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Market analysis! All tree buyers please vote!

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by brentsawyer, Jan 11, 2004.


What type of tree would you buy if given a choice?

  1. I'd stay with the B&B b/c that is what I've always bought

    8 vote(s)
  2. I'd consider the container but weigh the extra cost

    1 vote(s)
  3. I'd buy the container tree for a little more

    4 vote(s)
  4. Need more info before I made a decision to change my buying habits

    3 vote(s)
  1. brentsawyer

    brentsawyer LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 663

    I need to do a market analysis and would very much appreciate all your feedback and votes.

    Here is your quesion

    If you have two identical trees to purchase, size, variety, etc. One was conventional B&B and the other was in a pot, which would you chose. Size is anywhere from 1.5"-2.25". Please post your general knowledge about the two, no researching the two and would you be willing to pay more for the higher quality container tree?
  2. NCSULandscaper

    NCSULandscaper Banned
    Posts: 1,557

    Well if they are idenical size, then i would try to buy the B&B tree only because i can make more money using it. The situation i am in is i have an excellent container grower near me, my B&B nursery is an hour away, if i have to have something quick i go for container, if its a job that i have planned then i will make arrangments to go B&B. It also depends if you have any help or not. You can handle a large container tree by yourself easily, but you need help planting a 32" rootball B&B tree. I have found that you can get excellent results from either of the choices, but if one can make you more money than the other, then i would go with the one for more money. Prep work is needed for container trees, thoroughly scratch up the outer part of the containered rootball to promote growth outside the "circle" of roots, and to keep the root girdling under control to ensure your tree wont choke itself to death. Really all you need to do with B&B trees is plant it, and remove the burlap around the trunk.

    Actually my container trees are much cheaper in price than B&B.
  3. brentsawyer

    brentsawyer LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 663


    I am purely seeking information and opinions so please tell me why you get more for the same tree if it is B&B? I mean a 1.75" tree is just that, a 1.75" tree, don't know of anyother way to sell it. Definitely not arguing, just curious. Also, why would you drive an hour to buy a more expensive B&B tree? I definitely have something later to share just want everyones honest opinion with the amount of knowledge that they have now.
  4. NCSULandscaper

    NCSULandscaper Banned
    Posts: 1,557

    For this area in particular, B&B trees generally cost more. So a tree that costs me more will be doubled in price, in turn gives me more profit just for the sale of the materials, and since they are harder to maneuver than a container tree IMO. That means i will charge more for labor. I drive an hour because thats the ONLY B&B seller around here. I hate to drive that far but they have an incredible selection and top of the line quality stock, so it is worth the drive, esp when i get multiple orders together.
  5. brentsawyer

    brentsawyer LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 663

    Why not charge the same regardless. Besides, I wouldn't think any customer would really care what you paid for the tree. All they are concerned about is a healthy tree that is this tall and this caliper. Also, this way you'd make more for the container and have an "easier tree to handle" and no drive time. All considering the same tree still, not the better selection, well get to quality later.
  6. NCSULandscaper

    NCSULandscaper Banned
    Posts: 1,557

    Yea i could mark up my container trees more, but if i did then i couldnt compete with my competitors because they charge little to nothing for their material so it hurts me too. I pay $25 for a 15 gal 2" tree, and pay $90 for a 2" B&B tree. Competitors dont use B&B for the most part, i am one of the few that does. Customers seem to like the fact that their tree was just dug and is "fresh" i guess you can say. So thats just another way i try to stand out from my competitors.
  7. brentsawyer

    brentsawyer LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 663

    See your point now. I guess if my local nursery was putting or keeping 2" trees in #15 containers, I would look elsewhere. BTW, when the container is removed, how many times have the roots circled the root ball. That size tree should be in at least a #25 container or larger. $90 for a 2" B&B is also dirt cheap but not so insulting. I bet the cheap nursery prices bring out the scrubs down there. Not to mention the tree killing, strangling container nursery dosen't help much either.

    Ok that part a side, back to the original question and your buying the same tree B&B vs. container and you get the same price from your customer and paying about the same. Which would you have if presented w/ the option the next time you went to your nursery, which is what I had the question aimed at.
  8. NCSULandscaper

    NCSULandscaper Banned
    Posts: 1,557

    Same price same tree, definantly B&B. Less chance of severe girdling, plus easier to keep staked up in a wind storm. Main part of the tree stays in original soil its use to and slowly adapts to the new soil its being placed in since it takes the roots longer to go through the burlap.

    Actually the 15 gal trees are in good shape. Girdling really wasnt a problem. The 20 and 25 gal containers go for $45 and 50. Depending on how cheap the customer wants, if they are cheap and i know the tree wont be taken care of, cheap tree goes in. Im sure you uve witnessed the same stuff.
  9. LKNServices

    LKNServices LawnSite Member
    Posts: 25

    I'm with NCSU for all the same reasons. B&B trees just seem to do better, and I can make more $$$. However, I am close to several B&B nurseries, and about an hour from a good Potted nursery. In my past experience, trees in pots don't seem to look as good as B&B trees, but that is just my opinion.

    DUSTYCEDAR LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Posts: 5,137

    they both have there oune problems
    i have seen both balled and poted trees that i would not buy all depends what quaility i can get and if i trust the grower

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