Frequently Asked Questions
General Tree Questions
“There are so many internet sites that sell trees why should I buy from you?”
We have over 45 years experience of growing trees, and we grow our own trees, we give you an honest evaluation of the trees you want to plant on your site. Our web sites gives you pictures and information on the specific trees, few places do that as they only sell trees and really know nothing about them. We are always here to give you the information you want or need.
“Your trees seem to be cheaper than most others, why is that?”
We grow our own trees so we do not have to buy our trees from other people, increasing your cost. We have no fancy retail outlet in a big city, we sell our tree right here on our Iowa farm to you.
“Can you explain the difference between bareroot, seedlings, transplants, potted.”
From left to right – seedling,– 18″-24″ transplant and 2′-3′ transplants
Bareroot are plants that have no soil on the roots, this is mainly for plants 3 ft tall or smaller.
Seedlings are bareroot plants grown from seed that have never been dug. Normally you do not want a seedling older than 2 years as the survival drops substantially as so many roots have to be cut off when dug. These are the cheapest, but losses can be high if it get dry or no weed control is provided.
Transplants are bareroot plants that have had their root system pruned and planted back in the ground. This greatly increases the survival when again dug and planted. A 2/2 transplants has spent 2 years in a seedling bed and 2 years in a transplant bed, these have excellent survival when given good weed and grass control and are easy to plant.
Potted is a tree that is grown in a pot and is usually 5-7 years old. Survival is excellent as few roots are lost during planting. If you have good weed control, even watering is not needed except in a dry year. These cost more but for windbreaks and yards we think they are the best choice.
“Your website mentions no mulch when planting trees, I was told to mulch everything.”
If you have a very sandy soil it is OK to mulch your trees, but for everyone else we have a no mulch policy. On a normal to wet year it keeps the soil too wet for the roots to grow, and the roots grow right under the mulch to get away from the wet soil. This is not good as you want your tree and plant roots to go deep for the long term. We believe that mulch should not be used for weed and grass control and recommend the use of herbicides to do this. When the ground is kept bare by herbicides we have seen a tremendous increase of earthworms which is great for the soil and trees. Our experience has shown that in the midwest our fastest, best growing trees have no mulch.
“You recommend herbicides to spray around your trees, is this easy to do?”
Yes it is very easy, one of the problems we have seen is planting the trees and then having the grass and weeds growing close to the plant taking all the moisture and nutrients causing the plant growth to be very slow or the tree just dies. Grass and weed control is the most important thing you can do for your trees after they are in the ground, and much more important than watering. You can hoe around them or get on your hands and knees and pull the weeds but most people tier of this quickly. We suggest chemicals such as Roundup, Pendulum, Goal, Princep and Preen, these are the safest to spray around your trees and you need no special license to buy or use them. If you try it once, you will use them again, and it is only for the first few years to get the trees off to a good start.
Shipping and Getting the Trees to you
“I live too far to drive to get my trees can you ship them?”
Yes trees that are shorter than 4 ft with the root system can be shipped by UPS. We ship bare root trees ONLY by UPS. We usually ship on Mon or Tues so you have them by the end of the week so they will not sit in some hot warehouse over the weekend. If you cannot plant them within 24 hours we suggest that you freeze gallon plastic milk jugs of water and put them in the box with the trees and keep them closed. Replace them with new frozen jugs every 48 hours, this will let you go up to 10 days if for some reason you cannot get them planted, but try to plant ASAP. We also have 2 delivery routes in Iowa in the Spring and Fall. One route is along Interstate 80 to Council Bluffs, IA and the other one to Spencer, IA
“What does it cost to ship trees by UPS?”
It varies on the amount and size of trees you want, the distance to be shipped, and the weight. We cannot give you an exact amount until they are in the box and weighed. As an example a large 16’X16″x48″ box can hold 250 deciduous transplants, 125 evergreen transplants, and can ship to most places for about $55.