Among the common questions asked, include what do the trees actually look like when we ship them, and how are they packed. Here are some poor but actual pictures that should help some of these questions. Yes, very true that many of these pictures are not beautiful magazine quality, but the point is that they should better give a real-life idea of some of the trees and plants that you will receive.
Almost everything we ship is bare-root. There are a few exceptions, like the Blueberries, but plan on most items being without soil or soil-media. There are several reasons for this. First, the state nursery inspector prefers we dont ship soil where insects or diseases might hide. Soil adds needless weight, which would increase the shipping costs, and it is very poor for keeping the roots moist and protected. What we do is carefully wrap the roots (and sometimes the stems) in wet shredded newspaper, and we add Terra-Sorb moisture absorbent. The terra-Sorb (which you can learn more about in the Other Item section) turns into a gel when moist, which helps keeps the newpaper moist and the humidity around the roots higher. It also absorbs excess water, reducing the leakage that might damage the package. Although no process is perfect, we have had very good success with this.
The plants are either dormant and pulled fresh out of cold storage, or are carefully lifted from the beds or containers, and prepared before packaging. If from the beds or containers, they are prepared which we refer to as being "trimmed for transport". The procedure is to carefully remove half to all of the leaves, which greatly reduces the stress the plants have during the shipment. Each tree and plant is handled a little differently, so one tree may arrive looking like a stick, whereas another may have all of the leaves left on. Many plants are then sprayed with a product called Wilt-Pruf, which is a moisture-loss preservative (yes, it's perfectly safe). Using Wilt-Pruf will vary also, but like the moisture absorbent around the roots, it adds another level of protection for the plants.
And speaking of protection, if your package ever arrives damaged, or should you have any concerns about your order, please contact us immediately! Most problems have to do with the package handling once picked up by the carrier, and it is your responsibility to let us know. Our warranty is very limited, and we do a good job of packing, but problems do arise as well.
"But they look like sticks". Far different than a magazine picture of colorful leaves, ripe juicy fruit, and huge merchantable trunks, the truth is that they look like sticks...
The Ameri-Willows, and all of the willows are fresh out of cold storage, otherwise they would be trimmed back before packaging.
The poplars and quaking aspen are held in cold storage, but if lifted from the beds, they would trimmed also.
If held in cold storage, they would ship like a stick, like this Redtwig Dogwood.
The Blueberries if not shipped dormant, would be sprayed with Wilt-Pruf.
The Buckeyes, Horsechestnut, Hickories, and Walnuts would look like this when shipped.
American Sycamore before and trimming.
The Tulip Tree also gets trimmed before shipping.
Sweetgum, and others ship best when there are no leaves, but they will resprout.
A lot of trees and plants are trimmed before packing.
The Evergreen Huckleberry is a container-shipped plant, and sprayed with Wilt-Pruf. The Camellia is shipped bareroot, but also sprayed.
The Coast Redwood is not trimmed or held in cold storage, and sometimes it gets sprayed with Wilt-Pruf, other times not, it depends...
The Japanese Maples are typically held in cold storage, so the stems would be bare, and the Ash is typically trimmed back before packing. Both would wilt badly and quickly if the leaves were not trimmed off.
Most of the willows, poplars, and aspen are shipped dormant as long as they are in the coolers. But once in the beds, they would be trimmed.
The Cherry Laurel, and the Leyland Cypress are sprayed with Wilt-Pruf.
Italian Cypress, and the Junipers are also treated with Wilt-Pruf.
Some evergreens like the Deador Cedar and most conifers, will be held in cold storage, and may or may not be treated with Wilt-Pruf.
Generally, the bed-growm Maples, and many items are trimmed.
The Amur North Privet may be in cold storage until late spring, and the Nikko Blue Hydrangea might also, but later from the beds they would be lifted and trimmed before packing.
Gardenias are trimmed and sprayed.
Paulownia ships as a sprouting root-crown, fresh from cold storage.
That pretty much covers everything... any questions?
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