I bought a Pinus Oculus Draconis 2 years ago. I am an experienced gardener, but wasn't familiar with this cultivar.
All I was told by the nurseryman was the tree is sensitive to wind, so I had it planted accordingly. There were concerns immediately afterwards as to it's appearance, and I contacted Rich's. I followed all instructions and the tree survived although "flourish" wouldn't be a word I would use. This year's spring it was losing a lot of needles and looked as though it was in decline. I contacted the nursery, and never got a response. I assume this is because the warranty had expired. Spending over $1000 for a pine, I expected better. It has steadily declined with a few branches left that are green. I had an arborist come out and he said to give it a chance with the gator & hollytone application. I have read several posts on this type of pine, suggesting it does not to well in this zone, and not to even bother trying it. A very expensive mistake, and I would have appreciated the nursery being forthright on it's sensitivity, or at the very least a response to my SOS. Since over half of the branches are now dead & brittle, I am having the tree removed.
StacyP9 somewherein, IL (Zone 5b) (11 reviews) August 13, 2011
Gorgeous nursery. The best by far in Illinois for evergreens in my opinion. Huge selection of rare types. I picked up another beautiful Japanese maple from them today. Very healthy plant. Very reasonable price. It joins the one I bought years ago that is still thriving. They guys working there carried it all the way to my car, loaded it in carefully and then gave me lots of tips for care. They clearly care about their plants at this nursery.
cactimann1 La Salle, IL (1 review) February 4, 2011
My complaint about Rich's Foxwillow Pines is not so much as to their plants or an order, but to a service they offered to provide. In talking to them on the phone inquiring where I could get some Spruce cuttings grafted, I was told by Susan that they provide a grafting service to customers during the winter months when their business is slow. I then mentioned to her that my Dad, who had recently passed away, had a favorite silvery blue Spruce that I would like to have grafted so I could have some identical plants for my property. Following her detailed instructions, I overnight mailed with signature required about 30 cuttings, including all my personal contact information. From that point on I heard absolutely nothing from Rich or Susan. I thought perhaps that they would have at least acknowledge receiving them but never heard anything. When I sent e-mail asking about the cuttings I was told that they could not find them. I then received a follow up call from Rich and he had checked one house and was going to check another and get back to me. After that again no calls or e-mails. I just got the feeling that they did not care or just had poor record keeping. I have never received any calls or information as to what they ever did with the cuttings. Too bad because more cuttings are no longer available. I have been at their location and they have really nice stock.
Gorgeous Nursery, wonderful plants...but way expensive. Not for those on a budget. Also, at the time I visited, very under-staffed.
Leftwood Saint Bonifacius, MN (Zone 4a) (1 review) March 6, 2006
A most wonderful place for knowledge, experience, helpfulness, and a collection of the most exquisite conifers and interesting woody plants. Lots of large specimen sizes. I bought dwarf conifers for the Minnesota Arboretum Rock Garden. We are very pleased.
Absolutely fantastic nursery. Great place to buy conifers, Japanese maples, and other rare plants. Great place to see what these trees will look like in many years and a great place just to visit. The owner and staff are very friendly and helpful. Highly recommend them. Great web site also.
treelover3 Minneapolis, MN (Zone 5a) (16 reviews) March 6, 2006
This is a wonderful nursery to deal with and Rich and Susan are very nice people who will bend over backward to help you.
This nursery has a huge collection of rare and unusual conifers and deciduous trees for sale. I believe that the nursery will ship plants in one gallon pots or less (I visited the nursery in person so I didn't need to have the stock I purchased shipped to me.)
If you're in the upper Midwest, it's worth the trip to Woodstock, IL. to visit the nursery in person. Be sure to rent a U-Haul or Semi-trailer to take all of your purchases back home. You will want one of everything.
gynonc Libertyville, IL (Zone 5b) (3 reviews) May 29, 2005
Absolutely fantastic collection. Very friendly staff. Well worth a visit. I have a collection of evergreens that thrived. Highly recommended.
If you are ever in need of a dwarf conifer, Rich's Foxwillow Pines Nursery is the place to go -- they have everything you can possibly imagine. Rich and staff's knowledge and experience with conifers is unmatched. If you are lucky enough to live in the Chicagoland area, a visit to the nursery is a must. Rich and family live on the grounds -- when there you feel as if you are walking through their private conifer garden (Rich is always good for a guided tour). We stumbled upon Rich's by chance a few years back and have since faithfully visited a few times a year (always adding to our collection with each visit). We are novice gardeners -- Rich and staff always take the time (no matter how long it takes) to assist in making the right selection and provide the information we need to grow a healthly tree. Rich's service, selection, and tree quality is top-notch.
karenhane Manchester, CT (Zone 5a) (15 reviews) October 5, 2002
Being in desperate need for a bristlecone pine tree for a class speech, i emailed many nurseries trying to get this tree in time. Vanessa emailed me almost immediately and within two days i had the tree i needed. it is healthy and was shipped exceptionally well. thank you, Vanessa, for your help! i will definetely order from you again!