Rahoens Tree Nursery specialises in growing ornamental and avenue trees, on 25 hectares it produces around 35,000 trees ready for delivery every year. Its own, complete fleet of machinery, production sites within a radius of 5 km and a spacious location that is easy to reach ensure that Rahoens offers not only top-quality products but also excellent service.
‘We produce to the highest standards and can therefore guarantee top-quality avenue and ornamental trees that are lovely and straight. What’s more, we focus on efficiency so that we can deliver fast.’
Third and fourth generation
Horticulture has been in the Rahoens family’s blood for four generations already. The grandfather of the current managing director, Michael Rahoens, started a nursery with a wide range of horticultural products. Michael and his wife Christa De Braekeleer immediately opted to specialise in avenue and ornamental trees. ‘In the meantime, our sons Domien and Stijn are also helping to run the company, so the future is assured!’, Christa relates enthusiastically.
Focus on native species
‘Within ornamental and avenue trees, we focus on native species such as oak, linden and beech. We above all work with non-ennobled varieties and can provide certificates of origin if necessary. Since Stijn joined the company, we have extended our activities with the import of evergreen oaks from Spain. A major success,’ Christa tells us proudly, ‘since it considerably increased our turnover.’
Tall trees, large projects
‘Our products above all end up in large landscaping projects. So we focus mainly on garden designers, developers, commercial nurseries, local authorities and municipalities and with regard to export also on tree nurseries for potting and growing,’ Christa summarises. ‘We are active in over ten countries, but mainly in the eastern half of Europe.’
The skill in growing a perfectly straight tree
‘Growing straight trees is a real skill,’ says Christa. ‘We respect the highest standards to offer our customers quality trees. For example, we place a bamboo cane with all our young plants and keep a close eye on them being tied and pruned on time,’ she illustrates. ‘We also have all the professional materials needed ourselves so that we can take the action required at any time,’ emphasises Christa. Rahoens also has all the machines necessary for digging up and loading trees. This allows them to process orders quickly and serve their customers as fast as possible.
‘To extend the planting season a little, we also offer trees in coconut fibre root balls. The plants are still dug up during the standard lifting season but we replace the normal jute by coconut fibre, that holds far more water,’ according to Christa.
Investing in the future and in the environment
The second half of 2019 will be characterised by expansion, both at production level and with regard to the offices and accommodation for the seasonal labourers. ‘For the 2020 growing season we are planning a 1-hectare container field. Container cultivation rotates three times faster than normal cultivation. As a result, we can expand our offering without using additional surface area. Completely new offices will also be built, where we will also add guest houses for our occasional workers,’ Christa adds enthusiastically.
Rahoens tree nursery also makes various efforts for the environment. ‘Despite the fact that we do not consume much electricity, we have invested in solar panels. In addition, we give priority to measures that counter erosion since we are located in a risk area,’ Christa testifies. ‘We therefore have to plan in sufficient grass strips between our plantings. What’s more, our weed control is largely mechanical, which means we are also able to limit our use of pesticides. And our outdoor cultivation means we don’t need irrigation,’, concludes Christa.
Company in figures
- 4 managers;
- 3 occasional helpers.
- Company surface area:
- 25 ha terrain outside
- 1 ha container field outside (starting from the 2020 growing season)
- Export: 65 % of the turnover (20182019 season)
- 47.30 % Netherlands
- 22.70 % Poland
- 13.30 % Czech Republic
- 12.20 % Hungary
- 4.00 % Italy
- 0.50 % UK