FR Interview Marc De Raeve with Flowers & Plants Flanders Belgium
FR 50 ha of land in Wetteren, the centre of the Flemish arboriculture sector. That’s the terrain where Marc De Raeve improves en grows trees. Customers from around Europe buy directly from the company and are guaranteed a personal service from this thoroughly family business.
“At the beginning of the 20th century, my grandfather Polydoor De Raeve worked as a foreman for a major garden firm in the Brussels area. In 1920, he returned to his parental home in Wetteren and started up his own production company. His son Marcel developed the business further and sinds 1990 I have followed in his footsteps,” says Marc enthusiastically. “And the nice thing is, the family tradition is also reflected in our customer database. We have clients who have been buying their tree products from us for three generations”, says Marc proudly.
Marc De Raeve offers a wide range of tree products.
Avenue trees and ornamental trees:
We have been purchasing our rootstock from the same respected domestic and foreign growers for decades. We then improve them to create high-quality ornamental trees. Our end products are trees between 3 and 6 years of age.
We grow a wide range of apples (43 species of Malus), pears (15 species of Pyrus), plums (19 species of Prunus), cherries (14 varieties), peaches (10 species of Prunus persica), nectarines, apricots, medlars and quinces. We supply them as shrub, half-standard or standard, from 8/10 to 12/14. In addition, we also have standard chestnuts and walnuts, both from seed and improved.
We restrict our range to the most common hedge conifers, such as Taxus, Thuja, Cupressocyparis and Chamaecyparis. We have a great many of these in stock and supply them with balled roots.
Our specialties in the ornamental shrub range are the evergeens, such as Photinia fraseri ‘Red robin’, Prunus lusitanica, Prunus Caucasica, Prunus Rotundifolia and Ilex. We also offer many types of Hibiscus and Syringa. These shrubs are available in sizes ranging from 40/60 ti 1,75/2 m. The big sizes are always planted, so that we can guarantee regrowth.
Finally, standard roses represent a significant part of our business. Every year we bud ten thousand standard roses in various colours.
Our client list includes other tree nurseries, garden centres and gardeners. About half of our production is earmarked for export, the rest stays on the domestic market. Obviously, our neighbours are the most important market for us. In France, for instance, they are mainly interested in our root ball products, fruit trees and ornamental trees. In Eastern Europe the demand is mostly for avenue and ornamental trees. Poland is currently our biggest market, but we are also active in Germany, the Netherlands, Hungary, Bulgaria, Switzerland and Italy.