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Comparing costs of establishing trees

Table 1. Cost per live 2.5 inch caliper live oak tree from six nursery production methods and under two irrigation regimes.

Production method Cost per live tree
Summer irrigation No summer irrigation
Plastic container $445 $588
Plastic container with Spinout $445 $784
Air root pruning container (ARP) $445 $672
Low-profile ARP container $445 $1,176
Root-pruned field grown B&B $383 $274
Non root pruned field grown B&B $383 $383

Cost (US dollars) of purchasing, installing, and irrigation 14 trees divided by number of live trees one year after transplanting to the landscape. The following represented costs per tree: container grown tree-$144; field grown tree-$107; transporting trees 50 miles and planting them-$145; staking container trees-$25; irrigating for 6 months twice weekly-$131; irrigating for 6 weeks, once each week-$22.

Trees transplanted to the landscape April 14th and were irrigated four times in 9 days then twice weekly for 6 months (summer irrigation) or 5 weeks (no summer irrigation). Five gallons of water was applied to the top of the root ball at each irrigation.

Higher costs represent methods that resulkted in with higher mortality following transplanting to the landscape.

Source: Gilman 2001.