Tree nursery plants in containers

Interview Tree Nursery – Eurotree

Wilbert Christiaens and Eef van Os grow a wide range of conifers, shrubs and topiary plants. They own approximately 100 hectares of open, greenhouse and container fields in Melderslo, Limburg. ‘What are we good at? Why not ask us what not,’ jokes Wilbert. Then, seriously: ‘Our strength lies in the quality of our products. We work neatly, comply with agreements and stand for fair trade.’

In this article the owners explain about their beautiful tree nursery and how BVB Substrates helps them be successful.

Tree nursery plants in containers

 

In 2001, Wilbert Christiaens and Eef van Os decided to merge their two relatively small nurseries into one larger and future-oriented nursery. They expected this cooperation to give them a better market position. Eightteen years on, their expectation has been fulfilled. ‘We have built a good name and an excellent clientele’, Wilbert notes with satisfaction. ‘Our products are sold mainly abroad: Germany, England and countries in eastern Europe – Poland, Ukraine and Russia – are our main destinations.’

One size up

Eurotree grows a large range of connifers and shrubs outdoors. Ilex, Buxus, Taxus Prunus and Thuja are the most important species. In addition, the company has a range of refined conifers and shrubs, such as Abies, Picea, Acer, Magnolia and Cercis in various shapes and sizes. ‘We also supply a wide range of topiary plants’, says Wilbert. ‘From spirals to lollipop trees and bonsai.’ He explains that EuroTree has 40,000 m2 of greenhouses and over 2.5 hectares of container fields, where some of the outdoor plants are grown. ‘We often supply one size up from the standard three- or five-litre pot. There is a demand in the market for more mature plants with a higher volume, which consumers can immediately enjoy.’

Around the corner

The tree nursery has been around for eightteen years now. EuroTree has been a customer of BVB Substrates for exactly the same length of time. Wilbert explains they chose BVB Substrates primarily due to their location. ‘The BVB branch in Grubbenvorst is literally around the corner.’ Wilbert says. ‘That’s ideal; the lines are short and the logistics are always very smooth. Obviously, that is not the only reason to become and remain a customer. BVB is an excellent business partner. They advise us well and their product quality is excellent.’ EuroTree purchases four different mixtures from BVB Substrates. Firstly two substrates for small pots and large pots. Secondly we use a mixture for weed control. Thirdly EutoTree uses one cheaper and sustainable refill mix for Buxus. ‘Due to cultivation issues with the latter, however, that share in our nursery is decreasing and we will therefore need that mix less often.

Bigger challenges

Wilbert Christiaens has seen considerable change in the world of tree nurseries in the past two decades: trade is faster, quality needs to be more uniform and companies are getting bigger. ‘Does that mean the challenges get bigger as well? Yes, you could certainly say that. We have to up our game every year! That being said, it is still an interesting and, above all, honest profession. I also think it is still fascinating to turn a tiny plant into a mature product and to create added value by cutting and pruning. If that works well, it still gives a lot of satisfaction.’

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