Though nut trees require more care in the landscape than ornamental trees, for nut enthusiasts, the rewards of a nut crop make up for the inconvenience of caring for these trees. Purchasing a nut tree requires the purchaser learn as much as possible about nut trees before selecting a tree. Nut trees are available from nurseries in container grown, bare root and large tree transplants.
Determine what varieties of nut tree will thrive and bear nuts in your climate. Nut trees must be hardy enough to withstand cold conditions in your USDA temperate zone. Additionally, the climate must produce the correct number of warm and cool days for the tree to produce nuts abundantly. For example, northern pecan varieties should only be grown in Kentucky, where USDA zones 5 and 6 will not produce the correct climate conditions for southern pecan varieties to bear nuts.
Select a tree specimen that fulfills all aesthetic and cultural requirements of your orchard, such as the nut's taste and the size of the tree.
Learn propagation requirements for your chosen specimen of nut tree. Some nut species such as pecans or English walnuts require two trees planted near each another to cross pollinate.
Check with your local county extension service to determine what varieties of nut tree are recommended for your area. The service will be aware of nut tree hybrids developed by agricultural colleges to be pest- and disease-resistant.
Select a reputable nursery specializing in nut trees. Avoid bargain trees subjected to heat stress, drying or freeze damage. Inspect trees for signs of damage, including dry or broken roots, broken branches indicating signs of rough handling, scratched trunk bark or a root ball that has pulled away from the container.
Purchase nut trees as soon as they become available, or purchase the trees in advance and have them delivered when available.