What’s in a tree?

The European Nurserystock Association will plant 25 trees to celebrate its twenty fifth anniversary. Trees live themselves and give us the means to live, these 25 trees also symbolise the billions (yes, billions!) of plants produced by European nurseries in the last 25 years.

In 1991 the European Nurserystock Association, ENA, was founded. Nowadays the association is made up of nursery associations from nineteen countries: Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hellas, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. In this way ENA represents over 17.000 nurseries growing plants on more than 100.000 hectares, employing more than 100.000 workers and, within the European Union, ENA members account for around 80% of nurserystock turnover.

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of ENA, its General Assembly committed to plant 25 trees, one in each of the countries of its members, on Wednesday 19th of October 2016.

Every plant has a history and when, finally, it arrives at a garden, a home, a street or a park it carries with it the skill, knowledge and industry of many professionals: from the breeders or selectors who first noted a plant’s potential to the nurserymen who propagated and grew them on until they were strong enough to leave the nursery and survive in the wider world.

ENA Members are donating trees to their Cities or Countries and we will simultaneously plant those trees across Europe, paying tribute to those who, as far back as Neolithic times, have cultivated plants: as an homage to the nurserymen of all eras, from the ancient cultures to the most technologically advanced, who have raised the profession to the heights it has now reached, and as a gift to all citizens, wishing them a long, prosperous and healthy life, symbolised by this tree.

Celebration in Hellas

Hellenic Plant Material Exporters Association (HEPMEA) is the authorized representative of Hellas in E.N.A. The celebration will be held in “Heroic City of Naoussa”, which traditionally is is the "City of Nurseries"( in Northern Greece) , at the Central Square (Karatasou Square) after the advice of Nikos Babos, Director of the Gardens Departement of Municipality. The tree that HEPMEA will dobnate is the “Tree of Pray” Liquidambar orientalis(*) , commonly known as oriental sweetgum , a deciduous tree in the genus Liquidambar, native to the eastern Mediterranean region, that occurs as pure stands mainly in the flood plains of the Hellenic island of Rhodes. We use it in landscape all over Greece, especially to road “alees” and parks. We want to promote it more in cities and "Hellenic Garden" approach. Coordinator, will be of course the “Municipality of Heroic City of Naoussa” and the Mayor Mr. Nikolaos Koutsogiannis who kindly invites the Union of Municipalities of Hellas KEDE (President Georgios Patoulis) and the Hellenic Green Cities Network (President Lefteris Ioannidis) as much as other officials (members of Parliament, Mayors, etc).

A few words about Naoussa

Naoussa is built at the eastern Vermion mountain foothills. Because of the contribution to the struggle for independence from the Turks, it is the only city that bears the title "Heroic" (VD.17 / 8/1955 Official Gazette 240 / A / 03.09.1955).

It crossed by Arapitsa river, which has its source in an area of natural beauty near the town, Agios Nikolaos plane trees forest.


In Naoussa we could find old mansions and modern constructions. Full of Plane trees in squares, fountains, old cobbled streets, modern walkways and unique Municipal Park are located in the historical center. In Naoussa , Herodotus locates the famous "Gardens of Midas" and was inhabited from ancient times.


A place with global interest is the remnants of Aristotle's School, just below the current Naoussa, in Isvoria place. The landscape consisted by small river and the shady caverns, where the greatest philosopher of antiquity taught the greatness of classical Greek thought and the ideals of Platonic philosophy to Alexander the Great.


The message of Mayor of Heroic City of Naoussa

Celebrating the Day of Nurseryman and the 25th Anniversary since the founding of European Nursery Association (ENA) , the Municipality of Heroic City of Naoussa celebrates the contribution of the nurserymen to sustainability and development.

Each plant is part of our lives. It is enlivening factor for people and society. For Municipality of Heroic City of Naoussa, a small but active and important community of nurseries is a guarantee of support in rural areas, the regeneration of the local economy, conservation and improvement of local plant varieties.

The symbolic planting of a Sweet Gum Tree in Naoussa Square will be a springboard for the implementation of an extensive program for urban development by creating green islands with endemic plants within the urban structure.

This can only be done with the good cooperation of people grow nature in their hands. Our best wishes for success to your work

(Nikos Koutsogiannis-Mayor of Heroic City of Naoussa)

The message of HEPMEA

"Here luxuriant trees are always in their prime pomegranates and pears, and apples glowing red, succulent figs and olives swelling sleek and dark. And the yield of all these trees will never flag or die, neither in winter nor in summer, a harvest all year round. (Homer, Odyssey, the Garden of Alcinoous)


The “Hellenic Garden”. A healing garden. Trees are the symbols that transfer culture and history from ancient to modern years. The nurseryman is the guard of that heritage; the nursery is the “birth” point of sustainable life. The one that could stop the climate change.


Happy Anniversary ENA!!


(Nikos Thymakis, Landscape Consultant,

Honorary President of HEPMEA)