Nursery Focus: Greenwood Holland

by | Oct 20, 2023

Quality European plants and trees, delivered from Europe to the UK with ease

Since its establishment in September 2021, Greenwood Holland has played a key role in our mission to deliver top-quality plants and trees from Europe to our clients. Located strategically in the heart of Tree Centre Opheusden, in the Netherlands, Greenwood Holland has become a crucial hub for the whole importation and exportation of trees and plants between the United Kingdom and Europe.

The relocation of Greenwood Holland to Opheusden in October 2022 brought about significant improvements to our operations, particularly in the efficiency of inspections. This innovative move centralises all our inspections under one roof at our quality control checkpoint, ensuring rigorous scrutiny of every plant before it embarks on its journey to the UK. This commitment to biosecurity is of vital importance in order to protect our native plants from foreign pests, and especially in the post-Brexit landscape, where stringent plant health controls have been imposed since January 2021.

Our dedication to ensuring the health of our plants and trees extends to the loading process as well. Within our well-organised facility, we boast a dedicated loading bay where our trucks are expertly loaded with plants.

At our Greenwood Holland facility, we take pride in our role as a vital link in the journey of plants and trees from Europe to the UK. We’re not just in the business of growing plants; we’re dedicated to ensuring a greener, healthier future for all while navigating the complexities of post-Brexit regulations. Our commitment to excellence, biosecurity, and sustainable practices shines through in every step of our operations.

Our ideal location in Opheusden: Fertile ground for quality plants

Nestled in the heart of the Betuwe region, Opheusden is where Greenwood Holland calls home, and it’s a choice we made with purpose. The soil here is rich in clay, historically renowned for nurturing a variety of trees, particularly fruit trees and ornamental trees. The area yields thousands of plants and trees each year, ensuring a constant supply of fresh produce and an extensive selection that’s available in every season.

Opheusden, as a municipality, is situated on centuries-old alluvial soils renowned for their exceptional fertility, making them perfect for arboriculture. The river soil, in particular, is able to retain essential water and nutrients, ensuring optimal conditions for the trees we cultivate.

Within the municipality of Opheusden, you’ll find nurseries covering  approximately 1800 hectares, offering a diverse range of avenue trees in various forms, from root ball to bare root and container-grown specimens. Tree Centre Opheusden (TCO) serves as the hub, connecting over one hundred and fifty tree growers from the riverside area in the Netherlands.

Over recent years, the nursery sector in Opheusden and its surroundings has seen significant growth and prosperity. Local farmers have come together to form a robust and efficient organisation. Many processes have evolved with the introduction of innovative systems, and growers have embraced the concept of “climate trees” to adapt to changing weather patterns, including warmer temperatures, heavier rainfall, and urban areas becoming hotter.

Despite their remarkable achievements, TCO tree growers remain modest in their work, focused on producing trees that are not only in high demand throughout Europe but are also highly sought after in the UK. The combination of fertile soil, a commitment to innovation, and a dedication to quality ensures that Opheusden remains a vital centre for tree cultivation, and we are proud to be a part of this thriving community.

Our Holland-based nursery has quickly become a focal point of our operations. Since Brexit came into effect, exporting plants and trees from Europe to the United Kingdom has faced new challenges due to increased stringent plant health controls taking effects since January 2021. These controls encompass a series of critical procedures, including the issuance of phytosanitary certificates, mandatory pre-notification, document checks, identity checks, and physical inspections, all aimed at ensuring the biosecurity of imported plants and plant products.

Ensuring biosecurity and quality: Greenwood Holland’s inspection and certification process

Greenwood Holland, at Tree Centre Opheusden, serves as a proof of our commitment to providing our clients with top-quality plants and trees while navigating the complexities of post-Brexit regulations. We handle all the necessary paperwork and logistics, so our clients can rest easy knowing that your orders will arrive hassle-free. Our commitment to providing top-quality plants and trees is matched by our dedication to ensuring a smooth and worry-free buying experience for our clients.

The phytosanitary certificates, which serve as essential documents verifying the batch’s biosecurity, are issued in the country of origin. For Greenwood Holland, this means that the phytosanitary certificates for each delivery is released from the plant health authority in the Netherlands, where our nursery is based.

Every day, before our plants and trees embark on their journey to the United Kingdom, they undergo a thorough inspection conducted by a dedicated plant health officer. This inspection verifies the health of the plants, the integrity of the delivery’s packaging, means of transport, and accurate labelling. The plants are allowed to begin their journey to the United Kingdom only after receiving approval from a Dutch officer.

The relocation of Greenwood Holland to Tree Centre Opheusden in October 2022 however, has brought a significant improvement to the efficiency of these inspections. Our innovative approach brings all inspections under one roof – our own quality control checkpoint. Here, our plants undergo rigorous scrutiny before being loaded onto our trucks bound for the UK.

These inspections are an integral part of our comprehensive biosecurity measures. By conducting inspections at our quality control checkpoint, we ensure that we minimize risks and prevent the introduction of pests and diseases to the UK while maintaining the high standards of our ornamental plants. We’re not just in the business of growing plants; we’re in the business of ensuring a greener, healthier future for all.

If you’re keen to explore how we prioritise biosecurity to protect our native plants and environment, check out our blog post “Biosecurity Benefits for UK Grown Plants”. In this we discuss the challenges posed by harmful organisms introduced from overseas, like the oak processionary moth, pine processionary moth, and ash dieback, and how they impact our ecosystems. We highlight the importance of biosecurity measures in preserving plant health, biodiversity, and the hardwood industry, all while contributing to climate change mitigation.

At Greenwood, we implement rigorous practices to ensure biosecurity, with multiple UK sites for control and quarantine, quality control checkpoints in the Netherlands, and our “Every Plant Matters” approach to plant hygiene and housekeeping.

Efficiency and precision from loading to arrival

At Greenwood Holland, we take pride in our commitment to ensuring an efficient and reliable plant delivery process. Our facility features a dedicated loading bay within the warehouse, where our experienced team  loads the trucks. Each tree takes just about 45 seconds to load, allowing us to prepare our cargo quickly for its journey to the United Kingdom.

We’ve made enhancements to our operations by implementing a system where each of our trusted suppliers has their own designated batch in the yard for tree and shrub deliveries. This approach allows us to have better control over plant quality and logistics. It also leads to more economical deliveries, as we can efficiently load larger quantities of plants each time.

Once loaded, our trucks depart from the Netherlands and can reach the UK as early as the following day. Our focus on meticulous planning and logistics minimises transit stress on our plants and ensures they arrive in excellent condition, ready to thrive in their new environment. We are committed to maintaining high standards of care and efficiency at Greenwood Holland, and we look forward to serving our clients with top-quality plants and trees.

At Greenwood Plants, we are passionate about plants, committed to biosecurity, and dedicated to excellence. From early November, we will have rootball shrubs, for immediate impact and screening, as well as cost-effective bare root hedging plants available for delivery from Greenwood Plants. If you have questions, need more information, or wish to place an order for our top-quality European plants and trees, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the G Team.