Thorpe Trees is widely acknowledged as the leading grower of trees and hedge plants in the North of England.
Founded by Alastair Taylor, and run by his daughter Caroline, 2020 will be our 37th anniversary of growing plants on the nursery in Yorkshire and we are proud of the reputation we have achieved as a grower of top quality, hardy nursery stock.
Together with the sundries and accessories that we sell alongside the plants we are always pleased to offer a personal, professional and informed service to all of our customers. A FREE advisory visit, assistance with grant applications, and a planting and maintenance service combine to make us the ONE STOP SHOP for all your woodland, hedgerow and associated requirements.
Located on the A59 between York and Harrogate in the heart of the Vale of York we grow in excess of 2 million bare-rooted plants for sale nationwide to a diversity of customers including the general public, farmers and landowners, landscape contractors, Conservation groups, Golf Clubs, other recreational organisations and local authorities. We are more than proud of our 10 year collaboration with The Woodland Trust, both contract growing and providing them with healthy plants for their Nationwide initiatives and projects.
Our plants are grown on prime agricultural land which is a fine sandy loam and we aim to raise plants of UK provenance from locally collected seed wherever possible. Native broadleaf trees and hedge plants make up the majority of the plants we grow and sell but we also have an extensive range of Non-native trees, conifers, Ornamental trees and Fruit Trees for sale. Our broad leaf trees are generally sold as one year seedling or two year transplant stock, however we do grow on a proportion of trees to larger feathered and standard size for customers who wish to achieve instant impact from the outset. The bare-rooted planting season is usually between the months of November to March although we always have a good selection of containerised plants to fulfil difficult or out of season demand in many cases. An excellent range of Ornamental or specimen trees is tempting for customers wanting to improve the garden, or give as a present for birthdays or Christmas. Our Wedding Service is becoming increasingly popular and we are always pleased to assist with customers wishing to create an attractive wedding list of trees. Fruit trees are always in demand and our Thorpe Trees catalogue lists a substantial selection of apples, pears, plums and cherries suitable for most regions. Woodland bulbs and wildflower seeds are also available at the relevant time of year.
As well as all of our home grown trees we sell an excellent range of leading brand tree shelters and rabbit spirals, mesh guards, stakes and bamboo canes.
Our planting and maintenance service is paramount and always very popular however large your planting scheme. We are always very pleased to assist with planting and maintenance wherever possible to ensure the plants have every chance of a successful establishment.
All bare-rooted plants are packed in co-extruded forestry bags for despatch around the country. We go to great lengths to make sure that your plants are picked and packed with great care and attention and we use our own Thorpe Trees van service, national carrier or Pallet Line for Next-Day delivery of the goods. We are open for collections Monday – Friday and Saturday mornings during the planting season.
The Thorpe Trees office staff, Caroline, Richard, Sallie, Gill and Anne are always pleased to assist with orders and enquiries. Chris our nursery foreman and Dave who heads up Despatch, both carry many years of experience on the nursery and head an excellent team of committed regular and part time field staff.
Starting from Seed
Good trees don’t grow from poor seed and here at Thorpe Trees, we source the best seed possible for UK conditions, a proportion of which are collected locally, so your provenance zone is matched as closely as possible.
Spring Sowing & Planting
Chris, our Nursery Foreman, runs our sowing operations and is responsible for imposing quality standards at the beginning of the plants lives and starting the traceability system. Certain seed is soaked and prepared with an admix of peat and perlite before sowing to improve germination, Traceability of seed and stock is essential to our business and we have invested in a software system that manages to keep an efficient record of everything we sow and plant.
We try to mechanise operations wherever we can, but the variable size of seed and tree means a lot of this work is still manual. Whilst Chris and Dave are busy drilling the seeds, Vas and his team are planting the whips.
Autumn Lifting & Grading
Chris and Vas organise the staff who are responsible for the lifting and grading of the plants into the shed. The whips are graded to size and bundled in multiples of 25 and then allocated to a dedicated clearly labelled section of the heeling-in area.
Orders & Despatch
The Sales Team, Sallie & Gill, have access to the provenance of the seeds that relate to every batch of plants on the nursery and will allocate them to quotes and orders. Sallie oversees the majority orders, whilst Gill co-ordinates the dedicated supply to The Woodland Trust and looks after our logistics. Anne in our Accounts Dept handles the orders placed via our online order system through our website.
Order Collation Timescales
Where possible a minimum of 5 days will be required between placing an order and despatch and collection from our premises. Due to the ‘busy’ nature of the bare root season (November to March/ April) we are unfortunately unable to ‘pick’ orders while you wait. All collections are on a pre-agreed day with the office.
Grants and Consultancy
Caroline and Richard are available for advice on Grant availability and can aid with application. Their combined wealth of knowledge on all aspects of planting schemes has helped scores of our customers obtain the maximum from their planting objectives.
Lifting the Orders
In charge of despatch is Dave, who organises his team for the day and coordinates all despatch operations. Our sales orders provide traceability which keeps an electronic map of the location of each plant on the nursery so the despatch staff can collect the stock quickly. When the order is raised, it processes through to the despatch team via picking list, where it is lifted, from the heeling-in area, and brought back to the main shed for packing and despatch.
Once the stock for each individual picking list has been brought into the shed, Dave organises the pre-graded stock into orders using the packaging method specified by the Sales Team as per the customer request.
Collections are assigned a designated area within the main shed and are placed within identifiable bays. Palletised orders are fork lift loaded the onto the delivery lorries, whilst less heavy packages are sent via a next day delivery Courier. As our primary aim is to make sure that your plants and trees arrive with you in the same top condition they left our Nursery, plants are carefully packed into co-extruded forestry bags and all palletised orders are cling film wrapped and strapped for extra security. Restrictions may apply to delivery of larger trees.
Simon is very often the public face of Thorpe Trees as he has been our driver for over 10 years. He delivers within an acceptable radius of our Nursery, including the inaccessible roads larger vehicles can’t negotiate, and has a well-earned reputation as being both friendly and helpful.
Thorpe Trees recognises the risk posed to UK Horticulture, gardens and the Environment from imported plant pest and disease. We are committed to helping define the standards set out across our industry to ensure all nurseries adhere to the highest standards at all times to protect our environment. We ask our customers to respect our commitment to bio-security and help us to maintain our principle to “keep our Nursery clean”.
Customers old and new are welcome to visit Thorpe Trees by pre-arrangement, to discuss plans and ideas and have a tour around the nursery.
As we become busier during the winter months, it is preferable that these visits take place during the summer months, when we will have more time to give you the deserved attention, plus the Nursery will be in full leaf and providing a more worthwhile display!
If we don’t have the tree of your choice listed in the catalogue – please ask – I’m sure we will be able to help.
We look forward to being of service to you.