On our 18 acres of nursery, we don't have the capacity to produce everything our customers want, so we use trusted suppliers to be able to offer a really broad range of trees and shrubs. We have been working with some of our suppliers for over 20 years.
Our UK-based suppliers are all reputable trade-only nurseries who have been in business for many years - some for over 100 - who we can be sure are following best practice guidelines in all areas of production. The vast majority of the propagation material they use originates in the UK. There are some instances where material may be imported from another EU country, for example when UK-sourced seed is scarce or of poor quality.
Chew Valley Trees can confidently label more than 98% of our stock on the nursery as British Grown from start to finish. Some of the remaining trees are sourced from trusted European suppliers, with whom we also have long-standing relationships.
We use EU-based suppliers for some large evergreen specimens, which aren't available UK-grown. Our sun-limited climate means that these trees would have taken such a long time to grow to that size on these shores, that they would cost an absolute fortune by the time they reached the aisles for sale. So, the only trees we import are those that just aren't available here.
Which trees are imported?
Many of our customers need instant-impact screening at heights of 2.5m and above, at a sensible price. We respond to this need by bringing in the best specimens we can source from trusted European nurseries. For example, this includes some large hollies (Ilex), Chinese privet (Ligustrum lucidum) and clear-stemmed Elaeagnus ebbingei.
Trees that don't have the British Grown label on the web page have not been 100% produced here, but in many cases have been growing in the UK for a number of years. They may well have been potted on by us, for instance, and have been kept at the nursery for several growing seasons before being put out for sale.
We only import from nurseries we personally visit annually, with whom we have longstanding relationships. During our visits we select most of the trees we want to bring onto our nursery for our customers. The EU nurseries we use are - like us - inspected by plant health authorities. The stock we bring in will be examined both on the continent and here in the UK.
See more about our Plant Health Policy.