HRI Honoree William Flemer III
A third generation nurseryman, William (Bill) Flemer grew up in the Princeton, NJ area. He began his college career in 1942 attending Yale University, where he earned both a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Masters Degree in botany. His college studies were postponed during World War II when he served in the 603rd Engineer Camouflage Battalion. After service, he returned home to complete his education and enter the family business – Princeton Nurseries.
Bill was named Vice President of Princeton Nurseries in 1950. In 1972 he became President of the nursery, a position he held for 20 years.
In addition to his leadership of Princeton Nurseries, Bill has been extremely involved in nursery associations. His appointments included Past Presidents of the Ornamental Growers’ Association, the New Jersey Association of Nurserymen, the Eastern Regional Nurserymen’s Association, the National Association of Plant Patent Owners, the American Association of Nurserymen (now ANLA), and the Eastern Region of the International Plant Propagators Society.
He served as Chairman of the U.S. National Arboretum Advisory Board and was for 6 years a member of the Arnold Arboretum Visiting Committee. He also served on the White House Grounds Committee in Washington D.C.
In addition to induction into the American Association of Nurserymen’s (now ANLA) Hall of Fame, Bill has been the recipient of such honors as the Thomas Roland Medal and the Jackson Dawson Medal from the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, the Garden Club of America’s Medal of Honor, the Distinguished Achievement Medal from the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, the Wayside Gardens Company Award, the Catherine H. Sweeney Award from the American Horticultural Society, the International Plant Propagators’ Society Award of Merit and the Gold Veitch Memorial Medal from the Royal Horticultural Society.
Bill has willingly shared his knowledge and experience with the industry over the years by publishing numerous articles and several books on trees and shrubs. He has been a member of IPPS since 1952 (a year after it was founded) and has presented papers on a wide range of subjects.
His extensive knowledge of plants and his tireless efforts to improve existing species led to the development of many trees and shrubs. To date Bill is credited with 62 plant introductions.
Bill Flemer has spent a life time seeking and sharing, not only within IPPS, but within the nursery industry
*A very special thanks goes to Alan Jones for the research and information on William Flemer III.