The area occupied by arboricultural crops has increased by more than 35 percent to 12.4 thousand hectares over the last decade. Particularly in the province of North Brabant, where the area covered by arboricultural crops increased by nearly 2 thousand ha (+55 percent), business was booming. In that same period the total agricultural area was reduced by 47 thousand ha (-2.5 percent).
Area covered by arboricultural crops
More large-scale tree cultivation
In the Netherlands there are approximately 3,500 enterprises engaged in tree cultivation. The majority (83 percent) cover less than 5 ha. There are 585 enterprises exceeding 5 ha and they cover two-thirds of the total area of arboricultural crops in the Netherlands. The average area of large-scale arboricultural enterprises is 14.3 ha. Ten years ago there were 425 arboricultural enterprises exceeding 5 ha. At the time large-scale arboricultural enterprises covered just over half of the total area used to grow trees in the Netherlands. The average size was 11 ha.
Arboricultural area by province
Almost 45 percent the total area used by tree-growing enterprises in the Netherlands is located in North Brabant. The municipality of Zundert has the highest number of tree-growing enterprises. In 2003 they covered 1,390 ha in this municipality, i.e. 12 percent of the total area used for arboriculture in the Netherlands. The municipality of Kesteren in the province of Gelderland is runner-up with 930 ha. Gelderland and the province of Limburg both account for 15 percent of the total arboricultural area in the Netherlands. With only 122 ha, the province of Zeeland has the smallest arboricultural area.
Areas occupied by various arboricultural crops, 1994 and 2004
More ornamental conifers, fewer rose bushes
The increase in the area covered by arboricultural crops is mainly caused by a rising demand for ornamental conifers and lane and park trees. The area where lane and park trees are grown, increased by more than 1,250 ha. Ornamental shrubs and climbers also gained popularity; the cultivation area increased by over 70 percent in the last ten years. The area used for growing fruit trees and rose bushes, on the other hand, shrank by more than 100 ha. The area used for rose cultivation decreased by 23 percent over the past decade.