Nursery Stock Selection for Home Orchards

The old adage "you get what you pay for" is an important consideration when buying fruit trees. Bargain plants might not be healthy or might be a variety not adapted to your area.
Nursery Stock Selection for Home Orchards - Articles


Carl Dennis, Auburn University,

Buy only recommended varieties from a reliable source. Keep in mind the following points when purchasing fruit trees:

  • A healthy one-year-old whip, approximately 4 to 6 feet tall, with a 0.5-inch caliper and a good root system, is preferred.
  • A smaller tree with a good root system is more desirable than a large tree with a poor root system.
  • Trees that are two years old or older often are not as good as one-year-old trees. The older trees frequently do not have enough buds on the lower portion of the trunk to develop a good framework.
  • Trees that appear stunted, poorly grown, diseased, or insect-injured should not be purchased.
  • Check the label closely to make sure that you are getting the variety and rootstock that you desire.