Tree liner production takes firm root at Israeli nursery Hochberg
In 1950, Aliz Hochberg started a small farm growing citrus and grapes in Moshav Bizaron in Israel.
On this same land, his son Omer Hochberg is now leading one of the most well- known tree nurseries in the country:
Hochberg Export Ornamental Plants Nurseries.
When Omer joined the company in 1992, he realised that the local market was too competitive and too small for only fruit trees. In search of new opportunities, he travelled to Boskoop in The Netherlands to visit nurseries and see new products. “I knew we had added value because of the almost continuously warm climate in Israel”, he says.
80% OF PLANTS ARE FIELD GROWN– Hochberg Nurseries spans an area of about 65 hectares, on which 80% of the plants are grown in the field for export to the EU and USA. They ship about 1 million bareroot, washed young trees per year.
PBR AND US PLANT PATENT -Over the years, Hochberg built long term relationships with breeders and breeder agents worldwide. Most of the company’s assortment consists of varieties protected by PBR in the EU and US Plant Patent in the USA. Several varieties are also protected in Israel. Omer’s wife, Idit, says, “Landscapers used to ask for a certain pot size and a low price, that’s all. They did not care much about the characteristics of the plant. Nowadays, local governments plan further ahead and ask for highquality plants with specific features.”
DROUGHT AND WATER SHORTAGES used to be a significant problem for nurseries across Israel. Even though water shortage is no longer an issue, Hochberg still focuses on conserving water.
PROMOTION- Hochberg does not do active promotion of their varieties online. Omer believes that the most useful advertising is to visit customers frequently. “Our customers need to see the plants. We need to see people. Then you create the right synergy. There is no replacement for that”. Another way to keep your customers coming back is to make sure that they can rely on you by consistently delivering high-quality products. Selecting the best cultivars is one way. Another is to make sure that all plants are exported following the high-level standards required by the EU and the USDA. These regulations tend to change regularly, so the Hochberg team is always keeping an eye out for the latest developments. Their key to success, adds Omer, is to look to the future and always try to innovate as a business.
FAMILY-OWNED- The company consists of 45 employees, making Hochberg one of the largest ornamental tree nurseries in the country. Idit is proud to have such a motivated and hardworking team. She considers it an advantage to be a family-owned business. “As a family, we put all our heart, ability and love in the business. It is a beautiful thing to see your company grow and to build a future together.”
That was a summary of the article. If you are interested to read more (page 18)- https://www.floraculture.eu/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/01-FCI_January-February_2020_LR_WEB.pdf
This article was written by KIM VAN RIJSSEN- February 2020