Return to the Fruit & Orchards Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Dave Wilson vs. Rolling River vs. Burnt Ridge

Posted by pylot 9b, ss17 (My Page) on
Fri, Dec 4, 09 at 13:35

I am planning my first batch of trees (fig, peach, plum and persimmon) and can't decide between the three growers above. I think all have very good trees, so it all boils down to price vs size.

Burnt Ridge seems to have the best price, but I'm not sure how soon their trees are going to fruit. I know I should not expect fruit the first year, but I definitely want it the second :)


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Dave Wilson vs. Rolling River vs. Burnt Ridge

pylot: There is one big difference between these nurseries from what I know. Dave Wilson is wholesale so you have to buy their trees from a retail nursery unless you can qualify as a commercial grower. Dave Wilson has many varieties that the other two don't offer, I think, because they propagate Zaiger's varieties. Bay Laurel nursery has the largest lineup of Zaiger/Wilson varieties I know of.

Thanks for pointing out Rolling River. This is my first look at what they have.

I get fruit the second yr on most stone fruit. But won't expect that on persimmons, maybe so. The size tree you buy may not be well correlated with time to fruiting. I'm more concerned with health and size of the roots and placement of the branches. I got some Dave Wilson trees last yr that didn't have low enough branches to suit me, but I want them below 24 inches. The trees were too old or too big.

The Fruitnut


 o
RE: Dave Wilson vs. Rolling River vs. Burnt Ridge

Pylot,
Do yourself a favor and look any potential nurseries up on Dave's Garden Watchdog. I've heard some things about Burnt Ridge that aren't flattering.
Jake


 o
RE: Dave Wilson vs. Rolling River vs. Burnt Ridge

  • Posted by brandon7 6b (like 7b now) TN (My Page) on
    Fri, Dec 4, 09 at 15:46

I have very little experience with Burnt Ridge, but their Garden Watchdog rating is very good. As a matter of fact, they are rated as a "Top 5" in the "Fruits & Berries" and the "Hardy Fruit Trees" classifications. They seem to have lots of very satisfied customers.

I hadn't heard of Rolling River either. Looks interesting. I'll have to keep them in mind in the future.


 o
RE: Dave Wilson vs. Rolling River vs. Burnt Ridge

Many apologies to Burnt Ridge. I meant Autumn Ridge Nursery. Take a look at their reviews if you are into horror stories! Again sorry about the mistake.
Jake


 o
RE: Dave Wilson vs. Rolling River vs. Burnt Ridge

dave wilson is the winner in my experience. I've ordered from burnt ridge, my experience has been a 60% survival rate with their plants. They are usually small and weak. In contrast, Dave Wilson trees are robust and healthy. Peaceful valley farm supply sells Dave Wilson trees mail order.

The only time I order from Burnt Ridge is if they are the only ones to supply a variety, and then, when i receive the plant, I need to raise it in a pot for another year to get it healthy enough to plant out.

I have not dealt with rolling river before.

Also try Raintree, I've had great luck with their plants.


 o
RE: Dave Wilson vs. Rolling River vs. Burnt Ridge

I've had excellent results with Raintree trees... I've also order from Burnt Ridge and had good results, although i had one dead tree (but i was credited).


 o
RE: Dave Wilson vs. Rolling River vs. Burnt Ridge

Dave Wilson via Bay Laurel bare root trees are the best of the three, if you can get the rootstock you want. Rollingriver sells only potted, and can be very limited in root stock choices. I've received nothing but great, though smallish, plants from them- check out their loquats. Burnt Ridge is more value oriented, but very good overall.

I have repeatedly had very mixed results with Raintree. I can't believe some of the really sorry grapes and filberts they have shipped. And the replacements they sent were even worse.

The very best bare root suppliers I have dealt with are Van Well and C&O. I got two beautiful but cheap Balaton cherries from Van Well last year. Both are commercial growers that also retail to the public. Order early with both (September) to insure availability.


 o
RE: Dave Wilson vs. Rolling River vs. Burnt Ridge

Pylot,

Don't forget about this two nurseries. The most healthy and sturdy fruit trees I bought were from Just fruit and exotic. El (eat-it.com) also very high on the list.

Tony


 o
RE: Dave Wilson vs. Rolling River vs. Burnt Ridge

I've used Burnt Ridge for IE mulberries but much prefer getting them from Lucille at Whitman Farms because trees are hardier with more root. Also Lucille sells them to me wholesale so they cost half as much.

I think you should also consider Trees of Antiquity, they at least propigate there own trees and usually have pretty good size for a specialty nursery.


 o
RE: Dave Wilson vs. Rolling River vs. Burnt Ridge

I ordered my first two Chicago Hardy figs from Hartmann's and when they came they were about 4" tall. I didn't think they made it through the winter so I ordered two more this spring from Rolling River. I was taken aback when they arrived! One of them was two feet tall and the other about 18"! They were in perfect health and they were packaged beautifully.

I also ordered a Meyer's Lemon and two Glenora grapes from them. Everything they sent was superb and I would definitely order from them again....that is if I had some kind of a plant-buying addiction, which of course I don't!


 o
RE: Dave Wilson vs. Rolling River vs. Burnt Ridge

Referring to Fruithacks message, I agree with him completely that given a choice you will usually get better tree value from nurserys that sell wholesale, propigate their own trees and provide them by the hundreds of thousands to the commercial fruit growing industry. Volume, expertise and efficient large scale production have its rewards.

You should also be aware that there are middlemen type nurseries and small producing nurseries. Raintree is the former and Trees of Antiquity the latter. Nurseries that produce their own stock may be more consistant in the quality of stock and reliability of labeling although Raintree does a good job in general of quality control (especially compared to an outfit like Millers).

Cummins seems to be very popular here, and part of it is probably that they produce their own stock, and like most nurseries that do this, they know about what they're selling. With a small producer of trees like Cummins and Trees of Antiquity you often can communicate with the owner, grafter and major worker in a conversation with one person. You're bound to get very good information from this person.


 o
RE: Dave Wilson vs. Rolling River vs. Burnt Ridge

If your buying from Bay Laurel or other Cali. grower and live in zone 5 or colder beware. Bay Laurel's latest shipping is early March. You may have to store in a cool place until the ground thaws. So hopefully your ground won't be frozen. Luckily last year I was able to plant it in late February.


 o
RE: Dave Wilson vs. Rolling River vs. Burnt Ridge

Order from both burnt ridge and rolling river nursery. Both are excellent however I like the prices and selection better with Rolling River. If you find what you like I would go with rolling river. I order some pomegranates from rolling river and they arrived nice and healthy and pretty tall as well.


 o
RE: Dave Wilson vs. Rolling River vs. Burnt Ridge

I do not understand how a container growing nursery (Rolling River) can ever offer the same value as nurserys that sell bare root stock with species that transplant well bare root.

Edible Landscaping is the eastcoast version of container growing nurseries and they're fine for sourcing paw-paws and plants that just don't transplant well, but I'd never order plants from them that plug in well as bare roots if I had a good source supplying the latter.

With bare roots you get bigger trees for less money and the roots start out in the soil they need to grow in and therefore require less frequent watering and other care to plug in. They are also less prone to vole damage as rodents love that soft potting mix.


 o
RE: Dave Wilson vs. Rolling River vs. Burnt Ridge

I haven't ordered from Rolling River but I have had wonderful results from Burnt Ridge. I bought gooseberry bushes from them several years ago and the plants were four times the size of the same bush that I bought from Raintree Nursery at same time. Burnt Ridge was was significantly lower in price as well. The one that I got from Raintree did not make it through the winter. I purchased a Peregrine peach from Trees of Antiquity last year and was very satisfied with the size and health of the tree it bloomed thatyear but we had a late frost and it did not set any fruit. Many of our trees were from Dave Wilson when we first bought our place because my Mom worked for a commercial nursery and we got them at cost.


 o
RE: Dave Wilson vs. Rolling River vs. Burnt Ridge

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Tue, Dec 8, 09 at 14:37

>With bare roots you get bigger trees for less money and the roots start out in the soil they need to grow in and therefore require less frequent watering and other care to plug in. They are also less prone to vole damage as rodents love that soft potting mix<

You should remove potting soil at planting time anyway.


 o
RE: Dave Wilson vs. Rolling River vs. Burnt Ridge

Harvestman if memory serves Rolling River states there trees average two to four foot tall. Many other nurseries trees tend to list the caliper and not the height but the 5/8-3/4 in caliper trees are often five to six foot tall or more.

One of my biggest gripes is "Spring Shipping"

For some "Spring Shipping" starts in March or April and for others it starts when the trees arrive from their wholesaler in Mid-December or early-January.

I was all set to order a bunch of trees from a well respected tree nursery until I called and asked when they start shipping. As it turned out they start shipping in late March or early April. I found another nursery mentioned in this thread and check on them at The Garden Watchdog. I ordered 10 trees from them that I am told should all ship the 18th of December. There are still two trees I can only find at the original nursery I was planning on ordering from and will do so. I may even gamble a little and order three trees from Willis Orchard because they have a few in larger sizes I can't find anywhere else. I plan on ordering from Trees of Antiquity and a local Citrus Nursery too.

All in all I have 22 trees on my shopping list this year. to get them all it looks like I will be shopping at four on-line and two local nursery this year.

This is more trees than I have every purchased before in a single year. My son said he may be moving so I figured I had better get all the trees I have been wanting while he is still around to do all the lifting and planting.lol


 o
RE: Dave Wilson vs. Rolling River vs. Burnt Ridge

TIM, the lack of fall shipping of most nurseries is a shame. Even here in NY, where we have an actual winter, I think fall is planting time for trees. I just installed 10 bearing age fruit trees for a customer even though there was a little snow in my nursery that made moving them slick work. I like to plant until the ground freezes-I mulch them so they won't be heaved out from good soil contact with the roots. Fall planted trees do tend to plug in faster than trees planted in the following spring here.

Unfortunately this is my last order for the season so I'm going back to pruning tomorrow. Wish I had orders for about 50 more trees.


 o
RE: Dave Wilson vs. Rolling River vs. Burnt Ridge

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Thu, Dec 10, 09 at 21:51

It depends on condition at planting and how early in fall planting occurs. If existing root tips are intact at planting and there is still time they may extend into the soil after planting, conferring an advantage. Bare-rooted stock with mostly dead feeder roots will merely get more exposure to cold and wind planted out in fall than if it were overwintered in a storage building. That is why planting of bare-rooted stock at the end of winter or in early spring is done in the first place. There is very little root activity during winter. Roots of bare-rooted stock (in the usual condition, without most fine roots still present and functioning) will not begin to recover until dormant buds open in spring, send a chemical signal to the root tips to start making new roots.


 o
RE: Dave Wilson vs. Rolling River vs. Burnt Ridge

BBOY, I plant so so many trees and read the same research you have available. Here in the northeast springs are often wet and cool. Soil is warmer in fall and even a "dormant" tree continues to grow some root. Things slow up down there but don't actually stop.

The general consensus that I gather is that you do get a bit of a jump with fall planting- even with bare roots. I have never read anywhere that bare root plants will not grow any new root until they leaf out in spring just because they lost their hair roots when dug up. I'd be interested to see the research if you are aware of it. Wouldn't be the first time I've been wrong but I'd be quite surprised this time.


 o
RE: Dave Wilson vs. Rolling River vs. Burnt Ridge

bboy I live in a warm winter area like roughly 100,000,000 other Americans. My trees still have not gone dormant. I would be very surprised if roots were not growing throughout our winter months.
I can't say that I have planted them and dug them up again before they leaf out in mid-February. However I can say I have planted trees under the exact same conditions as in same pots and same soil in both Fall and Spring with very different outcomes.
The trees I plant in the winter live and thrive in the Summer heat. The trees planted later are a chore just to keep alive once Summer hits.
I have always attributed this to the extra time the Fall planted trees had to root. I just don't see any other explanation for it because time of planting was the only variable factor.


 o
RE: Dave Wilson vs. Rolling River vs. Burnt Ridge

  • Posted by olpea zone 6 KS (My Page) on
    Sat, Dec 12, 09 at 15:54

I've never been able to tell the difference b/t fall planted trees vs. spring planted, in terms of vigor. Once I moved a fall planted apricot the following spring. Was not able to discern any new root growth. Fall planted trees are supposedly not as winter hardy, which can be a consideration in colder zones.


 o
RE: Dave Wilson vs. Rolling River vs. Burnt Ridge

Actually, some research I just found supports BBoy on this subject. Container grown trees generally (depending on species) benefit a great deal with fall planting according to several controlled experiments performed by Carl Whitcomb.

However, bare root trees, as BBoy suggests, do not initiate new root growth until the buds begin to swell in spring according to observations (though curiously not specific research)of Carl Whitcomb. I don't know why he only put container trees to actual scientific scrutiny.

The experiments that indicated the specific advantage to fall planting of most species grown in containers was done in Oklahoma so the results don't necesarily speak for areas with warmer winters.

I must say that I have frequently planted bearing age bare root trees of considerable size in the fall, especially peach trees, and gotten very impressive results (compared to expectations). Whitcombs experiments and observations certainly don't prove that fall planted BR trees don't come out of dormancy quicker and end up growing more than spring planted trees. I don't know if there is actual research available comparing fall and spring planted bare root trees.

Considering Carl Whitcombs dire warnings about the dangers of fall planting bare root and BB trees and my absolute contradicting real life experience of fall planting thousands of BB and BR trees of many fruiting species, I would certainly like to see some actual research before drawing any conclusions.


 o
RE: Dave Wilson vs. Rolling River vs. Burnt Ridge

harvestman even if Carl Whitcomb is correct it makes my case even stronger here in the Desert SW.
I'm still pinching off buds as they swell on my peach and nectarine trees and cutting off flowers on my plum trees as well.

Sometime later this month or in early January my trees will lose their leaves and go dormant. The dormant season here often only lasts 4-6 weeks.
In a typical year my peach and nectarine trees will come out of dormancy in mid to late February and start leafing out and bud swell will start again.

Favorable temps often start here while those in the northern part of the country are still in a frozen tundra. Sometime between late March and early May temps can and often do jump to 100+ Deg F with humidity levels often under 10%. Our February here is like April is in zones 5-7. Thats why I prefer to plant now or between now and late January.
If a dormant bare root tree arrives in March and it starts leafing out and we get an early summer in zone 9-10 it can be a real chore to keep alive.

A couple years ago I planted an Holiday Avocado tree in the Spring. Most of the trees I plant are $ 20-30.00 trees but this tree was nearly $ 65.00 and I wanted it to live. I put it in a spot where it would only get morning sun for 3-4 days in a 15 gallon pot.
Then I moved it to a place where it would only get sun half the day and screened it with 50% shade cloth to protect it. It still lost its leaves and died when it got hot a week later.

110deg F in shade with under 10% relative humidity can dry out a bare root tree that has not had time to root and kill it in a few days even when its in the shade. Thats why I prefer to plant now.

I understand why people in the north wait for their Spring to come because their ground is still frozen when my trees are leafing out. They live at one end of the extreme and I live at the other; I understand that.
What I don't understand is why someone from the north would think I should wait until their Spring comes before I should plant my trees. This is an extreme environment too. Our spring can be hotter than their summers and dryer than anything they have ever experienced.

bboy I totally understand where you are coming from and I'm sure you are right for where you live. Please keep in mind though that my Spring is your Winter and my Summer comes on faster and hotter than yours.


 o
RE: Dave Wilson vs. Rolling River vs. Burnt Ridge

Me, of course results will vary with conditions and nothing you say surprises me. Even Whitcomb's research outcomes vary with species, none of which are prunus, mallus or species we are talking about here. Climate is bound to have a huge affect on optimum planting times.

It is very difficult to sort out reliable information from research, which is why I have to argue with those on this forum who act as though any research is actually completely conclusive.

Researchers have a tendency, in my opinion, to exagerate the implications of their own work (don't we all tend to exagerate the importance of our contributions?). I am glad that I began my hort career without formal training so that by the time I was exposed to the logical but often mistaken leaps drawn from specific research I had a lot of experience that contradicted things my teachers taught as absolute science based gospel.

If I had followed Whitcombs recommendations I would never have started planting bare root and balled and bulapped trees in the fall as he suggests that this is an unwise practice- for me, he is dead wrong.

Following his lead would have been a huge economic set-back for me as fall is the time with the largest window for installing orchards and when there is little else I need to do. I use the spring to renew nursery stock in addition to spraying, grafting and finishing up the pruning that always seems to overwhelm my schedule. The period from when the ground can be worked and trees start budding is extremely short.

Bare root trees are not all the same. The ones that come from nurseries are out of cold storage and often take over 2 weeks to come out of dormancy. Such trees, when spring planted, will generally come out of dormancy much later than trees already planted and grow significantly less the first season. I have observed this for many many years although I haven't studied the specific time of root growth for fall planted bare root trees.


 o
RE: Dave Wilson vs. Rolling River vs. Burnt Ridge

i brought from Brunt Ridge their plants were outstanding all of them came in good shape i would and will buy from them again


 o
RE: Dave Wilson vs. Rolling River vs. Burnt Ridge

potted plants are way superior to bare root plants in my opinion. Having live feeder roots undamaged are more critical to a plant's survival. You could have a huge bare root plant with plenty of dormant buds, but if the roots are too small relative to the plant's total size, the plant's survival is compromised. Conversely, a plant with just one viable bud supported by plenty of undamaged roots--its survival is a sure 100%.

In analogy, when trying to kill a tree, it would be futile to try by chopping off 99.9% of the branches, and then leaving a bud or two, because the remaining bud will definitely sprout. But if you spare the branches and leaves, and instead destroy the roots , one could cut just 50% or maybe even less, the tree would be a goner.

The only disadvantage with potted plants, they are typically shorter and smaller than bare-root plants of the same price.


 o
RE: Dave Wilson vs. Rolling River vs. Burnt Ridge

Are there not also disadvantages to having the root system in a potting soil instead of in the native soil? I suspect this could be especially a problem with larger pots. I've read recommendations not to heavily amend the soil when planting bare root trees, because the roots need to grow in the native soil anyway, and -- if I understand correctly -- different soil types can have different water-related properties such that native soil could wick moisture out of the potting soil or, conversely excess water could accumulate in the potting soil and drown the roots. Presumably the same issues with heavily amended planting holes would also apply to the potting soil of potted trees? I also wonder if that looser potting soil couldn't also attract voles or other rodents to the roots/base of the tree. I leaned toward potted plants for a while -- even potting up bare root trees for a year before setting out -- but I'm leaning in the opposite direction now, even toward growing rootstocks in place from seed.


 o
RE: Dave Wilson vs. Rolling River vs. Burnt Ridge

  • Posted by olpea zone 6 KS (My Page) on
    Fri, Feb 22, 13 at 16:12

I agree w/ cousinfloyd. Another problem with potted trees, is that, depending on where they were purchased, they can be somewhat root bound.

I've had little experience with potted (non tree) plants, so they may well do better than non-potted ones.

As far as trees go though, I've planted about 400 bare root trees (counting the ones I put in last year) and never seen a problem that I could attribute to planting as a bare root.

Early on I bought some potted trees and had some problems with them as a result of them being potted. Slow growth, and one tree died as a result of a borer, which was hidden in the root stem below the pot (It would not have been shipped if it had been bare root.)

It's true trees suffer from cutting the roots back to make them bare root. Some types of trees suffer more than others, but the advantages of bare root still outweigh the disadvantages in my opinion. And I feel like I've gotten better growth from bare root.

Peach trees hardly seem to suffer much at all from severely pruning the roots back. Old peach literature actually recommends that farmers remove all the feeder roots, leaving only a "carrot" looking root stem to plant.

For my own grafts, when I transplant peaches, I don't dig up much root at all and the peaches do fine. For purchased bare root trees, I dig a pretty small hole and prune the roots to fit the hole. I'm not recommending it, but that's what I do and they still put on lots of growth.

Apples, pears and plums seem to be more sensitive to transplant shock and do better with larger roots or larger trees, but I still wouldn't recommend buying them in pots unless you were buying them from a reputable nursery and they were as cheap or cheaper than bare root trees.


 o
RE: Dave Wilson vs. Rolling River vs. Burnt Ridge

I would not buy anything from any nursery that does not show chill hours for every thing they sell.They will brake your heart.


 o
RE: Dave Wilson vs. Rolling River vs. Burnt Ridge

Containers have the advantage of as was said good feeder roots. They can also be planted any time of the year in most areas...though I would avoid shock if they just came form a greenhouse by letting them adjust to the area for up to a week before transplant.

Disadvantages: Transmit pests and disease in soil which is why your local Ag is not too wild about containers being shipped into the state. Cost of shipping high. Trunk caliper large so no fruit bushing few viable eyes down low. If you buy a container from a local nursery during bare root season it likely will fall apart and leave you holding a severely pruned bare root.= that was planted a few weeks before.

You should take a hose and remove all soil before planting into their permanent site. Container soil is often not good planting soil, plus you can inspect, spread out and prune the roots if needed.

As to preference...I don't care much. Bareroots are cheaper and with a DWN SOFT order through a cooperating nursery I can get most on the rootstock I want at half the price of a container tree.

I have ordered trees from Rolling Ridge, Burnt Ridge and DWN/Bay Laurel, Trees of Antiquity, Sanhedrin, Raintree, Stark, Grandpa, Just Fruits and Nuts, and Willis. Willis is the only one I would not order from again unless they were the sole source. Be warned the nurseries well out of your area may not carry cultivars that will do well in your area or on a good rootstock for your area. I would only look there if your orchard is full of varieties known to do well in your area and now you are now experimenting.


 o
RE: Dave Wilson vs. Rolling River vs. Burnt Ridge

  • Posted by murky z8f pnw Portlan (My Page) on
    Fri, Feb 22, 13 at 21:02

Just for clarification, I often read that potted plants can be transplanted year round, and I also read that it is best to bareroot a potted plant while transplanting.

I assume that if one is transplanting a potted plant in the heat of summer, one shouldn't bareroot it, correct?

Are these two sets of advice coming from distinct planting philosophies?

Are the people who recommend removing the soil when transplanting a potted plant also the same ones that prefer bare-roots and wouldn't consider planting any tree out of season?


 o
RE: Dave Wilson vs. Rolling River vs. Burnt Ridge

Bare roots need to be planted when dormant. Generally they establish better than potted trees unless the potted trees are planted when dormant and you can pull curling roots straight and spread into native soil.

If a potted tree has spent little time in any given pot and moved to larger containers before roots circle around in the pot it can be planted any time and will probably do great, but this is not the real world in the nursery business.


 o
RE: Dave Wilson vs. Rolling River vs. Burnt Ridge

I never dealt with the wholesale nurseries like Dave Wilson (other than they supply some of the nurseries I order from).
I've ordered from alot of the well-rated nurseries... Burnt Ridge, One Green World, Rolling River, RainTree, Edible Landscaping, Bay Laurel, Cliff England Nursery, (and a couple specialized nurseries like Nolin River (pawpaws), Green Sea Farms (pomegranates)). They all are great (yes, some will be more expensive ... but sometimes when looking for a specific variety, you want to pay more to get it).

Rolling River is great to deal with. (Marc even sent me an Autumn Olive I wanted that wasn't listed yet). Their pomegranate selection is pretty good.

RainTree is a bigger nursery, but sent me good stuff and they honor their 'it died' policy. Plus I like their website.

Edible Landscaping has cool stuff that grows around my east coast area.

Ive only heard good things about starkbros.com and acnursery.com

-Arian


 o
RE: Dave Wilson vs. Rolling River vs. Burnt Ridge

Thanks to this forum I now know of Rolling River; unfortunately they are sold out of most things on my shopping list. I plan to be near the head of the line next season, just as with ACN.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Fruit & Orchards Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here