I would like to plant some apple trees, either now or in the spring. Can anyone recommend anywhere local to buy apple trees? or anywhere online?
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Companies are already accepting orders for bare root stock for zone 4. Here is one example, Grandpa's Orchard Company This is just for a quick reference for you. I have never ordered from this company and have no knowledge as to their reputability. Quite a few other companies online you can find by using search keywords "buy bare root apple trees" without the quotes.
IMO spring is the best time to plant fruit trees in Minnesota. All the nurseries will have lots of potted planting stock and many varieties to choose from at that time. Doubtful any nurseries have any in stock at this time and if they do that means they have probably been sitting in pots for months now and are highly stressed.
Expect local potted stock to be more expensive than mail order bare-root stock. Just the way it is. I am not against acquiring bare root stock in general but to me, when acquiring more expensive stock such as fruit trees, it is nice to have a plant warranty with a local supplier you can talk to face to face if there is a problem with your new trees later on. That is just my opinion.
I am not very knowledgeable about fruit trees and best places to acquire, just wanted to post to tell you not to be disappointed by lack of response. It is always quiet in this forum during the summer growing season. There are apple tree people who read this forum that I am sure can give you some answers, just might not be right now.
You can post your questions in the GW Fruit & Orchards Forum if you want a faster response. I am sure there are Minnesota and Wisconsin people on there who will offer their opinions to help you out. Please do not abandon the Minnesota forum entirely, though. :)
In case you or other readers are not aware of it, here is a link to the GW page that lists all their forums. A handy reference...
I planted (2) apples trees (Candy Crisp and Haralred) this summer that I purchased from a local nursery at a discounted price. Some places will be more reputable and knowledgeble than others (locally or not). If buying locally is desired, there are many nurseries that you can visit or call. There are true nurseries, parking lot nurseries, and those at your local home improvement/farm stores like Menards, Lowes, or Runnings. You can even check for postings on Craigslist. At this time of year, supply and varieties will be limited. Another thing to consider is if you desire your tree to have a warranty. If so, that will also influence where you ultimately purchase from.
If you're within a reasonable distance of of St. Joseph, Thompsen Greenhouse always has a nice selection of reasonably priced nice apple trees, at least in the spring.
Thanks for all the great responses, I think I will wait and see what I can find in the spring.
I purchased several apple, cherry, pear and even one trial peach from Grandpa's Orchard this spring as bare roots. They were all nice and sturdy looking and shipped at the appropriate time for planting. Packaging was excellent with no damage. All but one is looking good this fall.
They are not as large and full as some potted trees that were planted in a nearby garden but that is to be expected the first year. They should catch up in a couple of years.
I am late to the party but will post my 5 cents anyway.
When it comes to apple trees I noticed that local nurseries only carry the standard expected selection which ripens in the same couple months. So I think you will have no problems finding
Sweet 16 or Honey Crisp as they are popular in MN. In fact I bought Sweet 16 myself a month ago at the local nursery. Sales usually happen around sep-oct in local smaller nurseries but not at Gertens (super large nursery, you can google it).
Apparently according to Gertens fruit trees have been in such demand since recession that Gertens never had problems selling them, so no sale on fruit trees there. The apple trees I got from them did good, planted them last November.
If you are after more unusual varieties than often its hard to find them around. Then your bare root online store is the answer. I ordered from Grandpa's Orchard this fall and even thought they forgot to split my order into fall (apples) and spring (stone fruit) shipment they promised to make it right if my sweet cherries do not survive the winter. So we shall see.
Packaging was excellent. Trees were top-pruned to fit in the box but trunks were thick. I was impressed.
i have used gram pa's and was very impressed with quality , timing, and service. good stuff.