Where to order trees?

mpalermoOctober 7, 2012

Hi all. I've read through many threads suggesting to stay away from big box stores for tree purchases. I'm interested in ordering a few cherry trees online. Does anyone have any recommendations for reputable sites?

I'm also interested in getting some extra rootstocks (so I can try my hand at grafting in the future). So if you know of a retailer that has those, that would be a plus.

Do you all recommend buying and planting in the fall, or waiting til spring for the shipment and planting then?

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bob_z6(6b/7a SW CT)

If you want a cherry on a dwarfing rootstock, Raintree would be a good place. They are one of the few nurseries to carry Gisella 5 (full dwarf). They also sell Krymsk 5 and colt (semi-dwarf) rootstocks (no Gis 5 as rootstock only). Keep in mind that trees on Gis5 are pricey- $4.50 extra I think...

Cummins sells cherries on Krymsk. They also have mahaleb rootstocks.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 10:53PM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)


I would plant in late winer very early spring. No suggestions for you but would avoid TYTY and Willis. If you do pick a smaller company google "the scoop on XXXXXX " to get a review of the company.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 8:55AM
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Order from a place that identifies the rootstock to which their trees are grafted. I find this is a good way to identify places that sell to informed growers.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 9:21AM
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I have been looking into Raintree. They seems to have everything I'm looking for. I noticed they have multi-graft cherry trees, which sound like something I'd like to try. Anyone have experience with those?

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 2:37PM
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alan haigh

It depends partially on where you are, what you are ordering and how important is price.

Price-wise, Burnt Ridge Nursery is one of the best for ordering single trees (as opposed to same variety trees bundled in fives as commercial growers and nursery men tend to).

For mainstream varieties, Van Well offers exceptional trees for the price. I use to say the same of C&O but their selection was vastly reduced this year to where they are worthless to me.

Trees of Antiquity offer very nice "organically" grown trees and good selection but their S&H is exceptionally high- at least when you buy only one tree from them.

Are you on the West or East side of the country. Those recs are geared more towards west or I would have mentioned Adams County Nursery and Cummins. Cummins for a very wide selection of antiques and Adams for price and decent sized trees.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 3:08PM
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alan haigh

I just got an invoice from a tree I ordered from trees of antiquity ant s+h was less than i understood. about $15 for a single tree shipped in state (to my sister). I'm guessing that's probably around average although I can't be sure as I usually order very large quantities.

They did charge me half in advance while burn ridge waits until they ship to charge.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 6:32PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

doc, if you tell us where you live, we can give you better recommendations on both points. In general, it's best to wait until bare root season, and then plant during the dormant season. Now, for me, that is between December and January. For others in colder areas, that can be significantly later, since some folks need to wait until their ground thaws. I have to plant early, as we warm up quickly. And, some of the possible online sources will not ship to the state of California, so if you're in California, we need to give you some different online recommendations.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 7:03PM
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Thanks for all the great advice so far. I'm in Maryland (zone 7b).

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 7:14PM
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alan haigh

But you should order as soon as possible or as soon as you can sort out your choices in a strategic way so the varieties you want aren't mostly sold out. Because of your location I'd suggest starting with Adams County Nursery or possibly Cummins for more unusual stuff and for for their better selection of root stock.

You need to figure out, for apples at least, how vigorous a root stock you want. Adams usually doesn't carry plums with size reducing root stock.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 7:23PM
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I think I'll probably end up getting dwarf trees. I'll probably plant them in containers, since I planted two trees this year and the both died (I'm a little worried that my soil isn't great).

I'm looking for Bing, Black Tartarian, and Rainier cherry trees. I'm also looking for the Flavor Grenade pluot. The combo trees (cherries and pluots) from Raintree sound interesting. I'm thinking of giving those a shot. Anyone got any predictions about how well these will do in containers?

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 9:04PM
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alan haigh

You are looking for the most difficult things to grow where you are. Why not try peaches and J. plums for stonefruit first and than branch out to more difficult things. Pears are also relatively easy.

Pluots are not even grown commercially in the east coast- at least nectarines are grown to some degree here and they're hard enough to challenge the most dilligent growers.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 7:22AM
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Doc, Not sure growing in container. You are in zone 6, it should grow well in ground there. I have one in ground that is doing fine. The combo cherry that Raintree offers is sour cherry and sweet cherry 3 in 1. It grow about 10'. get a lot more sour cherries than sweet cherries.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 9:54AM
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As usual, thanks for all the advice guys.

I'm interested in trying containers, because the soil in my back yard doesn't look too good. It looks like orange clay mostly with a LOT of rocks. I am assuming this is why my other trees died, so I figured I'd try containers so I can control the soil better.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 1:24AM
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alan haigh

You can grow fruit trees starting with most any soil because not that much good soil is needed to establish such relatively small trees and soil can be amended. Maybe you should do a bit of research and even begin another topic concerning your soil. When soil kills trees it is usually because of poor drainage which can be alleviated by growing trees on mounds if more complete drainage is not possible.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 6:25AM
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Raintree is low on my list. They are not bad, just below average. There are a lot better places on this side of the Mississippi.
Yes avoid the temptation of the box stores. Of the four trees I bought from them two were wrong.
Call your local County Extension agent and ask about local suppliers first and ask them about a soil test. A soil test are cheap and usually quick.
Best value I have found is Stark brothers in mail ordering.
You may not be too far from Cummins nursery. Give them a call

Here is a link that might be useful: Cummins Nursery

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 7:16AM
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I highly recommend Starkbros.

Here is a link that might be useful: StarkBros

    Bookmark   October 13, 2012 at 10:35PM
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milehighgirl(CO USDA 5B/Sunset 2B)

docmattman, I did have my trees in pots for a few years, mostly because I could not imagine that clearing 13 trees out of my backyard would take so long and be so much work. I jumped the gun buying them before the ground was ready. Anyway, when it was finally cleared and leveled I could not get a spade or shovel in to save my soul; Colorado clay and Rocky Mountain rocks! I think it was Fruitnut who showed pictures of his ground and that encouraged me. I rented a commercial digger and dug the holes and planted them. Every year I work with the soil, tilling in compost and picking out the rocks that come to the surface. I really could not have done this without the purchase of a Craftsman 6 HP tiller. That thing rocks! I have to soak the soil and then I can till about 2 days later. The soil is much improved and the trees are far healthier being planted in rocky soil than in a pot. Now I've got the soil so that I can plant a cover crop, whereas before nothing but weeds would grow.

If you've got the land I think you should plant in the ground. I have a tiny backyard but I've got over 50 trees in it now. Most of them came from Cummins. I highly recommend them. Their site is not the most advanced, but they do answer emails fairly promptly. I have never been disappointed with anything I've gotten from them. They do sell rootstocks as well.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 1:59AM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

I think Cummins intentionally keeps their website a bit shabby so they can primarily get customers via word of mouth. They are an old-school business, not many of those around anymore!

Some other good east coast places include Johnson Nursery, Just Fruits and Exotics, Vintage Virginia Apples, Edible Landscaping (potted only), etc. I do still order a fair amount from the western places, including Raintree, since their selections are often better.


    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 8:38AM
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I bought several really nice sized bare root cherry trees from Bay Laurel last year. I have also purchased from Raintree,Burnt Ridge, Edible Landscaping, and Trees of Antiquity, and One Green World. Good experiences with all of them. It has been varied in terms of the size of the tree I receive.

The Bay Laurel trees were really nice sized. I called in the Fall and checked out the trunk sizes that they had available and got a few of the larger sized ones. I recommend that you call in your orders and talk to them to see what they have available.

It seems like when I order in the Fall, as opposed to the Spring, I get larger trees.

Edible Landscaping will ship potted plants in really good shape. Keep in mind that you may pay more in shipping, so check that out.

Here is a link that might be useful: Dallas Fruit Grower

    Bookmark   October 17, 2012 at 8:37AM
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Does anyone know a mail-order nursery that has Apricot trees on Apricot rootstock? Thank you!

    Bookmark   October 22, 2012 at 10:47PM
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pokeberry(z7 GA)

The best place I have order from is Cumberland valley Nurseries in McMinnville Tennessee They sell mostly to professional orchard growers and they do have a minimum $100 order but the trees are $6.00 up depend on the size you want. beats paying $20 to $30 each per tree. you can email and I can forward there emai our phone number.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 12:27PM
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bob_z6(6b/7a SW CT)

There is no need for a minimum purchase if you go through their retail site at FruitTreeFarm. The retail price is a bit higher than $6 ($8.50 for peach, $9.00 for plum), but that still isn't bad at all. I placed an order two weeks ago and was able to get 8 trees for under $100, including shipping. This is my first order from them, so we'll see on quality, but from others' past comments, they seem well regarded. Once my trees arrive, I'd be interested in comparing notes with you to see how the retail stock differs from what you get through wholesale.

Here is a link that might be useful: FruitTreeFarm- AKA Cumberland Valley Nursery

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 7:47PM
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