Buy from a tree/plant farm or from a dealer?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by J. Davis, Nov 16, 2001.

  1. J. Davis

    J. Davis LawnSite Member
    Posts: 42

    Talking to a person that works as a go between for the local plant farms in my area...He is making alot of money buying plants cheap and selling them for the same price as the nur. in my area...Is their a way to contact the farms and purchase the plants direct from them...less overhead and more money for the company...:confused:
     
  2. Lanelle

    Lanelle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,361

    No harm in calling them up on the phone and asking. I collect grower catelogs at the trade shows
     
  3. kris

    kris LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nowhere
    Posts: 1,579

    Not sure I understand your post ...where is the guy selling them?...at his own nursery?

    There are many wholesalers who will sell to you ...Have a look in your yellow pages and do what Lanelle recomended.
    We have one great supplier from BC, which is another province. We put a order in and it can be there in 2 days. If needed there are others close by.
     
  4. Lanelle

    Lanelle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,361

    In our area the choices for buying plant material running from least expensive to most expensive (with some occasional exceptions) are: Growers, Brokers, Re-wholesalers, Retail Nurseries. You should have a state nursery association which publishes a list of growers in your state. Get a copy of it and call the growers that interest you. The fastest way to gather this info in the off-season is going to a trade show and talking to the growers and collecting their catelogs for future reference. Sometimes the difficulty with buying from a grower is meeting the required minimum purchase and determining if the freight charge is going to make the order worthwhile or too costly.
     
  5. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,957

    J davis

    I buy from a guy like the one you describe. Call him with the order and he deliver to the job site. Yes I pay a premium for this service just like you. What you and I have to consider is what our time is worth. Do you have the time to chase around the country side looking for plants?? If so and your time is worth nothing. Then how much are spending on those plants adding in gas and wear on your truck. I would rather hand pick my plants and spend the exract money on bigger plants. Last order I paid 3.00 for a 3 gal slow growing plant that I saw at home cheapo for 5.97 a 3 gal the only different was I would rather of had the home cheapo plant it was more mature. The larger plant would make my work look better. As business people we want to maximis our profits and stay competive. Just like your supplier. Like lanelle said get a list of your states growers and what they grow. Then take the time to chase them down and see what they have. This can be a time consuming thing that has to be done over and over to stay current. Or is it better to pay the premium Price??? LOL
     
  6. Andrew Hardscape

    Andrew Hardscape LawnSite Member
    Posts: 37

    A good way to come into contact with growers is to attend trade shows and join trade associations.

    We attend the Mid Atlantic Nurserymen's Trade Show (MANTS) in Baltimore MD, each January. We get some great contacts at that show.

    For hard to find plants I use "PLANT & SUPPLY LOCATOR"

    Or you can try www.plantfind.com

    Many of these growers have minimum purchase amounts required.



    MD'S Finest
     
  7. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,842

    What you are referring to is dealing with a grower's nursery as opposed to dealing with a wholesale nursery. I have a lot of experience in both as my family has owned grower's nurseries since the 60s.

    You can deal with a grower some times. But most of them won't want anything to do with you unless you want to order several hundred of a certain variety. They exist only to sale to other wholesale or retail nurseries. Often you don't want these plants or trees anyway because they are seedlings or are starters. But if you can find one that will sell you some, go for it. No harm in asking.

    Another problem you'll find in dealing with growers is they don't often have a very good selection. So you might find a good deal on Maples trees at one grower but they won't have much of anything else. They like to specialize in a few varieties. Whereas if you go to a good wholesale nursery you'll find just about every variety of tree or plant you want. So you save in time, not having to go all over the place to get your plants.

    Even with my family owning several different seedling and starter plant nurseries, it's almost always easier for me to go get them at the wholesale nursery close by. They have everything I want at one stop and their prices are great (50% off retail). No real need to go much cheaper than that.
     

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