be pruned each year in late winter-early spring. If not pruned, the plant will tend to open up in the center, especially in spring when new foliage is wet and young. NewGen Freedom® is very resistant to Boxwood Leafminer and shows good resistance to Boxwood Blight. It has very few disease or pest issues when planted and cared for properly. NewGen Freedom® responds positively to nitrogen applications.

    Uses: Medium specimen, medium hedge, foundation plant

    Substitutes: ‘Wintergreen,’ ‘Winter Gem,’ ‘Jim Stauffer,’ ‘Green Mountain’

    Size:      15 years (3.5’ Tall and 3.5’ Wide) 25 years (5’ Tall and 5’ Wide)


    NewGen Independence® Boxwood

    NewGen Independence® was chosen based on its better resistance to Boxwood Blight, root diseases and good performance in Boxwood Leafminer trials. Perfect replacement for English Boxwood in formal gardens or as a foundation plant in any landscape.

    Cultivar: Buxus NewGen Independence® ‘SB 108’ PP28888

    Zone: 5b-8

    Growth Rate: Medium, 2 to 4 inches per year

    Exposure: sun, part sun, shade

    Attributes: NewGen Independence® is a very deep green medium sized cultivar that holds excellent color throughout the winter. It has a rounded habit that is nearly as tall as wide. NewGen Independence® can be used in formal plantings where a medium sized round plant is desired. Would be a replacement for Buxus sempervirens ‘Suffruticosa’ (English Boxwood) for foundational plantings. Branching structure is very strong allowing it to withstand most moderate to heavy snow loads. Deer resistant.

    Care: NewGen Independence® should be pruned lightly in late winter to early spring to maintain uniform shape. It is not uncommon for fall frosts to burn new growth that occurred in the late summer or fall. These burned shoots can be removed in late fall after first freeze or in late winter/early spring depending on the gardener’s preference.

    Uses: Medium specimen, medium hedge, foundation plant.

    Substitute for: ‘Green Beauty,’ ‘Suffruticosa,’ ‘Green Velvet,’ ‘Green Mound’

    Size: 15 years (3’ Tall and 3’ Wide)