Over half a century love of trees
Van den Berk Nurseries grew to its current size in a bit more than half a century. At the start, growing poplars was a side activity to Grandfather’s livestock breeding. Immediately after World War II, wood from this fast growing tree was in great demand. It was used in the manufacture of wooden shoes, matchsticks and paper. In 1946, Grandfather Van den Berk grew poplars from cuttings that were approved by the NAK-B (Netherlands Inspection Service for Woody Nursery Stock). This was the first approved production.
Early in the 1960’s, the sons joined the company, which was still a mixed activity enterprise. They worked in the fields during the day and in the evening, they attended classes to learn the profession of tree-nurseryman. After cutting Ligustrum and Berberis, inoculating roses, sowing woodlands such as oak, birch and beech, the tone was set. In the period between 1965 and the early ‘70’s, livestock breeding was abandoned. The brothers conservatively bought more land.
Van Van den Berk Nurseries, 1970
This is when the features of the company were becoming increasingly recognisable. The loamy sandy soils appeared to be extremely well suited for growing avenue trees, which became their specialisation. Nevertheless, they still had one goal in their sites: they wanted their nursery to stand out from all the rest. And they succeeded, by choosing to offer an exceptionally wide range, particularly in large sizes.
Van den Berk Nurseries, 2010
In the 1960’s, trees were grown on an area 25 hectares in size. That has now expanded to 450 ha. The number of employees has also grown. At present, there are 95 people employed in the company and the third generation of the Van de Berk family is firmly at the helm.
Paulus and Pieter (r) van den Berk, 2nd and 3rd generation Van den Berk, respectively, at the handover of management in 2007