About 14 years ago I planted two red oak trees in my brother’s yard. One came from an independent nursery, the other from a now-defunct big box retailer. The first had a sizable root ball, well-developed branching, and $40 sale price. The second was deformed and sad-looking (I actually felt sorry for it languishing on the asphalt), and carried a $12 sale price. Now see if you can tell which is which. Moral of the story: sometimes it pays to pay a higher price.