Benalla nursery’s growing partnership

By Jamie Salter

The relationship between a Benalla and Melbourne nursery has blossomed over the past decade.

In 2010, Melbourne's Speciality Trees was looking for land in regional Victoria to recover hail-damaged stock and partnered with Benalla's Yalkuri Trees.

Yalkuri Trees gave significant support to the Speciality Trees business through the agistment of stock, allowing the business to recover.

The two operations became one in 2018 and this year, the predominately ornamental tree growing nursery is expanding into commercial fruit tree production.

Speciality Trees managing director Hamish Mitchell said quality processes along with optimal growing conditions in Benalla led to the expansion.

“We are now growing the majority of our own ornamental stock for our ongoing needs and there is capacity to further the business and become a local contract grower of quality fruiting trees for orchardists grown to their specification,” Mr Mitchell said.

Speciality Trees has 100,000 trees covering 320 ornamental varieties across three production sites including Benalla.

“As a traditional containerised grower, having Benalla allows us to grow in-ground — dramatically increasing our capacity to supply,” Mr Mitchell said.

He said growing material well will position Speciality Trees as an attractive supplier to orchardists in the Goulburn Valley and southern NSW.

“Anyone can grow a tree, but it takes a scientific approach and hands-on experience to grow one that will last generations.

“It feels strange to say, but we were not driven by making more money or producing more units than everyone else, but more the need to make a difference through the quality of our stock with valued best practice processes.

“We want to ensure we grow to the needs of the market and to the high quality our customers expect.”

For more information, phone Hamish Mitchell on 9796 8308.