I've been ordering from Pinetree Seeds for about 20 years, and always recommended them; however, I think it's time for a change. In addition to poor germination of seeds and what I assume was improper labeling (as mentioned by others here) when I didn't get what I thought I had planted, as well as problems with their website, I now am frustrated by their customer service. I placed my order for almost $150 on Black Friday to take advantage of their 15% off sale, only to find out that on Cyber Monday, they were offering both 15% off and free shipping for orders over $75. When I complained that I felt duped because I could have saved the shipping if I had waited a few days, and asked if they would be doing the same next year, this was their response: "I'm sorry you missed out on this deal. I'm not sure what next year will bring. I would think we'd carry the same special, but only time will tell." No offer to refund the shipping. This is not what I consider good customer relations and I will be seed shopping elsewhere next year.
luannewolf Fayetteville, AR (3 reviews) November 10, 2015
Posted on August 24, 2014, updated November 10, 2015
I ordered Crystal White zinnia seeds that were supposed to be rounded, one foot tall plants with smaller white flowers. What they grew into were 2-3 ft tall plants with large white flowers. I ordered Candy Cane zinnias that were supposed to be pink and white striped flowers and what grew were zinnias that were the colors you get with zinnia seeds at the Dollar Store - loud pink, orange and yellow flowers. I ordered sunflowers that never sprouted at all. On November 10th, 2015, luannewolf added the following:
I also ordered gladiola bulbs that barely sprouted, were very small, and never bloomed. Also ordered cucumber seeds that did not sprout.
LindaRmfg Willow Springs, MO (2 reviews) August 25, 2015
I am sorry to post a negative comment as I have purchased from them for several years and appreciate the low prices. But both last year and this, my experience has been negative. Seeds are mislabeled, the package name is correct but what's inside is not. Kentucky Wonder Wax seeds grew some type of super tough "green" bean, not the yellow variety. Vermicelli winter squash seeds turned out to be some unidentified summer squash. Bush watermelons turn out to be indeterminate vines of some type. One package of delicata squash was actually empty. They did replace it, though the cust. service rep on the phone commented that she "hoped they would get it to me in time to plant, as they were very busy". But most times no one is there when I call, and their website never seems to work when I want to leave comments or reviews. Very frustrating overall.
esanita TYASKIN, MD (Zone 7a) (14 reviews) June 3, 2015
Posted on April 20, 2015, updated June 3, 2015
I\'ve ordered from Pinetree for many years. The last few years the germination rate had been deteriorating. This year I had several total germination failures (eggplant, hyacinth bean, tomatillo, more). I\'m a long-term seed grower and have had almost 100% germination success with seeds from other companies this year.
The 10 strawberry plants I ordered were alive but teeny -- the smallest strawberry plants I\'ve every seen. I\'m hoping they\'ll survive.
As much as I like Pinetree\'s prices, I won\'t be ordering from them anymore. On June 3rd, 2015, esanita added the following:
The tiny strawberry plants survived and grew beautifully. Now fruiting and sending out runners. The seeds are still a disappointment.
The web site is Byzantine and needs to be made customer friendly. Payment is by PayPal, which requires membership. Payment by check using the US Postal service was misplaced by the company. My seed order was delayed a month. The plants I ordered were sold out by the time I was contacted, even after I called to confirm that my order had been received. I am disappointed before I even receive the order. I only hope that the germination rates on their seeds are good. I wanted to try this family run company and placed a substantial order. I usually shop at Johnny's and the Seed Savers Exchange. In future, I would not use Pine Tree Seeds and would not recommend the company.
I've been ordering from Pinetree for seveal years and have been very pleased with their service. This year I ordered via internet and did not receive my seeds. When I called to find out what was going on, I was told that they had received my order but were unable to locate a tracking number so they would resend my order tomorrow rather than spend time trying to figure out what happened to my order.
Things I like most about Pinetree are:
1. The quality of their seeds; I always have good germination rates.
2. The seed packets themselves are plain with pertinent information plainly visible - no searching necessary amongst the glitter.
3. Seed numbers are reasonable; as a small gardener I have no need for 40 or 50 seeds per pack as they end up getting too old to use before I can finish the pack.
4. The cost of their seeds is about the lowest I've been able to find (perhaps in part due to low-cost packaging). All my seed packs were under two bucks.
5. Reasonable shipping. On a couple of my orders from other companies, the cost of shipping was equal to the cost of the seeds.
I placed an order on the phone on 1-26-15 for seeds. The person on the phone was very nice. I received an email when the seeds were shipped and they gave me a tracking number so I could see where my package was. I received the seeds Feb. 2, 2015. I have one item on back order. If they had told me that on the telephone I would have ordered it else where. I really liked the prices in their catalog and I think the order shipped very quickly.
chadinlg Los Gatos, CA (5 reviews) January 12, 2015
I have ordered from PineTree many times over the last 20 years and never been disappointed. Their selection has even improved over the years. Small quantities of seed at a fair price, and quick service.
Made my seed and tuber order on-line in December, had a little difficulty with the website so had to call but my problem was solved promptly and courteously. Seeds arrived in a week or so, the one pkt that was no longer available credited back to my card. Potatoes and ramps arrived this spring at perfect planting time. No fuss, no muss - just good product and service. Thank you Pinetree!
mac24 Litchfield Park, AZ (5 reviews) April 26, 2014
I've ordered from Pinetree multiple time over the years and the seeds have always performed well, in a variety of different climates.
The orders were always filled and shipped quickly without any problems.
Great prices, especially in an era where seed costs have gone up rapidly. Shipping is inexpensive as well.
An excellent choice for someone who wants small, inexpensive seed packets, like a small home gardener. Pinetree gives you a very good value proposition.
I will buy from Pinetree again.
Catskills HIGHMOUNT, NY (1 review) February 20, 2014
I've been a Pinetree Gardens customer for many years and referred friends there. The website was always buggy so I just mark up the catalog and order by phone. In the past they had excellent deals on trays, inserts and mulch, in addition to seeds. They became my primary seed source with various additions from Seed Savers, Johnny's, Thompson & Morgan, Irish Eyes, etc.
But, something clearly happened to this company several years ago. Per the other comments, I'm guessing around 2009. For myself, the final straw has been deteriorating germination rates, declining to completely unacceptable last year and even total failure in a couple of cases. (I am an experienced and successful indoor/greenhouse seed starter as our last frost is 5/31.) Is this old seed? Poorly stored seed? No idea. I also got a couple of mislabeled varieties that were very annoying.
One friend I referred to Pinetree last winter was utterly scathing about her experience with their seeds. So, not only did I have several total germination failures but I caused a friend to as well.
My experiences with customer service have generally been good, meaning they will re-send, but I can't take the chance any more with our very short season. I'm sad to say I won't take the chance with them again, when I can find most things on racks at the various stores and order special items from other vendors. Special hat tip to Adams Fairacre Farms stores who stock many seeds from many sources.
Sad to write this, and hope these comments spur a change in attitude at Pinetree.
Lauraleigh Rutledge, MO (1 review) February 19, 2014
I have ordered from this company for the past 5 years, and been pleased with what I got. This year, there was a problem with items getting lost in the mail, so I had the opportunity to experience their customer service, which was excellent. They are shipping replacement items, and dealing with the postal service. This is very much better treatment than I have received under similar circumstances from other companies. Thanks, Pinetree!
src84 Santa Maria, CA (Zone 9a) (5 reviews) January 30, 2014
Great prices decent shipping prices
sent me conformation of seeds being sent
sent my seeds super fast! Cute seeds packets I was very happy with my order and will order from them again
I had a very positive first experience with Pinetree. I found their prices & postage very reasonable, and their service level is first rate. Packaging & the necessary Canadian customs declarations were completed perfectly.
I ordered a number of hybrid tomato seed packages after discovering they have Moreton (F1) sourced from Harris at very reasonable prices. Moreton F1 availability is the result of the Rutgers/Harris project to bring back the most flavourful Jersey tomatoes. http://njfarmfresh.rutgers.edu/MoretonTomato.htm The seed counts are more than sufficient for a home gardener.
I have bookmarked Pinecraft and will place another order once the winter passes.
Posted on August 31, 2006, updated July 9, 2013
I know it's late in the season, but while browsing through GWD, I decided to add my two-cents in now.
I've been ordering from Pinetree about eight years now and never had any problems. SEeds all germinated on schedule and seeds were delivered promptly.
When it's time to order seeds, Pinetree is the place to order from. On July 9th, 2013, Toni05 added the following:
Placed an order for annual seeds. Seeds are fresh, and each packet, securely wrapped. Fast shipping. Thanks.
When I was a kid I requested my first catalog from Pinetree after seeing a tiny advertisement they had in one of my grandmother's organic gardening magazines. Reading their catalog was always exciting for me. I remember giving my mom my allowance money to write checks for my orders. One of the first things I grew was "Connecticut Field" pumpkin. That was 20 years ago.
Since then, I have moved to the city and haven't always had the opportunity (land or space) to grow things. But when I do I always remember to check their current offerings. They have a good variety and offer very affordable prices. I appreciate that they are not a pretentious company- their website is simple and so are their packets.
I especially like their flower selection; the "Kong" sunflower being one of my favorites, and different varieties of marigolds, zinnias, calendulas, etc.
It's funny that they are in Maine and I'm in Hawaii, 1/4 of the world away (6 time zones). However, they always process my order quickly and it only takes a few days even with USPS.
I have been ordering seeds and supplies from Pinetree for many years. There have been occasional germination issues, but no more so than from much more expensive vendors. Service, selection and pricing have always brought me back.
I placed my order, which included frost protection on the 10th of March and just now (March 20th) received a notice from UPS, NOT Pinetree that my order will not arrive until the 27th of March AFTER the danger of frost is over. So disappointed, its supposed to snow tonight and I had to go out and buy burlap to protect my strawberry plants. On top of that, I never received a confirmation email from Pinetree that they received and were processing my order. I received a phone call from my bank saying they processed the transaction as a debit card transaction and not as a credit card without my knowledge. This is the very reason I like to pay by Paypal and not by credit card, however Pinetree does not offer this option. We'll see what happens when I receive the order, but so far, I'm not impressed.
I love doing business with Pinetree. The seeds are high quality, very affordable, germinate well and produce the results Pinetree says they will. The service is also the fastest I have ever experienced.
Buddy44 Eagle Rock, VA (24 reviews) January 24, 2013
Posted on January 15, 2011, updated January 24, 2013
Posted on February 25, 2010, updated January 15, 2011
Posted on June 8, 2007, updated February 24, 2010
I have been a coutomer for at least 10 years. They have a good selection at a very good price. I have never had any trouble with germination unless I did something wrong. Will continue to be a faithful customer.On March 19th, 2008, Buddy44 added the following:
Great selection and prices. Quick to ship your order.On April 20th, 2009, Buddy44 added the following:
I don't understand the negative comments. I made two orders this year, one large and one small. Both arrived in a timely manner with no problems. I will continue to give them my custom.On February 25th, 2010, Buddy44 added the following:
This year's order came within 3 weeks. Everything was shipped. Another great experience!On January 15th, 2011, Buddy44 added the following:
Ordered online on January 11, 2011 and had my seeds on January 14, 2011. Fastest turnaround I have had. The seeds always germinate well for me, either in my greenhouse or directly sown.On January 24th, 2013, Buddy44 added the following:
Seed order mailed out the day I ordered. Ordered the forgotten seeds the next day and asked that they be added to the first order to save shipping costs. That's when I found out how efficient they had been. They shipped my second order free. What a great company.
Have used Pinetree for a couple years and liked the small packets, their quick shipping, their accuracy, the whole shebang was grand.
Then there was one kind of seed they didn't carry so last year I ordered from another company and had a very bad experience with them (Millington), so now I'm back to Pinetree who have been completely reliable and trustworthy and will keep getting my business til death us do part.
Placed an internet order for a book and several packets of seed on a Sunday afternoon and received the order on Thursday (even though there was a holiday in between). I am looking through the catalog again to see what else I might need for the spring!
Ordered 30 different types of seeds from Pinetree for my summer 2012 garden, and this garden was my best so far. I LOVE Pinetree seeds. I've ordered from them in the past, and they definately deserve a "Top 5" rating for all-around value, and the germination and performance are both top shelf. I'll be ordering from them again for my 2013 garden.
suzy_qu3 East Chatham, NY (8 reviews) November 26, 2012
Posted on January 5, 2011, updated November 26, 2012
Posted on January 1, 2011, updated January 5, 2011
Posted on October 5, 2004, updated January 1, 2011
I ordered pumpkin and gourd seeds for our 4H club. The seeds arrived promptly and I got more per packet than I expected. They sprouted well and the kids got a very good crop. The gourds were especially cute and colorful.On January 1st, 2011, suzy_qu3 changed the rating from positive to negative and added the following:
Spring of 2009 was apparently very busy for them as it took forever to get my seeds. I called and they were very friendly. I did get my seeds in time - no damage done.
This past year 2010 is a deal breaker. I had come to suspect that there were germination issues, but always passed it off as my poor soil or technique or better yet - blame it on the kids. IN 2010 I got NOT ONE stinking pumpkin or gourd to grow. One cucumber vine sprouted and this is the second year in a row. In the past, with Pinetree seeds, I have grown more cukes than I know what to do with, Tomatoes and peppers in the greenhouse were OK, but I think by now I should get better results that what I got. The cabbage tribe did fine, flowers, not so much. Greens are always good. Any time I get a "mix" of something, it's not much a mix as it's mostly one variety, with one or two others in there somewhere. Other products I received promptly and in good condition.
I may come back to this company, but this year I'm going to try something else after 5 or 6 years spending $75 - $100 with Pinetree.On January 5th, 2011, suzy_qu3 changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
I upgraded my rating for now because of the nice little surprise I found in my mailbox. Pinetree sent me 5 new seed packets to replace the ones I complained about in my previous comment. It had a nice personal note included from the owner. I have to give them credit. To be perfectly honest, they have always been good to me and I have enjoyed their products in the past. I just can't ignore some possible germination issues.
I will try some seeds from different suppliers this year and see if I notice a difference. Also, I will give these free seeds a chance and see what happens. If I have better luck, I will upgrade my rating.On November 26th, 2012, suzy_qu3 changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:
I have ordered various seeds since my last rating and have not any any further issues. Must have been a bad year.
greenbrain Madison, IL (Zone 6b) (9 reviews) October 30, 2012
Posted on November 12, 2010, updated October 30, 2012
I've ordered seeds from this company for the past few years. Always a positive experience. Some OP veggies, I've saved seeds & have been re-planting for 3 years or more. Order always received timely & accurately with no back orders. On October 30th, 2012, greenbrain added the following:
This year (2012) again was very positive. A reliable company that has never let me down. My seed source for trombone squash & unusual veggie varieties.
This was the first year I have ever ordered anything from this company. I was a little leery because their prices were low,
compared to the bigger companies. I was delighted when my order came a couple of weeks after I placed it. I was also happy to find out that there weren't as many seeds in each packet as the big guy usually give you...What a great idea. I don't need 300 tomato plant seeds in each envelope, and I'm sure all other backyard gardeners don't either. I'm grateful for the lower prices.
Yesterday I harvested my first tendersweet carrots and was pleasantly surprised. I have been gardening for over 40 years, and these were the nicest looking, best tasting carrots I have ever grown. Everything else has flourished too. I'm now into my second planting of radishes, spinach and lettuce.
I am planning on planting some more carrots soon and allow them to over winter. From now on, I will be ordering all my seeds from Pinetree Garden Seeds.
no problems with things i have received, good prices on lower quanity of seed
Lili1313 Phelps, NY (Zone 5b) (2 reviews) July 5, 2012
I have been purchasing seeds from Pinetree for over 10 years now...love, love, love them!! I can purchase small amounts of seed which are perfect for my home garden, and the quality has always been superb. A nice variety is available and I have never had any issues. Only beautiful veg and flowers!! I will continue to buy from Pinetree as you can't beat their prices, shipping charges, and specials. I recently ordered 10 varieties of glad bulbs on special, and all the bulbs were fresh and plump, and are growing nicely. Highly recommended to folks in my area of western NY as Pinetree is located in Maine with much the same growing conditions.
blumenlieber vancouver, WA (Zone 8a) (12 reviews) June 23, 2012
Posted on June 15, 2011, updated June 23, 2012
Posted on March 4, 2010, updated June 15, 2011
Posted on December 23, 2004, updated March 4, 2010
Ordered seeds for 2005 and received them today, one week later. Love the colorful catalogue, useful descriptions and commitment to the customer to provide a varied selection. If I want large seed packets I may not use in one season, I know where to go--and now I know where to go to find quality seed in smaller amounts, too. Great job!On January 11th, 2007, blumenlieber added the following:
once again for me, pinetree has proven to be exceptional when it comes to offering a wide selection at a low price for the home grower. On January 15th, 2008, blumenlieber added the following:
kudos again--seeds delivered in timely manner for 2008. Pintree's catalogue is always the first to arrive, I look forward to it each year. The seeds are a bargain, and every pack has had good to excellent germination, even the unusual but inexpensive varieties I like to try out. With last year's order came a note about one seed type on back order...two months later (long after I forgot about it but still within planting time) came an envelope with the seeds. I know the mailing charge alone cost more than the seed pack. That is what customer service is all about. Thank you again, Pinetree.On March 23rd, 2009, blumenlieber added the following:
again, great service and value for the money. I ordered my seeds EARLY and got them within a week. 2 items back ordered and i got them last week. I will be back again and again. thank you, Pinetree!On March 4th, 2010, blumenlieber added the following:
Again, Pinetree has proven they care about customer service. Seeds received days after ordered (and i live on the "other" coast). Three backordered items received as promised, well before they need sowing. Pinetree, you have a customer for life.On June 15th, 2011, blumenlieber added the following:
Once again, Pinetree has proven to be a fantastic source for a great variety of seed at an affordable cost. I ordered over $100 of seeds for 2011, and am completely satisfied with the quality. Germination was great, and this was especially so with the tomato varieties i planted for the first time (Soldacki, Druzba, Manyel and others). They all look incredible, even my family/friends have commented on how good they look (I will take some credit, but you have to start with good seed stock). I have been growing tomatoes from seed for years, and appreciate the opportunity the low cost allows me to try new types without paying an enourmous sum. Thank you, Pinetree.On June 23rd, 2012, blumenlieber added the following:
Another year, more seed, and the same story: Pinetree has terrific variety, great prices, great germination, and wonderful customer service. This year the post office had apparently seen fit to open my package but removed my order slip. When I emailed Pinetree I got a quick and friendly personal response and they mailed me another receipt that i received within days. Fabulous! And the canvas bag I got with my order is so useful. I recommend Pinetree to everyone. Thanks again, guys!
Posted on April 21, 2009, updated June 9, 2012
I ordered from Pine Tree around January 1st, because I had read reviews saying they took longer to mail orders out than other companies. It was a couple of weeks before I got my order, while most of my other companies shipped seeds within a week. However, I got their seeds in plenty of time for planting, and their prices are so LOW and the seeds have germinated incredibly well, so it's definitely worth it. Just order your seeds around January 1st!On June 9th, 2012, lisaaj added the following:
This year ordered seeds for "Showpiece Mixture" dahlia, "Ladybird" nasturtium, Shirley Double mixed poppy, "Crazy Daisy" chrysanthemum, and petunias "Misty Lilac Wave' and "Blue Wave". I didn't end up with as many petunias as I expected; more died off after germination than I have been used to. All the others did well and are now doing fine in the garden.
Posted on March 9, 2012, updated May 31, 2012
Posted on March 27, 2011, updated March 9, 2012
Placed my order on March 13 and my package got here the 26th - the only message I got was an automated e-mail that my order was received. The prices are very good & the amount of seeds are good for the prices. I liked the variety of seeds they have to offer. I just wish there was a little better communication as to when they have shipped, so that I'm not contemplating if I should contact them or not.
Will post more if there's anything special to note about germination rates and what not. On March 8th, 2012, judyinmound changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:
All in all the germination rates were very high. Was very happy with the turnout. =)On May 31st, 2012, judyinmound added the following:
Placed a 2nd order this year - great variety and very high germination rate. The Marconi Red Peppers grew so fast and just lovely! Purple Pirouette Petunia look so full and were easy to get to germ as were a lot of flowers I decided to try out - including non-stop begonias.
Was happy that the order came in so fast this year.
Dione129 EAST FREETOWN, MA (4 reviews) April 22, 2012
My order arrived very quickly after ordering it and I appreciated the auto-email confirmation, since not all places that I've ordered from do that, even though it's pretty simple.
I only ordered some seeds and a sprouting cover, but I plan to order more in the future!
Posted on February 17, 2012, updated February 27, 2012
I ordered seeds Jan 29th. Pinetree 'said' they shipped my order Jan 31. Today is Feb. 17 and still no seeds. I have to reorder from another company while my greenhouse sits idle. On February 27th, 2012, melee50 changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:
Replacement seeds arrived today with a $5 coupon. Many thanks!
LCROCKERC Florence, MT (4 reviews) February 19, 2012
I ordered seeds this year and as usual they arrived in a very timely manner, I like this company because you can order smaller amounts of seeds. I have ordered from them in the past with no problems and will certainly be ordering again in the future.
BOO_DOTTIE Defiance, OH (1 review) February 17, 2012
Just got my seeds today. Everything was there that I ordered and on time! So far everything is ok, just have to see how they turn out.
I have been ordering from Pinetree Garden Seeds for at least 13 years, 10 of which were as a professional cut flower grower.
I cannot say enough good things about this company; they are one of three seed houses I order from every year. As a professional and as a "home gardener" I have come to rely on them for quality seed, great selection and pricing, and fantastic customer service.
Pinetree offers a huge selection of vegetable, herb and flower seed as well as a variety of bulbs, tubers, and plants. Over the years I have gotten a little of everything from them and have only had germination issues with 2 or 3 items. I contacted the company and the problem was rectified promptly and professionally. By the way, calling the company is a real treat as you are not connected with some "operator" sitting in a cubicle somewhere as with some other larger seed houses, but an actual employee of their farm. I like the personal feel of that.
Another benefit to me is that because they are located in Maine and actually test grow everything in their catalog, I can be assured that their offerings will be well suited to my Vermont growing season.
Pinetree's prices are virtually unbeatable. This, paired with their smaller sized packets, makes it possible to try a lot of different varieties without breaking the bank. I always feel like I can treat myself to something I might not "need" or get a little experimental without the risk of having wasted a lot of money. One year I grew cotton. In Vermont! Visitors to my garden were aghast and I will never forget harvesting my very own little puffs of organically grown fluffy goodness.
Their selection of heirloom and open-pollinated veggies and flowers is fantastic. Additionally, their catalog has separate sections for ethnic varieties organized by geographical region. Also broken out are sections for container gardening, everlasting flowers and dye plants. Very unique!
One caveat I have is with their website. So far I have not been able to save a shopping cart for more than a half an hour or so. The first time I realized this I had entered a huge order only to return later to find it gone. Ugh! I am one who likes to peruse and mull over my order for anywhere from a few days to week or two. With Pinetree I have to do this on paper and then enter my order only when I am ready to make my purchase. My husband is a web programmer and claims that this would be really easy for them to fix. I would be stoked if they did!
In response to the negative comments regarding long shipping times; in my experience it is generally good practice to order seeds early in the year (this means no later than early February for me). This way I avoid ordering during the "busy season" which may delay shipment and lead to timing issues when starting transplants. This is also a good way to avoid back orders or out-of-stock items. In Pinetree's defense, order backlogs are addressed in both their printed catalog and on the Policies page of their website (offering expedited processing is actually a really nice service as I know of other companies which do not):
"Our goal is to ship all orders within a couple of days of receipt. However, from February to May, a backlog of 2-3 weeks can develop. We will try to avoid this, but the more advance planning you can do - the happier you will be. Special Handling is available for an extra $4.50, these order will ship out the next business day."
Overall, I would not hesitate to recommend this company to anyone from novice to professional.