suggestion for a thousand bare roots

norman2012March 15, 2012

Several months ago, in consideration of an offer to my family to move to my grandfather in law's farm, I resigned from my job, bought a thousand bare root seedlings, took a college course in pecan management, contacted a half dozen state officials/ employees, had a forester come out and spend a day surveying the farm. I posted here about a couple dozen times and received an immense amount of help (to me it was anyway).About a month ago, my grandfather reneged on his offer.

NOw I have the following bare root saplings purchased. I need to figure out quickly what I need to do with the seedlings. they are 800 native pecans, 50 persimmon, 50 mulberry, 50 american plum and 50 sand plum.

I live in the Oklahoma panhandle in a teacherage. There is no way any of these could ever grow without daily attention here. I dont know if that is possible elsewhere.

What I need are suggestions on how to salvage as much of these trees that I can. I will talk to the School Superintendent about planting as many of them as I can on school property (schools out here have houses called teacherages the rent to teachers for a hundred or two hundred dollars a month as an incentive).

I have relatives in eastern oklahoma (zone 7) and I can plant some trees on their land.

3 questions-

1. can I pot these bare root seedlings, if so how, and where can I get the cheapest pots, and what size will I need?

2. I plan to plant the others in the ground by using a rebar and a 5 pound hammer. What size rebar do I need for these bare root seedlings, and how deep do I need to pound a hole for each respective bare root type?

3. Any other ideas on the situation (other than legal).

Thanks and thanks for everyones help thus far.

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Go to one or more nearby landscaping nurseries, the kind that install plants commercially, not just sell plants to the public at the nursery. They often will sell pots to a citizen with a clear need (like you) for the same quite cheap price that they wholesale them back to commercial growing nurseries. They often have thousands. I've bought many pots very reasonaly that way. Ask them about bulk soil too (if perhaps only where they get theirs).

    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 6:36PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

A thousand potted pecans is still a nightmare to me. You'll either need an automatic watering system, think more $$$, or a couple hours a day to water each and everyone by hand every day. I'd rather eat the loss than be stuck with that. Then what do you do with them?

Are you sure the nursery won't take them back?

    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 7:04PM
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armyofda12mnkeys(7a, Philly, PA)

If I may ask, why did he renege on your offer.
You seem to have sacrificed alot of time and money to help him?
Sorry dude!, sounds aggravating.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 7:25PM
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It's not really our business why he reneged... With Family - it could be any of 10,000 reasons that have nothing to do with our friend here...

On your trees...

If they haven't been shipped yet - call them up and see if you can cancel the order... Even if you have to pay SOMETHING and loose a deposit....

Here are a couple ideas if you already have them...

If you already have them... Heel them in immediately. Dig trenches and stuff them in... Then start working on getting rid of them...

Local flea markets
Web boards that will let you sell
Perhaps contact some of the internet nurseries who are out of Pecans and natives for the year and see if they will take them on consignment....
Local hunt clubs
Local farms
Local nurseries
Craig's list, etc....

It seems like every single Internet pecan seller is out for the year - so you might be able to get rid of a whole bunch of them if you put them online...

Native Persimmons and plums are always in demand by people with hunt clubs - as they are forage plants for Deer...


    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 9:41PM
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gator_rider2(z8 Ga.)

I agree with John Texas people will buy up a lot native pecan trees. You make craigslist go out a long ways like three states. Sell in lots of 100 on pecans set prices so you make money package shipping cost goes to buyer.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 9:52PM
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thanks for all the responses
john, youre right, its noone's business, thats why I didnt originally post why he reneged. but not everyone thinks like southerners do. if it will get me an idea or two more on what to do here-
He reneged because he's losing his mind. During the same visit where he changed his mind, we showed him a picture of his wife (who died last year) with my then baby son. he was married to her for 60 years and asked, "Who's that woman?"
and like john mentioned, theres family involved. Others are taking advantage of him.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 12:39PM
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Definitely call the nursery where you bought them. They might take them back and if they're sold out of them they might have a waiting list of people who want to buy them. Ebay is a good place to sell plants too just be aware of any shipping regulations (California can be difficult).

I've had relatives in similar situations and it's the hardest thing to deal with. A close relative should get power of attorney and start taking care of the money matters before your grandfather loses everything. Unfortunately, there probably isn't much that you can do as one of the grandchildren and you might have to stay out of it even when you can see that things aren't going they way they should. Good luck to you and your family.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 2:39PM
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You might also want to just call the local nurseries. They'll know pretty much every major grower in your area and they might be able to hook you up with someone local and reputable. Who knows, some of them might be willing to buy a few dozen trees themselves. May or may not be enough to cover your cost per tree (depending on what kind of discounts you got for bulk vs. what they sell them for individually), but some money back is better than none.

Watering them shouldn't be TOO big of a hassle if you end up potting/trenching them all. Just get several of the longest soaker hoses you can find, line the trees up so you can lay the hose down in a line across as many as possible, and then just turn it on every so often. You'll still be paying for the water, but it'll be a lot cheaper than trying to set up some kind of automated system or watering them each by hand individually.

Whatever you do, do it fast though. You've got perishable goods, and they're not getting any fresher, I'm afraid.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 3:35PM
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I feel for you... Someone in the family needs to get a Lawyer out there and have the Power of Attorney paperwork drafted up and signed... If you don't - things as simple as dealing with medical issues when his condition worsens becomes an absolute nightmare - because the doctors will be forced to try to get his consent when he has no idea of what they are saying....

Anyway, on your plants...

Do whatever you can do as fast as you can.... The longer you wait around - the more likely they will all die.

Not sure if you have them in your yard or on his property or if they haven't showed up yet.....

If they are in your possession - get them in the ground or they will all die... and you will loose 100% of your money... Even if you have to rent a trench machine and plant them in the yard at your house... That will give you time... You will then have 1 to 2 years to deal with them - as they will still be reasonably small in 2 years...

A last idea is to just go back to Grandpa and tell him that the trees he wanted are here and you need to get them in the ground... and then go plant them. You may not reap any benefit from them - but the trees won't die.... Likely it would take 10-15 years to get anything out of the Pecans - so time is on your side....


    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 5:03PM
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armyofda12mnkeys(7a, Philly, PA)

Hey Norman,
I'm sorry to hear that. I just assumed the worst thing which was you sacrificed all this time and got taken advantage by a close relative, which bothered me alot. But I didnt think there was something even worse than that, that the close relative was sick and being taken advantage of.

Craigslist seems to be a good option, but dont think can sell many in mass there. Do you think you can call some local Pecan farms and definately tell them your story, and off a discount of 25%? So they can feel good jumping in to help a fellow community member by helping you out (while not hurting their bottom line). Guess my suggestion is moot if established pecan farms just start their trees from their own seed. Do you think if you had a website you could sell them online better (i could help you with that)? or you need to get rid of them quick?

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 5:19PM
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thanks everyone. I am ordering the trees this week and will plant what I can in the wild, others in pots. I am calling everyone I know that lives in the country and asking if they want any. Edymnion by trenching, do you mean, make a trench and put them in every 3 or 4 feet and cover with soil and water? Would that work for a a year until I can dig them up and move them? I thought trenching was just temporary.

Monkeys, john, I dont think I need a help with a page, but thanks anyway. I will get most of them in the ground, near water sources in the wild and taken care of in yards the rest, hopefully. the frustrating thing about this is my father in law has a power of attorney, he is just the most passive male I've ever known. He won't get involved.

john i just reread your trench comment after posting the above to Edymnion. but am leaving the question. So a trench will buy me some time. Thats good.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 3:57PM
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blazeaglory(10 SZ22/24 OC Ca)

Norman, If I read your last post correctly did you just type that your ordering the trees this week? If that is the case, just do not order them. Did I miss something?

I feel for you. My grandfather just passed away this passed Christmas. Me and my grandmother had been taking care of him for 2 years with the last 8 months being bed ridden. He died a slow painful death. Alzheimers, and dementia. 2 years ago he had a series of very small strokes. It cased him to lose memory and control of his legs. We never picture our loved one ending up like that so it opened my eyes. I always thought he would die peacefully in bed one night. He was 86.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 4:20PM
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I mistyped. I am telling them where to ship the trees today. Theyve already been ordered and paid for, no cancellations.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 10:53AM
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First of all - when I lived in central OK I used to spend as much time as possible in the panhandle. I know it well. It is unlike most of the rest of the country.

Anyone would be overwhelmed with this sort of tree order showing up. You're gonna have to do the best you can. I would determine where you can plant some of the order and then try to find a feed store that will sell the rest of them. Keep the best of them and sell the rest. You probably won't be able to sell even half of them but you'd be done with them. Focus on the ones you can get in the ground and take care of and forget about all the others. A large feed store could handle all that you've ordered. If you don't have a large operation nearby you could split the order up between a couple of stores.

You could always heel-in some of them to be planted out later but if your water supply is limited you still don't want to bite off more than you can chew. In your case I think it is more about the water than the number of holes you'll need to dig.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 5:24PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

The OK panhandle isn't a very good place for pecan. The season is too short and it's too dry. I know you can irrigate but it's still tough. I had a research pecan orchard in Amarillo with Texas A&M for 20 years. We did selection of short season pecan cultivars. Unless you've got a really good location in that part of OK and give them really good care, you might as well burn the trees now. You will just be wasting more resources planting them in a poor location.

I'm now in SW Texas 400 miles south of OK and trying to grow pecan. My soil is pretty good for this area. It's very difficult starting pecan here. I've got 7 years into a Pawnee and the tree is still more or less a stick.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 7:04PM
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