At Johnson’s Nursery, we describe specimen trees as large trees or evergreens that have been transplanted to grow on to a larger size because they display outstanding characteristics like phenomenal color, shape, or branching. A large shade tree brings instant maturity and gratification to the landscape, something that takes time with budget-friendly sizes. These specimen trees are growing at our nursery for years longer than average because of their undeniable appeal, whether they are gnarled, showy, squat, gigantic, rare, graceful, or just plain odd. Anyone looking to buy a specimen tree knows that quality is the most important factor – from the bottom of the root zone to the tip of the canopy.
The approximate cost of a specimen tree and the transplant or installation of it is situational. We have a variety of large trees to view immediately in our yard in Menomonee Falls, growing on our farm, and we can potentially source a specific species. Johnson’s Nursery can manage the project completely (or partially) and professionally to ensure the long-term success of the tree. Warranty details are situational.
Johnson’s Nursery has the equipment and capability to supply and transplant large shade trees and beautiful evergreens in any size. Some specimen trees require only smaller machines and a crew. We also transplant trees where one tree occupies a full semi with a root ball the size of a small car. The equipment we use depends on several situations, such as the size of the tree and access to the planting site.
Not all specimen trees are grand in size. From the Latin specere (“to look”), a specimen tree may be the focal point in a landscape or garden design. It could be noteworthy because of its size, species, flower, bark, form, or rarity. Topiaries are among the most flamboyant trees (Note, Johnson’s Nursery does not grow/sell topiary trees). Often, particularly in larger landscapes, sizable specimen trees are what make the biggest impact.
What specimen tree works best for your landscape? That’s a site-specific question. Typically, we’d ask, “What do you want the tree to do?” Some clients simply want to make a statement. Others are looking to shade their house to reduce cooling costs. Horticultural appropriateness is vital to specimen tree selection. Other considerations must be given to time, labor, and cost involved in the process of moving larger trees.
When is the best time to plant a tree? 1) 20 years ago. 2) Right now. But with large trees and evergreens, you can eat your cake and have it at the same time.