• Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Prowling for bargins

 
Paul Ewing
Posts: 127
Location: Boyd, Texas
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Now is the time when many of the big box stores are starting to think about clearancing their bare root trees, bushes, and vines. Take a prowl around and don't be afraid to ask the managers when they plan to mark things down or if they will give you a discount if you take multiples. I have had good luck with Lowes, Tractor Supply, and even Walmart making deals on garden items after they have been in the store for a couple weeks. Usually you can tell if the items still have some life in them and you can usually get them at 50%-75% or more off the normal price especially if you will take large numbers. I just scored 109 mixed 1" caliper bare root fruit trees from Sam's Club. They are unfortunately grafted on semi-dwarf rootstock, but I am using them for fence row trees and will have pecans and mulberries eventually growing up among them. This will give me peaches, plums, apricots, pears, apples, and Asian pears in a few years until the standard apple and pears and nut trees start bearing though. At $5.50 each it was a great deal for places that may be mostly animal harvested and maybe a bit of U-pick for my favored meat customers.
 
Ce Rice
Posts: 92
Location: Zone 8-9
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
very good advice,

thanks

I'm guessing that if you plan on buying 50+ you can probably ask the manager for his "BEST" price, "oh, come on, help an aspiring farmer out, maybe $50 less from the total price"
 
Paul Ewing
Posts: 127
Location: Boyd, Texas
3
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
At that level I would try for even more off. Realize that at most they paid half of the retail price for the trees and probably less. At 50+ I would be shooting for a couple dollars off as soon as the truck arrived with the trees. Around here especially container trees are routinely discounted 50% towards the end of the "season" even though containers can be planted at any time. If I was planning on getting over 10 trees I would try for a couple bucks of the price. Talk to the garden center manager and/or store manager. Don't worry if they say no, politely thank them and say you will check back later or ask them to give you a call when they decide to discount things. The worst they can say is no. Then go to the next store and ask them for a discount. This works on any semi-perishable item or even just things taking up space. I have gotten 400 or so trees in the last few years doing this. Some don't survive, but a lot do. If you get them from Lowes, Home Depot, or Walmart, they will honor the 1 year guarantee on the trees so keep your receipts. Anything that doesn't leaf out the next spring gets dug up and taken in for a refund to buy replacements. Sometimes I have to buy the replacements are regular price, but it is still a good deal.

Another really great deal is getting seedlings from the state forestry services. You can order 12-18" seedlings of lots of good native trees like pecan, hazelnut, mulberry, persimmon, oaks, chestnuts, and dozens of other fruit, nut, and berry producing trees and shrubs for 35-80 cents each. In most cases you can order from any state's forestry service, but some reserve the first couple months of ordering for their residents. Just Google "<Statename> forestry seedlings" and you will find the sites. It is best to order from states with similar climates to yours unless you know a trees natural range,
 
Peter Ellis
Posts: 1268
Location: Central New Jersey
34
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Funny. Michigan just lists private nurseries with a note that the state no longer sells trees. Even new jersey has a program (and lists persimmons as an option!).
 
Ce Rice
Posts: 92
Location: Zone 8-9
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
More good advice,

I'd never thought of contacting the state forestry service!
 
Michael Qulek
Posts: 148
1
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Paul

I myself have tried to revive "discounted" trees. What helps I think is to trim the stems way back, then totally submerge the tree under water for a few hours. This lets the whole cambial layer absorb some water, faster even than the roots can take it up.

If you don't like the fact the trees are grafted onto semi-dwarf stock, you can get around that by planting the seedlings so the graft union is below the soil line. The scion will eventially sprout roots in the area with soil contact, nulifiying the effect of the roostock.

Good luck!
 
Ce Rice
Posts: 92
Location: Zone 8-9
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Michael,
I can't say this with scientific authority, just what one big organic guy in the Dallas area teaches pretty heavy:
If you bury a tree too deep you can kill it. The bark layer on the trunk is a different bark than on the root flare and below. Burrying a tree too deep puts extreme stress on it as it has to constantly 'heal' that area if it stays too wet or oxygen void. Eventually it can kill a tree by girdling it, in effect.

In a graft scenario the wound/graft may trigger a stem cell response and roots, but on any other trees the advice is to be VERY careful to not bury them too deep. It is generally better to be able to see the root flare. (root flare, where the diameter of the trunk flares out and the roots begin)
 
Renate Howard
pollinator
Posts: 755
Location: zone 6b
9
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ce,

If you read the work of Hugh Ermen or Phil Corbett (Own Root Tree Fruit), the way they get the trees to grow their own roots is to plant them so the graft union is below the soil line, then check from time to time to see if they have rooted above the graft line. Maybe some die but they seem to have pretty good success with their method.

Another way to get cheap fruit trees is to grow your own from seeds or cuttings. Apples rarely can be grown from cuttings, but Pears, including Asian Pears are supposed to be pretty easy to root. Stone fruit can also be rooted from cuttings, and things like figs are ridiculously easy to root from a cutting.

Mark Shepherd, author of Restoration Agriculture and some others recommend starting trees from seed, even apples, because how else are we going to get new varieties or breed ones that are hardy in our conditions without needing heavy spraying? If you're doing a whole row of fruit as a windbreak or part of a fertility strip in a pasture, might as well plant plenty of fruit trees from seed and then just chop and drop the ones that don't have good fruit. I find they do much better after spending a year in a protected nursery bed.
 
George Meljon
Posts: 278
Location: Southern Indiana zone 5b
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Paul Ewing wrote:At that level I would try for even more off. Realize that at most they paid half of the retail price for the trees and probably less. At 50+ I would be shooting for a couple dollars off as soon as the truck arrived with the trees. Around here especially container trees are routinely discounted 50% towards the end of the "season" even though containers can be planted at any time. If I was planning on getting over 10 trees I would try for a couple bucks of the price. Talk to the garden center manager and/or store manager. Don't worry if they say no, politely thank them and say you will check back later or ask them to give you a call when they decide to discount things. The worst they can say is no. Then go to the next store and ask them for a discount. This works on any semi-perishable item or even just things taking up space. I have gotten 400 or so trees in the last few years doing this. Some don't survive, but a lot do. If you get them from Lowes, Home Depot, or Walmart, they will honor the 1 year guarantee on the trees so keep your receipts. Anything that doesn't leaf out the next spring gets dug up and taken in for a refund to buy replacements. Sometimes I have to buy the replacements are regular price, but it is still a good deal.

Another really great deal is getting seedlings from the state forestry services. You can order 12-18" seedlings of lots of good native trees like pecan, hazelnut, mulberry, persimmon, oaks, chestnuts, and dozens of other fruit, nut, and berry producing trees and shrubs for 35-80 cents each. In most cases you can order from any state's forestry service, but some reserve the first couple months of ordering for their residents. Just Google "<Statename> forestry seedlings" and you will find the sites. It is best to order from states with similar climates to yours unless you know a trees natural range,


Great tip!

I'll be going here: http://www.in.gov/dnr/forestry/3624.htm

about 30-40 dollars per 100 seedlings

the guy even said, we're not allow to make a profit

well...okay!

I'm going for the "wildlife mix"

WILDLIFE PACKET 303 $63.60
10 each of the following: American plum, common chokecherry, elderberry, black chokeberry, hazelnut, gray dogwood, pawpaw, persimmon, shagbark hickory, black cherry, Washington hawthorn, flowering crabapple


Yipee!!!
 
George Meljon
Posts: 278
Location: Southern Indiana zone 5b
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Here is Kentucky's nursury, which rounds out some of the things Indiana doesn't have - eg legumes.

http://forestry.ky.gov/statenurseriesandtreeseedlings/Documents/Seedling%20Order%20Form.pdf

 
Willie Shannon
Posts: 28
Location: Southeast TN
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Best information ever! I'm looking at TN right now! http://www.tn.gov/agriculture/publications/forestry/seedlingcatalog.pdf

Thanks for the info!
 
Mike Cantrell
Posts: 530
Location: Mid-Michigan
28
bee books duck food preservation forest garden hunting solar trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Peter Ellis wrote:Funny. Michigan just lists private nurseries with a note that the state no longer sells trees. Even new jersey has a program (and lists persimmons as an option!).


The counties do, though. At least Jackson County does.
The prices aren't any better than commercial nurseries (well, they're lower prices for smaller trees, so... comparable), and selection is limited to 2-4 varieties of each tree. I'm not ordering any this year.


George Meljon wrote:Great tip!
I'll be going here: http://www.in.gov/dnr/forestry/3624.htm
about 30-40 dollars per 100 seedlings
the guy even said, we're not allow to make a profit
well...okay!
I'm going for the "wildlife mix"
WILDLIFE PACKET 303 $63.60
10 each of the following: American plum, common chokecherry, elderberry, black chokeberry, hazelnut, gray dogwood, pawpaw, persimmon, shagbark hickory, black cherry, Washington hawthorn, flowering crabapple

Holy moly, I like that price!
Hoosiers only, though. Oh, well.
 
Renate Howard
pollinator
Posts: 755
Location: zone 6b
9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Musser Forests has better prices than the state nursery for some of them. https://www.musserforests.com/ When I ordered from them in the past I was very pleased with what I got.

I got trees from KY forestry last year. They ran out of one kind that I had ordered 100 of, so I had to send in $20 more to get two orders of 10 instead! The trees of some types (like persimmons) were only inches high, and I had no idea what varieties they were. I wouldn't order from them again. I found out the "free fish" offer they have on some of the same websites does make you actually pay to get your pond stocked, almost twice as much as going directly through the fish truck, they also make you order in large numbers where the fish truck will often count out (and charge you for) only as many as you think your pond can support. I think they mean well, but the bureaucracy is getting in the way of them being as helpful as some who thought of the idea meant it to be.
 
  • Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic