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Christies Garden Centre
Christies Garden Centre

Christies: A Short History

The Christies’ Family Emblem dates back to over two hundred years ago and presents young oak leaves under a Latin signature, meaning ‚thus we flourish‘.

It is an emblem which has remained true to Christies’ ‚flourishing‘ business for over five generations, and has been an apt symbol for their high-quality tree and plant products over the years.

  • Thomas Christie

    Thomas, back in 1820, rented some roughland at the top of the newtown in Fochabers for Two Pounds, Eleven Shillings and Six Pence. He was hoping to establish a nursery site and literally grow mighty oaks from small acorns. Little did he know the generations of success that lay before him. Christies soon became the largest producer of trees in Britain and to ensure a year-round income, he sold vegetable plants, flowers, bushes and fruit trees.

  • William Christie

    William, Thomas‘ son, took over the business in his early 20s and kept plants, flowers, bushes and fruit trees at the forefront of the business, selling well to the local community. The late 1880s saw the introduction of rail services across the north-east, which meant more trade and more business for all local industries; fishing, whisky and, of course, tree-planting. Christies benefitted enormously and 1886 saw the business operating on 38 acres of land. Their success and the loyalty of their staff saw them survive World War I.

  • George Christie

    William’s son, George, took over Christies in 1920 and with a strong business mind, saw the longevity and sustainability in limiting the number of saleable trees per year to preserve the quality. When we say limiting, the number was already at 500,000 (!), but this strategy allowed Christies to enjoy respect as a quality provider.

  • "Young" George Christie

    „Young George“, as he was fondly known, became the fourth generation of Christies‘ men to take over and lead the company. As well as maintaining the forestry and nursery branches of the business (pardon the pun), he expanded into commerce by opening a shop in Elgin with garden vegetables (the fresh tomatoes were renowned) and fresh flowers; which later led onto Christies opening a florist in Buckie.

  • Ronald Christie

    "Young“ George had four children – Derek, Gordon, Ronald and Moira – all of whom took an interest in the business. The 1970s saw the age of business diversification and due to a tax imposed on tree-planting, the Christie Family decided to invest in other areas; a crematorium, hotels,caravan sites and the grand opening of Christies of Fochabers Garden Centre in 1982. After Derek and Moira’s retirement in 1999, Christies was restructured and in 2005, Ronald took over the Forestry and Garden-Centre sections and Gordon the crematorium, chemist and caravan parks.