4-5 year old fruit trees for sale

mrsg47(7)October 10, 2011

I cannot find a website (didn't bookmark it) that sells fruit trees that are over four years old. They give you an alternative from 'maidens' to five year old trees and the prices go up according to age. They also had a very good selection. They are sent through the mail fed-ex. Does anyone know this site? Are their trees as good as Raintrees? Many thanks

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Willisorchards dot com.
They are shipping now.
Check them out.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2011 at 3:16PM
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I mean they can't ship you the root system to support a 4-5 year old tree right? How big a rootball would they have to ship?

    Bookmark   October 11, 2011 at 1:36AM
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In my experience the younger a fruit tree is planted in your orchard the better it does over its life. This is not a money saving strategy, the tree just establishes in your native soil, better. Al

    Bookmark   October 11, 2011 at 9:25AM
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alan haigh

Al, I sell baring age fruit trees from my nursery and I'm sure that they can offer a big jump in fruit production at no expense to the future health of the tree. I've planted many hundreds of baring age trees and many I manage now were planted by me decades ago. They show absolutely no signs of long term liability over trees I've planted as whips.

I also work on estates where 20 foot tall and above B+B'd trees are planted routinely and although it seems like a waste of money to me, research shows that properly planted, such trees can rapidly replace the 90% or more of their lost root system into the new ("native") soil.

Much of the problem with transplanting large trees historically has been the result of excessively deep planting, inadequately wide planting holes in compacted soil or inadequate irrigation while trees are establishing.

That said, there have been mixed reviews here on the specific stock supplied by Willis which I believe to be bare root. Such trees need to be carefully dug and well cared for until they are returned to the ground or success might be negatively affected. I often transplant up to 3" caliber fruit trees bare root and the only species that give me trouble are pears.

Of course older, larger trees are going to be more expensive but can offer the opportunity of harvesting fruit years sooner, which some people are willing to pay for. Lucky for me.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2011 at 10:00AM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

I'm sure if harvestman planted these trees in MrsG47's orchard and cared for them after planting she'd be in great shape. But having an experienced expert moving them from his nursery to a nearby property is way different from having something shipped in from who knows where. I'd never consider such a purchase. Way too risky in my opinion.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2011 at 10:59AM
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alan haigh

Ordering from Willis may be risky no matter what age the trees from what I've gathered here. Has anyone ever ordered older trees from them that can speak from experience?

    Bookmark   October 11, 2011 at 11:59AM
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It wasn't the Willis Orchard site, it was another. I do understand that transplanting larger trees can be tricky, but if you have excellent soil, water and care, they should do well. Besides Harvest man is in pretty much the same zone I'm in, making him a neighbor! Wish I could buy trees from him and he wouldn't have to plant them! I too would like to hear from someone who's had experience from Willis. I do know that Raintree only sells two to three year old trees. Too bad, their stock is so excellent.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2011 at 12:30PM
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A landscape co just down the road from me sold a apple tree 3 years ago. The tree was 50+ years old and the king of the orchard. 4 diggers 2 days to get it up, $20,000.00 to ship 25 miles. (power and phone lines taken down, traffic cops) It took a bit of a set back the first 2 years but it is back to the proud form it had in the orchard. I don't know the whole cost I just know the owner of the house moving co that trucked it to the site. I cant guess the cost per bite of those apples now.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2011 at 12:42PM
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alan haigh

Ravenh that is positively decadent, even by the standards of some of my wealthiest clients. I've seen 100 year old trees that might be worth it if you think of the trees as a living sculpture but I've never seen a 50 year old that was so extraordinarily beautiful to be worth that investment.

In the neighborhoods of Greenwich, CT and parts of Westchester, NY (my main work domain) rich folks often purchase 10-20 year old trees from distant commercial orchards. I was called onto an estate owned by a leading fashion-designer- clothing manufacturer where a 50 tree orchard like this had been installed at about 3 grand a tree and after 3 years the trees were completely stunted.

The high end nursery responsible for the installation failed to solve the problem even though it was quite obvious when I poked around. The holes had been dug by the same tree spade that dug up the trees so they were the same size as the root ball. The soil was a silt that compacted from pressure from the tree spade and roots could not cross the glazed walls of the planting holes.

I proscribed breaking up the soil with shovels from the edge to a few feet beyond the original root ball and didn't hear back from the contractor who subcontracted me for the consultation. A few years later a friend on mine got the contract for the property and subcontracted me to tend the apples and they were in great shape, having completely recovered.

I'm taking full credit, of course, although none of the trees were left untreated as a control. In this business when things go well you better take credit because when they don't you will certainly be blamed.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2011 at 2:54PM
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I thought $149.00 was high for a five year old tree. Yikes!

    Bookmark   October 11, 2011 at 3:34PM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Just for curiosity HVM..
The spade making the hole should not be the same size, ..are you saying a little bigger, then put a couple of inches of soil over to cover the glaze from the spade? I've seen how the spade can create such a glaze and was wondering about this.

There are greater risk in transplanting larger calipers and I would think on bare root even more, I have done it several times and wasn't happy with the outcome. It take's too long to recover, thus making the tree more prone to sickness, the immune system is way down.

Since it's hard to dig a large caliper, [by hand] ...I've decided it's not worth the trouble in my little nursery because I'm not doing it for a living, so now a 4 or 5 year old tree I couldn't sell get's chain sawed.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2011 at 8:50PM
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alan haigh

I'm saying they dropped the rootballs in holes about the same size as the rootball so I assumed the trees must have been dug up with the same sized machine that dug the holes they planted them in.

A 4 or 5 year old tree should easily transplant bare root except when they're in very heavy clay soils that make digging difficult. I routinely grow trees for 3 or 4 years and dig them up bare root to put in large containers or grow bags. J. Plum trees resume vigorous growth the same year while most species don't do so for at least one season.

If a tree runts out it's probably because it has too much fruiting wood and won't serve it's roots adequately. This is one situation where heavy pruning does increase vegetative vigor and improves the regrowth of a transplant. Perhaps further north the equation changes.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2011 at 9:57PM
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kngskid(Georgia zone 7b)

I don't know if these trees are 4 or 5 years old but I have purchased fruit-bearing trees from buyplantsonline. com and my trees are doing great. The one that did not thrive, John sent me a replacement and it is also doing well.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2011 at 10:16AM
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Thanks kngskid!

    Bookmark   October 12, 2011 at 2:07PM
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check your local nurseries!!! One close to me just put on sale their 7 gallon approx 5 ft tall fruit trees for $20 a piece!!! I've planted this size before and they give a reasonable amount of fruit the very next year!! I bought 12 trees last week and planted them! ;o)

    Bookmark   October 14, 2011 at 7:22PM
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