Arbor Day Foundation 10 trees for $10.00?

katefisher(Z7_NorthernCA)August 21, 2008

So I received this notification in the mail from the Arbor Day Foundation yesterday. I'm sure a lot of folks here did. Talking about how if you give them a $10.00 donation you get this long list of stuff including 10 trees.

Has anyone here done this before? If so what was your experience? I have to say it piqued my curiosity but when I tried to call them I was on hold forever and finally hung up.

Seems way too good to be true but I must admit I'm tempted. I might try this on the tree forum also but there is less activity there.



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I've gotten this many times before. I never accepted though. To be honest, I think this is TOO generous an offer. Ten trees is an awful lot for the average homeowner, and who the heck do you give trees away to? I'm interested to hear, though, what the quality of the trees is, if anyone here has participated.


    Bookmark   August 21, 2008 at 5:25PM
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I have not participated but have friends who have. The 10 trees are mostly very young seedlings or whips. Both these people own acerage in the country and use the freebies for creating windbreaks, esp. the pine seedlings, or simply look to the future and plant the hardwoods and ornamentals around their properties.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2008 at 5:33PM
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Thyme2dig NH Zone 5

I actually did take the offer years ago at my old house. The trees I had received were extremely small,bare-root, but in good shape. I can't remember what the 10 trees were exactly, or quite honestly how they all fared, but I do distinctly remember 2 crabapples that after only a few years were beautiful (well worth the 10 bucks!). I figured it was a good cause, and I had a new property to landscape, so I gave it a whirl. If you have the room and are willing to start with tiny trees, I would say it's worth it.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2008 at 5:37PM
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Well okay then! Gosh you guys are really fast also.

Thyme2dig thanks for that first hand experience with this offer. I'm going to do it. The one I am going to get is 10 flowering trees specifically three Goldentrain, three redbud and three white flowering dogwoods. I actually only need one tree but will either donate the trees to our local area nursery, my neighbor who is a tree freak or I'll find someone in the market for a tree. I think I'll try to get them for spring since they don't want to ship to my zone until Fall and for us November is actually a bit late.

Thank you everyone.


    Bookmark   August 21, 2008 at 5:44PM
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I did it for four or five years. The trees I got then mostly were not much more than dormant whips or sticks...and I had a perennial house in which to pot them and baby them a bit until they were old enough to withstand planting out. I had decent success rate, especially if you consider them essentially 'freebies' but found that they are marked with some paint, and sometimes the markings are not even visible or questionably so. A few each year had no visible roots and/or croaked.

My daughter ordered some last year and planted hers out directly with a good success rate, but they looked like a lot better specimens than they used to send. I did have problems with this source, however, when I ordered fruit trees. I paid for full dwarf trees, and not a one of them are, nor even semi-dwarf. They are all standards. This presented a problem in that they ended up spaced too close for their size, and it also takes a standard tree longer to bear. I also ordered two seckle pears, and ended up with ornamental bradford pears and it took me five years for them to fruit to find out.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2008 at 5:52PM
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terrene(5b MA)

I've been a member of the Ntl Arbor day for at least 20 years. In all that time, I've only opted to get their free seedlings a couple of times. Didn't have any luck with them the first time (in the 80s), but several years ago I got some more and planted the seedlings in a holding bed and most of them survived. The only ones doing really well are the Cercis canadensis, Redbud. Those REALLY need to be planted out because they're getting big.

There are other threads on GW about these seedlings, it seems most people don't have much luck with them. I would get them and grow them for the heck of it, but not have high expectations. If you want to buy and grow something specific, I'd purchase them elsewhere, esp. after reading Calliope's story.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 10:11AM
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Thank you both for your feedback. I went ahead and did the tree thing. I look at it this way, I'm supporting the Arbor Day Foundation and get some baby trees to try and grow. If they make it through winter I'll give at least half of them away.

As for needing a specific tree I do plan to buy a Catalpa next year but will be getting that from an area nursery. I want one at least a few years old and having had trees mail ordered before I don't want to bear the shipping cost again.



    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 11:28AM
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I was just offered some dogwood trees from a friend placing an order from the Arbor Day Foundation! Wanted to know if I wanted a couple. Sure! She said they told her if the trees did not grow, they would replace them. Now, where to put two dogwood trees???? In fact, I had just been talking to a nursery guy about a Pagoda Dogwood for the garden. I think the common dogwood may get just a little too large, tho.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2008 at 5:20PM
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I got the Blue Spruce seedlings about three years ago. They were rooted seedlings and are now about 4 feet tall. I also purchased some evergreen shrubs and they are doing well too.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 4:18PM
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