Fedco Trees 2024

Welcome to Fedco Trees’s 40th annual tree order

Our goal is to provide the hardiest and healthiest plants available for cold climates, while supporting plant diversity, small-scale local agriculture, and a fair, cooperative and responsible workplace. We are a division of Fedco Seeds Inc, a small consumer/worker-owned cooperative founded in 1978. Our workspace is low-frills; we value fair pricing and livable wages. Profits are redistributed to members and donated to related community efforts. Consider joining our co-op or applying for employment with us!

This year’s final ordering deadline is March 1. All orders are shipped in spring. Orders totaling $1,200 or more qualify for 20% off. Get together with friends or neighbors to place one big order for more savings.

Every year, we vary our plant selections. We offer most of the old favorites and rotate through dozens of new offerings. You’ll find new fruit trees, ornamentals and perennials throughout the catalog. We contract with dozens of growers, and the bulk of our supply is grown locally on small diversified farms. While we do not label our woody plants as organic, nearly all of our fruit trees and many of our shrubs are grown by these standards, tended by hand or cultivated with horses. Many of our herbaceous perennials are certified organic and labeled as such. You might pay a little more for locally grown items from small farms that are operating with less infrastructure than big agricultural corporations. In our catalog, your dollars go directly toward building communities.

If you haven’t already, check out our Seeds & Supplies catalog. If you enjoy this one, we’re pretty sure you’ll like that one, too. Check out our website where you will find accurate updates on our inventory and additional items that we post for sale through the season as the crops come in. We invite you to share with us your experiences growing plants. Many of our selections result from your suggestions. If you know of something growing near you that we should be offering, please write to us: questions@fedcoseeds.com

Image: a chestnut seedling emerging from the ground

As you will know, I chiefly live and move and have my being in and for the Wild Botanic Garden. – Eloise Butler

As we enter our fifth decade of growing and selling trees, we look back on where we’ve been and where we’re going, straddling past and future with our linear minds, asking What now? We spend a lot of our waking and dreaming hours with plants. They unfold in patterns that regularly blow apart our neatly boxed concepts: How can seeds wait 2,000 years for the right conditions to germinate and then pick up where they left off? A plant we thought was extinct shows up somewhere one day—was it in front of us all along or did it make a quantum jump? I thought my rose was dead a year ago and look at it now, blooming like crazy! Plants keep it real.

We live and work with the plants in this catalog, and we bend them ( and their branches), from seed to nursery to shipping box, to meet our schedules. All year long we scurry about coordinating details, talking to other growers, exchanging ideas, building upon their work and sharing ours: a new wild apple here, a hardier rose there, a long-held mystery unlocked by genetic testing and another mystery gained. We travel miles to seek out plants and pass hours collaborating with colleagues to track down plant material for specific traits. We’re on our knees taking pictures, or hunched over in the cold cellar fusing rootstock to scions with heat and moisture, looking for that sweet spot in which a difficult graft might take. We have miles of notes on germination and enough emails to pave Route 1 from Kittery to Fort Kent on how to do it better, faster, wiser, kinder. We sometimes feel like little mice running between the wild and domesticated spaces where all this work happens.

Meanwhile, there they are, grounded in place, our patient partners. Plants don’t have names other than the ones we give them. They don’t have borders and they don’t label each other as right or wrong, good or bad. They do their quiet work among us and give us reason to come together with joy that springs from a well that can’t be fathomed. Plants mingle and merge and vanish and abound before our eyes, outside the pace and shape of human-conceived time.

Thank you for joining us in our endeavor to fill the landscape with plants! But not just that. Thank you for being there with them in the landscape.

– Jen Ries, on behalf of the Fedco Trees team

John Bunker, Laura Childs, Jacob Mentlik and Jen Ries wrote plant descriptions. Elisabeth Benjamin edited with help from Khris Hogg, Joanna Linden and Emily Skrobis. Laura Childs, Alicia Letteney and Elizabeth Smedberg did the layout.