External press tour GGP 2023
During the external press tour, we will visit:
• Jongenelen Plants from Klundert, mainly the lots with their stands in Sprundel, stand B073;
• Boomkwekerij Den Eldert and Laxsjon Plants from Zundert, stands B074 and R041;
• Meer Plant BV from Meer (B), stand G050;
• Kenniscentrum Rootz from Zundert, stand B080.
GrootGroenPlus has been organising press tours for the international trade press since 2012. This is done in two ways. Through visiting multiple stands of businesses at the trade floor. These businesses are those that are not from the area, which makes a visit by
journalists a bit impractical due to time
restraints. The journalists will also be offered an external press tour, to visit the companies and see and hear all about the business operations and cultivation process firsthand.
EXTERNAL PRESS TOUR
Jongenelen Plants, specializing in trees and plants, with a focus on forest and hedge plants, and Agrarische Handelsonderneming Jongenelen, dealing in new and used machinery, constitute the two business sectors of Michel Jongenelen. The company is based in Klundert.
Jongenelen Plants specializes in delivering top-quality hedge plants for propagation and as ready-to-plant goods. These are primarily Fagus, Carpinus, Ligustrum, Prunus, and Taxus. The plants are meticulously sorted based on the application specified by the customer: for potting, propagation in open fields, or as hedges. Plants destined for propagation (potting or open fields) undergo an additional round of thorough sorting. This includes ensuring straight, well-feathered plants for Fagus and Carpinus. The company has also commenced offering branched seedlings and forest plants specifically for propagation into shrubs; branched seedlings for smaller pot sizes, and branched transplanted forest plants for larger pot sizes and open field propagation. For hedge plants and forest plants, Jongenelen collaborates with reliable, established suppliers, predominantly with his brother Stefan. Especially towards export, Jongenelen handles the sales of his brother's plants. The fields containing the stock intended for Jongenelen Plants are visited during the press excursion of GrootGroenPlus at his brother's nursery in Sprundel.
Hedges for fruit orchards
In addition to the standard trade of forest and hedge plants, Jongenelen has also developed a concept for fruit growers. Hedges around fruit cultivation plots have become an integral part of the landscape. Traditionally dominated by the black alder. There is a growing interest in mixed hedges, driven in part by the increasing focus on biodiversity. Jongenelen Plants has specifically composed a mixed hedge for fruit growers that aligns perfectly with the needs of fruit cultivation plots. It encompasses native plants in bloom throughout the entire season, designed to attract as many natural predators as possible for the hard fruit plots. A monoculture hedge of alder, privet, or hornbeam, or a mixed hedge, is also an option.
Indigenous forest plants
Indigenous forest plants are incredibly popular. The burgeoning interest in biodiversity, in particular, has led to a significant surge in the use of indigenous forest plants. One of Jongenelen Plants' specializations lies in indigenous forest plants. These are utilized for shrubbery (hedges), green strips, mixed hedges (such as the Zeeland hedge), and, as mentioned earlier, also for fruit orchard hedges. Another specialization lies in supplying growers who propagate Jongenelen's seedlings or transplanted plants in pots or open fields.
From the tree nursery arose the need for machinery to carry out certain tasks more efficiently. Michel Jongenelen seized this opportunity with his agricultural trading company. The two main focuses are mechanical weed control and precision fertilization. A prime example of addressing this need is the introduction of an APV weeding machine for swift and efficient mechanical weed control. Providing the correct dosage of fertilizer for pot and row fertilization in open fields, all in the right place, requires precision. For this, Jongenelen developed machines that accomplish this swiftly and flawlessly.
Den Eldert and Laxsjon Plants, a strong combination
Den Eldert Nursery, located in Klein-Zundert with an area of approximately 30 hectares, specializes in the cultivation of predominantly shrubs and conifers in open fields. The nursery is run by Frank and Gerard Jochems. On their premises, there is also a depot of Laxsjon Plants, managed by Henk Huijsman, Loek Jochems, and Evert Jansen.
Pruning and undercutting for optimal quality
At Den Eldert, plant sizes range from 60 centimetres to 300 centimetres in height. Healthy plant material forms the basis for every cultivation. At Den Eldert, the plants undergo multiple rounds of pruning and undercutting during cultivation to ensure both aboveground and belowground quality. This is primarily done mechanically, but occasionally by hand. Of course, there are other cultivation practices aimed at achieving high-quality end products, such as the use of drip irrigation in specific crops. This enables quicker adjustments for irrigation, reducing the need for nighttime watering. Additionally, water is used much more efficiently.
Den Eldert's assortment comprises conifers and shrubs in various species and sizes, supplied with root ball in either jute or acrylic. In the near future, container cultivation will also be introduced. Den Eldert primarily supplies to traders, exporters, landscapers, and garden centres. They also export to Germany, France, Belgium, and Poland. Currently, they operate with seven full-time employees, six of whom work in the field.
Laxsjon Plants serves the European market
Laxsjon Plants is named after Lake Laxsjön in northern Sweden. They supply to green contractors, governments, landscapers, municipalities, estates, road builders, nurseries, forestry companies, and cultural technical companies. The company boasts an extensive range, from perennial plants to large solitary trees, available in many sizes, with or without root ball, as well as potted options. They specialize in supplying forest plants with specific forestry origins from seed for the European market. Their assortment includes not only forest and hedge planting material, but also seedlings with origin certificates, standard and fruit trees, multi-stemmed trees, Christmas trees, formed plants and trees, (solitary) shrubs, conifers, hedges, ornamental and container planting material, tree seeds, and perennial plants.
Apart from the Netherlands, they predominantly deliver to North-western Europe, and they also have specialized knowledge of exporting to the UK. Laxsjon Plants has two locations: the headquarters is in Otterlo, with logistics managed from the Zundert branch. In July 2019, Expertrees was acquired, allowing for further expansion of the assortment and reaching a broader market. With this acquisition, Laxsjon Plants became active throughout Europe.
Laxsjon Plants is PlanetProof certified. 'On the way to PlanetProof' is a hallmark for more sustainably cultivated plants, trees, and flower bulbs. PlanetProof focuses on six areas of attention: soil, landscape and biodiversity, water, energy, production and consumption, and climate. The growers strive for cleaner air, fertile soil, good water quality, and circular waste processing and recycling.
Laxsjon Plants is known for being able to supply as complete as possible for planting plans and for good reason, their slogan is: 'Excellent service and high quality'.
Meer Plant presents remarkable plants under three brand names
Meer Plant Nursery, located in Meer, Belgium, is part of the 'De Kleine Boerderij' group, which also includes Vista Verde Bamboo Nursery in Rijkevorsel, Belgium, 'De Kleine Boerderij' Plant Garden in Merksplas, Belgium, and several branches in Europe, Africa, and Asia specializing in bamboo.
Meer Plant delivers exceptional plants under three brand names: Naturosa, Hedge-On, and Ceci n'est pas une Rose.
Abundantly blooming roses
Naturosa represents a selection of new, more natural, healthy, abundantly blooming roses. They have been extensively tested and awarded by an international jury in various rose competitions. They are highly suitable for planting in combination with perennials and are very easy to care for. Naturosa roses fit very well into contemporary garden concepts. Under the Naturosa brand, a dozen new varieties will soon be introduced that are low-maintenance and exceptional in their blooming.
Under the Hedge-On brand, ready-made pre-shaped hedge plants are offered in two new rose selections: one with white and one with pink flowers. These entirely new hybrids are very healthy and suitable for use as hedges. Under the same brand, pre-shaped evergreen hedge plants are also sold. Additionally, a range of evergreen pre-shaped Magnolias will be introduced under this brand.
They don't look like roses, but they are
Ceci n'est pas une Rose was awarded the best concept at the autumn edition of Florall 2023. These unique rose plants falling under the Ceci n'est pas une Rose brand, with miniature flowers that do not resemble traditional roses, have been carefully selected for their disease resistance, climate resilience, abundance of blooms, user-friendliness, and vibrant colours. They all have their own roots, so no wild shoots. They fit perfectly in the front of a perennial border, in a bed, and in public green spaces. All these plants have been awarded at international rose competitions, where they were followed and judged by a professional jury for two or three years, and in the final year, by an international jury. One of these award-winning roses is Rosa 'Green Summer', which was awarded gold at Florall in the spring of 2023. The jury judged it to be the most innovative cultivar among the sixteen candidates. According to the jury, it is an added value that this rose is highly decorative both indoors and outdoors. An outstanding feature of 'Green Summer' is its extra dense carpet of glossy green leaves that leaves no room for weeds. The small white, beautifully scented single roses are a busy hub for bee colonies. The red hips in the autumn make this ground cover an extra colourful ornament in the garden. It reaches a height of 20-30 centimetres, with a plant spacing of 50 centimetres.
Currently, alongside Rosa 'Green Summer', Rosa 'Palsy-Walsy' and Rosa 'Minie-Pinkie' also fall under the Ceci n'est pas une Rose brand. Meer Plant supplies channels focused on private gardens, such as garden centres and landscapers. The roses under the Ceci n'est pas une Rose brand are also very suitable for perennial plant nurseries, for cultivation until ready-to-sell plants.
Rootz aims to be the meeting and knowledge hub for arboriculture
One of the key components that will arise at the Business Centre Treeport (BCT) in Zundert is the knowledge centre. The BCT is set to become the hub of the European arboriculture sector, and this knowledge centre will be the heart of the industrial area. It's planned within a heart-shaped park bordered by trees and designed to be innovative, circular, and sustainable. The building will be a multifunctional facility (MFA), encompassing space for various users. Thanks to its modular structure, different layouts can be realized. These may include a restaurant, exhibition space (arboriculture), flexible office spaces, study areas, classrooms, and laboratories. The ambition is to create a circular building, constructed using a sustainable wooden framework. Additionally, bio-based and plant-based materials will be employed. The connection with arboriculture is evident in the grand atrium, which will host unique trees visible throughout the entire building. The (green) outdoor space will include test fields, a reed bed filter, a greenhouse and a climate-controlled room.
The knowledge centre will be adapted to facilitate sector-related activities. This encompasses activities such as plant research, vertical farming, investigations into substances, robotics, energy and bio-based construction, soil and water analyses, and much more. Prior to construction, the knowledge centre has succeeded in partnering with several educational institutions. These include Aeres, Avans, Curio, HAS green academy, and Yuverta.
The knowledge centre, of course, needed a name, and a broad call was made for proposals for a fitting and impactful name. From the numerous submissions, a top 5 was compiled for voting. From this poll, the name 'Rootz' was chosen. An additional explanation from one of the contributors was that Rootz is an abbreviation for 'Room for research and meeting with Treeport Zundert'.
The meeting hub
Rootz aims to be the meeting hub for arboriculture, connecting research, education, and the tree nursery. It will also serve as the home base for the Treeport cooperative and all affiliated companies. A vibrant centre for research and interaction, innovation will play a pivotal role. Rootz envisions itself as an open, outward-facing innovation hub. This neatly addresses how vital the combination of entrepreneurship, research, and learning truly is. While construction is yet to commence, it's a fact that the program surrounding Rootz is already in motion. Rootz is already engaged in projects and accepting research inquiries. There are ample reasons to get in touch and share ideas.
The groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the knowledge centre will take place during the trade fair on Thursday. Everyone is welcome to attend. Various innovative companies and knowledge institutions will be present to share their latest ideas and engage in conversations with you. After all, the development of Rootz is crucial for the entire sector. The activity will be coordinated with the trade fair program, and international trade press journalists will also be in attendance.