What’s Growing On, Blake Miraglia?
Images by Ethan Kaminsky
Blake Miraglia passed on the commercial property he was looking at for a shopping center five years ago, but he bought the 40,000 trees planted on the land in Thermal.
These were the Cadillacs of palms, he learned: Canary Island date palms. Miraglia moved the trees to another parcel in Thermal and founded Links Nursery. While finding someone to care for the trees, he acquired three more nurseries and now has an inventory of about 300,000 palms and ornamental trees.
“Our business plan wasn’t to sell the Canary Island palms for five years,” he says. The sales price increases with each foot the trees grow — and they cost about four times as much as typical date
palms, even though their fruit lacks a tasty edibility.
What makes Canary Island palms special?
The trunk is much thicker and the fronds have a much wider spread [up to 50-feet wide]; and it’s a more round spread, so I think it’s just a much better-looking tree. You can create a stunning entrance or focal point on your property. Also, there are very few of them compared to date palms. There’s a quarantine on them, so nobody can bring them into the Coachella Valley. Our trees were grown from seed. Every month, we file a report with the department of agriculture to report their size and how many we have.
To whom do you expect to sell these trees?
We expect to sell them to residential developments for lining an entrance or to country clubs that want to set themselves apart. It’s a great look to have at the corner of a pool, overhanging it. We will sell locally and ship to Las Vegas, Texas, and Arizona.
You supplied Canary Island palms to adorn the VIP tent at the Coachella Music and Arts Festival. Are events a big part of your business?
We supplied five different varieties of trees to the festival; the bulk was ornamentals. Events are certainly a part of the business we are looking to expand.
What’s in the near future for Links Nursery?
The near future for us is continuing to supply big-box retailers like Home Depot and Lowe’s with small trees and to continue letting our Canary Island trees get bigger so when construction starts again we have trees the right size. The original trees now range from 10 to 25 feet.
When traveling east on I-10 via Los Angeles, San Diego or Las Vegas; Links Nursery is best accessed by exiting on the Jackson street exit in Indio, CA. Take a right from the off ramp & head south on Jackson until turning left (east) onto Avenue 54. You will see Links Nursery on your right side and the entrance is about 100 yards down on the right.
When traveling west on I-10 via Blythe or Phoenix; Links Nursery is best accessed by exiting on the Jackson street exit in Indio, CA. Take a left from the off ramp & head south on Jackson until turning left (east) onto Avenue 54. You will see Links Nursery on your right side and the entrance is about 100 yards down on the right.
Links Nursery Locations:
83237 54th Ave, Indio, CA 92274
65168 Van Buren Rd., Thermal, CA 92274