Author Topic: Tips for Shipping/Recieving Tropicals by Mail  (Read 714 times)

Galatians522

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Tips for Shipping/Recieving Tropicals by Mail
« on: July 24, 2022, 01:24:15 PM »
A recent thread got me thinking that we need a place to exchange constructive advice about how to best ship/recieve the rare planting material or products that we value as a part of this group. Hopefully, those of you who have lots of experience with this will comment so that others can learn from your experience.

Epicatt2

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Re: Tips for Shipping/Recieving Tropicals by Mail
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2022, 02:06:20 PM »
Galatians, I am pleased that you've brought this topic up for discussion.

I contend that paying extra for UPS or FedEx 2nd Day or Overnight Express is worth the extra expense, especially when rare tropical material is being shipped.  I feel that it's better to pay extra for quick shipping than to receive something rare that got heat damage in transit and which may not be replaceable because it was dawdled along the way by, for example, USPS!

I have found this especially to be true for me when ordering tropical fruit plants from Hawai'i that then have to make it all the way to me in Florida.  USPS just don't cut it, IMO!  Plus USPS does not guarantee safe arrival of plants.

One other thing that could help when sending plants duing the heat of summer would be to line the shipping box with 1-in. thick (or thicker) styrofoam sheets to protect the contents from the temperature extremes, and maybe plus a cool- or heat-pack depending upon the season.

These are my personal observations, based primarily upon my experiences having made many sizeable orders of orchid plants and having them shipped to me from Hi and CA by orchid nurseries in those states.  These orchid nurseries normally ship via 2nd Day via FedEx or on occasion via UPS. 

But when I have requested that tropical fruit plants be sent this faster way then curiously, I usually get push-back from some vendors who tell me that it is too expensive to ship that way.  This reaction has caused me to rethink buying plants from them.

Just my 2¢ worth . . . .

Paul M.
==
« Last Edit: July 25, 2022, 12:00:51 AM by Epicatt2 »

Epicatt2

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Re: Tips for Shipping/Recieving Tropicals by Mail
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2022, 11:59:30 PM »
duplicate message deleted
« Last Edit: July 25, 2022, 12:02:18 AM by Epicatt2 »

brian

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Re: Tips for Shipping/Recieving Tropicals by Mail
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2022, 09:33:43 AM »
I've had a ton of small plants mailed to me all times of year, from the heat of summer to the freezing winter.  Even the most sensitive plants, ex. mangosteen in winter when its freezing outside.  I have personally never had issues with the weather as long as I receive them as soon as delivered.  I have also bought plants in person at nurseries in CA and FL and mailed them back to myself or boxed them up and packed as checked luggage on planes. 

By far, the most important factor seems to be the amount of root disturbance.   Some trees I had barerooted pretty much all died.  Plants that were poorly shipped where dirt was everywhere tended to die. 

I have seen some sites mention lychee trees do not ship well, but I boxed up a 3gal and put it on a plane and it is doing just fine still. 

Jaboticaba45

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Re: Tips for Shipping/Recieving Tropicals by Mail
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2022, 10:53:37 AM »
If the shipper knows how to correctly ship plants, then most of the time they can be in the mail for over a week and still arrive fine. Of course it depends on type of plant shipped etc. a properly packaged plant can withstand the throws and stomps of the shipping people. Of course there are things you can’t control like if the people run over it with their truck or something…the heavier the plant is, the harder it is to ship.

W.

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Re: Tips for Shipping/Recieving Tropicals by Mail
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2022, 11:19:48 AM »
I've had a ton of small plants mailed to me all times of year, from the heat of summer to the freezing winter.  Even the most sensitive plants, ex. mangosteen in winter when its freezing outside.  I have personally never had issues with the weather as long as I receive them as soon as delivered.  I have also bought plants in person at nurseries in CA and FL and mailed them back to myself or boxed them up and packed as checked luggage on planes. 

By far, the most important factor seems to be the amount of root disturbance.   Some trees I had barerooted pretty much all died.  Plants that were poorly shipped where dirt was everywhere tended to die. 

I have seen some sites mention lychee trees do not ship well, but I boxed up a 3gal and put it on a plane and it is doing just fine still.

Bare rooting is fine for temperate trees that go completely dormant. But, for tropical and subtropical plants, it seems to be nearly an automatic death sentence. I have not had many plants sent to me bare root, but only one ever lived, an imbe. I believe that is because it has thicker leaves and fleshier roots. The other plants had finer roots.

brian

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Re: Tips for Shipping/Recieving Tropicals by Mail
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2022, 11:34:29 AM »

Bare rooting is fine for temperate trees that go completely dormant. But, for tropical and subtropical plants, it seems to be nearly an automatic death sentence. I have not had many plants sent to me bare root, but only one ever lived, an imbe. I believe that is because it has thicker leaves and fleshier roots. The other plants had finer roots.

Yes, temperate trees that are dormant I agree its fine.  Also, I had received a bunch of small gacinia seedlings bare rooted and they were fine.  But larger tropical & subtropical trees it was a death sentence.

JCorte

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Re: Tips for Shipping/Recieving Tropicals by Mail
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2022, 12:31:31 PM »
Last week I bought a rare seedling I've been trying to acquire for years and paid $60 to have it shipped express from Hawaii to California. The seller did a great job of packing it safely, however the USPS took 6 days to deliver the plant that was supposed to take 2 and the plant arrived with all the leaves dried up.  I don't blame the seller and the plant is not replaceable and I didn't think to pay for insurance.  I have also lost more than a couple plants from Fedex shipped from Florida, and when I say lost, I mean they have no idea what happened to the items.  UPS has so far been the most reliable if you're willing to pay the extra costs for 2 day air.

Janet

nattyfroootz

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Re: Tips for Shipping/Recieving Tropicals by Mail
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2022, 12:38:20 PM »
I've shipped out a couple hundred orders with the same method and only had a couple of problems early on in when I was first getting things figured out.  I put a piece of packing paper in the pot, wrap it with plastic wrap leaving the plant sticking out, to ensure that there is no soil movement and the plant is able to breathe.  I then take a 24" corrugated cardboard roll and tape the plants with one piece to the inside of the roll, on the edge, and roll them up to make a rigid 24" tube with plants inside.  I then take that roll and put it in a 24" long box that is very durable.  The key is really to make sure your package is "rigid" through and through. The less movement going on inside the box, the better the plant will fare. 
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Galatians522

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Re: Tips for Shipping/Recieving Tropicals by Mail
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2022, 09:11:07 PM »
I've shipped out a couple hundred orders with the same method and only had a couple of problems early on in when I was first getting things figured out.  I put a piece of packing paper in the pot, wrap it with plastic wrap leaving the plant sticking out, to ensure that there is no soil movement and the plant is able to breathe.  I then take a 24" corrugated cardboard roll and tape the plants with one piece to the inside of the roll, on the edge, and roll them up to make a rigid 24" tube with plants inside.  I then take that roll and put it in a 24" long box that is very durable.  The key is really to make sure your package is "rigid" through and through. The less movement going on inside the box, the better the plant will fare.

Thank you so much for commenting. That is a great idea. And good advice to remember.

 

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