My Broken Katie Moragne -Me vs. Post Office

elucas101(8)March 14, 2014

For the 3rd time in 2 weeks the post office has driven their truck over my packages several times before delivering them. I have been lucky the other 2 times, but this time they succeeded in breaking something, and that something was my dear 2 tip rooted Katie Moragne.

Your honor and the jury, exhibit A:

She was almost completely decapitated, except for a small part (25% or less?) connecting it to the main stem.
Exhibit B:

Exhibit C:

Exhibit D:

I've filed the claim and supplied damage photos, proof of purchase, tracking number, auction number, addresses, descriptions, and proof of insurance.

I do hope the court will rule in my favor. Especially since the post office is guilty as sin and I would much rather have my nice plant than the claim.

Now, to try and make the best of a bad injury, here's the question I pose - in Jim Little's book he shows a less common way of rooting where he does exactly this - cuts a branch but not all the way through and it grows roots while still attached to the tree by a small area.

Do you think this is possible with this type / depth of a cut and with such a small tip to salvage? I am watching for signs of rot in both top and bottom sections. The sap was already dry when I got it so there was no reattaching it and I've just potted it up and left the break the way it came.

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Boy Emily I'd be PO'ed if I was you.

Luckily none of mine was ever broken but one time I bought a really old photoplay magazine that had Doris Day on the cover from ebay and lets just say I didn't appreciate how the mail man crammed it into my mail box! ::

    Bookmark   March 15, 2014 at 1:00AM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hi Emily!!!
Juror 2 says... GUILTY.
That is awful news.. I have had this happen to me as well and I rooted the top of mine. The bottom was repotted and it sent out new shoots this summer.

My first thought after looking at this one. Is to try and wrap some grafting tape around this break and see it it will take. If it doesn't , then you could try and root the nub and the. Seal the bottom cut and wait for it to send new branches. But, if it were mine? I would wrap grafting tape. Maybe even clean the cuts a little to get the sap fresh, then seal. It won't hurt it. If it does t take. Them at least you tried.

I'm so sorry you lost this. Baby I know how you were waiting for this beauty.

Good luck. Sweetie! Let me know how it goes!!!

Things are a little crazy (off) here. I'll share when you Have time. Miss you.

good luck. Xoxo


    Bookmark   March 15, 2014 at 1:18AM
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I would try the same thing that Laura said. What would you have to lose at this point and I think that it would take since they seems like a clean cut but not all the way thru. Also since it looks like a rooted one I would still plant it since I have cut them for different reasons and they will start growing from the bottom if they already had roots which it seems like it does. Good luck and let us know what happen. Barb

    Bookmark   March 15, 2014 at 4:04AM
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mksmth zone 6b Tulsa Oklahoma(6b)

How ridiculous, but what do you expect. Fedex and UPS arent a whole lot better.
I 3rd or is it 4th the re-attach effort. I thing you could make it work. Other option would be to try a sort of air layer technique and see what happens. It should be the shortest cutting I have ever seen.


    Bookmark   March 15, 2014 at 7:53AM
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Kim - Thank you, and yes - totally P.O.'ed!!! Especially because this is just time after time and you all have the same problems. The funny thing is, even with Priority Mail which has INSURANCE INCLUDED - they don't care! The process for filing a claim isn't horribly difficult but it really isn't all that easy either and I still don't know if they will fight me.

THIS is what they did to the package before this one!

LUCKILY this one didn't get damaged but OMG, how didn't it???

And here is an excerpt out of Jim's Book showing pretty much the same break I have:

Laura - thank you for the guilty verdict!!! LOL! What nonsense, I can't believe they get away with this. At the very least I have the bottom portion / a.k.a a rooted "center cut" at this point if you will...and looking at Jim's book and what you are saying about the grafting tape, maybe I can keep this top portion alive??? If it could stay attached and / or graft to it, it will keep fluids and nutrients going to the small piece and possibly keep it healthy while preparing to root? Thank you so much for the great advice!!! I so look forward to catching up -please do email me anytime you have a moment Barb - thank you so much! You're right, I mean really, what do I have to lose? The bottom portion is already rooted, it's just a matter of trying to save the beautiful top part and if I can that would be fabulous - if I can't, well, we all know you can't fight mother nature. But the post office is NEGLIGENT for sure and this constitutes plumie abuse! haha! Since the bottom part is rooted, I feel a bit more hopeful since it can possibly be supplying nutrients & water to the top part and giving it a huge advantage over a separate cutting?

Mike, thanks so much for your reply - isn't it ABSURD? Especially when you see my other triangle tube - I don't even have pics of the other one before that. But you can see it seems like they would have to be TRYING to crush those that much!!! It will be a tiny one if it survives for sure - Jim Little says it can be attached there "indefinitely" if it's getting enough nutrients so this should be interesting! Laura's "pickle" is the shortest I've ever seen so far - do you remember that one?! HAHA!

    Bookmark   March 15, 2014 at 10:04PM
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mksmth zone 6b Tulsa Oklahoma(6b)


yeah I do. Hey Laura did the pickle take root?
I had Fedex ship a light fixture for a school I was working on. The light had a price tag of $2500.00. Fedex damaged it. There policy is to pay for the item based on weight. Can you believe that? The light only weighed about 30 pounds. I asked the claims department, If you lose a diamond ring youll only pay for it by how much it physically weighs, they said yep! I think they paid us $100 for the light. I told all my vendors to never use Fedex again.


    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 7:36AM
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Oh, Emily, that's awful! And for it to happen repeatedly is unacceptable! I would reattach that tip with tape, too. Worst case is the leaf nodes beneath start to sprout and you get a good callus on that top piece and can try rooting it then.

I got a much-anticipated box yesterday, though smaller than I expected, but it was in perfect shape. I'm lucky to have a great postal carrier--he takes exceptional care of my packages--and I make sure he gets something for Christmas every year in the mail box. I don't know what I'll do when he retires!

This post was edited by jandey on Sun, Mar 16, 14 at 9:35

    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 9:34AM
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tdogdad(Zone 9)

I wonder who was the vendor. I had some that were packed with a few sheets of newspaper that got destroyed and have had some packed with bubble wrap that survived damage that looked like yours. MPG packs really well. Brad's were the worst for me.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 2:58PM
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That's horrible, Emily! What did you decide to do?
I would have tried to tape her and then hope for the best.

Like Bill, I'm wondering how it was packaged. I have received cuttings that weren't wrapped, just newspaper stuffed in the box. And I have had some wrapped in a few sheets of newspaper and wonder how they can come so far and not get damaged. There is no way that I'm going to say that that has never happened! Nope, not going to say it! lol

Let us know what happens with Katie and with the PO also.

Mike - really? Shame on Fedex!

    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 7:18PM
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Mike - what a terrible way to rationalize compensation, WOW!! Good to know because that could be a HUGE loss for someone just like it was in your case - unbelievable they would operate that way.

Jen - As bad as they've looked before I don't really remember anything breaking but now I'll wonder every time I place an order! I don't know which post office (Hawaii? Texas? Somewhere in between?) or if all of them are damaging my packages - how do I know who to complain to / about or can I? And of course I have to ask...what did you get???!

Bill that's an excellent point - the broken one is from Matt and yes, only newspaper no bubble wrap. There was another plant in the box also that didn't get damaged. The triangle tube was from Kara (JL Hawaiin Sunset - yessss!!! Now THAT being broken would have probably made me physically ill!) but I can't remember if she used bubble wrap or not...good point though, a little bubble wrap never hurt anyone!!!

Mona - so far I haven't done anything with it except pot it up just like that. I've gone round and round on this in my head and I finally just thought, ya know, that would look a bit funky with a graft that high, I'd probably screw it up LOL! so, I'm going to leave it hinged there and see if it'll callus and maybe root at some point. I'll definitely let you all know what happens with that and also with the battle with the post office!

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 11:07AM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hi Emily!!!

The four tipped piece that broke off from my damaged " postal experience" rooted and is doing fine.. But the " pickle" nub didn't root and I ended up tossing it . The smallest " nub" I have ever seen root was one of Bills pictures. So it is possible.. I'll take another pic of my little four tipped top that was broken and post for you.

Mike.. What an awful experience..

Jen.. I also give my postman treats at Christmas, but it seems that they are damaged before they arrive at the house. I think they really play " kickball" with the packages when they are on break.. What a shame.

Please keep us posted with the progress of the tree, Emily.

Have a great day!!,


    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 10:53AM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hi Emily!!

I was outside and I saw this tree and I thought of you!!

Here is the pic I just took of the top of the "postal" injury I had last year. Both the four tipped nub rooted and the bottom is continuing to push three new branches. It is small, but it is alive.

This four tipper reminds me of a claw sticking up from the surface. Lol!!!

I was worried because the main stem was so short, but it worked!! It is just waking up from the winter...

Good luck to you and your little " nub..."



    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 5:56PM
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Laura, I can't believe you got that little one to root! What did you do to callus it?!

So far the tip looks good, still firm and seems to be callusing - the cut area stiffened quickly with drying sap & all, so another reason I didn't think I would be successful cleaning up the break to graft is because I think I would have pulled the top completely off trying.

Did you file a claim with the post office? Still no word, my claim status just says "pending". I'll keep you updated!

Thanks for the picture, very cool!!!

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 9:22AM
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No-Clue(So Cal Zone 9)

Oh my gosh Emily! That's heartbreaking! I hope the PO does the right thing but from my personal experience I have never win a case with them yet. And the claim process took MONTHS!! :(

Can you work something out with the seller? Good luck and keep us posted!


    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 12:06PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hi Emily,

No claim filed on this one.. The seller and I came to a mutual agreement , so we are fine.

I callas my normal way.. Dip the fresh cut in Roottone and keep it from the sun for 7-10 days. Then I potted it up in the dish you see... The rest is history. This will be the second summer. I'll probably up pot it this year. It only had about an inch of main stem to work with, so you can do it!!! ;-)

Good luck!!

This post was edited by loveplants2 on Thu, Mar 27, 14 at 0:34

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 12:08AM
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Lynn - thank you! They say your claim will be addressed within 30 days but I'm beginning to wonder...I've heard nothing of course. I can't really work anything out with the seller unfortunately...he could have padded it better but the post office REALLY beat this one up and I don't think more padding would have even helped they way it was snapped, so I didn't push it.

Priority mail comes with insurance but what good does insurance do if the post office is hell bent on making it impossible to get reimbursed? It's meaningless.

Laura, thank you, that's encouraging. The top part is not rotting so that must be a good sign, right?! Trying to let it plump up with moisture & get as mature as I can before cutting. The bottom part was showing a little wrinkling towards the bottom and what I think was bruising towards the top where the split is but it hasn't gotten any worse - I think it was kind of in shock maybe? I've been babying it and keeping it on the heating mat too! haha!

I'll keep you all posted!

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 10:52PM
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kt2fl(okla z7)

Sorry that happened to you Emily...I can't say my postal carrier mishandles my shipments but some of my multi-tip cuttings have arrived with broken tips before so I feel your frustration.

About the top portion of your plant, make sure it's well callused before you root it. You may have to bury the majority of that portion in soil when you root. I had to do that to one of my short cuttings.

This one used to be the longest in the dozen cuttings I received. Then it rotted while rooting and I had to severely trim it back up to almost the collar. I callused and buried most of what's left in soil and it still looked a bit wrinkle but it had rooted in a few months (winter rooting) :)

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 1:50PM
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kt2fl(okla z7)

...and this is what it looked like last summer...I had to put it in gritty mix when I saw new roots forming. Trust me it will help get the roots growing much faster and the plant will plump up nicely.

Hope this helps.


    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 1:53PM
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Kenny - OMG, I cannot believe you got that to root!!! What an amazing job you did! You and Laura really put your skills to work on those - it really gives me hope! WOW!

To get a good callus on that tip I thought it would have the best chance if the mother plant was still able to provide some moisture to it while callusing so it's still just hinged there! I wasn't sure if there was enough connected to do that but it must be getting something because it's not wrinkling at all.

I'll be sure to let you all know how it goes when I try to root it!

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 12:57PM
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MY CLAIM HAS BEEN APPROVED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I don't know what happens next - I didn't receive any notification, I just looked on the status and it says "Claim Approved"!

WOW! I can't believe they did the right thing, that's so refreshing and sadly, so unexpected! YAAAAAAAAYYYYY!!!

I guess I shouldn't get too excited until I get the check in the mail though, huh?! LOL!

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 1:03PM
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No-Clue(So Cal Zone 9)

Yeah!! That's awesome! Congrats Emily! :)

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 3:24PM
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mksmth zone 6b Tulsa Oklahoma(6b)

That is great emily!

Kenny. Awesome job rooting that one.


    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 4:26PM
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Andrew Scott

Hi Emily.
I am sorry that you had this experience but really happy your claim was approved. I have had this happen to myself many times but luckily I have only had bad damage a few times.
My biggest complaint is time. I had my most recent Florida Colors order take a week to arrive when it should have been here in two days!


    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 5:25PM
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Thanks you guys!!! The check was in the mail yesterday and I deposited it this morning! They didn't reimburse me for shipping costs, only the items but I'm surprised I got anything at all really!

I do find it funny that they think it's reasonable to still pay for their service when it failed and leaves you paying shipping for broken items! haha!

Andrew - that's another thing that gets me - either just sending it the "scenic route" or when you pay for 2 or 3 day shipping and it doesn't get there in that time. It's so strange they can charge for a service they don't have to fulfill.

I am truly grateful I got the item costs back though!

    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 9:41AM
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No-Clue(So Cal Zone 9)


I might be heading to the SD Cutting Sale tomorrow... I see that Katie Moragne is listed... would you like for me to grab you one? Let me know ASAP! I have to leave my house at 6am tomorrow to volunteer at the MS Walk. So I won't be able to check email until later when I head out to SD.


    Bookmark   April 4, 2014 at 11:25PM
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Lynn - So nice of you to offer!!! I realize I am late responding but I wanted to say a huge thank you for even thinking of me and for your super sweet offer.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2014 at 6:53PM
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No-Clue(So Cal Zone 9)


I was volunteering at the MS Walk today. Had to get up at 5:30am which was so hard to do! LOL. So by the time I was done and headed down to SD it was almost closing time! 2 Accidents so it took us almost 2.5 hours to make the 75 miles trek. The drive home was just as bad! :(

Needless to say all the good stuff were gone! Someone even scored JL Allison which wasn't even on the list!! Sigh... there were NO Katie M left. I'm going to go to the one in Anaheim tomorrow and see what I find there. This time I'm going to head over there early.

Anyway, I will let you know if I find one.


    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 2:26AM
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Emily, you have one ruff mail route. You'll have to let us know how your next box arrives. :) Peg

    Bookmark   April 23, 2014 at 10:42PM
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