What a deal?

sequoia at costcoKatie at garden punks sent me a link to another article on the solar vs. tree issue. In this article we have a picture from the solar panel side and its pretty clear that the solar panels will be shaded. Oh well, the courts decided in favor of solar man so the trees will now be topped or removed.

Over at the Costco in Folsom near where Katie lives there are 15 gal. sized Sequoia sempervirens (redwoods) for $29.99. These trees are at 9-10 feet tall. I have asked my vendors, but no one seems to be able to tell me how it is that Costco can sell these trees for a price less than what I as a nurseryman can buy them for. Whats up with that? Could someone out there tell me how it's possible to grow a tree for a number of years only to sell it for $29.99?

I am wondering is if there is a correlation between plants sold as commodities, like these redwoods and their mis-placement in the suburban landscape. There are all sorts of large sized plants, like the redwoods for sale at Costco. Leyland cypress, palms, photinia trees, etc. They are all displayed on pallets inside the store. How do they water these things? Do they even have too? My guess is that at $29.99 they expect all of them to sell out BEFORE they have to water them. Maybe one to two weeks.

The home owner who shops at Costco loves a deal, and so you see truck loads of these trees and others be distributed and planted around theleyland at costco neighborhood. “Honey, I'm home and I have a surprise.” Next thing you know you have redwood trees growing larger than most suburban lots have room for, blocking the neighbors solar panel, view, sun deck, etc. I have a special issue with the Leyland cupress they we're selling, which are better suited to the coastal areas. Here, in the hot interior of California they have a short life span of about 7 to fourteen years, by which time they are attacked by borers and die. Last year it was Queen palms that people we're getting real cheap, planting in the foothills and having die that winter.leyland at costco

There is something strange about seeing all these plants on pallets, shoved together, and kept inside a warehouse. Water, that will have to wait. The proper planting instructions, who need those? How big will these things grow, and are the appropriate for you small Folsom neighborhood? Why would they be selling them if they weren't. Who grows these things? Are they proud of how their plants are being displayed? Must not be since I can't find any labels proudly displaying their name. I guess they want to remain behind the scenes.

Right across the aisle from the Leyland Cypress are all the fertilizers you'll ever need to keep these things healthy. Giant boxes of Miracle-Gro from Jim, who loves independents!