Leadership change at Ebben Tree nursery

Friday 21 June 2024

For Ebben Tree Nursery, this means a new era, and although no official festivities will be organised around this transition, a conscious decision has been made to celebrate the change of 'Tree Boss' in private with all employees on Friday 21 June. This moment was also chosen symbolically; the sun is at its peak and a change of season is occurring.
Toon will take on a different role within Tree Nursery Ebben. Although he will no longer be CEO, he will remain a member of the board and will use his expertise and knowledge as an advisor, mentor and sparring partner.

Legacy Toon Ebben

Toon Ebben managed the company from the age of 23, at the time he started with 13 employees on an acreage of 45 hectares. Today, trees grow on an acreage of more than 550 hectares and more than 150 colleagues work at four different companies on the premises. Under his wings, the company has grown into a nursery of international stature that leads the industry. Toon has always had his focus on building relationships that the company maintains nationally and internationally and has paid great attention to communication at all levels in the chain. Activities were focused on knowledge transfer, openness within and promotion of the sector. He has continued to be involved in growing and trading trees for many diverse national and international projects from the age of 23 until today.


Growing and inspiring are in Toon's genes and he has driven several innovative developments within the firm. In 2002, Ebben published the book ‘Colour Green’, an inspiring reference work with a renewed vision on the use of planting in public spaces, in conjunction with the colours of the surroundings. Meanwhile, the nursery was fully committed to the cultivation of multi-stem trees, a renewed and enlarged product group that originated from the idea of the bushy shrubs. The book and memory game 'We are Multi-Stemmed' introduced the professional world to this enlarged product group. Because of the new and more modern architecture and the clean lines of these buildings, these types of trees became a welcome addition for landscape designers and garden architects. We see the result of this effort all around us today. 

Online tree encyclopaedia

Digitisation and the frequent use of photographic material of planting led to the idea of TreeEbb, an app with an extensive tree encyclopaedia to find the right planting for the location and climate with many useful filters regarding geographical location, application, plant types, location and plant characteristics. The extensive photo archive, which is updated daily, has raised awareness of the quality of plants used in public spaces. This handy tool is frequently used internationally by the professional world when ideating and creating diverse green projects. In 2016, the company was awarded the Horticultural Entrepreneur Award.

Synergy with partners and clients

Toon is very grateful for the great relationships he has forged with various parties over the past few years. It was partly because of these relationships that he had the energy to help think about and advise on many different green projects every day.
Social, community projects that create connections, such as the Foundation of National Festival of Trees (Boomfeestdag), are very important to Toon. The planting of the 20-hectare Park “de Heerlijckheid in Land van Cuijk”, where more than 3,000 large trees in a very diverse assortment have been planted, is a great example of cooperation with the municipality and a gesture to the region. In 2021, the most recent roof garden was completed, a veritable Jungle Garden on the current company premises where stakeholders can meet in a green oasis.

Confidence in the next generation

A lover of beautiful plants, Toon has been working intensively on the product in recent years. "I am proud of what we have achieved with our entire team of employees. A wonderful company has been built and I confidently pass on the symbolic pruning shears to Dirk. He has shown in recent years that he not only has the necessary knowledge and skills, but also the vision and innovativeness to lead the company into the next phase. His ideas and modern approach will help Ebben Tree Nursery grow and prosper in an ever-changing market." says Toon.
This role change is part of the wider strategic restructuring within the nursery, which will see Dirk at the helm as the fifth generation of Ebben. However, the management change does not bring any noticeable changes for stakeholders. Tree nursery Ebben remains the trusted address for unique and high-quality trees and shrubs and guarantees the service people have come to expect from the company.

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