Tel: 608-838-3290

A Large Tree Nursery in Madison, WI

Frequently Asked Questions

Will a trees spade fit in my yard? 

Our trucks are 9 feet wide (plus rearview mirrors) and 13 ½  feet tall. They are heavy and cannot traverse retaining walls. The medium truck can make sharp turn, but the larger truck needs a straight “shot” at the location you wish a tree. Each tire exerts downward pressure approaching 5,000 lbs on a small bearing surface we do not wish to drive over concrete driveways.  Gravel or blacktop driveways “self heal” and tend not to be a problem. Steep ditches may require “bridging” with woodchips at additional charge.  This material can later be used for mulching.

What is the best season to plant a tree?

With the appropriate size rootball most trees can be planted every month of the year.  Evergreens are more delicate “in candle” (before the new growth hardens off, or becomes dark green)  and should not be planted within 45 days of freezeup  (so they can be hydrated to survive the winter winds)  However installing evergreens just before freeze up with insertion of 2” pvc tubes 4 feet into the crack between the receiving hole and the rootball . Then frequently watered evergreens yield a negligible loss ratio. Of course the seam or crack must scrupulously be filled and the tree heavily mulched, to prevent desiccation.

Shade trees can be planted in winter after hard freeze. Golf course  managers love the fact one can drive over greens and sprinkler heads without damage. This may permit driving over a neighbor’s property for your installation.

I want a tree but do not know what kind I should choose.

Perhaps it is time for a “tree tour”. We can put you and one other person on our Polaris “ranger” and show you the trees that are available. After discussion of your soil and subsoil type and water conditions present, you get to pick the tree we will install.
Is there an additional charge for installation?

Note: our quote are for installed trees: Indeed a landscaper with his “bobcat” is hard pressed to lift the 11,000 -12,000  lb. 90”root ball we bring with our largest truck.

What must I, the customer, do to care for the tree? 

Basically you must arrange to fill the seam between the rootball and the receiving hole, water the tree periodically, including misting the canopy in the heat of summer, mulch the tree as described in the page entitled aftercare, and stake the tree in wind-swept areas.  See the heading titled Aftercare.

How long does an installation take?

This is mileage dependent, and further depends upon your soil condition. On the average we take 2-3 hours to install each tree with the 90 inch spade, and 1/3to ½ less with a 65 inch spade.

What should I do to prepare a site?

Call Diggers hotline  1-800-242-8511 to have your entire property marked before we make a house call. This way we know what is possible and what is verboten. We may suggest watering each spot before we dig your receiving hole, but be careful to not let water run past the area of installation. Stump grinding is required if we are to plant where there was a a large pre-existing. 

Landscape Trees

All trees are not created equal. With landscape trees many species have very specialized cultivars (cultivated varieties) which are asexually reproduced. This gives tremendous predictability and uniformity to the trees you get.  This is terribly important for ginko trees, where the sexuality of a tree is not revealed for 20-25 years. Female trees produce bushels of fruit which quickly turn rancid. This is critical for honey locust trees for speciosia (the specie) have long sharp thorns, and big tough leathery seed pods in profusion. The cultivars have neither of these problems. The celebration maple has wonderful architecture, where branches set in 30 to 40 degree angles, which means a low incidence of bark inclusion which leads to splitting, and premature tree death, as frequently seen in autumn blaze cultivars.

Speciosa vs hybrids

Should you choose a cultivar (patented cultivated variety) or simply a tree of the species? Recall the locust the thorns and huge leathery seedpods dictate the cultivar, the native tree is simply too uncivilized for urban and suburban planting. Growers tend to favor cultivars instead of having to cull 50% or more of their plantings. The “seed saver” crowd see the possibility remains that soon all urban trees may be relatives of 20-30 parent trees, and genetic diversity is being lost. There is little asexual production in pines, spruces, firs, and oak tree.