Willis Orchards DOA plants!

Jame29704September 10, 2011

My purchase of two huge banana trees last year from Willis Orchard Company did not sprout and after calling them about a replacement banana that I felt was dead and failed to grow. Then after Willis Orchard rep told me they would replace the banana tree if it did not grow in April, and it did not, so Willis now requires me to return the banana tree if it is dead to get a replacement, there is nothing to return but empty holes in the ground and I can't return those. I was so angry with their rude run around that I began to search for the owner's information on the internet. I found that Jason Andrew Willis was documented on the Georgia Department of Corrections website was sentenced to three years in jail and for a nine year probation sentence. On other websites he was accused of selling native seedling un-grafted pecan trees for grafted authentic pecan trees. He was forced to stop that unlawful selling on the Willis Orchard website. His other company Paradise Palm Co was shut down for illegally selling citrus on quarantined states and also to cease selling citrus on the Willis Orchard website. His BBB rating has fluctuated between F or D and his negative out weigh his positive complaints by 4 to 1 on garden internet websites. If something quacks like a duck, walks like a duck, it's a duck and this appears to be a fraudulent scam company teetering on the edge.

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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX


I'm sorry that you had to learn the hard way but the poor reputation of Willis has been well documented for some time.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2011 at 5:28PM
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Is that you again, Mr. Patrick Malcolm?

I don't know if Willis has a 'deserved' poor reputation or not - but it seems like there was a thread that started off just like this one, some time back, that was full of untruths about Mr. Willis and his company - evidently posted by operatives from the infamous nursery at TyTy - folks who wrote the book on shysterism and consumer fraud.

OK - I looked at the feedback on DG - looks/sounds a lot like what TyTy reviews used to be(though there'd be more negatives) back when they had a review/feedback page - before DG pulled it because they threatened legal action.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2011 at 6:00PM
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Hi James, I see you registered on garden web just today, was it just to tell us this?

    Bookmark   September 10, 2011 at 9:01PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

They need a flag button on this forum or a moderator that can delete this garbage.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2011 at 10:07PM
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This exact post was also made on daves garden today, but under a different name. Copied and pasted.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2011 at 10:33PM
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This should be posted in the appropriate forum, link below. Obviously from the ratings out there, Willis Orchards needs to cease to exist like a lot of the other scam nurseries out there.

Franktank, why is posting experiences with nurseries considered 'garbage'? just wondering why people are jumping this person for reporting what many others have also said about this particular company? The more reports about what these companies are doing, the more likely less people will be scammed. I remember back in the day, I had a different nursery that sent me a bunch of dead junk, its not a good experience when jumping into the plant buying world.

Here is a link that might be useful: rate and review vendors

    Bookmark   September 11, 2011 at 9:30AM
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The James post is bogus. I checked the Georgia jail site he references, Willis isn't there.

I also noticed on the garden watchdog site, almost all of the negative reviews are from people who posted only once, who registered the day they posted.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2011 at 10:17AM
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hmm, yes, I would agree, that if someone wanted to manipulate the gwd ratings, that could easily be done. Though there is also a lot of negatives from people who have rated more than just that nursery and also a lot of positives with just one rating, also. Very confusing stuff going on. Is this the only nursery considered to be targeted, or are other nurseries having this problem, also?

    Bookmark   September 11, 2011 at 10:40AM
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madferret(UK 8b-9a)

What is meant by did not sprout?

I've yet to see a bananna plant for sale that wasn't at least 6in and mine actually had a few babies which I split off and are grwoing nicely.

And to my recollection, they don't leave empty holes when they die either.


    Bookmark   September 11, 2011 at 11:20AM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

I don't think any plant vanishes when dead, here, we also have to bring back dead plants for replacements...nothing out the ordinary.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2011 at 11:43AM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Its hard to sort out the wheat from the chaff here, Willis is not the greatest nursery but also some folks clearly are trying to slander them. My wild guess is of the GWD reviews of Willis, half are real and half are bogus.

In general, there is more and more a problem of businesses "stacking" their and their competitors online reviews, there is little control against that. I don't see too much sign of it on DG, but on some other review websites I have seen a lot of this.


    Bookmark   September 11, 2011 at 1:11PM
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alan haigh

This post certainly seems like utter nonsense. I just don't see someone registering on the same day to gardenweb to make one post about a couple of dead trees. I wouldn't trust someone who isn't a regular participant anyway, so I certainly think we should disregard this. I hope Lucky's response was strong enough to discourage further BS from this person or business.

Hope Fruinuts comment doesn't encourage him, her or them.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2011 at 7:09PM
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The poster accomplished what he wanted. The 2 companies that have the best search engine optimized (seo) sites, willis and ty ty, depend upon their good name for their business. Whoever googles Willis will see summaries of the most recent posts; dead trees, prison, bad ratings. The poster could care less what we think or do, he's hurt the Willis name.

Gardenweb and DG have, or should have, the ability to track the source of the email of the sign up person. Garden web and DG in my opinion are creating legal liabilities for themselves if they allow known lies to be posted.

Willis has every right to be pissed. Fwiw, I bought from Willis once, the tree arrived dead; but what's being done to them just isn't right.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2011 at 7:39PM
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Here's a long-running thread from several years back - with some molotov cocktails lobbed in by Patrick Malcolm or his TyTy operatives early on.

Here is a link that might be useful: prior GW Willis Orchards discussion

    Bookmark   September 11, 2011 at 9:19PM
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I enjoy a good crazy Willis bashing thread every once in a while.

I haven't ordered anything from them but maybe a couple of years ago I did try to ask what I thought were some pretty basic questions and the answers I got left me not wanting to buy anything from them.

From what I recall, they listed Pineapple Guavas (Feijoa) on their website. I enquired as to whether they were seedlings or a particular variety. Not only did the owner not provide the answer, from his response it was as though he didn't recognize the difference between a seedling and a cultivar nor did he seem to recognize that Feijoa is not an actual guava at all.

Maybe its a big operation and he isn't that close to the particulars and the "guava" section isn't his thing. So perhaps he thought "pineapple" was the variety of "guava" he was selling. That's the most positive spin I could put on it and even that doesn't give me the confidence to shop there.

He did invite me to call, perhaps he doesn't like using the computer and was being hasty.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2011 at 12:37AM
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I bought two Grape vines in Aug 13 they arrived in Nov 13. Both were planted immediately. In Mar 14, one sprouted along with eight others from other nurseries; but one was dead. I emailed these rip-off artists and they asked for pictures of the plants, which I sent. They offered a credit for the plant only, leaving me to pick up the shipping; and still have to wait again until late Nov 14 for shipment.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 8:12PM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

I ordered a tree from them, not knowing about these accusations, a plum tree. it is nice! Big, well grown etc.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 11:31PM
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meredith_e Z7b, Piedmont of NC, 1000' elevation

I ordered their seedling paw paw as a pollinator, and it's doing very well (2 winters now)! That's a great price for a pawpaw that survives transplanting, etc.

Their cane fruits didn't work out, however. I do suspect they might not have worked out anywhere, judging by the looks of them. Since then, I got guaranteed virus-free versions elsewhere anyway, and I think I'll be much happier with those for my berry briar patch in the long run.

Apparently you do have to literally send back the dead plants to get free return shipping on replacements. If you just take pictures, you pay the shipping on the replacements. There is also a store credit option, I think.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 1:49AM
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I have ordered many fruit trees from Willis, including a banana and only one did not survive, an apricot. After I notified Willis, they said that I could send a picture of the dead tree and they would replace it in accordance with their guarantee. I did and they did. I am very satisfied with their plants and service.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 6:33AM
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I have ordered from them twice and I didn't have any problems either. Anyone that would send a replacement on a picture alone isn't half bad in my book.

I can remember some of the clowns dad had as customers when he had his greenhouse business....We had some marigolds we were going to run through the shredder put aside and a lady came by while I was working and said mine looks like that what happened? I replied politely we quite watering them and going to run them through the shredder.....

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 9:03AM
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"I don't think any plant vanishes when dead, here, we also have to bring back dead plants for replacements...nothing out the ordinary."

When Bananas die, the corm tends to rot out, and you're left with a big hole in the ground. The OP's experience is completely in line with mine, and dead bananas.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 10:28AM
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