millers nursery ny

grape-2006September 20, 2011

How's you experiance with millers nursery in ny? how big is there grape vines and fruit trees

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alan haigh

Their grape vines have been fine- fruit trees tiny and not necessarily correctly labeled. I'd stick to berries and grapes from them.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2011 at 5:39PM
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I have had good luck with Miller's. Many of my fruit trees have come from Miller's Nursery, especially the heirloom apple trees. I have ordered from Miller's for the past 10 years, strawberries always, and many fruit trees. I have not had any problems that were not corrected. Maybe one tree died and it was replaced.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2011 at 8:28PM
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alan haigh

Here's the thing. If you've ordered things from numerous nurseries over quite a few years you may have enough info to rate nurseries you're doing business with. For such an opinion to be useful I think it has to be in comparison to other nurseries over a decent period of time.

Millers is a nursery I haven't done any business with for probably about 15 years. I started off ordering from them and found other nurseries that offered me better trees for the money. There were other issues I was unhappy with I won't go into here (again).

Maybe Millers is better now and has better merchandise, but 15 years ago they were sub-par, although I'm sure some of their customers were happy with them even then, not having experience anywhere else.

Their name comes up here a few times a year and some people will say they are happy with them while others have the opposite opinion. There are other nurseries whose names come up that get a much more positive response over all.

Adams County, Cummins, Virginia Vintage apples to name three on the east coast. C+O, Trees of Antiquity, Raintree and Van Well on the west.

Over the years Millers has received only fair ratings on the Garden Watchdog in terms of positive to negative reviews.

You decide.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2011 at 9:06PM
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Adams County is probably the best on the East Coast in my opinion. Virginia Vintage has some ways to go to get my business on a regular basis. They can offer some heirloom varieties that others do not carry. I had good luck with a West coast nursery called Sanhedrin on a couple of trees ordered this Spring. The chief complaint I have heard and I can confirm it, is that the trees are cut back too short. This is probably done to cut down on shipping charges. The trees did well and got over the severe pruning.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 6:07AM
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alan haigh

Hoseman, I don't have any experience with Virginia Vintage but I've met the people who run it and they are very nice. What, specifically, disappointed you with them?

Sanhedrin are owned by a good honest couple as well, but they seem low on the Dave Wilson pecking order as far as getting trees with a good diameter and they do try to get their trees in excessively small boxes- also perhaps because they don't do enough volume to get a good deal from shipper. Both those points are just speculation based on small trees I received from them last spring. They don't grow their trees as is the case with many nurseries that don't also supply commercial growers.

Millers seems to infer that they grow their own stock but I've heard from other nurseries that they buy a lot of unsellable (very small) stuff from other nurseries at rock bottom prices. Of course, that's just hearsay from competitors but it seems believable.

My experience is that you tend to get better trees for the money from outfits that grow most of their stock. Of course, everyone gets the Zeiger varieties from Dave Wilson.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 8:38AM
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My personal experience with Miller's fruit trees has been excellent, and I've ordered from most of the nurseries mentioned above.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2011 at 4:52PM
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ive ordered from millers and about 10 other nurseries. perfectly happy with the stuff ive received from millers

    Bookmark   September 25, 2011 at 6:14PM
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alan haigh

I was at a site today where I planted 30 apple trees from Millers about 15 years ago and at least a third of them were varieties I never ordered. I don't think a company gets that many wrong unless it's their business model to sell what they have in stock regardless whether the customer asked for it.

These were all seedling rootstock trees so I doubt anyone would ever ask for a refund 5 years later or more. I also bought 5 Green Gage plums from them that all turned out to be some kind of early fruiting mediocre purple plum and I've heard from others with the same experience.

Then there was the time I asked for a replacement of a persimmon tree that they claimed was hardy in my climate and died the first winter and they sent me a replacement that was a seedling and claimed that it was a tissue culture plant (no one has yet to succeed at doing this with persimmons). This was when I stopped doing business with them- I discovered the mislabeled trees later.

So all of you who want to say this nursery is just fine and dandy, I wonder what the level of your experience with them is. Maybe they are managed differently today than they once were but I'd like to hear from someone who really knows fruit trees that has had at least 5 or 6 years with a quantity of trees they've ordered from them provide an endorsement. Just because you received healthy trees doesn't mean they are what you think they are. Of course, just because a nursery totally sucked 15 years ago doesn't meant it isn't great today.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2011 at 6:00PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

I don't have much recent experience but most of the varieties I have gotten from Millers have been OK and true to label. I stopped ordering from them when every peach tree I got from them three times in a row died. My impression is they are basically on cruise control there, their varieties are about 30 years out of date and they don't pay a whole lot of attention to what they are doing, but they are not a maliciously bad place like TyTy or how Southmeadow was.

In short, they are not great and they are not horrible, they are mediocre.


    Bookmark   September 27, 2011 at 8:28PM
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alan haigh

Scott, if you got true to name trees I guess I'll get off my bash Millers horse. If someone else has experience with large orders being correctly filled I'd be happy to hear them as well- help me get completely over my grudge. They did cause me considerable professional embarassment when customers wound up with those mislabeled trees.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2011 at 9:21PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

I will have more fresh information in a few years, I am helping some local folks put through a big order from them right now (not my idea to order from Millers, but they are one of the few places with fall shipping). Also looking through my records I only ordered three trees that ended up fruiting, the others I took out or topworked once I learned more about varieties. All of the three were right but thats only three samples. I didn't wait for my Millers Green Gage to fruit, I heard so many stories of that one being wrong that I topworked my tree pre-emptively.


    Bookmark   September 28, 2011 at 8:37AM
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alan haigh

I think the Green Gages they propagated themselves (it's not a common plum they sent me) so it's good you grafted other varieties on there- they may still be selling that one. I never bothered to tell them so maybe they don't even know.

I'll trade you some Valor wood for Coe's.

Didn't Adam's start doing fall shipping?

Millers has always done so or at least for a long time- that was why I ordered all those apple trees from them.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2011 at 4:58PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

ACN isn't doing fall shipping this year for some reason. The only other big nursery with fall shipping that I know of is Starks. I tried to get these folks to go with Starks which I put a notch over Millers.

The trade sounds good.


    Bookmark   September 28, 2011 at 6:34PM
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I am not excited about the Stark Brother's acquistion of Miller Nursery. I have before me a $119.28 from Starks I ordered in 2011. Not a single tree or plant I ordered is alive today. I ordered Harglow Apricot Standard. Earliblue Plum, Stanley Prune Plum Stark Beach Plum. Heritage Red Raspberry, And Himbo top Primocane Red Raspberry. And over the years I have ordered many trees ( I am guessing between 25 and 40 trees) from Starks. the only one that is living. Yes one is a Pecan that I planted in the Mid 70's. All the English Walnuts I ordered maybe 8 plants over the years not one survived. Wait a minute... I may have one peach that has survived and maybe one sweet cherry. I am now a week shy of 64 years oild. I was a fool to place my last order with Starks. Oh my God they took me!! And my life is at the short end.
Three apple trees I order from Miller's are living. Now that I've read the above blogage. I fear I may have gotten varietiies other that I ordered. But what does Starks do. put something in the plants that make them die in a year and a half? I know I ordered three Hazel nut bushes two years ago from Miller's Not one made it. They replaced it. And I took photos of the roots before I planted them If anyone would like to see. And let me look maybe one is alive. Yes..... The Fingerlakes S.H. Filbert sent up some shoots. The Barcelona came was a five foot cane with a few scraggly roots and another variety that had better roots died again. I did make sure to cut the long cane off. But to no avail.
The two English Walnuts I ordered from Miller's are alive I believe. I am apprehensive though as to the quailty lineage. I have an aquantance who planted a whole orchard of English walnuts. Adding phosphate rock and lime etc. to the soil to find thirty years later trees that are small and deformed and produce notthing.
It seems that what they are selling is hope. And for many the hope is....

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 5:07PM
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I think the key is whether they were alive when you got them. If they leaf out and are fine, then probably environment or something you are doing wrong that kills them off eventually. Most nurseries have sent me live plants, including stark bros.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 8:24PM
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jagchaser(5A NE, -15-115f may frost)

I had no problem with starks, over 100 trees last fall and this spring. My 20 peaches planted last fall died over winter, but I do not believe that was starks fault, I had a very hard winter for peaches. None of the apples or cherries I planted last fall died like that. They had the roots pruned harder than I liked, but not as hard as my stuff I got from peaceful valley from DWN.

My other 120? from ACN were much better though. I was very impressed with the trees I got from them. 1 tree out of the whole batch failed to leaf out.

If the tree leafs out and dies much later then I say its is something else. Wrong climate, wrong soil conditions, wrong something, not wrong supplier.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 10:39PM
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alan haigh

Your issues with Starks do not reflect the actual quality of their stock, IMO. It needs to be based on the experience of a range of customers, but I can understand wanting to vent. Check Garden Watchdog for a more balanced and wider polled rating of nurseries.

Millers is consistently lower rated than Starks. I have ordered trees from both and Starks provided much better stock which was true to name. Millers was consistently inaccurate to the point were it seemed intentional.

When I first started my business I ordered a couple hundred trees from Millers before I learned the ropes- I am still managing a few trees of mystery and not very good varieties at a couple of sites.

One year I ordered about a hundred trees from Starks because I wanted to try some of their pears and the trees were much larger with lots more roots than what I ever got from Millers (although Miller's blueberries and brambles were fine).

I say, good riddance. Stark's grows their own trees instead of buying junk for pennies from other nurseries.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 5:57AM
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