How to Order Bare Root Fruit Trees

The trees we planted in 2011–all doing well now.

Ladies and gentleman, it’s time to get your bare root fruit tree orders in! The massive wave of common sense that’s swept over the world since the 2008 econopocolypse has got people thinking about planting trees that provide more than just shade. Last year many nurseries ran out of stock. And bare root trees are a great way to save money. The time to order, for delivery next year, is now. Some tips:

  • Choose carefully–talk to people in your area with fruit trees and see what grows well. Visit botanical gardens, community gardens or talk to farmers in your area.
  • Plant varieties you can’t buy at the supermarket.
  • Consider aesthetics. I planted a Red Baron peach in my mom’s yard and the tree not only produces delicious fruit, but it also puts on a spectacular display of flowers in the spring.
  • Pay attention to root stock and cross-pollination requirements.
  • Check out the Dave Wilson nursery’s Backyard Orchard Culture Guide for how to turn a small backyard into a mini-orchard.
  • Order online for the best selection. Bare root trees ship well. Our favorite online nursery is Bay Laurel.
  • Use the Dave Wilson fruit and nut harvest date chart to maximize the number of months you’ll have fruit. 
  • When selecting trees plan for warmer temperatures. The USDA’s new zone map, according to some, is already out of date. Many places will soon bump up another zone. Take this into account when calculating your chill hours.

Most importantly, get going! One of the big regrets with our property is that we didn’t start planting fruit trees until just a few years ago. Knowing what we know now, we’d get started right away. Fruit trees take a lot less time and care than vegetables. And there’s nothing like the taste of a fresh nectaplum!.

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  1. Well, maybe you warm-weather folks out in California can plan on being bumped another zone, but we are talking about the 30-year average extreme minimum temperature… I was “bumped” from Zone 4b to 5a, but I won’t plan on anything more than that until the ice caps have completely melted.

  2. I’d like to vouch for the awesomeness of both your suggestions. I’ve had the pleasure of listening to one of the orchardists (is that a word?) from Dave Wilson speak and it was fantastic. I have also ordered bare root trees from Bay Laurel and the trees did great and are still producing fruit today.

  3. I have always wanted to plant fruit trees but didn’t know where to start. Your post inspired me to check out Bay Laurel Nursery and order some apple and pear trees. I’m a little nervous, but very excited. Thanks!

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