I would just like to state I am Phillip Pense with Pense Nursery, Inc. It has been the most difficult year I have ever had to endure. I lost my wife of 28 years in October 2009. My family and I are still trying to pick up the pieces, and go on. Three sons, of which the youngest is in Kindergarten, are struggling. Next year will be a better year, please forgive Us for a less than perfect year. Our minds wanted to do the best, but our Hearts were somewhere else. Somewhere in time we all must face this hardship, I am thankful for the great support of family and friends without them I would not exist. Thanks to all for the compassion and understanding because I now wait for the great hope that is to come.
Pense Nursery, Inc.
This is the third time I have placed an order with Pense Nursery. As in the past, the communication this time was great, and the plants arrived in great condition. I ordered a bunch of primocane blackberry plants and a bunch of black raspberry plants. Pense allowed me to move my shipping date around to work with the crazy weather we had early this spring in Michigan. Pense provided plenty of advice during and after I placed my order. The blackberry plants were heavy duty bare root plants and very moist. The black raspberry plants were smaller than I was expecting, however, my last visit to the patch indicated that 110+ out of 110+ (from my count, I received some extras) have all leafed out. I have had excellent success with all of my orders from Pense Nursery. From blackberry root cuttings to blackberry to black raspberry plants, all are growing well. So far, I have not encountered any disease or die off from any of the plants that I have received from this nursery. Highly recommend Pense Nursery to gardeners of all experience levels.
Pense nursery delivered my order as requested. As a family-run business, one cannot expect the customer service/database/email/phone systems as with a large-scale grower. The higher volumes for a large-scale grower allow for a setup with computer data bases where specific operators can key into the system to pull up a customer file within minutes. As a small-scale operation, if the business were to respond to say 10 customer requests and each were to take 10 minutes, well, do the math... Almost 2 hours of lost productivity....
So one needs to realize customer service may not be a strength, especially during the shipping season.
An earlier comment in Dave's garden watchdog alluded to this.
As for my order, as in the past, the root systems for all plants were extensive. I had one each of about eight raspberry/blackberry/currant varieties.
As compared to other bare root plants, the ones from Pense nursery far exceed the competitors' root systems.
I usually get pretty good success with strong root systems.
Timing is everything in getting these started off which is why the growers such as Pense nursery often have suggestions for shipping dates for a customer's particular region.
That being said, if someone from Cleveland ordered their shipment date last week, well, with all that snow...... May have been off a bit in planting....
We can't control mother nature, nor blame growers for being a bit off in timing....
Overall, Pense nursery has excellent bare root plants with extensive root systems at a very fair price.
I started dealing with Pense nursery several years ago. I have ordered three times since then. Their products have always been excellent. I ordered more blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and grapes this year and am not disappointed. Sometimes it is difficult to talk to them, but they are family owned and some sacrifices have to be made when dealing with personal service. When I do get through they answer all questions and go out of their way to find what I am looking for. Great people, great service, great products. Have and would recommend them to anyone.
I have ordered from Pense for the past three years. I have ordered apple trees, blueberry, blackberry, raspberry, fig, grapes and kiwi. ( I think that is all ) Yes I am a bit of a fruit tree and vine addict. Everything I have ever ordered has arrived in great shape a the plants are y healthy. I have been pleased the the size also. I used to buy local and have ordered from other nurseries but Pense has been my 'go to' place for the past three years. Phillip Pense will n take the time on the phone with you if you have questions. I love this nursery! I can not recommend them highly enough!
Kookacrow Saint Augustine, FL (1 review) February 22, 2016
I made an account here mostly to give Pense a great review. I've ordered blackberry plants from several different companies and none of them even compared to the bareroot plants I received from Pense. The roots were huge and the size of the stems looked awesome on the blackberries, the raspberries were small though. Can't wait to see in action. The natchez produces great for our area, I had great crops over the last two years. I ordered 20 natchez, 10 freedom,10 tayberry, and 2 black raspberry.They shipped one week after I placed the order. I recommend for blackberries.
my order arrived most of the plants looked good but three were dead i tried to email them but i could not get thru i tried calling them but i could not get thru one anne raspberry dead one oregon gooseberry dead one pixwell gooseberry dead i will not order from this poor communciater again and now i have tofind someone else to order these plants from
I placed and order on March 21, 2015, requesting a shipping date of April 6, 2015. Their website allows customers to request a shipping date. I paid for the order with a VISA gift card purchased at Walmart, and noted in my order that this is what I did. Almost immediately, the order showed up as "processing" in my account at their website. Now, six weeks later, it is still "processing." I emailed the nursery using the email address provided at the website to ask for an explanation for the delay. So far, no explanation, no reply, no order, no nothing. I have not checked the card to see if it has been docked the cost of the order. If it has, I'll be back.
Posted on February 23, 2014, updated March 16, 2015
After looking all over the Web for a source for blackberries, I found the Pense Berry Farm. They had a huge selection, unlike most others. And, the prices were reasonable and included free shipping. I ordered a total of 12 blackberry plants of three varieties. I also ordered 2 blueberry plants.
All arrived in great condition (in spite of UPS losing track of them) and are now planted. All are beginning to sprout and look to be very vigorous. More so than some others from a local nursery that were twice the price, just because they were in pots.
If I need any more plants or trees for my backyard landscaping, I\'ll buy them from the Pense family nursery.
Leeds, ALOn March 16th, 2015, leemcvey added the following:
On March 5, I went looking for Rubus 'Prime Ark', the newly developed primacane and floricane-fruiting blackberry.
Pense Berry Farm had some for a very reasonable price. I ordered four of them and three Premier blueberry plants. And, I asked that they delay shipping until we got back home on March 10.
The plants arrived two days later by UPS and were well packaged and in great condition. Since the order was above $30, the UPS ground shipping was free.
All are planted and doing well.
If I need any more berries or any other items that they offer, I'll be back. They don't hold your order up and delay sending items like a lot of other mail order companies seem to.
I ordered Elderberries 2-York, 1 John, 1-Nova, 1-Adams as well as a Vanessa grape. The plants arrived on time and were planted that same day.
Of the five Elderberries only two put up shoots. The grape is doing the best of all. The other Elderberries still aren't showing signs of life.
I tried emailing the company more than a month ago with out receiving a response, then I tried contacting them though Dave's Garden, the company has not seen fit to respond.
That was my first and will be my last dealing with Pense.
NAndover31 North Andover, MA (3 reviews) April 26, 2014
I ordered 5 raspberries and 2 blueberries. Everything I ordered arrived alive and healthy. Raspberry canes had widths of 3/8" - 1/2" with good healthy root systems; no runts or cuttings with a few roots attached. Blueberries look great with good leaf growth, not dormant plants or twigs with small buds.
This was my first order with Pense Nursery and based on the products delivered, I recommend them and most likely purchase from them again.
Two years ago I purchased 4 varieties of blackberry plants totaling 400 plants. Two varieties were short of the hundred count, I notified Pense's nursery by e-mail and within days received the missing plants plus. They were all vigorous plants with good root systems.
When planted they took root immediately and grew well.
I was so pleased that I ordered 100 root cuttings around January the next year. I potted them and they almost all thrived and created nice plants. Due to the very wet weather in poorly draining soil, about 50 plants were drowned this year. The balance are huge heavily bearing bushes this summer. I was not thrilled with the triple crown
growth habit but had nothing to do with the plants.
I am so well pleased that I will be ordering 200 more root cuttings this fall to try out other varieties in my area.
I ordered 12 Reveille red raspberry plants in February 2011 from the owner, Philip, who explained that he prefers to ship in early April, because waiting much longer brings warm temperatures to Arkansas, and the dormant plants will unfortunately start growing too soon. Philip shipped them April 4th as promised and I received them in Iowa April 7th. They were beautiful. I planted them immediately and covered them when there was threat of light frost. They bore sweet fruit twice this year. I plan to order additional plants from him in February 2012, as I am very pleased with his product and service.
I found them on line a couple of weeks ago and looked at both the price and the variety of plants.
I phoned but did not get a call back, but since this is a busy shipping time I thought, "oh, well I will take a chance and mail with their snail mail option."
I sent a list and a check. and days later I received the finest quality plants that I have recieved all year.I ordered a dozen of 6-7 varieties of berry plants, and 3 each of the elderberry john, and adams.
The black berry and raspberry are strong plants with huge root systems, bursting to send out shoots. the elderberry was a stalk far larger than my thumb, huge root system, and vigorous shoots.
I ended up with 66 fab plants for $177.
You just can not beat that.
skyfarms Independence, KS (5 reviews) April 15, 2011
Great plants for a great price. Quick delivery. I'll buy from them again!
I have ordered Blackberrries twice from this company. A couple of years ago I called and placed an order late in the season. Mr. Pense told me what he had left, we agreed, and he shipped me what he promised very promptly. Plant were good and lived great until I over sprayed with weed control a year later.
So I ordered again this year, early in the season. Left a message on his phone saying I wanted to place an order. He called me back and took my order.
Shipped when he said he would.
100 Plants arrived in excellent condition.
Plants had a tremendous root system and most had half inch stems. There was no just sticking these plants in the ground. Because of their large root system I had to Work when I planted them. I should have asked him to come from ARK to NC and help me plant them!
If you are reluctant to order from Mr Pense, you are missing good honest service, excellent plants and a very reasonable price!
I called Pense Nursery to order on a Friday at noon, left a message, and got a callback about 7pm that day. I ordered some blackberry plants that Friday PM, Mr. Pense said they would be shipped Monday, and likely received on Wednesday.
Wednesday afternoon the Fedex Ground van delivered them, in great shape. The plants matched my order, with a couple of extras. The plants had better root development than I expected. I'm very pleased with Pense Nursery!
I ordered 20 blackberry plants in February, 2010. The order was received in less than a week. All the plants were in good shape and lived.
I ordered 25 more blackberry plants in February, 2011. The plants were received in less than a week and again they appear to be in good shape.
thearwood3 Harrison, AR (1 review) February 28, 2011
I ordered 100 mars and 100 reliance grape vines and they got here on time and were in great shape. I still need 30 blueberry plants to complete my you pick and I will be ordering from Pense.
Posted on February 14, 2011, updated February 16, 2011
Posted on February 11, 2011, updated February 14, 2011
Posted on February 11, 2011, updated February 11, 2011
Yes...positive. I am fixing to place my order with them. Last week I emailed Philip Pense inquiring to the availability and pricing of three varieties of blackberry plants I am going to order. I received a PROMPT reply back from him that very same day and will place my order soon.
GIVE THE GUY A BREAK.....His wife passed away in June 2009 and then he lost a son in June 2010.... His life cannot be the same after such a terrible loss of loved ones. Prayers for his family.
~~~~~~~~~On February 11th, 2011, adc03 added the following:
Sorry, I incorrectly said June as the month of his wife's passing.....
Correct month is October 2009.........On February 14th, 2011, adc03 added the following:
Positive...so far :)
This morning I called Pense Nursery and Philip Pense answered the phone promptly. I told him the varieties of blackberry plants I wanted to order and he confirmed that they were in stock and he would try to ship this afternoon by FedEx. I was asked to included my email address with my order. Within an hour after faxing my order to them, I soon received an email order confirmation.
I will post a further update upon receipt of my order with respect to how quickly I receive my order and the condition of the plants I receive........On February 16th, 2011, adc03 added the following:
Well, my order shipped out the day I placed it and arrived today by FedEx, less than three days after order was placed with Pense Nursery....nice, quick service.
I am well pleased........Not only did I received the plants I ordered, but four additional Blackberry plants were also included :) , which was an unexpected surprised for me. Plants were bare rooted, and all appreared to be in good condition. They are all happy in the ground now at their new home here in Texas enjoying our 75+ degree weather.
I called them before lunch, he called back just after lunch, we discussed the plant varieties and which would do best in my climate, agreed on 2, he made me an assortment of 2/3-1/3 , best and next best, this was on Wednesday, he said he would dig them on the weekend and ship Monday, Monday morning I stared working on a bed, at 11, the plants showed up. I was not ready!
Very nice plants, best bare root small fruit plants I have received, big roots, many hair roots and nice tops.
All very satisfying, just start getting the bed ready before you order!
I happened across this and felt the need to add something. I am in no way affiliated with Pense Nursery but I am from the area. What you do not know is that not only did Mr. Pense lose him wife he also lost one of his sons this past year. From what I know of their business I think he will be in a lot better shape in the future. Losing a wife and son is a load to bear and unfortuneately his business has probably suffered during this last year because of his tragedy. I would give him another chance and see how he does in the future.
Has anyone bought ochit blackberry plants from pense nusery in last 2 years i set out 1250 plants from pense 2 years ago and at least 800 plants bloomed but did not bear a thing, the state of north carolina is searching the d&a of my plants and we were wondering if anyone else has had trouble with them i think the plants have a virus but until the agricutural people at nc state say so we don't know, if anyone has had trouble let me know
cramsey1 Salt Lake City, UT (Zone 6b) (24 reviews) May 1, 2010
Posted on April 24, 2010, updated May 1, 2010
I am not sure of the quality of the plants from Pense Nursery since I have still not received my order. I placed my order for couple of different raspberry varieties back in Feb 2010 and asked that they be shipped out by April 15th so that they could be planted before it got to hot in my area. When I placed my order I had to call several times to get to a live person and ensure that I did not leave my credit card information on an unknown voice mail. Prior to speaking with Mr. Pense, I had left 3 other voice messages the previous month and had not received a call back. I was a little concerned, but I had read on Dave’s that the overall rating of the company was very good with only a few complaints. I placed my order as outlined above and my credit card was charged immediately for the full price of the plants plus shipping. I waited patiently for some sort of confirmation notice via email, USPS or phone that things were ok. I did not hear from them. Anytime I have wanted to know information about the progress of my purchase or when it would be shipped, I had to make out reach phone calls to them or send them emails. Notice that I said “PHONE CALLS” and “E-MAILS” this is because I have sent many of both. I only get answers if I am able to speak to a live person which is difficult at best. I do not know why they have an answering machine or an e-mail address because I have never received a call back from my phone messages or an email answer to my inquires. The lack of communication from this vendor is the worst of any company I have ever experienced, period. My last live conversation with someone at the nursery was the week of April 9th and that was after making 5 out reach calls. I was calling to ensure the my plants were going to ship on time so that I would be available when they arrived to plant them immediately. At that time I was told that Mr. Pense was very busy getting out his orders because it had become very warm there and he was trying to get everything out as quickly as possible. I was assured that my plants would go out the week of April 15th or the week after that at the latest. It is now April 24th. The week after the time they said my plants would be shipped out. I still have not heard any information from them regarding the shipment or why it might have been delayed. I am very frustrated with the apparent poor communication, poor customer service, lack of responsiveness, inability to keep commitments and general disregard for common courtesy. I may change my negative comments to neutral if I get my plants soon or at least hear from them, but I doubt that I will ever do business with them again. It is just not worth the aggravation. On May 1st, 2010, cramsey1 changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
I was saddened to hear of Mr. Pense's loss. I do understand how devastating such a loss can be on a family. I realize that this might be one of the reasons for his very poor communication with customers. However, it does not excuse the lack of common courtesy in returning calls or emails requesting information about delivery of items and services that have been paid for. I placed my order with Mr. Pense in January of 2010. If he had told me at that time of his loss and that it might effect his ability to communicate and provide the plants in a timely fashion, I could have made an informed decision on whether to proceed with the transaction. However, I was not given that option, and was lead to believe that business was normal and that items would go out as stated. I had asked that my plants be shipped by 04/15/10. When nothing arrived by April 21, I started to place calls the company, but no one answered the phone and the voicemail box was full. I proceeded to send emails and place numerous calls at various times throughout the day in an attempt to contact a live person, but I got no reply. After daily phone attempts and several emails, I a sent final email stating that the order would be cancelled if I did not hear from someone by 04/30/10 and that I would pursue a charge back from my credit card company and contact the Better Business Bureau to file a complaint. On the morning of April 30, when I still had not received a confirmation or acknowledgement of my numerous attempts to contact Mr. Pense, I wrote and sent a letter of complaint to the Arkansas Better Business Bureau and filed the dispute with my credit card company. That afternoon my plants arrived via UPS. They were large well packed, excellent quality and very healthy. However, I now need to get back to my Bank and reverse the charge back and also follow up with the BBB to remove the complaint. All this could have been avoided if Mr. Pense had taken 30 seconds to answer an email or at least sent a tracking notification for the UPS shipment. It would have helped to reduce my frustration and that of other customers. One of the sad things about this whole situation is that I will not do business with this company again due to the poor customer service nor can I recommend them to others. The prices were good, the quality of the plants I received were excellent and they were packaged well. I wish Mr. Pense well and hope that he and his son’s quickly heal from their loss. I just hope it happens before the poor customer service kills his business.
I am sorry to hear of Mr. Pense's loss, but I would not take a chance on doing business with him. I ordered 50 raspberry plants in March. The ship date was April 12. When nothing arrived by April 20, I called, but no one answered the phone, and the voicemail box was full. I proceeded to email and fax them, but I got no reply. Finally, I sent a fax stating that the order would be cancelled if they could not confirm that the order would be sent by April 26. I got no reply, so on April 26, I cancelled the order (by fax, phone message and email), and I told them I was placing an order with another nursery. I never did get to speak to anyone at Pense. Then today (April 30), my order arrived! It had been shipped the day AFTER I cancelled the order and AFTER I told them I was ordering from another nursery. Now I have twice as many plants as I can use, and I am going to have to fight to get my money back. All this could have been avoided if Mr. Pense had taken 30 seconds to answer an email.
It took a week of calling before someone answered the phone. I left voice mails to return my call but they were ignored. After I was able to make contact and place my order my credit card was charged. However, it took a month to receive my order. I called almost every day and left a voice mail requesting the status on my order - again, no return call. When I did receive my order, it was incomplete. I have called and called and left voice mails asking if my credit card will be credited or if the remainder of my order will be shipped. Again, no return call. The vines that I received were good especially when considering the price. However, these people do not understand customer service. I will take my business elsewhere in the future. I would rather pay a few dollars more and have someone return my calls and not rip me off.
Posted on April 19, 2010, updated April 19, 2010
In Feb 2010 I ordered 100 bundles of elderberries, currants & grapes. The owner was very nice on the phone & very helpful & kept repeating how his stock is extra large because he is so far south & has a longer growing season. I paid 1/3 down & then end of March I sent the remainder of the order. When I received the packages (very poorly boxed & completely beat up by the UPS delivery) I was shocked to discover that there were 0 currants in the order & that he had over-sold his stock, shorted me 100s of plants & is now sitting on $800 of my money that I need in order to try to find the plants somewhere else. What I don't understand is that I sent the balance of my payment 3 weeks ago & he cashed my check knowing full well he couldn't cover my order. DESPICABLE business practices especially when he gained my trust & confidence with several phone calls, & didn't have the courtesy to call me on the phone before he sent out the order to let me know what was up.
The plants that arrived were a good size but I must say that the elderberry rhizomes were completely mangled, a lot of times broken in small pieces. These will of course still root & produce plants but the crowns would be a whole lot more sturdy if all the rhizome was connected to the plant.
Moral of the story is you get what yr pay, if you're lucky. I would recommend anyone proceed with extreme caution with this nursery.On April 19th, 2010, beyondista added the following:
Last sentence should read:
"Moral of the story is you get what you pay for, if you're lucky. I would recommend anyone proceed with extreme caution with this nursery.
I placed an order for $500 worth of plants with Pense for Spring 2010 planting for my farm in Western Pennsylvania. I neglected to specify a shipping date on the order form. The plants were sent to me on January 11. No one from Pense had contacted me to ask for a shipping date. The explanation for the early delivery was that 'they thought I was a greenhouse grower'. There is no basis for that assumption; I would have expected a simple phone call to confirm a shipping date before sending plants to Pa. when the ground was still frozen solid. Mr. Pense did call me back and promised to issue a UPS pickup to return the plants and said that Pense would re-send the order in April. He did not keep this promise and did not return subsequent emails and phone calls from me over the next two months. To make matters worse, the plants were inferior to plants that I have purchased from two other nurseries. To be more specific, the blackberry plant roots were truncated. Plants I have purchased from two other nurseries were delivered with full root systems intact. Based on my experiences I would not recommend using this nursery.
The first year I planted Blackberrys I bought stock from five different local nurseries, 60% lived. The next year I bought several hundred from Pense.
I was shocked at the difference!
This was my fourth year to buy from Pense.
The root system on 99% of the stock they have sent me over the years is by far the best I have ever seen.
Of the one hundred root stock plants I bought this year, one hundred and three lived and are doing great. Several are even blooming.
My orders have always been delivered exactly when I specified and have always been moist and healthy.
I agree, it is flustrating trying to get in touch with them, but the quality of the plants is definitly worth the flustration.
Posted on October 09, 2009, updated November 14, 2009
All I can say is wow ! Just received my first order of nine - 3 yr old blueberry plants . I ordered three each of BlueCrop , Collins & Patriot . The smallest plant had a 21" top and they were all very healthy & well packaged. Spend the extra 35 cents and go with the 3 yr old plants.
Mr. Pense also let me combine another order with my original order and didn't charge me extra shipping. He also returned any e-mails within 24 hours. Sort of nice that the owner reurns your e-mails and not someone from another country.
This has been the best experience I've had with a mail order nursery and without a doubt will order from again. Just can't wait to get my second shipment!!On November 15th, 2009, SoutheastIndy added the following:
Received the second shipment of blueberry & blackberry plants this week. The packaging is awesome. The Blue Crop plants were very nice. The Blue Ray plants were very healthy and nice looking but the smallest out of all the blueberry plants I've ordered through them. The Apache Blackberry plants were very nicely rooted and they even threw in an extra. Great place to get plants from and will buy from again.
dekalb06 De Kalb, TX (6 reviews) February 18, 2008
I made my first order to this company in January, just over the $30 minimum, to see what they were like. Mailed the check on January 11, asked them to ship ASAP, and got the plants (3 kinds of blackberries) about a week and a half later.
Low prices, really fast service, excellent large plants, well-packed. And they threw in two extras no charge.
I do wish that they sold their raspberries in smaller lots than 12 (blackberries have a 5-plant minimum). I'd buy a half dozen raspberry varieties from them, if they had 3-packs like other places.
eplutko Baudette, MN (3 reviews) December 31, 2007
Order raspberries twice from Pense Nursery. Plants were much bigger than I expected with great roots. Received them when I requested. Ordered more raspberries by phone today. Pense was very pleasant and personable.
I purchased blueberry bushes, blackberry plants and raspberry plants; over 400 plants in all from Pense nurseries. All plants arrived in excellent shape and every single one lived and leaved out. The only plants that did not live were the ones my dog pulled up. Mr Pense was really nice to deal with and called me personally. He actually sent extra plants in case some of them did not live. His plants and business is first rate and you need to look no further for a fine person to do business with, when I need other plants this is where I will do business,his plants are quality and prices are reasonable, meldreth
I'm new to Dave's Garden but I'm not new to Pense. In 2001 I lived on a bluff in S. Illinois. I had tried to grow berries from another supplier with no luck. At that point I looked for a berrry specialist on the internet. I ordered thornless blackberry plants and the BackYard Berry Book from Pense. The plants arrived in great shape. With the help of the berry book and the strong stock from Pense, the blackberries grew like crazy. In two years we had some plants with 12' canes and had more blackberrries than I thought was possible in the clay soil of the bluff. The blackberries took over certain parts of the property and my children delighted in eating them fresh off the cane. I highly reccommend Pense.
I ordered various thornless blackberry cuttings/plants from this company. They arrived promptly in great condition and they even included some extra ones in the order (which made me dig more holes....sweat sweat) Great prices. Over all a nice experience.
Very positive. I have done business with them in the past and ordered again. I called and left a message. They called me back on saturday. I ordered and received my plants on wed. 5 day. plants were great. 4 extra bundles of 25 had 26 in them. roots were great, moist. everything i've done with them has been good.
I called in an order for 25 Caroline raspberries and 25 Apache blackberries. We agreed on a ship date of March 6th, weather permitting. The plants were shipped on March 6th and I received them two days later on the 8th. They were packaged real well. They looked healthy and most of them had good root systems. They were in the ground less than an hour and a half later. I had previously bought raspberries and blackberries from 2 other sources but they didn't compare to these. The price and shipping was very reasonable. If I am in need of anymore plants I will definately order from Pense again.On April 14th, 2006, Bill_S added the following:
Just about every plant has started growing leaves now. There are a couple that do not have any yet but they will probably grow. Its still kind of early. Close to 100% living. Not bad for 50 plants. Definately satisfied.
plants arrived one week after ordering, four days after they shipped, ordered grape vines, brambles and elderberries, all in fine shape and good size, great prices, and extra plants they give you, more than makes up for the cost of shipping, I would highly reccommend this company.