Pictured above are some popular species of evergreen plug transplants, click to enlarge
Evergreen plug transplants for sale
When do these plug transplants start selling this Fall? That’s the million-dollar question, because everything is several weeks behind this year to a very cold spring. We are regularly evaluating each species, and are planning on a “rolling start” as the plug transplants tell us they are ready. Below are estimated ship dates (all dates are subject to change):
• Austrian Pine Plug Transplants – sold out till Sept 2020, see evergreen plug seedlings
• Bald Cypress Plug Transplants – sell date and ship date unknown, insufficient root growth
• Balsam Fir Plug Transplants – sell date and ship date unknown, insufficient root growth, conservation grade available
• Black Hills Spruce Plug Transplants – sold out till Sept 2020
• Canaan Fir Plug Transplants – sell date and ship date unknown, insufficient root growth
• Colorado Blue Spruce Plug Transplants – FOR SALE, shipping starts late Sept 2019
• Concolor Fir Plug Transplants – sell date and ship date unknown, insufficient root growth
• Conservation Grade Plug Transplants – FOR SALE, low quantities, shipping starts Sept 3, 2019
• Douglas Fir Plug Transplants – not available, see evergreen seedings
• Eastern Red Cedar Plug Transplants – FOR SALE, low quantities, shipping starts early Sept 2019
• Fraser Fir Plug Transplants – sell date and ship date unknown, insufficient root growth, conservation grade available
• Meyer Spruce Plug Transplants – sold out till Sept 2020
• Norway Spruce Plug Transplants – sell date and and ship date unknown, insufficient root growth
• Ponderosa Pine Plug Transplants – sold out till Sept 2020
• Red Pine Plug Transplants – FOR SALE, shipping starts late Sept 2019
• Serbian Spruce Plug Transplants – sell date and ship date unknown, insufficient root growth
• Tamarack Larch Plug Transplants – sold out till Sept 2020
• Variety Packs of Evergreen Plug Transplants – FOR SALE, shipping starts late Sept 2019
• White Cedar Plug Transplants – FOR SALE, shipping starts early Sept 2019
• White Pine Plug Transplants – sell date and ship date unknown, insufficient root growth
• White Spruce Plug Transplants – FOR SALE, shipping starts late Sept 2019
Confused about species?
Try our Evergreen Seedling Buyer’s Guide >>
Watch how to plant evergreen plug transplants faster [YouTube] and with less effort than any traditional "bare root" evergreen transplant of a similar size. You can realistically plant 50 to 100 plug transplants per hour without breaking your back, using just a cordless drill and our plug-transplant-sized bulb auger. FREE AUGER WITH PURCHASE OF 50 PLUG TRANSPLANTS, $17.00 with any tree purchase, or $27.00 shipped to your door [int'l shipping is extra].
Need a later ship date?
Order now to reserve trees in your name, and then reply to your receipt or contact us with your requested ship date and we’ll schedule accordingly.
If you are looking for less expensive evergreens, please consider our other sizes/types: [bare root evergreen seedlings, bare root evergreen transplants, evergreen plug seedlings] or our “scratch and dent” Conservation Grade Plug Transplants [the 30% off cheapskate option – available in Sept 2019] •
What are evergreen plug transplants?
Our specific plug transplants begin as 1-2 year old evergreen plug seedlings which are extracted from foam styroblock trays and transplanted into much larger trays, then grown at our nursery for at least one full season, putting on robust growth both above and below ground. The volume of the “root plug” of a plug seedling is approx 4 cubic inches, whereas the root plug of a plug transplant is approx 30 cubic inches, meaning the root system is nearly 10 times larger. Evergreen plug transplants are therefore significantly huskier and larger than plug seedlings both above and below ground, have a higher survival rate, experience less stress during harvesting, shipping and replanting than bare root trees, and can be planted at almost any time of year. In most situations, fall-planted plugs already have good root development before spring bud break and put on more growth before the heat of the following summer sets in. They tend to reach a more mature height at an earlier age, and their well developed and undisturbed root systems make them somewhat more resistant to unseasonably dry periods in the Spring. Our evergreen plug transplants range in size between 8 to 30 inches, depending on species [height does not include the root plug]. Please refer to the exact sizing info available on each tree’s specific page.
Why are evergreen plug transplants more expensive than the other sizes?
Because [a] they’re harder to grow and require specialized equipment, [b] they must be planted by hand from a more expensive “starter” plug seedling, [c] most need to be hand watered 2 to 3 times per week during June/July/August, [d] the soil media must be purchased and custom mixed to meet our specific criteria, and [e] they often have a higher loss rate during the growing season [because we still have a lot to learn]. In general, evergreen plug transplants require more work than any other method of growing evergreens. But they have some key advantages for you, such as:
Super fast planting:
Perhaps the most important advantage of all from your point of view as the person who will be doing the planting, plug transplants are just jaw droppingly fast and easy to plant compared to a similarly sized bare root evergreen….provided that you have an auger sized to fit the root plug of a plug transplant. For many people, the amount of time and backbreaking work saved using this planting method [see our plug seedling planting video and our plug transplant planting video] often outweighs this higher cost.
Plug transplants can be shipped from our site in MI at nearly any time of year, such as mid winter, which is impossible with “bare root” evergreen trees. We can bring trays of plug transplants indoors to gently thaw over several days for shipment to weddings, corporate events or to southern states…pretty much whenever you like. Please understand that thawing and extracting during the winter months is a lot of extra work and requires more turnaround time.
Early and Late Spring/Summer shipments:
Plug transplants can be shipped long after they have broken bud or have begun candling [a time when bare root evergreens would die if dug and shipped]. At this time of year we generally pack them with their tender new top growth exposed to the open air inside the box, thus only temporarily interrupting their daily diet of sunlight, and allowing them to pull moisture from their root plug and transpire it into the open air to keep cool. We also punch holes in the box to allow fresh air to enter the box, keeping the humidity inside the box low enough that the trees can transpire water through their needles to keep cool. They actually keep growing during transit and keep their vitality much longer in the box than bare root evergreens. This means plug transplants can safely be shipped and planted even in June and July, long after the traditional bare root season is done, because they are actually already planted when you open the box!
Undisturbed root systems:
Plug transplants by their very nature are shipped with their root systems undisturbed and undamaged, unlike traditional bare root, because they literally pop out of the trays with virtually no stress or damage to the root system. Because of this, they experience far less “transplant shock” during extraction/sorting/packing/shipping than bare root transplants, which allows plug transplants to put on more growth than bare root in the same amount of time. However, this factory-style growing method means that the trees must be cared for on a daily basis, with most of that extra work being nearly daily irrigation in the hot summer.
Having said all of that, our bare root evergreen transplants are almost always bigger and cheaper than our plug transplants. You just get a bigger tree for the money. There is a long tradition in the nursery industry of growing and planting bare root transplants, and the entire bare root “field grown” process is much easier to scale up, which then results in lower prices. But we’re looking to a future in which evergreen tree planting is far easier than it is today, and we are betting heavily on plug transplants and mechanical planting.