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General FAQ's

Q: Can I visit the nursery? A: Yes, absolutely! If you would like to visit, please let us know by phoning or emailing. You may phone us (M-Sat, 8am-4pm PST) at 503-874-4123 or email 

Q: Is there a guarantee on the plants? A:If noticeable or severe damage occurred to the tree in transport, we will always replace it. We cannot guarantee plant material beyond a couple weeks after arrival. Because we do not have any control over the care of the plant once it is no longer in our possession, we cannot assure its survival beyond a few weeks after it safely arrives. If you receive an item which we have also had trouble growing at the nursery, we will replace it beyond the two-week time frame on a case-by-case basis.

Q: Which plants are best for me? A:Select a plant appropriate for you climate based on minimum USDA Hardiness zone as shown on the plant detail page. Most of the Japanese Maples we sell are appropriate for USDA Zones 5-8 (if you are in Zone 4 , purchase Japanese Maples at your own risk). The dwarf conifers we sell have lower limits of hardiness that vary by plant variety.

Q: Will you hold my order? A:Yes, we will hold your pre-paid plant order until shipping is appropriate. All winter order payments will be processed as received, and your plant material will be held until it ships on your desired date. We are happy to discuss when would be the best time to ship based on your individual circumstances.

Q: In what zone do I live? A: The USDA keeps an up-to-date hardiness zone map. Check it out!

Q: In what zone is the nursery? A:Conifer Kingdom is located in Zone 7b.

Q: Does the zone in which a plant was grown influence its hardiness? A: No! There are many factors which influence plant hardiness. If you follow our recommended shipping time, your plants will perform beautifully. The key to plant survival in cold climates (Zones 2-6) is acclimation. Plants can better acclimate to a cold climate during the fall. This allows the plant to adapt to the natural conditions as they are exposed to decreasing temperature and shorter days.

Q: Why buy from us? A:We offer an unparalleled selection of dwarf conifers and Japanese Maples. Many varieties are available for shipping in large, mature sizes. We take pride in our selection and we avoid outdated, weak, or otherwise undesirable varieties.Grower direct! We propagate, grow and nurture our own plants. We specialize in grafting and growing plants. We excel at grafting on the most hardy and adaptable rootstocks. Our propagators are seasoned experts.

Q: Do you offer plants larger than #10's? A:Yes, we have sizes through #200 (~200 gallon) containers of some varieties. We have an extensive selection of container grown specimen plants. These are ready to ship. Plants larger than #7's are typically expensive to ship. Plants larger than #10 may require a forklift or bobcat to unload.

Q: What is the best reference book for Japanese Maples? A: We recommend Japanese Maples by J.D. Vertrees, updated by Peter Gregory. Published by Timber Press.

Q: What resources are available if I have an increased interest in Conifers? A:Join the American Conifer Society! Members include avid gardens and intense collectors. Learn more at or receive a free membership for Retail orders over $750 (before shipping) or for order totals exceeding $750 over the course of 6 months. Please email us after you have passed this threshold, and we will submit your membership. You must email us, and we'll take care of it from there.

Q: What's wrong with my maple? A:Burnt or curled leaves reflect over or under-watered trees, or too much sun. If your site is well drained, are you over watering? If your site is poorly drained, then you should relocate your tree. Too much afternoon sun can also cause the leaves to burn. While burnt leaves do not look good, they are only seasonal, and if you can identify the problem and make the necessary modifications, the tree will thrive next year. Back To Top >


Shipping FAQ's

Minimum Order, $50.00 We do not accept orders less than $50 (prior to shipping costs). If you submit an order and it is below $50, we apologize in advance, but your order will be cancelled (we have systems and notes in place to prevent this, but it still happens). It takes a lot of time to pull plant material from throughout our nursery of 100,000+ trees, and we use tremendous care to pack every order, thank you for understanding. If an order is canceled more than 24 hours after it is placed, we may charge a restocking fee.

Timing We ship year round using FedEx and USPS Priority Mail. Monday and Tuesday are our standard shipping days, which prevents a package from sitting in a warehouse over the weekend. During extreme temperatures, we reserve the right to delay shipping (typically during warm summer months). If you are located in the Northwest or central part of the US, we can ship to you most days of the week.


Schedule By Location

Northwest Year round using FedEx Ground and occasionally USPS Priority Mail

Midwest and Northeast temperatures are forecasted to be mild enough. Ideal shipping times are mid-September through November, and mid-April through early June. If you have a greenhouse, heated garage, or other facility to store a plant while dormant, please let us know. Most orders ship FedEx Ground, but during hot weather we recommend USPS Priority Mail or FedEx Express Saver (3-days service).

South – Weather dependent! We will ship as long as the temperatures are forecasted to be mild enough. Ideal shipping times are mid-September through November, and mid-April through early June. Most orders ship FedEx Ground, but during hot weather we recommend USPS Priority Mail or FedEx Express Saver (3-days service). Shipping will be delayed during 80F+ weather.

Packing: All plants are well-watered, a plastic bag is placed around the root system, and they are immediately boxed and shipped. If excess soil can be removed, we will ship the plant without a pot to save you on shipping costs. In most cases we recommend and choose to ship with the container/pot intact.

Shipping cost On average shipping cost is 20% of your order. Inexpensive large plants will be more costly to ship, while expensive dwarfs will cost less to ship on an order cost percentage basis. By size, plants in a Band Pot (BP) cost about $3, #1's about $5, #2's about $11, and #3's about $15 each to ship in quantities greater than 1 per container size. Plants over 4' tall (including container height) might be subject to an $10 oversize charge. Plant material in #7 and #10 containers might be subject to an oversize charge of $10 to $50 which will be billed following order review or after shipping. We do not make money on shipping!!! We simply try not to lose a lot of money on shipping.

All SPECIMEN plants must be shipped on a truck palletized or floor-loaded on a large semi. The cost for shipping specimens is lowest if we can ship multiple specimens to a single address on pallets. We can ship to most East Coast, Midwest, and Southern destinations for $300-600 per pallet. Approximately four #25 containers can fit on a pallet, or fewer if larger containers are purchased. The best way to purchase a specimen is to email us for a shipping estimate prior to purchasing. Unfortunately our online ordering system does not allow us to automatically quote shipping for specimen sizes (#15 and larger).

NOTE: After your order weight exceeds ~140lbs, the shipping charges will dramatically increase - this is because our system cannot automatically distribute orders into several boxes for efficient pricing. If you are placing a large order, please separate your order if you notice excessive shipping charges Back To Top >


Plants, Pots and Care

Planting and Care - On Arrival

  • Keep your package out of the sun
  • Unpack upon arrival, remove packing materials and plastic bags from around the pots. If we have shipped a plant without a pot (to lower your shipping cost), wait to remove the plastic bag from the root system upon planting.
  • We recommend planting immediately (within 1 or 2 days) into the ground, or a large container.
  • Inspect all plants for damage and report any damage to us immediately. Email with photos to

Planting Instructions

  • Japanese maples – most varieties will grow best in partial shade. Variegated and tender varieties will burn in afternoon sun. All plant descriptions show Sun/Shade information.
  • Conifers – most varieties will perform best in full sun, though many yellow/golden conifers prefer part shade. All plant descriptions show Sun/Shade information.
  • Plant in well-drained soil. Maples have very shallow root systems and will not perform well with poor drainage.
  • Slightly acidic pH is ideal (a pH around 6.0 is ideal).
  • If planting in a container, use a bark-based soil mix, or a peat-based soil mix.
  • For a well-prepared site, we recommend digging a hole slightly wider and just as deep as the container. Place the tree in the hole and carefully fill the hole with removed soil, pressing it firmly into the hole and making sure there are no air pockets which can dry the root ball out. The top of the closest to surface root should be flush with the soil level.


    • WATER! A consistent and frequent watering schedule should be kept until the tree is established in your garden. We recommend watering 2-3 times per week during dry or warm periods.
    • Fertilizer is property specific. We have not seen your soil tests! If you want your maples to grow as quickly as possible, then apply nitrogen in the spring, using a slow release fertilizer. Many Japanese maples will grow well in native soils without fertilization. Dwarf conifers can also be fertilized with a slow release fertilizer as well, such as a 10-10-10.
    • Mulching: we recommend mulching established landscape trees. Do not let the mulch touch any portion of the trunk! Mulch can reduce the soil drying out between watering. You must fully saturate the mulch and the soil surrounding the tree. If you water only enough to moisten the mulch, the soil below will still stay dry!
    • Staking: If a tree is loosely sitting in the ground after planting, we recommend staking the plant with bamboo or wood. Secure the stake to the trunk of the tree (but allow room for the trunk to expand).
    • Pruning maples is best done in the late fall through early winter. Little pruning is necessary, though we recommend removing broken or dead branches.
    • Pruning conifers: When necessary prune pines (or candle prune) when they are pushing new growth to give the conifer a better opportunity to form new buds for next year. Spruce and fir pruning is best done when they are dormant. We only recommend pruning conifers if they are growing too quickly for your space, or if you are trying to modify their form.
    • Snow: Heavy and wet snow can disfigure trees and crack branches. Remove wet and heavy snow from susceptible trees. During freezing periods, the branches are more brittle so be especially careful when removing snow.
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Plants and Pots Sizes

Each listing shows the container size followed by the plant size which is measured just prior to the most recent site update. For example, #3: 24-30" means a #3 (approximately 3 gallon) container with a 24-30" tall plant. For large purchases or purchases of larger specimen plants, we can email a photo of the specimen. We offer plants in the following container sizes – BP-Band-Pot - these are listed as 'BP' or '#BP' and are in one of two sizes, 2 3/8" X 2 3/8"X5"tall or 2 7/8"X2 7/8"X5 1/2" tall. These are new well healed grafts that have new growth.


Band Pot Japanese maples – Grafts of Acer palmatum 'Baldsmith' – photo is from early April. We graft most maples in late summer/early fall, and they are ready to ship in band pots in April until we uppot them into #1's, typically in September.


A #1 is about 1 gallon. The container is about 7" tall, with a top diameter of 6". A #1 is available 2 growing seasons after grafting. They are typically 2-3 years old. Back To Top >


#1 Dwarf Conifers – Notice some dwarf and miniature varieties are MUCH smaller than the fast growing pines at the back of the photo. All of the sizes shown above are ready to ship. The tall ones are intermediate growers (9-12"/yr) while the midsized ones are dwarf (3-6"/yr).


#2 (conifers only) – A #2 is roughly 2 gallons. They are approximately 8.5" tall, with a top diameter of 8.5". They are listed when they are considered "retail ready" and have a minimum of 3 flushes of growth following grafting. Conifers are typically 3-5 years old. #3 – A #3 is roughly 3 gallons. We use #3's that are approximately 9" tall with a top diameter of 10". They are listed when they are considered "retail ready" and have a minimum of 3 flushes of growth following grafting. Conifers are typically 3-6 years old, Maples are typically 3-4 years old.



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