View Full Version : What kind of tree should I get?

10-21-2004, 09:14 AM
My mother gave me $100 to buy a tree. We have 3 1/2 acres of grass, so I want something fast growing. I don't want a Bradford Pear as we have had these break in storms at previous residences. What would be your advice and what do you think I could get for $100?
She said I would have to take into account someone paying someone from a local nursery to plant it. Also, our soil is not the best and we live in Alabama.

10-21-2004, 10:57 AM
Chances are good you're in zone 8 - a little more than half of Alabama seems to be. You can check by entering your zip code here (http://www.arborday.org/treeinfo/zonelookup.cfm) .

You can also enter your zip at the Tree Store (http://www.arborday.org/Shopping/Trees/Trees.cfm) and check out what's available for your zone. A quick look showed that river birch should work in your zone. I've been very impressed with the one I planted. The river birch is a fast grower, but it does best in moist soils. If you have some water on the propery, it should work well nearby.

You would have to plant them yourself (which is fairly easy), but for $100 you could be well on your way to having good tree coverage, especially if you are (or become) a member (http://www.arborday.org/Shopping/Memberships/Memberships.cfm).

From my experience with PA nurserys, to get a good tree of a decent size (and still do the planting myself), $100 may buy half a tree... although I've supplmented my plantings with a few (thus far) larger trees, I've relied on www.arborday.org for most of what the wind or birds didn't bring! :D

Quirky Quercus
10-21-2004, 12:04 PM
Yeah, I was going to say, $100 isn't going to get you very many "professionally planted" trees. Have you tried digging to see how hard it is? I know for a fact the ground there is tough because I was in birmingham one time and had to do some digging and it was this rocky stuff. Perhaps renting an auger to dig your holes is an option for you.

As for selecting trees, do the associated forest types in your area interest you at all?

10-21-2004, 12:23 PM
Okay (I'm ignorant when it comes to trees)-what are you talking about? Do you mean some type of pine trees? I would really like to get more than one tree. A local nursery said a tulip poplar would grow fast and I could get an 8-10 foot for $50. Does this sound right? We have planted a weeping willow, a crapapple and an oak tree. These are all really small (like 4 feet tall). Also, I bought two apple trees from Arborday a few months ago, but I think they are dead. I would like some pine trees, but cost is a factor. Any insight would be appreciated.

Quirky Quercus
10-21-2004, 12:40 PM
Sorry, Jenni, there have been some many people trying to "reforest" on other forums lately I was assuming you wanted to plant a lot of trees 9 feet or so apart or something like that.

Yes. The local forest trees are going to grow on your soil and are likely the fastest growing for your area. Whether it's pine trees or tulip poplars or flowering dogwoods, you have some great trees in your forest and while you may not see them or notice that's what they are,

$50 sounds about right for a tree from a local nursery. Another $50 to plant it sounds about right too. Even if they planted them for free, that $100 budget is only going to get you 2 trees. Whereas, the same $100 can get you ton of trees here at this site.

In fact, I was going to suggest tulip poplars and you can get a bulk discount here on them for 78 cents each if you get more than 50. Sure they aren't going to be as big as some 25 gallon nursery stock but the smaller size means they'll be easier to plant and tulip poplars grow fast so you don't have to wait that long.

Of course if you want them now and you want a guarantee on their health and you want them bigger than 4', a retail nursery is going to charge you retail prices, no doubt about it. You might find some growers in your area that sell to the public. They are a lot cheaper but you really gotta beg them to sell them sometimes. I say this because the trees can be found in a smaller, more affordable size.

10-21-2004, 12:53 PM
How much growth can I expect each year from 3-4 foot tulip poplar tree? Does Arborday offer a guarantee with their trees? The apple trees were doing great and now I think they are dead. I would love to get replacements if they are available. Also, how long does the membership last? I keep getting things in the mail to join and I just joined a few months ago.
Thanks again for your help.

10-21-2004, 01:20 PM
You can order tulip trees here (http://www.arborday.org/Shopping/Trees/TreeDetail.cfm?id=25).

I have a native one that just sprouted up this past year (about 6" high right now), so I can't vouch for the growth rates beyond that... :D

I saw some beautiful, much larger (i.e. trunks 3-4' wide!) native Liriodendrons last weekend, and was quite impressed.

I'll let the Arbor Day folks answer the other questions so it's official! :D

Quirky Quercus
10-22-2004, 12:17 AM


When you order trees from The National Arbor Day Foundation, your order is guaranteed to arrive in a good, healthy condition. Your trees will be shipped at a suitable time for planting.

Each tree is guaranteed to grow, or we'll replace it at one half the original price, plus shipping and handling.


I believe the standard membership is 1 year. I am a member and get renewal notices too. You'd think a tree education organization would do something to curtail extraneous bulk mailings!!! Duh!

As for your trees, I think they ship out of Tennessee so you are looking at a UPS transit time of 1 or 2 days so that will help. Try it out and if they do good, get some more.

10-22-2004, 08:49 AM
The size of the trees sold by The National Arbor Day Foundation vary by type. Simply go to the Tree Store and click on the tree you would like to purchase and the size is listed directly below the photo (large photo, not thumbnail photo).
All trees are guaranteed to come out of dormancy or we will replace them for free. Please contact us about them. If the trees do come out of dormancy and are mowed over, eaten by deer, succumb to drought, flood, or hurricane, we will replace them for 1/2 price plus $4.95 shipping on nursery stock and we will send an entire package of free membership trees for $3.50 to cover shipping and handling.

Please send your replacement requests to: info@arborday.org

Quirky Quercus
10-22-2004, 12:01 PM
PWK, what is the time limit for that hurricane problem guarantee? That's pretty generous!

10-22-2004, 12:13 PM
Taxodium, I only get one membership renewal a year (well, at least last year - I responded right away and didn't get any repeats), but there are some other mailings looking to support specific programs (such as a relatively recent one for Tree City USA) that might get confused with renewals but are actually looking for specific additional support.

One caveat: my wife may be censoring the mail so I restrain from buying even more trees... :roll: :mrgreen: