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Discussion Starter #1
In the past years, I have planted about 3,000 pines and spruce from reputable sellers. Maybe lost 50 trees total. All were replaced at no charge by the seller.
Two years ago I thought I'd try trees from the PGC, Howard Nursery. Of about 400 evergreens, I lost half of them. This year I thought I'd give them another try.
Of 400 pines and spruce: about 180 died.
Standard apple trees: 22 of 25 died.
Crab apple trees: 25 of 25 died.
Assorted mixed oak: 46 of 50 died.
My complaint is not the cost, because the are CHEAP.
But it's the time spent planting them, the prep work, and the wasted year until next year.
As the saying goes: You get what you pay for. How true.
Those of you planning on next year, just remember reading this and I hope you don't have the same results.
 

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Where else have you ordered from and what is your planting method? I have had similar results with evergreens from the PGC. I had moderate success with crab apples.
 

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This year I did my first PGC seedling order. I got the bird bundle and I have to say so far I'm really pleased. The majority of my 25 Silky dogwoods seem to be thriving thus far. I lost like only 5, two of which I accidently ran over with the mower. The common elderberry are doing well but not nearly as many as the dogwoods (animals snipped some of them and I think I accidently mowed a bunch.) The farmer that farms my field ended up destroying the arrowwood viburnums I planted along the field edge (he didn't realize the hay bails I placed in between them and the rest of the field wasn't just for temporary erosion control.) I ended up not planting any of the Washington Hawthorns simply because I had to rethink some of the layout plans for my property.

I have to say overall I'm happy my order and I will definitely order more and more. I think you have to expect some loss but certainly not the kind you've experienced. Are you following the planting instructions closely? Are you fertilizing them at all?

I've done some joint RGS/PGC seedling planting projects on SGLs using the same seedlings from the Howard Nursery and one Land Manager stressed that when planting them it's very important not to leave air pockets. He said that makes a big difference and so you really want to stamp the soil down on each side of the seedlings after planting. I didn't have the weighted dibble bar they use so I used a long, narrow drainage spade shovel and didn't really dig a hole. I just made a "slit" similar to how you use a dibble bar, pried it back and forth a bit and slipped the seedling in and then stamped the ground firmly back against the seedlings.
 

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PA-Guy - 50 out of 3000 would be beyond outstanding survival, but I get the point.
I have bought primarily commercially grown seedlings and have been very pleased with the quality and survival rate, along with the price. Most mortality has been due to weather, and planting location. Sometimes I do a poor job planting a seedling and that'll die too. Animals certainly get a few and that continues through sapling stage thanks to antler rubs.
I have planted PGC seedlings, and was pleased overall but it's not my usual source.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Home, the loss of only 50 of 3000 were from another nursery.
Beck, the pines and spruce all with a dibble bar.
Consider the first group of only losing 50, I would think that I knew what I was doing. The PGC ones were planted the same way.
All of the apple and crab apple were carefully planted in containers. Not too much to go wrong there if you are watering them correctly.
 

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last years songbird bundle did well for me..of the probably 70 i planted i only lost about 4....i had never planted any trees before...this year out the top of the 2 ft tubes i put them in..and doing well..i wish i would have planted the extras in case of emergency.. however if i planted as many as you and lost them id sing a different tune..guess i got lucky
 

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That is unfortunate, I understand how much work is involved. We have had good success with their spruce and pine. We also have had good success with oaks, Chinese chestnut, and apple trees if we tubed them timely to keep the deer, rabbits, mice from destroying them. Our biggest issue now is keeping the bear from knocking over the tubes and stakes. We have been planting, staking, and tubing trees for 13 years now. The past few years we decided not to plant any more hardwoods because of all the time it takes every year to keep the tubes up. Evergreens and fruit trees from here on out. Besides the PGC trees, we have had good success with the Virginia department of forestry seedlings they are good sized at a good price.
 

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Neighbor and I have been planting seedling from Howard Nursery every year since 2007. Not sure what our survival percentage is but we are pleased with the amount we have surviving. Our biggest issue with pines is that the deer treat a lot of them as snack sticks.

We have noticed that our survival % has increased with dipping the roots with Musser's water gel as we are planting.

If I loss as many as you, I too would be hesitant to order and plant from there, as it is definitely a lot of work.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I think the PGC got my last dollar.
 

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This was my first year planting PGC seedlings and I thought there is no way this tiny thing will ever turn into a tree. Well, 25/25 have leaves and are still alive. Time will tell how they turn out. Good luck finding these seedlings any cheaper though.
 

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This has been my first year buying seedling from the Howard nursery, I only got chestnuts, and from the bundle 4 have died, and those 4 were ones that i potted, every one that i planted is doing great.
 
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