Bare root or in containers? Large trees or small?
See also: How to Choose a Retail Nursery
Large trees or small?
Smaller caliper trees such as ½” or 5/8” (diameter of the trunk two inches above the bud union) respond well to any style of pruning. To induce low branching, cut the tree at the height of your knee. Smaller trees tend to respond by making a flush of new growth in the spring, from which you select your scaffold (main) limbs.
Caring for bareroot
- Look for trees that have good leaf color.
- There should be no damage to the trunk and no signs of disease.
- Ask how long the tree has been potted - over two seasons is too long!
- Some oozing may be due to early spring warming, not disease. Consult your nursery professional if this is a question.
- If a tree is in its second season in a container be sure it has the low limb structure you want. Cutting back an older tree at knee height may result in only one or two new shoots, not the three to five you need.