John Ellerbrook of Blofield Nurseries in Norwich has been named Propagator of the Year.
He received the Richard Martyr award, named in honour of one of the founding members of the International Plant Propagators’ Society (IPPS), at the society’s annual conference last week in Hampshire.
The award was made for work he carried out in the annual propagation of more than a million cuttings of Rhododendron and Camellia.
Ellerbrook said: “Anyone can take cuttings but we make sure the mother stock is cared for.
“If stock plants are not in prime condition, the resulting cuttings material can be sub-standard and there could be less of it. Having good mother stock can increase productivity hugely.”
The judges were consultant John Adlam, Avoncrop agronomist Bill Riley, HW consultant editor Graham Clarke and former Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh section curator Ross Kerby.
Adlam said: “It is refreshing to see such an in-depth study of the mother stock. This is quality control of the finest order.”
Pershore graduate Nick Murphy was runner-up, following his research at Pershore and his family’s nursery at Harley, Shropshire, into the grafting of Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’.
Propagator Gillian Dowling of Lowaters Nursery came third for her work in improving productivity in the propagation of Hebe and Parahebe at the company in Fareham, Hampshire.
IPPS president Dr Alan Hunter welcomed more than 90 delegates to the conference. Speakers included Liss Forest Nursery owner Peter Catt and Prenplants owner Will George.
Next year’s event, on the theme of sustainable plant production, will take place in Belgium.
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