Big box fruit trees in short supply this season

I am not sure the reason, but this year the “Big Box” stores near me (Home Depot and Lowes) had an extremely paltry selection of fruit trees compared to last year. I would guestimate that both chains had a 75% reduction in the number of fruit trees being sold at each store.
Also…plum trees this year…I have seen almost zero plum trees for sale. In years past there were loads of potted plum trees (methley, ozark premier, bruce, morris, santa rosa, burbank) in the big box stores near me. This year I have counted just 3 morris plums at a single store…haven’t seen any other plum trees this year. The Home Depot also used to carry many Dave Wilson trees (pluots, apriums) and those are a complete no show this year.
The stores have mainly peaches (but not near the quantity or variety) and a few apples and pears…that is it.
I wonder what happened here in North Texas to see such a dramatic decline in the potted fruit trees.

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Yes last years supply at HomemDot were not the usual amounts and of less quality than they usually have.

I’m a much bigger big-box store tree consumer than I should be (just posted in another thread about how many mislabeled trees I have gotten from them) but I find it hard to resist those large, well branched, potted trees that often produce the year after planting them, so I keep a close eye on their selection as well. And even though we are in 2 different parts of the country, I’ve had almost exactly the same experience as @texancharlie . The variety and quality here are just way, way down. But keep in mind, last winter ( just over a year ago I mean) was brutal and many nurseries lost a lot of trees, so I have to think that’s what the problem is.; Most big box trees appear to be from 1-2 years old, so that last harsh winter probably killed a lot of them. I’m no expert, but I would assume that a potted tree without the benefit of even in-ground insulation are more likely to freeze to death than similar trees with roots under the ground. ANd the giant suppliers of big box trees don’t have space or manpower to move them in doors, I’m sure. SO that’s my guess at what is going on. I did ask a couple places and they said they have more coming, so we will see.

The stores here have a terrible selection as well. This year has been the first year that Home Depot has bareroot trees. same old normal varieties. They are not selling either. Only $13 which really isnt too bad for not having to ship them. What concerns me is this. People who are fruit growers like us dont want these varieties and the rest of the people dont want to mess with fruit trees. That is a problem because eventually they will mark them down and they will sell but next year the buyers will remember that and probably not get any at all. If they would just order some better varieties they would move faster and keep up the interest and sells. My stores have tons of red and yellow delicious. And it seems they havent sold any. Yes i have a problem with going to Lowes or Homedepot atleast every other day.

Home Depot in my area had the bagged Apple trees, but they also had some potted ones from vigoro, not sure if that’s just a Homedepot company. The potted ones there were some Zestars, and Sweet Sixteens. Branching was pretty bad. lowes had some surprising ones, Liberty, Mutsu, Pink Lady and yellow transparents. All of the Lowea ones had really few and almost no branching.

Good to know there is no saturated fat in apples. Low Cholesterol too.


Being the nutrition facts are on the apple tree wouldn’t they be for the tree?:fork_and_knife:

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It reminds me of the time I caught mayonnaise bragging about being 0 carbs…you’re whipped cholesterol, Mayo…you don’t get to brag!


One nursery guy told me that a super large nursery/tree farm here in NE Texas went bankrupt and no one could get trees. I too had noticed the difference.

Huh… I putzed around to various hardware/garden stores this Saturday. And the Lowes here was stocked with about the normal number. Theisen’s had varieties that were actually zone 5 appropriate varieties, including Toka and Black Ice plum and Reliance peach. Kudos to Theisen’s. If the Black Ice plums weren’t $60 one would have ended up in my yard to hang out with Superior and Alderman.

$60? yikes! I noticed Menards here had their first shipment of trees…didn’t notice any fruit trees in there. Maybe this weekend they’ll have them.

Home Depot trees are about $15 more than last year, $40-$60 for fruit trees. But the quality of the trees is better than the past, I did not see canker on the cherrys, peach branches killed by frost at the nursery this year.

Yikes is right if people are willing to pay that I am not charging nearly enough!!


Is that potted or bagged bare-root? Potted trees are more expensive. HD bare-root trees were $23 dollars here last year. I got one on clearance for 50% off. They did have more interesting varieties in the potted section.

I’ve never seen bare rooted trees at my Home Depot…is this a new thing or just certain areas?

I’m not sure if they offered it before last year. It was first bagged in a thick knitted bag filled with wet sawdust. Then that was bagged in plastic bag with a metal band sealing both bags tight to the trunk.

I have never seen bare-root trees at the local Lowes or Home Depot. Also the trees down here are much cheaper than other parts of the country. They are usually 23$ for a potted tree, and the potted trees local here are already producing fruit.

Those labels are behind the times.

They should label them “gluten free” and perhaps “humane”.


Just went to check fruit trees at home depot. No bare root in bags, never seen them around. All potted trees. They only offer The usual suspects: McIntosh, Granny Smith, etc., nothing to be excited about.

It is $29.95 a tree.