Shopping for a palm tree for sale – local vs online
If you live in the southern portion of the US and are looking for a palm tree for sale then you most likely will have an easier time finding some nurseries that aren’t too far out of the way that sell them, especially if you’re in Florida.
There definitely isn’t a shortage of palms in Florida, however if you don’t live there, shopping at a nursery may be out of the question. In this case I’ll let you know your options for still adding a beautiful palm to your property.
When shopping at local nurseries vs online there are pros & cons to each so take everything into consideration when deciding on where you’ll begin your search for a palm tree for sale. Here’s my take on shopping for a palm tree.
With a little Google searching, an app like Yelp, or a consumer review site like Angies List, you can browse for local nurseries in your area and give them a call to see if they have any palm trees for sale. Or you can be really old fashioned and get out that 2″ thick yellow phone book to see nurseries in your area.
- The biggest of which is you are supporting local business, it’s always nice to give back to the community you live in. You may even know the person who runs the place and work out some type of ‘friends & family’ discount.
- You can inspect the trees in person to look for root rot, possible disease, or deformities in the tree.
- The biggest of which is if you don’t have any local nurseries near you! This is probably the case for most individuals who live outside of Florida so shopping local is completely out of the question unless you feel like making one heck of a road trip and dealing with the chaos of bringing a 20 foot tree back with you.
- They can be more expensive if they are the only nursery nearby which leaves you with less cash for the rest of the landscaping you may be wanting to do to your property.
Probably the more time effective route would be hopping on the computer and instead of looking for places to drive to to find a palm tree for sale would be to use that computer to just search for the type of palm tree you wish you buy and order it right from home (yes even 20′ palm trees can be delivered).
- You will find much more diversity than you’d be able to find at most nurseries so you actually may even discover a new type of palm tree for sale that wasn’t something you were aware even existed before.
- If you live outside of Florida the prices tend to be cheaper online than you’d find at a local nursery since these online retailers know they are competing in a larger market.
- You can have them shipped to your house so no need to even leave home. If you shop through RealPalms and buy four or more large trees you might be able to get them delivered for free. They also deliver internationally so if you happen to be reading this blog but don’t live in the US you’re not out of luck in terms of transplanting a nice ole Flamethrower palm in your yard. Some countries will require certain paperwork & certificates to be completed before a plant can be shipped into the country, make sure you talk to the nursery about this prior to ordering.
- You don’t actually get to inspect the tree like you would at a local nursery.
- You don’t get the face to face interaction though some sites do have online chat and all have an email or phone number you can reach out to them with questions at.
- There’s the possibility of the trees getting damaged during the shipping process.
What to know before you buy
In my previous post I talked about the importance of understanding what Plant Hardiness Zone you lived in and gave you that nice little tool where you can enter your zip to determine what zone you live in, well make sure you have that number handy when shopping for a palm tree.
Whether online or in person make sure you have it, though if you live in the same state as the nursery you’re visiting they most likely can tell you the zone you live in since that is the same zone their nursery is located in. If they don’t know what region their own nursery is even in that’s probably a sign you should look elsewhere for a palm tree for sale.
You should know the soil composition and nutrient levels of the location you intend to plant the tree(s). You can either buy a home kit like the Environment Concepts Professional Test Kit (~$25) to test all this yourself or go the more pricey route and hire a professional landscaper to come test it.
Whichever path you go make sure you have the results handy should you need them if you’re looking for a more soil sensitive palm.
Next, and what many people seem to skip over is setting a budget. As you browse the various trees you’ll notice that depending on the size and the type of tree the prices can vary significantly.
The larger the tree the more expensive yet the less time it’ll take to grow into that tall natural architectural addition to your property that you want it to be. Additionally exotic rare palms or fruit producing palms tend to run a bit more on the costly side as well.
Set aside funds for 1) the purchasing of the trees, 2) the shipping of the trees, 3) the cost to transplant the tree (digging equipment, labor, etc.), and 4) a little money for fertilizer to pump that transplant full of the nutrients it needs during its transition period.
So to recap the checklist of things to have handy when you shop for a palm tree for sale:
- Plant Hardiness Zone of where you’ll plant the tree
- Soil nutrient test
- Spending budget for trees (allocate extra funds for transplanting & fertilizer)
- Be aware of size restrictions
Since this purchase will be a big one and really will help add character to your property it’s important to consider all the options available to you so that you chose a tree that fits in well with the aesthetics of what you’re looking to accomplish with your property.
Additionally you need to think about the size of the tree you would like to buy. The small and younger the tree the less money it will be, the larger and more mature the tree the more the price increases. It really comes down to a time vs cost decision; pay less and wait for it to grow to the desired height or pay more and have it already the height you’re looking for.
My next post “Buy Palm Trees – The Most Popular Palms” will walk you through a few of the most popular palm trees people choose to add to their property to give you a starting point in your search.