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Ordered 8 fruit trees in April 2012. plants were bare root. Two weeks later notified Smith that plants appeared to be dead. Smith replied that all would be well with time. In June notified Smith that plants were dead and asked for refund. Smith replied that was too bad, no refund. Smith is a scam. Can send you anything and walk away. Do not order anything from Smith.
I first ordered from Smith Nursery in 1987 and was trying to obtain trees. shrubs, etc. for a farm windbreak. Since cost was the most important aspect, Smith's low prices were attractive.
From 87 on, I ordered several 100 trees and shrubs. Many varieties are impossible to find elsewhere. In my experience about 90 % of the plants I ordered were in good shape. Whenever I have ordered and received dead plants, the company has gladly shipped replacements. In the late 90's I detected a change in management and/or ownership that resulted in slower replacement for dead plants.
What Smith lacks is "quality control". It seems that some of the dead plants I have received should have been obviously been identified as DEAD prior to shipment.
Smith Nursery is a WHOLESALE nursery...meaning that they ship bare root plants that are not guranteed to grow. The negative is that some plants one recieves will be of less than ideal vigor. The positive is that the costs are low. For example, if you order 100 Russian Olives, 94 will be alive and maybe 6 dead. Smith often shipped 100+ in this case in anticipation of dead plants. As long as the buyer accepts the wholesale tradeoffs, Smith Nursery can be a cheap alternative to buying LARGE quantities of stock. If single high quality plants are what you are seeking, then it is best to stick with a premium nursery where you can hand pick your stock.
kwenge Pecatonica, IL (10 reviews) December 30, 2002
Based on my experience with this company a few years ago, I don't think they should be in the mail order business. I ordered 10 trees and they arrived in a box with no packaging whatsoever. Most of them looked dead but I planted them anyway. Two trees were ok, two others sent new branches up from the rootstock, and the remaining six never sprouted a leaf. I'll never order from Smith Nursery again.