‘Wearing a tree kind of broke down a barrier’: Nursery workers promote the importance and beauty of native plants

Customer Marty Moran of Mokena, left, gets help from field manager Joe Connolly with his shrubs and trees at the nursery in the family’s home and garden area at Possibility Place Nursery in Monee on Oct. 27, 2023. (Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

Possibility Place Nursery in Monee is a family business that has specialized in growing native plants since 1983. (Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

Possibility Place Nursery’s founder Connor Shaw walks around the property with his dog, Remy. Shaw is semiretired but still comes out to connect with their customers. (Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

With its branches poking out of a drawstring bag, a potted plum tree accompanied Tristan Shaw to a recent nonprofit luncheon. For the last three years, he has carried a sapling for “emotional support” out to dinner, family parties and even canoeing and camping.