I ordered three plants from this company last spring. I ordered from them because they offered some natives I could not get elsewhere. I never heard anything back from them once the order was placed (nor was I charged at the time). Frankly I thought the order had disappeared into some sort of internet black hole. So be it.
Imagine my surprise when I arrived home today August 17 to find the three plants. They look OK but not great. But I guess what counts is what happens once in the ground so I'll reserve judgement. I do which they had better communication.
Posted on April 5, 2012, updated April 22, 2012
Posted on July 22, 2011, updated April 5, 2012
Posted on July 15, 2011, updated July 22, 2011
Posted on June 11, 2011, updated July 15, 2011
I placed a big (for me) order in March (Ground Nut, Ostrich Fern, Wintergreen, Bear's Breeches, Wild Calla, Turk's-Cap Lily, and Giant Scouring Rush). It's now nearly mid June, and I still haven't received my plants. I really like the selection of odd and interesting plants at Tripple Brook (especially natives and perennial edibles), and I had a good enough experience when I ordered River Cane last fall, but I've been waiting a long time for my plants to arrive this time around with no indication from Tripple Brook about when they'll be shipped. I even emailed about a month ago to ask for a tentative shipping date but got no answer at all. I've emailed again today. If I don't get an answer (or my plants) soon, I'll switch this rating to "negative." We're on the verge of summer (and experiencing a fair amount of summer heat and dry already), and I haven't gotten my order or any word from the company yet. If the plants arrive now, I'll have to water and baby them far more than if they had arrived just a month ago. And if it takes another month for them to arrive, I'll really have to baby them through one of the most stressful times here in terms of heat and dry. I don't think I've ever placed a spring order with a company and had it arrive so late. We're just ten days away from the summer solstice.On July 15th, 2011, gsteinbe added the following:
Well, I got a reply to my email within days of sending it, but I still don't have my plants. I used to discount reviews of nurseries that complained about how long a nursery took to mail out orders. I figured that the people who posted those reviews were just too impatient or a little too persnickity about exactly when their order needed to arrive. I'm not one of those gardeners who have a strict timetable for planting that a late order from a nursery can throw into disarray. But when a person places an order in March, I don't think that it's asking too much to figure that that order will arrive at some point in the spring -- maybe as late as May or early June -- rather than in the heat of mid July or August. As I said before, I had a good experience with Tripple Brook Farm last fall, when I ordered River Cane. And I really, really want the plants that I ordered from them in March. I'm just hoping that I get them before the first hard freeze this winter. If I don't get them soon, I guess I'll have to change my rating for Tripple Brook to negative.On July 22nd, 2011, gsteinbe added the following:
I *finally* got my plants. Tripple Brook Farm sent me two of most of the plants that I ordered (and I only ordered one of each). While that seems very nice (and I do appreciate it), the plants themselves are a bit iffy. The Wild Calla (of which only one was sent) is basically a leafy stem with a few roots. The Groundnuts (of which there were two) look okay. But I'm concerned that most of the plants, while they look very green and healthy on top, have too little in terms of roots to survive -- especially given that they've arrived in July when the temperature here is now over 100 degrees. I'm a little confused. I ordered in early March. It's now nearing the end of July, and I receive plants that look like hastily rooted cuttings. If Tripple Brook couldn't fulfill my order properly, why didn't they just tell me? If they don't really have the plants, why do they offer them for sale on their website? I'll give them the benefit of the doubt for now (especially since they sent two of most of the plants). But if the plants die....
I was *so* excited about this order. I really wanted these plants. I'm going to be *so* disappointed if they die.On April 5th, 2012, gsteinbe changed the rating from neutral to negative and added the following:
Things are not looking good. Spring has come early here, and even Hostas are already leafing out. But of the plants that I got from Tripple Brook Farm, there is absolutely no sign of the Ground Nut, Ostrich Fern, Wintergreen, Wild Calla, or Turk's-Cap Lily. Only the Bear's Breeches and Giant Scouring Rush seem to be alive still, and only one of the two Bear's Breeches that they sent (even though I only ordered one) seems to have survived the winter.
I'm really disappointed, because I was *really* excited about getting these plants. Now I'm probably out the money, and I still don't have the plants. My impression is that Tripple Brook Farm lost my order, then rushed to fill it when I complained about how long they were taking. If this is actually what happened, I wish that they had just been honest and admitted that they screwed up. I'd have willingly waited until this spring to get my plants if the wait would've meant that I actually got strong, healthy plants that would actually live.On April 22nd, 2012, gsteinbe changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
In all fairness, I guess I have to change my rating to "neutral." The Ostrich Fern, Ground Nut, and Turk's-Cap Lily are now showing signs of life, although the Ground Nut and Turk's-Cap Lily are very weak and feeble. So out of my large order, the Wintergreen and Wild Calla have apparently failed completely. The Giant Scouring Rush, Bear's Breeches, Ground Nut, and Turk's-Cap Lily are weak but surviving. The Ostrich Fern alone looks hale and healthy. With the exception of the Ostrich Fern and the Giant Scouring Rush, all the things that survived only survived because Tripple Brook Farm sent two of them (even though I only ordered one of each), and one of the two has survived. Besides the Ostrich Fern, none of the items that were singles when they arrived has survived. That's not very good survival odds for Tripple Brook Farm's plants.
I also tried to send an email to Tripple Brook Farm through Dave's Garden to complain about the attrition rate in this order, but I never heard back from them. I don't know if they just ignored me or if they don't pick up their emails from Dave's Garden regularly. I'd leave my rating "negative," but I believe in giving people the benefit of the doubt. But I really am giving quite a lot here. I don't really see myself ever ordering from Tripple Brook Farm again, and I wouldn't recommend them to anyone else. It's a shame, because they've got lots of wonderful plants that are hard to find elsewhere and that I'd really like to have.
I like the sturdy little native shrubs that just arrived from Triplebrook Farms - viburnum acerifolium. I appreciate the knowledgeable way that Triple Brook Farms packaged them. Even my non-gardening family remarked about their strong appearance.
I have scattered them in the understory of my huge elm tree for interest and a bit of woodsy privacy from the neighbor's fishing boat storage and shed. In Minnesota, I'm at the edge of viburnum acerifolium's native range so I hope they like it here. They met my specs: deer don't favor them, they will form open colonies in the dry shade beneath large deciduous trees, and they tolerate some clay and pH as high as 7.5. I have, however, started to lower the pH around them by adding soil sulfur as I plant and continuing to mulch them with pine needles and cotton seed meal (overdressed with a touch of nitrogen). The elm tree is fine with more acid than I have so no harm done.
It will be fun to see the viburnum acerifolium come along. I’m also eager for the spring azure butterflies to find them (viburnum acerifolium is a larval food for them).
I ordered the small size (8-12") Pawpaw seedling. It arrived that size but with the stem corkscrewed and with loose soil in a 4 1/2" pot. It was obviously pulled out of the ground and not grown in that pot. Bare root marketed as a potted plant is fraud in my opinion. I will be surprised if it lives. On June 9th, 2009, doctrtim changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
Email to customer service yielded a rapid (two days) replacement seedling in better condition than the first.
Ordered an Issai kiwi eary May, arrived in about a week and a half. Its a potted plant about a foot tall. Appears very healthy even after the cross-country trip and it looks like they already did some pruning for me. My only concern was that they say they will email you a shipping time estimate but sometimes don't if they get busy. I ordered, waited a few days, and didnt get one so i sent an email. Didnt get a response, sent another one a few days later. Didnt get a response again but i got the plant the next day, and as I said shipping was fairly fast. So if you need to contact them you might be better off just calling. I was happy with the purchase though and would buy again.
willow659 Tullahoma United States (1 review) December 14, 2008
I ordered 3 kiwi plants. A male, a female anna, and an issai. They arrived quickly and in great condition with labels - though the issai was replaced with a different variety due to the issai being too small to ship. I had checked off on the order form that they could substitute (wrongly thinking that that meant sizes)When I called they were sweet and let me know that I could go ahead and plant outside.
Loligo Murphysboro, IL (Zone 6b) (6 reviews) June 30, 2008
A positive experience, with one caveat: they really need to be more upfront about their potential for late shipping. I'd like to see big flashing letters on their homepage saying "YOU MIGHT NOT GET YOUR ORDER TILL JULY, and we won't notify you of your ship date ahead of time."
Had I known I was going to have to be establishing these plants during the hot, dry part of the summer, I wouldn't have ordered plants intended for the far-flung corners of my property. As it is, I think I'll plant these guys close to the house this year so I can keep them watered, then transplant them out there in a year or two.
Other than that, though, the plants are a decent size and arrived in good shape, and Tripple Brook offers some things that you just won't find anywhere else.
(I wonder, if I call them during the winter, might they be able to estimate which plants will be ready to ship earlier in the year and which ones will cause delays? That would make me much more enthusiastic about ordering from them again -- I just don't like uncertainty!)On July 1st, 2008, Loligo added the following:
I almost forgot to mention that they included a couple of free plants! I saw the extra fern when I unpacked the shipment, but didn't notice the extra clump of cattails until I unwrapped them for planting.
I ordered a number of edible landscape plants here that I couldn't find any where else. Hardy Kiwi, blueberry, Jerusalem artichoke, groundnut.
I ordered in the fall, and the items were delivered in the spring. The order was delayed a bit due to the kiwis not being quite ready, and they wanted to ship everything together. They couldn't have been nicer about it, though, and we chatted on the phone for a long time. Nice people, good quality plants ! Will definitely shop there again.
I ordered three Kiwi vines of a particular type from Tripple Brook Farm. They were the only vendor I could find who had them available. I was very pleased with the health of the plants I received, they were in better condition than a lot of the plants at my local nurseries! I would buy again from this company.
ScbNymph Clifton Park, NY (Zone 5a) (7 reviews) December 10, 2005
We took a day-trip out to the Farm mid-season after it was recommended to me via one of the garden related forums. We spent a good number of hours being shown around the property and given detailed explanations about the plants and their habits / needs. Steve (if I remember his name correctly) is EXTREMELY knowledgable and is more than happy to share his passion with others. I came away with just four plants (but a HUGE "wish list" for next year!), three Clethera & a Highbush Cranberry. All have faired very well and I have high hopes for visible above ground growth come the spring
I can certainly understand some peoples frustration with the mail order side of the business having visited the farm. People wise it is a very small operation on a vast amount of land, it must be a HUGE amount of work. If you are close enough to visit the farm I HIGHLY recommend the trip, you will definitely feel rewarded
Since the farm is so close to our weekend house I probably won't use the mail order option, but I will be making the trip back out there in the mid-spring to fill my ever expanding "wish list"!
I just left tripple brook farm in mass 2 days ago for my trip back to TN . I am totaly happy with the 12 bamboo plants i got. They should me how they dig them up and i volentered to help for thats how one learns IMHO they went way over and above to please me and did..They gave me a few things they could as most places charge for plus alot of great tips on bamboo and other plants and there years of knowledge that i know . I am very impressed.. They even help pack my plants in a over packed SUV for my trip home.They supplied me survice you seldom if ever find these days.They have my bussiness from now on..I did bring up a few points i read about in this group and i understand there view as plants and mother nature don't always work with a plant order....
steve the owner and his helper john are great..few if any carry the rare plants or real cold hardy temperate bamboo along with great prices or service
I wish I could give a positive rating, if only because the woman I talked to was so nice everytime I called. But I placed an order for two bamboos in January, and the first time I called (April) they said one of them wasn't ready to ship yet, and they couldn't tell me when it would be. The second time (early May) I was told that they were holding the order because they weren't sure if they had enough of it to ship, and they still couldn't tell me when (if?) it might be shipped. Finally (late May) I was told that they didn't have any left, but that they would have it sometime later this year. She did offer to substitute another bamboo, but I really wanted the one I had ordered and it's not like I had placed my order at the last minute! (I note that this particular bamboo is still being listed in their online catalog.) After 4 months I finally got frustrated and cancelled my order.
jmhewitt Hampstead, NC (Zone 8a) (6 reviews) May 28, 2004
ordered 2 single flower kerria japonica plants on May 19th.
card was charged on May 25th and plants shipped that day.
arrived via UPS Ground on May 28th. plants were in good shape and looked healthy. they were well packed in plastic wrapped pots and newspaper.
will plant them this weekend, and will report if they don't grow well!!
Michael in Hampstead, NC
Ewald Limerick, PA (Zone 6b) (15 reviews) January 21, 2004
I ordered 7 rare native plant varieties on 10/14/1993. I followed up by email on 11/17 and requested to buy an 8th rare native. Ruth McCormick responded that day by email that the full order would be shipped that week. Plants were invoiced on 11/19 and I received them on 11/20. I ordered and was charged for 15 individual plants, and received 4 extra free plants of various varieties I had ordered. I just added these to my Dave's Garden journal, so I thought it was about time I posted this.
BruMeta Livingston Manor, NY (14 reviews) January 17, 2004
I received two plants of Muhlenbergia capillaris from Tripple Brook—the only source I could find for this grass—in early April, 2003. The plants arrived as scheduled, well packed and dormant (or so I thought; M. c. is a warm season grower). With no change in their condition, I contacted Tripple Brook within 10 days of planting them and explained why I hadn’t called right away (presumed dormancy). About a week later, two new plants of M. c. arrived, with fresh green growth. They have done very well. I’m happy. Tripple Brook is a good resource for other hard-to-find plants, too.
I ordered some Indian Pink plants from them in the summer of 2002 because I couldn't find them in stock anywhere else. They were expensive and shipping was not immediate; however, they did explain this on the front end. When they arrived, an extra plant was included in the well-packed box. The plants are doing fine and are flowering right now. Beautiful blossoms. I will order from them again. Their catalog is a favorite to read.
I ordered my plants on March 23. My credit card was charged on April 9. I received my plants on May 6.
There are good things and bad things that I can say about my experience.
The plants that I ordered were very hard to find any place else. They were shipped via UPS and arrived alive. They were larger than I had expected them to be. The plants were shipped in burlap and were healthy.
My credit card was charged a full month before my plants were even shipped. I had to call twice to check the status of my order. The roots are not very well formed yet, as these are rooted cuttings.
I think if you can not find what you are looking for from another company and you are NOT in a hurry to receive your plants then this could be the place for you. But, if you are anxious to get digging then you might want to shop around.
bigfatslob Milwaukee, WI (4 reviews) February 14, 2003
Tripple Brook shipped my plants in July, which being the hottest month of the year is not so good for transplanting. (Their catalog mentions that they ship "later" than other companies but I certainly wasn't expecting things THAT late.)
Also the wintergreen plants were flowering on arrival, it is my understanding that it is extremely hard on a plant to be transplanted while in bloom!
Since I was unemployed when the plants arrived, I was able to devote the next month to keeping them from dying. Now that I am back to work, I would not consider ordering from Tripple Brook again since I won't have time to spend all day every day preventing the plants from becoming too hot or dry in July and August.
isabella Taunton, MA (8 reviews) September 4, 2002
I ordered three witchhazel plants, which arrived just recently. They were shipped very well via UPS. The plants are a decent size, and hopefully they are aclimating to their new garden. This nursery was the only source of witchazel that I could find, and their catalog does have a lot of interesting New England native plants. I have used the plant drawings and descriptions to identify some of my local (SE MAss) native plants.
The catalog is a joy to read; very informative, with many items I haven't seen anywhere else. But the service was questionable.
I ordered in...May I think. When items didn't show up right away, I assumed I'd just ordered them too late for this season. But the items showed up mid-July (in Wisconsin, as elsewhere, this is a bad time to plant).
The hardy arctic kiwis and maypop came in peat pots inside plastic pots inside plastic bags and looked green and healthy. The wintergreen was just a section (about the size of an open hand) dug up an dropped into a plastic bag; it was a bit brown. Some newspaper and a decent-sized box.
The kiwis seem to be coming along nicely. The maypop is not, but I think something's eating it so I won't blame the company. The wintergreen is still alive.
I have yet to call/write Tripplebrook to see what they have to say. I might order from them again, but I'll probably call and check on delivery, and be after them as soon as things seem late.
I work at a large native plant garden and we depend on this nursery for many native plants. They often carry things we can't find elsewhere and they are always healthy and well-grown plants. They are very knowledgeable and helpful. With some nurseries you can just feel the love. This is one of those.
Nell495 Manassas, VA (Zone 6b) (6 reviews) December 1, 2000
I think you should consider adding this native (and non-native) plant supplier. They offer lots of mosses, and other plants which I've never seen anywhere else. I ordered a pomegranate for my son for Christmas and they shipped it in December. Come spring it leafed out in perfect health, even though it was in a container. They are organic which is nice. Surprisingly, they do not charge more than non-organic sources.