Tree producer bucks retail trend

The management at Devon-based Thornhayes Nursery is remaining upbeat despite the economic gloom as it continues to supply high-profile projects.

The firm recently delivered 60 West Country apple trees to the Prince of Wales' organic farm, the Duchy of Cornwall. The planting of the community orchard in Poundbury, Dorchester, began in autumn and finishes this month. The orchard is being created to commemorate the prince's 60th birthday.

The nursery is also dispatching 100 birch trees to National Trust property Anglesey Abbey in Cambridgeshire this winter.

The cultivar being sent, Betula papyrifera 'St George', is one which was selected and grown by Thornhayes managing director Kevin Croucher and Kenneth Ashburner, who owns a national collection of birch species at Stone Farm, near Chagford. The two men have worked together developing birch cultivars suitable for UK gardens, including Betula albo sinensis 'Kenneth Ashburner', for more than 20 years.


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