Appletons Tree Nursery Ltd, 1748 Main Road South, Wakefield, Nelson, Phone 03 541 8309, Fax 03 541 8007
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Customer Profile

Terry and Claire Gavin

Terry and Claire are quite possibly Nelson’s most enthusiastic tree pruning farm foresters. While returning from a skiing holiday in Wanaka, they spotted a ‘for sale’ sign for a property 15 minutes drive north of Murchison. Terry is a retired general practitioner and Claire a nurse. ‘The Farm’, as it was named, was purchased in 1994, in what Terry calls a meaning of life moment.

The Gavins became regular customers. Claire often had a well researched list of tree questions regarding possible timber tree species to be trialled on their property bordering the Buller River. Attracted by the river flats and terraces, they were keen to do the planting and sylviculture themselves.

Their first plantings in 1994 were Cupressus macrocarpa ‘Kukupa’, now pruned to 6.5m. The small amount of canker is an indication of how favourable a tree growing site the Gavins have. The next year other alternative timber species were planted: Western red cedar, Sitka spruce, Lawsons cypress, Leyland and other macrocarpa clones. Also progressively planted were Poplar, Red alder, Silver and Sugar maples, Redwood and Douglas fir. More recently on Patrick Milne’s advice,Ovensii, NZR and Silverwood have been planted and are growing very well.

An adjoining property was purchased in 2007, which already had a mixture of Appletons’ sourced oaks, walnuts and eucalyptus nitens and fastigata. The challenge was that they all badly needed pruning and there were rough areas for more tree planting.

The Gavins are regular Farm Forestry Conference attendees, and are only too willing to share their combined knowledge and experience when hosting local field days where everyone is amazed at the quality and thoroughness of their pruning. Terry has recently purchased a battery powered sabre pruning saw. ‘Marvellous’ is how Terry described the speed and ease at which cypress branches are removed with this new tool, but it’s most important you have a portable generator close by to charge spare batteries.

Leyland cypress


Ovens Cypress