Remigio Cramerstetter, founder of Pépinière Cramer and pillar of ornamental horticulture in Quebec, passed away on Wednesday,
November 24th at the age of 85.
Pépinière Cramer founder and ornamental horticulturalist Remigno Cramerstetter, pictured with his wife Fiorella, has died at the age of 85. (Photo library)
The resident of Notre-Dame-de-l’Île-Perrot is survived by his wife Fiorella, his sons Walter, Roberto and Mario, as well as five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. His departure affects the employees of the two branches of the arboricultural company in Notre-Dame-de-l’Île-Perrot and Les Cèdres, as well as the entire community of gardeners and horticulturalists, not only in the West of the province but all of Quebec.
Remigio and Fiorella Cramerstetter emigrated from northern Italy to Canada in 1957 with their three-month-old son to settle at Pointe-du-Moulin on L’Île-Perrot. New immigrants, they spoke neither French nor English, working as lumberjacks, cooks and janitors to name a few of their jobs.
In 1962, Mr. Cramerstetter started his own landscaping business. Working seven days a week, he managed to save enough to open his first garden center. This is how the Pépinière Cramer opened its doors in 1965 along Highway 20 on Chemin Saint-Dominique in Les Cèdres.
The Cramerstetters acquired their first plot of land in 1968 in Saint-Lazare where tree production began on 50 acres. Growing trees in Quebec was extremely rare at the time because many believed that Quebec did not have a climate conducive to production, most of the trees coming from Ontario.
All the work was manual: with a pickaxe, a shovel, while even the excavation of large trees was done by hand. The whole family, including the children, got their hands dirty to accomplish what seemed impossible to some.
In 1972, operations were transferred to 250 acres of land located on the territory of the municipality of Les Cèdres. Five years later, the ever-growing demand for quality, climate-resistant plants prompted the company to abandon landscaping and become a supplier.
The Pépinière Cramer has grown since that time and now has over 1,600 acres of production. One of the largest in Canada in its field, the company is known for its large trees but also for a complete variety ranging from conifers, resistant leafy plants, fruit trees, vines, roses, perennials and others. The cultivated plants are sold in many garden centers across Quebec.
The Vaudreuil-Soulanges company has received several awards for the excellence of its products and customer service as well as many honorable mentions for its contribution to the development of horticulture in Quebec. The trees of the Pépinière Cramer have embellished sites such as Expo ‘67, the Olympic Games in Montreal in 1976, the Quartier International de Montréal, the Promenades Samuel de Champlain in Quebec City and Highway 30, but also a long list of locations throughout the rest of Canada and the United States.
Details surrounding Remigio Cramerstetter’s funeral will be known later.