Tilia euchlora pleached trees in winter growing in rows in field
Metasequoia glyptostroboides Dawn Redwood trees growing in rows in field

Hillier Semi-Mature Trees

The term ‘semi-mature’ tree indicates it has a stem of at least 20-25cm girth. There is no upper limit, so a 90-100cm girth tree is also ‘semi-mature’. For trees over 40cm in girth, at Hillier we have a coined an additional category description: ‘super semi-mature’. Hillier semi-mature trees are:

  • Transplanted regularly. Key to their success is the frequency that each tree is transplanted during its life on the nursery, which can be up to six times
  • Formatively pruned. Each tree is hand pruned in order to form a balanced crown and strong branching structure for the future
  • Grown with a balanced root to shoot ratio. Transplanting regularly along with canopy pruning ensures the correct ratio of roots to shoots, which is crucial for healthy establishment
  • Produced in the perfect soil. The Hillier field tree nursery at Andlers Ash is blessed with a deep sandy loam that allows trees to produce an abundance of fibrous roots within their rootball
  • Full of fibrous roots. A rootball with healthy, fibrous root hairs allows the tree to easily take up moisture and nutrients to feed its leaves and aid establishment Hand selected and home grown. We choose only the best trees to grow on. As these are almost exclusively our own stock, we have full control over quality and provenance
  • Correctly spaced. Our specialist Semi-Mature tree production fields are generously spaced, allowing each tree light and air to develop its crown, stem taper and root development
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Stages of Semi-Mature Tree Production

Producing properly prepared trees takes time. For 14-16cm girth it takes up to nine years; 20-25cm girth takes 12 years, 30-35cm girth takes up to 15 years and 60-70cm girth up to 22 years depending on species.

The first stage of Semi-Mature tree production is propagation. This is followed by a continuous cycle of transplanting, pruning and nurturing, producing larger and larger well balanced trees that are viable for successful planting out in the trees’ eventual planting destination.

Throughout a tree’s life on our nurseries, it is regularly transplanted to keep a viable, compact root system close to the base of the tree in readiness for final lifting.

This continual transplanting means the customer will receive a tree with a prepared fibrous root system. As well as pruning the roots regularly, the canopy of the tree is also pruned to keep the ratio of roots to shoots in balance thus ensuring a successful transplant at any stage of production.

It is important to us that these procedures are a standard for all our nursery-grown trees, whether they are eventually supplied bare root, rootballed or containerised.

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