You can read what it takes to get a quality tree below, but ultimately it takes experience & dedicated people to make it happen.
There are a number of areas where short cuts or inferior materials can bring down the price of a tree but the result can be a low quality tree which may die or perform poorly over the long term.
Some tree companies are out to maximize their short term gain and move on and off a tree property or demolition site quickly to minimize costs. This means they will often box out trees which are showing stress if they think they can sell them. We will water, fertilize, and prepare the tree until we feel it has “recharged its batteries” and is ready for the stress of transplanting. Would you go into a triple bypass surgery after a fast and being seriously dehydrated?
We custom build our boxes to handle the sometimes rough handling they receive in off loading. A box made from low quality redwood or hem fir can crush when cables are used to offload. Old rusty bands which break and allow the box and root ball to deform is an all too common cause of tree failures.
The tree trunks are well braced to the box. This means that if the tree flips up too hard when unloading, the damage to the root system from a trunk whipping back and forth is minimized.
We have proprietary methods of pre-treating and after care that enable the tree to survive and thrive in your landscape.
We take whatever time is necessary to carefully tie in all branches. Some companies figure that a few broken branches are worth the time saved in loading and “it’s not bad enough to get rejected”. Some of our large trees required a crew of 6-8 people all day to load, tie in, and properly tarp.
We will not ship a tree if the root ball is too wet. A wet root ball means that it can severely slump and deform due to the constant vibration that a semi-trailer receives going down the highway. We recently saw a 120” box tree from a competitor arrive at a job with over a foot of airspace showing between the root ball and the top of the laid over box side. This severely damages the fine roots, and if it doesn’t cause death it certainly will set the tree back for years.
Tree trunks & branches are properly braced. Trees are not designed to lie over in a horizontal position on a semi trailer and bounced down the highway for hours.
An improperly supported crotch can be damaged and this damage may not become evident until long after the tree is planted. A Rancho Santa Fe estate recently had to reject 2, 108” box trees which suffered severe trunk damage. The tree farm which shipped them did not properly brace the trunk resulting in significant but obscured trunk damage.