Mighty Oaks from Little Acorns
The trend in nurseries is to sell trees of increasingly large caliber at an increasingly high price, a trend that sits well with many consumers because they see it as a way to get faster results. But the laidback gardener (and the gardener on a budget) would prefer, instead, small-caliber trees or even rooted cuttings or seedlings, say about 2 or 3 years old, to large-size trees: they are less expensive (and how!), easier to transport and plant… and the success rate is vastly improved.
As is the case with almost all plants, seedlings and young plants tolerate transplanting much better than more mature specimens and grow much faster than large-calibre trees that have been stressed by having their roots severely cut back. So 5 years later, you’ll often see no difference between a large caliber tree that cost $300 and a young sapling that cost $5.95… except that the sapling often exceeds its big brother in size, in vigor and in appearance!