Hillier Trees has recently completed the purchase of a 100 acre farm in the Meon Valley, Hampshire. This land will be used to grow young trees, before lifting and transplanting at the company’s container and field tree nurseries. This acquisition means Hillier Trees now has 800 acres of land across its field tree, container tree and new nurseries. It also allows for even better control of tree range, quality and will further improve biosecurity.
The acquisition of the land at Hill Farm will allow Hillier Trees to extend their involvement throughout the lifecycle of the tree. Trees will be planted as ‘whips’ and grown on at Hill Farm for two years. After this, they will be lifted and transplanted. A larger proportion will be potted into 45-litre containers at the company’s container tree nursery, which Hillier are also currently investing in and increasing the production capacity, and a small number transplanted into the main field tree nursery to grow on as semi-mature trees, both of which are also located in Hampshire.
“We are delighted to be able to announce that we have secured this land at Hill Farm for the production of young trees,” comments Adam Dunnett, Amenity Sales Director. “The location couldn’t be more perfect, situated exactly halfway between our existing container tree and field tree nurseries in Hampshire and with the perfect soil for growing.”
Ownership of a dedicated nursery site for the production of young trees will bring a huge range of benefits. It allows for even greater control of the range and quality of tree available from Hillier. Growing trees from whip stage means further improvements on already stringent biosecurity controls. The land at Hill Farm is virgin tree growing land, having primarily been used for apple orchards. This means it will produce strong tree growth and bigger trees in less time compared to land where trees have grown for decades.
‘’The demand for British grown trees has probably never been stronger and is only likely to increase with the challenges facing European growers around biosecurity and Brexit,” says Dunnett. “The Hillier board recognised this and have invested in what is already a successful part of the business. This will help safeguard the long term stability of our production and ensure we have the range of high quality, UK grown trees that our customers are seeking.’’