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Super Green Thumb
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Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 1:59 pm
Location: TN. 50 years of gardening experience.

Fruit trees for sale online anyone tried these?

I want to grow Apple, Pear, Peach, Plum, Cherry trees at my house in Phoenix Arizona area. I don't have a clue what to buy???

I know from experience when the fruit becomes ripe there is no way to eat it all before it goes bad so most of the fruit will be canned in mason jars or juiced for drinking and homemade wine.

I am thinking about ordering small trees online from places like this. Has anyone done this???

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Last edited by Gary350 on Fri Oct 26, 2012 2:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Super Green Thumb
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Location: TN/GA 7b

Can't help you with your question.

But being in the desert, if you don't want to be pouring water on all the time, you might think about more desert adapted trees: figs, dates, almonds, apricots, pomegranates, olives.

I don't know for sure if you get enough cooling degree days there for things like apples and plums. You will need to make sure you look for varieties that are adapted to your climate.

You don't live in TN any more (even though the location under your avatar still says you do). :)

Green Thumb
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Location: Pacific NW

We ordered from them and I have since removed everyone of those trees and replanted from other places. The cherry tree produced only pits with skin, like what used to be called male cherries. The White cherry never bore in 6 years. Many of the trees just didn't come out of dormancy or were dead when they arrived. I was told to send them back for a replacement and instead they refused shipment and I got charged for return postage as well. The trees in question were not replaced.
Some of the dwarf trees were as tall as semis in 3 years and 2 of the trees, pears the grafts broke loose before they were 18 months old.
In short don't it was a waste of time and money.
I can't stress this enough contact your extension and see what varieties will grow and what they recommend. Many things are not going to do anything down there. You need varieties especially bred for the south with low chilling hours. Also you will have to water them like mad so check into the water bill and availability before you purchase trees.
Dwarfs are always the easiest to take care of. Semis are very hard to prune after just a few years. Note dwarfs vary greatly in size from the patio dwarfs which can be grown in very large pots with care to things that I would consider semis. Apples on m-26 are about right. There is a thread earlier about dwarf tree sizes (in the spring) Sussex did a great job of answering that compactly, better than I would. Short of that try to contact him directly. Sussex is very knowledgeable about dwarfing stock.

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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M(11/B)

I believe you are referring to JONA (his location I think is Sussex) -- yes when he answers fruit tree questions, I always learn something. :D

Most of my fruit trees are from on-line sources but not from the one OP mentioned, so it's informative to hear the negative experiences from another member (sorry that happened to you though).

I've had few negative experiences -- and don't order from them any more -- and many positive experiences -- and stick with them now. One early lesson learned is that no matter how unique the variety, it's better NOT to order from geographically distant main order sources unless I'm willing to pay for extra service shipping. Good service mail order sources located within closer distance can sometimes actually ship/deliver in shorter time than stated for standard delivery.

No matter how good the on-line source is and quality of their nursery stock, the plants can get pretty stressed out during the shipping process, so speedy order turnaround, good packaging, and short shipping distance/time spent in the package all influence their condition upon arrival. Time of the year and weather conditions come into play. And make sure to provide instructions for the carrier about WHERE to leave the package. (I ask for the package to be left in the shade/protected location).

Also, I order plants that need extra winter hardiness from nurseries in lower USDA zones, and plants that need extra summer heat tolerance from sources in higher USDA zones. You'll notice that hardiness range listed may vary accordingly as well and make sure that your location doesn't fall out of range in either end. (For example, Fedco in Maine has apple trees that are listed for Zones 3-6. I wouldn't get those since I'm in Zone 6 and want at least one zone level buffer. But I might get a fig tree if they said they have one that's hardy to Zone 5)

You also have to keep in mind that depending on location, their trees would have gone dormant earlier in fall or haven't gone dormant yet when your ground has frozen, or, in late winter/early spring, their trees are ready to come out of dormancy when your ground is still frozen or it's way past time to plant in your garden and they are just getting ready to dig. Shipping weather is affected similarly as well. I'm not sure if I would trust shipping routes that have to cross the Rockies (for example) or desert conditions that significantly alter the temperature they started and will end in.

Most good mail order nurseries that have been doing this for a long time will know what they are doing, and will know even better than you what the best time to ship to arrive in your garden will be. But when in doubt, be sure to contact them and make appropriate arrangements.

There is a greenhouse nursery that offers to add hot packs in the package during freezing weather and cold packs during the summer heat if you pay for express shipping. It's a bit of a conundrum since the plants would need the hot/cold packs more when it takes longer to deliver, but there it is. -- unless it's a gift or something that absolutely must be obtained "off season" (or maybe they are having a terrific sale that offsets the cost of expensive express shipping) -- I consider my plant material mail order windows to be dormant season in my garden for dormant plants, and frost-free and heat wave-free seasons for leafed plants.
Last edited by applestar on Sat Oct 27, 2012 1:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

Super Green Thumb
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Always, always check on a company before ordering.

[quote]Tennessee Attorney General Bob Cooper has filed suit against two Middle Tennessee companies
and their owners for allegedly using deceptive practices to sell nursery goods to consumers across
the country.
The lawsuit filed on behalf of Mary Clement, director of the Tennessee Commerce and Insurance
Department’s Division of Consumer Affairs, names Samuel Evins Womack and Melinda Ramsey
Womack, who own and operate both Autumn Ridge Nursery, Inc. and Summerstone Nursery, Inc. in
McMinnville, Tenn. The businesses sell nursery goods primarily through mail order catalogs and
from their websites. The State claims that, while the defendants’ websites and catalogs display
photographs of healthy, mature and viable plants and trees for sale, the goods actually shipped out
by the defendants are often in a “dormantâ€

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Super Green Thumb
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Location: TN/GA 7b

good work Eric, what did you look up to find that?

Greener Thumb
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Location: SUSSEX

There is one thing I would add to all that has been said.

You say that one problem is that all the fruit needs to be eaten at one time.

In the case of apple and pears this is not the case unless they are early fruits that have no keeping quality.

With good keeping varieties on heavy crop years it pays top pick the fruit in three stages.

First test the fruit regularly as you get near to the harvest period.
Take a couple of fruits from the tree and cut in half.
Paint the cut fruit with raw iodine.
The fruit will turn black and then slowly whiten from the central core area.
Once the circle of whitening reaches a third of the area you can safely pick that fruit for ' long ' storage......pick around a third of the fruit from the outside of the tree where it is the ripest and store.
A week later pick a further third for medium length storage and leave the remaining third to tree ripen for immediate consumption.

If you only pick fruit from a tree when its edible it will never give good storage.

....The iodine just signifies were starch has turned to sugar.

Super Green Thumb
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Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2010 11:43 pm

rainbowgardener wrote:good work Eric, what did you look up to find that?
Rainbow, I Google "Summerstone nursery reviews".

I'm in a similar predicament with Norwalk Power Equipment. The first time I ordered from them, great service. I'm still waiting for my second parts order. It's been over a month. At about 2 weeks, I contacted them through their web site. No response. Week 3, tried again. No response. I called, long distance, and was asked to leave a message.

I Google "Norwalk Power Equipment reviews". Should have known :wink: Now I regret the first order.


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Greener Thumb
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Location: Southern California

If you are ok with picking up trees from your local nursery you can special order from Dave Wilson Nursery and they will ship it with the nursery stock and you can go pick them up. They are in Northern California. It is where all my fruit is from. I actually just placed an order about 30 minutes ago with my nursery.

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