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Holly Farrell visits Frank P Matthews, a tree nursery in rural Worcestershire, and finds there is a fruit tree for every garden

Covering 450 acres of Worcestershire countryside, Frank P Matthews’ tree growing nursery is a sizeable affair, producing more than half a million trees each year. If you’ve bought a tree from a garden centre in the last few years, chances are it came from Frank P Matthews, under the nursery’s ‘Tree for Life’ brand. It supplies garden centres, mail order companies and commercial fruit growers, but also sells direct to customers through its tree shop, on site just outside Tenbury Wells and Ludlow.

The business, founded by the eponymous Frank in 1901, originally grew roses but expanded into fruit trees soon after. In the 1980s ornamental trees were added to the sale lines, but two-thirds of the business is still in fruit tree production. It is also still a family business: managing director Nick Dunn (who is also chair of the Royal Horticultural Society’s fruit, vegetable and herb committee) follows in his grandfather’s footsteps, and his daughter Steph Dunn-James is assistant managing director.

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About Kitchen Garden Magazine

Welcome to Kitchen Garden Magazine In this issue: HINTS FOR HAPPY HARVESTING Joyce Russell has some great pointers to help you hone your harvesting skills DAMSON DELIGHT Fruit expert and nurseryman David Patch extols the virtues of damsons NEW VARIETY ON TRIAL This month we look at two new beetroot varieties And much more!