Tree firms are struggling to balance waterlogged soil conditions with a shortened lifting season caused by mild weather.
ADAS consultants warned that the wet winter and spring made mechanised lifting of field-grown stock tricky, which meant toughing-out manual lifting.
Meanwhile, trees were bursting into leaf earlier than usual because of the mild weather, which “curtailed even further what has been a shortened lifting season”.
Majestic Trees owner Steve McCurdy said: “All the nurseries in Europe had a wet winter and there were times when we couldn’t get trees at all, especially from Italy.
“Then conditions became warm and they sent us up to three trailers a day and we had to bust a gut setting out the trees because they were breaking into leaf.
“But we have had lots of rain so hopefully there will be no more hosepipe bans. And after the last spring and summer, I don’t want to complain.”
Glendale managing director Nick Temple-Heald said wet weather had hit sales during the winter at the company’s green-services subsidiary Coblands.
“The biggest issue this year has been the wet,” he said. “Sales have been sluggish in the nursery and tree business. But they’re starting to pick up now.”
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