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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 to schedule an appointment. We are typically available Mon-Sat, 8am-4pm PST at 503-874-4123 or via email info@coniferkingdom.com 

 

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 because we do insure that you will be 100% satisfied with the tree when you receive 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: How should I select my plants?

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: What does "on firma" mean?

A: Abies firma is the rootstock used for grafting. This particular species is more disease resistant and more tolerant of warm and humid conditions. Generally, there is a better chance of survivability with the firma understock, and it is more expensive to supply, which is why it costs more. If you live in the southeast or in another region with high humidity during summer heat, we recommend only purchasing firs that are "on firma."

 

Q: What is the best time of year for shipping and planting?

A: Fall is actually the best time to receive plants in the mail. At this time of year, the plants are entering dormancy and are not as prone to damage as in spring while they are actively growing. Additionally, plants have a chance to acclimate and grow new roots in the fall before winter's cold temperatures and well in advance of the stress of the growing season. That is why October through January is the best for shipping. If you believe temperatures are too cold to plant during this time, you can easily overwinter your plants since they are shipped in containers. For specific information for your climate and the items on your order, send us an email to discuss!

 

Q: Will you hold my order?

A: Yes, if conditions are not favorable for shipping, we can typically hold pre-paid plant orders until shipping is appropriate. At checkout, a variety of available ship dates are specified: Just select the date that you prefer. Once payment is collected on the order, we may contact you if we feel the plants would benefit from shipping at a different time. 

 

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 #7'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. Give us a call or send us an email to request a full inventory list!

 

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 conifersociety.org 

 

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

Timing

We ship year round using FedEx Home Delivery. During extreme temperatures, we reserve the right to delay shipping (typically during warm summer months).
Mondays are our standard shipping days, which prevents a package from sitting in a warehouse or trailer over the weekend. During busy shipping times, we may need to ship orders to the Midwest on Tuesday, and if you live on the west coast, your order may not leave until Wednesday. However, no matter where you are located, we will do everything we can to make sure it arrives before the weekend. With FedEx Home Delivery, packages can be delivered on Saturdays! 

Shipping Cost 

Conifer Kingdom offers free shipping on orders over $150. This does not, however, apply to specimen plants which require freight shipping which varies widely based on your location and the height of the item(s) purchased. 

How Plants Are Packaged

We ship all plants in plastic nursery pots which allows the roots to remain intact! To ensure there is minimal loss of soil during transit, the containers are also wrapped in plastic bags, and plants are held in place within the box through the use of bamboo stakes. To further guarantee the plants are not stressed during transit, air holes are provided in the boxes. We ship thousands of orders each year and scarcely hear of any damage so do not be concerned about shipping plants in the mail!

 

Schedule By Location

Northwest Although it is best to ship while plants are dormant, we do ship year-round using FedEx Ground!

Midwest and Northeast Ideal shipping times are mid-September through November, but we can also able to ship at other times of the year at customers' discretion. If we notice that plants are tender and would not transport well, we may contact you and recommend an alternative ship date. Although temperatures may be warm enough in your area, be mindful that your order may pass through areas with much colder temperatures and could damage items shipped early in the growing season (February through April). 

South – Ideal shipping times are October through January, but we can also able to ship at other times of the year at customers' discretion. If we notice that plants are tender and would not transport well, we may contact you and recommend an alternative ship date. Although temperatures may be warm enough in your area, be mindful that your order may pass through areas with much colder temperatures and could damage items shipped early in the growing season (February through April).

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 $500-$1000 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 accurately quote shipping for specimen sizes (#15 and larger).

 

Plants, Pots and Care

Planting and Care - On Arrival

  • Keep your package out of the sun. If the box sits on your porch in the sun for several hours, it could negatively affect the quality of your plants!
  • Unpack immediately upon arrival, remove packing materials and plastic bags from around the pots. 
  • Generally we recommend planting dormant plants immediately (within 1 or 2 days) either into the ground, or a larger container. 
  • It is best to wait until cooler weather to plant items received during the growing season.
  • Inspect all plants for damage and report any damage to us immediately. Email with photos to info@coniferkingdom.com

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. Miniature varieties of fir and spruce also benefit from afternoon shade especially in more southerly locations. 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 or when planted too deep.
  • Slightly acidic pH is ideal (a pH around 6.0 is ideal).
  • If planting in a container, use a bark-based soil mix, or something very well-draining and rich in organic matter.
  • 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.

Plant Care

  • Watering 
    A consistent and frequent watering schedule should be kept until the tree is established in your garden, especially when planting in spring. We recommend watering 2-3 times per week during dry or warm periods. However, be careful not to overwater! Conifers especially are very susceptible to root rot when planted in spring and grown in saturated soil.
  • Fertilizer 
    Conifer Kingdom offers a special fertilizer blend for conifers as well as a different formula for maples. We do not recommend using the same fertilizer on maples and conifers both. Three different sizes of bags are available for purchase:
    Purchase Conifer Fertilizer
    Purchase Maple Fertilizer
  • 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
    It is best to prune Japanese maples 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, and firs particularly are not apt to produce buds on older wood so be careful not to prune them back too far! We only recommend pruning conifers if they are growing too quickly for your space, or if you are trying to modify their form.
  • Dealing with 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

Sometimes it is hard to know what to expect when purchasing online, but we remove the guess-work by giving detailed size information about each available option. Sizes of plants are denoted with the container size followed by the dimensions of the plant which is updated every year in the month of August following the current year's growth to ensure accuracy. For example, a plant offered as #3, 24-30" means a #3 (approximately 3 gallon) container with a 24-30" tall/wide plant.

 

We offer plants in the following container sizes:

BP-1 

These are the youngest plants we offer. They are generally 2 years old and were grafted about 18 months prior to offering for sale. Because these are newer plants, they may not be fully rooted into the 1-gallon container. Once you receive them, they can be kept in the container for 6 months prior to planting to develop better root structure.

A #1 is about 1 gallon by volume. The container is about 8" tall, with a top diameter of 6". A #1 is available 2 growing seasons after grafting. They are typically 3-4 years old.

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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 (2-6"/yr) but all are in 1-gallon containers.

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