200 gallon tree nurseries

brd1September 10, 2013

I moved to Austin recently and bought a home with a large back yard. Need some established shade trees -- oaks and cedar elms. Looking for a reputable wholesale/retail nursery in, or near Austin. Any advice from those of you in the area?

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200 gallon?? Yikes - everything IS bigger in Texas!!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 6:53PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Can you tell us more about what you are looking for? If standard-pot-grown trees, how do you plan on preparing a 200 gallon, pot-bound root system for planting, to avoid failure in a few years down the road?

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 9:51PM
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hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)

FWIW, there are a LOT of nurseries in and around Texas using Rootmaker or other root-pruning container production systems, making the OP's request a little less "risky".

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 10:15PM
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brandon7: What do you think should be the limit of pot sizes I should consider? All pots are prone to pot-bound root systems. That's why I asked for a 'reputable' nursery that up-pots trees appropriately to help avoid such risks. Having been in the nursery business years ago, I know a little something about the subject.

hairmetal4ever: Would you please name some of those nurseries that use Rootmaker or other root-pruning container production systems. That was what my initial question was aimed at -- specific reputable nurseries -- either wholesale or retail. Many thanks, in advance. --brd1

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 10:21PM
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lou_midlothian_tx(z8 DFW, Tx)


I'm providing the list of Texas nurseries that uses Rootmaker products.

200g is unheard of. That is enormous size and cost. I understand the need for immediate mature size but if you can afford it then go for it. Just remember that it is like looking after giant babies that are slow to mature for years.

There are two places nearby Austin that I looked up...


I can barely move 30g trees on my own without any help. I can't imagine planting 200g because you'd have to remove the container somehow.

Here is a link that might be useful: Rootmaker

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 10:44PM
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lou_midlothian_tx(z8 DFW, Tx)

My suggestion is to go with Mexican White Oak. Semi-evergreen like Live Oak but looks nicer and faster growing. Oak Wilt resistant too just in case.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 10:47PM
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hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)

Depending on species, etc, even a 60 gallon tree is going to be decent sized - maybe 15' tall or more.

You need a forklift to move something any bigger than that.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 11:28PM
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Yes, I'm planning on using a forklift and have one lined up. Thank you both for some specific suggestions, both in terms of species and nurseries. Appreciate it.

By the way, lou, in my research I did find a couple of nurseries that sell 200 gallon trees, but the height and canopy are no different than 100 gallon trees from other nurseries and the price is over double the amount. Thus, I'm trying to find out who is reputable, who up-pots when root systems are starting to outgrow containers, what container types are best to avoid such root problems, etc.

Lots of good feedback. Thanks all. Keep them coming!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 11:56PM
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lou_midlothian_tx(z8 DFW, Tx)

A tree farm south of Dallas-Ft Worth uses Rootmaker products and sells trees at very low price for the size. You just have to go get them yourself and some help to plant them. I think it was 150 dollars for 18ft tall grown in a bag in the ground that does root pruning (better than B and B). I just moved to Spicewood last winter so I'm not too familiar with the tree farms and nurseries around Austin yet.

Where in Austin do you live? Just wondering because of rocky soil west of I-35 that can be a lot of work to plant trees like I did with my 1 gallon Montezuma cypress trees in the backyard that took all week long just to plant them.

Here is a link that might be useful: Wimbish Tree Farm

    Bookmark   September 11, 2013 at 8:43AM
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Zilker/Barton Hills area, near the greenbelt, so it's less rocky. We had to do a lot of digging for a retaining wall and were able to get deep without any problems.

Thanks for the Wimbish Tree Farm suggestion. I've driving by their sign on the way to Dallas several times, but didn't have time to stop by. I'll check out your other links too. Rootmaker seems to be the way to go. Many thanks.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2013 at 9:34AM
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Yikes, why not just get a tree-spaded tree brought in? It's quite a job to get a huge tree established, and I'd imagine it's doubly hard in Texas.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2013 at 10:45AM
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Correction: 'driven' by their sign... damned autocorrect feature, yet again.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2013 at 12:41AM
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The San Antonio area has a few growers with specimen type trees. Check out Aldridge Nursery, Peerless Tree Farm and Alfaro Tree Farm. You might consider the more drought adapted trees so you don't help to drain Lake Travis too much.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2013 at 12:26PM
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Thanks dricha! I'll check them out. And yes, we're going for drought resistant trees and yards. No traditional grass. My mowing days are over.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2013 at 12:38PM
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lovetogarden(z4 NY)

Have you thought about dormant bare root trees. I planted a potted tree and a much smaller bare root and the smaller bare root took off and overtook the potted tree by a long shot. Something to think about and a lot easier on your back.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2013 at 3:04PM
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I may be too late with this suggestion, but before you start digging your hole(s), you may want to consider a skid shovel like the Pro Line shovel or U-shovel or BRADCO shovel. (Several people make these.) If you have access to a skid steer, there's nothing faster and easier than that for digging out a hole even in rocky soils.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2013 at 4:24PM
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Thanks MB1901. Your suggestion isn't too late. I'm wrapping up my nurseries search, but haven't bought any trees yet.

Appreciate everyone's comments and suggestions.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2013 at 8:02PM
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instead of using a container plant, you should consider purchasing a B&B plant. the root system is wrapped in burlap, and held together with a wire cage. removal of the cage is necessary for large trees, but they are typically sold my caliper of tree (6 inches above root flare) as opposed to container size, letting you more easily choose the size of the tree. happy planting.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 7:04PM
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