Mike Yanny is President of JN Plant Selections, LLC. He and his wife, Lori own the company. Lori helps with marketing and name selection and Mike does the breeding and new plant discovery. Mike develops and introduces new woody ornamental plants with an emphasis on tough, hardy materials for cold regions of the world.
Mike graduated in 1979 with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Horticulture from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He learned to propagate and select plants for novel triats in the 1970’s, while working with the late Herbert F. Trautman of Trautman Nurseries in Franksville, Wisconsin. Mike was also the plant propagator at Johnson’s Nursery, Inc. in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin from 1980 to 2010. He was the Senior Horticulturist on Johnson’s staff from 2011 through 2016.
Angela got to know Mike well during her days spent managing the Chicagoland Grows new plant introduction program. You might recognize some of his famous woody plant selections that he named and introduced, including: Firebird® crabapple, Redwing® highbush cranberry viburnum, Red Feather™ arrowwood viburnum, Ping Pong™ buttonbush, Pink-a-licious™ spirea, Spice Island™ Koreanspice viburnum, Sugar n’ Spice™ Koreanspice viburnum, Early Glow™ Ohio buckeye, Technito® arborvitae, Star Power™ juniper, Irish Setter™ dogwood, Mystic Ruby™ buckeye and Firespire® musclewood.
Mike says he would be nothing without his wife Lori. Isn’t that the sweetest? In his words: “She advises me on everything. When it’s selection time for a particular plant group, she comes out to the nursery. You know, she has a masters degree in plant breeding from UW-Madison and got straight A-s. I was a solid B-C student who did too much partying on the weekends and got a BS in horticulture (and the BS can be taken any way you want to). Anyway, when I am stumped by something that is going wrong with my plants all I have to do is bring Lori out to the nursery to get the answer to my problem. She can solve it most of the time. She is the real brains of the operation but she doesn’t like the limelight so people don’t know. On top of all of that she does most everything at home so I can concentrate on the business. She’s amazing!!! ” We are thankful for Lori and her contributions too.
In his spare time, Mike likes to watch football because he is a serious Green Bay Packers fan. He also writes some amazing poetry and authors a newsletter named Plant Talk. And…he plays the acoustic guitar. Poetry and guitar playing -what a combination. Add total plant geek, all around nice person, and a great guy to his resume and he’s a catch for Plants Nouveau. We are very excited to be working with Mike to introduce some of his new plants to the world!