Stark Bro's still shipping bare root?

Got an email for and end of season sale. Added a few trees to the cart to see what shipping would be and noticed they ship bare root or at least that is what it says. Surely these wouldnt be dormant bare root trees would they. Or would they be in leaf but soil removed?

If the trees are stored in a refrigerated warehouse they could still be dormant. I just received two trees from raintree last week that were completely dormant. I planted them the very day i received them. One looks great and is starting to leaf out. The other one doesn’t look that great but I can see a little bit of life in the buds. the one that looks great had much nicer roots and was planted in better soil so that probably has a lot to do with it.

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They are are dormant bare root. I’ve gotten a couple before during late spring clearance. All were good trees. The only thing I don’t like about them is that they won’t guarantee the rootstock type for non-commercial buyers. They don’t even label the rootstock on the tree you get, so you have to figure it out for yourself. If you ask, they might give you a list of possibilities. You can also do google search to see what others know about the rootstock possibilities for a specific fruit type.

interesting. Makes sense that they would be refrigerated. That makes me wonder. How long is a tree good for under refrigeration?

@mksmth - I just ordered a sugar maple for my curb line and it arrived 6 days ago fully dormant or fully dead. I am still waiting :wink:. It’s been 90+ in NJ so I figured I would get bud swelling fast but nothing yet.

I did scratch test it and was green so now I wait…

You can say what you want about Starks, but they have a refrigerated warehouse that won’t quit. Its more like suspended animation than mere dormancy. A very good bet for a late season shipment.

They also have an incredible sale going on right now. They have peach trees for as low as $8.99 and apples for as low as $9.99. They’re good varieties too…no junk stuff. That’s got to be a great deal provided they are living. Scion wood costs nearly that…shipping seemed reasonable too. I assume they have some sort of guarantee?

I couldn’t resist and ordered a couple of trees. I have no where to put them but a sale is a sale.

I have ordered from Stark in the past and learned something in the process.
Their trees were TINY compared to what I was used to seeing at the box stores. I thought that I may have made a mistake in buying them. By the end of the first summer they had put on branches and two feet of growth in every direction.

Now they are going in to their fourth summer in the ground and are beautiful well shaped trees and I am expecting a good harvest. I had big apples on them last year.

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What did you order? I’m waiting for a reply from Scott on a peach that I might order. Big cool down coming for the northeast will present a nice opportunity for some late season planting.

I ordered a Zestar! and a Cortland.
I really only wanted the Zestar! (my second one) because I don’t have any early apples. I didn’t want to just order one because the shipping works better the more you buy. I wish that I could have bought about 20 or so (at sale price) but my orchard is full. The wife still wants some grass left.

I only have a small orchard of now 20 trees.

hahaha…American marketing tactics at work. I know what you mean though because I looked at it and was thinking the same thing…lol

I’ve never eaten a Zestar but Alan and some others really seem to like it, and it has great reviews. Alan sent me a stick of wood this past winter and I grafted it and it’s growing very nicely.
I emailed Scott about the Sentry peach they have, it was developed just 2 hours from here and it says it’s resistant to bacterial spot which is bad here.
I’m not a big fan of Cortland though…too lightweight and lacking density for me, but a lot of people like it.

Yes, the only thing holding me back from ordering a plum or two is the Stark’s questionable rootstock issue. I really REALLY want my plum(s) on Krymsk1. So I keep looking at the sale and muttering to myself, then closing the page, waiting for March when Cummins will ship my (ever expanding) order.

That Zestar is OH so very tempting too. Rrrrrrgh. May go have a other look… :smirk:

Funny story about the Cortland. I am only about 4 years into the orcharding hobby so my knowledge of apple varieties is not good. I started my orchard before I started using the forums to learn.
Anyway, We (used to) go every year to the local U-Pick for a bushel just to get to pick with the grandson.
He was 3 and amazed that food came off of trees
My adult son was with us and is a picky eater. By the time we got home he had eaten four Cortland apples!
He said that he never knew an apple could be so good. So now four of my twenty trees are Cortland.

That’s as good a reason as any to choose a particular variety! It’s really funny how much difference there can be in varietal preference. My grandpap (now long gone) grew and loved Yellow Delicious and worse yet he liked them soft. Now by soft, I mean mushy, but he adored them.
I’ve often considered growing one as a sorta memory tree type thing, but I just don’t think I’d eat them much.
I did however purchase some Golden Delicious from a PA grower last year that was over the top fantastic. Totally, totally surprised me…wife and kids…everyone loved them.

Golden Delicious can be out of this world. I bought some for a dollar a pound last year at the grocery store. I figured: Cheap fiber. They were terrific. The best apples I’ve had in memory.

I think GD gets a bad name from its association with Red Delicious and the many sports and far too early commercial pickings of it. Its a great apple, and its also the parent of literally hundreds of the most famous “gourmet” apples of today. Freiburg, Gala, Hooples Antique Gold, Jonagold, Mutsu, Spigold, Pink Lady, Shinsei, Elstar, Hawaii, etc.

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what makes red delicious so popular? I would rather eat the cardboard box they are shipped in. I saw a guy at local farm store buying a RD tree. i wanted to tell him to put it back but I didnt want to be “that” guy.


lol…you got me to laughing when reading this comment. I saw a young guy picking out a bunch of RD at the supermarket the day before yesterday and like you I wanted to say "what are you doing?

Truth is, a lot of folks still like RD, don’t know how or why, but they do.

I’ve been thinking the same thing. To be honest, I think I too made this association and that’s why I was so surprised at how good they were.

True, however the same paternity thing can be said of Red Delicious also. I remember reading on GW a link to a German group that spoke of disease risks associated with the over breeding from the same or similar parents. I think something like 80% of all modern apples are bred from or include in their lineage either RD or GD and in many cases both.

:stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes: Hahaha. On being ‘that guy’. I feel that way when I see people loading up half a dozen of those ‘cute little pine trees’. The Austrian kind. With clearly no reading of the 120+’ height on the tag… :worried:

I placed decent sized (“decent” as in more than making up for restricting myself to only buying 2 in-ground trees last year) orders with Nourse and Raintree in early March, and had kept to my resolve to stop at that for the year because it was more than enough plants to prepare homes for and tend well through their first summer. This thread tempted me into going to Stark’s site. That set off the binge drinking; except, in this case, the fruit hadn’t yet formed, much less fermented.

Today was the beginning of what I expect to be a very long lasting hangover. The packages were shipped on Sunday and arrived this afternoon.

Even very good bets don’t always come in winners. :frowning: That warehouse must be very dark, as well as cold. A good number of these were no longer dormant, and have ghostly off-white leaf clusters, several of which have broken off at the base.

The roots were not well encased with damp paper, either. In one box, almost all of the shredded paper was in the middle of the trunks, instead of around the roots. The other box was better. At least the paper was at the ends of box, at the root areas, but most root area didn’t appear to have contact with the amount that was there.

They are spending the night soaking their feet in a big ole Rubbermaid container. The good news is that there is no more rush to get their holes dug. I suspect they would just fry if I were to plant them in sunny locations now. Tomorrow I’ll head out and get what I need for mixes to put them in Root Bags for the time being so that I can keep them in deep shade for a while, and then gradually acclimate them to sun. Are there any better ways to give them as good a chance as possible? It’s going to be in the 90’s. Where I have them is at least a few degrees cooler because of greenery overhanging them.

I never did get a shipping notification email, but did get another email ad for fruit and berry clearance. If anyone else decides to order, maybe yours will actually be dormant and well packed. All other shipments I’ve received from them through the years have been well packed - and dormant. Some of these trees were.