From 6pm Friday 29th October 2021 we are open to the GENERAL PUBLIC for ‘Click and Collect’ pick up, and as of 3rd November 2021, for on-site tree viewings, both by APPOINTMENT ONLY. It is business as usual for WHOLESALE TRADE, although we recommend you call (03) 9554 2000 or make an appointment prior to arriving on site. QR code sign-in remains compulsory via the Services Victoria app at all of our sites. Learn more

Time to stand up for accreditation

Is it time to stand up for accreditation? The Nursery and Garden Industry of Australia has a series of best practice accreditations in place to assist both the nursery and their customers to achieve a quality product that is produced sustainably....

Email Share Tweet

Is it time to stand up for accreditation? The Nursery and Garden Industry of Australia has a series of best practice accreditations in place to assist both the nursery and their customers to achieve a quality product that is produced sustainably. These address business and environmental concerns and the Biosecurity issues we face as an industry, and are audited annually by industry professional representatives.

Speciality Trees is accredited with two out of the three accreditation standards. These are: NIASA (The Nursery Industry Accreditation Scheme Australia) and EcoHort, with our application to obtain BioSecure HACCAP well underway. There are two nurseries with BioSecure HACCAP accreditation in Victoria and both were awarded very recently.

Addressing a wide range of issues within the industry, NIASA requires the production nursery to be accountable for their processes with regards to weeds, pest and disease management, water and waste water management, facility standards and cleanliness of growing areas for the prevention of contamination. It requires good inputs from accredited potting media suppliers and the safe handling of pesticides. It requires continual monitoring and record keeping to achieve and remain compliant.

EcoHort is a best practise philosophy rewarding good environmental stewardship. It monitors the environmental footprint of a business and the impact on the community. BioSecure HACCAP is about the recording and management of biosecurity concerns using industry best practice. The recent Myrtle Rust incursion is an example of the type of threat we can face as an industry and highlights the need for greater biological accountability.

The existence of these accreditations has not been publicised enough and their importance and value are underestimated. While they are not practices that impact directly on the tree like pruning, if not applied these processes carry significant risks to the quality of the plant if not embraced in the production nursery environment.

If the Horticultural Industry had wide spread accreditation in place the Myrtle Rust incursion would have been controlled earlier, possibly even eradicating it before it became a problem. So why isn’t there some form of compulsory accreditation in the Green Industry particularly the Nursery Industry? Why isn’t it compulsory for government bodies to purchase from accredited nurseries?

One could easily justify a minimum level of compulsory accreditation for nurseries on the movement of weeds, pests and disease alone. If you are not buying from an accredited nursery how is your purchase being protected from unseen issues?

The Draft National Tree Standard (NTS), will be available for public comment shortly and due to be finalised sometime in 2014, does not recognise best practice processes or accreditations that sit behind the production of quality material. This Standard gives us a basis for the presentation of stock, not a system of processes or guidelines to produce quality stock. The tree may look healthy and be within size index parameters but how will it perform long term in the environment? Has it been produced to acceptable standards and processes? Has it been produced with respect for the environment and biosecurity concerns?

A colleague visited a park in southern NSW where semi advanced deciduous stock had recently been planted. The stock was of reasonable standard but the flick weed around their base was doing better than the trees. That’s what we are talking about! You can’t see this under the NTS but it wouldn’t happen with material purchased from an accredited NIASA nursery.

It is the practices and processes adopted through accreditation and audited by industry, that give customers reassurance on the performance of the product later in the trees life. The decision to buy premium material produced to national standard under the guidelines of accreditation far outweighs the cost in buying and planting twice due to unforeseen issues.

So the answer is yes and we all need to stand up for accreditation.  As growers, we need to be accountable for the stock that we produce. Not only should it look good but it should perform and not cause any other problems post planting. To recognise accreditation, is to recognise quality processes.   If the National Tree Standard remains light on this issue of processes, purchasers need to know that there is another decision to make, over and above simply meeting the standard. Can you rely on material from non-accredited sources?

25/07/2013 In the News


Receive all the latest news, product information, collections, projects, tips and special offers straight to your inbox each month or so.


Stay in the loop by connecting with us through social media.

Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube LinkedIn Pinterest

Treefinder can help you identify the perfect tree for your next project!

With over 400 tree varieties for review, the Treefinder app enables you to conveniently browse and compile a list of trees suitable for a number of common landscaping uses - from attracting birds to creating a formal screen or hedge. By selecting desired size, foliage, and a few categories, Treefinder opens up a world of possibilities.

Once you've found the perfect tree you can click through to our website for more information, availability and a quote.

Download the app from
App Store Google Play

Or try it online

We are specialists in the environmentally sustainable production of premium quality advanced landscaping trees and screens.

For more than 44 years Speciality Trees has been a leader in the production and supply of advanced environmentally sustainable, containerised landscape trees for local government, the landscaping industry and retailers.

Learn more