Fedco Trees 2023!

Welcome to Fedco’s 39th 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. Fedco is a small consumer/worker-owned cooperative founded in 1979. Our workspace is low-frills; we value fair pricing and livable wages. Profits are redistributed to consumer and worker members. Consider joining our co-op or applying for employment with us!

This year’s final ordering deadline is March 1, 2024. Note our discount structure for large orders, and our discount deadline of . All orders are shipped in spring.

As usual, we have varied our plant selections. We offer most of the old favorites every year 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 and cultivated with horses. Many of our herbaceous perennials are certified organic and labeled as such.

If you have questions or concerns about your order, please contact us. If you are looking to place a very large order, drop us a line to discuss the options. We’re here to help. If you haven’t already, check out our Seeds & Supplies and Bulbs catalogs. If you enjoy this one, we’re pretty sure you’ll like those, too. 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

A Thorny Inheritance

With summer behind us, we take stock of the abundance and the challenges near and far. Our hands in the soil ground us even while, at times, our hearts float away. We count the days till rainfall, and our moods swing with the weather. If you tend to plants, you are anchored by the seasons and their rhythms. Lately the anchor has dragged a bit, the mooring feels less secure. There is a lot of handwringing, but when a favorite flower blooms or when the crops come in, we are joyful.

The plants we offer within these pages all carry fascinating stories. Some are native to North America, and some are so thoroughly naturalized and beloved that we forget they’re from afar. Plants have been journeying across continents on this bumpy ride around the sun for much longer than humans. In the guts of animals and aloft in the wind, seeds moved across wide stretches of prehistoric land. People came along and carried plants along trade and migration routes. Seeds and scions passed from hand to hand, in love and in commerce. Without all this movement, our grocery store shelves would be quite bare, and our gardens would not contain apples from Kazakhstan, roses from ancient Persia, or heather from the British Isles, just to name a few.

While we acknowledge the benefits we reap from this rich plant inheritance, we also note the imbalances inevitable to a globalized landscape. Disruption of local ecologies and a Pandora’s box of pathogens and pests are the flip side to the abundance. As growers we are faced with tough questions: Which plants do we yank, and which should stay? How do we responsibly steward non-native plants that we feel enrich our lives? How do we live and garden in ways that are creative, responsible and collaborative? Sometimes the answers seem clear; at other times, not so much.

We invite you to consider the tough questions posed throughout this catalog. We can all work toward answers. We’re grateful you’re here with us thinking about what to plant next. Thank you for caring. We hope your gardens grow well in 2023.

—the Fedco Trees Team

Staff reading picks

Read your Fedco Trees catalog cover to cover? Memorized our Seeds & Supplies catalog, too? Here are Fedco staff reading recommendations to help you through winter.
Apple Culture in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and Wisconsin Border by Russell Magnaghi and David Smith, 2019
Apple Varieties in Maine by Frederick Charles Bradford, 1911; reprinted MOFGA 2021.
At the Edge of the Orchard: A Novel by Tracy Chevalier, 2017.
The Book of Delights: Essays by Ross Gay, 2019.
Cider Planet: Exploring the Producers, Practices, and Unique Traditions of Craft Cider and Perry from Around the World by Claude Jolicoeur, 2022.
Fruitful Legacy: A Historic Context of Orchard in the United States by Susan Dolan, 2009.
Hardy Apples: Growing Apples in Cold Climates by Bob Osborne, 2022.
Malus A quarterly print zine featuring essays, cider criticism, poetry & art (maluszine.com)
The Organic Farming Revolution: Past, Present, Future by Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association with 34 contributing authors, 2021.
Plants, Man and Life by Edgar Anderson, 1952.
Wildflowers of Maine Islands by Glenn Mittelhauser, 2021.
Wild Urban Plants of the Northeast: A Field Guide by Peter Del Tredici, 2010.

John Bunker, Laura Childs, Jacob Mentlik and Jen Ries wrote plant descriptions. Elisabeth Benjamin edited with help from Emily Felger, Joanna Linden and Emily Skrobis; Emily Felger translated to the web with help from Sarah Oliver. Laura Childs and Alicia Letteney did the catalog layout.