History of Southern Branch  

Our President, Eric Gunderson, graduated from Virginia Tech in 1979 with a degree in Nursery management/Landscape design.  Eric then worked for London Bridge Nursery as Nursery Manager until founding Southern Branch Nursery, Inc. in 1981.  We operated a retail garden center and landscape nursery on Battlefield Boulevard for a number of years before moving our operations to our current location on Benefit Road.  We now propagate and grow over 350 species of native plants.

Services we provide

Southern Branch Nursery, Inc. provides consultation, design, and installation services for wildlife habitat and wetlands conservation.  We prepare landscape design master plans for large and small garden areas.

We strive to use only the native straight species (as opposed to cultivars) of plants.  Cultivars are a vegetative clone of one another and have therefore lost their genetic diversity.  However, the straight species of a native plant has gone through the natural reproductive process.  Natural selection has deemed these plants to be healthy and more attractive to pollinators.  

Southern Branch Nursery grows native plants for sale to the public, to the landscape nursery trade and to nonprofit organizations.  We propagate native wetland plants and upland trees, shrubs, grasses and wildflower perennials from locally collected seed sources.  We grow native plants, including pollinator, host and nectar plants, freshwater and saltmarsh tolerant grasses and wildflowers, wetland and riparian buffer plants.  We do not use pesticides in our nursery; our aim is to support, never harm, the local fauna.

We install Best Management Practices (BMPs) for clients living on the local watersheds for soil conservation and stormwater control.  These include rain gardens, bioretention soil beds, and bioswales.  We also install wetland and upland restoration and conservation landscaping using native plants, including living shorelines, riparian buffers, wildlife corridors and pollinator gardens.  We help clients obtain required permits for implementation of restoration, erosion enhancement and habitat projects.

We plant trees, establish and enhance wildlife habitats, including butterfly gardens, wildflower meadows, woodland gardens, and songbird, hummingbird and bee habitats.

We remove invasive plant species and replace them with site appropriate native plants.

We deliver within the state and to Northeast North Carolina.


Our certifications include:

  • Certified Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professional

  • Virginia Certified Landscape Designers

  • Virginia Certified Horticulturist

  • Virginia Wildlife Habitat Designer

We are members of:

  • Virginia Nursery and Landscape Association

  • Virginia Native Plant Society

  • Butterfly Society of Virginia

  • VA Society of Landscape Designers

  • Better Business Bureau

  • Chesapeake Conservation Landscape Council

President of Southern Branch Nursery, Eric Gunderson

President of Southern Branch Nursery, Eric Gunderson

Meet our Staff


Amy Roebuck Jones

Nursery Manager

Amy Roebuck Jones has been acting Nursery Manager since 2015. She has an undergraduate degree from the University of Massachusetts in Environmental Design and Master in Landscape Architecture from Harvard Graduate School of Design. Amy served in the US Naval Reserves for 5 years, and has also worked as an Environmental Planner - Landscape Designer in San Diego, a Wetlands Delineator in Massachusetts, and a children’s environmental art teacher. Amy is a talented artist of native flora and fauna, inspired by her family’s life-long passion for conservation and the environment. She has been active with the Hampton Roads chapter of the Virginia Native Plants Society since 2009, and creates the local Virginia Wildflower of the Year artwork.

Kaitlyn Silver is an avid wildlife enthusiast, specializing in the relationship between pollinators and their host plants.


Kaitlyn Silver

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Trista Imrich

Trista Imrich is a Virginia Certified Horticulturist (VCH), and Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professional, Level 2 (CBLP-I), with a passion for conservation landscape design, habitat restoration, and stormwater management. Originally from Cincinnati, OH, she attended The Ohio State University as part of the Navy ROTC program. During her time as a Naval Surface Warfare Officer, she completed an Environmental Masters degree, and left the Navy to pursue her environmental interests. Trista attended Tidewater Community College completing the Career Certificate in Horticulture/Landscape Design. She recently helped to write and edit the "Native Plants for Southeast Virginia" guide and conducts many local speaking engagements about conservation landscaping.

Luísa Black is a landscape designer, educator, ecologist, mycologist, and devoted swamp enthusiast. She specializes in edible native landscape design and the natural communities of the Coastal Plain. She is fascinated by all things ancient, elusive, and generally inhospitable, so she is particularly interested in the biology of evolutionarily prehistoric organisms such as mosses, lichens, liverworts, lycophytes, gymnosperms, ferns, and fungi. She is a certified soil fungi consultant and she also holds a certification in sustainable urban agriculture.


Luisa Black