Sago Rey has a rich history, which dates back to 1970. In 1970, the business was called "Central California Ferns" which was started by a kid in high school named Thomas R Wash. In 1986, Wash changed the name to "Sago Rey" and decided to start growing a variety of palms and cycads. Wash got married to Maria in 1986 and together they decided to plant palms and cycads. In 2006, Sago Rey expanded and offered different varieties of sago palms.
Wash had a distinct philosophy - to share as much knowledge as possible about plants to anyone who wants to learn. He didn't believe in keeping any information to himself. His belief was "when I'm gone, the knowledge still needs to be here" and so he tried teaching people his knowledge of plants, regardless of whether they were buying from him or not. He also freely offered his competitors advice and shared his knowledge of plants.
Thom's passion for plants began at a very young age. At only 3 years old, he began selling plants and cartons of milk. When Thom turned 8, his dad took him on a trip to a nursury in Arizona. Once there, his dad told him that he could pick any plant he wanted to bring home. Thomas picked a cactus tree, which would not fit in the car. His dad didn't know what to do and the nursery owner told his dad, "you told him he could pick ANY plant he wanted so you need to figure this out." So, his dad strapped the cactus on the roof of the car and drove it all the way to Fresno. Once home, Thomas planted it in the ground.
In 1980, while on a trip to Mexico, Thomas met Maria. The two sparked a connection and in 1986, they got married. For the next 25 years, Thomas Maria would go on to create one of the largest Sago Palm nurseries in California. On November 3, 2011, Thomas R Wash passed away. His passion for trees and knowledge sharing still lives on though through Maria and the Sago Rey Team.