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Tree FAQ: Much Ado About Shipping & Arrival!

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Before Your Trees Arrive

When can I expect my tree(s) to arrive?

Mid to late April! We’ll begin shipping in mid-April, as weather allows, as is best for your trees!

How long does it take for the trees to ship from when I receive my shipping confirmation email?

You can expect your tree in 3 to 5 business days, HOORAY!

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Do I have a choice in how my trees are shipped?

Also, no: We are only set-up to ship with FedEx and cannot accommodate orders to go USPS or UPS at this time.

Can I check on the status of my order?

Absolutely! Simply log-in to your Fruition account and scroll down to my account/ my orders.

Once Your Trees Arrive!

If the trunk snapped in shipping, what do I do?

If the tree is damaged in shipping, please let us know right away and we can determine if a replacement is needed.  As long as the tree snapped above the graft at the very bottom of the trunk, it will still make it! Just prune it down to the next bud. 

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How is a bare root tree cared for until it is planted?

Trees need to be kept in a cool dark place until they are planted. Keep trees out of direct sunlight and warm temperatures until planting time. They can die if the roots freeze before being planted. Plant trees as soon as possible after they arrive or as soon as the ground thaws enough to dig a hole, even if temperatures are still dipping below freezing.

Here are the steps once receiving a mail order tree:

1) When the shipment arrives on the doorstep, remove it from sunlight or freezing temperatures as quickly as possible. An unheated basement, garage, or dark cool place that doesn’t freeze is ideal for temporary storage. Trees will dry out if they are brought indoors where there is heat, or even a warm basement with a furnace.

2) Open the box and set aside damp packing material. Sprinkle water on the roots so there aren’t any dry spots.

3) Inspect the trees for any damage that may have occurred during shipping. It’s not uncommon for branches or roots to snap during shipping. Using hand shears, prune off broken branches down to the closest outward facing bud and all will be okay! Only if the central leader has broken will the tree require a “heading cut” down to the bud closest to the break.

4) If the trees are being planted on the day of arrival (the optimal time!), then they can be placed in a bucket of water for up to 2 hours before planting to aid in water uptake prior to being transplanted. 

5) If the trees are NOT getting planted immediately: After inspecting and watering, cover the roots back up with watered down packing material and tightly wrap the root ball with the plastic from the box so there are no air holes. Trunks should remain upright with no plastic around them except snuggly at the top of the root system. 

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How do I plant a tree?

Hop on over to our 10 Steps for Planting a Tree blog, my Friend!

Can the tree be planted if it is still getting down into freezing temps?

Yes! As long as the tree is planted and roots are covered in soil, it is totally fine for the tree to be planted when it is still freezing out. In fact, the tree will do better being planted as soon as possible after shipping than waiting for milder temperatures. We recommend planting the tree as soon as the ground has thawed enough to dig a hole.

Will the tree be okay if it is already beginning to leaf out when I open the shipment?

It’s common for trees to begin budding out in April. In late April and early May they could already have leaves emerging. This is okay, the tree will do just fine but it really needs to get in the ground as soon as possible and roots kept plenty moist. The more the tree has leafed out, the more sensitive it will be to being transplanted, especially if conditions are sunny, dry, or windy at the time of planting.

Do the roots need to stay damp or wet at all times?

Yes! Roots on bare root trees must not dry out. They may be slightly dry when they arrive in the box and this is okay! Just sprinkle water on the roots and cover up with moistened packing material. If trees cannot be planted immediately on arrival, they need to be checked for dryness every few days. They cannot be placed in standing water, except at the time of planting when it’s totally fine to place roots in a bucket of water for up to 2 hours.

There’s so much more to share, Friends!

Hop into our many blogs below and stay tuned for our upcoming webinars, on-farm events and a step-by-step course, Organic Apples & Orcharding Course!

5 Keys for Establishing an Organic Orchard + 5 Common Mistakes to Avoid

6 Core Questions for Orchard Planning

10 Steps for Planting an Apple Tree

Soil Testing for Trees & Orchards

Sending love from our gardens to yours!

Sow Seeds & Sing Songs,

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& the whole Fruition crew

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