September 14th 2023, Hillier Tree Nursery was graced with beautiful weather, setting the stage for an extraordinary open-day event. A diverse blend of Hillier Trees valued clientele and GreenBlue’s esteemed contacts collectively representing a wide spectrum of expertise in landscaping and horticulture, gathered at the nursery.
Our hosts, Howard Gray, GreenBlue Urban (Strategic Business Development) and Adam Dunnett, Hillier (Amenity Sales Director) extended a formal welcome within the confines of the beautiful historic barn, marking the beginning of an enlightening journey through Hillier’s extravagant nursery.
During the tour, multiple stops were made to enhance the educational aspect of the event. The first was an in-depth soil demonstration led by Dr. Tim O’Hare, Principal Soil Scientist. In an intimate setting around a pre-dug pit measuring 4 metres in length, 1 meter in width, and 1 meter in depth, our guests explored the intricate complexities and challenges associated with soil management in landscaping. Dr O’Hare adeptly navigated the discussion, addressing issues such as compaction, soil infertility, deficient management practices, insufficient drainage, drought, salinity, contamination, and suboptimal specification standards, emphasising the pivotal role of meticulous planning.
Continuing the educational journey, we ventured into the world of Hillier Trees’ Streetwise variety with a particular emphasis on Acer Campestre production stock. This segment delved into the rich heritage of ‘Streetwise’ rooted in production pruning, transplanting, and clonal breeding practices since the 1980s and their magnificent Private Estates Field.
Further along on the tour, our guests witnessed the GreenBlue Urban Tree Pit demonstration, gaining insights into how the ArborSystem structurally slots together in an excavated pit. Topics discussed and questions asked included the purpose of the soil support systems, tree irrigation techniques, root management strategies, underground guying methods, tree ties, and grilles. Guards, as well as geotextiles and membranes.
Our furthest destination led us to Dr. Andrew Hirons, (Senior Lecturer in Arboriculture at Myerscough College). Dr Hirons shared groundbreaking research spanning two years at Hillier Tree Nursery, funded by The Forestry Commission, focusing on water uptake in trees and its implications for growth, potentially revolutionising watering practices.
Returning to the nursery base, guests enjoyed a well-earned delicious choice of lunch; pizza and burgers!
The afternoon unfolded with enlightening presentations from:
Russell Horsey, Chartered Arboriculturist, discussed his expertise in urban forestry management and community engagement.
Caroline Swann, Business Development Manager at Hillier Nurseries, showcasing the importance of relationship building and delivering horticultural CPD talks to the industry.
Ken White, Managing Director of Frosts Landscapes, shared experiences of overseeing award-winning diverse landscape projects.
Additionally, we learned the invaluable work undertaken by Perennial, a charitable organisation supporting individuals within the horticultural sector during challenging times.
On behalf of GreenBlue Urban and Hillier Nurseries, we would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to all who attended the event, our key speakers and our exhibitors: Green Grid Systems, Little Wood Fencing and Melcourt Industries.
It was a day of meaningful networking, continuous learning and promises to leave a lasting influence on the landscaping and urban forestry. We look forward to seeing your award-winning projects flourish to fruition.
All guests departed armed with newfound knowledge, resources and a curated goodie bag including the Hillier Tree Guide and the GreenBlue Urban Design Guide.
To receive your copy please contact us via [email protected] or download below.