In 1947, Richard (Dick) Jaynes planted his first Christmas trees, obtained as a prize from the state for his 4-H poultry project. Those first trees, planted in and eventually replacing an apple orchard, led to a thriving Christmas tree farm on over 20 acres in Hamden, CT. Initially run as a tagging operation where customers would pick their tree weeks or months before Christmas, the sales are now conducted as Choose and Cut.
The nursery part of the business started in 1984, establishing Broken Arrow Nursery as a full time business venture for Dick and Sally Jaynes. Building on Dick's 25 years of research with the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, Broken Arrow first specialized in Kalmia latifolia, Mountain Laurel, the state flower of Connecticut. The selection has broadened much since then, with over 1,500 different plants being offered, including both common and unusual woody plants and perennials. The nursery is one of the few retail nurseries in Connecticut that propagate and grow most of the plants sold. As with the evolution of the Christmas tree business, growing nursery sales led to more acreage being used for plants (currently about 8 acres). The business now occupies two pieces of farmland, one on Evergreen Avenue and one on Broken Arrow Road, both in Hamden. All nursery sales occur at Broken Arrow Road, while Christmas tree sales are conducted at both sites.