About us – Knecht’s Staff

Leif and Deb Knecht – Owners; Certified Nursery and Landscape Professionals7097002_00052L&D

We’ve been growing trees since 1988 and haven’t stopped!  A deep interest in all types of plants grew into container production of trees, shrubs and perennials along with the establishment of our retail nursery.  We love meeting people as they come into the nursery and helping them to find just the right plants for their project.   Outside of the business, we enjoy the canoe country in northern Minnesota, the outdoors, our pets and spoiling our seven grandchildren!

Jim Westlund, General Manager, Partner and Landscape Division Manager, CNLPOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I started here at Knecht’s in February 2005. I’m a graduate of Northfield High School and Dakota County Vo Tech. I enjoy working with people, and being outdoors. I look forward to every job — whether large or small!  In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family, motorcycling and bicycling.

Landscape Designer

Bernie Emery – Retail Manager, CNLPknecht-employees-4


 I started here at Knecht’s in 2012 while on an internship through the horticulture program at DCTC.  I have always had a love for the outdoors and gardening.  My husband and I have a huge vegetable garden and our own greenhouse!I hope to be able to answer any gardening questions you may have and look forward to meeting our customers!

Our Veteran Staff


Todd Marnie, Matt Wheeler, Mark Tarabek, Ted Henwood, Delton Kolb and Ryan Jonas all have many years of experience here at Knecht’s n our landscape and production areas.

Our retail sales team veterans include Heidi Brosseau, Lisa Klosterman and Tracy Bahr.  These folks you’ll see on the front lines when visiting Knecht’s.

We are so fortunate to have such a dedicated and knowledgeable employees. These great people  are the backbone of our staff. They are extremely hardworking people and we don’t know what we’d do without them!

CooperGabby & Cooper

My name is Cooper (I’m the smaller dog)   I would have to say that I am about the luckiest dog there is as I  get to be with my humans almost 24/7.  I come to work with them, go home with them, and then once I get home – they cater to my every need.   From playing ball to tug of war – walks in the woods – and having to put up with the cats – Life is good.  I have decided to keep this picture on the page — my sister, Gabby, passed away last year on Mother’s Day and I really miss her.  We have this picture up at home and it makes me smile when I look at it and remember her!


Area's largest Garden Center. Home of Peak Performance Trees.

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