Question: Should I buy the guarantee with my new shade tree?
Answer: That’s a coin toss. Most nurserymen will guarantee a large tree only if their crews plant it for you. If you’re careful in picking the tree, and if you’re sure it’s healthy and vigorous when you buy it, it should transplant quite well. Hopefully it will have been held at the nursery for several months. Your nurseryman calls that “curing,” and it gives the tree time to regrow its roots, also to shed its leaves if it’s going to. The guarantee is only as good as your nurseryman, however. That guarantee will need to be valid for at least one year, because most shade trees don’t die the first few months after they’ve been transplanted. If the tree was hurt badly during the digging, the damage usually shows up when it finally gets hot and dry in July and August.