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Frequently Asked Questions

Available Tree Options

Q:What makes a supreme tree different from a regular tree?
A:One of our regular trees ships to you approximately 3-4' tall with a 3/8" or larger trunk diameter. A Stark Supreme Tree® is a larger, upgraded version of a regular tree that will give you a head start on growing — it ships to you approximately 4-5' tall with a 5/8" or larger trunk diameter.
Q:What makes a Select EZ Start® tree different from a regular EZ Start® tree?
A:The Select EZ Start® trees are upgrades that will give you a head start on growing. While our regular EZ Start® trees are approximately 1-2' tall when shipped to you, the larger, top-grade, Select EZ Start® selections are approximately 3-4' tall when shipped to you. To learn more about our exclusive, award-winning EZ Start® bottomless pots, visit our glossary of terms.

Bare-Root Trees & Plants

Q:What does "bare-root" mean?
A:A bare-root tree is a tree without soil. When these trees are dug, they are in a dormant (resting) state, and all soil is removed from the root system before storing and shipping. We utilize this method of harvesting and handling trees to help ensure good contact with your garden soil for easier planting. These young trees will arrive without any apparent green growth, but they will spring to life soon after planting. To learn more about bare-root trees, visit our glossary of terms.

Gift Certificates

Q:Do we offer gift certificates?
A:Yes. A Stark Bro's gift certificate makes a great gift for family or friends. Each one comes with our latest catalog and a letter that explains how to redeem the certificate. Gift certificates are available to order on our website or by contacting our customer support team at 800.325.4180.

Growing

Q:How many years before my tree will bear fruit?
A:The number of years it takes for a tree to bear fruit varies from one variety to another. In most cases, it will probably take several years. Our blog post How Many Years, features a list that includes different types of fruit trees and the approximate number of years it will take for those trees to bear fruit.
Q:What is my hardiness zone?
A:
The USDA hardiness zones offer a guide to varieties that will grow well in certain climates. Each zone corresponds to the minimum winter temperatures experienced in a given area. Zone information is included in the description of each tree or plant sold on our website. Enter your zone to the right to see which trees and plants are suitable for your area.

Planting

Q:Why should black raspberries be planted away from other berries?
A:Black raspberries are very susceptible to viral diseases that can be carried from adjoining plants by aphids. Since aphids are generally blown or carried by wind, it is important to plant black raspberries upwind and 75-100' away from from other berries.

Pollination

Q:Why does my tree or plant need a pollinator?
A:Unless your tree or plant is self-pollinating, cross-pollination by a different variety is key to its growing and bearing success. In most cases, its absence is why they don't produce fruit. The experts at Stark Bro's have years of experience growing trees and plants, and they have included pollinator recommendations in the variety descriptions.
Q:How close does a tree need to be in order to serve as a pollinator?
A:Our experts recommend that you plant at least two viable pollen varieties within 50 feet of one another. See our blog post The Importance of Fruit Tree Pollination for more information.

Pruning

Q:Why do I need to prune my tree?
A:The survival, stimulation and shaping of your tree depends on proper pruning. For those reasons, we take pruning seriously, and so should you! All bare-root trees from Stark Bro's are professionally pruned just before they are packaged and shipped to you. Once you have transplanted the tree in your yard, you should continue pruning on your own at least once per year. See our blog post Successful Tree Pruning to learn more and get some pruning tips from professionals.
Q:When is the best time to prune?
A:Choosing when to prune your tree depends largely on your location. In warmer parts of the country, it is best to prune in late fall or early winter. In colder parts of the country, it is best to wait until the coldest weather is over before pruning. In the northern regions, late winter is a very popular time for pruning.

Shipping

Q:When do trees begin shipping?
A:We begin digging and shipping the majority of our fruit trees when they have reached a hibernating stage (called dormancy). Planting a tree during this stage will help to protect it from sudden frost, severe weather and other potential dangers that can threaten a non-dormant tree. For most of our varieties, we recommend planting your dormant tree in fall, which will allow roots to settle in, gain establishment and wake up healthy the following spring. For additional information, see our order and shipping policies.

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Which option is best for me?

Bare-root Trees

Trees that are shipped without soil to ensure good contact with soil in your yard. When shipped, they are about 3-4' tall with 3/8" or larger trunk diameter. When they mature, they will be one of three sizes*:

Dwarf

Matures to be about 8-10' tall and wide. Provides an abundance of full-size fruit.

Semi-Dwarf

Matures to be about 12-15' tall and wide. Gives maximum fruit yield per square foot.

Standard

Matures to be about 15-25' tall and 20' wide. A multi-purpose fruit and shade tree.

Stark Supreme Tree®

Top-grade, bare-root trees that give you a head start on growing. When shipped, they are about 4-5' tall with 5/8" or larger trunk diameter.

EZ Start® Potted Trees

Trees in bottomless pots that allow some roots to be air pruned, so that a dense mass of productive, feeder roots can grow within the pot to make transplanting easier. Mature sizes vary. When shipped, they are about 1-2' tall.

Select EZ Start® Potted Trees

Top-grade, potted trees chosen to give you a head start on growing. When shipped to you, they are about 3-4' tall.

*Tree sizes may vary by variety. See our Growing Guide for details.

Promise of Satisfaction

Since 1816, Stark Bro's has promised to please customers with the very best fruit trees and landscaping products, no matter what. It's just that simple. If for any reason you are not completely satisfied with your purchase, let us know within a year of delivery and we will send you a free one-time replacement or refund your full purchase price if you don't want a replacement. To receive your replacement or refund, please call 800.325.4180. This warranty gives you specific rights, and you may also have other rights, which vary from state to state.

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