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In 1999 I purchased a beautiful piece of land in Potter Valley, California and joined the family business, Mountain Maples. As the grower at the nursery, I was able to work with one of the largest collections of Japanese Maples in production; I fell in love with the trees. After my motherís death in October 2006 I ran Mountain Maples for nine months until my motherís husband, Don, was ready to take over. This is when Essence of the tree was born.
I am committed to continuing the work I began with my mother, Nancy Fiers. She continues to provide me with guidance and inspiration. Researching new introductions to the maple world as well as maintaining the integrity of the names through a comprehensive knowledge of the cultivars is our primary work. We will continue to expand our understanding of the cultural needs of the trees and the unique characteristics of the cultivars sharing the knowledge with the gardening community.
Bevs_garden Tustin, CA (Zone 9b) (1 review) November 12, 2007
They are very helpful and have a lot of experience with growing maples in California's various climates. Their website has a ton of information too. (In Southern California, growing japanese maples is tricky. We have hot, dry, hurricane-force winds in the fall and alkaline salty water year 'round. This year the water has been worse than ever with the West's drought situation.) Mountain Maples have a product that helps protect the trees from this damage and when I've called for advice on how to use their product, they've been especially helpful and patient! They can even tell you which cultivars are less prone to problems in Southern Calif's conditions. Their tree selection is extensive, their prices are reasonable, their tree care products are wonderful and they are incredibly knowledgeable and helpful--- I'd recommend them to anyone!
I was very pleased with the Japanese Maple I had ordered May 21st (Acer Circinatum Sunglow) from Mountain Maples. The order form asked requested shipment date which I indicated May (not expecting them to send it out so quickly). I was very surprised when the tree arrived late May. The tree is very nicely sized and looks very healthy and nice. I live in Pennsylvania. I will continue to order from them in the future.
My experience overall was good. I ordered 3 trees, all size 2 (2 Sango-kaku and 1 Orangeola). The plants arrived in Maryland on a Wednesday in great shape. The 2 Sango-kaku were bigger than I expected, and the orangeola a little on the small size. The website has some good information about pruning, etc. as well.
I recently received six JMs that arived in very good shape from Mountain Maples. The sizes ranged from a specimen Maiku Jaku (at almot 6 ft.) to two small Size 1 "Benis" (under 2 ft. tall.) I also have had two conversations with Nancy Fiers regarding appropriate culture. I am very happy both with the service and the plant material.
ladyisle Bohemia, NY (Zone 7a) (34 reviews) May 20, 2006
I have ordered japanese maples from Mountain Maples several times, and other growers as well. Mountain Maples' trees were, by far, the largest. They have always been bigger than specified, and very healthy. My first order was a specimen size Arakawa two years ago, which is just beautiful.
I did have a problem with one tree, but it was probably due to the planting site, because the tree was very healthy initially. Janice was very helpful, and they cheerfully replaced the tree with a similar variety, (judging by their website, they were sold out of a majority of their stock).
The next time I am ready to buy a A. Palmatum, I will be ordering from them again.
This company had great prices and selection so I ordered two trees. I received two burned-up sticks and nursed one back to health, one did not make it. When I contacted MM, the woman offered a replacement through their "guarantee". I selected a replacement, but they had none. I selected another, they had none of those either. I selected 4 more and none were in stock. It turns out that the "guarantee" was that I was to select from what little they had, which were trees that 1.) I did not want and 2.) were nothing like what I had originally ordered. Not much of a guarantee. After several e-mail exchanges that clearly demonstrated extremely poor customer service, they finally refunded my money. The surviving tree still looks like a thin twig with a few stunted leaves. Very disappointing experience. I think I kept the e-mails if anyone would like to see them.
gencon Schenectady, NY (16 reviews) April 24, 2006
I ordered 5 JM (o isami, Tromperburg, red dragon, aoayi, koto no ito) they arrived exactly when they were supposed to, beautifully packaged, moist and without any broken branches. Some of the leaves were dry because it was the fall of the year and what remained was last season's leaves. I potted my plants as soon as they arrived and now (Feb 06) the buds are ready to burst open as soon as the weather warms a bit. I love my little trees. They are beautifully pruned with gorgeous form. Yes, this company is more expensive that others on the internet, but their service and quality of plants is superb. I will be buying more trees from them this spring. It is important to rember that all trees do not grow at the same rate; variety, weather, microclimate, sunlight, water, fertilization, etc. affect development.
jacquot Larchmont, NY (4 reviews) November 3, 2005
I have had only positive experiences. The prices can be higher than other places, but their replacement guarantee is good. I have lost a couple of trees I ordered, and they replaced them. I've ordered small and larger trees from them, packing is always good, and I have several beautiful mature trees now from them. They are always available to discuss any issues about your trees, too, not just orders.
Their web site is extremely well organized and informative. I ordered a specimen sized 'Korean Gem' and three size 1 acer pseudosieboldianum. They arrived according to my specifications and were well packed, healthy and beautiful. All are thriving (so far). I had a great experience with this company!
I wish my experinece was positive, but so far it is not. I ordered a "Corallinum" variety for $79.00 including shipping. I received a dried-out plant about 6' high. I planted it immediately in a prime soil mix and have kept it moist and in the shade. The plant had leafed out, but all the leaves were dry and brown upon receipt. So far there is no sign of life. I am really disappointed.
I have purchased 8 maples from MM and every expierence has been a pleasant and informative one. I have never had a problem getting assistance on the phone and they are always eager to suggestions of what to purchase and what to plant. Every Maple I have recieved has been in great condition and always arrived when expected. Would recommend to anyone. I live in Texas and they knew the region well.
Although I have only ordered once - spring of 2004 - I highly recommend this company. I had researched a lot before I contacted them and they were so friendly and helpful. My tree arrived and despite a mail snafu which delayed my getting the plant for an additional couple of days my maple was in great shape due to the health of their stock and their careful careful packing. Sure, I paid megabucks - shipping was almost $30 - it was well worht the expense and the delay. as soon as I have space for another maple I will be shopping here again.
They answered my questions via e-mail promptly.
They shipped my order on the day they said they would.
The trees were well secured in the boxes.
The trees looked fantastic.
I potted them up and put them out with Japanese Maples that I bought elsewhere.
They are so much superior to the trees I already had. They have short internodes and have obviously been pruned and loved.
They cost $14 more than the trees I already had. That was a bargain and you can rest assured I will order from Mountain Maples again and again.
Thank you for caring about the art and craft you do.
rosefan Winchester MA, United States (6 reviews) September 29, 2003
With a terrific selection on their web site, a reputation for accuracy in identifying their trees, and options for selecting different sizes, this nursery must be one of the top choices for high-grade Japanese maples. They report that they had guidance from the late J.D. Vertrees, who wrote the classic reference guide, when they started.
I ordered an A. p. "Tamukeyama" last month. Communication was prompt and informative, and the plant shipped when I requested. It was healthy, extremely well packaged, and has done well since I planted it two weeks ago. I'll be happy to order from them again next year.
In early 2003 I purchased an a.p. Abigail Rose from Mt. Maples. This Japanese Maple is very small, somewhat expensive, but also quite rare. She arrived in very good shape, considering I live on the East Coast and she was in a shipping box for a couple of days. I've talked to the folks there via email, and not only do they know their trees, but are willing to share their knowledge. I would buy from them again, and recommend them highly to the serious Japanese Maple collector.
I bought a 3 year old Japanese Maple from Mountain Maples this past spring. The person who took my order over the phone was extremely helpful in helping me determine what type of cultivar would be most suitable for my needs. The tree arrived safely, well-packaged and in great shape. So far, it is thriving in my backyard garden. Their website catalog is very informative and inspiring.
I bought a maple from these people and have been very happy with them and their product. Their prices are reasonable and the tree I bought from them is beautiful. The tree was shipped quickly and packaged well. Their web-site is also very nice.
Saw the yellow flag and decided I had to do something about it. Mountain Maples is one of a handful of mail-order firms I use that consistently deliver excellent plant material. The negative comments appear to center on tree size. Yes, a one-year graft is small; for the uninitiated, it can be a shock to order one and receive a box not big enough to hold an average poster. So don't expect an instant landscape plant unless you are willing to pay for an older specimen. And yes, these plants are not cheap; I've seen some cultivars for sale elsewhere at a lower cost. So why order from MM? One - these folks offer the largest cultivar selection I've seen. Second, your plant is replaced if it doesn't leaf out by August. Third, the folks at MM offer honest and friendly advice, plus an excellent website (which makes great browsing, as the reviewer below states). Fourth, my plants have all arrived in excellent shape, without so much as a broken-off leaf. As far as growth rates are concerned, I planted a tiny A. palmatum 'Hogyoku' from MM in 1996; it is now 7' tall and has survived any number of weird Midwest weather events. A similar story surrounds my A. japonicum 'O isami'. Don't let the initially tiny plants put you off; take Michael Dirr's advice on Japanese maples: "Buy small plants and enjoy their formative years."
I had a wonderful experience with Mountain Maples. Their catalogue is extensive and the plants are very well described. Their website is great - good pictures, searchable, great for just browsing. On the phone, they were extremely helpful with tree suggestions, were very patient and made sure that I had all the information I needed to make my choices. Acers grow at very different rates and to vastly different heights according to the variety - the person I spoke with very kindly steered me away from a choice that would have been inappropriate for the site. I ordered one of their three-year Kamagatas and a fairly mature Sazanami. I felt the prices were very fair for what I received. I was sent a notice letting me know that my trees were being shipped on one day - and received the trees the very next day! Both were very well packed, and emerged from the box as fresh and beautiful as could be, with well packaged roots. I was really thrilled with the older tree in particular - very nicely shaped and clearly a healthy specimen.
Overall I was very pleased with Mountain Maples and I will definitely do business with these folks again!
Fracture Auburn, GA (Zone 7b) (11 reviews) January 26, 2003
I ordered 2 trees last fall. They were both less than a foot tall. (And neither tree is a dwarf variety; they should reach 10-15 feet.) They have both shown good growth so far though. At about $35 each and considering the slow growth rate of Japanese Maples, I'm wondering if I should have purchased something from a local nursery instead. At least it would have been bigger. The $20 one I bought at the same time at Lowe's is already over 3 feet. Of course, it's a regular old bloodgood....On May 19th, 2003, Fracture changed the rating from neutral to negative and added the following:
One of my trees failed to leaf out this spring. I have e-mailed the company twice for a replacement but so far I have not heard a response. Hopefully I will get a replacement soon and I will re-evaluate my rating then.On December 12th, 2003, Fracture changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
I was eventually contacted by Mountain Maples. They basically gave me a $35 credit for the tree that died. I wound up paying about $20 to get the tree replaced because the prices are different if you order only one tree, and I had to pay shipping. On top of that, the variety that I ordered (Inazuma) was sold out. As was most of their rarer varieties. I wound up settling on a fireglow. Not really what I wanted, but it should still be a nice specimen. The replacement tree looks good so far.
Aotearoa New York City, NY (Zone 6b) (6 reviews) April 19, 2002
I am new to gardening. I live in New York City. The very first tree I ever bought was a dwarfed Beni Maiko Japanese Maple from the delightful folks who run this highly specialized nursery. When buying the tree, which would live in a container on the fire escape outside my kitchen window, I knew nothing about the culture of these gorgeous little things. The young lady who helped me spent 45 minutes on the phone asking about my climate, the exposure, sunlight and city dirt before recommending the Beni Maiko. She suggested books to read about maples (I bought them all), and proper nutrition. She said, "Your tree will be shipped on April 23rd (2001). It was. The sad-looking scragly thing that arrived in a box looked like it would not survive a week in my care. Within two months is was gloriously in leaf. This year it is startlingly gorgeous and lush. Their web site is detailed and highly educational.