We are looking at purchasing 6 emerald cedars for our back yard. For a 5-6 foot tree we are seeing price ranges from $29.99 to $89.99. We understand that you do not recommend garden centres, but are wondering if the prices reflect a difference in the tree, quality of tree, etc. or if this is generally simply a price point issue? Thank you!
That’s a huge price difference! Consider contacting a few nurseries/garden centres to ask why there is such a huge variation in the price range of the cedars among different retailers. Ask each person what they feel is important for you to consider in sourcing the trees. Remember that you are likely not the first to ask them these questions!
Here are a few questions you might start with, that could help you figure out where differences in price might arise!:
- Differences in size of tree. Although you indicate the price range is for a 5-6 foot tree – it’s a good idea to verify the actual size of the trees available from each source.
- Quality of tree. You would want all of the trees to be relatively bushy (not sparse), with a uniform shape.
- Source. The tree may be grown locally or at a distance, so transportation costs could be an issue. However, large tree nurseries that are many kilometres away might actually sell their trees for much less at the wholesale level. I suggest asking each nursery where the trees they sell are grown; they may not wish to tell you, but who knows?
- Size of retail business. Larger businesses – e.g., big box stores or nurseries, may obtain better prices because of the volume of trees they order. This does not mean that the tress would be of higher quality.
- Warranties offered. Many nurseries provide “guarantees” for a year or more, should the plants die. This is an added service that might also add to the price of the trees.
- Volume discount. You may be able to negotiate a better price if the seller is aware that you want to purchase 6 of the trees.
Note that Landscape Ontario has an excellent search function, where you can find centres close to you – and their contact information.
As you speak with people who work in the nurseries, you will probably come up with a number of additional questions to ask!
Good luck in sourcing your lovely cedars, at a price point that is reasonable!