Covering a site of 220 acres, Christie-Elite is one of the largest tree nurseries in the UK. The nursery is a result of a merger of two businesses in 1995, Elite Trees and T & W Christie who have been growing trees on the nursery site in Forres for over 100 years.
The nursery is a specialist grower of cell-grown and bare-root forest stock such as commercial conifers, native provenance broadleaves, Caledonian pine and hedging. Everything here is on a large scale and Christie–Elite is at the forefront of tree growing on a national level. With an annual production level of 6 to 8 million trees and with new ways of growing, they are setting the standard for the industry.
One of the areas they are market leaders in is the cultivation of spruce trees that have had their planting stock genetically ‘improved’ for its timber. Available in the form of ‘Elite’ and ‘Super-Elite’ spruce, this grows 20% faster and 20% straighter than ordinary sitka spruce, with no loss in timber density.
You can rest assured of the provenance of the trees, as the seeds are collected from 10 of the 23 UK tree provenance and seed zones. This process is regulated, which means that production is traceable from seed to sale and a plant passport for every tree can be requested to show its origin. These are necessary for anyone claiming grant aid.
Trees are generally ordered ahead of the season and then the stock is lifted, prepared and held in cold-store until the customer is ready to receive it. Orders can be made throughout the year for cell-grown stock and bare-root plants, available from November to March.
Normally working within the Forestry business, the nursery now has an online shop for the private individual customer, landscaper, head gardener, estate manager and game keeper. Prices are based on volume. The online shop deals with smaller orders but you can also make bulk orders of 100+ by speaking to a member of staff. Sales of 1000+ can benefit from significant discounts.