Planting your first trees can be intimidating: here is some advice to get your tree purchases off to a good start.
In a nutshell there are 2 ways to purchase trees; Bare-root and potted or containerized trees. We believe it is best practice to plant bare-root trees. There are many mail order nurseries that sell bare root trees. Trees are shipped in late winter/early spring, get ’em in the ground as soon as possible. Potted trees are often found at garden centers and hardware stores. Some trees like yellowhorn and paw paws are more sensitive to transplant and are better suited to being shipped and planted from there small pots. quality nurseries will not sell you root bound plants.
Potted trees have several marks against them;
- They are generally more expensive.
- They are available in limited and often inappropriate varietal selections.
- They can be severely root bound, root pruning is often necessary.
- If the Tree is root bound then it is likely to “runt out”. Even though it appears to be a big tree when planted, it may stay the same size for years after planting.
- If the tree has fruit growing on it at the store this is a bad sign, not a good one.
- Potting plants encourages trees to be planted to late in the season, which can lead to stress and mortality.
- Potted plants often have fertilizer in the potting soil that discourages root growth in native soil.
- “clay pot” is when a potted tree is planted into a poorly drained soil, the potting mix acts as a reservoir for water, and the tree may drown.
When ordering trees plan ahead of spring and get your trees ordered by the first of January. That way you’ll be sure to get the plants you want before they sell out.
Mail order nurseries
Our top picks are listed in green.
Adams County Nursery – apple, pear, peach, plum, cherry and some disease resistant types. Especially affordable when purchasing a larger amount of trees. Aspers, PA http://www.acnursery.com/
ARBICO – organic pest control products. http://www.arbico-organics.com/
Arbor Day Foundation – trees, programs, information. http://www.arborday.org/
Big Horse Creek Farm – Antique and heirloom apple trees http://www.bighorsecreekfarm.com/
Blossom Creek Nursery – Pawpaws http://www.blossomnursery.com/
Burnt Ridge Nursery– diverse selection of fruiting plants. Good prices. Plants can sometimes be on the smallish side. http://www.burntridgenursery.com/
Cummins Nursery– Specializing in apples (some disease resistant selections), Asian & European pears, apricots, plums, etc. Good resource information also. Also a good place to buy small quantities of rootstocks, including the latest Geneva rootstocks. http://www.cumminsnursery.com
Edible Landscaping – diverse selection. plants sold in pots, not bare root, thus this nursery has an extended shipping season. One of the few places to buy Che. More expensive than most. http://ediblelandscaping.com/
Fedco – a cooperative nursery with a very diverse selection of fruit trees, some that are more unusual. http://fedcoseeds.com/trees.htm
Gardens Alive – Environmentally responsible pest control products. Click here
Grandpa’s Orchard– Quality nursery stock of apples, pears, cherries, peaches, plums and apricots. Good selection of apple and pear rootstocks for the back yard orchardist. http://www.grandpasorchard.com/
Great Lakes IPM – Insect controls, etc http://www.greatlakesipm.com/
Hartmann’s Plant Company – blueberry and some other fruiting plants http://www.hartmannsplantcompany.com/
Hidden Springs Nursery -Small but broad selection of fruiting plants. Focus on low maintenance tree crops. Good prices but plants are usually quite small. You can find Che, and jujubes here. Cookeville, TN http://www.hiddenspringsnursery.com/
Indiana Berry – small fruit plants, berries – https://indianaberry.com/index.php
Jung Seed Company – fruits and other plants https://www.jungseed.com/
Kansas Forest Service – For ordering conservation seedlings. Some fruiting trees are available such as pecan, black walnut, American plum, and choke cherry. http://www.kansasforests.org/
Miller Nurseries – a variety of fruits http://www.millernurseries.com/
Missouri Department of Conservation George O. White State Forestry Nursery– Excellent selection of mostly Missouri native seedling trees. Sold in bundles of 25. Includes native fruit trees like paw paw and persimmon. Also good for broad acre applications, reforestation, and wind breaks. http://mdc.mo.gov/your-property/seedling-orders-and-planting-guide/seedling-order-how
Nolin River Nut Tree Nursery – a good selection of hard to find varieties of black walnut, northern pecan, hickory varieties, persimmon, pawpaw, etc. http://www.nolinnursery.com
Oikos Tree Crops – Many open pollinated fruiting plants. All seedlings or vegetatively propagated plants, no grafted trees. Great for paw paws and persimmons, and nut trees. A very diverse selection. http://oikostreecrops.com
One Green World – Diverse selection of fruiting trees, vines shrubs bushes and more. http://www.onegreenworld.com
Peng Nursery and Orchards CO. , Overland Park, Kansas. Specializing in Chinese fruit trees and vegetable seeds. Jujubes. http://www.asiannursery.com/home.htm
Pense Nursery – Berry plants. Arkansas http://www.alcasoft.com/pense/index.html
Pikes Peak Nurseries- Seedlings of ornamentals, conifers, and nitrogen fixing trees. Good for broad acre applications and windbreaks. Trees sold in bundles of 30. http://www.pikespeaknurseries.net/
Raintree Nursery – A very diverse selection of fruiting plants. Best selection of rootstocks for the home orchardist. Many hard to find plants. Very good quality. www.raintreenursery.com
St. Lawrence Nurseries – Northern climate fruit and nut trees. Apples, plums, pears, juneberries, currants, and much more. Potsdam, NY http://www.sln.potsdam.ny.us/
Seed Savers Exchange – Their annual exchange catalog is a good way to find and trade scion wood plus other heirloom seed. http://www.seedsavers.org/
Southmeadow Fruit Gardens – A diverse selection of fruiting plants including apples, pears, cherries, currants, etc. Baroda, MI http://www.southmeadowfruitgardens.com/
Vintage Virginia Apples – Apples, pears, plums, quince. http://www.vintagevirginiaapples.com/applemenu.htm
Whitman Farms – A variety of fruiting plants and a large selection of currants. http://www.whitmanfarms.com/
If you do purchase potted trees it is advisable to plant them before the tree has broken dormancy just as you would with a bare-root tree. Removing the soil from a dormant, potted tree is a good practice. Uncoil or prune the roots so that they are no longer root bound.
Clinton Parkway Nursery – 4900 Clinton Parkway – 842-3081
Earl May Nursery & Garden Center – 3200 Iowa – 749-5082 www.earlmay.com
Howard Pine’s Garden Center – 1320 N 3rd – 749-0302
Sunrise Garden Center – 15th & New York – 843-2004 www.sunrisegardencenter.com
Vinland Valley Nursery – 1606 N 600 Rd – 594-2966 www.vinlandvalleynursery.com
Wagon Wheel Orchard – They sell over 500 varieties of antique, heirloom fruits with a focus on apples and pears. 15380 Edgerton Rd., Gardner, KS 66030 firstname.lastname@example.org (913) 893-6050 – http://www.wagonwheelorchard.com/aboutus/