Trees and Shrubs forum: New tree - bare root vs. potted

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Name: Sue
SF Bay Area, CA (Zone 9b)
Container Gardener Canning and food preservation Dog Lover
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Zuni
Dec 23, 2017 12:33 AM CST
I want to plant a dwarf Zuni crape myrtle tree in a large pot on my balcony. I've corresponded with a local nursery here in CA and also one that has a mail order business in FL.

I can buy a Zuni in a 5 gallon pot, that is currently dormant at my local nursery, or I can order one that will arrive bare root from FL - for a lot cheaper.

I am not concerned, really, about my ability to plant and/or keep the tree happy.

But, to increase my odds of success. Which do you think is the better option, or do you think there is any difference - in planting a tree while dormant that is currently in a pot vs. bare root?

I have only ever transplanted trees while dormant into the ground, that were in pots when I bought them. So, I don't have experience with bare root dormant trees. Would love to hear any advice, or experiences. Thanks!
Name: Mary
Lake Stevens, WA (Zone 8a)
Near Seattle
Bookworm Garden Photography Plant and/or Seed Trader Plays in the sandbox Region: Pacific Northwest Seed Starter
Winter Sowing
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Pistil
Dec 23, 2017 7:34 PM CST
1- Make sure you include shipping in your calculation!
2 - If planting now, the one from FL might be shocked from the temperature difference. It is dormant?
Name: Sue
SF Bay Area, CA (Zone 9b)
Container Gardener Canning and food preservation Dog Lover
Image
Zuni
Dec 23, 2017 9:42 PM CST
Pistil said:1- Make sure you include shipping in your calculation!
2 - If planting now, the one from FL might be shocked from the temperature difference. It is dormant?


Yes, good point on the shipping, thank you for pointing that out. It turns out, because of a sale, it would have only been about $15 more to buy one in a pot from the local nursery with a great reputation (not a Home Depot type store) than the bare root one from FL.

And you are right about the temperature differences. The FL one is supposedly dormant, too.

But, I decided that if the Zuni that I wanted was still available at the local nursery that has been having a big holiday sale, then that's the one I'm supposed to buy. The place was packed because everything was 40% off today. They've been having a 12 days of Christmas sale, with different things marked down each day, up to 30%, but today was the last blowout hurrah at 40% off everything.

I got there about 30 minutes after they opened, and you couldn't find parking! I thought, oh no. I squeezed through all of the customers frantically grabbing plants and stuff, and at first couldn't fine the one Zuni tree they had on the lot. And then, it called to me from behind a bunch of other trees :-)

So, I went ahead and brought it home. It looks really great. I'm excited to get it planted into the big new pot I bought. But, I am waiting for a heavy duty dolly to arrive first, to put under the pot, before I fill it up, so I will be able to wheel it around on my balcony to turn it and prune it, etc.

I'll take some pics soon.

But - I'm still curious about people's experiences with buying mail order bare root trees, for future reference. I knew exactly which variety I wanted of this dwarf crape myrtle, and got lucky my local nursery had one - and only one. And I looked at several places and nobody else had one locally that I could find. So, if I want another dwarf variety, I may have to order one that's bare root.
[Last edited by Zuni - Dec 23, 2017 9:54 PM (+)]
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Name: Mary
Lake Stevens, WA (Zone 8a)
Near Seattle
Bookworm Garden Photography Plant and/or Seed Trader Plays in the sandbox Region: Pacific Northwest Seed Starter
Winter Sowing
Image
Pistil
Dec 24, 2017 11:39 AM CST
Wow the stars aligned!
I never ordered a tree online so I can't say, I just think shipping would be substantial.
I just looked up Crape Myrtles in my propagation book by Dirr (the tree guru). They root very easy from cuttings, including the dwarf ones. You might use this website to find someone who has the one you want, have them mail you a cutting. That would be fun (for me anyway, maybe not for you).
Name: Sue
SF Bay Area, CA (Zone 9b)
Container Gardener Canning and food preservation Dog Lover
Image
Zuni
Dec 24, 2017 4:28 PM CST
Pistil said:Wow the stars aligned!
I never ordered a tree online so I can't say, I just think shipping would be substantial.
I just looked up Crape Myrtles in my propagation book by Dirr (the tree guru). They root very easy from cuttings, including the dwarf ones. You might use this website to find someone who has the one you want, have them mail you a cutting. That would be fun (for me anyway, maybe not for you).


Thanks! Sounds like a great book to have. Will have to search it out. I love this idea. I'll first make sure I can make it happy, then it may get some company.

I emailed back and forth with the crape myrtle guy in FL, and we discussed planting more than one tree in the same pot. He said I could do it, but it would require more management. I thought I should get experience first with crape myrtles before experimenting.

But, he said that you can grow several different varieties together in the same hole, and tie them together, and they will merge their trunks, and you'll have three different colored flowers on it! I thought that sounded too cool for words to try. So, maybe next year....

I also want to learn to bonsai, so that might be a fascinating bonsai project - a bonsai tree with different colored flowers! I need to live a long time... Smiling
Name: Mary
Lake Stevens, WA (Zone 8a)
Near Seattle
Bookworm Garden Photography Plant and/or Seed Trader Plays in the sandbox Region: Pacific Northwest Seed Starter
Winter Sowing
Image
Pistil
Dec 25, 2017 11:24 AM CST
That does sound cool, and not too hard.
We want photos in the spring!

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