Our history

Bruinsma Grasstrees is named after the founder of the business, Bob Bruinsma. That’s him on the right 28 years ago.

Bob was an entrepreneur and a lateral thinking man. He saw a market for “blackboys” in the 70s when they were considered a nuisance. Knowing that the coastal land where these trees grew thick would one day be subdivided, Bob began transplanting grass trees into pots. Breaking new ground, and doing what many thought couldn’t be done, Bob was preserving these ancient specimens from future destruction.

In 1982, Bob sold his first trees to some nurseries in Sydney. This is the earliest known date for the commercial sale of grass trees, making Bruinsma Grasstrees Australia’s longest serving grass tree supplier.

Bob and his children worked out harvesting techniques that gave rise to such a reliable survival rate, even the Commonwealth Government biodiversity Group wanted to know about it. Bruinsma Grasstrees developed a previously unheard of survival rate of 99% in the first 12 months after harvest, and 96% over 5 years. The NSW Government Office of Environment and Heritage sought Bruinsma Grasstrees to advise on the regulation framework for managing the commercial harvest, salvage, and growing of protected whole plants.

Bruinsma Grasstrees is known all over the East Coast of Australia for supplying premium quality grass trees. 34 years on and the nursery is still family owned and operated. Bob’s daughter, Grace (in the middle of the picture), successfully operated the business for many years and saw significant growth. These days Bob’s Grandson, Mitch (on the left with the grubby face), has taken over the reins. Mitch possesses the same entrepreneurial spirit as his Grandfather. He has hopes to build on the foundations that have been laid before him by maintaining the reputation for supplying the most reliable grass trees in the world and seeing these trees live on and be enjoyed by many more people.