We’re becoming more and more aware of the importance and advantages of green and recreational spaces in the city. They contribute to the well-being of the citizens and are used as sustainable solutions to handle the consequences of climate change such as heavy rainfall and heatwave, not to mention the global biodiversity crisis.
To make the most of the many benefits, the trees and plants need to be robust, they need to be able to survive critical growth conditions, withstand shifting climates, and be long-lasting. To make it short: high-quality plant material is crucial.
The green value chain consists of different market players – the planners, the landscape architects, and the landscape gardeners. Each player plays an essential role in securing more attractive and recreational green cities.
Today, we see an increased focus not only on the appearance of the plants but also on their heritage. The nurseries play a crucial function in ensuring high-quality plants. They are an essential but often overlooked part of the green value chain.
Northwest of Copenhagen, we find an example of an important part of the value chain. Here, Birkholm nursery develops plant material that lives up to high-quality standards, making them resistant to weather changes and different growth conditions.
In 2013, Birkholm and three other nurseries joined forces and developed Norðîc – a trademark to secure high-quality plant material.
A quality trademark like Norðîc gives great value to the construction industry. It ensures hardy plants and trees that match the space in which they are planted. This way re-establishing or re-planting the trees or plants won’t be necessary. Sales manager at Birkholm, Morten Schjellerup explains:
“With Norðîc, we want to establish a common direction that gathers all forces under one name. Unfortunately, we often see different plants that are not very long-lasting or resistant to the Danish climate. We’ve tried to make some common guidelines for our customers and other interested parties. This way we can document that all species in Norðîc are robust and suitable for growing in the Nordic climate.”
Today, Norðîc consists of 62 different species and continues to expand as new species are obtained.
It can take ten to 20 years for a plant variety to be tested the first time until it is obtained in Norðîc. The requirements are many-faceted. Most importantly, the plants and trees must be adapted to the Nordic climate, they have to have a high degree of plant health, and to be able to adapt to different growing conditions.
The variety has to originate 100% from the core plant, the quality has to be consistent, and last but not least a transparent production process provided by the plant producer is required.
“We have this example with the plant Geranium oxonianum Norðîc. With plants sold outside of Norðîc, there’s no guarantee that the plant originates from the original plant material. But with Geranium oxonianum Norðîc, we now have a plant that originates entirely from the core plant. In Norðîc, it’s a plant like that we build on in the future.”
The Norðîc trademark is an initiative open to new nurseries and other interested parties. “Plant producers that wish to be part of the trademark are very welcome”, Morten expresses.
“If they have a plant they want to make part of Norðîc, we can test cultivate it through a number of years. If it shows to be resistant, it can be obtained in the trademark. We would love to have more producers involved. This way we can spread the word of Norðîc”, he concludes.