Frequently asked questions
We have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions from our customers. Please check this page to see if we have answered your questions here first.
1. Are you open to the Public? Yes, by appointment only. Please call 1-800-669-2067, or 386-462-2820, or email us to set up an appointment. These are normally scheduled on Fridays.
2. What are your hours? The office is open Mon-Fri 8:30-4pm.
3. Are you open on weekends? We are CLOSED on the weekends.
4. Can we select our own trees? At our office we have a small sample of our trees available that you can choose from, but for larger orders we pull the plants from the 150 acre production nursery so you cannot choose the plants we pull. Our insurance does not allow people to walk around the farm.
5. Where are you located? Click this link for a map. From Exit 390 on I-75, the northern Gainesville, FL exit, go West on SR 222 for 3.0 miles to a stoplight dead end. Turn right or North and go 3.5 miles on CR 241/NW 143 St. Turn left or West and go 0.5 miles on NW 94 Ave to the top of the hill. The sign and driveway are on the left at the top of the hill.
6. Do you offer farm tours? We are happy to schedule tours for garden clubs, master gardener groups, and other organizations. We also offer our trees to groups at wholesale prices to re-sell as fund raisers for the group.
7. Do you sell wholesale? We offer our wholesale prices to members of the commercial landscape and nursery trade. You must provide us with a landscape or nursery business license and State of Florida resale tax certificate. We also offer wholesale pricing to commercial orchards (minimum order of 100 trees).
8. When do you ship mail order? We ship during the spring from January to April, starting with the southern states first and then shipping progressively north as spring comes to the northern states, ending in April. We also ship in the fall, starting with northern states in September and southern states in October-November. You can pick up plants from the nursery year-round.
9. Do you offer a guarantee? No, we do not offer an unconditional guarantee. We guarantee that the trees are true to type and are in good condition when we ship, there are too many things that can happen that are beyond our control that can damage the trees during growth. Please read our guarantee Here.
10. How many trees fit on a pallet? 50 3-gallon trees, 15 7-gallon trees will fit in a palletized box for shipping via Fedex Freight.
1. When is the best time to plant trees? In the South, you can plant from October-April, as long as the ground is not frozen. In the north, late August-September and March-May are planting seasons. Fall planting is good because the trees root into the ground as long as the ground is not frozen, and they come out in the spring with less shock.
2. Does ________ need a pollinator? Each variety description lists whether or not a pollinator is needed or they are self-fertile. This is also shown on the complete variety list.
3. How far apart should I space the trees? Chestnuts should be planted 30-40’ apart, and most fruit trees can be planted 10-20' apart. Allow enough space between rows for mowing equipment. Each variety description includes recommended spacing.
4. How soon will I get fruit? Chestnuts will begin to bear in 3-5 years after planting and most fruit trees and berries will produce fruit within 1-2 years after planting. You should not allow a tree to overbear when it is young, so remove some fruit if the crop appears too heavy, or it will stunt the growth of the tree.
5. When should I fertilize? Use a balanced fertilizer with minor elements such as Scott's Osmocote per package directions. Put half around the tree in the spring, and half after summer rains have started. Don't fertilize in the late summer or fall, as this could lead to vigorous growth and damage from early frosts. Do not put in the hole, but on top of the soil.
6. When do I prune? Most plants are pruned when dormant in the winter or just after fruit harvest.
7. Do I need irrigation? Water is the single most important element in tree survival. We highly recommend installing an irrigation system. Infrequent watering from a hose is not enough, especially in the first year of growth. If you are planting in the woods where there is no water (especially for chestnuts and wildlife trees) we strongly suggest you use Grow Tubes and supplement with water.
8. How often should I water? You must water the trees in thoroughly at transplanting, preferably 2-3x/week the first year. In woodland plantings, if the trees are not getting regular (1-2x/week) rains, you will need to water supplementally.
9. Should I use Grow Tubes? They act like mini-greenhouses and make small trees grow faster, especially in forest plantings. They also recycle water that breathes off the leaves at night during photosynthesis, and protects the trees from animal damage and herbicide over spray. Leave them on the trees until the trunks outgrow the tubes, then cut them off.
10. Should I put compost or peat moss in the hole when planting? No, this can cause root fungus. Put topsoil back in the hole but do not amend with compost, peat moss or manure (which can burn the roots).
11. Should I use Weed Mats? Yes it is very important to protect young trees from weeds – they compete with the roots for water and nutrients. Herbicides such as Roundup can kill young trees even if it just hits the trunk. Weed mats are very helpful in eliminating weed competition.
12. What is the best way to protect against damage from deer? Build a cage with t-bar posts and 5’ concrete reinforcing wire at least 3’ in diameter. If you have a lot of pressure from deer, it is the best method and protects your investment in the trees.
13. Do I need to spray my trees? No unless there is a reason. Contact your local extension agent if you see signs of bug damage, and they can help you ID the pest and give recommendations for treatment.
14. Can I really grow Avocados in north FL or the SE coasts? Cold hardy avocados are like cold hardy citrus – they will take temperatures into the low 20s, but need to be planted in protected locations and warmer micro-climates such as on the south side of a house, underneath overhead canopy or near a lake.
15. Will all persimmons bear fruit? All Oriental Persimmons are grafted and will bear in 1-2 years after planting. The same for grafted American Persimmons. Seedling American persimmons are either male (flowers only) or female (will bear fruit), so you need to plant 4-5 seedling American persimmon trees together to make sure you get some fruit.
16. What % success rate should I get? With an irrigation system you should get 80-90% or better live from planting, but if you plant them in the woods, it depends on how much rain and care they get after planting. If you do not water, and it is a dry year, your success could go down considerably.
1. Do Dunstan Chestnuts require pollinators? Yes, all chestnuts need pollinators. You must plant a minimum of 2 Dunstan trees together to get nut production, while 4-5 together is better.
2. Will other chestnuts (such as Chinese) pollinate Dunstan Chestnuts? Yes, but the nut production will not be as good.
3. How far apart can I plant chestnuts and still get pollination? A minimum of 20' and a maximum of 50'.
4. What is the spacing for chestnuts? We recommend 30'x30' (=54 trees/acre). They will begin to touch after 15 years, and can be thinned at that time.
5. When should I plant chestnuts? In the north, early spring (when we ship) or early fall (Sept-Oct). In the south, they can be planted most of the year, except during the coldest part of winter, or during extended droughts.
6. Do you sell Dunstan nuts? No, we use all of our crop for planting.
7. Should I use Grow Tubes? How long do they stay on the trees? Yes, we highly recommend Grow Tubes if you are planting in an area where you do not have access to water, or there is pressure from deer browsing on the young trees. The tubes stay on until the trees become constricted around the trunk.
8. How similar are the Dunstan Chestnuts to the American Chestnut? Dunstan Chestnuts are blight resistant, which American Chestnuts are not. They produce larger nuts than American Chestnuts. If grown in the open, Dunstan Chestnuts will spread (just like Americans) and if grown in the forest or tight spacing, will be more timber form. The quality of the wood is similar.
9. What is the range of Dunstan Chestnuts? They will grow from Zones 5-9 (see Map). They need at least 250 Chill Hours (Orlando FL north). They will withstand temperatures down to -20F.
10. Do chestnuts bear every year? Yes, chestnuts bear every year (unlike oaks). If they experience a late freeze in the spring after leaf-out, or early fall freeze before the nuts ripen, can damage production or growth.