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Anyone bought online trees from arbor day foundation?

Posted by agray132 zone 5 (My Page) on
Sat, Sep 28, 13 at 16:54

I'm curious as to anyone's experience with them and quality of trees.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Anyone bought online trees from arbor day foundation?

both the GW search engine and garden watchdog..

will bring up plenty of negatives...

make a donation ... and expect little or nothing to live..

and then you will be rather surprised.. if it does

ken


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RE: Anyone bought online trees from arbor day foundation?

If you support their purpose, I agree, make the donation. You'll usually receive ten free somethings and surprisingly some do survive their twig-dom and turn into something pretty and eventually worth the ten dollars you invested. As for serious tree planting, I think I'd rather hit local independents for fall tree stock (the box stores will have tortured them to death by now). I do suggest, just like Ken says, to read reviews before you buy any stock online. They certainly are all not created equal.


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RE: Anyone bought online trees from arbor day foundation?

I have been a member of NADF for at least 20 years, and gotten the free baby trees twice at this house. From the first batch (planted Spring 2006), I now have 2 Sargent crabs, and a Sweetgum tree established. The rest perished.

From the 2nd batch (planted Spring 2012) about half are alive. The Cornus florida seedling is doing very well, and at least 4 others are alive, including a Sargent crab and the 2 Washington Hawthorns. I am kind of impressed, since I forgot about them and haven't watered them at all this summer, and we've had a couple droughty periods.

I think their seedlings can do okay, if planted promptly and tended for the first year or 2.

This post was edited by terrene on Sat, Sep 28, 13 at 19:25


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RE: Anyone bought online trees from arbor day foundation?

I don't have an independent nursery in my area. The best I could get is home depot trees which I don't really want to try. Any good online nurseries?


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RE: Anyone bought online trees from arbor day foundation?

There are many many many good mail-order nurseries. Way too many to list them all. Probably the best way to find one is to search for a particular plant and then find a reputable nursery that offers that plant. Always consult Garden Watchdog to ensure that you aren't dealing with a disreputable nursery. Here are some random ones if you just want to browse:

Bay Laurel Nursery (fair G.WD. rating - but I've never had any problem with them)
Broken Arrow Nursery (limited, excellent G.WD. rating)
Burnt Ridge Nursery (very good G.WD. rating)
Cloud Mountain Farm Nursery (limited, excellent G.WD. rating)
Fairweather Gardens (pretty good G.WD. rating)
Forestfarm (very good G.WD. rating)
Greer Gardens (pretty good G.WD. rating)
Lazy S's Farm Nursery (very good G.WD. rating)
Nearly Native Nursery (absolutely perfect G.WD. rating)
Nolin River Nut Tree Nursery (very good G.WD. rating)
Oikos Tree Crops (very good G.WD. rating)
Overhill Gardens (limited, excellent G.WD. rating)
Plant Delights Nursery (pretty good G.WD. rating)
Porterhowse Farms (limited, excellent G.WD. rating)
RareFind Nursery (very good G.WD. rating)
Rolling River Nursery (perfect G.WD. rating)
Sooner Plant Farm (excellent G.WD. rating)
Woodlanders (fair G.WD. rating)


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RE: Anyone bought online trees from arbor day foundation?

Arborday grabbed me first back in '03. I paid for their $7 a piece seedlings and have a couple that are still kicking. Really those all leafed out for me. I killed a couple Giant sequoias and a Southern magnolia in short order. Had one Acer rubrum get washed away in a bad storm. Replaced it with another they sent for free with my next order lol.

The for profit nurseries have more exotic plants and I have found a nursery I like only 60 miles away so I haven't ordered from Arborday in a long time. Still like their website and slightly cheezy plant descriptions even though there are better.


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RE: Anyone bought online trees from arbor day foundation?

Thanks guys. Brandon I will check out those online nurseries. I appreciate it.


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RE: Anyone bought online trees from arbor day foundation?

I was a member for 5 or 6 years. I had gotten some good evergreens from them in my old yard, and 5 in my new yard. and they must have started using volunteers or peeps that didn't know that trees need roots to live. I had received pitiful rootless trees the last time I ordered from them. I am no longer a member. I didn't like the idea of them sending you a few trees they picked along with what you ordered. Not everyone can find a place for these Xtra trees we didn't order. I have 2 acres, but want to plant my favorites, not their castaways.


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RE: Anyone bought online trees from arbor day foundation?

I was a member for several years just because I support groups who encourage growing trees. I noticed the prices for small fruit trees were not out of line from other mail order nurseries, so figured their stock would be comparable. I ordered full dwarf apple trees, and two seckel pear trees. Every one of the apples were not only NOT dwarf, they were also not even semi-dwarf. I have lovely, huge apple trees now in my orchard, all planted entirely too close to one another because the spacing was for dwarf varieties. Add to that, ladder work and pruning not easily done from the ground. I am swimming in apples now, so the quality was there and the varieties they sent were correct, but I paid extra for the dwarf trees and didn't get them. I also had to wait longer for the first harvests. By the time I determined they were going to be huge trees, there was no way I was going to fell them and start over. The pears? They turned out to be Bradfords and as soon as they fruited, were lopped off and turned into supports for my grape vines.


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RE: Anyone bought online trees from arbor day foundation?

  • Posted by beng z6 western MD (My Page) on
    Wed, Oct 2, 13 at 12:01

I got ten tiny trees from them in 2004. Most died quickly, but there are 2 survivors -- a rose-of-sharon and an eastern white oak (that was labeled burr oak).


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RE: Anyone bought online trees from arbor day foundation?

I got a Dawn Redwood from them in the Spring of '10. It was about a foot tall and the top half died. Nonetheless the tree survived and is approximately 19' tall and looks great. I'm not sure I'd go back and buy from them again though as I'd rather get a more advanced specimen than what they send.


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RE: Anyone bought online trees from arbor day foundation?

I bought from them once. I never made that mistake again!

The donation at the time did make me feel good, though, and I don't regret it. I have a few viburnums from that order doing very well. I think that is all that is left alive but I honestly can't remember what all I ordered. Sucks getting old...


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RE: Anyone bought online trees from arbor day foundation?

I ordered a sourwood and a hydrangea, neither had a root system to speak of, the tree lived slightly longer than the hydrangea, about 6 weeks. They replaced the sourwood with a very similar looking one (root-wise), it never leafed but a month or 3 down the road sprouted a green bud near the base, that fell off and I declared it officially dead a week later. Along with my desire to remain a member or order from them again.


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RE: Anyone bought online trees from arbor day foundation?

yeah, i got blue beech instead of true beech. Most of the stuff I get from them is dead or dying. I am zone 4 and I think a major problem is their stuff just isn't cold hardy here.

If you are ok with 'surprise species that I didn't order' and high mortality, the upside is they are cheap, so you won't waste a ton of money. Also, for some reason, their customer service wasn't too bad!


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RE: Anyone bought online trees from arbor day foundation?

I received 10 Arizona Cypress from them and planted them right away during a drought. Was working late so watered them after dark - once a week. After 3-4 weeks accidently kicked one and discovered I had been watering dead sticks for a couple of weeks!
In hind sight I should have put them in pots and babied them for a while. I did that with the next batch of trees I received from them and results were much better.


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RE: Anyone bought online trees from arbor day foundation?

So i am getting my 10 free flowering sticks from them very soon, my neighbors came in spring and sat out in the sun for several days before he discovered them on the side of his house how they got there he doesn't know he wasn't happy and all of them died. With it being fall and our first freeze coming up soon i figure i should probably pot them and baby them like Scoutjute says only problem is i have never done this and need to know what i need to do. Already figure i will get some 5 gal buckets and put holes in the bottom, should i use potting soil or native soil, should i fertalize, how much should i water them, should i keep them in my garage or house and how much sun will i need to give them? Any other info would be great i have never planted trees before in fact this year was my first year planting anything other then ivy indoors so it was a learning year.

I can tell you i did order with two other people who got trees from the nursery and received them in spring the free trees come from a different place and shipping date was too late so i didn't get them in the spring. While i don't know what happened to the free red maple and a weeping willow another lady purchased i do know how the other persons order did. She ordered an Elberta Peach and two Moorpark apricots. One of the apricots leafed out but the leaves have since fallen off of it and it seems to have gone dormant even though we haven't had a freeze yet, the peach and other apricot never did leaf out though. I have asked her to do a scraping to see if they may still be alive if they show no life this spring i will have to contact arbor day about getting replacements for her. I can tell you when i received them the roots of all the trees were slimy and the minimal mud around them smelled like sewage pretty sure even bare root trees shouldn't smell like that or be slimy but like i said i have never planted trees before so i don't know hope that helps with your decision on ordering the nursery tree's did have some branches and were about 3 to 4 foot tall very thin though.


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RE: Anyone bought online trees from arbor day foundation?

Savitar wrote, "should i use potting soil or native soil?"

A well-draining potting soil works best for potted plants. Native soils will likely pack and drain poorly in pots. If you'll take a look at local nurseries and see what they use, I think you'll find that most plant in composted bark fines (like Nature's Helper).

"should i fert(i)lize?"

If you plan on keeping them potted for long, you would need to fertilize. If you are just holding them over for winter, you would not need to do so.

"how much should i water them?"

Water them when they need water. Your climate, your potting medium, and other factors will determine how often you must water. Generally, in winter months, I water my potted outdoor plants very rarely, but have to water daily in summer months.

"should i keep them in my garage or house and how much sun will i need to give them?"

Dormant plants need little if any light. They do however need proper climate conditions. Most trees will do poorly or will die if brought inside a heated house in winter. In your climate, I see no reason to keep them in an unheated garage. In fact, I was really wondering why you don't just plant them where you want them to start with.

Assuming you can protect your new trees from predation and that you can water them when needed, planting them in the permanent location to start with would probably be much much better on your plants and much easier on you. Below is a guide that may help you in planting.

Here is a link that might be useful: Planting a Tree or Shrub


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RE: Anyone bought online trees from arbor day foundation?

where are you ...

you should probably start your own post...

trees are planted in dormancy.. leaf-less.. now is fine..

i suggest planting them in mother earth ...

read and follow brandons link PRECISELY ....

see my first reply.. way up top.. as to quality ... and expectations ...

ken


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RE: Anyone bought online trees from arbor day foundation?

If your "zone" is your zip code, then you are in TX. It can't be that cold there yet?? I agree with Ken, plant them in the earth. Potting them up is an extra unnecessary step. You won't know for sure who makes it or not, until they start budding in the Spring.

I would rinse the sticks well, and you can even soak the roots in some water with a few drops of fertilizer for a few hours before planting.

Also, you can do the "scratch test" and scratch back a little of the bark, and if you see green, then they are alive!


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RE: Anyone bought online trees from arbor day foundation?

Thanks guys was about to start a thread until i saw the replies i will definitely go ahead and plant them where i was planning to before i read several posts about them doing better in pots the first year didn't really think about the zone differences and no it isn't that cold we just got our first frost warning for the year tonight then it is going to warm up again to lows in the mid 50s.

Thank you, that link is great Brandon i actually just bought some evergreen shrubs to make a hedge in a probably futile attempt to keep the neighbor kids from throwing footballs at our car. I am planning on putting them in the ground tomorrow and the link you provided will be a great help.


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RE: Anyone bought online trees from arbor day foundation?

I joined this spring and received 10 northern red oaks, 1 red maple, and the 2 yellow bushes (can't remember the name). 8 of the red oaks survived and seemed to do well this season. Example pic attached. The red maple grew from the lower section only so I cut it down to that level - lots of leaves for such a short tree. The yellow bushes are doing just fine... At least 1 foot growth on those.

I have a pic of the red maple and another northern red oak if interested.

We'll see how the do next year.

Also, they are sending me my 10 free Norway spruce beginning tomorrow.

This post was edited by JD_MN on Wed, Nov 6, 13 at 19:17


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RE: Anyone bought online trees from arbor day foundation?

" I got a Dawn Redwood from them in the Spring of '10. It was about a foot tall and the top half died. Nonetheless the tree survived and is approximately 19' tall and looks great. I'm not sure I'd go back and buy from them again though as I'd rather get a more advanced specimen than what they send."

Aw man, no pictures?!?! Neat tree. What made you decide on it?

My metasequoia came from them a decade ago. Best $10 I ever spent. Honestly for these fast growing trees I dunno if I would risk the transplant trouble and shock of buying a 20 gallon tree. Musser sold me 100 of them a few years back. All were just slightly larger than my Arbor Day single tree and every one of em leafed out.

For fast growing easy transplant species with a good story Arbor Day is really ok. Dollar for dollar they MIGHT even compete with for profit nurseries. You just have to have realistic expectations what $10 is going to get you. And yes, be aware big government may help fund the department of conservation trees I have ordered by the bundle.


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RE: Anyone bought online trees from arbor day foundation?

I planted this Japanese Zelkova on May 30 the day it arrived from Arbor Day, it was the first tree I ever planted. It was a 29" stick with no side branches and not many roots, but it started to grow right away.

The zelkova was supposed to be the big shade tree for the SW corner of the house, and I also bought a hackberry in case the zelkova didn't make it, and a Washington Hawthorn. These two were bigger and had branches and roots but the hackberry never produced a leaf and the hawthorn eventually produced a few from near the base of the trunk. The forsythias that came with the order grew right away but made new branches from the base and the existing branches look dead.

Later I read online that hackberry and hawthorn often have problems coming out of dormancy went planted bareroot in the spring, and I know May 30 is very late.

I didn't join the foundation because I didn't know what to do with the 10 free trees, but now I know that the free ones are just a few inches tall, smaller than the ones you pay for.


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