Questions? Read our FAQ!

GENERAL FAQ

How do I contact you?

Press the CONTACT US button on the left and you’ll find several contact options.

What happened to your Facebook page?

At one time we used a third party to manage a Facebook page. We made the decision to focus our activities through this website and therefore eliminated the Facebook page.

Why can't I download a digital version of your catalogue?

You can. Just press the "CATALOGUE" button on the left and follow the instructions.

How do I find out what zone I am in?

See (http://www.planthardiness.gc.ca/) for a selection of zone maps and additional information.

What is a 'zone'?

Plant hardiness zones help us to establish what we can grow and where. Zones are numbered from 0 (the coldest zone) to 9 (the warmest zone). Please use plant hardiness zone maps with caution. They are a good starting point but it is important to consider other factors when selecting plants. You may technically live in zone 4b but may have a little heat sink (microclimate) somewhere on your property that would bump you up to a zone 5A. Your own soil conditions, microclimate and topography will be equally important in determining the correct varieties for you. See (http://www.planthardiness.gc.ca/) for a selection of zone maps and additional information.

What does "Whiffletree" mean

A "whiffletree" is a pivoted swinging bar to which traces of a harness are fastened by which an implement is drawn. The whiffletree is a vital component in any instance where a horse is hitched or fastened to pull a load. It must be flexible enough to reduce stress by moving back and forth at the ends, yet sturdy enough at the center pivot point to draw the load.

PLANTING FAQ

Download our Planting Instructions guide

This Planting Instructions guide contains handy information about looking after your trees and shrubs.

Download the Planting Instruction Guide now.

PRODUCT FAQ

What should I do to prepare for winter?

First of all, avoid fertilizer applications after August 1st so your tree growth slows and the tree can harden off properly by winter. Protect the graft for the first few years with some form of insulation. Finally, protect the trunk with a white plastic spiral guard or other mechanical protection. These “winterizing” products are available from Whiffletree and are shown in our catalogue.

I just finished planting my new trees. How much should I be watering them?

Water a newly planted tree with 5 gallons of water, letting it soak in slowly. An easy way to do this is to make a very small hole in a 5 gallon pail and then set the pail beside the tree.
If planting a dormant bare root tree or plant, do not water it again until leafing begins. Too much water in the dormant stage can reduce root development. Once the tree is leafed out, water it with 3-5 gallons twice a week for the first season depending on how well drained your soil is and how much rain falls throughout the first season.

Should I be fertilizing my trees?

If your tree or plant is not producing new growth then yes fertilization may be needed. We recommend concentrated organic liquid fertilizers that can be added when watering. Adding a layer of compost on top of the ground at the base of the tree once or twice a year will help build the soil quality which will eventually remove the need for fertilization. Please refer to our catalogue for recommended fertilizers and other soil amendments.

I think my tree needs to be pruned, what should I do?

Every tree has its own preferred growing habits. Usually a tree is pruned for the grower’s convenience or aesthetic wishes. To learn more about the basics of pruning, we offer several books on the subject. Please refer to our free catalogue for more information.

How should I prepare my soil before planting my trees?

Unless you have heavy clay soil, there isn’t much to do in terms of soil preparation. You can add amendments such as compost or peat moss to the soil and/or a layer of mulch over the root area after planting will help retain moisture, especially during the first year. While it may be tempting to add fertilizer or manure to your freshly dug hole before planting your new tree, PLEASE resist! Fertilizer or manure in close contact with the root system could chemically burn the roots and potentially kill the tree.

I have had a fruit tree on my property for years and it never gets any fruit. What should I do?

If it produces flowers but no fruit then your tree probably needs a cross pollinator – a second variety which is different from the variety that you currently have to pollinate the flowers and produce fruit.

When will my tree start producing fruit?

In general most trees take 2 to 3 years to start producing fruit. Some species of berries and bushes will produce fruit the same year.

Why do you sell your trees bare root?

Bare root trees are dormant. They are dug out of the fields early in the spring and stored in a large cold room to keep them dormant until they are replanted. Since they are dormant, they don’t require any soil to keep them alive. Bare root trees are light and easy to ship allowing us to send our trees all over the country at the lowest possible cost. Dormant trees have the additional advantage of not suffering from transplant shock.

The tree I would like to plant is self-pollinating, what does that mean?

A self-pollinating tree or plant will produce fruit all on its own.

The tree I would like to plant requires a pollinator, what does that mean?

When a pollinator is required, it means two trees are required to produce fruit. Any two trees of the same plant species must be used (i.e. an apple tree will not pollinate a pear tree).

What is the difference between a seedling and a grafted tree?

A seedling is a tree that has been grown from a seed. A seedling often is not true to fruit (meaning that you will not necessarily get the same quality of fruit or nut). Without graft tissue, seedling trees are usually more winter hardy, grow more vigorously and may grow into much larger trees at maturity.
A grafted tree is a tree which has been reproduced to have consistent fruit quality and a controlled tree size (a cutting or bud from the “Mother tree” is joined to a rootstock). Grafted trees will always be true to fruit producing the same high quality as the superior Mother tree.

When should I be thinking of ordering?

With bare root stock it is wise to plan ahead before the planting season. That will ensure you have a good selection to choose from before some varieties are sold out. For example, if you want to plant in the fall, ordering in August is a good idea or if you want to plant in the spring, order in February or earlier.

What is a rootstock and why should I care?

A rootstock is the root part of your tree. It can be as simple as root grown from an apple seed or a cloned root started from cuttings. However rootstocks grown from seed will always create a full-sized tree. Cloned rootstocks were selected for their superior characteristics such as size and adaptability to certain soil types and are predictable in how they perform. For that same reason named varieties with superior traits such as a Honey crisp apple are grafted or joined on to a rootstock.

What’s the best time to plant a fruit tree?

With bare root trees the best time is either early spring, as soon as you can dig a hole with your shovel or fall (late October and November) before the ground freezes. You can plant bare root trees until the end of May as long as they are dormant.

When I receive my bare root trees, do I have to plant then right away?

Your trees will arrive with their roots wrapped with damp sphagnum moss sealed in a plastic bag. Unless they were in transit for a week or more, you can leave the trees in a cool basement for a couple of days as long as they remain in their sealed packaging.
If you suspect that they’ve been in their packaging for a week or more when you get them, their roots will need to be moistened again and then resealed to keep air away.

What does bare root mean?

Bare root trees are dug out of the field when dormant – either late fall or early spring and kept in cold storage with moist roots until planting time. A bare root tree has its roots exposed (no root ball or pot). Besides the obvious advantage in shipping and handling of dormant, bare root trees, there is also less chance of transplant shock. However timely planting is important.

ORDERING FAQ

Can I remove items from my order after I have placed and processed an order

Yes you can, but not through the online ordering system. You will have to contact the office and get them to do that for you. A 10% restocking fee will be charged on the removed item.

Can I add to my existing order

Yes you can. When you go to place an order, before you can check out it will ask you to set up an account. By doing this, it will allow you to come back later and place another order, it will ask you if you want to add to a existing order or if you want start a new order. You can keep on coming back and adding to your order all the way up to 2 weeks close to the ship date that you picked

How do I pay for my order?

We accept cash, cheques, bank drafts, VISA, Master Card, and eTransfers as payment. Orders up to $500 require payment in full with the order. Orders over $500 require deposits of $500.00. The balance of payment is due before your order ships.

How much does shipping cost?

Shipping is a flat rate that is calculated on the subtotal of your order. Please see the table on page 70 of your catalogue for more information.

Where do you ship?

We ship to all the provinces of Canada but not to the USA.

How does shipping work?

There are two periods during the year when we ship plants and trees. We ship when the weather warms up in the spring (mid-late April) or cools down in the fall(mid-late October). Please be patient if you are in warmer climates than us.
We ship across Canada. All mail order trees and plants are shipped when they are dormant and are bare root. Our trees are 3 – 5’ tall whips, sometimes branched when they are shipped. From time to time we ship some leafed out plants in pots.
Your trees and plants will arrive packaged in a box, the roots carefully wrapped to ensure that they are kept moist.
We ship using Fed Ex ground service. Within Ontario and Quebec, it takes approximately 2 to 3 days for your order to arrive. Outside of those provinces, it takes 3-10 business days for your order to arrive depending on your location.
You do not need to be home when the parcel arrives because no signature is required.

POLICY FAQ

Do you have a warranty on your trees and plants?

All stock sent out is considered alive and true to name. Any stock that fails to leaf out will be replaced. Stock that leafs out but dies during the first growing season will be replaced at half the original price. The customer is responsible for paying the freight cost on all replacements. Claims must be made no later than August 1st of the first growing season.
If it is too late in the growing season to send a replacement, a credit will be applied to your account. This credit can be used at any time to purchase more Whiffletree product. This credit is not refundable.
Although we sell hardy trees and plants, we can’t guarantee overwinter survival due to factors beyond our control.
Our goal is to send only high quality stock, but in working with live plants and human fallibility, we realize perfection isn’t always attained. We want you to be successful and satisfied.

OTHER FAQ

What ever happened to Green Barn?

In 2012, we began our journey to build what is now “Whiffletree Farm & Nursery”, by purchasing a franchise from a company called “Green Barn Nursery” out of Quebec. After Green Barn’s bankruptcy in 2013, we decided to go it alone and as such, we are no longer affiliated with Green Barn Nursery nor anyone associated with Green Barn Nursery.

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