What Should I Expect When Buying a Citrus Tree Online?

Even in 2020, the internet is not the first place most people go when looking to purchase a citrus tree. Concerns about the shipping process or tree quality are the main reasons that keep people from purchasing online.

At Backyard Citrus Trees, we strive to not only provide the highest quality trees, but also the highest quality shopping experience for our customers. In this post, we walk through everything you can expect when purchasing a tree from us.

Shipping & Unboxing

Trees are delicate, living specimens that require the utmost care when handling and shipping. That is why we do the following practices when preparing your trees for shipment:

  • Each tree is packaged in its own box to ensure trees do not damage each other during transit
  • Each box is reinforced with rigid corners to prevent damage due to handling during transit
  • Each tree has a plastic bag around the pot to keep soil from spilling during transit
  • Each tree is secured in its box to prevent any movement during transit
  • All orders are shipped so that they arrive within 2-4 days from the date of shipment, preventing damage due to prolonged transit times

All of these steps result in a clean, pristine tree that arrives at your doorstep in the same condition it left our nursery.

We ship all of our trees in tall, reinforced cardboard boxes. You will see multiple colored stickers on the outside of the box. If these stickers are upside-down, then your tree is upside-down as well. Keep these stickers in an upright position to ensure your tree is upright.

We recommend opening your boxes as soon as possible after receiving them. Following these steps will ensure your tree is removed from its box undamaged:

  1. Lay the box flat on the floor
  2. Open both ends of the box so that you see leaves on one end and the bottom of the pot on the other
  3. Open the box by separating the seam that runs down the length of the box
  4. Lift the tree out of the box, remove the plastic wrap and keep the tree in an upright position until transplanting

Variety Tag

Each tree that leaves our greenhouse has a variety tag that contains the following information:

  1. Variety name / Rootstock name - The name preceding the / is the scion, or variety that will produce fruit. This should correspond with the variety you purchased on our website and may contain additional letters or numbers on the tag. The name following the / is the rootstock, or variety that the scion bud was grafted onto. We choose only the highest quality rootstock varieties that are used by commercial growers in our industry.
  2. BCR # - While not every tag will contain this, the BCR number is used when reporting budding data to the state of Florida. We keep record of every tree that we bud to follow state regulations.
  3. Nursery registration # - This is our nursery registration number with the state of Florida

Tree Appearance

When your trees arrive, you can expect to see vibrant, green leaves that are not wilted. You may see white, powdery spots covering the leaves. These spots are completely harmless and are simply spray residue left over from the last spray prior to shipment. While you can remove the spots by gently rubbing the residue away, we suggest leaving it on the leaves as there may still be pest or nutritional benefits from the residue.

If you see any other issues after receiving your trees, such as damage to the branches or trunk or yellowing of the leaves, please let us know as soon as possible so that we can work with you on a solution.

Care & Planting

Check out our Citrus Tree Planting & Care Guide for more info on taking care of your citrus tree.


Jenifer Henry - July 6, 2021

I purchased a Finger Lime tree about a week ago. Super fast shipping and expertly packaged. It was a very nice size and great price. I called to ask a few questions regarding planting and the customer service was very helpful. I am extremely pleased with my tree!! Thank you!!

Carol Smith - June 13, 2021

Love my finger lime tree. I live in Florida so I could not wait to plant my tree. It has been about a month and I have loads of new leaves.
I ordered my tree on a Wednesday at noontime and the tree was at my home on Friday.
I will never purchase a citus tree from a box store again.
I only wish I have more room for more trees.

Thank you

Joann Fielder - June 4, 2021

Thankyou to the nursery – staff- and shipper of my red finger line….born and raised by all of you! My tree arrived in perfect shape. Just days after my order. It had a very short trip here to Plant City. Never lost a leaf. Thanks to all of you for the dedication you folks have in trying to save the citrus industry here in Florida. Thanks to IFAS for adding their support in helping with the control of the distructive virus HLB that helped take the industry almost down. God grant you many years!

Bill Barishman - March 16, 2021

I ordered a Persian lime tree and was surprise at how quickly it was delivered and how well it was packed. The tree was bright green and healthier the n if I bought it from a local nursery. I am extremely happy with my purchase .

Ian Mckenzie - March 9, 2021

Best citrus trees I have ever purchased. Healthy and dark green. My key lime tree has already started growing well with new branches and healthy leaves. Wish I had more room to buy more trees. Forget Home Depot buy your trees here!

Roseanne Taussig - November 10, 2020

When can I expect fruit from my lemon and/or
orange trees. I’ve had them In a very large container
for a year now. Ive fertilized them but still no flowers, no fruit at all !! What to do ??

James Carr - November 9, 2020

Want to commend you on the tress I purchased. They were in great shape and looked better than any local stock. Your method of packing, shipping are excellent. You customer service is also outstanding. Really felt I had purchased from a company that cared about their product and meeting customers requirements.

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