best place for buying mature fruit trees?

johnsalvoFebruary 23, 2009

Hi,

I am looking to buy a few mature fruit trees I am not sure exactly what you would call them, the "ready made orchard" kind of things, large and leafed out enough to bear fruit the first year. They are difficult to find,at least for me, on the net. I need to buy them online and have them shipped out as I live rurally. I am looking to buy a few apples and maybe plums and need a good online source to get them from if anyone has some experience with them that would be great. Thanks very much.

John

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sautesmom

Are you sure your name isn't Bill Gates? LOL
In my local nurseries potted fruit trees which are big enough and old enough to ripen fruit START at about $200-$300 each. Then, because they are in large pots if they are that old, you will need to figure out the shipping charges of the weight of a huge chunk of soil on top of that. Shipping a couple of bare root trees without soil is at least $20 to $30, so I would think large trees would be at least $100 to $150 shipping per tree, if not more!
And then your tag says you are in zone 3, so much of what is grown in the rest of the US won't make it where you are.

I think you would be a LOT better off going to the closest nursery and paying their delivery charges, or renting a u-haul yourself to bring the trees you select home yourself.

Or doing what most growers do, buying bareroot and let your tree grow into its space.

Carla in Sac

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 2:02AM
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turtleman49(AZ)

Where are you located at?
We grow our trees and carry a inventory of 1" +/- caliper, many of these trees set fruit last year and are in a container,, But!, they weight close to 100 pounds so shipping them isn't the right thing to do. Most garden centers buy these and bump them into a larger container (24" box)

Here is a link that might be useful: RSI Growers

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 8:39AM
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boizeau(7a)

Invariably the small trees will catch up. A two to three year old tree is the best bang for the buck. Older trees are just a bunch of supporting trunk and stems.
The real object is to get a good root system and a two year old tree has the most of that, 'make sure you get it at a local nursery in the sawdust, and not those pathetic 'plastic bagged' things at the big box outlets.
Plastic Bagged trees ahve about 90% of the roots cut off prior to shipping.
You get the pretty picture on the plastic bag.
Buying an older tree will give you a big trunk to look at, but unless you have $ to burn, you won't get a deal
To actually move a large older tree correctly would cost over $200, easily, and probably a lot more, with labor and the large equipment to do it right.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 12:08PM
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thisisme(az9b)

Hi John, your best price would be at a local nursery if you can find one that sells mature trees. Most of the online nurseries that sell mature trees only sell them locally even if they list them on their site with few exception.
I prefer to buy them small so I can prune and shape them to my needs but here are a few suggestions.

Dave Wilson Nursery sells to the wholesale market and they ship and sell to many tree nurseries nation wide. Where I live they sell to a number of nurseries. My local nurseries will order a tree from Dave Wilson and have it delivered with their order and depending on what time of year I place the order I can even have them use the root stock of my choice when they graft the tree. This rout can save a ton on shipping charges because your tree is just one tree being delivered on truck full of trees.
http://www.davewilson.com/homegrown/get_trees.html

The Willis Orchard Company also sells mature trees. You will have to pay big bucks for shipping though.

http://www.willisorchards.com/category/Fruit+Trees

Here is a link that might be useful: Dave Wilson Nursery

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 3:10PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Willis Orchard Company? Have you read their reviews?

Here is a link that might be useful: Willis Orchard Company

    Bookmark   February 24, 2009 at 9:25AM
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thisisme(az9b)

brandon7 thanks for the heads up. It looks like Willis's reputation has really slipped in the last year.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2009 at 2:00PM
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johnsalvo

Thanks very much for all the responses, I believe I will take your advice and go to the closest nursery and get a few large potted trees and skip the barerooted that have to be shipped. Will these large container varieties produce fruit the first year? Should I pick the fruit off to let the growth go to the roots or are these trees large enough and developed enough to leave alone?

I am in North Dakota so perhaps I am not in Zone 3 any longer with the updated zone chart, is it zone 4 instead? Tanks again.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 2:43AM
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jbclem(z9b Topanga, Ca)

John, how soon the tree will produce fruit depends on the variety, the rootstock, and the growing conditions. So it's hard to generalize about this. This year I decided(on good advice)to get apple trees on M-111 rootstock, because I need the drought tolerance for my long hot summers. But M-111 takes 4-6 years to produce fruit, although it is also touted as inducing early bearing. So I went looking for apple varieties that were listed as precocious, and found a number of them in that category. I just bought one of them this week, a Pink Lady, growing in a pot at the local nursery, and it already had a lot of flowers opening. From the branch development, I'd guess it's two years old.

Since it's late in the season, you may find, as I did, that your choices are limited. This has apparently been a very good year for fruit tree nurseries...I hope you don't run into that problem in N.Dakota. But pick your rootstock first, there are plenty of them that are known to induce early bearing.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2009 at 6:02AM
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alan haigh

I actually have a business that includes a bearing age fruit tree nursery. I don't sell my trees via mail and am in the east coast so I'm not writing this as a promotion, but I've been doing this for 25 years as a business that grows, installs and manages orchards, mostly on estates of very wealthy people. I can probably offer some useful advice.

If there are any commercial orchards near you they will likely be willing to sell you some trees for a reasonable price if you are willing to dig them up. You can hire a man with a tree spade to do this for you, but apple trees, especially if they are under 3" in caliber transplant well bare root. It the orchard soil is light (not clay) it is not too much work do dig the trees out moving as much root as possible and wrapping everything up with wet blankets or tarps filled with wet leaves to move them to their new site.

I have found that most species of fruit trees, pears being an exception, actually transplant extremely well as bare roots. If you can't do the work you can hire someone in the business to do it for you. I hope you are a beneficiary of the energy boom in your state so you can afford it.

Of course, I'm not sure there are even ANY commercial orchards in N. Dakota. If there are none in your area that should probably tell you something.

I would start with some cheap, small Honey Crisp, Zestar and other extremely hardy apple varieties and just see if they will survive.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2015 at 4:19AM
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Konrad..just outside of Edmoton Alberta(zone 3)

Just wondering after 5 seasons,..can you tell us which route you took.

I myself don't like transplanting large caliper apple trees, [over 2 inch] they sit in the ground for too long before they grow good, ..prone for disease also.
Smaller the better, one inch would be better then 2 inch.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2015 at 8:35PM
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alan haigh

Absolutely can tell after 5 seasons if trees are cared for properly. Where folks go wrong is when they insist on fruit immediately. Fruit should be removed the first year of establishing so trees focus on repairing the root system.

I've been doing this for a very long time and it is not so useful for peaches, but with free standing apples and plums, especially European plums, it vastly accelerates the establishment of fruiting trees.

It doesn't work badly for peaches, it is just that they need more careful care after planting, mostly about water, and they establish so quickly from small trees in any case. The results from larger bare roots is only positive about half the time.

Trees should not be stunted more than a single season from transplant if it is done properly with adequate root, and what is important is not after 5 years, although E. plums and vigorous apples take more than that to come into productivity, it is getting fruit the second, 3rd and 4th year. My customer are not used to waiting long for their indulgences and can afford not to.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2015 at 3:51AM
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