A Proud History

Hillier has a long and proud history of breeding and developing new plants. There is a long list of staple landscape and garden plants which have originated from the Hillier breeding stable.

The focus of our development work has always been driven by two key elements:

  • the plants must be robust enough to thrive in the UK climate, be good plants
  • they need to be commercially viable for our nurseries to produce


Sometimes this has required our skilled propagators and production teams to devise new growing methods to ensure the crops can be produced on a commercial scale.

Our current production teams are still led by these principals, and with our ever changing climate and the plant challenges of greater urban planting, the need for plant and in particular tree development remains.

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Hillier Current Tree Development

The Hillier Streetwise Range has been developed over the last 40 plus years, there is now an even greater need to develop trees fit for needs of urban/street planting, our work to add to this important landscape range is continuing with on going trials in our fields.

Our work to further develop the Resista Elm range continues alongside our European Resista Elm partners. We are currently carrying out field trials on a number of new Resista Elm cultivars which we hope will continue the legacy of Dutch Elm resistant cultivars which has been so successful over the last 20 years with varieties such as Ulmus New Horizon and Ulmus Rebona.

We continue to work with a number of UK and European nurseries in helping bring to the commercial market tree cultivars which will believe are an improvement on what might be considered the market leading cultivar. Carpinus betulus Lucas, a more recently introduced cultivar of Hornbeam, perfect for street planting, which at Hillier has replaced Carpinus betulus Frans Fontaine, the go to Hornbeam variety for decades, but one we have seen various growing issues with over a number of years. This type of work goes on behind the scenes at our nurseries to try and ensure we offer the best in class across our tree range.

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Carpinus betulus Lucas semi mature trees growing in field

Climate Resilient Tree Range

This year has again seen records tumble around the world in the extremes of our weather patterns. The implications of these changes to our climate and seeing more extremes are massive when it comes to the trees that will thrive in the UK in the future. Our tree landscape is likely to look quite different in 50 years’ time to how it looks today.

As an industry horticulture has a responsibility to ensure what we are planting today will survive and thrive in the climate of tomorrow. At Hillier we are working with a number of scientists, experts in the field and institutions in developing a range of climate resilient trees, the work is in its early stages, but we can already see this will drive us to change our production plan quite significantly. This will require communication and action from across the green space industry to ensure we are planning for and planting the most suitable climate resilient tree species.

Andlers Ash Hillier Tree Nursery Watering