Van den Berk
Having existed for more than 75 years, Van den Berk Nurseries is a family company that has grown impressively due to the love and care they put into their daily work, striving to produce the best quality plants. These are a fundamental factor for landscape architecture projects, and as such the commercial relation between IFLA EUROPE and Van den Berk Nurseries -which dates back to 2011- has become a fundamental part of our Federation.
During all these years, IFLA EU has striven to reach a deeper relation which would benefit both institutions. This regards the exchange of information and technical developments which has led to the constitution of a joint working group –Arboricultural Technical Working Group- to allow more investigation by the designer and specifier to ensure the correct tree is chosen and that the specifications are provided to ensure ordering of the tree and its delivery, planting and aftercare are assisted by the provision of appropriate technical information.
IFLA EUROPE feels positive that our joint aim is to ensure the quality of our projects, providing a holistic approach that bridges the gap between providers and designers, is being achieved. In recent years, Van den Berk Nurseries has has been granted Corporate Membership, which is given solely to those institutions wish support and promote the same objectives than IFLA EU acknowledging them in Van den Berk. We have to thank specially Pieter Van den Berk for his unrelenting support, welcoming words and constant positive attitude for this achievements, which we hope will continue to develop in the future.
Van den Berk Nurseries specializes in medium size to mature trees and has a product range that consists more than 1750 varieties of deciduous trees, conifers, shrubs and rhododendrons. Van den Berk Nurseries is a supplier to (local) governments, landscape architects and landscape contractors all over Europe.
The company has developed a unique expertise in the cultivation of trees over three generations. The plots cover about 500 ha. with unique ornamental trees, grown for their architectural value, as well as uniform trees in large quantities. It makes Van den Berk to one of the leading companies in its field. In January 2009 the nursery won the Dutch Horticultural Business Prize. Later in the same year the ‘Bronze Rose’ in the worldwide competition.
The company’s goal is not only to deliver high quality of trees, but also to contribute to good conditions for the trees at their final destination. Therefore Van den Berk often works in close cooperation with landscape architects, as this is the most ideal way to obtain the desired result. Not for just one year, but for the long term.
Van den Berk launched new website: www.vdberk.com which contains information on 1600 species trees and shrubs, and a total of 6000 pictures. The numerous filters allow you to select the right tree for each site or situation https://www.vdberk.co.uk/trees/
New is the “Clipboard’ : everyone can make selections out of the 6000 pictures and put these on personal clipboards. The clipboards can be easily shared with colleagues or other people involved in a project. https://www.vdberk.co.uk/clipboard/
The account team of Van den Berk can offer their clients expert advice on species, availability and suitability as well as on unloading, planting and aftercare. Van den Berk’s tree technician can give advice or even guide the planting process. From preparation of the planting location, the choice of planting system and the protocol for maintenance.
The company also publishes a book called ‘Van den Berk on Trees’. The second edition was released in 2015 and its 1032 pages contain information on all species and cultivars used as avenue trees in Europe. A tool for designers of the urban landscape to choose the right tree. 1101 different trees are described into great detail and visualized with colour photographs.
It is published in 4 languages, English, French, German and Dutch. A ‘tree searcher’ can also be found on the website (http://www.vdberk.co.uk/tree-book/search) that is available in 11 languages now. The rhododendrons have their own website (www.vdberk-rhododendron.com) with useful information about different types of rhododendron, planting advice and a flowering season calendar.
Over the years innovation has been a key word, even if it wasn’t that fashionable yet. To improve efficiency, quality and working conditions the company has developed several machines by itself, for example the ‘Tree shower’ and the ‘Mammoth lifting machine’. To lengthen the planting season Van den Berk developed the coconut fibre root ball method created an airpot field. As a result mature trees can also be planted in summer now.
The indoor loading and storing facilities, with its humidity controlling system, are considered one of the best equipped and allows over 25 complete trailers per day to be loaded.
The logistic department of Van den Berk has all the knowledge of shipping trees and arranges the transport to locations throughout Europe.
Trees have been supplied to, for example:
- The Louvre, Paris, France
- Alnwick Castle, UK
- Philips Medical Systems, NL
- Palace of Justice, Antwerp, Belgium
- Torre Espacio, Madrid, Spain
- Royal Victoria Docks, London, UK
- Waldsteiner Gärten, Prague, Czech Republic
- Bundesgartenschau, Rostock, Germany
- Expo Zaragoza, Spain
Van den Berk Nurseries cultivates its trees in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner according to the requirements of the ‘Groenkeur’ ecolabel. The cultivation method used is aimed at minimizing the impact on the environment and producing strong, healthy and resilient trees.
Van den Berk is also ISO 9001:2000 certified.
IFLA Europe is working towards the formation of a technical working group (TWG) whose aim is to investigate and develop solutions to current issues facing our global landscape and the planet as a ‘closed system’.
We are currently developing a project focusing on technical aspects of trees (and vegetation in general) and their use in all situations and contexts.
The operation of these technical working groups (TWGs) will help in providing technical assistance and guidance on procurement of materials used in landscape projects.