Lakeshore Tree Farms History

Lakeshore is a family business which was started in 1936 by our grandfather, J.M. Dyck, and our father, George Krahn. The business began at Wilson Lake, about 8 miles west of Struan, Saskatchewan, where J.M. Dyck planted fruit trees during the depression. Word of this orchard began to spread, and before long, J.M.Dyck was persuaded to propagate some of his varieties. He budded 1000 trees, and these were ready to sell in 1937.

In its infancy, Lakeshore was strictly a mail order business. The first price list was a 4 page pamphlet listing the varieties of fruit trees available. This list included Heyers #12 apple, Dolgo crabapple, Dandy and Pembina plums, and Opata cherryplum. These varieties are still being sold today. The prices in this first catalogue revealed that 1 year old trees sold for $.25, 2 year old for $.55, and 3 year old for $.65. Business was a great success, and within five years they were shipping fruit trees all across Canada.

Keeping the nursery clean was accomplished with a horsedrawn, adjustable, one-row cultivator. The rows were hand weeded with a push-hoe. By 1941, the operation had expanded enough so that a new half-ton truck, a used walking tractor, and a cultivator were purchased.

In 1945, George married Antonia(Tony) and they eventually had five children. In 1953, after J.M. Dyck passed away, George and Tony decided to move to Saskatoon. They purchased Weaver's Nursery on 11th Street West - the oldest nursery site in Saskatchewan.

Development here at Saskatoon was slow. The soil was classified as light sandy loam, and it dried out very quickly in comparison with the heavy clay soil existing at Struan. At the same time, the prairies were experiencing very dry years. As a result, Lakeshore lost many of its newly planted trees.

In the twenty years following, George developed many important friendships within the horticultural community and became involved with a variety of organizations. He was the first president of the Saskatchewan Nurserymen's Association, and also of the Prairie Association of Nurserymen. George was also instrumental in the introduction of new plant varieties such as: Edith Smith Apple, Thiessen and Honeywood Saskatoons, Thunderchild Flowering Crab, Green Giant Poplar, and Sutherland Golden Elder.

In 1974, the Krahn brothers purchased the business from their father, George. At that time, Lakeshore consisted of about 80 acres of trees and shrubs and a retail outlet selling bare root plant material from the cold storage root cellar. In 1980, Lakeshore purchased 160 acres of land on the shore of Moon Lake, 10 miles south of the present site on 11th St West. Here the land was leveled so that flood irrigation could be utilized.  In 2005, Lakeshore acquired another 90 acres of adjacent land in order to expand its caliper tree and seedling production

Today, Lakeshore has over 250 acres of field grown trees and shrubs as well as several acres of containerized stock. We are now a headquarters for everyone's gardening needs. As well as being retailers, we are wholesale growers, shipping stock to other nurseries, landscapers,  and garden centres across Canada and into the US. We also provide landscape design and installation.

Lakeshore has been growing flowers, trees, and shrubs for over 70 years. We are dedicated to providing Prairie Hardy quality products, reliable service, and a knowledgeable staff. Come visit us today!