Question: How can I tell if a tree is healthy and vigorous when I buy it?
Answer: Look for supple twigs and a normal quantity of leaves during the growing season. Balled-and-burlapped plants should have at least two-thirds their normal number of leaves, and they should be at least two-thirds their normal size. Anything less indicates the tree is suffering excessive transplant shock. Scratch the bark to see if it’s green (and moist!). Above all, know your nurseryman and ask plenty of questions while you’re shopping.