Shipping more than the tree!

Grandpa’s Orchard seems to charge more to ship than the cost of the tree!

Is that pretty typical now?

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If it’s an oversized box and going very far, that’s typical. I’ve ordered trees UPS in 5 gallon pots before…always costs more than the tree.

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Every time I’ve looked at Grandpa’s shipping I’ve been shocked. I have heard that shipping costs may be adjusted at billing time, but I don’t want an “estimate”…I want to know how much my order is going to cost in total.

I don’t get the same “shell shock” when ordering from Burnt Ridge or Fedco


A number of places manage to keep their shipping costs down at a very reasonable level somehow.


That is why I’ve kept going back to Burnt Ridge. But even then, the bigger they get, the less likely the quality stays up.

Moms and pops find they can’t manage 100 employees….my Cummins order had problems, which they did resolve, but the error was ‘due to new hires’ I was told.


Yes, I’ve received some really nice trees and some not so nice trees from Burnt Ridge. Even the not so nice ones have survived though, they are just delayed in growth for a period of time.

Most of my new trees now are those I graft, so shipping has become less of an issue for me.


Where do you guys go for rootstocks? Burnt Ridge, Raintree, Cummins? And of those or others, who would have the most reasonable and fast shipping that I could still get this spring?

Grandpa’s is expensive on shipping, and to a certain extent I think it is bs that there shipping is so high. I believe there is an old thread where someone from Grandpa’s actually discussed the shipping but I may be wrong … I have had problems with Cummins in the past. Ordered Cherry’s, one month before they were to ship they cancelled my order with no explanation, nothing for my inconvenience (cherry’s were in short supply that year, no opportunity to order elsewhere). FYI Cummin’s does not always grow what they sell as I learned that year. Burnt Ridge sells small trees compared to places like Vanwell and ACN and I had significant number of rootstock die when i ordered from them. For me Vanwell is by far the best (cost, size, shipping) but there selection is not as good as some of the other nurseries.

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I paid 50 cents on the dollar for shipping from Rolling River. I think many nurseries are beginning to see the shipping cost as another way to bring in a few dollars. They call it a handling fee and it’s included in the shipping price. Blueberry is right. Bigger usually means worse condition. I bought the large tree from Burnt Ridge and they saved on shipping weight by cutting off all the roots.

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I ordered a few pawpaws, persimmons, osage orange, apples from hidden Springs nursery with reasonable prices and shipping.



I’ve ordered from all 3 as well as Fedco. Raintree is the priciest. Burnt Ridge the cheapest (if they have what you want), Cummins has more choices.

And Copenhaven Farms might be a fine option if you got your order in 9 months before you needed it.

I agree many places use shipping and handling as way to generate more income. The ones with the highest charges I have dealt with personally are smaller operations with some unique offerings.

Raintree (in the past anyway) isn’t bad if you order enough things that the numbers work in your favor. If you don’t order much or go just over to the next tier, then you get screwed.

I recently received my peach tree from Trees of Antiquity, all in all the shipping was substantial but at least not more than the tree. I do have to say though, I think I may have gotten the nicest tree in the best condition of anything I have ever ordered. And, if I were to go to one of the local higher-end nurseries and purchased a potted tree already leafed out it would have cost about the same, so I am happy.

The takeaway I think is if a person can order more than one tree/plant the shipping is always more appropriate. But eventually all homeowners get to a point where they are adding a plant or tree here and there and that’s about it, and then you get soaked.

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Another member and I have for the last couple years each placed an order with an online nursery and split the shipping between them …

Just look for a nearby friend and communicate.


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Yes shipping can cost more than the price of the tree. Especially if the tree is large and not headed back much. Or your just buying one tree. I think in most cases the shipping is per box( of a certain size) rather than per tree since that is what the shipping company’s charges are based on.

That’s why I try to buy several trees when I order since multiple trees fit in a box. That lowers the cost per tree. I think vendors are aware of the problem. For example, Cummins Nursery used to use larger boxes and head the trees back less, more recently my trees from them are headed back more and the boxes are small resulting in lower shipping costs.

If your wanting lower costs you could order smaller (cheaper) trees. Another option is to order bench grafts. They ship in small boxes since they only slightly longer than a standard 1/4" rootstock. Bench grafts are cheaper than finished trees but require more care and take longer to get into production. Also you can get some rare cultivars on bench grafts that are not available as finished trees.