L.E.COOKE NURSERYMAN LTD.
Growers of High Quality Fruit Trees
(Marty & Kelli Cooke)
75 York Road, Longlands, Hastings
ph: 06 870 7043 fax: 06 870 7046
Try us first for your fruit tree requirements
In 1950 Lawrie began an apprenticeship for 4 years under the late Donald Wilson at Wilson’s Nurseries Ltd in Hastings who were renowned for their roses and fruit trees, then moved on to develop the late Ian Tustin’s fruit tree and rose nursery and work on his berry farm and orchard.
In 1956 Lawrie established a fulltime nursery operation of his own in the Frimley area, expanding his “backyard” production of roses, fruit trees and asparagus plants.
In 1963 Lawrie and Jan were married and the nursery was expanded using house sections at ﬁrst for roses and with an expanding market, larger blocks of leased land for fruit trees. Some market gardening of potatoes, green beans and gherkins were a lucrative sideline.
In 1971 the Wilson road properly of 5.6 hectares was purchased and the home base was established there, with propagation sand beds and apple stool beds. This block is now a fully producing apple orchard, which Martin leases.
With demand for apple trees, further land was leased in 3 hectare blocks in the Twyford area as new land is required for apples.
In 1994 Martin joined the staff after doing a Horticultural Cadetship with Ian lvey and Trust Fruit Orchards, where he gained his Certificate of Horticultural Practice in Pip and Stonefruit Production.
The Lyndhurst block of 7.5 hectares was purchased in 1985, where as well as nursery a 3.5 hectare block of Golden Queen peaches was established, the crop going to Wattie‘s Canneries. After cropping for 20 years the peaches were removed. Unfortunately this land is now zoned for housing, but as present is still in nursery!
In April 2000, after previously trading as a partnership L.E. Cooke Nurseryman Ltd was formed, with Martin included in the shareholding.
To cater for future demand and the increase in tree sales nationwide more land was purchased in 2007, York Road (6 hectares) by Martin and Portsmouth Road (6.1 hectares).. As present further land is being leased for apple trees in Maraekakaho Road (2.8 hectares) and Percival Road (6 hectares) making a total of 32 hectares in nursery production and cropping.
In 2012 Lawrie and Jan retired and Martin and Kelli took over the company’s operation, with a new base being established at their York Road property. The office, packing shed and sand beds are now established there along with stoolbeds for all the main FKV apple and pear rootstocks – M793, MM106, MM102, M116, DSIR M9, Emla 9, M9 719, Quince A, Quince BA29, Quince C.
A staff of 10 plus management and some casuals as peak time are employed. Some 160,000 trees are now grown annually.
Our range of trees grown includes – Apples, Apricots, Cherries, Nectarines, Peaches, Pears, Plums.