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.


Sha - February 1, 2023

Received a very healthy W Murcott (Honey Tangerine) Tree on November 2, 2022. It bloomed at the end of December and is now starting to bear fruit. This is the first time for me to plant an W Murcott (Honey Tangerine) Tree, and it has brought me success and joy with careful care. At the same time, thank you very much for your careful cultivation of fruit trees and for sending healthy W Murcott (Honey Tangerine) Tree to buyers.

Carol Smith - August 12, 2022

This a follow up on my two trees I purchased.
The Darcy tangerine tree is doing great purchased in June 2022.
The Finger lime that purchased in 2021 is also doing great. It made it thru our heavy freeze early this year.

Richard - June 29, 2022

Backyard Citrus should check quality control.

In the spring I ordered a Meyer LEMON tree from you.
But I received a LIME tree.
I have a wonderful LIME tree full of LIMES. NOT a LEMON tree.

Carol SMith - June 1, 2022

I just purchased my second tree from backyard citus.
I decided on a Dwarf Darcy Tangerine.it arrived in great shape except the box was so hot to touch. Ups must have on the box on the truck all day.
I live in Ocala Florida and backyard citus trees is only about a 100 miles

David Troutt Jr - April 19, 2022

Purchased Two Dwarf seedless pineapple orange trees, they arrived in fantastic condition. They look way better than the limited selection lowes/home depot typically has available! Hoping they do really well, and also looking forward to purchasing other citrus trees! Definitely need to get a dwarf finger lime, and maybe a ‘normal’ lime and some kind of lemon.
Hoping they can survive in a greenhouse setup with a small area heater on the patio so I don’t have to bring them inside, but thats 7 or 8 months away up in north florida lol

Chris - February 25, 2022

I purchased 3 trees. A grapefruit and 2 Pomelos. All arrived quickly and were expertly packaged. All trees were in very healthy condition. I was so impressed that I decided to plan a road trip (350 miles round trip) and visit the nursery. I was graciously received by the owner and saw first hand their operation. I purchased a beautiful lemon tree. I highly recommend Mcgills as an excellent online supplier of citrus trees. I’ve purchased in the past from several other online suppliers. No one compares to their quality, price, shipping and packaging. I will always be their customer. Keep up the great work!

steve jackonski - January 12, 2022

I have ordered 3 trees so far. If I had more room in my yard I would buy more.
They all arrived very fast and in perfect condition .
They have started to sprout new branches within 3 weeks.
All my neighbors are asking where I bought them . They are very surprised when I tell them online .
Thank you so much, Steve.

J. Early - November 2, 2021

Have been researching for a Dwarf Persian Lime. Spoke with Laura at Backyard Citrus to identify the variety and size. She is the most knowledgeable and efficient supplier I have worked with. Ordered on Thursday “after next day shipping expired” and still received next day in perfect health and size. Most appreciative and highly recommend. 29 Oct 2021

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

Leave a comment

* Required fields