Leanne is an expert horticulturist and nurserywoman with over 25 years of experience in commercial plant propagation and production. In her role as Research and Innovation Manager with Fleming’s Nurseries she draws upon her interests, skills and knowledge gained through tertiary studies in science and horticulture to support key initiatives and projects including introducing new species and cultivars to the Australian market, gold-medal successes at the Chelsea Flower Show, the Fleming’s Student Design Competition, and KinderGarden™. Amongst her favourite parts of her role Leanne lists the supply of street and park trees, through which she enjoys collaborating with and supporting development project managers, councils and landscape construction teams with installation, establishment and maintenance. Collaborating on development projects has given her first-hand knowledge of the need for quality trees and support through the nursery stock procurement, delivery, installation and establishment phases to ensure successful long-term results. Leanne has and continues to represent the industry in a range of capacities on topics including production of stock to Australian Standard AS2303: Tree stock for landscape use, and on plant breeders rights and quarantine matters. Another of Leanne’s passions is trialling new trees to determine their suitability for introduction into the industry, including investigating production practices to improve efficiency and broaden availability.
Treenet Symposium Speaker
Nursery Industry Innovations
The nursery industry has a long history in Australia and includes many family businesses, such as Fleming’s, who have been producing green life for over a century. Building on this strong traditional base, a continually evolving range of innovations are improving the tree offering for urban environments.
There are several challenges that face today’s tree production industry:
We require new cultivars that are suited to an increasingly urban environment. These cultivars must also provide a range of benefits, be low maintenance and appeal to a diverse range of aesthetic ideals.
Reliable and sustainable propagation techniques are required to successfully produce these trees that will shape the future of our urban forests. This will need to be achieved using fewer resources, and with a diminishing human resource pool.
Innovative growing systems that improve both production efficiency and tree quality are becoming more important with an increasing need to ensure that there are enough trees available to meet the aggressive canopy cover targets that are being incorporated into so many Urban Forest Strategies.
The good news is that in many ways these requirements are business as usual for the nursery industry. There has always been a strong drive for improved selections and efficient production. Today, there are many very new innovations commercially available and ready for adoption by the wider tree industry.