Alpine Nurseries approach to production and stock maintenance is based on our mantra “Quality Matters”. It is an integral part of our culture and business. In fact, it’s in our DNA.
We have implemented LEAN manufacturing across all departments in the business and promote continuous improvement as an everyday task, this maintains our reputation as industry leaders for quality stock, quality service, and provides the industry benchmark for others to follow.
How Do We Do It?
Horticulture is about continuous trials of new growing techniques and methods, we enable and encourage our staff to actively participate in this process by providing ongoing education and recognition of successful outcomes. After 45 years’ experience, Alpine has a wealth of knowledge and see our skilled and passionate staff as our biggest asset. Alpine understands that you are only as good as your suppliers and have created an industry leading value chain of local and international suppliers to ensure consistent quality and supply year round.
Custom Potting Mix
All Alpine sites use custom made and scientifically formulated potting media that complies with the Australian standard for potting mixes. Specific growing media has been developed for exotic ornamentals and for other sensitive native trees and shrubs. Alpine’s potting mix is produced off site using premium quality materials, pasteurised, to guard against soil borne pathogens and weed seeds that may otherwise lay dormant in the soil, proliferate in the pot, and possibly be transferred when planted. Alpine is committed to using environmentally sustainable media components such as Coir and have designed our mixes with high water holding capacity to suit Australian conditions.
Propagating plant material gives Alpine ultimate control; from seed to sale Alpine knowns the history of product batches, which is an essential component of growing high quality shrubs and trees to the Australian Standard. Alpine’s propagation facility is located at our Alstonville site and is run by a team of propagators with industry leading experience. Material selection is at Alpine’s fingertips, enabling collection of plants that demonstrate better vigour or more pronounced foliage or flower colour, and of production batches that are consistent and genetically superior.
From smallest to largest container size, all Alpine plants are spaced from birth. Space is money and to maximize return some nurseries grow plants pot to pot. Adequate spacing allows light to reach the sides of the pot and from all angles as the sun moves throughout the day. It is sunlight that stimulates growth, and the result is an evenly shaped well-proportioned plant. Space can have a big impact when growing trees to the Australian Standard, well-spaced trees will have good caliper, strong branches, and compliant root systems.
Water is the lifeblood of every nursery and high-quality water supply results in high quality plants.
Alpine nurseries have staff dedicated to best practice water management that includes efficient application, collection, and water monitoring. The Alpine Alstonville site was chosen specifically for its high rainfall and abundance of premium quality horticultural water. Alpine is an environmentally conscious company and collection of all irrigation runoff is one of many environmentally sound practices undertaken. Collected water is tested and treated before being reused. Irrigation is controlled by hi-tech computer systems that can adjust to changes in temperature, rainfall, and time of year. Drippers are used on all advanced stock, and we are always looking for ways to improve our water efficiency.
The most significant, practical quality assurance system in place at Alpine is the quality culture that is embedded in all aspects of its business including stock production, stock selection, maintenance, sales processes, human resource management. This culture is embraced by all staff members and continually reinforced by senior management.
Head count is another indication of the quality imperative. Simply put, the greater the ratio of staff per hectare, the better the outcome. With over 100 staff members the ratio of staff per hectare exceeds the industry norm. Our production teams all share great passion for the horticulture industry and have a wealth of knowledge. Our production and nursery managers are supported by team leaders, responsible for a particular section of the nursery and take great pride in the stock they produce.