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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I planted 12 Nativ Nursery trees (4 deer pear, 4 crabapple, and 4 kieffer pear, all around 24-36") a month ago here in SW PA. All of the the trees arrived with green leaves that turned brown a week later and haven't changed since. The trees have experienced a few frosts in this time. This is my first time planting trees like this, although the trees were planted as instructed. The trees were also protected when planted with tubes and cages. Are the trees still going through climate shock or is this a sign that the trees are probably dead? I'm concerned. I planted 25 bare root PGC applle seedlings at the same time that hadn't produced leaves yet, and they all now have leaves and look good. This is my first time planting trees, so I have no prior experience to compare to.
 

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I received and planted a similar order from Nativ Nurseries. I got my trees in mid April and they also had leaves. All the leaves stayed green on mine. I did not place them in tubes. I would be concerned if they have not started new buds yet. I believe that you need to slowly work them into the full sun and temperature. We did not have any frost after I planted mine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The roots were kept moist in a bucket and in my basement for 3 days before planting. The trees were well watered when planted as well.

I contacted the supplier and they said to give them another few weeks yet. I should have listened to others when they said to buy trees in the same climate as you'll be planting in.
 

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I like to use root gel on the bare root stock trees. They use it a lot when planting trees on reclaimed strip mines. Those seedlings are planted fast, in less than ideal soils. Trees that are treated have a much higher rate of success.
I had a bad experience a few years back buying bare root stock over the internet. All the fruit trees survived ok, but they weren't the trees I ordered. Bosc pears were Bradford pears ( ornamental flowering tree) and all the apple trees turned out to be flowering crabapples. It took a couple of years to figure it out, and by then the nursery scammers had moved on and changed their name. When I planted them, it seemed odd that none were grafts, usually fruit bearing stock is whip grafted onto a different root stock.
 

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The leaves could have been killed by the frost and cold. Had this happen with our Dunstans a few years age. Hopefully they will put out new leaves in a couple weeks. Ours trees are doing great and had me worried for a few weeks. They will lose a little growth this years since they have to put the energy into releafing, but I think you should be ok. you can test if trees in a couple weeks to see if they are living by scratching bark with thumbnail and seeing if you got green living tissue underneath.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Native nurseries is owned by Mossy Oak and a pretty reputable place. I spoke to a guy over the phone before ordering who was nice and helpful and i had read good things about them. I just wish he would have said its not recommended to plant these in a different colder climate when they have been grown in another and no longer dormant. The timing was bad and I guess we did have some normal than later frosts. Hopefully I'm not out $120
 

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I've planted lots of Native Nurseries stock and never had an issue with the trees being from another climate. I highly doubt that has anything to do with it. More than likely, the frosts killed off the new leaves and the tree is recovering. Some of the Native Nurseries stock I planted this year suffered from the same thing due to late freezes. They are starting to bud out again though. As was already mentioned, the fingernail test is the best way to tell. The old saying that the stuff we plant sleeps, creeps and leaps is pretty accurate. Year one the plant is in shock and puts most energy into root development. Year two the plant creeps and year three the plant "leaps" in growth. Like I said, not true with everything, but more often than not, it seems to be the case.
 

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Are you saying you had the roots setting in water for 3 days? That's not good. Damp shredded newpaper, cloth, even peet moss is Ok but roots should not soak in water for more than an hour or so before planting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
DDX said:
Are you saying you had the roots setting in water for 3 days? That's not good. Damp shredded newpaper, cloth, even peet moss is Ok but roots should not soak in water for more than an hour or so before planting.
No, they were never soaking in a pool of water. I just moistened the roots and sat them in a bucket. They still had newspaper on them.
 

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JB#24 said:
The leaves could have been killed by the frost and cold. Had this happen with our Dunstans a few years age. Hopefully they will put out new leaves in a couple weeks. Ours trees are doing great and had me worried for a few weeks. They will lose a little growth this years since they have to put the energy into releafing, but I think you should be ok. you can test if trees in a couple weeks to see if they are living by scratching bark with thumbnail and seeing if you got green living tissue underneath.
JB, did you have your chestnuts in tubes and the frost got to them, or were they without tubes?
Also, your chestnuts came back, correct?
I worry because I just picked up 4 potted ones today and we have two weeks of weather where we could still get frost. Thinking maybe I should let them in the pots until all signs of frost are gone.
 

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I'm with the others who suggest that you give them more time to recover. I noticed at my place in Ky when we had the early warm snap that my 2013 Howard Nursery crabs had leafed out nicely. We got quite a few hard frosts after that, and one crab in particular has many brown leaves on it. It has been slow to recover, as last weekend it still held those brown leaves and hasn't put on the new flush of growth like most of the others have. It appears to be recovering though, it just takes some time.

Considering that this one has been in the ground for three years and still struggled with the late frosts, I wouldn't write your trees off just yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I was at my camp this morning and a few actually sprouted some green leaves which is a good sign, while 4-5 others (mostly the crab apples) still have not. Another frost is in store for this weekend that won't help matters. I'll have to wait it out I guess.
 

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Pa-Guy said:
JB#24 said:
The leaves could have been killed by the frost and cold. Had this happen with our Dunstans a few years age. Hopefully they will put out new leaves in a couple weeks. Ours trees are doing great and had me worried for a few weeks. They will lose a little growth this years since they have to put the energy into releafing, but I think you should be ok. you can test if trees in a couple weeks to see if they are living by scratching bark with thumbnail and seeing if you got green living tissue underneath.
JB, did you have your chestnuts in tubes and the frost got to them, or were they without tubes?
Also, your chestnuts came back, correct?
I worry because I just picked up 4 potted ones today and we have two weeks of weather where we could still get frost. Thinking maybe I should let them in the pots until all signs of frost are gone.
Absolutely wait if you think a few more frost will come. They will be fine in the pots. Just put them in your garage or somewhere and keep them moist. Yes mine were in tubes, but had a late heavy frost about 4 years ago that got them a few weeks after planting. They came back great, releafed a few weeks later and actually got a chestnut last year on their 3rd year. Have about 50 Chinese chestnuts that will be planted in a couple weeks. Started from seed early this spring.
 
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