FAQ

What are your hours / can I visit the nursery?

We do not keep regular hours.  If you are interested in arranging a pickup or visit, please email us at info@libertytreenursery.com or message our Instagram/Facebook accounts to set up a time.

What does bare root mean?

As the name suggests, bare root plants are plants that do not have soil around the roots and are 'bare'.  It may seem like a precarious state to be in, but as long as they are kept in a cool and moist environment without letting the roots dry, they will be perfectly fine. In practice, the roots are only bare for short periods of time between harvest, shipping, and final planting.  

Are potted trees better than bare root?  

In our opinion, no.  The main advantages to potted trees, or potted plants in general is that timing of planting is less critical and they are wrapped in a convenient package.  It's much easier for a garden center to deal with potted trees as they have a much longer window in which to sell them, and customers can take them home and not need to worry so much about planting them right away. 

On the other hand, bare root trees need to be planted in the fall after they go dormant or in the spring just before or as they are breaking dormancy (aka waking up), while potted trees can be planted any time the soil isn't frozen.  

We are not anti-potted tree, but bare root trees grow quicker and adapt better to their planting site. They have greater root mass than potted trees, and overwhelmingly they have better root structure which leads to greater long term growth and survival. We go to great lengths here to avoid poor root structure in the trees that we do pot up, including fabricating our own grow bags and growing the trees in air pruning beds for their first year so they develop a healthy fibrous root system before transplanting.

Before the advent of plastic containers, bare root was the default state in which plant material was moved from place to place.  It is still the the default way that trees are shipped all over the world from web and catalogue sales.  

How do I plant a bare root tree?

See this article for more information on planting bare root trees. We also include planting/care instructions with tree orders.

How do you package bare root trees for shipping?

Bare root trees are packaged in a way that keeps them nice and safe through the shipping process.  The roots are wrapped up in a slightly moist peat moss or sawdust mixture, and the entire box is filled up with material to prevent the contents from shifting around while they make their way to you.  

Can you ship potted trees?

We do not ship potted trees at this time.  The added weight and time associated with safely packaging them would result in very steep shipping costs that we'd rather not pass on to customers.

What time of year do you ship?

We have two shipping windows, fall and spring.  Fall orders are taken between September 1st - October 31st and are shipped in November.  Spring orders are taken between January 1st - April 15th and are shipped in late April through early May. 

Seed orders are shipped from November through Spring as stock allows.

We mainly use Canada Post and typically ship parcels on Mondays and Tuesdays to minimize time spent sitting in the postal system, but cannot absolutely guarantee a 3-9 day delivery period at this point given ongoing disruptions as a result of the pandemic. Dormant trees are very resilient in shipping, but if your package is substantially delayed, please contact us and we will try to arrive at a solution.

Where do you ship to?

We can ship anywhere in Canada except for BC (due to CFIA regulations).

How much does shipping cost?

Shipping costs are calculated at checkout and are based on weight / package size categories in addition to distance.

Do you do local deliveries?

We can do local delivery for the Fredericton and Oromocto areas (postal codes within E3A,E3B,E3C,E3E,E2V). When you are going through the checkout process, be sure to select the 'local delivery' option.  We will arrange a delivery time that roughly lines up with our shipping schedule. Please note that we cannot hold orders until spring (fall orders) or into the summer, so if the delivery can't be made in the fall we will have to cancel it and issue a refund.

Can you hold a fall order for me until spring?

As a small nursery with limited time and space resources, it is not feasible to hold individual orders over until spring. If you live in a region unsuitable for fall planting (frozen ground / early snow cover), please put in an order over the winter for spring shipping.

What is your return policy?

We ship only healthy plant material, but if you are not satisfied with your order or it is damaged in shipping, please let us know as soon as possible after you receive it.  As a small nursery, it is not feasible for us to guarantee our plants for years like large garden centers can. Plants are extremely resilient, but some factors that affect survival are out of our control, such as: improper handling/planting site/method, lack of protection from predators, or risky hardiness zone choices.  We are dedicated to getting as many healthy plants as possible out into the world, so please do let us know if you are unhappy with your order and we will try to figure out what went wrong and make it right.

Note that depending on the species, some winter dieback can occur on fall planted bareroot seedlings in their first winter.  This is not cause for alarm.  Once the root system is more established in the following growing season it should be fine.

Do you sell potted plants/trees too?

We do!  We often have a bunch of potted or grow bagged trees available between spring and fall that we keep for local pickups, farmers' markets, and growing contracts.  We try to keep the availability list as up to date as possible through the season, but it can get away from us sometimes in the busy periods.

Check our Available Now page to see what's available right now.

What is a hardiness zone and how do I figure out which one I'm in?

Use this link to find your hardiness zone: Plant Hardiness Zones Canada (NRCan)

hardiness zone is a geographic area defined to encompass a certain range of climatic conditions relevant to plant growth and survival.  There are many site specific factors that affect how plants thrive or survive in any given location, so consider it more of a tool to help you select species hardy to your region rather than a rule.  You can certainly 'push' zones with the correct site, such as a warmer microclimate or a planting location sheltered from winter winds.

The most widely used hardiness zone system in use is the one developed by the USDA, which is solely based on the average annual extreme minimum temperatures.  The Canadian system, however, is based on a formula using seven important variables that influence plant survival. Both are useful tools, but we prefer the latter as it accounts for factors that have a significant effect on the suitability of a given site, such as winter snow depth.

The disparity in how these two systems arrive at their values paired with the fact that they both use the same naming pattern (number + letters a or b) has caused much confusion for gardeners for decades.

At our nursery (5b) and on this website, we refer to the Canadian plant hardiness zones.

Do you sell softwood/conifer trees for reforestation or Christmas tree farms?

At this time we do not sell conifers for reforestation.  These trees are typically grown in plug trays and in our opinion are better suited to nurseries focused on such products. This may change in the future, but right now we are focused on species that either provide maximum benefits to humans and wildlife or those that have been left in the dust of generations of industrial forestry practices.

If you are looking to reforest your woodlot with conifer seedlings, you may be able to source them for a reasonable price through your local wood marketing board.