Fedco sent the order for 12 apple trees short 5 trees and a refund check. No notification in advance me or options for replacing. Then we discovered that the seven apple trees they did send were covered in fungus and practically dead.
Lauren from FEDCO asked for photos and then said: "We can talk about replacements once we see the photos and determine the trees are dead. Its just hard to know why they would be dead to you on arrival as that isnít something that generally happens with a large number of trees like that."
After sending the photos she wrote: "Thank you for sending photos. It looks as though the trees did not harden off before we stored them and have some winter kill on the tops. We apologize about this. My recommendation would be to prune back the tops to where there is green again further down the tree. This wonít hurt the tree at all and it will catch up within a couple of years. Plant the trees out and if they do not bud out at all we would be happy to replace or refund them. My guess is that they are not dead all the way to the rootstock."
I found this response unacceptable and asked for a refund.
This was her response: "We will send you a refund check for the 7 trees in the mail. We apologize that you received trees with some winter kill, once in a while trees with an issue such as this slip through and we donít realize there is a problem until we hear from our customers. Thanks for letting us know. Its unfortunate they will not be planted as it is likely only the tops that are dead. We are a small company and we do our best to work with our customers when these situations occur though it seems that in the future it may be best for you to source your trees from another nursery."
FEDCO wrote on their packing slip that "2016 has been our best year ever:" congratulations but that doesn't give anyone the right to say the above. What incredible hubris.
Great company that has a great variety of plant material. I've ordered from them with great success every time except this year. I ordered and received 31 or so fruit trees, fruiting shrubs and medicinal perennials. Everything looked great on arrival and grew nicely except two cherry and one peach tree. the two cherries were dead and the peach is still green when scratched but has not leafed out at all.
Fedco refunded the money for the three tree without question. I will order again and am already making out my order for 2016 in anticipation of being able to place the order later this year.
Fedco, if the peach leafs out I'll return your refund!
Great company that stands behind their plants.
liberman Mc Gaheysville, VA (3 reviews) April 10, 2015
I ordered 2 trees and 100 strawberry plants as a first-time customer this year. Plants arrived exactly as scheduled and in great shape. I have never gotten strawberry with such large root systems; the trees were bigger in diameter than I expected too (not whips). Packaging was damp but not soggy. I planted day of arrival and in less than a week plants are all showing growth. Great experience all around.
I have been a Fedco customer for years. For the last few years I have ordered various fruit trees incl. apples. Every year upon opening the box with my tree order from Fedco, I have been disappointed to discover that at least one variety was "out-of-stock". This year I made my order online the day before Fedco's deadline for ordering trees. The next day I received their order confirmation, including the total charges to my credit card. My order arrived last week: three (all different varieties) of the nine were "out-of-stock" according to the fulfillment form, and a check for the refund was enclosed.
This year I decided to call and, frankly, complain at how inconvenient it is to only discover at planting time that my order cannot be filled. And that they sat on my money for almost a month. I was told that they do try to update the website but that because they are such a small company, and because they "dig the plants" when they have orders for them, and because sometimes they find that the plants are damaged in the field, well, then they only know how many they have at the time of order fulfillment... And as they are such a small operation then they can't possibly call every customer whose order can't be filled. And if I had ordered earlier then I likely would have received all the trees I'd ordered. As for the refund by check, I was told that they are not allowed to keep my credit card number on file "by law" so they cannot credit my card for the refunded balance.
But here's the thing: If I had ordered my trees in the fall (as they suggested), and they went to fill my order in the spring and then found they could not fill it, they would have been sitting on my payment for months! And I, of course, would not have had a chance of finding that stock somewhere else.
I was also told that this (holding the funds until fulfillment) was standard practice in the industry.
Finally, one last comment. Many people have commented online that Fedco has good prices. These trees cost $25 each for one-, maybe, two-year-old, whips. That is NOT cheap. It is average, at best.
The people make fedco trees a cultural institution of great value. Ive had some iffy plants from fedco in my order...true... but they replaced them. they pack plants well. Its the fact that you will get a dedicated expert when you ask a question. You will meet cheerful skilledvpeople at the tree sale.you will get advice and find integrity in every aspect of their services. Especially if you are interested in food security and soil /garden health you will appreciate fedco. The apples of maine and northern new england are a specialty. You will not find a wide range in perennials but their tree fruits will surprise and their amendments range is superb.
rozzops Neenah, WI (Zone 5a) (1 review) April 22, 2013
I order 6 bare root fruit trees from Fedco Trees in January and was billed right away (as expected). I received the trees 2 weeks ago and since there was snow still on the ground i planted them in pots. All of the trees are doing great and started to bud out. So far my only minor complaint is they shipped a bit early but i have my trees and they are doing well so I'm happy.
Wolfcastle West Lafayette, IN (Zone 5b) (12 reviews) May 7, 2012
I put in a somewhat late order of 30 myrobalan rootstock for an apricot and plum grafting project this year. All of the rootstock arrived in good condition and of about ľ inch caliper, which is exactly what FEDCO advertised on their website. So far, every single one of the rootstocks has leafed out, and around 80% of the grafts have taken which is far more than I expected given my inexperience. Overall, Iím extremely pleased with FEDCO and am looking forward to ordering from them again in the future.
rebecca101 Madison, WI (Zone 5a) (25 reviews) May 6, 2012
I put in an order for some bare-root perennials and bulbs through this division, and was very happy. The plants were dormant upon arrival, and have now begun to grow nicely. Everything was well-packaged. They don't have a big selection of perennials, but have some good prices on what they've got. I've ordered from their seeds division for many years and love this outfit!
The apple trees arrived in excellent condition, healthy, with leave bud, and are now flowering less than a month after planting. Amazing!
I ordered strawberry plants and blueberry buses as well and am impressed with the health of the plants. Great source of reasonably priced plants.
downtownie Brooklyn, NY (2 reviews) April 16, 2012
It's a cooperative with a really great selection and incredible prices. I also like how they took such a strong and brave stance not to carry the seeds of Monsanto. We've been ordering for years from all branches of the coop- bulbs, trees, seeds, supplies. As for the trees specifically, they are so hardy and really big for the prices. Same with the rose bushes I ordered. I think they'd easily have been twice as much anywhere else. Their online ordering can be clunky but better than nothing. I liked getting an email w ship date and arrival so I could plan out the planting. The directions and tips are great. You can learn a lot from this catalog!
We do love this company in this house and when the catalog comes out it is a constant inquiry at night as to who has the fedco book. All of the trees we have ordered over the years are doing well and thriving and were the correct variety.
I have been real happy with this company and they have sent very good sized plants for the price charged: bigger than at least one of their NY competitors. In the past they substituted plants even though I requested "No subs" as instructed on their website. This year it appears that they did substitute a semi-dwarf apple for what I had hoped was to be a standard. However, I am glad to at least have the variety that is hard to find. I'm espalier-ing three of their plants, two pears that I ordered this year which I'm training as cordon row crops, and a substitute apple from a year or two ago which I moved from a field to a latticework trellis. The new 'Lars Anderson' peach tree has flower buds on it. Their other peach is 8' x 8' and had really taken off in the past 2-3 years since planting and appears to be well budded this year. Their catalog reads like a book if you don't mind the liberal/left wing commentary.
wildagain Clarks Grove, MN (Zone 4b) (5 reviews) May 2, 2011
I placed my first order with Fedco Trees this spring. My 9 apples, 2 pears, 2 cherries and 1 peach arrived according to schedule, in a giant box, well-packed, with moist roots. I planted all the trees the next day, and my garden instantly became an orchard with trees as tall as me.
I am very pleased with my order. (One of my trees was out of stock, and a refund check was enclosed.)
I'm already looking through this past year's catalog, trying to decide what I might order from Fedco next spring. Thank you.
FEDCO TREES, I LOVE YOU.
I received my shipment of trees, bushes and perennials two days ago and am completely delighted and amazed by how big, healthy, strong, and beautiful they are. Huge root systems, tall trees, bushy bushes. My pot of cranberry plants had vines two feet long, still full of last year's berries.
This is so different from the plants I've gotten from other companies--other companies will send you a 1-foot-high, 1/4-inch-in-diameter twig and call it a tree. Fedco sends a tulip tree that is really a tulip tree--6 feet high, nice and strong.
Everything was beautifully and securely packed, the roots nice and moist.
One of my items was out of stock so Fedco sent a refund check for it with the rest of the order--now that's prompt!
Thank you, Fedco. I really do love you.
magnaastra Charleston, IL (Zone 6a) (46 reviews) April 9, 2011
I'll be back next season for more of these beautiful healthy trees. My tree is taller than I am (I'm 5'2''), with great roots, a nice straight trunk, and a well-shaped branch structure. When I add the outstanding selection of unusual cultivars, packaging that could stand up to even the most savage baggage handler, and reasonable prices to this kind of plant quality, I know I made a great decision to order from Fedco.
AxillaryBud Thousand Oaks, CA (8 reviews) February 16, 2011
John Bunker and his talented comrades at Fedco Trees have been essential to the growth of my 500-tree and -vine spread in California. They specialize in great heirloom apples like the Garden Royal--arguably the finest fresh eating apple of the 19th century--the Striped Harvey, Pumpkin Sweet of Orland, Starkey, Redfield and Trailman, astonishingly delicious varieties you'll have trouble finding anywhere else (even at Big Horse Creek Farm!) and an interesting collection of pears. John's selection of plums is the best I've ever seen, and his hybrid plums are the best plums I've ever tasted. Consistently good caliper on his trees, excellent root balls and feathered branching, and--very important if you're buying any serious quantities--moderate pricing! With the elevation in cost of living on the West Coast, some premier nurseries there are routinely charging $30 or more for a high quality bareroot tree. John has kept his price to $22 (plus volume discounts on top of that), which is especially helpful to folks in parts of the country where paychecks are smaller because the Cost of Living Index is lower than California or New York. Of course, it's a real bargain to us Californians, but that's the beauty of shopping on the internet! High quality bareroot stock, excellent selection, and moderate pricing. Can't say enough about the value of Fedco Trees.
nhplanter Washington, NH (Zone 5b) (4 reviews) November 22, 2009
I have always had good luck with Fedco seeds, so I decided to order some trees and shrubs from Fedco this past spring. I am usually very reluctant to order live plants through the mail due to bad experiences in the past, but I was pleasantly surprised with my Fedco tree order. The timing of arrival was perfect; the trees and shrubs were very healthy, with plenty of buds, but no leaves. The plants were larger than expected and did very well over the summer after they leafed out. Fedco carries many interesting varieties of trees and shrubs and has excellent prices.
I just can't say enough good about this company!! For the past dozen years I have purchased super-hardy, short-season fruit trees and berries from numerous mail-order nurseries. These guys are BY FAR the best. Last year I received a Stacyville pear, a La Crescent plum, and a Centennial crabapple. They were large, nicely branched, well-pruned, beautiful in-tact root systems, extremely well-packed, and they are thriving. Their printed catalog is a joy to receive in the winter--though it is also nice to be able to order online through their website. If you can find what you're looking for from Fedco, do yourself a favor and don't buy it anywhere else! You'll be so thrilled with the plants and service you receive, and you'll feel good about buying from a company that supports small growers. They also offer a large selection of certified organic cultivars and regional heirloom varieties. Happy planting!
This isn't your average tree/seed/bulb company. Not only do they provide superior products, and are a *super friendly*, responsive, caring company to deal with, but they also buy root stock, seed, and bulbs from small time growers and allow YOU the customer to choose where to put your money. So if supporting the small farmer is important to you (which I assume it is for most people) there's a simple system for making sure your seeds/trees/bulbs come from that source. How cool is that?! They have an amazing selection of seeds- from super resistant genetically modified to organic to rare heirlooms. Also, every single item- from beets to apples- is thoughtfully, accurately described, making the catalogs as entertaining as they are useful as a referrence guide. Also, they sell tons of great growing tools and supplies- and the largest selection of potato varieties I've seen! One of my favorite parts about winter is cuddling up with those fat, richly illustrated Fedco catalogs and some graph paper, planning and re-planning next season's veggie garden. And then finally, after exhausting every new whim and idea, going to their ultra-convenient website to order everything with ease. The bulk of what's growing on this farm- 5 varieties of raspberries, about 15 varieties of apples (including rootstock and scion wood obtained from their special early spring sale), several pears, peaches, blackberries, all of the perrenials I started from seed, herbs, elderberries, a willow, 4 plums plus 3 beach plums, all of the veggies I start from seed- came from Fedco- and there's good reason for that. They're just the best place around!
balsamfir Jay, NY (Zone 4a) (5 reviews) May 24, 2007
I've ordered from them several times. The plants have done very well and were very reasonable. The catalog is particularly informative and nicely illustrated. I keep it.
Ordered 11 apple trees, received 9, with a note that they were 'sold out' of the other 2 selections. This was my only communication from Fedco, including when I placed order...Several weeks after I ordered trees, I wrote to confirm that they received same. Now, the 9 trees that I received are gorgeous, and all leafed-out already...No visible signs of damage or infestations, and they are larger than trees received from other nurseries, and well-pruned...I am very satisfied with my purchase, and will order many more from them.
kattrox Floyds Knobs, IN (Zone 6b) (20 reviews) April 10, 2006
I received my lilacs and lemon lilies today. Hugh lilacs already budding and lilies with growth! The lemon lilies are hard to find but Fedco had them. Packed with care, great prices and reasonable shipping cost. I am very pleased!
I have purchased trees, shrubs and bulbs for the last three years. I like going to Fedco to pick up my order and see what else is available. The staff are always helpful and have soil on their hands! Their products are unique and the ones I have used have been great.
Last year I purchased a Donald Wyman crabapple on the advise of one of the staff. It was bareroot, about three feet tall and rather sparse. It filled out as the year went on and grew about 15" to 18". This year it was loaded with flowers - the catalog description was "the bloom is so intense, the tree looks like one massive flower." It was right on!
I also purchased two Wentworth highbush cranberries. These were about two feet high and bareroot. They grew well and this year look great with clusters of flowers that will turn into berries.
The hops vine from last year is taking over as stated; the rugosa roses are lush and full and other items are all healthy. Last winter was extremely rough and I lost an andromeda and had a lot of winterkill on other plants purchased from other places.
This year I got several Nanking cherry bushes, a mock orange, some asparagus (little shoots poking up), a honeysuckle and a peach tree. They are looking fine especially after all our recent rain but I can't wait for the next couple of years to see the results of these plants.
Fedco also has great soil amendments and organic fertilizers.
Placed a small order in January for early April delivery; arrived on time, well packed, but one tree dead and dry, surprised that no one noticed when packing. Filled out a form for refund, but so far heard nothing. Ordering procedure somewhat complicated for no apparent reason. On May 21st, 2004, oswald changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:
Received refund today, May 21, 2004 with a "Sorry" note and upgraded rating to Positive! Will reorder next season.On May 21st, 2004, oswald added the following:
Received refund today, May 21, 2004 with a "Sorry" note and upgraded rating to Positive! Will reorder next season.On April 17th, 2005, oswald changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:
Early April, as requested, received three American Chestnuts girdled by voles (?) and tinder-dry. Same happened with a plum last year. Requested refund, will see what happens. On April 27th, 2005, oswald added the following: