Where to buy a tree, find garden center

John North is president of the Dayton Better Business Bureau.

Almost 150 years ago, more than one million trees were planted. Arbor Day was just a seed back then, but across the U.S. millions celebrate Arbor Day on the last Friday of April by planting a tree. Whether you’re a do-it-yourself homeowner or plan on leaving it up to the professionals, your Better Business Bureau can help by offering tips for finding a nursery/garden center.

Remember, in addition to nurseries selling and planting trees, arborists and tree service companies can provide the same tree planting service for you. Your Better Business Bureau offers tips for selecting a reputable nursery/garden center:

• Make sure you get references. Check with family and friends. If they’re happy with who they use, most likely you’ll be too.

• Make a budget and stick to it. Get three estimates to help you determine what tree will fit your budget.

• Shop around and compare. Consider reputation, years of service, as well as cost.

• Look for the sales and call around. It’s common for nurseries and garden centers to have trees at a discount. Be sure to go during the weekday, it’s often less crowded and you’ll have more time to shop.

• Look for “certified” or “master certified” nursery professionals. This means the business has met the requirements to make sure they’re going to give you the right information about your tree.

• Determine the type of tree you want: one to provide shade; improve aesthetics; a visual screen, etc. Also, be sure you know how much space you have for the roots to grow.

• Ask about professional affiliations, such as the Ohio Nursery & Landscape Association (ONLA). Look for these logos and BBB logo on websites.

• Get details in writing, including price, services, guarantees and warranties. Make sure you understand everything.

If you have any questions regarding nurseries, you can always get help from your BBB, such as a list of BBB Accredited nurseries and Business Reviews on ones you’re considering. Visit www.bbb.org or call (937) 222-5825 or (800) 776-5301.