Frequently Asked Questions
Q - What does Size 1, Size 2, etc. mean - what size of plant should I expect?
A - These terms are simply used as a reference for the sizes of each variety that we offer for purchase & shipment. We use the term Size 1 to indicate the first, and smallest size we offer for that particular plant variety - Size 2 would then be the next step up in plant size for that particular variety, and so on. The terms are not necessarily indicative of the container size that the plants are currently growing in. For example, a Size 1 plant in most all cases will currently be growing in a quart, or trade one gallon ( actually 3 qts ) container container.
But the size of the plant will always be consistent with the Average Plant Shipping Size listed for each particular plant variety. As mentioned, each plant variety we offer will have an Average Plant Shipping Size listed for each size that is available - Size 1, Size 2, etc. These Average Plant Shipping Sizes are kept very up to date, and will change throughout the season as crop sizes change. All size measurements are accurate, average measurements of the current crop being shipped, and are measurements from the soil line up - they DO NOT include the soil or root system of the plant. For example, you may see our Green Giant Arborvitae / Size 1 plants listed with an Average Plant Shipping Size of 14" - 18". This means that the crop that is currently being shipped has trees that are running between 14" - 18" tall from the soil line UP.........without including the root system. And that is what size you can expect to receive.
Q - How soon can I expect to receive my plants once I place my order?
A. - In general, we try to get all orders out in a very timely manner - much quicker than most nurseries. We do the majority of our shipping Monday - Thursday of each week, and ship the vast majority of all varieties we grow & offer year round. Orders with the longest transit times are usually shipped out earlier in the week, followed by orders with much shorter transit times. We do this to try & ensure that each & every order makes it to its destination by the end of the work week, so as to avoid packages having to "weekend over" with FedEx. We schedule our shipments to minimize the amount of time the plants are in transit, which results in your plants being in tip top shape - fresh and in excellent condition upon their arrival.
During times of normal shipping volume, you can expect your order to be shipped out within 3 - 5 business days from the day the order was placed. However, during periods of heavy shipping volume ( mid March thru late June - and September thru late November ), it may take up to 7 - 10 business days.....or slightly more for your order to be shipped. But we always have a posted banner located on virtually every page of our website which clearly states the current order turn around time to be expected at that particular time of year.
It is extremely rare that it would take this amount of time to get your order out to you, but we have had those kind of shipping weeks in the past - especially during the peak planting times. The longest turn around time I can recall would have to be the spring of 2015, when at it's peak saw orders taking a good 12 - 14 days before being shipped. But all in all, we have had countless compliments over the years in regards to just how quickly we get our orders to our customers, and will always do our best to get you your shipment in a very timely manner.
Here is a chart with normal transit times when shipping FedEx Ground / Home Delivery Service. Approximately 97% - 98% of our orders are shipped via this method, as it is by far the most economical service available through FedEx.
Q. - How much should I expect shipping charges to cost for my order?
A. - Shipping charges will vary from order to order, depending mainly on the amount of plants ordered, the type of FedEx shipping service you select, and your location / area of the country. For example, an order of 6 trees being shipped to Kentucky will be less than if those same six trees were being shipped to Oregon.
Most of our orders ( over 98% ) are shipped via FedEx Ground / Home Delivery Service. This methods is by far the most economical, and gets your plants to you quickly with no danger to the plants at all.
All the different FedEx shipping options, along with their exact charges, will be shown for you review & choose from as you start to proceed through our easy checkout system. They are real time rates provided straight from FedEx through their Live Rate Calculator, and are based on the following two factors:
1) The total estimated weight of the products you have placed in your shopping cart.
2) The area of the country / address you have entered as your "Ship To" address.
A good general rule of thumb for most typical orders ( 6-25 plants ) is to expect shipping charges via FedEx Ground / Home Delivery Service to run approximately 25% - 30% of your plant dollar total. Shipments to the west coast may be slightly higher - and areas very close to our nursery here in TN may be slightly less. But, once again, all different shipping options & charges will be clearly shown to you BEFORE you ever actually decide to place an order with us. No surprises - you can then decide to place your order if you are satisfied with the options displayed for your prospective order..........or simply empty your cart if you don't like what you see.
Q. - How do you ship your plants, are they bare root?
A. - Under no circumstance do we ever ship any of our plants "bare root". The stress of shipping plants bare root can be extreme, and many times results in the plants being severely dehydrated and in shock upon their arrival. We have chosen to ship our plants with the majority of the soil & rootball still intact - just as they were growing in their containers here at our nursery. As a result, our plants arrive in a very fresh state - hydrated properly with minimal root disturbance. Our plants have proven themselves to transplant better, with far less stress, and therefore have a very high survival rate.
For more specific details on our complete packing & shipping methods, please be sure to check out our Shipping & Packing Procedures page. It will explain in closer detail just how we pack & ship our plants.
Q. - How should I go about planting once my order arrives?
A. - We send a Planting Instruction sheet with each & every order we ship, which will go over some general instructions & tips on just how we suggest you plant your newly arrived plants after their arrival. This Planting Instruction sheet will also go over some suggested tips on the plants' immediate care after being transplanted. We highly suggest that you take a moment and read this information before proceeding with planting. We have even had some instances ( particularly with larger orders ) where our customers would like to have these instructions before they actually receive their order. For this reason, we have posted these very same planting instructions here ( see below ) for you to read & review at your convenience. This way, you can be sure to be prepared & ready to transplant your newly arrived plants successfully, and without having to rush around to try & make sure you have everything you need on hand.
Please read these planting instructions before planting your new plants. As you will notice, your plants still have a major amount of the dirt they were grown in still attached to their root systems. This is done to minimize any transplant shock, as well as to keep the plants root system from any damage due to drying out, or other damage that can occur with shipping plants “bare root”.
Keep your new plants in the bag they arrived in & the roots with the soil moist until you are ready to actually plant them. We suggest you plant them as soon as possible - their new home in the ground is better for them than their temporary home in the shipping bag. If you need to store / keep your plants for a short period of time until you can get them planted in the ground, then please follow the following guidelines for temporary storage of your new plants:
--- Remove plants from their box, and stand upright in a sheltered location.
--- Do NOT place the plants in direct sunlight while still in their plastic shipping bags. This will cause the temperature inside the plastic bag to get extremely warm - similar to “greenhouse effect”.
--- Store the plants either inside, in a garage area, covered porch / patio, etc. Preferably where they get some indirect, filtered sunlight - but nothing direct.
--- There is usually enough moisture retained in the rootball & surrounding soil to last for several days ( 3-5 ). After this period of time, you will need to check the moisture content of the soil, and water very lightly if needed.
--- To water your plant while still in their plastic shipping bag, simply loosen the twist tie at the base of the plant & lightly moisten the soil & rootball by sprinkling water onto the soil, or even using a clean spray mist bottle.
--- Should you accidentally add too much water to the rootball, you can simply cut 2 or 3 small slits in the bottom of the plastic shipping bag for drainage.
--- Following these fairly simple guidelines will allow you to temporarily keep / store your new plants for a more extended period of time until planting in the ground can be accomplished ( up to 3-4 weeks ). Any period of time beyond this 3-4 week period, we highly suggest that you temporarily pot the new plants up in containers until planting can be completed.
We suggest that you dig the hole for the plant at least twice the size of the root system of the plant. Depending upon the quality of your native soil, we recommend using a 50/50 mix of a good grade topsoil or organic compost and your native soil to backfill around the root system of your new plant. This will make the adjustment to your soil, which is bound to be somewhat different than the soil the plant has been grown in, as gradual as possible. It will also help the new feeler roots to spread through the looser soil around them much more easily than is the soil was hard, and compacted. The most common causes of a plant not making it through a transplant is the lack of root development after transplanting, and lack of water/moisture.
After backfilling the hole with your 50/50 mix of soil, give the plant a good deep watering - don’t make it swampy, just good & moist throughout the entire depth of the hole. Then check on your plant every day, or every other day to monitor the moisture in the soil around the plant. Do this for the first couple weeks if possible..
We also highly recommend a top dressing around the base of the plant using hardwood or cypress mulch. Any type of mulch will be sufficient, but hardwood and cypress mulches are of a higher quality and have a better nutritive value for the plant. Basically meaning that as it breaks down over time, it has more organic compounds which your plants will feed on as organic food sources than most other mulches ( pine ). Freshen up the mulch twice a year (early spring & fall).
We do not generally recommend using fertilizers on a regular basis, and especially not right after transplanting. This may sound a little strange, but after transplanting, the root system of the plant is most vulnerable to getting “burned” by too much, or too strong of fertilizers. If you really feel you would like to give it some sort of fertilizer/plant food as a little “boost” after transplanting - then we recommend a very weak dilution of original Miracle Gro, or similar product. Either a water soluble type, or a granular product ( such as Holly Tone ) can be used effectively. Be especially careful with Firs, Spruces, and most other conifers & evergreen species. They are among the most sensitive to root damage from fertilizer burn. We strongly recommend using fertilizers at a weaker dilution / application than the manufacturer states ( ½1/2 - ¾3/4 strength ). We also recommend that fertilizing / feeding be avoided COMPLETELY during the hot summer months ( late June thru August ) - the risk of fertilizer burn are greatest during this time of year.
Freshen up both the mulch, as well as apply any desired fertilizers / plant foods twice per year - once in very early spring, and again in mid fall.
Please feel free to contact us with any other questions you may have : firstname.lastname@example.org
Q. - Is there any way I can place my order now, but have my order shipped at a later date?
A. - Absolutely!! This is a very common request - and we are glad to hold shipment of your order until the time is best for YOU to receive your plants. All we need you to do is to place your order whenever convenient for you, and then follow your order with an e-mail which specifies your desired ship date. You can e-mail us with your desired ship date at email@example.com.
We will always reply to your e-mail, confirming your desired ship date - and confirm the tentative scheduled shipping time for your order just to make sure that everyone is on the same page, lol. Should you see a need to change your tentative, desired ship date, simply e-mail us to advise us of the change and we will gladly adjust to accommodate whatever works best for you. All we ask is that you try to give us as much notice as possible - just makes it easier to adjust our shipping schedule.
As always, if you find yourself with any questions which you do not find answered on this section, please do not hesitate to contact us at anytime with your questions. The best way to contact us via email, as we are out in the nursery working just about anytime that the weather permits - so catching us in the office can be hit & miss. But we always answer e-mails, and will do our very best to answer any questions that you may have concerning our plants.
We truly want you succeed in every aspect of your landscape / planting projects. And we feel that by providing you with quality, healthy plants - along with quality service, both before and after your order arrives, we can help you to do this. Our very high percentage of repeat customers speaks volumes as to our commitment to providing you with great plants at great prices - and to always being there to help you along the way should you have any questions.