Mail Oder Nursery Reviews

jakeb30April 11, 2012

Hello all, I am looking for your personal experience with mail order nurseries.

I hope this is not against forum rules, if it is please let me know.

What inspired me to write this--I saw a video on youtube of an "unboxing" of some almond trees from stark bros, and had I known I would have received trees like those in the video I would have used them instead of the various sources I bought almond trees from. They were much larger caliper and better branched than what I bought. I realize that guy may have just been lucky and was sent some great trees, but still I would like to increase my odds.

Some Im Considering:

Edible Landscaping

One Green World

Burnt Ridge Nursery

Womacks Nursery

Bob Wells Nursery

Stark Bros Nursery

Nolin River Nut

Cliftons Nursery

Trees of Antiquity

I am most looking for the caliper of the (fruit/nut) trees you ordered, and if they met/exceded your expectations. I have done business with some of these already and just thought if we could all compare, we could all benefit. I have listed these because they are either close to my location (Oklahoma) or have the trees I am most interested in that are not available at my local nursery, like pawpaws! Also feel free to list anyother mail order nurseries you have had a good or bad experience.

I have read about these all on Daves Garden and all had great reviews, but did not get the info I was looking for about caliper vs price paid and how much branching etc. Most reviews just say something like blueberries looked great, will do business with them again, or something like that.

So Ill start, my caliper size will have to be a guess because Im not where I can measure them now.

Whitman Farms shipped me some great pawpaws that were in a smart bag, much like a pot so I paid higher shipping but was well worth it. They were both well branched and had flower buds, very pleased with I would say 3/4 inch caliper. Also some english walnuts that were not grafted and probably 4-5ft with one small branch. 3/4inch caliper I would say maybe more. very cheap for size I thought

Bob Wells

I ordered from them because they were in Texas and trees only in transit for two days. One cherry was 3-4ft tall and well branched, the other was same with only 2 small branches. If they both looked like the first one I would be a customer for life, but will probably use them again. Also two almonds that were maybe 3ft 1/2 in caliper about as big as my pinky, but both well branched.

Burnt Ridge nursery, all were small I would say just coming into their second year grafted trees 1/4 caliper. very small with no branching, but they were what I would consider exotic trees, so I was just happy to find anyone who had them.

Also when I didnt know anything about mail order nurseries, I ordered from Willis Orchards, and everything I was shipped was dead already, and two of them literally had NO roots. Like they had been pulled out of the ground, and clipped of any remaining roots. The fig I bought would have been a wonderful tree for the price paid because of size branching and caliper had it been alive. Im not trying to run them down just stating the facts. I did not try to get my money back, just figured it was not worth it. Also shipping was about a month after I ordered, the others all shipped a few days after I ordered. The delay in shipping was not due to it not being bare root season yet, just fyi. I would consider them again if someone else can provide a better review, because they did send me good size trees, just minus roots, and life.

All had similar packaging and shipping methods.

Once again looking for info about the trees you bought and size, branching, caliper, and any other info you wish to add. Thanks!

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Randy31513(Georgia 8b)

I live not too far from Willis Orchards. A couple of years ago I called to get directions to their place. I was told they did not allow visitors. Needless to say, I would not order from them.

I went to Ty Ty about 5 years ago just to see. I would not order from them either.

I am quite ashamed that two of the worst places are here in GA.

I will take good roots over caliper size.

I rate Stark as a very good source and at a fair price.

Johnson's Nursery in Elerjay GA smaller trees than Stark but good roots. They also mark the planting depth with a blue or black line on the tree that I thought was kind of neat.

I have pictures on my blog.

Here is a link that might be useful: Georgia Home Orchard blog

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 2:29PM
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I've always been pleased with Jungs. I live in WI so they're pretty close for me. My apple trees were 6 ft tall whips with nearly 1" caliper, and I paid less than $30 each. My Danube cherry was 4' tall with good branching, half inch caliper, less than $30. That was from their bare root stock room, so I don't know if they'd ship such a branched tree. I'm pleased with the currants from them, too. Lots of roots and sturdy stems.

I have my order from St. Lawrence Nursery as well. Nice plum tree, 3' tall and half inch caliper, nice branches but too low, they'll be pruned off next year. Awesome Crandall clove currant, 2' tall, half inch caliper, 5 branches. One juneberry bush was nice, but the Lee #8 I got was little more than a rooted cutting, six inches tall. I'm sure it'll come through fine though, everyone I know who has dealt with St. Lawrence has been pleased. They do specialize in hardy stock, since they are in northern NY state.

I'm waiting on my things from Raintree Nursery, I'll let you know when I get them. I've ordered gooseberries, paw paws, currants, cherry tree, and Nanking cherries.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 2:51PM
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Great Start! exactly the kind of reviews I was looking for!
Thanks for the help.

And good point of roots over caliper, I would have to agree now that you mention that. Also great blog Ill be following!

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 4:59PM
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I ordered trees from One Green World, Raintree, Stark Bro. and Miller. all bare root.

One Green Tree: I ordered sweet cherry, good size and grow well; Citrus trees, very good size, grow very well;

Raintree: I ordered 3 in 1 plum tree. It died. I will have it replaced this year. Currents I ordred are growing well.

Stark Bro.: I ordered two peach trees last year. One blooming, one is dead. The supreme one that I paid more for it is dead.

Miller Nursary: I ordered 5 grapes, an Asian 3 in 1 pear last year. Their grape vine grow very strong. My 3 in 1 Asian pear filled with flower a week ago. Very healthy strong tree. I am thinking about order another Korea Pear from them.

Overall, I rate Miller Nursary my personal favorite. Its tree fruit early, reasonable price, and very low failure rate so far.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 5:43PM
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I recieved Three apple trees from Starks last year they came on time. Had nice roots. And came right when I needed to plant them. I'm waiting on a Crimson Crisp apple tree I ordered from Grandpas this year.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 7:17PM
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Randy31513(Georgia 8b)

I only ordered one cherry tree from Raintree and it was scared badly so I never ordered anymore from them. Other people seem to have good luck with them.

I ordered 3 trees from Cummins. One tree has maybe a 40degree from vertical bend in the tree at the graft. I was surprised they sent that one. It grows ugly but very well.

Just as a side, one of three trees I got from Lowes did not match the tags.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 8:18PM
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I know it's not on the list, but I ordered the Consort Black Currant trees from Burpee this year (first year offered and I had a coupon) and I was pleased with the shipment.

My only complaints were that, as a So Cal resident, they took forever to ship. Roughly a month after I ordered, and bare root season was almost over when I got them. One of them had a slight hint of budbreak on one, but nothing too severe.

With discounts, free shipping, it roughly came to the plants being free, so I have few complaints and would probably order again.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 10:47PM
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bob_z6(6b/7a SW CT)

I ordered from a bunch of places this spring.

Cummins- large order (20 trees). Quite variable in size. A nice thing is that they charge different amounts, depending on the size of the tree. Most of the calipers were 1/2" to 3/4". I got a couple trees I wasn't thrilled with (tight crotch angles on 2-3), but all except one had very nice root systems. Even that one should have enough to be OK. A couple trees were ~1" caliper. Two even had a 1/2" caliper at the top, where they were trimmed to fit in the ~5' box. Most were ~40" tall, measured from the graft union. The order included apple, pear, peach, and cherry. Overall, they have very good trees and great selection.

Starks- 3 dwarf supreme plum trees. They ranged from 5/8" to just over 3/4". They were 36-40" tall from the graft union. They had 4, 5, and 12 branches, which were pruned quite short- 3 to 4".

ACN- 4 peach trees. 6, 8, 10, and 18 branches, most of which were relatively thin and short (6-12"), but not trimmed short like Starks. Nice roots. 40-42" tall from rootstock.

Tierra Madre- 2 potted pear trees, both on Quince. One was quite nice, with a thick trunk. I didn't measure this one, but it was 2-3X as thick as the other. It was originally ~32" tall and actually bloomed soon after planting (very early for pear!). The other was thinner and only about 16" tall with much weaker roots (the soil fell apart as I planted). Even so, it seems to be growing well. Because of how long pears are reported to take, I wouldn't hesitate to go back on the chance I would get more like the larger one.

Vaughn Nursery- I ordered 2 peach trees here as I wasn't able to find the varieties elsewhere. They sent nice, but small trees for a very affordable price (~$7/tree). One was 33" tall with just over 1/2" caliper and 9 branches. The other was smaller (they grade their trees like Cummins, so I knew what to expect) with a height of 21", 3/8" cal, and 2 branches. I planted in late Feb, but they are just leafing out now, so it can take a while with fully dormant peaches. They were good to work with and I wouldn't hesitate order from them again.

Just Fruits and Exotics- A fall order of Jujube (3' tall, thin, with side branches pruned short) and Persimmon (3.5' tall whip with all leaves/branches cut off to force dormancy). We'll see how these do, as they still haven't leafed out.

Raintree and Burnt Ridge- soon, hopefully. I ordered from Raintree last year and wasn't happy with the apples on M27. But, the quality berries I got from them and other reviews convinced me that I should try again.

Fruitmaven- Last year, I too ordered Juneberries. I got one from RollingRiver and another from St. Lawrence. The one from RR was almost double the price (though still affordable at $15), but it was much larger (4' vs 1'). Fast forward a year and both are around the same height, though the RR has branched out. The SL one is still barely over a foot tall and has a single blosom cluster forming. I'm hoping it makes it, as I need the polination for the RR, which is covered in more than 30 blosom clusters. I can't say enough good things about RollingRiver for berry bushes. I've gotten some trees from them as well, but they have a limited selection of rootstocks and I think you may do better size-wise buying bare root (they do only potted).

Note- I measured caliper with a rule (1/16" gradations), around an inch above the graft union. I'm sure my measurement could be more accurate with a better tool, but they should be pretty good for comparison purposes.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 11:59PM
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Randy31513(Georgia 8b)

Another side note about mail ordering. Do not order around heavy shipping days like Mother's day and Valentina's day. I had a fedex tree order get caught in Valentine's day. It took a 5 working days to go from Atlanta to south GA about 225 miles.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 6:39AM
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This year I tried Maple Valley Orchards & Nursery. Just ordered 1 apple tree, Honey Crisp on B9. Tree arrived with nice root growth. They shipped on the date requested and even called to tell me it was shipping.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 7:18AM
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I have a basic question about all this discussion of size. Apart from the size and health of the root system, how much does the size of the top growth and age (degree of branching, etc.) matter with a mail order tree? Don't smaller trees transplant better and close the time gap to some degree with older trees? Even if an older tree produces it's first fruit sooner, it seems like the bigger concern would be when the tree begins to produce "real crops," not just one or two fruits. How much sooner can a larger bare root mail order tree get to that point?

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 7:24AM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

This year I got very good quality plants from Cummins, Starks, and Tierra Madre. Tierra Madre sent a pear on the wrong rootstock but fixed it. Starks continues to improve, I am getting quite impressed with them overall now in terms of the quality of their stock.

I got a replacement filbert from Raintree that looked like the kind of plant you would just throw out, it was a stick with a few dead rootlets hanging off. This isn't the first time I have gotten garbage stock as a replacement, I think its their way of giving you the "middle finger" while giving the impression of honoring their pledge of replacement.


    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 8:29AM
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cousinfloyd that is a great question and I would be interested to see others answers. But human nature is to want bigger and better, and patience is not common around my house haha!

But that is my goal in this thread is to find the best ballance of nurseries with good root, caliper, branching, shipping etc. so I can get off to the best start possible.

Others probably prune to a much greater extent than I do when planting bare root.

I like to think that if I can get it here I will take the best care of it I can, and hopefully a bigger tree will be better if I take better care.

Also personally for me I dont mind paying quite a bit of money for a good size tree if the quality is there! Also I dont mind paying shipping for potted trees if they are what I am looking for, and that eliminates bare root alltogether. But potted trees come with their own list of things to discuss.

Several of the nurseries on the list will ship potted trees if your willing to pay shipping, and personally I have had better luck with potted trees.

But to answer your question (and this is just me). better roots and better care willprobably close the gap in a hurry. And if your in for a "crop" tree and not just a few fruit as soon as possible it probably is better to order smaller on the best roots possible and that way you can prune as it grows and will be better down the road.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 11:44AM
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I've ordered from Hilltop, Stark, Miller's, ACN and Cummins over the last 20 years and I've pretty much settled on Cummins for all of my needs. They don't always have every variety, every rootstock and every size that you might want but they have a lot of variety and some really unusual stuff that you might not get elsewhere. They also have a lot of different rootstocks, rather than some nurseries that only have "standard", "semi-dwarf" or "dwarf" rootstocks. Furthermore, the guys running the place really know their stuff and they're very friendly and very easy to work with in the event of any sort of problem. Sometimes you get smallish trees from them if that happens to be all they have in the variety requested, but overall I've been as happy with the quality and size of their stuff as anybody's. None of the nurseries are cheap anymore but if you're getting a quantity discount, Cummins is also pretty reasonable.

Just my two cents.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 11:59AM
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Randy31513(Georgia 8b)

I have run into a problem with too large of caliper on a Granny Smith. This was a potted tree from local nursery. As usual, after planting, I cut the tree off 30" above the ground. The tree barely broke buds out because I think the tree was getting too old.

On Stone fruit, it seems like to me a potted, 2 year-old tree will give you best growth quickest to fruit, but apple, it seems like in the long run you are better off with bare-root whip. That may not be true but it seems that way to me. i would not argue if someone said it is a bunch of hooey.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 2:16PM
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alan haigh

I only order from nurseries that offer wholesale prices but I get to look at lots of trees from several nurseries every year. It's strange how Adam's peach trees have gotten rather small in the last few years- maybe they got bigger in Pens. than Delaware. Same with cots. Their apples are still often 3/4" and well branched with great roots. Figures they still grow those in Pen. (no apple pox).

I ordered from Van Well for the first time this year and their trees had quite the large diameter and roots galore but they shipped by Fedex to they were short to accomadate boxes. The apples were not larger than Adams but the Satsuma plums certainly were. I usually get a couple hundred trees from Adams so they put them in big boxes and truck them over. I like the height because I generally grow free standing trees trained above the browse line.

When I've ordered in the past, Trees of Antiquity usually provided decent sized, well branched trees and Raintree has been fine. Others I can recommend are Cummins (although when you buy wholesale from them they give you small trees), C+O and Fowlers.

The only nursery I've ever dealt with that I didn't like was Miller's, but that was many years ago and can't speak for their current practices. They were not entirely ethical back then and I expect nurseries to be very ethical.

When people talk about trees dying I think they are usually talking about themselves and not the nursery if it is a reputable one. You can see when a tree arrives if it's healthy and I lose very few trees from any of the nurseries I buy from- maybe 1%. I'm not as attentive to them as I would be if I was just dealing with a small orchard either.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 3:47PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

Raintree sent me 2 4in1 pluots...the trees are very thick and must be 4 or 5 years old... Not sure if this is good or bad...

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 3:53PM
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I know most are talking about Tree orders, but the other day I got an order from Nourse, my first time ordering from them. I ordered 10 bare root raspberry canes. They came shipped in a sturdy box each variety in its own plastic bag with clear easy to read labels. Each packed with very moist shredded paper. Included also were planting and care instructions and a packet of root moisture gel.

The canes themselves were fantastic, sharpie marker thickness if not thicker and all 20" long, each cane had a very sufficient amount of roots.

I was very impressed and will order from them in the future.
My plants shipped in two days,(MA to NYC) confirmation via E-mail for Fed-EX tracking.

Couldn't be happier

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 4:13PM
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I have dealt with a few dozen online vendors to date. I will never order from a place before looking it up on Dave's Garden, The Garden Watchdog before i do.

Stark Bros. - The trees are ok. They advertise "Supreme" trees for a few bucks more, with the promise of a tree that comes professionally pruned and well branched. However, this is not true with many of their trees. I ordered supreme apricot trees from them and received thin whips and was not to happy about it. They sent replacements after they failed to show good growth during the growing season.The replacements they sent were much better and did have actual branching. I also have some plum trees from them, including the Bubblegum plum, and those trees came about 42" tall, with 11 branches all at a 45 degree growth angle. I was very pleased with those. They have great CS and stand by their guarantee, with no questions asked. If you are not happy, they will replace the tree.

Rolling River Nursery - These guys ROCK! I cannot say enough good things about the operation they run. As a matter of fact, I am waiting on a new order from these guys. They selection they provide is top notch. The owners are very friendly, and very helpful and do not mind chatting on the phone about their plants. I have ordered fig trees, currants, grape vines, honey berries, raspberries and plum trees from them. The trees the send out are rather small, some of mine were less than 1/2" thick. But like a previous poster commented, they come potted and have very nice branching on them, which is nice. The plum trees I have from rolling river are fantastic. They were the first trees on my property to leaf this year and look amazing.

Trees of Antiquity - Awesome trees! Yes they also get the prestigious exclamation point from me as well. I have 10 apple trees from these guys and they were fantastic. Some of my trees came 1.5" thick. Most were about 1" which was larger than what they advertised on their site. They all came pruned nicely, and 8 of the 10 had excellent branching. The remaining two had zero branching, yet were still very thick. Four of the trees have only 2 branches about 2 feet long, the other four had pruned branches about5 inches long. The branch count was about 8 branches on each tree, and all were growing at 45 degree angles. The This company also has great customer service. I wanted to add some trees to my order, and they graciously shipped me the extra trees free of shipping charges because they already shipped my main order. That is the type of service which will guarantee my future business.

Backyard Berry Plants - Excellent blueberry and other berry bushes. Very friendly people. Shipping charges are kind of high, but the bushes come potted in large size pots. Well worth the price. I decided to expand my blueberry patch this year and am awaiting an order of Spartan and other blueberry varieties from these guys.

Dimeo Blueberry Farms - Don't walk, RUN. Pretend you never heard about this company, and pretend they do not sell blueberry bushes. You would be better off taping a picture of a blueberry bush on a stick, and placing that in your garden rather than buying from these guys. The operation they run is a complete scam IMO. They show these wonderful youtube videos of great blueberry bushes on their farm. When you place your order, the shipping charges are very very high. You try to rationalize the shipping charges because they plants are potted........or so you though. They ship the plants bare root, even though their website provides no indication of this. The size of the bushes is literally a stick about 30 inches tall. That's it. If I showed you the pictures of have of the bushes they sent me, you would cry, in both laughter and disappointment.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 4:15PM
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Okay just recieved my order from Grandpas orchard. I ordered a crimson Crisp. They sent me a Crimson Gold With no limbs except a poorly shaped stub I would have to remove. What a disappointment for my first order from them.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 5:37PM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)

This season ACN, Vanwell, and Raintree all sent good trees. I was disappointed in the tree I got from Vintage Virgina apples.

Raintree substituted a rootstock on me, but acted like they would stand behind it if it caused me any problems.

I've always been satisfied with ACN but I'm still convinced they sent me crown gall. Evidently it's not a big deal, but I still don't like it. It's not polite to give someone a communicable disease without any warning.

I think some of the nurseries in TN - Cumberland Valley, Vaughn, Vernon Barnes & son have some of the best value for the money. I've only ordered from Cumberland but the others have comparable prices (around 8 bucks). That's pretty much wholesale prices for retail orders. I was pleased with the stock I got from Cumberland and I've heard good comments about the other two.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 6:10PM
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dmtaylor(5a (WI))

I've gotten trees from three different nurseries so far, and scion wood from two others:

Cummins -- Two apple trees on B.9 and G.16 dwarf rootstock. Both arrived on schedule as unfeathered whips, already topped at about 5 feet to fit the box, roots packed in wet sawdust. Both were somewhat small caliper whips (5/16" and 7/16"?) -- must have been just a year old. Both have been growing very well in my yard for two years and should have their first fruit this fall as both are showing several spurs.

Lowes -- Not mail-order, but I did get one potted Honeycrisp tree on unknown semi-dwarf rootstock. Label stated it was from Michigan, I can't remember exactly which nursery. I'm dying to know what kind of rootstock is on there because I could not find a graft union at all -- I can't help but wonder if this is a seedling!? Tree was of about 3/4" caliper and well branched at planting, although I lopped the top and most the branches at planting to balance vs. the root system. This tree has been growing VERY vigorously and was nearly 9 feet high last fall after just two seasons in my yard. It will apparently take some doing year-to-year to keep this tree manageably short. Has not fruited yet but I expect a ton of fruit this fall, which I hope will confirm that it is indeed Honeycrisp and not some renegade rootstock or other unknown variety. One nice thing about Lowes is their trees are cheap, real cheap. And no shipping fees. But good luck figuring out what the rootstock is.

Raintree -- I just got a sweet cherry, Black Gold, on G.5, and also a Red Osier dogwood shrub (on its own roots, presumably). The cherry was fairly expensive due to the not-so-easy-to-obtain rootstock, but the dogwood was absolutely free due to earlybird ordering in fall of 2011, so that helped even things out as far as I was concerned. They arrived on time on 4/1/12 as I had requested. Both came about 5 or 6 feet tall, the cherry as a whip and the dogwood well feathered. I was shocked and amazed at how huge the caliper was on this cherry, about 3/4", and the wood is hard as rock and was extremely difficult to saw off and smooth out the top at ~36 inches. Tree must have been several years old. Root system was very good with some original soil intact, otherwise packed in moistened strips of newspaper. The dogwood had a ton of roots intact and should take off quickly. Time will tell on both of these. I am keeping both well watered. Assuming both take off nicely, I would order from Raintree again in a heartbeat.

Fedco -- I grafted three apple scions from them late last winter, and just got two more this spring. Two of last year's died but the Foxwhelp (or should I say, Fauxwhelp) survived and flowered right away last year and it's also about to this year. The two that died, I think were my fault due to grafting during cold winter months when sap was not flowing, plus these were the first grafts I've ever done in my life, so chalk it up to inexperience. This year I've hopefully learned more to where they'll survive. The scions arrived on schedule both years. Caliper and length was pretty small on all of them, which was okay for my young trees, but probably harder to work with, especially since I do the saddle graft and it's not so easy to cut a V-notch into wood that's maybe only 1/4" caliper and 8" long.

Maple Valley -- I just got through grafting about a dozen heritage apple scions from Tony. I'm lucky to say that he's local to me and I know he's got some great heritage apples. The scions arrived on time (yes I mail ordered) and with quite thick caliper as compared to Fedco, from about 5/16" to 7/16". They were about a foot long. We'll see how well they fare this year, and whether my additional year's knowledge has actually gained me a higher success rate.

So I think depending on what you want for size, there may be advantages and disadvantages for scions from Fedco vs. Maple Valley (or other orchards). They're not all consistent sizes, but who's to say which is better or worse.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 7:01PM
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Grandpas emailed me back pretty quickly. They apologized for the mix up saying they had new employees. They said keep the Crimson Gold apple and they would send me the Crimson Crisp as soon as possible.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 7:12AM
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Randy31513(Georgia 8b)

Johnthecook keep us posted on this tree. LOL In the South, its hard to buy a tree with the name Crimson attached to it if you are not an Alabama football fan but I could fib about the name.:)

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 7:30AM
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I received my Crimson Crisp apple from Grandpas orchard. It has nice dormant branches and a very nice root system. So I'm happy that they fixed the problem fast and I got a free tree from them!

    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 4:10PM
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This year I bought from Peaceful Valley, Raintree, Bay Laural, Burnt Ridge, Cummins, Four Winds, Hidden Valley, Wellspring Gardens, Womack and Florida Hill. So far most of the plants are leafing out nicely. The only one I may not order from again is Florida hill, much of what I bought was very small however it looked good on arrival but soon died. I averaged about 6 trees from these nurseries and next year may add Adams Country to my list.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 1:25AM
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I am a member of "Dave's Garden," as well as "Garden Web," two of my favorite sites.

I just want to tell everyone here that before you order from any mail order company to check out "Dave's Garden, Garden Watchdog." There you will find every positive, neutral and negative comments about any mail order company. I say this because I ordered plants last year, 2011, from Burgess Seed Catalog and was greatly disappointed. Not only did the plants come half dead, (I lost them all), but the clematis I ordered did not come at all. They sent a red bud tree instead. I'm not sure it will grow in my zone!

This year, 2012, my sister ordered from Jackson & Perkins, who were bought out and part of the Park Seed, companies. She bought three knock out roses for me as an early birthday present. (My birthday is in August, but she wanted me to have roses planted by then). Well, since she ordered from them, thinking they had high quality roses, I checked out the site and ordered a mini rose, for my mom, for Mother's Day. I ordered the mini rose two weeks in advance and during a "Free Shipping Upgrade to Express Delivery" special they were having at the time. I, too thought my mom would love her roses.

The gift roses I received from Jackson & Perkins came dead and broken. I planted them anyway, according to their instructions, only to find the roses continued turning black and no growth. So, because on the paperwork and stated on their website, how they will replace any plant that did not grow, I emailed them, attaching copies of the order for the knock out roses and also attached a copy of my order confirmation of the mini roses for my mom. I hadn't heard anything as to when they were to ship to my mom, so my email was a two part email.

Today I received a response from Jackson & Perkins. All of a sudden, they are not going to replace any plants, but instead will credit my sister's credit card. Yet, when I looked in Dave's Garden, I found out from other customers that they only give credit towards future purchases! So, my sister will get credit to buy more dead plants!!!

As far as my Mother's Day gift to my mom - well, they told me they are shipping them ground and she won't get them until Wednesday, after Mother's Day!!!! They didn't bother to give me the "Free Upgrade to Express Shipping" even though I place my order way before that deadline!

Now I want you to know, that in the past, I always ordered flowers from "Pro Flowers" as gifts. I could order flowers only two days from Mother's Day and still get the flowers on that day, to whomever I sent them, (my mother). Yet, here is a supposedly well known and established company, Jackson & Perkins, who have always been known for their quality service and roses and I got the biggest disappointment from a mail order company I could get!
BEWARE: Do not buy from Burgess Seed Compay or from Jackson & Perkins!!!!

Side note: We ordered two clematis plants from "Michigan Bulb Company" and with in five days after getting our order confirmation, we got a shipping confirmation that our clematis was sent! After reading the latest "Positive" comments on "Dave's Garden - Garden Watchdog" I am certain my clematis will come in good condition and will grow well. I used to order from Michigan Bulb & Gurney's, years ago and was always pleased with the vegetables, fruits and flowers they sent me.

Thank you for your time in reading this post.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2012 at 2:24PM
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I ordered from Stark Bro. 3 Jim Blk Berry plants & 6 trees.
Two trees are still alive, the deer keep the leaves eaten off the other four & it is a wonder they Lasted 3 years.
Jungs is good for veggies seeds. has great for Gooseberry plants & Red Lake Currant. for garlic
Petals from the Past is the best ever, of all the trees & nurseries, it has the best trees! They sent me figs & Blueberry plants with FRUIT on them & the fruit or plants were not hurt in shipping.This may be a small thing to you, but it is a first in 20 years of ordering plants that I got fruit on shipped plants.
The 5 plants are doing great in their first Spring, lots of new growth.A late frost in April got the blue berry fruit.
I am not kidding, the local Piggly Wiggly has really good 3gal. blueberry plant for $10.00. This year I may use the rent payment to get a few more. :-)

    Bookmark   May 13, 2012 at 10:25PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

I ordered 3 trees from Adam's Co Nursery, all peaches. One is guaranteed dead at this point. I haven't had good luck with them. Last time they sent me a pear with just a few roots that has taken a few years to come around.

Raintee order has done fine (only 2 trees)

Burnt Ridge kiwis were great, but 2 out of 4 conifers they sent I think are dead.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 9:04AM
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One observation that I've made is that something has changed since I have been ordering trees through the mail (easily 20-25 years). I used to avoid ordering from the west coast because the plants always suffered during transport all the way to the east coast but lately I've been ordering from One Green World and everything shows up in perfect condition. I don't know who to thank - the nursery or the packing dept or the mail carrier but lately everything I've ordered from anywhere has shown up in great condition.

Just five years ago I was having problems and would often advise people not to order from far away nurseries - that has all changed. Now I do not hesitate to have things shipped.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 9:39AM
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alexander3_gw(6 Pennsylvania)

I've had uniformly good experiences with:
Edible Landscaping
One Green World
Burnt Ridge Nursery
Nolin River Nut

I've had one experience with Miller nursery, and it was bad. I have a "4 in 1" apple tree from them. Unfortunately, none of the branches were labeled, so I don't know which is which, and there are only three branches grafted on. I contacted customer service by phone and by email. By email, they told me that the branches were supposed to be labeled, and that the rootstock is one of the 4 varieties. By phone, they told me that they don't label the branches, and that the rootstock is M7. I contacted them by email to tell them about the different answers I got from them, and never heard back. I will not order from Miller.


    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 12:49PM
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Randy31513(Georgia 8b)

One real interesting fact has came forward in twenty plus fruit trees I have bought from many different sources. The online nurseries have been 100% accurate in what I ordered is what i got. The box stores not so good. So far their mislabeling rate is 2 wrong out of 8 trees. I say so far because two more of those 8 are fruiting for the first time this year so who knows.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 1:58PM
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I ordered again from Stark Brothers in late April for two dwarf Gold Rush apple trees because of the good reviews about them. They arrived three weeks later with nice branching and great roots.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 6:54AM
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theaceofspades(7 Long Island)

FEDCO- ordered three Blue Berries, a Purple Heart plum (special order), Baldwin Apple(for my dad, lives in Baldwin). Nice branched medium size trees, BB's were large. Order came in one box well wrapped. Everything leafed out and growing well.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 12:56PM
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I agree completely with another post on here about Lowes. Purchase fruit from them at your own risk as they do have a problem mislabeling their fruit. I purchased a tree that was supposed to be a Red Haven peach from them, but low and behold, when it started bearing fruit, I had a nectarine on my hands. I won't hold that against lowes too much as I did not have a nectarine tree when I planted it. But I also purchased what was supposed to be a seedless lakemont grape. Lowes cheaped out and game me a seeded niagra grape. That right there, ladies and gentlemen, is an example of bad business. Lowes simply assumed that most homeowners would never spray their fruit and thus never get grapes and never know the difference or just forget what they purchased.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 10:59AM
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brotherjake(5A UT)

When ordering fruit trees I prefer to get dormant whips with good roots. The older a tree gets (thicker caliper), the less prone it is to branch. With a whip it will branch all down the trunk. This way I can choose where my branches are instead of having the nursery do it for me. This also prevents getting branches broken during the shipping process.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 8:51PM
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Just received my fall orders of dwarf apples from Cummins and Century Farms Orchards. The trees from Cummins looked healthy but I was disappointed in the size considering I paid for their Grade 1 largest size.

The trees from Century Farms Orchard were considerably larger with larger root mass plus you can talk directly to David - the owner who is very helpful and a pleasure to speak with, I highly recommend them for any southern growers.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 5:45AM
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bob_z6(6b/7a SW CT)

Cummins has been pretty accurate in their sizing for me. Last spring, I checked and they were usually within about 1/16" (well within the margin of error for my clumsy measurements). This fall, when I placed my order at Cummins, they warned me that some of the trees wouldn't be available in feathered/large calipers. They said that the early spring with the late freeze and later the drought both slowed growth. The dwarf rootstocks compound the slower growth. From my latest invoice, less than half the dwarf apples will be top grade. Of course, that means they cost less too, though if given the choice, I'd rather pay more for larger trees.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 10:20PM
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I would confidently recommend Burnt Ridge Nursery. I ordered 16 apple trees last winter (2 varieties) and 10 grapevines (3 varieties) at the end of June. Everything grew. There was an issue with some of one apple variety needing another summer in the nursery the owner called and tried to dissuade me from that portion of the order. I didn't listen but perhaps should've. Where they got planted they got fierce competition from neighboring shrubbery that I underestimated. The grapes got a late start but grew well and are indistinguishable from the rest of the vineyard planted in March. I would also recommend Double A Vineyards good people great selection of grapes for table and wine. Vintage Nurseries also sells terrific grapes with lots of really obscure selections. There ordering set up is a little cumbersome, they mail you a contract that you mail back with payment. Again very professional good people. I bought 16 apples and 1 pear from Century Farms Orchard last winter the apple trees were great the pear still puzzles me, 42" tall planted in a1/2 gal. pot. It leafed out and made it through the summer but I dunno... Would buy from Century again maybe just stick to apples though. Ordered grapevines from California Rootstock, don't be fooled by the user friendly website, getting your order or any sort of a response from this cat is well nigh impossible. Did eventually receive my order with everything labeled correctly but I have my doubts. They don't appear to be grafted, coupled with the fact that he ran me around for months who knows whether they are true to type. Out of 70 vines planted this year my only losses were 2 of the 8 ordered from CA rootstock. Ordered blueberries from Hartmanns another great professional outfit. Have an order in this year with Maple Valley that I'm very confident about because Mr. Dembski the proprietor is a pleasure to speak to on the phone and these forums are full of positive references to his services.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 4:53PM
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alan haigh

An update on last years order from Van Well Nursery. I previously mentioned that the Satsuma plums I received from them last year had much larger caliber than same variety I got from ACN although the ones from Van Well were cut very short to fit Fed Ex box.

After first seasons growth, with five Satsumas from each nursery, the Van Well trees look about a year older in development which would make them a better value for me even with the extra shipping costs to southeastern NY.

I've ordered some pears from them this year as well hoping I get a jump start over Adams trees with this slow growing species. I also ordered some peaches, as Adams is sold out of the varieties I decided to order.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 10:00AM
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Just fruit & Exotic sent out some nice fruit trees in the pot.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 10:24AM
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austransplant(MD 7)

I'll put in a good word for Isons. Although the are known mainly for Muscadine grapes, they are also now selling quite a few fruit trees. I bought plums from the last year and this year some Russian pomegranates. They were all very good sized and healthy stock, better indeed than stock I've bought from West coast suppliers (though I should add I've had no problems with plants bought from companies like Raintree or One Green World). Of course time will tell whether these plants are true to type, but so far so good.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 10:31AM
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scott_home(Austin TX)

Womack Nursery sells good quality bare-rooted fruit tress. I ordered one persimmon, one pomegranate, and one Asian pear. They all have good roots and they put out vigorous growth in the spring.

On the other hand, I bought one Asian pear locally at a reputable retailer but the growth of that tree does not come close to the Womack's. I paid about $25 for the Womack asian pear vs the $15 for the local asian pear. The $10 difference is well worth it.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 2:59PM
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Still no orders have arrived! My Arboreum order of 2 peach trees was due today. . . nada! My Raintree *(two apricot trees) order is due next week with my order from Norse Farms (caroline raspberries). Also, my order of an (apple tree) from One Green World has not arrived either. This is the first time I have ordered from them. Can't wait to see the tree. I'll continue weeding and spraying until more holes have to be dug. Mrs. G

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 3:50PM
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jagchaser(5A NE, -15-115f may frost)

I have had positive results with:
peaceful valley
Millers, trees didnt do well, but it was a hard summer here and they showed up ok, so it wasnt their fault.

Lawyers did send me the wrong variety of roses on part of the order, but I didnt contact them about it so I dont know how they would have responded. It wasnt a big deal for me.


    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 9:17PM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

Ok for 2013 I got decent trees. They were big, and some do not like that. I would have preferred smaller trees myself, but I can't complain as they were in such good shape.
I ordered trees from Bay Laurel in CA and Grandpa's in MI
Excellent trees all of them! 4 from Bay Laurel, and 2 from Grandpa's. If you live in the East you may want to use Grandpa's. Bay Laurel has to send out by March 7th or so. But even here in MI the ground was workable. They all went back into dormancy when planted, and are now coming out. The trees from Grandpa's just came last week and are fine. I have wet clay here, and the trees from Bay laurel are on citation which grows well in wet clay! From Grandpa's the peach was on Lovell, a decent rootstock, and the cherry on Gisela, but most are not! They vary by cultivar. I was looking for Gisela.

I ordered raspberries from a few places. The best was Indiana Berry, and they were cheap too! $3.25 a plant. I ordered Prelude, Encore, and Anne. Bare root. All had exceptional roots and one cane over pencil size. All are still dormant, but a bud formed on one cain the last couple of days. We had a harsh cold spring, so that didn't help in adjustment. I for sure will look for cultivars there first.
I also ordered a currant and it was decent looking, bare root dormant. Stark brothers also gave me decent raspberry plants bare root too. But tell them a date, they tend to send too early!! I had to keep a blueberry bush inside, and then hardened it off, and planted just in time for a freeze, so it is struggling. Raspberries are all still dormant so no problems with the freeze.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 12:09AM
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I love Raintree Nursery, they have excellent costumer service: I had a small problem with them last year and they were able to solve it. Nice.

Last year I received a bonus pack of 25 Shuksan strawberries, all 25 survived. This year I received a bonus pack of Myco fungi, I inoculated my strawberries with the fungi and they exploded with blossoms. This year I'm harvesting my first homegrown strawberries.

This year I bought a Spicee Zee Nectaplum and Flavor Delight Aprium both are doing great. Both are very vigorous and are growing very fast--- I’m expecting some fruit next year.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 12:01AM
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alan haigh

I ordered most of my trees from Adams again this year- maybe 200, and there was a pretty good range in sizes although last year was a very long growing season and over all trees were larger than usual.

I'm grateful that Scott and Olpea mentioned that they had Winblo peaches as it was nowhere listed by them. They were quite small but at least I will soon be able to see how they do here.

They did screw up by sending me 5 extra trees by mistake that were wrongly labeled Satsuma plum- turns out they are Flavortop nectarines. They let me keep them.

The Van Well trees I ordered were also fine, though they were bigger last year.

These nurseries run very smoothly and allow me to have trees shipped any week I prefer. For any varieties that are available from such nurseries I prefer those that cater to commercial growers, not just because I get much better prices in quantity, but also because they really need to be pretty spot on in sending the correct varieties. Even when they make a mistake, much of their stock is color coded with paint so trees can be identified after the shipment.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 6:08AM
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I have also done business with, they too have excellent customer. I even saved $10 dollars on my fruit tree order by just signing in to their e-newsletter subscription. This year I bought two peacotums and one pluerry---- I’m expecting some fruit next year.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 11:59PM
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