Tractor supply fruit trees?


Well-Known Member
How many of you have purchased fruit trees from Tractor Supply? Had much success? I stopped in on the way home and they had just gotten these in. The pears looked good but the apple trees were just straight stalks. I thought they should be pruned more?20160926_171707.jpg

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Most retailers like that don't care. As long as they are alive and they can sell them they will. I have bought some trees like these before and have had decent luck with them. The biggest issue is that most are "people" varieties and not "deer" varieties which means they drop sooner and or may need more care than we really want to give them (at least in my case). I have only lost 1 fruit tree (to voles) and 1 chestnut tree (my stupidity) from retail sources like this. Most are semi-dwarf which is fine, but you have no idea what the exact root stock is which can affect how quickly the tree will bear fruit. In my case it took a couple of years before they produce any fruit at all - some of that may be my fault. I water mine all summer and fall until they do dormant their first year - after that they seem to do fine unless things get real bad and everything else starts dying as well. Just remember it's going to cost you almost as much to protect those trees as buying them so don't skimp. Also buy a couple to ensure you get decent pollination - I try for clusters of at least 3 trees. I also tend to wait as they will go on sale and I can buy $30 trees for $15.....they may not look the best, but as long as they look strong enough to survive it's a good way to cave money if your on a budget. Just my 2 cents worth.
It's a little like the television show "Storage Wars" when you buy without knowing all the facts. Sometimes those guys get a heck of a bargain, and sometimes they waste their money.

But, if you want to know about the rootstock - I noticed the name of the nursery is on the tree tag - I was quickly able to find their phone number on the internet - so you could too and call them and ask.

I have two "box store" pear trees that have done just as well as the ones from well know nurseries. I have no idea what the rootstock is, but it works on those two trees. But, you always take at least some chance when you don' have all the facts.
For me pears hang pretty tough regardless of rootstock apples can be more iffy. We've had at least two try and lay down and had to be staked several years later.
For wildlife purposes i think they are solid. You may not get the variety stated on the tag. You may not have the root stock stated on the tag, but its gonna be an apple or pear tree.
Just depends if youre trying to fill the overall deer food bucket, or are you trying to fill a hole in the bucket, in which case you would buy a known variety from a reputable nursery to meet that need.
Heck, even Stark Brothers couldnt tell me what stock their dwarf trees were on.
Just looking to provide as much food source as quickly as possible because there is not much around the property I'm looking at. There are a few small ag fields but not sure they are planted every year. I could start worrying about filling niche holes down the road when there is more abundant food available.

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Several years ago, I bought a couple Kieffers from TSC and was very disappointed. When I pulled them out of the pot the soil fell right off to reveal a stump of a root ball with all of the root shoots appearing to be broken off. It looked like someone tore the tree out of the ground the day before and stuck it into a pot filled with potting soil. Neither tree lasted more than a month.

On the complete contrary, I have had great success with Kieffers and apple I have bought at Lowes.

Now, I don't mean to throw down on TSC. The trees looked great in the pots and I am sure their buyer saw the same thing that I did. Having said that, I never bought a tree from TSC again but continue to buy from Lowes without any issues. But, I think my point is that it may be a hit or miss situation based on the nursery they got them from.