A Kildorrery based horticulture company, which specialises in the production of rare ornamental trees, is now branching out and exporting their produce to Europe.
Kildorrery native, Peadar Collins always had an interest in trees and all things horticulture from a young age. Born and bred in Kildorrery, Peadar attended St Fanahan’s College in Mitchelstown and went on to study horticulture with the Salesian Brothers in Co Meath, where he completed his degree.
“I grew up on a vegetable farm, that was my dad Peter’s business, which led me to the tree centre business I have today”, Peadar told The Avondhu.
The Irish Tree Centre was founded in 1995 and found its niche decorating private and public estates, hotels and golf courses throughout Ireland. In recent times, production exceeded indigenous demand and exporting was the only option.
“Exporting is very important at the moment”, Peadar told The Avondhu following a recent trip to Germany to drum up more export business, which he added went ‘very well’.
‘‘Irish business people need to take the initial steps towards exporting their produce. We can offer great value and, once that is in place, it is a matter of developing the business to meet new customer demands,” Peadar added.
Peadar is an expert in Irish and European arboretums, having gained industry experience in England and the Netherlands before returning to Cork. His nurseries are located in the Blackwater Valley, serving clients nationwide, with their own trees, both mature trees and semi-mature trees.
The centre grows more than 200 varieties of ornamental trees on a 50 acre site, exporting them to the continent where they are replanted in public parks and city centres.
A USEFUL TIP
“Any gardens with grisilenia would have been affected by the frost so I would recommend that people opt for laurel or beech”, Peadar told The Avondhu.
Peadar informed The Avondhu that he, like most other businesses throughout the country, was affected by the recession. “People are still placing orders but the amounts are much less so exporting is imperative to remain competitive.”
‘If you make your hobby your work, you will never have to work again’ is something that Peadar is testimony to. “Our season finishes at the end of March and we stop taking orders then, so we have a nice leisurely 5 day week in the summer. We then concentrate on maintaining the nursery until the season starts again in October and we are back to a 7 day week in the winter but I love what I do.”