He reported that there was a lot more damage than usual to the roots and foliage of container-grown stock following the cold weather in December and January and said he planned to carry out a survey to establish what plants needed extra winter protection in the future.
He explained: "I have got some concerns because I have seen a lot more damage than we normally see and the problem with damaged roots is that growers unknowingly display a plant thinking it is in good condition but ultimately it ends up being weaker than it should be."
He advised growers to check for winter-damaged stock and to order in extra stock ahead of processing orders for the spring.
"I think it's important for growers to take stock of what plants they have of saleable condition so that they can regulate their sales with more understanding, rather than taking an order and finding they are not able to meet the requirements," Adlam added.
Commenting on his plans for a survey, he said: "It's an ideal opportunity to refresh our knowledge and understanding of which plants have been damaged and which have not. That gives us confidence for future years to decide which plants should go into production and which need protection.
"It will probably go out through the HTA or the Horticultural Development Company with a request to growers to email me with names of plants that have suffered badly in the winter. I can then produce a list."
- Growers wishing to take part in the survey are asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org