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Glossary of Terms

Use this handy glossary of terms we frequently use at Stark Bro's to identify and describe our products.

Tree Sizes

It is essential that you choose the right size for your space. Whether you're planting an acre, a suburban yard or a small urban plot, we've got the perfect tree for you.

Tree Sizes
Bare-root Trees

Most of our trees are shipped bare-root (without soil) to ensure good contact with your garden soil for easier planting. These young trees arrive in a dormant (resting) state without any apparent green growth, but they will spring to life soon after planting. When shipped to you, these trees are approximately 3-4' tall with 3/8" or larger trunk diameter. When they mature, they will be one of three sizes*:

Dwarf

This small size is perfect when space is limited. It provides an abundance of full-size fruit without overwhelming a small flowerbed or garden. Matures to be about 8-10' tall and wide.

Semi-Dwarf

This medium size is very productive and gives maximum fruit yield per square foot (most bear hundreds of pieces of fruit each season). Matures to be about 12-15' tall and wide.

Standard

This large size is a good choice if you have plenty of space or want a multi-purpose fruit and shade tree. It bears mostly on outside branches. Matures to be about 15-25' tall and 20' wide.

Stark Supreme Tree®

If you would like a head start on growing one of our dwarf, semi-dwarf or standard bare-root trees, upgrade to one of these larger selections. Our experts comb the fields and handpick these top-grade, robust trees. When shipped to you, they are approximately 4-5' tall with a 5/8" or larger trunk diameter.

EZ Start® Potted Trees

Some of our trees ship better with soil around the roots, so they are sent to you in one of our exclusive, award-winning, bottomless pots. These containers allow some roots to be air pruned as they grow out the bottom, so that a dense mass of productive feeder roots can grow within the pot to make transplanting and establishing easier and quicker. These roots also help to accelerate growth rates and induce earlier flowers and fruits. And, unlike many other fruit tree growers, Stark Bro's creates these trees in our state-of-the-art greenhouse facility, providing the optimum environment for bud take and growth to produce the best-quality tree your money can buy. Mature sizes vary. When shipped to you, the tree is approximately 1-2' tall.

Select EZ Start® Potted Trees

For a head start on growing one of our Stark® EZ Start® potted trees, upgrade to one of these larger, top-grade selections. When shipped to you, they are approximately 3-4' tall.

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

Grafted Trees

Grafting is the process of taking cuttings from a single "parent" tree known for its fruit taste, size, bloom period and ripening time, and joining it with the root system and trunk base (rootstock) of another tree also known for its desirable qualities. This process has been used for thousands of years to produce fruit that is consistent in flavor, shape and size. Most of our trees are grafted, creating this kind of consistency and allowing us to produce different mature tree sizes. While seed-grown fruit trees might give you unpredictable variations or a lack of results, grafted trees will give you the fruit you want and the tree size you expect.

Stark® Custom Graft® Trees

Limited space doesn't have to mean a limited selection of fruit. Stark® Custom Graft® fruit trees have two (or more) varieties carefully grafted onto one tree. These multi-grafted fruit trees require less space to grow than separate trees, and also provide compatible pollinators -- built right in! To ensure success growing multiple varieties on your Stark® Custom Graft® fruit trees, be sure to prune to keep all varieties in balance.

Professional Pruning

Pruning is one of the most important ways to help ensure that your tree gets off to the right start and has the best chance for success. That's why Stark Bro's professionals prune many of our fruit trees before shipment — at no cost to you!

We get you started, but you will need to prune throughout the life of your tree. Doing so will help eliminate extra buds that can slow development and allow your tree to form a strong framework by removing weak, narrow and competing branches. Proper pruning will give your tree the perfect shape and branching structure for maximum fruit production.

Self-pollinating

Indicates tree or plant will pollinate itself and doesn't need another tree or plant near it in order to bear fruit. In many cases, you may still want to plant pollinating partners to increase the size of your crops, but with self-pollinating varieties doing so is optional. You'll get fruit with only one tree!

Starkspur®

A Stark patented product since 1952! "Spurs" mean bigger harvests! Starkspur® trees are different from regular trees which bear fruit only on the outside limbs. The spur allows fruit to form on each limb and bear from the trunk out - doubling the amount of fruit.

Stark® Colonnade®

Grow full-sized fruit on narrow columnar-shaped trees. Perfect for growing fruit on a balcony, patio, or sliver of ground - even if you live in an apartment or condo. They make a particularly impressive "living fence" when planted in a row - consider using them to disguise eyesores on your property and grow fruit at the same time!

Stark Bro's Mural

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.