Selecting a nursery and partial list of nurseries
The investment you will be making when buying your trees needs to have very careful consideration. The tree quality you buy will have an effect on the life long productivity of the orchard. Choose a nursery carefully. Ask other growers for suggestions on where to buy your trees. The nursery list included here is by no means complete, and it does not reflect any particular preference on my part. It is only meant to give you an idea of where to start looking for trees. I have mostly included nurseries that have web access or toll free numbers.
Things to keep in mind when buying trees:
Bargain or low priced trees are more costly on the long run because they may be of poor quality.
Ask the nursery if they have enough trees to meet your demands. You are better delaying your planting for a year than ending up with a mixed block where the spacing might not be correct or trees are not compatible (i.e., cross pollination, blooming time, pest management).
Ask about any guarantees about survivability, quality, and trueness to type.
Order early. This will give you a better chance of getting what you want.
The ideal tree size is 1/2 to 5/8 inch diameter. These trees are usually 4 to 6 feet tall. Avoid larger trees unless you are planting a high density orchard where feathered trees (trees with branches) are better.
If you need the nursery to custom bud or graft to a particular cultivar, you need to contact the nursery in June or July two years before you wish to plant.
Information about a nursery from other growers can be invaluable. Ask growers about their experiences with the nursery.
Tell the nursery when you want the trees to be delivered, and ask them to let you know when they are being shipped so you will be prepared. Here in Vermont, planting is done in the spring when ground has thawed and the danger of hard freezes has past.