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21 March 2024

Trend for fruit trees in the garden or on the balcony: Austrian Tree Nursery Association selected columnar apple tree as Plant of the Year 2024

Three years ago, the board of directors of the Vienna-based Austrian Tree Nursery Association decided to select the columnar apple tree as the Plant of the Year 2024. To give a brief overview of tree nurseries in Austria: There are about 170 nurseries that produce 2.8 million fruit trees per year, along with other plants (1.3 million conifers, 2.7 million deciduous trees, 0.5 million rose plants and 7.1 million perennials). The three-year lead time in the selection process is due to the fact that the planting of woody plants requires a two-year lead time. Normally, the decision is made one year in advance, as was told in a phone call today. The reasoning behind the decision was that the fruit tree reflects the spirit of the times, which is strongly associated with bringing nature into one's own home, the interest in extraordinary plants for at home such as fruit-bearing trees, and that the column apple tree is still relatively unknown among the country's population.

In Austria, spring marks the beginning of the planting season at local nurseries, where new products and tried-and-tested ranges are available. This year's plant, the columnar apple tree, known for its unique flowers and fruits, with the name 'Slim Willi' (in German 'Der Schlanke Willi') is due to its compact size of approx. 60 cm width and max. 2.50 m height suitable for small gardens and balconies. The bright pink flowers and dark red apples are highlighted in today's press release and on with the note that the fruits also offer special internal values. The red-fleshed fruits are an eye-catcher in fruit salads and can be used in cakes or the very popular Apfelstrudel.

Images: The pictures show the flowers and fruits of Austria's Plant of the Year 2024, the column apple tree 'Der schlanke Willi', available at plant stores as well as at nurseries and garden centers since mid-March. Photos: Blumenmarketing.

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