While your clients expect trees that will mature and last for years to come, they also want trees that look good right from the start. With Covid-19 affecting plant supply and landscaping high on property owners’ agendas, the need to plan your plant stock is more important than ever
Martin Craig, from New Zealand Plant Producers Incorporated, says the increased demand for trees with a long lead-time makes planning future tree purchases now more important than ever.
“Many of our members are experiencing significant growth in demand” says Craig. New Zealanders are staying at home and investing in the garden – and pot plants – a trend landscapers will likely be aware of. However, most are experiencing a labour shortage, so demand for quality plants often exceeds supply,” says Craig.
Trees, especially the slower growing natives, can take several years to reach a reasonable size. If you want eco-sourced plants, grown with local genetics, then you’ll need to add a year to the production timeline for seed sourcing and gathering. The combination of these factors means that it can take three to five years to produce a plant suitable for landscaping.
While it isn’t always possible to know what your customers will want to order in five years, a bit of forethought can mean you have already ordered and secured plants that your competitors are not able to match. Now that’s certainly a worthy point of difference!
Talk with your plant suppliers about upcoming projects, what you expect to need, and what they can supply. The further ahead you start to plan, the greater your chance of securing the plants you and your clients want.
Experienced plant producers will always be happy to provide advice on what plants are best suited to local environments and biota. They can give you a lead on customer trends. By working together with your plant producers, you will be able to offer a better range of options, while meeting the need for plants and landscapes that grow well into the future.