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Tree Auction

Posted by tommythomps 5 (My Page) on
Sun, Sep 22, 13 at 15:05

We are currently building on an acreage and are considering going to a tree auction. A tree farm has a surplus. Most trees will be freshly dug from their in-ground fabric containers. Some will be then potted or B&B.

We weren't planning on buying so soon, but imagine there will be some good prices. What is a good price? Any concerns with this situation?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Tree Auction

The price depends on what kinds of trees & how large. I know there is a tree farm nursery around here and you can get a decent size B&B tree for $80-$100... but prices may be higher or lower depending on your location.

I'd get some prices from local nurseries that offer B&B trees... go to the auction and if you can get them cheaper than why not. At least you'll know what the prices should be.

I would only go to a tree auction to try to get a good deal if I needed a lot of trees. If you just need a couple, I would personally just go to a local nursery. So you can research the different types ahead of time and actually pick the tree out you want. Not just settling for the ones up for auction.

RE: Tree Auction

Not sure I'd advocate purchasing trees that were field dug now.........far better for the trees to do this once fully dormant. And those not 'hardened off' after digging tend to be much more prone to failure from root exposure/lack of moisture, etc. No price is a "good price" if the tree is doomed to failure :-))

If you are willing to invest more time than $$, your state DNR will often have tree seedlings suitable for reforestation available at very inexpensive rates. And often desirable and well-suited native species. Contact them online to see when these offerings might be available in your area.

RE: Tree Auction

At what point to do trees become fully dormant?

I had seen something before about getting trees that are hardened off, but I didn't quite understand how one does that process. Can you explain?

We are planning on buying quite a few if it's good prices.

RE: Tree Auction

My concern would be who plants them, how well they are planted, the cost of planting on top of the cost of the trees -- and the lack of a guarantee. I never heard of a tree auction that included any type of guarantee. That is why we buy from a good nursery, have them do the planting, and they give us a five year guarantee, which I think is crazy, but they do.

One of our neighbors bought a lot of trees from an auction a few years ago. A tree farm very near us was going out of business and the prices were really cheap. But in the end, enough of the trees died to eat up any savings over buying from a good nursery.

RE: Tree Auction

Ditto what MulchMama said. Retailers have October auctions sometimes around here. This is to clear up valuable retail space for the incoming Christmas inventory. There is no warranty or guarantee of any kind on either discounted or auctioned material.

RE: Tree Auction

What is the typical percent off from retail do you see at these auctions? I understand there are some risks, especially if only buying a few trees, but I'm planning on buying 30+. I know some won't make it. :(

RE: Tree Auction

you said: We are currently building

===>>> then its too early to landscape ...

do not hurry.. because of a bargain .... they usually dont end up saving you money ....

the sale will be there next year... after you actually ID what trees you want.. etc ....

in my z5.. it would be an OK time to do this.. but not all z5 .... we dont even know where you are ...

you need the year.. to make a plan.. research plants... talk with us.. etc ....

most of these auctions involve you having to drag them away.. immediately.. and plant them.. do you have any experiences in planting large ball and burlap ....

if not.. i suggest you practice with some smaller stock in spring.. let us guide you .... get you some experience.. and get you ready for next fall ...

and do NOT confuse yourself.. into thinking large cheap transplants translate into instant gratification ... they usually translate into lost money ....

and this is were you tell us.. the sale was yesterday .... and you got carried away ...

i wish you luck


ps: if you are currently building.. do you actually have water available across the area you are thinking of planting????

RE: Tree Auction

Ken's "p.s." touches on my other big concern. You have to have water available. You also have to be there to water, and if you're not yet living in the home, I can't think of anything more inconvenient or tortuous than having to drive over to the property and water 30 trees.

We had 15 trees professionally in the spring of 2011. I continue to water them in very dry periods and all are doing well. With one exception (which I repaired), they were planted correctly and they were guaranteed. Still we lost three black gum trees, which the nursery replaced, and those are doing well.

Watering 15 trees regularly has really been a pain. Even with a good bucket system and a remote hose bib in the middle of our three acres, it's something I dread doing. We had one very dry winter when I had to fill the big garden cart with water and haul it around with the lawn tractor to get the trees watered -- in January and February. That was a whole lot of trees to be looking after all at once, and I would never do it again.

Be patient. Don't hurry it. When you put a landscape plan together after you have sat out onyour deck or porch for a number of months, you do not want to regret the selection or placement of any of those trees.

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