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Buying fruit tree's at Bunnings? Yes or No

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moadeep starts with ...
Going through this forum, I've noticed some people recommend getting certain hard to find (tropical) plants from bunnings (like mango, Strawberry/chilean guava) and in other sections of the forum, I've read people saying to stay clear of bunnings because you don't know where they have grown the tree's (tropics or temperate), if they are grafted or not, and sometimes they turn out to be duds from clippings.

So I've created this thread for people to provide comprehensive advice for new gardeners who look at bunnings as a quick and cheap alternative. Should they buy fruit trees -Citrus, stone fruit, tropical, you name it- or shouldn't they? And what is the reasoning behind the advice?

For example:I've been to bunnings recently and seen young Strawberry Guava's and chilean guava's in their "pick me edibles" Selection for ten bucks. I can't seem to find them readily available at other nurseries but I'm worried these young cuttings/saplings will end up being fruitless duds.
Yet I've seen other fruit plants like Tahitian lime and Meyers lemons at bunnings that are flowering and bearing small fruit. Would you pick these tree's up knowing that if they can bear fruit at Bunnings, they would end up bearing bountiful crop in your backyard?

Thoughts please!!
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J
Melbourne
4th December 2009 8:25pm
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Phil@Tyalgum says...
Yes the guavas (chilean and strawberry) will fruit true to type either from seed or cuttings as there is not great variability as far as different cultivars available. One fruit I would steer clear from in these stores tho is the feijoa, as 90% are seedlings with no name, this plant is always best bought as a named variety eg Mammoth or Triumph. They are hard to find but worth seeking out and paying a bit extra for as the fruit is far superior to the seedlings. Most plants will have the cultivar name either written in felt pen on the tag if they are a selected variety, if not they will probably be a bit ordinary.
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phil@tyalgum
Murwillumbah
5th December 2009 11:27am
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moadeep says...
So no Feijoa's from bunnings! Got it!

Poyntons in essendon seem to have Feijoa's available but I have not asked them about the variety. Would you recommend that nursery for Feijoa's?

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J
Melbourne
5th December 2009 1:46pm
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Phil@Tyalgum says...
I think I have seen both named varieties there as well as anonymous plants. Feijoas are grown from cuttings rather than grafted. I've also grown them easily from seed. I think I bought a "Mammoth" from Poyntons a few years back but it was kind of pricey
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phil@tyalgum
Murwillumbah
5th December 2009 2:18pm
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moadeep says...
Thanks for the advice.

Back to Bunnings and their fruit selection - how about Citrus trees like Meyers and lemonade?

Would you recommend buying more common citrus from bunnings or stick to the nurseries?
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J
Melbourne
5th December 2009 2:42pm
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Phil@Tyalgum says...
To be honest, I prefer to support the smaller, privately owned nurseries when I can. A meyer is a meyer, if it is named you shouldn't go wrong by picking a healthy looking plant wherever it is. I find most of their other stock isn't named however - the smaller nurseries at least know what they are selling instead of having a supermarket mentality.
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phil@tyalgum
Murwillumbah
5th December 2009 4:32pm
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moadeep says...
Good point. Thanks for the advice.
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J
Melbourne
5th December 2009 5:19pm
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Mish says...
Hi
I think it is entirely dependant on where you go... either independent nursery or Bunnings. I have been to Dawson's in O'Connor and the staff had no clue at all about growing fruit trees in pots and not to mention they said there is 'no such thing as a 'dwarf' citrus...' they were not helpful, or approachable, I had to chase after them around the shop.

South Fremantle Garden Centre, were friendly, knowledgable and had a good range of fruit trees and were happy to order plants in that they didn't have. The plants they did have looked like they had been there for a long time. Where as, Bunnings have a higher turnover of plants so you know they haven't been sitting there for months.

Also, I have been to 5 different Bunnings stores around Perth and found them to have very knowledgable staff, although at varying levels of approachability. Port Kennedy and Rockingham had the most helpful and knowledgeable staff who didn't mind taking time to talk and explain the differing needs of the plants to me. And were also eager to find out information or order plants in that I wanted.

However, Bunnings in O'Connor was very much like a supermarket, no staff at all in the garden centre, I had to go searching for them, only to find them working the register.

I always ask 'where were the plants grown', as I want to know whether they are WA or interstate plants, and found that both Bunnings and the Independant centres generally order their plants from the same wholesale nurseries.

The upside of Independent centres is that they are not usually limited to buying stock from certain wholesalers, where as, Bunnings can only get plants from those they are contracted with.

As for quality of plants (being as they basically come from the same place), there was no 'one' best shop for plants, e.g. one shop would have better grapes, the other had better pinkabelle's, and another one had better nectarines etc.

So I guess, at the end of the day, it means that to get the best plants you have to spend some time shopping around.
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Mish
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6th December 2009 2:39pm
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Brad says...
This is a good question, particularly for gardeners who haven't (yet) been dropping in on every nursery they pass... just in case its got something.

Being where we are, we must commend Daley's as a great place to get edible plants. Many of the good nurseries stock Daley's plants too. The advantages of a nursery or a bunnings may be that you see the plant in advance, don't have to wait (Quarantine) and you may also get larger plants. But you pay more and you need to leave home to shop.

Nurseries in general, including Bunnings, vary from shop to shop, staff member to staff member. Some Bunnings are excellent. Some sell tired, poorly growing plants with issues (e.g. too closely growing, so skewed shape and humidity issues). You have to look to find out.

My tips are: use Daley's when you have the time. Check out any shop convenient for you. Learn how to recognise good healthy plants. ASK when fresh plants arrive from wholesalers. Don't buy plants that have not been looked after. Know if the plant you are looking at needs to be grafted or a named variety. For example, you mentioned Chilean guava, I would take any healthy cutting quite happily. Same for fig trees. Many Fruit trees need to be appropriate named varieties, e.g. have appropriate heat/chilling requirements for my location, and/or a specific taste or fruit quality. (Warning : some bunnings stock completely inappropriate plants for their region, but so do some nurseries)

One thing I'd add to this thread is that a lot of wholesale plants have poor / useless tags. e.g. citrus has boxes to tick the rootstock, but they never are ticked. Any nurserymen / wholesalers read this - please improve them!
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Brad2
Como, Perth
7th December 2009 12:39am
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moadeep says...
Thanks brad and mish. This is good advice and why I created this forum thread. I'm happy to buy plants off daleys but I can't justify the shipping costs for more commonly available fruit plants, hence my question about bunnings and the quality of the fruit tree's they have.

Having said that though, I'd still rather support smaller local nurseries (if they have good stock). Bunnings can make their money from other product sales, small nurseries can't.

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J
Melbourne
7th December 2009 12:51pm
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au0rey says...
I think veges and herbs are really fine from bunnings...i go there quite a lot..but for fruit trees so far my instinct always take me to nurseries...I bought my calamondin, kaffir lime, eureka lemon, grape from reputable nurseries but recently bought a brown turkey fig and pixzee peach from bunnings but they are selling for Flemings...THe brown turkey did not show signs of life and bunnings gave me a new pot of brown turkey. However, the label does not say it is from flemings. I think it is some other brands of brown turkey. It has two tiny fruits now. THe pixzee has lots peaches now.

Some bunnings have really nice helpful knowlegeable staff whereas in some bunnings, i cant even find any staff to help me with my questions!
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7th December 2009 1:55pm
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Jimmy says...
My bunnings never waters the plants very well, so lotsa trees are really behind the 8 ball health wise.

But saying that, if the stock is fresh its from the same Olea Nsy that the small guys use and cheaper.

You can tell by the tags !!
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Jimmy
Perth
7th December 2009 4:40pm
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Kath says...
It would be great to only support the small guys but unless you have unlimited money it's hard to justify paying the (often much) higher prices at the nurseries.
Like Jimmy says, their suppliers are often the same. Bunnings Rockingham has at least two qualified horticulturalists who are lovely & not at all pushy when offering advice.They also have a garden club which meets every few months. Port Kennedy Bunnings , I've found, pretty ordinary & stock not watered nearly enough-last summer I saw so many dead plants there-what a waste. My tip is to shop around till you find a place you like with helpful staff. I love the little nursery in Serpentine -obviously not as much choice as a big place but run by a lady who is extra helpful & very healthy sunhardened stock. Shame Daleys wasn't in W.A.!!!
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KathK
Karnup W.A.
8th December 2009 2:36pm
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Mish says...
Hi Kath

At Port Kennedy Bunnings, I remember that they lost heaps of garden stock last summer. I saw pallets of grass dead, and plants shockingly dried out.
I thought something had definitely gone wrong... it came down to stupid store policy... only the horticulturist is (according to policy) qualified to water the plants... they were on leave...
I know this as my friend is one of the horticulturist there and when she returned from holidays, she was (to say the least) flabbergasted by their stupidity.

I went into Meadow Springs Garden Centre (totally forget they existed) and they had a huge range of fruit trees looking very healthy and they had different types that I hadn't seen around, like pomegranates.
Also, the one on Pinjarra road opposite the spud shed had huge range of apples and citrus, and I was very excited to find paw paw...
Now just have to find some big cheap pots...

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Mish
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9th December 2009 11:01am
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CJ says...
Hi Mish, where is the Meadow Springs Garden Centre? Meadow Springs is only a few minutes from me...
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Mandurah WA
9th December 2009 2:31pm
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Brad says...
Mish - Re cheap pots. The blueberry forum had this info a few months back. I haven't checked it out. Please let us know more :)

try Garden City Plastics http://www.gardencityplastics.com/advanced.htm) in Canning Vale - I got 6 x 580mm UV-resistant pots from them last year for ~$35 each for my blueberries - way cheaper than anything else I could find of the same size/quality.
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Brad2
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9th December 2009 3:14pm
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Julie says...
A friend got a load of pots from Bunnings (Maddington) last week. They are in a bin for recycling, but don't mind if you take them. But no very large ones, unfortunately, which I really wanted.

Keep your eyes out next time you go to Bunnings, I guess they have different sizes all the time.
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Roleystone WA
9th December 2009 3:22pm
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Jimmy says...
The sign on the bin says "please do not take these pots, they are recycled by disabled persons' thus taking them is eseentially stealing froma slow learner.

Not a good look...
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Jimmy
Perth
9th December 2009 3:52pm
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Original Post was last edited: 9th December 2009 3:52pm
Julie says...
I didn't know that Jimmy - I'll tell my friend. She must have been given wrong info.
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Roleystone WA
9th December 2009 4:00pm
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Kath says...
Mish, wouldn't you think Bunnings would have retic set up? R'ham seem to be continuously watering-would be a big job on the really hot days. The amount of stock PK Bunnings has lost must be huge & the plants that survive would be stressed. Can imagine how your friend felt when she came back to all the dead plants!
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KathK
Karnup W.A.
9th December 2009 4:44pm
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Shaun says...
Bunnings @ Port Kennedy? Is that the one near Mandurah, shortly before you arrived @ Mandurah Train Station (if approaching from Rockingham) ?
I've always call that store Bunnings Warehouse @ Mandurah, unless of course there are 2 different stores; @ Port Kennedy & @ Mandurah.
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CJ says...
Shaun I believe these are two separate stores.
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10th December 2009 12:23pm
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Kath says...
Yep, you're right CJ. Bunnings Mandurah is in Mandurah & (strangely enough) Bunnings Port Kennedy is in..... Port Kennedy.
Shaun, if you are going to any in this area, I reckon Rockingham is the pick of them, then Mandurah then P.K. a very sad last (but they may have improved) I went a few times & found sad dry plants & no staff around in the garden area to help. The other two seem much better run & easy to find helpful staff. Good luck.
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KathK
Karnup W.A.
10th December 2009 5:18pm
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Mish says...
Hi CJ
Meadow Springs Garden Centre is behind City Farmers on Hampton Street. If you go up Gordon Rd from Fremantle Rd lights, take the first right, then right again and its on the right...
Just bought some great blueberries - Denise and Brigitte varieties and a pomegranate... they also have bananas, which I have not seen anywhere else.
Lovely staff also, and the place is just immaculate, I didn't see one sick or dried out looking plant.
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Mish
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11th December 2009 3:23pm
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Mish says...
Hi Brad
thanks so much for that link... they look like they have exactly what I am looking for... my pomegranate will need a nice big home... and my citrus too when I finally get them...

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Mish
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11th December 2009 3:32pm
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Trudy says...
Hi,
Unfortunately over the years I have brought fruit trees and plants from Bunnings which were mislabeled.
2 Limes which turned out to be Grapefruit and later a seedless Grapefruit which had seeds. 3 years ago I brought a Fuji (hard Persimon) which had soft persimons last year.
I even purchased from Bunnings 5x Lantanas bushes (Golden Candle -1 mtr high bush) which were all groundcovers.
Now I avoid Bunnings and pay more from a good Nursery -at least you get good stock and what you pay for.
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Trudy1
Bayswater
26th December 2009 7:00pm
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Brad says...
I noticed today that Bunnings Cannington in Perth really aren't looking after their PlantNet stock fruit trees. Leaves being eaten, mildew, sunburn ...

The other thing that should be mentioned here is that despite their advertising, Bunnings are not necessarily cheap. For example a 240cm star picket at Bunnings was $19-20, compared to the retail price of $7.20 at a fencing supplier. (wire, cement mix etc were all cheaper there)
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Brad2
Como, Perth
31st December 2009 1:52am
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amanda says...
I have had a lot of success with my fruit trees from Bunnings (except Feijoa) but I don't really have anywhere else to go :-(
I guess it's the same with anywhere you go - look for healthy trees, check their proportions to pot size, weed free (I now have a spreading clover weed thanks to Tass1)
You can also contact their supplier to find out more about the tree in question if you ask for the number. I have got to know my guys well - and they will often source and order in something unusual for me.
For the really unusual subtropicals it's better to go to a specialist like Daleys and get proven plants.

(PS Brad - I agree about the prices of a lot of stuff - I use my local rural suppliers extensively for this reason)
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amanda19
Geraldton. WA
31st December 2009 11:26am
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BJ says...
For Bunnings in WA their main supplier of fruit trees is Olea Nurseries. The price you can purchase from Olea is about half of that you will pay at Bunnings - but you need to buy about 30 plants from Olea and have an ABN. They are very helpful however. I've tried to attach the Olea catelogue. Obviously they have a few other suppliers for fruit trees - but I've not got their direct details.
Because it is so hard to get different plants into WA many of the smaller nurseries also have the same suppliers. This means the same varieties etc; and often the same price. This is where Daleys is great - they will actually send to WA. Many others will not.
Bunnings is NOT cheaper either. They are a great store to inspire, and if you only want 1-2 items they are convenient. But shop around ... For Perth fencing is cheaper at DCW enterprises (Maddington). Bricks/pavers etc are cheaper at Midland/Austral etc. Steel is cheaper at Metalcorp (Belmont).
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BJ1
Perth
24th February 2010 12:40pm
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Jimmy says...
I got 4 x dwarf citrus for 50 bucks each all up ex Daleys.

Wandilla wanted $55 each and the plants were worse.

This time of year, Olea despatched the autumn stock, look out for it and plant the same week it comes in.

My apricot was done this was, it established over winter and grew very well the next year...yes roots can grow when no leaves are present.
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Jimmy
Perth
24th February 2010 2:32pm
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Original Post was last edited: 24th February 2010 2:33pm
amanda says...
I agree Jimmy - I do all my planting autumn and winter only - so far so good! One thing I like about our paticular Bunnings is the high turnover rate of plants. I have never had anything pot bound...as yet...Benara nurseries also supply them here.
I go in on Wed and Thurs when truck arrives so I can choose the best plants.
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amanda19
Geraldton. WA
24th February 2010 8:35pm
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Illy says...
I have just bought some friut trees from Bunnings. Hopefully they will turn out to be what they are supposed to. (not really worried)

However, if you are in Brisbane I'd hihgly reccommend the rocklea markets on sundays. There you can find a wide variety of plant to affordable prices. You buy directly from the seller so the middlemen are cut out. I have bought many plants from there and I'm very happy with them. Just one note though, the earlier you get there the more variety you'll find. It opens at 6AM. Happy shopping.
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Illy
Brisbane
23rd March 2010 3:50pm
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BJ says...
Hi Illy,
Which part of the market? The one through the toll gates or the 'Marketplace' under the shade sails?
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Brisbane
23rd March 2010 4:46pm
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Melissa SA says...
I bought Feijoa from Reynella Home Hardware as an 8 inch tree for $3.95. There was only the one and I had never seen them there before, so I don't know if they always have them, let alone that price. I do recommend them over Bunnings for prices. Though Bunnings generally has better variety of fruit trees.
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Melissa SA
Moana, South Australia
20th March 2011 8:23am
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sssssssss says...
yes i would like some trees but not a fruit one
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sophies desk
4th April 2011 4:17pm
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snottiegobble says...
The banana I bought from Bunnings has powered away!
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snottiegobble
Bunbury/Busso ( smack in the middle)
5th April 2011 3:03pm
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Pauline says...
What has that got to do with the (rather old now) topic?
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Pauline
Adelaide
20th September 2011 6:41pm
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jimreevescairns says...
Worth checking that what they sell is appropriate for your region - i found some kiwi fruit vines for sale at the one in Cairns recently $45 !!! When I challenged the staff regarding the suitability for this climate they admitted that they would never fruit here ?? but there was a whole load which they have happily now sold.
regards
Jim
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jimreevescairns
Cairns
20th September 2011 10:07pm
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au0rey says...
Recently saw a dwarf persimmon tree at bunnings, first time ever seeing a dwarf, but cost a whopping 60+. I rather buy persimmons from the shops.
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au0rey
melbourne
21st September 2011 8:19am
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Jimmy says...
Yes, Bunnings orders much the same plants across the country. Selling high chill trees in low chill areas.

Don't fall for it !.
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21st September 2011 12:29pm
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Mike says...
If Daleys is a restaurant of fruit trees Bunnings is the hungry jacks.Cairns Bunnings and Big W are the places to get good quality stonefruit trees,pecans,persimmons,grapes and mediterraneans.They do get tropicals by accident at times from the same distributors as most nurseries use and I have got many good trees from them and Big W.
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Cairns
21st September 2011 6:22pm
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MaryT says...
Bunnings trees are OK if you know the plants that would do well in your area and get only their freshest stock. I'm afraid our local Bunnings don't look after their plants so they go downhill very quickly. Not cheap either from the look of their size and price.
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MaryT
Sydney
24th September 2011 1:41pm
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Judy D says...
Two weeks ago I bought a Dwarf Orange Valencia. Cost $43.98. Very disappointed when repotting it to find all the soil just fell away from the plant. Does anyone know if this plant will be ok. I just thought I paid for a potted plant, but looks like it was just potted up.
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Judy D
Noarlunga Downs SA
12th July 2013 10:49am
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Brain says...
Some of the citrus suppliers use very sandy soil, which falls apart as you say. As citrus does not like soggy soil, so it's not a bad thing but the only trouble is, sandy soil has little moisture retention, so you need to water it frequently, which is not a problem at most Bunnies, as they have someone paid to do so.

Back to your question, yes, your plant should be ok, provided you repoted quickly and your soil mixture is compacted against the roots - i.e. it's still gettting water! If your orange tree is still looking ok and healthy, then that's your answer.

I actually make a point remove the original potting mix when I plant citrus into a pot. I use premium mixture and this generaly last for 2 years and after that, remove to bare root and do it all over again.

The only thing I will add is, the plant will take a while to adjust, so you will need to water regularly for say a month or so until your tree reestablished itself. As it is winter now, you won't see too much activity from the orange tree.
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Brain
Brisbane
12th July 2013 11:19am
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Julie says...
Judy, the trees usually arrive from elsewhere in winter bare rooted, and are potted up in the nursery. So it has probably not been potted long.

It must be a lot cheaper transporting them this way.

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Julie 1
Roleystone WA
12th July 2013 9:03pm
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jakfruit etiquette says...
Citrus are probably field grown, then dug up and potted before shipping+sale, so the roots wont have grown into the mix.
Also mix could have dried out and rewetted before you even got it.
The roots have to be heavily trimmed to fit a nice size tree into a 5 or 10litre pot, so thats why it takes a long time for tree to establish after you plant it.
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jakfruit etiquette
 
13th July 2013 8:27am
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Boris Spasky says...
Not right jakfruit. Unlike stone fruit, accredited citrus are grown in polybags once budded. The risks of soil borne disease is far too great. Root severance from growing in the ground results in a setback that often results in a tree failing to grow on.
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Boris Spasky
 
13th July 2013 12:57pm
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jakfruit etiquette says...
Boris, I agree with your sentiments, but field grown grafted Citrus are still common.
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jakfruit etiquette
 
13th July 2013 2:47pm
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Jason says...
They field grow and bud them in the states. I've only even seen them grown in bags in Australia though
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Jason
Portland
13th July 2013 3:35pm
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Judy D says...
Tks to all, so now I will have to be patient and pray it will survive. I did pot it on into premium potting mix and here in Adelaide it has been getting a lot of rain, so the salts shouldn't build up for a while.
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Judy D
Noarlunga Downs SA
18th July 2013 4:17pm
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