sourtaste Prince George, VA (1 review) August 17, 2011
I wanted to report that this was a good experience, but I can not. Last fall my dogwood trees were so late coming we had snow on the ground when I received them. Was supposed to receive notification that they had been shipped. I did not receive any notice. There were no instructions in the clear plastic bag with my trees. My trees never sprouted this season so I notified the service email address. The same address I used when questioning where my shipment was. It has been 23 days and 3 emails and no response at all. What about the guarantee? I like to help these types of organizations when I get the chance. Just wish there hadn't been false advertisement with the satisfaction guarantee. They were quite prompt in taking my money months before shipping the product.
heatherMO Mount Vernon, MO (1 review) April 29, 2011
My son came home from school with a pine tree he recieved (donated by a local company who purchased it from freetreesandplants.com). It rained quite heavily for the following 4 days, so i placed the tree (still in it's original bag) in the refrigerator as suggested. When the sun finally came out again, we got the tree out of the fridge, and it still looked great. We followed the directions included and then planted it in the ground...and it is doing great! I am extreamly pleased with our tree, and found it quite inspiring that there are still people out there willing to do good and help others in the process And my son sure is proud of his new addition to our landscaping! : )
I ordered Thornless Honey Locust, Red Maple and Laurelleaf willow trees on April 12, 2010. After a week or so, I called to see when I would receive them. I was told that they would ship mid May. And they did.
I read the instructions which stated if you weren't going to plant in the ground immediately, you should store in the refridgerator. I stored them in the fridg for several days (maybe even a week) before planting in pots.
The Willow started to grow leaves in the fridge, even before planting. The Honey Locust has done well too. Only the Red Maple has not produced any leaves.
I will be calling for a replacement of the Red Maple.
I would definitely order again. 2 trees for $7.95, in my opinion, is a steal. The packaging wasn't pretty, but the packaging is not what I wanted. I wanted the plants. Less packaging.....less waste
I ordered in March 16, 2010. I received my first shipment last week (May 19, 2010) and I was very happy to have actually received something after reading all the neg reviews...I am happy with my order but will probably not order again. The columbine and primrose I received were tiny and, even though there were two of each, the $8 for each pair is crazy considering the size of these tiny plants! I could run to lowes or home depot right down the street and pay half that for twice the plant. The lilac shrubs don't look like they will make it either...I will let you know in a bit as they were all planted this past weekend. I will say the packaging was sufficient as all my plants were completely in tact and looked good.
I am also still waiting on the rest of my order but I really hope I get the rest of my order and all the plants make it because I followed directions exactly before planting. I will update later.
Posted on May 24, 2010, updated May 25, 2010
GOOD INTENTIONS WITH NOT-SO-GOOD RESULTS
I found about this worthy-sounding enterprise through a newsletter, Wise Bread, back in early March. Checked Dave's Garden first--of course!--and decided to order from them since the postitives seemed to outweigh the negatives... Oh well. Never heard back from them after ordering, and when I emailed them about a month later, got an outdated automated response from the previous year. Well, here it is, the end of May and no word from them. Hey, it was under $10, so no big deal but... it is a big deal since the premise of helping disabled people was the selling point. I really wanted to support an organization dedicated to good a good cause. I decided that if the plants turned out to be less than perfect, that would be OK. But I've finally come to the conclusion that something is just not right about this venture. I finally did the research I should have done before, and according to a 2005 article in the Chicago Tribume (http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2004-05-02/news/040502004...) the founders, Cheryl and Greg Richter-- "she a freelance garden writer and photographer, he a consultant on the human interface of computer systems -- also have been selling plants as marketing premiums to banks and other businesses that give them away to customers." Now these are pretty savvy folks who unexplainably run "www.freetreesandplants.com" pretty badly. Enough is enough. I'm done with it.On May 25th, 2010, badokole added the following:
Received a refund the next day with note that said "We are so sorry that we were not able to fulfill your order". That's nice, but it still doesn't explain what happened to the order. And by the way, according to this article at http://www.garden.org/subchannels/landscaping/trees?q=show&i... it seems that packing is done by disabled people in Sheltered Workshops.
ellieblue Colchester, VT (5 reviews) August 8, 2009
For only $7.95 for 2 cherry trees, I gave your company a try. I am really pleased with the plants you sent. I have put them in large pots and they are growing without any problems. Will order again.
My plants and trees arrived in good shape, with decent packaging. Some had roots, some didn't. I have planted everything and all but 3 have lived so far and are doing okay.
Some of the trees have started to show green on them and some still have nothing, so time will tell. I have found their customer service to be wonderful..The only thing that I have found to be not so perfect is the shipping time. I am still waitng for a couple things that I ordered a month ago...One is a replacement for something I had ordered which was out of stock and one is some more grass, which died...
All in all I would re-order from them again.
earlbishop Independence, MO (1 review) May 15, 2009
Nothing but positives about my experience with these people. They answered my e-mails and/or phone calls promptly and courteously. My order was shipped at the time they promised and arrived in good shape. The plants were healthy when I put them in the ground. Waiting for survival rate because an hour after planting we experienced 4-6 inch rainfall. The plants looked good before they were inundated. I will definitely order again and refer friends to the site.
blueskyfd11 Harrison Valley, PA (Zone 5a) (4 reviews) April 8, 2009
I have sent a couple of e-mails to them and recieved answers within an hour. They answer my questions fully and they are very curtious. My order was placed I believe in Oct. of 2008 and I sent an e-mail first week of April 2009 asking when my shipment will arrive. They answered me right away stating that they will send a comformation e-mail 2 weeks before shipping. But with what I am reading, probably the best thing will be to wait and see what condition and when I recieve it before I order anything more. Still believe they are a good group of people with very good intentions. Time will tell.
gardenguru12 Sonora, CA (Zone 7a) (1 review) January 10, 2009
Well, well, well. I have to say that I'm on the fence about all I've read in this forum. On Dec. 21, I placed an order with this company for a large number of trees and plants. Approximately 2 weeks ago, I sent an email requesting a more "approximate" ship date than the one the company provided after payment had cleared, which stated:
"Any trees or shrubs ordered will be sent in Fall 2008 after they have gone
following a hard freeze. We will keep you informed about when that will
happen. All perennials will be shipped when your order is processed."
I have yet to receive a response! Kind of nervous since when I placed my order, Fall 2008 had already past!?
1000 times my negatives. I don't believe that the people are diabled. I'm disabled too but my work is always near perfect. First of all, there must be someone to texh those people how to pack the plants and supervise them with everything they should know, this is their living. Let me tell you how my plants came to me, I was so shocked and so ashamed that the pack the plant so badly. They came in an inside out DHL plastic bag with tape to close it, they charge me over $28.00 and I looked at the stamps, it was only $2.51. Packing in a old plastic bag, Open it and there were the plants, more packed in little plastic bags that was open , the soil was everywhere, the plants looked burned from the heat, they were suffering from the heat inside . I could cry and I was very upset and darn mad. Please folks any body who handle the bag with little plants can destroy it in a minute or two, They did not get any fresh air at all, it looks like soup. I believe that this is a BS story about working and helping the poor disabled people. Those people takes pride for what they are doing, Kids play I believe is taking place , one or two years old. If this company want something good selling plant (Oh excuse me) giving away I mean, They should have classes to teach the people that works there, sorry no sympathy from me. Please don't let this company fool no more good folks. Don't buy from them until they do the right thing.. I will call them tomorrow too.. BEWARE MY FRIENDS On June 2nd, 2008, adikld added the following:
Humbuk I have yet received a refund. But what I have said is the truth. I will never recomment this company. I had ask for the money back, I have not seen it yet. I love anybody who can help the disabled people and the poor and that is why I bought their plants. I never seen any other dealers send their plants the way they do. Slappy. Hope anybody else will be happy with their plants and maybe it help them to send the plants with more care and love. Good luck. Can that be that I'm the only one that gets those darling plants? Just beware.Company representative comment on May 22, 2008: On May 22, 2008 2:29 PM, Free Trees and Plants added:
As I understand the negative evaluation above, the writer has four areas of concern.
1. That Free Trees and Plants does not employ workers with disabilities.
That is simply untrue. We hire fully accredited sheltered workshops that are managed by certified professionals. Anyone who needs documentation is welcome to contact us regarding third party confirmation.
2.That those workers do not get training.
This is also unfounded. As part and parcel of every well- run workshop, trainer/teachers work with every client to set and meet training, work, and life goals as part of their work experience.
3.That the amount of postage on the package was less than the reservation, processing, and shipping costs that we charged.
This observation is true on its face, but the writer gave no consideration to, or further examination of, what the charge represents. Each plant goes through a 13 step procedure
that is fully explained on the site.
We know that every visitor or customer won’t read that information, but not doing so before contacting us and misrepresenting the project in a public forum is unfair. The bell cannot be un-rung, nor can we reasonably expect that a reader will not merely react to the fact that the
review was marked negative.
This writer indicated that the review was written before contacting us. We are always willing to work with anyone, customer or not, who has any need in relation to the project or our products.
In a nutshell, the charge pays the workers, the rent, the utilities and office expenses of maintaining the site and providing customer service. The plants themselves are free, come as a two plant unit, and when all factors are considered, are less expensive than the same ordered from a traditional catalog or similar website.
4That the package arrived in poor condition.
That is only one of the many reasons why we offer a full guarantee of customer satisfaction. The huge volume of mail handled by the post office requires that it be machine processed . In that situation there is always a chance for damage or delay. Through our guarantee we provide customers with the assurance that are protected against that outcome.
The writer of the review received a full refund, an apology ,was treated with respect, and when
asked, indicated satisfaction.
Shipping was costly considering quality of packaging and condition of shipped items. Quality of product was questionable. Some plants lived, some died. The appeal of the company is its guise of helping disabled workers and rescuing plants from landfills. I doubt I will buy from them again.
tkwoodard Travelers Rest, SC (2 reviews) October 22, 2007
I understand the concept behind this company, so was willing to grant a little with regard to customer service, but have been disappointed in even my low expectations. My order arrived when they wanted, which was OK with me until they all died within 48 hours. I sent an email to the company and received a prompt reply that I would receive a replacement order. After waiting another 2 weeks, I emailed again and asked when my order might arrive, and received a reply that they would refund my money -- no explanations or anything. Even a non-profit retail has to provide a decent product and customer service. It sounds like it might be a good idea that may be lacking in the implementation.
By they way, I did at least receive my refund.
I found this site late in the planting season for me, but I contacted them, and they said they could process my order.
I ordered 3 items--red valerian, baptisia and a goldenrod. The goldenrod was big and healthy, the valerians were green but barely rooted, and the baptisia was back ordered and has not been delivered yet.
I should have left the valerian in the six pack to grow some more roots, but I followed the enclosed instruction and transplanted them into a container. When the valerians kicked the bucket, I emailed the company, they quickly responded and said new plants had been mailed.
Packaging was fine.
I will be ordering from them again.
jillofall Colorado Springs, CO (Zone 5a) (6 reviews) July 11, 2006
I guess I didn't expect much for free, and I wasn't disappointed. I ordered 2 arbotvitae Green Giant. The company decided when it was the best time to plant them, and I would have liked them sooner, especially since they were so small and bare root, and needed to be planted in a pot anyway. They recommend they grow in a pot for 2 years. I didn't have the patience and ended up ordering a larger one from Sooner Plant Farm. Before I got the arborvitae, I received a red lily in the mail with no explanation. I don't know if I got someone elses order or if this was a bonus.
rdinjian Watertown, MA (Zone 6a) (9 reviews) June 25, 2006
I ordered lilacs, viburnums, a shrub honeysuckle and some arborvitae this spring - I knew in advance that this is not a full service mail order company, and I think I knew what I was getting into - these are "extra" plants for me, kind of like buying end of year clearance and hoping you got a deal.
I am happy with the results - it took a while to get the plants, which I expected, but they all shipped within 2 weeks of Memorial Day, which is the conservative planting date for where I live.
The plants were decent - the lilacs have taken off, and the honeysuckle was just outstanding, much larger than I had hoped. One of the viburnums didn't make it, and the arbs crapped the bed, but I should get replacements this fall.
They have been very responsive to emails - all in all, I would not have gotten the same plants for what I spent anywhere else. Actually, the quality is as good or better than what I ordered years ago from Park's/Wayside Gardens.
cvachani Merion Station, PA (1 review) June 9, 2006
This is by no means free. 5.95 for S&H, I should have stuck with the outlet near my house. Despite ordering in February, now in June I still have not received my complete order and what I have received has been not good. One perrenial may come back next year, but it won't do much this year and the rest (ice plant & red twig dogwood) still appears dead despite 2 weeks of attention from me.
They should be far more clear about the length of time it takes to get the plants - I received items from other catologues months before their stuff - and should actually provide a quality product. I have sent several emails with no response from them - they get an F for customer service. DON"T ORDER - even if it is tempting.On June 13th, 2006, cvachani changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
I got a very satisfying reply from the organization after this posting. It is dissappointing that it took multiple emails to get a response, but I was assured that they are changing the way they deal with emails and customer service so this should not happen to others. I hope that is true because the idea of the organization is a good one. They also will be changing the way they ship orders, so this may help in the quality of shipments when they arrive.
ScbNymph Clifton Park, NY (Zone 5a) (7 reviews) May 26, 2006
I ordered from this company because it is a positve way for people with disabilities to earn a living and I wanted to do "my part" as it were. I WAS NOT expecting the kind of service you receive from more established mail-order companies and so I felt I had no right to be disappointed. I ordered Hosta's and Ferns, all of which arrived around the shipping date I had been provided. The divisions were much smaller than I am used to and out of six bareroot plants only two were what looked like DOA, I planted them anyway to see if anything happens. The other four are growing and seem to be liking their new environment. Packaging was a little on the flimsy side but served its purpose
I will likely order from this company again but probably only plants I would imagine to be indestructable! Do a good deed and give someone some work
Bought rosemary on 3/28/06. Waited for about 2 months, emailed them on 5/15/06 regarding the whereabouts of my plants, received response on 5/18/06. They said they'd check on it and if it were not sent out it'd be sent out on 5/22/06. On 5/20/06 I recieved my plants, postdated 5/18/06. When I received it, the plants were in a tyvek small envelope with no padding, just two plants. The plants were crushed and were DOA during shipping. They have a guarantee so I emailed them.
It's a great thing that they are helping people but very slow process and bad organization.Company representative comment on May 21, 2006: On May 21, 2006 12:46 PM, Free Trees and Plants added:
We truly are accomplishing our goal of creating a way for disabled workers to get a paycheck and we're saving plants that would otherwise be destroyed. However, as a young organzation we are still ironing out the complications in computer efficiency and customer service.
Our rosemary plants are part of our green and growing perennial plants. These can not be shipped until we are certain that the plants will not encounter freezing temperatures during their journey to our customers homes. As gardeners we know that last date of frost is officially May 15. Many parts of the country have been encountering very unseasonable weather and we monitor this so we don't have thousands of plants arrive dead. We began shipping thousands and thousands of perennials near the end of April.
We have just changed the manner in which our perennials are packaged. We no longer use tyvek envelopes. They are now enclosed in a clear plastic container serving as a "mini-greenhouse" and then they're enclosed in additional package depending on the size needs. Perennials can take almost any amount of abuse except for lack of water and extreme temperatures. The plants mentioned by this person will most likely grow. We will contact this customer and will also send replacements in our new packaging system. The replacements will be shipped tomorrow.
Regardless, of the errors we may make in the earliest stages of this project. We are honest and will not allow anyone that we know of walk away without being satisfied. Everything is guaranteed.
One additional note. The plants you receive are truly a good value. Remember that the low shipping and processing fees are the only funds we receive to run this project. There isn't any room for large staffing needs, advertising, or the latest customer service programs. We have to deal with thousands of calls and emails each week. We have a very small office staff to do so. As you may notice by the date of this complaint and my response, it is around noon on Sunday, May 21st. We're here in the office responding to our customers needs.
Thank you to all who have supported the Freetreesandplants.com project.
Debra J. Ersch
ndakotamom Grace City, ND (Zone 4a) (3 reviews) March 31, 2006
I placed an order in the fall of 2004 for three kinds of tulip bulbs. The bulbs arrived in good condition and in plenty of time to plant. I was slightly disappointed in the spring of 05 because only three of the darwin tulips bloomed the others (parrot tulips and peonie flowering) didn't really bloom. I think I planted some of them too deep. I had written them off, so I was very suprised to see all three varieties are poking out of the ground today. With the darwin coming up in multiples. I think the cause of this company is very noble and I will possibly order again in the future.
I took the plunge a bout 3 months ago with this company and ordered a unit (2 plants in this case) of Trumpet vine.
They took about 4 weeks to arrive but were healthy looking bare root stock.
I'm in Fort Worth and I was concerned about transplanting them in the heat but for $6.95 I gave it a go.
2 weeks later I saw new growth!!! and now thay are both about 30 inches tall and going strong. I am VERY happy I took the chance!!
cesmit2 chillicothe, OH (Zone 5b) (8 reviews) July 13, 2005
I just recently learned about this organization, so I jumped on their website and decided to order 1 unit of Red Buds (actually 2 trees) for only $6.95.
I received the trees today, and while the packing leaves a bit to be desired (arrived in a clear plastic bag in my mailbox, although they were moist), the plants appear to be healthy with very healthy root systems. Now comes the tough part of transplanting them in the 90-degree weather of mid-July in Ohio. Hopefully they will survive that shock.
But now I know that I will probably be ordering more in the future from this organization, and I have a feeling that we're going to see their positive feedbacks really take off.
After reading about the concept of this company, I felt I would order and "do a good deed." I ordered redbuds, currants, honeysuckle and false indigo. I received a plastic bag with whips rather than trees, but the root systems appeared healthy so I planted them. After a few days, the honeysuckles had new growth but everything else looked dead, but I left them in the ground anyway. I did not neglect them, but I did not baby them either. I had decided they probably weren't going to make it, and chalked up my order to being a donation to a good cause. I decided to leave them in the ground until I found replacements. Surprisingly, after a few weeks the redbuds and false indigo have begun to show new growth. The currants I have given up on, and have thrown them in the compost pile.
I doubt I will order trees again, but I may try perennials.
Patricia124 Gallant, AL (Zone 7b) (2 reviews) April 22, 2005
On April 5th I ordered 1 unit(2 plants) of Lilac, 1 unit (2 trees)of Austrian pine and 1 unit (2 trees)of Colorado Blue Spruce.
2 weeks later I received the Austrian pine in good condition. I know bareroot plants and immediately put them in water to soak and planted them the next morning. They are doing good.
A week later I received the lilacs, I received 3 of them instead of just 2 what a surprise and they have little buds on them. They are planted and doing well also.
Still waiting on my Blue Spruce. I'm expecting them to arrive soon.
I'm happy with their service and will order from them again.
Because I had never hard of this company, and Didn't know about garden watchdog, I ordered one "unit" which consisted of 3 irises. I ordered at the beginning of march, and receved my items at the beginning of april. They looked well packaged, and in good shape, though the packaging did not contain planting instructions, and I was instructed to look them up on the website. The items haven't been in the ground long enough to know how well they will grow, but the had sprouted a little bit during shipping. I probably will not order from them again, not because of the quality of plants, or timly shipping or anything, but because I never receved a "Anticipated order date." I would like to know when my items are coming to me. Rated positive because it seems to be a good company, just not for me :)
Pixydish Lakewood, WA (Zone 8a) (13 reviews) April 3, 2005
Ordered Redbud trees and they arrived alive, but packed in just a plastic bag with my address stuck to it. The trees were very small, not branched at all, but they will grow. I won't order trees from them again, but see my next post about the other order.On April 3rd, 2005, Pixydish added the following:
Guess the site won't let me post again, so I won't change my rating. The Rose of Sharon I ordered were fine. Good root systems and well branched. I would give them a positive rating on the Rose of Sharon and would likely order perennials from them again. I just want my trees to be larger than what I got.
Yuska San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) (4 reviews) April 1, 2005
Because the concept behind this mailorder system was new and untested, I ordered only one unit (hostas). The package arrived today in good shape. The dormant roots are healthy and abundant. The growing tips are strong and beginning to show green. I'm refreshing the plants in water and will plant them later today. I'll check in to the website periodically and will probably order again, depending on what miscellaneous choices might be offered. Overall I rate this experience as satisfactory. Yuska
I had ordered 2 Red Maple trees, Giant Columbine,and Caladiums. I am very impressed with the items that I received in Mar. 2005. My Red Maples had buds on them and a very good root system. I will be checking them out next year and I plan on ordering more.
I had send there address to 3 of my friends and they all ordered, and they told me they were very impressed with the items that they received.
snipper erie, PA (Zone 5a) (4 reviews) March 26, 2005
I placed my order in early Feb. and received it on March 22nd., too early to plant in Zone5a. The Nanking Cherry trees are 12 inch bareroot whips, the Blackberry lilys, Giant Columbines,and Lady Ferns are small bareroot plants packed in dry wood chips and look very dried out even for bareroot plants. The Honeysuckle plants are the best looking with a mass of healthly looking roots and good branching. If I can keep them alive for a few weeks untill I can plant them, time will tell if I made a good purchase. I doubt if I will order from this company again.
RikerBear Seattle, WA (Zone 8b) (1 review) March 1, 2005
Wonderful people to deal with, and excellent trees and shrubs. The plants I recieved (2 red maples, 2 colorado blue spruce, and several hostas) all arrived in very good condition, expertly packaged, and very healthy.
Will ceratinly be ordering again next year.
trueepicure Alexandria, VA (4 reviews) January 25, 2005
While the plants (lavender and blackberry lilies) arrived when promised (September), they arrived in poor condition. The lavender was musty and wet when I got it, and when I got the lily bulbs a week or so later, they were dry and shrivelled looking.
I planted the lavender anyway, in case the instructions saying that the plants were dormant was true. I should have stuck with my original feeling that they were DOA. I waited a week or so, but there was no new growth, and in fact the "branches" had gone from moist and musty to dry and brittle.
I contacted the company to get replacements. The customer service was pretty good. I was told that another set of plants would ship, but I got a refund instead. I appreciate that.
I guess I have to wait for the lilies, but I'm not holding out much hope. I probably should have soaked them first before I planted them, even though the instructions didn't say to. Some of my other bulbs are popping up now, so I'll give it a while. I don't think I'll bother to try to recoup costs on these.