Can trees really grow to 30'-35' in 3-4 years? ("Austrees")

Jack Decker ao944 at
Fri Mar 11 10:51:40 EST 1994

Please forgive me if I have posted this to any inappropriate
newsgroups, but I could not find any one that seemed to be the best one
for this question.  I prefer e-mail replies, but if you follow up to
this article, you may wish to modify the header to post only to
appropriate newsgroups.

I receives a flyer in the mail today from Austree, Inc. (103 Water
Lane, Pescadero, CA 94060, 1-800-638-1441 or (415) 879-2004).  This
company sell what they call the "Austree"(R) (Salix matsudana x alba)
which they claim is a very fast growing tree that is hardy and disease
resistant.  They do seem to be a bit pricey (for example, bareroot
trees in the 18" to 2 foot size range are $6.25 each (+ 24 cents
freight EACH) in quantities of 10 to 24.  This drops as you buy more
($2.75 each in quantities of 250-500).  They also offer 12" cuttings
and 6 foot shade trees (the latter are $20 each if you want nine or
less).  Pretty expensive for a mail order place.

The big sales point on these is, of course, their extremely FAST
growth.  If the testimonials on the enclosed double-sided sheet can be
believed, growth of up to 30 feet or more in three years is not
uncommon.  One guy in Arkansas claimed that he "planted bareroot trees
in May, 1992 that by September 1993 had grown to in excess of 30 feet"
(hmmm... Arkansas...  not saying anything about the guy with the trees,
but haven't some native sons of that state been known for stretching
the truth?)  :-)   Growth rates in Northern climates (Michigan,
Minnesota, Wisconsin, etc. seem to be a bit slower but still EXTREMELY

Now my question is, has anyone here actually ever ordered any of these
trees, and if so, what can you tell us about them?  Are they as good as
claimed?  Any problems with them that aren't being mentioned in the
sales flyer?  Did you have any problems getting your order?  Are there
less expensive sources (I hope)?

This is something that almost looks too good to be true (and you know
what they say about that).  On the other hand, maybe it really is
worthwhile.  I should note for the record that I didn't even know this
company existed until I got their mailing, and included company contact
information only because someone else might be as intrigued as I am
about this.  In fact, if you decide to order a few hundred of these
trees for some project you have going, and wouldn't mind shipping me a
couple (or a few) cuttings or bareroot trees to try out (think of it as
sort of a "finder's fee" if you like), I sure would appreciate it
because right now I just can't afford to pay their price (especially
given their minimum quantities for those items).

But really, I'd be happy right now just to get more information on these,
just to find out if they really live up to the company's claims.


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