Greenlife Industry Australia (GIA) has released the Landscape Tree Stock Specification for production nurseries across Australia, forming Appendix 14 in the latest edition (7th) of the Nursery Industry Accreditation Scheme Australia (NIASA) BMP Manual.
The specification marks the latest addition to the well-known NIASA BMP Guidelines, the national best management practice program for production nurseries under the Australian Plant Production Standard (APPS).
The Landscape Tree Stock Specification provides instructions and procedures, and an assessment checklist for independent auditing, for production nurseries to implement and adopt when producing tree stock for the landscape sector. These include areas such as:
- General quality: true to type and tree stock health.
- Above ground aspects: height and calliper, formative pruning, stem and branch structure, crown distribution, compatibility of graft unions and trunk position.
- Below ground aspects: rootball diameter and depth, height of root crown, rootstock suckering, rootball occupancy, root direction, root division, self-supporting.
- Record Keeping: Appropriate records completed and kept for treestock assessment.
Western Australia’s ‘Arborwest’ has raised the bar as a supplier of high-quality tree stock, by becoming the nation’s first production nursery to pass the new Landscape Tree Stock Specification audit and receive formal accreditation. This allows the business to demonstrate to clients their compliance to the specification and provides confidence within the supply chain that the trees are being produced to the highest standard.
With more purchasers specifying high-quality tree stock for landscapes, the audit against the specification provides certainty to clients that trees have been grown to meet the specification ensuring they are ‘fit for purpose’.
Set on 25 acres in the suburb of Mariginiup on the outskirts of Perth, Arborwest Tree Farm grows more than 80 varieties of citrus, native, evergreen and deciduous trees in 45 litre to 500 litre container sizes.
As growers for landscape architects, landscape developers, local councils and retailers, Arborwest’s Assistant Manager, Stephen Knight, said the NIASA BMP accreditation and Landscape Tree Stock Specification keeps the business at the top of its game.
“Accreditation cemented our position as a progressive and quality supplier of mature and advanced trees to the Western Australia landscape, wholesale and retail markets,” said Mr Knight.
“Since becoming NIASA accredited under the Landscape Tree Stock Specification, we’ve adopted a new approach to documenting and presenting our logging of batch records, to demonstrate to clients the rigorous testing of our trees.
“It’s been a way to set our own standards and provide assurance to customers that they are supplied with true to type stock, which meet the specification and accreditation requirements.”
Introduced into the NIASA BMP Guidelines earlier this year, the Landscape Tree Stock Specification is designed for production nurseries suppling into the landscape, wholesale and retail supply chains.
With guidance from the GIA technical support Arborwest Nursery successfully complied with the specification elements when independently audited on site and highlighted the following areas as key benefits:
- Better prevention of root disease and the spread of pathogens
- Increased cleanliness of the work areas around the production nursery
- Best practice when it comes to plant handling
- Consistent weed and pest monitoring and control procedures
- Improved water management and growing media conditions
Stephen said the accreditation was a great achievement for all involved and provided customer confidence that trees adhere to the new Landscape Tree Stock Specification.
“The specification is industry’s recognition that a business is adhering to the highest standards, so that when a tree leaves the nursery, it’s guaranteed a better chance of surviving and thriving in the landscape,” Mr Knight said.
“I strongly recommend production nurseries which are, or will soon be, NIASA accredited, to look into the Landscape Tree Stock Specification and see how it can be applied to their business.
“Following accreditation, we envisage that Arborwest will continue to grow from strength to strength, increasing our production of larger stock from 100lt to 2500lt bags.”
Stephen said the next step for Arborwest was to complete EcoHort™, a program to boost the business’s green credentials, followed by BioSecure HACCP, a program to improve the plant protection system, mitigate biosecurity risks and streamline trade.
“Both programs lift the professionalism of the business by improving internal procedures, reducing the amount of waste, boosting environmental stewardship, and improving plant health,” Mr Knight said.
For more information about how to apply the Landscape Tree Stock Specification in your production nursery or to gather information on the program, please refer to Appendix 14 of the NIASA manual (7thedition): www.nurseryproductionfms.com.au/niasa-accreditation/ or email [email protected]