The best soldiers in the fight for clean air
COLUMN

This is the best time of year for commercial tree and plant growers. After a seemingly endless winter, they are now more than ready to get their load on the road as quickly and smoothly as possible.

Nursery stock produce in all shapes and sizes are shipped to destinations throughout the world with nurserymen cheering up after the doom and gloom that is winter. Finally they find themselves busy again selling, packing and loading and are bursting with optimism. Discussions, market uncertainty, concerns, all the negatives have turned into positive. Nothing much has changed after all these years!

We, producers of what is the most vital part of the landscape, need to take some time to pause and reflect on the real data and facts instead of acting impulsively and being carried away by a massive spring frenzy. Nothing comes automatically: we have to work for it.

With this I mean teaming up with the entire landscape value chain (gardeners, green builders, agronomists, landscape architects, public technicians in the cities) to make all our work more productive, providing top quality greenery with appropriate margins.

Trees are the best soldiers in the fight for clean air but those who grow them must continue to invest, along with the entire supply chain; in research, training and education while highlighting the many benefits of a green, urban landscape and environment.

We must leave our trenches to confront ourselves with daily reality, inform ourselves but also advise and teach others how to grow and use our plants. There is nothing better than showing customers around your company and explaining them how sustainability is embedded in your company ethos with special attention to their needs.

The market can no longer absorb the product volumes of the past. Practically all markets are maturing increasing their domestic production. To face the future with confidence we need to take a step back in time. We need to focus on more extensive production cycles to grow even strong trees including varieties that withstand air pollution, pests and diseases that can help us to clean up the air in our cities and sanitize our polluted soils.

The question that naturally arises is: who will pay the costs?

Maurizio Lapponi

is a tree grower from  Mantova, Italy and previously served as President of the European Nurserystock Association (ENA).