Bud swell on bare root pear

I just received my order from St. Lawrence Nursery (no email telling me the trees were being shipped, less than awesome).

One apple, one pear, and 3 pear rootstocks. The pear is definitely showing bud swell. It’s still pretty much winter here with plenty of lows in the 20s in the forecast. Should I go ahead and get the tree in the ground if I can, or should I wait? I lost a grafted white mulberry one year after a hard frost, it was not dormant when I planted it.

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I have gotten plants shipped without a email. I remember I got a citrus tree shipped from one nursery without a tracking number. All my orders from Grow Organic Peaceful Valley have never had a tracking number. How I generally know they shipped is I get shipping notifications from our shipping services. They are actually quite helpful. You would be surprised how early you are supposed to plant bare root trees and plants. Our last frost in Colorado is in May but we are supposed to plant in April according to the blueberry video from the CSU extension. I know shipping times are tough with online nursery. Ship too early and the ground is frozen but ship to late and the plants burn up in the package. I know I have had plants shipped in March and April but even though we have lows in the 20s like you they are still leafed out and doing well. Heck we got down to a low of 15 degrees this April and plants suffered no damage. Generally when temperatures do go to the low 20s it is only for a few hours at this point. Assuming you bought to your zone I would not worry.

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I’ve always figured if I can get a shovel in the ground, I’ll plant bare root stock. The difference is that I’ve almost always received fully dormant bare root stock. These trees must have spent a good number of days sitting somewhere warm, or it’s been much warmer in Potsdam, NY than here.

For how small the Ely pear is, I suppose I’m not out much if the thing dies anyway. $29 (plus shipping) sure doesn’t get you much of a tree from SLN.

Cost is a relative thing. 29 dollars is cheap for where I live. Here a potted tree in a nursery would be over 120 dollars. Fast growing trees charges 140 dollars for a pear. Even comparing bare root trees Raintree Nursery charges 60 dollars plus shipping for a pear. I got a Warren on standard rootstock from edible landscaping and it was 60 something or 70 something dollars by the time shipping happened because they charge 69 percent of price for shipping.

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That’s about what they are here too. For that money though I get 10’+ tall trees with 1.5-2" calipers in 15-20 gallon pots that will produce fruit the following year. I’ve bought several trees like that for about half price at the end of the season.

You can’t buy Ely pear or Redstone Canyon Gold apple from anywhere else in the U.S. that I’m aware of, so SLN it is. The Ely is about 2’ tall counting the roots with maybe a 3/8" caliper. It may produce a few fruit by 2032.

These will likely be the last bare root fruit trees I buy.

Pears and apples are generally very slow growing but will outlive you. I remember reading someone say pears for your heirs. On some rootstock certain pears and apples can take 10-20 years to produce anything. Compare that to peaches or nectarines which can fruit the first or second year you have it but will suffer a quick decline. I forget which pear thread it was but there was a thread called is Warren worth it or the thread could have been is Magness worth it. In that thread people talked about the long period for it to produce fruit but how it is some of the best pears you can grow and are disease resistant so once they start you get some of the best pear trees. Boy is the wait time long on those two varieties though.

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I’ve had rootstock for 30 days outside…in box in plastic…planted the last of them yesterday.
25 did 'em no harm. OHxF333

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It’s common nowadays to ship without notification. Have not received a notification of an order in a long time. That does not mean thats ideal. Would keep them inside the garage until it’s warmer. Once the buds have green tips I just try to slow them down in a cold area but not freezing cold.

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I got an email today after posting about not getting a notification from SLN. That email was to apologize to those customers who did not receive a shipping notification. Apparently, there was some snafu on their end. I have communicated with a number of other folks who ordered from SLN who did indeed receive email shipping notifications.

As far as it being common to not provide them…that would be news to me. I received a notification today from the Univ. of ID regarding my tree plugs being shipped today. I received a notification from Fedco last month when they shipped my scions. I’ll receive both an email notification and a postcard from my county’s SWCD when trees are ready to be picked up in early May. I fully expect to receive a notification from Musser Forests when they ship my order later this week. They’ve always done so in prior years. So has every other tree supplier I’ve ordered from in the past. I’d think that such notifications are simply automated messages generated from the time an order is placed.



Not specifically SLN but haven’t you noticed ups, usps, FedEx people being overwhelmed and the shippers themselves online. As an example I ordered from about 10 vendors seeds received 1 or 2 notifications. The same with everything I get a notification wait for it it never arrives. One gentleman apologized my order was 4 weeks or more late!

Yes, I noticed that in November through February. However, I know a guy who drives semi for UPS and he reports that they are definitely slowing down now. His work schedule is largely back to normal. My local UPS driver is a great guy. We talk about deer hunting and tree planting at least a couple times each spring. We did just that last week. I see my USPS mail carrier at the local Legion most every week. He’s doing just fine and notes that his work load has eased up significantly in the last month or two.

What I have noticed is that the issues I’ve experienced with shipping delays have largely not been related to the carrier. They are related to a lack of supply on the vendor’s parts.


I never get an notification about delivery either. Actually I am HAPPY when the supplier ships to me early April. If too wet or cold, I can lay the tree horizontal on the ground in my garden and temporarily cover it with wood chips until better planting weather comes.

That works better for me than some nursery suppliers who ship to me in late May and the stock arrives bare-root but already pushing new growth and we have hot weather. The new growth fries off and despite lots of watering, not all makes it.

I much prefer getting my bare-root in too early compared to too late.


Me too, if the shovel goes in the ground without hitting frost it’s time to plant. I’m not complaining one bit about receiving my trees at this time of year. I planted both the pear and the apple today. Both had a few circling roots that would have eventually strangled the trees. I removed those roots and got them in the ground. Lots of snow and rain in the forecast. Should be good timing.

edit…got another shipping notice. This one from Indiana Berry. You folks not getting shipping notices from anybody must be unlucky.


I work for USPS as a clerk. I get to through all the packages and mail in the morning and due to staffing shortages I get to do the full distribution of the mail and packages to the PO Boxes. We noticed a decrease until the two weeks before Easter. Then Easter was almost a second Christmas or worse than Christmas. We had customers constantly out the door, double the packages or more of what we normally have etc. What started to happen was we got people buying/shipping things for Easter and plants have started to come in. Keep in mind this time and fall time are the big shipping times for nurseries for colder regions. In zone 5 nurseries that know what they are doing ship March-May and will continue again September- October or November. Summer months are far too hot so plants just bake in the boxes and arrive dead and the winter months are too cold to plant. Each nursery has a narrow window. I try to deliver packages that I recognize are plant companies or state perishable. Technically we are supposed to prioritize higher shipping for parcel lockers but I prioritize those items that can’t last and those who pick up their stuff every day.