When you order seeds we'll ship them within a few business days, we ship a couple of times every week. Many of our seeds were locally collected, cleaned and usually dried - some seeds like acorns are recalcitrant which means they need to be kept fresh and maintain their moisture content to be viable. Orthodox seeds are the usual type, and they can be dried and often have good germination for years. Collecting seeds is actually a great hobby, more people should do it. We store all of our seeds at 1-3C (34-38F) in a dedicated refrigerator. When you receive your order, you're probably going to plant them or start stratifying them right away, but if you decided to store them for an extended period then it's recommended to store them in the fridge to keep them cold and above freezing.
We include some basic information on the seed package label, like the common and binomial latin name, and a brief note if stratification is required. For detailed growing instructions and specific information about the each type of seeds there is good information out there that wouldn't fit on the seed label, I recommend a quick search for your seeds + cold stratification requirements or growing instructions. We have some more basic information about seed stratification here, and there are good books on the topic that you can find for free online like The Wooyd Plant Seed Manual and Seed Germination Theory and Practice. YouTube can also be a great resource for growing instructions.
When you order trees during the fall/winter season, you're reserving your order for spring shipping. Many of our grafted trees are in short supply, we like to offer as much variety as possible and might only have a few of a particular cultivar in stock. When you order during the winter it's first come first serve and you're reserving your trees.
For sure spring is the best time to plant a tree. Here on the Canadian prairies we can have a very short fall season, some years it's nice out and then it snows - so for now we're only offering trees for spring shipping. We keep all of our trees carefully packed away in our root cellar over the winter, and in early spring around the time we're starting to bench graft our next season's apple and pear trees we're also starting to get orders ready for shipping at the start of April.
When you add trees to your cart we provide a few options for your preferred shipping date, usually it's going to be each Monday through April up to the first week of May. If you're not sure choose a date at the end of April. If you want to change the shipping date at any time, or if you have any questions just send an email and include your order number.
We have more information about shipping here.
When spring is coming up since it might have been a while since you ordered - we'll send a reminder email ahead of time, and then when your order is on the way we'll email your tracking information.