The Family Tree Keeps on Growing
Third-generation horticulturist, Leree, has joined the thriving Traralgon-based nursery that started as a ‘hobby’ for her father Arch and his two older brothers. The Van Berkel name is synonymous with the horticulture trade in Gippsland. Horticulture is in Arch’s blood, and it appears it’s hereditary, with the father daughter duo now in business together.
Growing advanced trees in a range of pot sizes and heights, from 1.5 to 4 metres tall, Van Berkel Wholesale Nursery also offers a variety of species suitable for the Gippsland climate, used in landscaping, feature, shade and screen planting.
From citrus, to magnolias and ornamental trees, the nursery boasts a wide variety of stock to supply local farmers, councils (including Latrobe City), landscapers and developers, and other Melbourne nursery outlets.
Arch’s wife Sue describes the renowned Gippsland enterprise as a “hobby out of control”, while Arch attributes much of the business growth in recent years to Leree’s arrival. After working in garden maintenance in Melbourne’s suburbs, Leree – with her young family – returned to Gippsland in pursuit of a tree change. And that’s exactly what she got!
The business has quickly outgrown its current location and will shortly commence construction on a second location at Riverslea, in Wellington Shire. The ‘VB’s’ – as they are known - establish trees from their 14 cm pots then upgrade them to pots sized 30 cm and above, to accommodate trees they can then grow for up to two years. The second premises will not only afford them the space they require to expand, but also allow for the establishment of an efficient water recycling system.
Leree has focused on growing the business, from adopting a fresh new logo to joining Victoria’s Nursery & Garden Industry. Van Berkel’s has also recently signed up to plant stock-sourcing website EvergreenConnect.
Describing her Dad’s days as something akin to an episode of the ‘Amazing Race’, Leree says Arch is up early, loading trees for transport to Melbourne and the Dandenong Ranges, before picking up a backload and heading home. Despite the early starts and long days, Leree and Arch agree they love what they do.
The Wholesale Nursery supplies to industry and therefore does not offer a public service. Stock can be viewed by appointment and enquires are welcome.
Visit www.vanberkelwholesalenursery.com.au/ to see the extensive range on offer.