Raintree order arrived

mrsg47(7)April 21, 2012

For the first time in four years I met with a huge disappointment from Raintree Nursery. I ordered a new 'Reine Claude de Bavay' and received a 'whip'. I am paying for trees not whips. My first Bavay from Raintree was beautifully branched and was three years old. (SAME COST as the new whip). My new Mirabelle de Nancy is a whip as well. It is just unacceptable. I am too old to wait seven years for these trees to mature, let alone fruit! Raintree has never let me down before. I think they should tell their repeat customer or any customer what they are sending, so you have a chance to either change or cancel your order. I healed in the two whips yesterday and planted the other three trees. The 'Motts Pink' apple was fine as was the 4X1 Combo European Pear and Mirabelle de Metz; at least they look like trees! I hope they will send me trees and replace these silly whips. Mrs. G

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Honestly, I love Raintree for their unusual selections, but I do know what you are saying. The trees I've gotten from them in recent years have been much smaller and younger than what I got when I first started ordering from them in around 1989/1990/1991.

As long as they're healthy, I'm OK with it, but I do feel any company should state exactly what they are going to supply. If it's a whip, it should say so.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 10:25AM
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Indeed every nursery should tell you the age/caliper/and whether a tree is a whip or branched. Customer deserves to know what they are getting....

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 10:55AM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Yes...hopefully you get credited for something else, please give the whip it a try, I love whips...small trees establish faster then large ones and can be ahead of the larger tree in a few years.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 11:09AM
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blazeaglory(10 SZ22/24 OC Ca)

Just WHIP IT! Into shape! Shape it up! Get straight, move forward...Its not too late! To whip it, WHIP IT GOOD!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 12:23PM
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The whips I received have a trunk with of 1/4" thick or less. That is tiny. Half inch would almost be ok. I have emailed Raintree since is it Saturday, and told them of my disappointment. I hope they will be forthcoming in their response and 'make good' spirit. Thanks for the good words Konrad. You know your stuff so that does make me feel a bit better. The trees are just so skimpy compared to the rest of my trees. I am really shocked that Raintree would do this. And Blaze, dear, if I weren't 65 years old, I'd whip anything in sight! LOL Mrs. G

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 3:50PM
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Blaze- Devo ! Luv it

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 7:44PM
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First time customer of Raintree this year. I got a Gras Romanesc and Mirabelle de Nancy plum trees. Both about 4 - 5 feet tall and branched. I didn't expect much given they had to be shipped all the way across the country but they have thrived since I put them in the ground. Couldn't be more impressed and plan to be a repeat customer.

Have you let them know your concerns? What did they say?

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 8:32PM
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Its saturday, so I emailed them. I will call them on Monday and strongly suggest I get two new trees. These trees were paid for last November to be shipped to RI this spring. THAT is not fair!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 8:36PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

I wonder why you got yours so late? I've had my order for 2 weeks now. Did you tell them to ship now? Got to wonder if you ended up with the scraps?

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 9:59PM
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Boy Frank, I think I did. I always get my trees the second week of April. Raintree wasn't going to ship them until the end of April. I asked for the date to be moved up. The two trees I'm speaking of are less than scraps. Raintree also said they would save and send me 2-3 year old trees. I thought if you paid them early, your trees would be marked well in advance and you wouldn't get scraps. Live and learn?

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 10:54PM
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bob_z6(6b/7a SW CT)

I'm guessing that Mrs G used "Zone Skip Shipping", where you save some money by having Raintree send a large truck of their orders to a regional shipping location, where it will then be sent to you. If you had waited for Zone Skip shipping in WI, the ship date would have been April 29.

I did the same and just received my order this morning (CT and RI are in the same wave). This was the wrong year to go for it, as my other new arrivals have gotten a good start over the last month+. The plants seemed OK, but there was definitely some wide variations.

The Tomcot apricot was beautiful- 1/2" caliper, 52" tall, with 3 nice side branches (and a few smaller ones).

The Parfianka pomegranate was pretty nice too, though it already had small leaves. I don't think that will hurt it much though, as it was potted (narrow 10" tall pot), rather than bare root.

One of the gooseberries was nice, 2 were OK, and one was tiny (both top and roots). The red currant was quite small. Last year, the only gooseberry I got from Raintree was huge- larger than the nicest one from this order.

After seeing the pictures from Harvestman, I thought that he IE mulberry would come with a monster root system. The roots were quite average, the tree being a 3/8" whip. It has a darker color and felt a bit dry, so I am holding my breath for it to leaf out.

On the other hand, the Blue Velvet honeyberry is quite nice- well branched, with lots of roots. I had more digging to do than I had anticipated...

I want to see how the M27 apples before commenting too much on them. Last year the scion from the one with what appeared to be the best root system didn't leaf out. Nor did the one with just a bit of root. Everything in the middle was OK.

While I would have liked for the rest of the order to be like the Tomcat, pomegranate, and honeyberry, I don't anticipate asking for a refund/reship unless a plant doesn't make it. Like others have said, I'd love for nurseries to describe in detail what the plant would look like. I'd be fine paying more (maybe 50% to 75%?) for the certainty of getting all great plants. I'm guessing that the logistics make it tough enough that many/most nurseries don't want to deal with such systems.


    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 10:55PM
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Bob, I signed up for regular shipping and specified the week. I called Raintree to add another plum to my order and they told me they had 'assigned' me to Zone Skip Shipping'. I then asked when the trees would arrive, they said the end of April. I said, I won't be home! Ok, we'll try and get them out. Well at least I got them a week earlier. But when you order five trees at a time and need to get them into the ground, you're fairly disappointed upon opening the box you've been thinking about since last November. Ugh

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 11:07PM
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bob_z6(6b/7a SW CT)

The Raintree website specifies April 15th as the Skip Zone Ship date for CT & RI. They may have still used Skip zone, even though they said "Ok, we'll try and get them out". Especially so given that I used it and got my trees only one day later. It is nice that Fedex delivers on Saturdays- I had given up on getting them this week. If you are contacting them already, you could always see if you can get the Zone Skip discount, though getting a little money back is small comfort when you aren't happy with what you received.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 11:20PM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Darn!..You must have had some sleepless nights?

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 11:40PM
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Cummins lets you specify the size of tree you want - at different prices.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 9:09AM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

This year I got a replacement from Raintree that was nothing but a stick with a couple dead root hairs hanging off. The tree hasn't leafed out in a month and is probably not ever going to.

I'm not sure whats going on with them, most of the stuff I get from them is good or very good but occasionally I get junk.


    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 1:03PM
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happyballz(9A/B Valrico,Florida)

I am with you on Raintree sub-par plants MrsG:

I ordered 2 mulberries, the white one was very tall but extra skinny (pencil size), the pakistani one was 1/2 - 3/4" caliper and 3-4 ft tall but out of 7-10 buds only 1 at the very bottom was intact! So now I have a 4ft stick with a branch growing from the bottom that will have to become the trunk.

Same story with gooseberries and currant, out of 4 goose 1 was extremely tiny stick with only 1 bud and 2 tiny root laterals! Other plants were only 3-5 inches high. The only big root was on the Ukrainian Kiev black currant - the only one that seems to be thriving. The other ones will be goners it seems. Not to mention all curr./goose. had mold spots on stems.

Of course my climate have something to do with them dying but the ones I got from Peacefully Valley for CHEAPER were all the size of that Ukranian Kiev currant and are still alive... I wish they had the selection of Rain Tree, everything I ordered from them was top-notch so far.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 1:51PM
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Raintree does have a great selection, however, if the stock they are sending out is way below sub-par, then their selection is meaningless. Can't wait to call them tomorrow. I hope they care. Scott, I think I received your order too! Mrs. G

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 3:23PM
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Randy31513(Georgia 8b)

I ordered an English Morello from them. It was very first fruit tree by mail order. It had good structure but zero root system and a big wound in the trunk just above the graft.

I have ordered a lot of trees since then but none from raintree.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 5:56PM
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I have seven other trees from Raintree that are flourishing. I guess this is why I sound so upset. Two trees died, but that was due to my inexperience with borers. I'm now up to 15 trees from Raintree. But the last 2 are pitiful. Thanks guys. I'll fill you in after I speak with them tomorrow. Mrs. g

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 9:20PM
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I received an order of pears from them earlier this year (January) that I put in November of 2011. I ended up with 3 whips with barely any roots. Not very happy at all, given the fact that for the same prices, I could've gotten 5/8" caliper trees from several other mail order nurseries that I've used for two of the three trees that I ordered.

That order put me back a year in terms of tree maturity.

I just recently ordered from Grandpa's Orchard in Michigan. I was impressed by the trees that I received. Shipping was also top notch.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 10:55PM
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Thanks AJBB. I get in a rut when I find a vendor that delivers. In the past Raintree has done that. Its time for me to look around for new trustworthy sources. Thanks.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 9:32AM
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