Feedback on Fruit trees from Costco - Dallas area

nandakumar(7)February 27, 2013


I was at Lewisville Costco (DFW area) today and saw them selling fruit trees - Peach, Nectarine, Plum, Pear, Apple etc and they are from a nursery called 'Tree Town USA'.

Please share your experience with fruit trees sold by Costco and also the grower 'Tree Town USA', specifically to Dallas area.


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What specifically do you want to buy?

Really, you need to look at the trees themselves....

Ideally, you want a fairly young, small tree.... Those giant trees in itty bitty pots outside Supermarkets tend to be completely pot bound and stunted....

Typical home store issues are:
Mis-marked and mis-labelled.
Poorly chosen varieties for your specific climate and disease pressure issues.
Poorly grown trees - like a GIANT 9' tall 3" diameter tree in a 12" pot....
Poorly chosen Rootstock - leading to very poor tree performance...

My own personal advice... to help you avoid a lot of disappointment....

1. How much maintenance do you want to do? Are you OK with frequent chemical Fungicide and Pesticide sprays? If not - this will affect your choice of types of fruit trees.... like say skip a Peach or Apple and look at a Pear, Blueberries, or Fig....

2. Check out the Texas Extension. Get variety recommendations from those folks.... Also read through some of their info pages on picking plants.. and on Maintenance requirements.. Frequently young, small first year "Whips" will quickly outgrow large, pot bound, poorly grown, stunted Supermarket trees....

3. Go to a Bona-fide Local Nursery and pick out the correct variety on the correct root stock... Tell them what you want and let them help you pick a good choice of fruit plants.


    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 10:41AM
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Hi john_in_sc,

Thanks for the detailed response.

I have got Asian pear and apple trees from a local nursery (Doan's in Irving) that many have recommended having the right root stock for North Texas but they didn't have the 'Methley' Plum and 'Loring' Peach trees that I'm looking.

Costco has these two trees, was thinking about getting them from Costco but before that I wanted to run it thru the forum. Of course, Home Depot and Lowes have them too but I have had good experience with Costco on other products and they also have a good return policy.

I'm a first time tree planter and I completely agree with you on the disappointment when it comes to tress, I can replace the trees in future if they don't perform well but the years gone are gone.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 1:23PM
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milehighgirl(CO USDA 5B/Sunset 2B)

I've purchased a few trees from Costco but I don't know if they were from the same supplier. My Greengage plum is out-of-this-world in sweetness. My Red Clapp's Favorite and Moonglow pears have not produced for me yet but the trees are quite healthy. My 4-in-1 cold-hardy plum has done well but I have not pruned it aggressively enough for all the grafts to produce. (It's on Toka and the Toka is taking over, but that's not the trees fault.) I just remembered that I bought an apricot, can't remember which cultivar, it was one of the last of the trees and discounted to $10.00 and it has done very well.

I have noticed that the selections that we get here in Denver are all well adapted to our climate, which is really surprising. The trees are bare-root. The only issue I've had is that they put the trees inside and then they break dormancy too early, at least here in Colorado.

When I bought my first trees the rootstocks were listed as, "semi-dwarf", but I believe they are now listing the rootstock on the label.

I wouldn't hesitate to buy a tree at Costco if it was what I wanted, both cultivar and rootstock. Even with the sad shape that my $10.00 apricot tree was in it pulled through and even produced a few apricots its first season. And as you mentioned, Costco's return policy can't be beat, plus no shipping charge.

The trees at Costco have been far better health-wise than Home Depot or Lowe's. I think the other stores just pot up the bare root trees and then let them break dormancy in the pot. At least Costco doesn't pretend that they were pot-grown, which I wouldn't want any way.

So, if I were you I'd grab the Loring and Methley.

This post was edited by milehighgirl on Wed, Feb 27, 13 at 14:43

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 1:25PM
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Methley plum is probably the most common plum in the South. It's usually available all over the place.... Definitely in Mail Order - which is what I would recommend if you can't get it from a local nursery...

It's not one of my favorites... When ripe, it's pretty bland, but moderately sweet... Picked a couple days before it's really ripe - it will still have a little tartness in it, and tastes better to me personally.... Mine also ripens over a period of about 1 to 2 months... It doesn't make good jelly - it doesn't have enough flavor or acid...

I also found that the early fruit it produces are pretty uninteresting.. but as the season progresses, the later ripening fruit taste better....

The two things it's got going for it is that it's quite early (First thing with fruit in my yard) and it's absolutely reliable.... Produces a ton of plums every single year without fail....

Peach wise - don't know much about Loring... I think I would poke around and look for well known varieties for home growers that don't need as much care... That's where Bell of Georgia, Elberta, La Feliciana, and Red Haven do well - they are a little more resistant to peach leaf curl, brown rot, and bugs....

You absolutely will need to spray - both Fungicide and Insecticide either way.... but I would do everything I could do to stay away from known "Rot magnets"


    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 2:42PM
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Hi Milehighgirl,

Thanks for the response and nice to hear Costco trees worked for you.

After reading your posting I went back to Costco and looked at those trees, they don't seem to have tag or something stating the rootstock details. I did ask couple of Costco folks and they had no clue on what I'm asking and asked me to contact nursery.

What I noticed in Costco was the trees are selling like hot cakes and most of the Costco customers that I talked to said that they are getting the trees because they are cheap (only $14.99) and other plants they got from Costco grew well.

After getting home, I called the nursery and the customer service person told me that they grow trees with right root stocks for specific regions, hope he is right but I'm still contemplating whether to buy or not.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 8:34PM
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Hi john_in_sc,

Thanks again for the response.

Folks in this forum and couple of nursery folks suggested Methly and Santa Rosa plums for Dallas area. After some research I choose Methly.

I think I should plant the trees within a week or two because in most places the trees are already sprouting.

Loring, Redheaven, Harvester and Sentinel peach varieties seems to grow well in Dallas area. I haven't done much research on any particular variety but I found lot of Lorings in home depot, lowes and calloways, so I thought they probably do well in Dallas.

I'm planning to visit Northeaven gardens, which is another local nursery in Dallas that I'm told carries plants and trees suitable for Dallas, hope they have what I need.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 8:57PM
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greenorchardmom(Ga Mts 7)

while I always prefer a bare root tree & insist on choosing the correct rootstock
if I weren't so very picky & they had a reasonable return policy
then I would risk it

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 10:49PM
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oregonwoodsmoke(5 OR Sunset 1A)

The Costco here sells bare root in a bag fruit trees. I doubt that they would be from the same grower as the ones they sell in Texas.

I've purchase a couple of them and they are growing well. The price is good and the selection is really good for bagged trees in a retail store.

Varieties that they sell locally are varieties that will grow here (with proper care. This isn't a premium fruit growing area)

With bagged trees, you must evaluate the condition of the branches. If they are healthy and flexible and look good, the roots are most likely OK. If root system has been excessively pruned, you simply prune back the branches to match the quantity of the roots.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 2:27AM
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Hi GreenOrchardMom & oregonwoodsmoke,

Thanks for the response.

Today I got my Peach tree - 'Ranger' from Northheaven gardens. Folks at Northeaven explained in detail about the peache trees they have and suggested me to pick 'Ranger' as it is self fertile but I'm told it will do better if I have one other peach variety for pollination. Northeaven price is $35 vs. Costco's $15, hope the tree does well in future :-)

I also got a Nectraine 'Arm King' from Costco, just to see how it grows.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 8:09PM
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