Buying fruit trees

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by NYhomesteadr, Aug 1, 2005.

  1. NYhomesteadr

    NYhomesteadr Active Member

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    Has anyone had a positive experience buying fruit trees from catalogs? If so, which companies have the least expensive semi-dwarf trees with the best quality?
     
  2. TxCloverAngel

    TxCloverAngel Happiness is Homemade

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    I am in love w/ Gurneys ( www.gurneys.com ) I bought 3 different apple trees from them this year, They arrived the most beautiful trees I have ever seen!! and One of mine didnt make it. Dont know why.. drought maybe... I called them and told them about it... so they are sending me another one FREE in the spring. They offer a great 100% satisfaction guarantee. I have been very happy w/ everything I have bought from them. Seeds, seedlings (got 6 kiwi plants) apple trees, etc... go to their site and get a cataloge. tons of fun to look through, and they always have something on a good sale :)
     

  3. .Marie.

    .Marie. Registered Human

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    I planted about 30 fruit trees a few years ago, all of which came from catalog orders. I used Millers Nurseries (Canadaigua, NY), Stark Bros. (Missouri), and Raintree (Washington). Mine were mostly dwarf varieties, but all mentioned carry semi-dwarf as well. None of these companies had what I would consider to be "less expensive" prices, but then, I was looking for specific varieties that you just can't find at your local home improvement store. Miller's was probably the least expensive. I received excellent service from all three. Stock was in good shape when it arrived, and I only lost one gold cherry tree that came from Stark, for which I received credit, no questions asked. If you're not picky about varieties, all three run sales every year where you can get trees for as little as 9 dollars each. All have websites.
    Good luck to you!
     
  4. trixiwick

    trixiwick bunny slave

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    We bought seven trees last year through Henry Leudhardt Nurseries, which has a web site but no catalog as far as I know. They are pretty affordable and you can choose three-year-old stock which will bear sooner than younger trees. I've been very pleased with all seven. We have dealt with Stark Bros. before and the experience wasn't great.
     
  5. Ramblin Wreck

    Ramblin Wreck Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I've had good luck with Stark Brothers in the past, but the advice from the guy who does our local PBS gardening show (and a few other authors on orcharding) is to buy from a local nursery. They only sell what works best for your locale, and since it is grown there, it has a better chance of success. There is a lot of sweat equity invested in planting trees, and the price of failure is a year or two delay in getting a harvest. Good luck with your orchard.

    Ramblin Wreck
     
  6. WisJim

    WisJim Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The best places that I have dealt with recently are St. Lawrence Nursery (in upstate New York) ad FEDCO, in Maine, I think. I have also bought trees from Jungs, in Wisconsin. Living in NW Wisconsin, I want trees raised in a colder climate so that I can be more sure of them being varieties that will survive. Stark and some of the other companies mentioned previously are further south, and have also changed hands in recent years, so it is hard to say if they are still providing the product and service that they used to.

    Jim
     
  7. snoozy

    snoozy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We actually "registered" with Raintre Nursery when we got married -- we gave them a list of the fruit trees we wanted, and we got an apple, a cherrry, a fig, 2 Asian pears, thimbleberries and blueberries! All worked out fine, but we also later bought fruit trees and blueberries at a good local nursery, and I prefer going and actually picking out the specific specimen, and this being a very good (not expensive, just very professional) nursery and located in almost our exact microclimate (just 5 miles away), we got cultivars wthat we could depend upon being appropriate for our land. I wouldn't be able to trust trees to be happy here coming from MO or OH or anywhere except western WA and OR.

    One last point: a fruit tree is an investment for decades...what's $8 or $10 extra to be sure that the tree has the shape you want and will thrive in your microclimate, over 20 years? 50 cents a year. And even if a tree were to fail to thrive, wouldn't you rather do the picking out? Cheapest is not always best, though conversely, paying extra doesn't necessarily mean better.) If you have a good nursery to select from, I would recommend that.
     
  8. Mike in Ohio

    Mike in Ohio Well-Known Member

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    I order fruit trees from all sorts of places. We currently have 35 and have an area set aside where we will eventually have as many as 400 or so. I buy from our local nursery when (rarely) they have them on sale. We buy from catalogs (mixed experiences). Gurnees did make good on an order that was delivered and left in our driveway in the sun (can you say cooked) so I'll give them that. I'm still not thrilled with the replacements in terms of growth, etc. They are still too young to bear fruit.

    My clear favorite is Stark Brothers. I buy trees from them every spring when their overstock flyer comes out. You do have to have some flexibility if you want to go that route. I have areas where I want dwarfs or semi-dwarfs and other areas where I prefer standard size trees (when they get to a decent size the deer damage isn't the problem that you have with smaller trees).

    I have taken advantage of their guarantee several times. For example, I ordered 3 mulberry trees as part of my order this spring. I planted them right before we got a huge snow and temperature drop (late April) and they had just leafed out. Needless to say, I lost 2 of them in the next couple of weeks. I called Stark but they were out of stock on the Illinois Everbearing. They offered a refund but I told them I would wait till next year and take replacement trees. We already have a few of them I ordered in the past so it isn't a huge issue for me.

    In any event, my best ordering experiences (other than local nursery) have been with Stark. Also, the way they pack the orders is absolutely amazing.

    As usual, just my 2 cents.

    Mike
     
  9. mammabooh

    mammabooh Metal melter Supporter

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    I vote for Stark also. I ordered several fruit trees and bushes very early this spring and all of them have flourished. I even received an extra drarf peach tree and an extra semi-dwarf cherry.
     
  10. Hovey Hollow

    Hovey Hollow formerly hovey1716

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    If you are willing to be patient and baby your trees a little www.arborday.org has good prices on fruit and other trees. Of course they are pretty tiny, but the cherry trees I bought this year are doing really well. You also get 10 free trees when you join. You might try out the other catalogs mentioned here, but try a few "cheap" trees from Arbor day. They will also guarantee their trees but I don't remember the terms of the guarantee. I lost a few of my trees to the deer, but I considered that my fault so I haven't taken them up on their guarantee.
     
  11. wy_white_wolf

    wy_white_wolf Just howling at the moon

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    Only problem is none of the nurseries around here grow there own. They all import from out of area for fruit trees and you have no idea were the came from.
     
  12. Rusty

    Rusty Active Member

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    Sorry to get off subject and all, but does anyone know how to succesfully grow a buckeye tree from just a seed. I tried and failed. ":flame: DANG TREE!!!! ALL I WANT TO DO IS GROW YOU. WHY WILL YOU NOT COOPERATE???? :flame:"
     
  13. Farm_Girl

    Farm_Girl Under the California Sun

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    We planted an orchard last year from bareroot mail-ordered fruit trees, and we're already getting yields this year. I'll have to look up the names of the nurseries we use and get back to you with a list, as I don't recollect off hand.

    Be warned that some bareroot trees will never sprout leaves, and from our experience, the "mortality rate" can vary based on which nursery you use. Many nurseries let you get replacements for trees that never sprouted leaves, though.

    All in all, using bareroot fruit trees has proved successful for family, and I would recommend it.
     
  14. longshadowfarms

    longshadowfarms Well-Known Member

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    I confess I have not read all the responses but I saw that you are in NY. Every year Miller's Nurseries south of Canandaigua has a 1/2 price sale near Memorial Day (can't remember exactly when but we just happened to hit it this year - I can dig up the receipt another day). The trees we got are all doing exceptionally well. We have not lost one out of 10 fruit trees that we planted. They still had a pretty good selection at that point but I think it was about the first or second day. There were a few things we would have liked that were gone, mostly the dwarf comspurs. We also got a pile of nut trees and pawpaws that are also growing very well. They don't guarantee anything at that point but so what? You can buy extras at those prices and just plant a few more!
     
  15. sisterpine

    sisterpine Goshen Farm Supporter

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    i vote for st lawrence also, course they were one of the few places that had trees that would grow up here on my montana mountain! so far everything is doing pretty well.
     
  16. cc-rider

    cc-rider Baroness of TisaWee Farm Supporter

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    Hmmmmm....wonder what you are doing wrong. Mine grow WILD all over the yard if I don't mow for a few weeks. In the spring I mow down foot-tall buckeye trees.

    Maybe you are baby-ing them too much. Throw them in the middle of a flower bed in the yard and forget about them.
     
  17. Hank - Narita

    Hank - Narita Well-Known Member

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    We have had good luck with Stark. We had lots of peaches on the late blooming varieties. They aren't cheap though.
     
  18. Orville

    Orville Well-Known Member

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    Just remember to water the bare-root tree copiously the first season. Probably the biggest cause of trees failing to flourish is lack of water. Second cause is probably that the dirt wasn't packed firmly around the roots, especially the area under the center of the root mass, when it was planted. Air pockets at the roots are bad.
     
  19. sullen

    sullen Question Answerer

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    Did you all hear the new rules about planting trees and bushes, esp. trees? Don't make the holes too big, don't put good stuff in the hole, just plop the tree in and put back the dirt that came out. They say that if you baby a tree too much the roots will stay in the hole and never reach out and the tree will topple over someday. Of course I heard this right after I planted my sugar maple with bought soil...so I used root grower to help the roots spread out. Also because I have Verticulum Wilt in my yard.
     
  20. Fonzie

    Fonzie Well-Known Member

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