Berwickshire-based Cheviot Trees has begun earthworks to prepare the site for the installation of an additional greenhouse complex and associated equipment described as "state-of-the-art, to maximise efficiency and produce a consistent high-quality product".
The company specialises in producing cell-grown and "jumbo plug" plants, of which it supplies "many millions" each year to customers throughout the UK and Europe.
Founder and managing director Harry Frew said: "The combination of our progressive growth and a specific increase in the species and seed sources that we are now being asked for has presented our team with real challenges. UK forestry is beginning to explore the use of new and alternative species more suited to climate change and able to withstand some of the new diseases that constantly threaten our forests. The extra space will enable the business to keep up with the strongly increasing demand for our cell-grown trees."
Last year the UK forestry industry produced a record 12 million tonnes of timber, thanks to extensive plantings in the 1960s reaching maturity. The trend is likely to continue upward for some years, according to industry body ConFor, but will then be checked by the relatively low levels of planting since the 1990s.