We publish sizing information by each tree species, and this height measurement does not include the roots. We measure from the base of the trunk to the top of the tree, and the roots will average approximately 50% to 100% of that height [an evergreen seedling listed as 6-12 inches typically sports a root system which measures an additional 3 to 9 inches].
Another important height consideration relates to delayed ship dates. If you order today and your order is shipped within a week or two, then the heights as listed on our site will be accurate. However, if you order today but delay delivery for a month or more, then actual heights may vary. Why? Well, trees aren’t widgets, and they grow differently in different places [even in the same bed of trees in the same field]. We sometimes dig on one side of the seedling bed before the other [frost stays in the ground longer on the north side of the seedling bed, for example], so the trees we ship in March may be different from the trees we ship in May. And our plug seedlings, for example, will continue to grow all summer long, so some species may be taller in June than in April.
If you have specific sizing needs, we may be able to accommodate them, but unfortunately we can’t make too many promises on orders with delayed ship dates.
However, we can promise that if you order a tree which listed as 6-12 inches and request a delayed ship date, the trees we ship you may be a bit taller or shorter, but they will not be 16-24 inch monsters or 2-5 inch little pipsqueaks.