Notcutts to pull the plug on bare-root tree production

Decline in demand, and strength of Euro puts halt on production at Woodbridge site

Notcutts is to stop producing trees for the bare-root market on its 89ha site near Woodbridge in Suffolk. The garden centre and nursery company, which has grown trees since it was formed in 1897, said last week that the decrease in demand for trees and the poor rate of return on growing them had led to the decision to pull out of bare-root tree production. Notcutts has concentrated tree production on land it owns near Hacheston since the 1970s. Managing director William Notcutt said staff would be redeployed to the main nursery site at Pettistree and that the land use would revert to agriculture. “We used to be growing in excess of 100,000 trees a year, but in recent years this number has dropped,” he said. “We are stopping the production of bare-root sales at the end of this season but we will be continuing with the production of container-grown trees.” He added that reasons for the decline in demand for trees included the trend towards smaller gardens leading to fewer numbers of trees being planted and insurance companies discouraging the planting of trees close to properties. In addition, the demand from European countries has fallen and the strength of the euro has led to trees being imported. Notcutts was a major supplier of trees to public authorities, peaking with Plant a Tree in ’73. Notcutt said although concern for the environment rose during the 1980s and 1990s, public funds for planting had decreased.

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