I’ve previously purchased fruit trees at nurseries and home improvement stores, but the price varied and I wasn’t sure if I was getting the best value. As I’m currently looking into getting more fruit trees, I wanted a more definitive answer on their prices. So, I did some research to find out more. Here’s how much fruit trees typically cost and if they add to property value.
Fruit trees can cost anywhere from $30 to up to $499, depending on the size, variety, and region. Generally, the best value is growing fruit trees from seed and grafting them before they reach 1 year old. Fruit trees typically don’t add to a home’s value any more than other trees, although, this depends on the area.
So, while fruit trees obviously vary based on size and some other factors, what are more specific prices, and where’s the best place to buy fruit trees?
How Much Does It Cost to Buy a Fruit Tree?
|Fruit Tree||Average Cost for a 5-Gallon Tree|
Fruit trees in 5-gallon pots commonly cost between $30-$70, while fruit trees in 15-gallon pots run $120. Full-sized fruit trees in 24″ boxes cost up to $499. However, these prices vary based on location, tree age, variety, and supply and demand. For the best value, buy young, grafted fruit trees.
While I gathered the above data on 5-gallon fruit trees from across the web, I wanted to know the cost of 15-gallon and full-sized fruit trees. Ideally, I wanted to get this info directly from a seller. So, I called up my local nursery and asked them how much their larger fruit trees cost.
Our 15-gallon fruit trees cost about $120 and our trees in 24″ boxes cost $499. That includes free delivery. We have avocado, citrus, and other fruits available.Local Nursery
So, while fruit trees in 5-gallon pots cost between $30-$70, 15-gallon fruit trees cost about double, and full-sized fruit trees in 24″ boxes (25-gallons) can cost several hundred dollars (more if you’re looking for rare varieties).
If you’re like me, and you like to look for the best value, aim to get the most common variety of fruit trees. For example, Meyer lemons are much more common and widely produced than my Kaffir lime tree and usually cost less as well.
You can even save more money if you start the fruit trees from seed and graft a quality budwood onto them before they hit 1 year old.
Also, if you’re looking for semi-dwarf or dwarf varieties, you may find the cost to be comparable, with some that are 30-50% less costly than the standard prices.
Do You Need 2 Fruit Trees?
Many fruit trees, especially potted ones, are self-pollinating and generally don’t need a second tree to pollinate. Self-pollinating fruit trees include citrus, peaches, and sour cherries. Cross-pollinating fruit trees, or fruit trees that usually need a second one nearby, include apple, pear, and sweet cherry.
Some fruit trees are cross-pollinating, so you might need to get at least 2 of the same tree. Here are the common fruit trees that require cross-pollination:
- Cherry (Sweet)*
*Know that not all cherry trees are cross-pollinating. Usually, just the sweet varieties could use a second tree. Most sour cherry trees are self-pollinating.
**While avocado trees are technically self-pollinating, they have male and female flowers that open at different times. For this reason, you’ll likely want to get a Type A and Type B avocado tree. For more about the different types of avocado trees, and how to get them to fruit, you can check out my recent post: Flowering and Fruiting Avocado Trees.
While self-pollinating fruit trees will usually be fruit on their own, they can still benefit from cross-pollination from other fruit trees. More pollination can lead to bigger fruit and larger fruit loads.
Lastly, know that while most citrus trees are self-pollinating, there are some exceptions. To see a list of self-pollinating and cross-pollinating citrus trees, you can reference my other post on citrus tree pollination.
Do Fruit Trees Increase Property Value?
Generally, fruit trees do not increase property value much or any at all. The times they do raise property value, it’s typically the same amount as other trees. However, this depends on the region and purpose of the land. Hunting, logging, and some agricultural land favor more trees and can have a higher value.
So, while fruit trees sadly don’t raise property value in most cases, do they cost anything to maintain?
|Potential Fruit Tree Expenses||Average Monthly Cost Per Tree|
Even though fruit trees can come with expenses such as fertilizers, water, gardeners, and tools, know that these are mostly optional.
You can negate these costs if you:
- Capture rainwater or improve irrigation
- Prune the fruit trees yourself or leave the trees to manage themselves
Generally, consider getting fruit trees for your property if you’re interested in enjoying the fruit (or sharing them with wildlife, such as deer). If you’re considering fruit trees solely to increase home value, it might not amount to much.
If you’d like to learn more about what to plant alongside fruit trees, check out my other post: The 10 Best Companion Plants for Fruit Trees.
What’s the Best Time to Buy a Fruit Tree?
While some nurseries will have sales, it’s generally best to buy fruit trees in the early spring. This is because a newly planted fruit tree can have transplant shock and will need a calm season get used to its new environment. For this reason, avoid buying in the late summer or winter.
Most fruit trees can take a year or more to get settled in their new location. This includes getting used to the weather, adjusting to the soil, and establishing a root system. All of these take energy from the tree.
In extreme weather, such as in the summer or winter, the fruit tree will be largely focused on surviving the elements, and won’t have much energy to grow into its new environment. For this reason, the best time to buy fruit trees is in the early spring, after the last frost.
However, if you’re willing to start your fruit tree indoors or in a greenhouse, then you can generally buy them any time of year (assuming they’re available). After the last frost, when they’re ready to be moved outdoors, make sure to ween them to the outdoor weather. You can do this by gradually increasing the amount of time they spend outside over a few weeks.
Where to Buy Fruit Trees
Generally, the most common places to buy fruit trees are:
- Home Improvement Stores
- Local Nurseries
- Online Nurseries
The best place to buy fruit trees is your local nursery followed by a reputable online nursery such as fast-growing-trees.com. Often, some home improvement stores don’t have good availability or quality of fruit trees, so they can be hit or miss. For this reason, stick to your local or reputable online nursery.
I bought several fruit trees over the years (Meyer lemon, Kaffir lime, avocado, fig, and more), and while they’ve done fairly well, I definitely found some sources were better than others.
While I like to shop around nurseries to see what kinds of fruit trees they have (I lucked out finding my Kaffir lime), I found that some regions don’t have a good selection.
Along the same line, some home improvement stores have a lack in availability and quality, especially post-covid.
Need More Help?
You can always ask us here at Couch to Homestead, but you should know the other resources available to you! Here are the resources we recommend.
- Local Cooperative Extension Services: While we do our best with these articles, sometimes knowledge from a local expert is needed! The USDA partnered with Universities to create these free agriculture extension services. Check out this list to see your local services.
- Permaculture Consultation: Need help with a bigger project? Send us a message.
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