Jane Reed wrote:Kyle, I'm doing the same thing... growing apples from seed which I want to use for grafting experiments in future. This may be an answer to the original point of this post. Fruit trees grown from seed, which thrive, are therefore well suited to one's own growing conditions. And, they're free.
Another point about local nurseries is that you may be able to find off season bargains there. One local big box place will NOT sell anything at a discount, even ragged plants that can be saved. They are all thrown away. My local nursery has their "bargain basement" where tired plants (annuals, perennials, and trees) are discounted. Two years ago I got a potted Honeycrisp apple for $15.00, a $10.00 savings. Some of their perennials are discounted $3.00-4.00.