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Dave Van Houten – the tree expert

Dave van Houten

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO GET INTO THIS FIELD?
Ever since I was young, my parents were avid gardeners. I loved seeing the rewards in the growth of the flowers and vegetables and fruits. When I was 17, at school, I did work experience at a nursery and fell in love with the field. After this, I managed to score an apprenticeship, and the rest is history. It has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.

WHAT IS YOUR TOP TIP/S WHEN PLANTING A GARDEN?
To keep it simple. Plan for the future. Always start with a good garden bed, as it is the base of a good garden – always think about the roots first. Then ensure you give the garden and trees enough water. It sounds obvious but not enough people realise how important a good soaking is.

WHAT MAKES CATHERINE PARK ESTATE DIFFERENT TO OTHER ESTATES FROM A VEGETATION PERSPECTIVE?
It is the epitome of a tree-lined, leafy suburb - with the master-planned parks and recreation areas, carefully considered tree species lining the streets, and ensuring the trees and plants compliment the landscape. It creates a beautiful suburb that residents would be proud to reside in.

WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF PROFESSIONALLY?
With a career spanning over 35 years, I am proud of the estates and tree farming I am blessed to be a part of. Growing young plants over decades and seeing them mature into fully grown trees that line several local estates, Western Sydney University in Campbelltown, Sydney CBD and places in Wollongong, has been an incredibly rewarding and humbling experience. Also being a part of an award winning development team in creating beautiful suburbs.

WHAT PROCESS DO YOU GO THROUGH WHEN PLANTING TREES?
First, we identify and select trees that are suitable and compliment the homes in each street. Then we mark the position of the trees and ensure all residents are aware of the process by placing a pamphlet into their letterbox. The trees are then planted and grow to become a beautiful addition to the community for many generations to come.

Nurturing green beauty
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