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Last Updated  May 20 2014.  All material copywrite protected.        

 

LITTLE TREE NURSERY

WHY WE FAVOUR SMALL PLANTS

Small plants are economical to buy, easy to handle, and very reliable to plant. It is much more satisfying to watch a $20.00 plant thrive from the day it is planted than to watch a $150.00 plant languish for years while it struggles to recover from transplant shock.

Economy

Typically, our prices are about half of what you will find in the mainline nurseries.  We like to sell small vigorous plants.  Because all our plants are pot grown, our cost of production approximately doubles for each extra year we keep them.

A new crop of seedlings.

Similarly, for the home owner these plants more than double their leaf area every year during the first 5 to 10 years of growth. By this simple math, a $25.00 tree purchased today will conservatively be worth $200.00 in three years. It makes much more sense to purchase small trees now than to wait until you can afford larger ones.

Ease of Handling

A dozen one gallon plants easily fit into the trunk of the average car. No special lifting or planting equipment is required. Adequate holes are easily dug by hand. Because the roots and tops are in balance, careful watering is not so critical. They do not require stakes or guy lines.

Reliability

Generally, it takes 2 seasons to grow a one meter (3 ft.) deciduous tree. This can easily be done in pots. Plants which are pot grown suffer no root disturbance on being planted out.

Plants that are larger are usually field grown and dug just before they are offered for sale. They are then "root pruned" to make them fit into pots which are usually filled with very artificial media because real soil is too heavy. Tall leggy plants with long internodes and few but unusually large leaves and buds have probably been imported from milder climates on the West Coast. In this case, the problems associated with the potting of large plants are greatly compounded because these plants have to make climatic adjustments as well.

I am amazed at how often past clients will say, "I bought six trees from you last year and EVERY ONE of them grew." They sound surprised. This is the advantage of small pot grown plants. There is no transplant shock. They grow quickly, easily, and naturally. The desire for "instant shade" often results in frustration and disappointment.

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PRICE: How Can It Be So Low?

LITTLE TREE NURSERY in summer with the propagation house in background. 

Our prices are about half of what people are accustomed to paying .   We can do this because our business overhead is very low. For 2014 we expect most of our 2 and 3 year shrubs to be priced at $17.95, 2 to 4 year shade trees to be $32.95 for the 1 gallon size and $42.95 for the 2 gallon size.  Grafted fruit trees will be at $42.95.  All trees in 5 gallon pots will be priced at $84.95.  In addition, we always have some spring specials, discounts for hedge material, and acreage specials for trees that don't quite make retail grade.   

Most of our plants are grown from seeds or cuttings that we have harvested ourselves. All our material is grown outside right in our own nursery. Our shipping and packing costs are almost zero. Many of our customers are very conscientious about returning the pots for reuse.  More than anything, we are very proud of our staff.  They are all proud productive individuals.  Together, we are here to serve.

We offer very good value for your money.
Come and see for yourself.

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One Gallon Norland Apples on Dwarfing Rootstock.  Picture taken in August.  Imagine what these trees will do next year.

 

WHAT?  NO SALES?

That's right.  We hardly ever offer summer and fall discounts.  You will never see "30% OFF" or "Save $10 per plant" or "Half Price While Inventory Lasts"  at THE LITTLE TREE NURSERY.  We are different.  Because we are GROWERS and because our plants are grown in the same pots in which they are sold,  whatever doesn't sell this year will only be bigger and better next year.  

You also won't see plants that need to be discounted because they have deteriorated since they were delivered to us and/or were potted up for sale.  We are the GROWERS. We simply don't get into the situation where we unload a shipment of plants from B.C., Oregon, or California and then sell them quickly before they begin to look sick.  

If you are shopping in late summer or fall, you are actually previewing next spring's material.  

You also won't see a lot of advertising from THE LITTLE TREE NURSERY.  Our customers know they can find fair prices, good value, and excellent quality throughout the season.   

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How is the Selection?

 Since we want this Web Site to be more than an advertising tool, we have listed every plant that we have ever grown or offered for sale. Not all the plants listed are available in the current year.

We consistently have about 100 different varieties for sale.  Because this is still a small operation, we are sometimes out of specific items.  The selection will vary from year to year and week to week, especially in the spring when plants are growing very quickly and selling equally fast. 

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LITTLE TREE NURSERY in fall.

Non-Warranty

It is difficult to guarantee a living thing. We are confident the plants we sell are strong, well rooted, and ready to thrive if give any chance at all. We try very hard to label things correctly and to insure that everything we sell is true to name. Everything we offer is locally grown and, with a few well noted exceptions, is fully winter hardy for our area. Other than this, we offer no warranty.

In the nursery industry, there are many "iron clad", "golden rule", "free replacement", and sometimes even "money back" guarantees. These are seldom any real assurance of quality. It is very well known that only a few of the many failures actually come back. We refuse to build the cost of such a guarantee into the price of our plants.

However, if some of your purchases don't do well, please let us know. It is possible that some items won't perform as we expect and, in such a case, we would like to make things right. At very least, we would like to help you figure out why. Furthermore, such information will be helpful to us in developing better instructions and perhaps deciding to not offer certain items at a particular time of the season.

Most failures in the home owner's yard are the direct result of ROOT DAMAGE that occurred before the plant was even purchased. Large, well developed leaves with a good green colour are strong evidence of a healthy root system. If you have any doubt, ask the nurseryman to remove the plant from the pot. It will be immediately obvious whether or not the roots are healthy. If all the soil falls away, the plant will be trouble. If there are no fleshy lighter coloured roots to be seen, think twice.

Mist bed for starting cuttings.

Any of our plants that do not sell during the current season are held over the winter to be sold next year. They are wintered in the pot--outside poking through the snow. Our winter losses are almost zero. Trees and shrubs planted in the ground should do equally well or better.

Our business is very close and personal. We do everything that is humanly possible to make sure that our plants are all completely reliable.  We know that people purchase from us because they have heard  positive reports from their neighbours, relatives, colleagues at work, etc.

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How Did It Get Started?

The LITTLE TREE NURSERY was born over a period of many years. Its conception and gestation were not well planned. It started as a hobby which just got bigger and bigger. We now offer for sale more than one hundred varieties of Home Grown Prairie Hardy Landscape Plants.

The "LITTLE" part of the business name is significant in three ways. Since my day job  has to remain priority one,  the business has to remain manageable in size. By modern standards this is LITTLE.  Secondly, LITTLE implies personal contact and "chat time" with all our customers. Thirdly, LITTLE refers to the plants themselves.

I enjoy working with LITTLE plants. Customers have often told me that their LITTLE trees out grew much larger plants which they had purchased elsewhere within a year or two. Small trees and shrubs are very inexpensive; they are easy to handle; and they are incredibly reliable. 

A new crop of lilies from scales.

 It seems like just yesterday that we started planting tree and shrub seeds in our vegetable garden. The easiest to grow were the large trees such as elms, maples, ash, and some of the evergreens. We soon had a loyal clientele who were no longer in the market because their yards had no more room for large growing trees.

Since most of the smaller woody ornamentals are propagated by hard and soft wood cuttings, we began to experiment with these techniques. We built a very efficient mist bed with reliable bottom heat and figured out how to increase many different varieties of ornamental shrubs.

Then we began to experiment with budding and grafting of fruit trees. Our list now includes about 25 varieties of prairie hardy apples, 10 varieties of plums, and even pears and apricots.  Today, we are the only nursery in our area that offers locally grown fruit trees.  

Most recently, we have begun a perennial collection what includes about 30 varieties of lilies, 10 varieties of daylilies, and some miscellaneous ornamentals.

We continue to resist the less robust imports.  Our vision is to continue to propagate and grow the highest quality nursery plants for our difficult climate. All of our plants are reliable to transplant any time that the ground is not frozen because they are pot grown.

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