As a woman at the nursery once told me when it comes to trees, "if the ground ain't frozen, it can be planted."
And what's the really cool thing about December at many nurseries?
Not a lot of folks want to get out in the muck at this time of year, but if your winter is turning out to be milder than normal? You put on your rain boots and you get your arse to the nursery and take advantage of the inventory clearances that go on before year's end...or in this area, right before the holiday weekend!
And here's the cool thing - in January they are getting their bare-root inventory in...the stuff that is young. For fruit trees, that means they won't fruit for 2-3 YEARS. As many of us know, planting fruit trees is an investment in the future - as in, "the best time to plant one is 10 years ago". But the ones already potted up in the nursery that are 8-10' tall? These are often on older rootstock and some have even fruited already! Yes the price tag is higher but guess what? In December, you'll often find these at HALF PRICE. So while I could have a wider selection of fruit trees in January at the local nurseries and online retailers (like One Green World, a favorite of mine for hard-to-find plant and tree varieties), they'll be primarily bare root AND $50+ each. But this week at a nursery 20 miles south of here? I messaged them in advance to find out what their pear tree inventory was and they quickly let me know not only the varieties available, but also that if I came before they closed up for the holiday week, I'd get it for half off. So the $84 combo pear (perfect for smaller yards that don't have enough room for multiple trees that are ordinarily needed to ensure proper pollination) I'd been dreaming about for the past month but unable to justify the cost? Well I got it for less than the price of a bare root one that'll come out next month - AND we'll be able to enjoy actual pears off of it because it's actually around 3-4 years old they said.
Heavy and awkward to get in and out of our little C-Max Hybrid hatchback? Yes. Worth it? Oh hell yeah.
"The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit." ~ Nelson Henderson