alanstrees Ellabell United States (1 review) January 7, 2015
My experiences with this company have met all expectations. All orders were correctly and timely shipped and all plants have survived but one, and I believe that the problem there was may fault. I have ordered, on several occasions fruit trees suitable for wildlife, and they range from paw paws, apple seedlings and crab apples, pears, mayhaws and mulberries over a 3 year period. Most were tubed. All were bare root, and I am NOT a fan of this to start with. I'm an air root prune, accelerators or rootmakers, propagate them myself kind of guy. I just like to plant stuff. But I have to admit that I've done well with the bare roots so far, and I wanted pollinators and genetics from different populations to go with my own. And I give them the proper care.
My reason for this post is to convey my experience and to add that a satisfied customer rarely says thank you to the vendor, much less post on a publicly shared site. I have no stake in the game. But I WILL use Willis Orchard again. They offer selections that I want, the quality so far has been good, and the customer service contact, while limited, has proven to be excellent. They do seem to know what they are talking about. I hope all find this helpful.
I wasn't happy with Willis. I wouldn't order from them again. I ordered $75 worth of berries. I had to remind them a couple months after ordering to receive them. I ordered mixed ages - from 1 to 3 year old canes. There was very little difference in the cane size. It took me two years to figure out that the Baba Berries I ordered were not Baba Berries, but Wineberries (sort of a weed berry). I emailed the company and sent a photo from a website as that was how I finally figured out that they weren't the correct berry. The service representative said I needed to send a photo from my garden of the fruiting berry but by that time the berries were gone. None of the berries I got from them did very well. I bought some golden berries and they didn't produce either. The shipping was on the high side as well for what I received - a box that weighed about a pound with about a dozen spindly canes in it. Not worth the money and lousy customer service.
I recommend that you use another vendor other than Willis Orchard Company for your plants and trees. I made my order in early March 2013 and received my products in early April 2013. I had pre-dug holes for each of the items, sprayed them down thoroughly upon arrival, and quickly got them into the ground. I kept the plants well-watered during the 2013 growing season. My results with their products were highly disappointing.
All-in-one Almond tree: No leaves or growth in 2013 or 2014
Mahan and Hican Pecan trees: 2013- one tree had three leaves, other no leaves or growth; 2014- no leaves or growth on either tree
Anne Raspberry plants (5):- 2013- two plants had a few leaves; 2014- no leaves or growth on any plants
Chickasaw Plum tree: No leaves or growth in 2013 and 2014
In contrast, cherry, fig, apple, and pear trees from other vendors grew very well on my property in 2013 and 2014. In contrast, Anne Raspberry plants from Burpee grew very well on my property in 2014.
I am a gardener with 40 years of experience. I did not contact Willis Orchard for an exchange because, quite frankly, I do not wish to receive more weak trees and plants that will take up my time and fail to prosper.
I very carefully weighed my options when I decided what and where I was going to order from. I opted to use an online grower for multiple reasons, one being I could check out reviews about them and another being I could fully research exactly what I was buying before I bought it to ensure it would grow properly in my home. The fact that Willis was located in Georgia, to me was a bonus because the record low temperatures in the regions did a number to area growers.
-- What I ordered:
Red Delicious Apple Tree, Granny Smith Apple Tree, Stella Cherry Tree, Weeping Santa Rosa Plum Tree, Golden Delicious Apple Tree, Shinko Asian Pear Tree, Blenheim Apricot Tree, Sam Houston Peach Tree, Bartlett Pear Tree, Then three I believe of 3 year old grape vines, and a blueberry bush
What arrived: Everything- Wrapped meticulously and nicely pruned in a box, bare root, with gel. They arrived just as we had begun to warm up a bit and they had not broke dormancy. We had already prepared all the holes as we were expecting their arrival. We purchased mostly Ez-picks, a couple instant orchard size but the Blenheim was young and was the only tree we bought on a whim (without previously researching). The blueberry bush already had some green on it and was the first we planted immediately out of the box in an area with acidic soil just perfect for blueberry bushes. We soaked the roots for the others and added mycorrhizal fungi to the soil when planting to help the roots have the absolute best start. All the trees were planted within a few hours of arrival. The grape vines honestly looked fairly poor. I know dormant vines always do, but these had me really wondering. We planted them along the trellis built for them and crossed our fingers. Within about a month, the Sam Houston just looked pitiful despite it being one of the more expensive trees we bought. I called a neighbor who happens to be a horticulturist and asked for help. He said a lot of peach trees were fairing poorly this year, I explained it had only been transplanted a month prior and he said the best we could do was give it some time to see how well it would do. By late August, a scratch test revealed it was indeed completely dead and we removed it. It was also around that time that my shinko asian pear died of fireblight. The entire tree (that is suppose to be resistant to fire blight) was overtaken and had to be removed as well. Our blueberry bush did not take off either and our grapes remained sticks as well. Dead. Now onto to the good news. The Santa Rosa weeping plum flourished beautifully. The Stella Cherry tree had minimal growth but it is thriving. Our three apple trees had lots of foliage growth and grew wonderfully. The blenheim we purchased was not much more than a 1 year maiden and as such performed like one. A little growth but too soon to say how she'll perform. The barlett pair had minimal growth, I am keeping a close eye on him- but being now it's winter, we will have to see how he does once breaking dormancy.
So why the neutral-
Well, my experience with their customer service was positive when I ordered. They answered questions in a timely manner and I appreciated that. I was disappointed that my trees did not perform as well as I'd hoped, but I am still watching carefully. Due to an error on my end (tossing the receipt that came in the box) and being a victim of identity theft, I had closed my bank account so I could not pull up my receipt. After reading their guidelines on their website and other reviews stating the difficulty of attempting to get replacements, I didn't even bother and have sucked it up as my loss.
I am now researching to put a new order in for this year for several more trees and some other bushes and grape vines. I am not sure what company to order from. I am on the fence with whether or not to order again from Willis or not. I appreciate that they offer mature trees that other companies do not. In the same breath, I'm unhappy that my blueberry bush did poorly, and my grapes and a few trees died. I'd rather pay a little more and have healthy plants and trees than to put all this time, research and effort into a losing battle.
I may update this eventually in the future when my trees get a little older. I did take many pictures when I unboxed my trees that I had planned to blog about, perhaps I'll do that this spring and update their growth. I noticed when researching this company there were some but not many unboxing/planting/growth updates online. That is vital information for someone like me with limited land to grow on, and a large family to feed. Company representative comment on December 31, 2014: On Dec 31, 2014 9:42 AM, Willis Orchard Company responded with:
We are sorry to read that some of your trees did not survive and that you would have redeemed warranty if you had receipt. It's OK that you don't have receipt, as we will have your order record of file. Please contact us and we will gladly replace the ones that did not grow.
Willis Orchard Co.
LeviG1965 Clemson United States (3 reviews) December 30, 2014
I recently purchased a few bare root pecan trees from Willis Orchard. They arrived a little later than expected, but they looked excellent. I was pleased with the price, compared to what I saw online from other similar places they were a little below average on the price but a little above average on the quality. I purchased last year from another nursery here in S. Carolina and had less luck. Company representative comment on December 30, 2014: On Dec 30, 2014 5:51 PM, Willis Orchard Company responded with:
Willis Orchard provided excellent trees and Jay Young was extremely helpful
I've purchased Apple and pear trees from Willis Orchard in the past and was very satisfied with all the trees I received. I purchased 2 giant Fuyu persimmon trees last spring, unfortunately the didn't survive. I contacted Willis Orchard's Jay Young who was... Read More
Sanford , TN
Good quality fruit trees and customer service.
I went online because I was looking for fruit trees and found Willis Orchard company. I ordered about 9 trees that came on a timely manner and well packed. They are good quality trees and I recently ordered 2 more. I am very pleased with their quality and the... Read More
Very Good Company.
This was the first time I worked with Willis Orchard Company. I hope to do more business with them in the future after my great experience with them. I ordered strawberries from them. I found that they are very prompt with their shipment and their order exceeded... Read More
I ordered three trees from Willis Orchards. I received only two. I emailed them and asked for a record check because I had not received the third tree. They checked their records and apparently their records showed that all three trees had been sent. HOWEVER, they... Read More
New Hampton, MO
Nice selection and great quality, well handled and taken care of.
Willis Orchard Company provides quality products and great customer service. I've purchased from other businesses, but the quality that Willis has is off the charts. They do phenomenal packaging, and everything has been great. Other places usually send me inferior... Read More
Cartersville , GA
Willis Orchard Co was a very good company to work with. They had a good selection of trees and they even helped us plant the trees in our yard. It was a great experience. Read More
Columbus , OH
Much better than I ever could have expected.
Willis Orchard Co provided me with plants with really long healthy roots. I was very pleased with them. They were also in clean tidy packaging, and they were delivered to me on time. At first I thought they would be really small plants, but they are a great size.... Read More
Stand by their products, keep their word!
I have had many dealings with Willis. In just a few cases, the tree did not survive, or I was sent the wrong plant. They replaced each without any problem. Jay in customer service went above and beyond to help me, and even set up orders to automatically ship in the... Read More
Great products, customer service, and delivery.
Willis Orchard Co has very good prices and quality. Whenever they have a desired item in stock, they send it right away. I am impressed with their variety and I usually go there for vines and little trees. Whenever I call them, they always put a knowledgeable staff... Read More
San Tan Valley, AZ
I would like to thank Willis Orchards for being honest, and responsible. I had a problem with some of my trees, they offered some very responsible solutions, which fixed all my problems. I'm now a satisfied customer who wants to let you know that you're dealing with... Read More
Man with brown thumb is happy
Everything with Willis Orchard Co. has been good so far. They have trees that are hard to find in stores. I bought three trees from them, two were an American Chestnut tree, which brought back memories from my childhood. I was extremely thrilled that they sold... Read More
Outstanding Product and Customer Service!!
Over two years I have bought over $2,500.00 worth of trees and berry plants from Jason Willis. I have not had one issue, have gotten sweet fruit on the first year! Cynthia is outstanding in customer service, also knows the product that she sells. I will always... Read More
Fjkaram Pottsboro, TX (1 review) December 26, 2014
First time, Last time. They shipped only one out of eight blue berries from a four different type combo offer I ordered. I Called and was told to send pictures--I guess they did not believe me. Called again and was told"Steve" could help, and he did agree to ship the remaining plants. Problem was only four of the eight plants were tagged with the type bush . They told me that the plants should have been separated in tagged pairs and tied together. This was not the case. The excuse was that there was a new "FED EX guy. WHAT??? My plan was to track the progress of the four types to see which I may want to order next time. They offered no resolution and said there was nothing that could be done. I was told by a lady to send pictures of the eight plants and that they would be able to identify which was which. Someone called me after I sent the pictures and asked why I had sent the pictures. Guess they do not convey messages.
In my business if I had made such a mistake I would have offered the customer the option of returning the plants at my expense and would have made certain the order was shipped out correctly.
This company lacks training, quality control, internal communication and management that cares about customer service. Look elsewhere for you gardening needs.
I welcome a response from the management team to prove they are listening to their customers. I find that the negative comments on this site indicates they do not and could care less.
dentednj Califon, NJ (Zone 6b) (1 review) December 18, 2014
This is the first time I didn't check here for a review before ordering from a company. If I had I would not have ordered as their customer service seems to be highly erratic. As it is I ordered 9 fruit trees and an elderberry bush and a week later they arrived looking fine. I planted them the same day they arrived. Since I pruned them after planting I know that they are living. It is Mid-December here in NJ and the soil is still highly workable in my garden so I am hoping they will do okay and I will have spring growth. I will follow this review up once spring has arrived and we see if they will live. I am hoping they are the correct fruit selections of my order since that also seems to be a problem from other customer's comments.
I ordered a persimmon tree several years ago. It took a couple of seasons for the tree to fruit as expected. What was not expected was the variety. I did not think that it was the variety that I ordered. I took a picture and sent it. They double checked my order in their records and confirmed that the picture was not corresponding to the variety ordered. Even after the several year time period, not only did they send me a new tree for free, but they sent me a bigger starter tree than originally ordered to help make up for the time it will take to get new fruit.
Thanks for the great service and for standing behind your product after so long!
Feodosia Versailles, MO (2 reviews) November 29, 2014
I've just received my first order from Willis ... its almost Dec. now, I was expecting the plants to come in the spring because the nights are already getting below 20 deg. here in Missouri ... so I am alittle nervous about their survival chances ... I ordered 3 pear trees and I have to say that if these stay alive I feel that I really got my money's worth .... the trees are a very good size for the price I paid ( when compared to some tiny crooked " twigs " you get from some other online outfits.) They also have a good shape , nice straight and normal looking ( not rejects or picked-overs ) ...I wish that they had left a few more roots on them when they pruned , but we'll see what happens.... of course the real test will be in the spring , if these trees survive the MO. winter and wake up .For now , I have to leave a positive rating because I got these at a good price , the trees are large and of a nice shape . So I will report back in the spring and let you know if they woke up or not.
I have done business with online nurseries for years but have never been as unhappy with the product as I am with my first (and last) order from Willis Orchards.
In October I ordered 6 apple trees and 5 drake elms. Taking note that part of the order would not be shipped until the 10th of November I monitored my email after that date for a shipping notice. None came and about a week later I called them to inquire about when to expect shipment. I was informed they did not ship until December. Upon receiving this information I requested they ship ASAP as I wanted the trees by my birthday on the 24th of November. They shipped them on the 24th and receipt was made via fedex on the 26th. Holes had already been dug and fertilizer added for the trees arrival. The apples will probably survive but note there was only 1 of the 6 that had a single leaf remaining. All of the others were bare. The drake elms were the most spindly looking things imaginable and did not have a green leaf amongst them. The remaining leaves were dead. They appeared to have been harvested weeks before they were shipped. Of the 5 received, one had a large gash about 3 inches long in the bottom of the trunk. Here in Florida that means an infected tree that will die within the year. I threw it in the garbage.
I will not do business with this company again and will warn others about them.Company representative comment on December 1, 2014: On Dec 1, 2014 10:18 AM, Willis Orchard Company responded with:
The trees you mention are not supposed to has leaves at this time of year. They are supposed to be dormant when transplanted. That is why they are not shipped any earlier than mid November. We ship the northern states first then start on the southern states so we typically don't start shipping these type of trees to Florida until December, which is the beginning of planting season for that area. If you will contact us regarding your order, we will take care of any problems you have. Also you should not add fertilizer when planting bare-root trees, as stated on the planting guide accompanying the order.
Posted on November 25, 2014, updated November 25, 2014
I attempted to place an order this morning. The woman answering the phone was so hateful that I chose not to. I have sent a personal email to Jason Willis. Will revise if I hear from him. I do not want to deal with this woman if my trees should die!On November 25th, 2014, a8383 changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
Received a very kind apology from Jason Willis.
juliannen New Hartford, NY (1 review) November 24, 2014
I ordered cherry trees, grapes, and raspberries in September. It's now almost December. I'm in upstate NY and it is way too late to plant. When I called Willis Nursery they treated me horribly! The worst customer service I've ever had! I asked what I should do with the grapes when they got here since you should plant them in the Spring. She said there was some button on the order form and offered NO help. I spent $100 and like many many times before expected my plants to be shipped when it was time to plant them. I've always ordered in the Fall for my Spring planting. The guy (once transferred from the wicked witch) pulled up my weather and we are having a freakish warm day..ONE day.. and asked what my problem was. The problem is is that it will be 20 in another day again. The snow just melted so I can see the ground. RUDE RUDE RUDE. I so wish I had found these reviews before I went with them. I am going to try to save anyone I can from ordering from them.
thecityman Orlinda, TN (1 review) November 11, 2014
Posted on May 27, 2014, updated November 11, 2014
Posted on April 22, 2014, updated May 27, 2014
I placed an order for 6 fruit trees and 2 raspberries in late march 2014. I was a bit nervous because they charged my credit card within a few days even though my order wasn\'t sent until 3 weeks later. But its all good. Just about the time my order was going to ship, I realized that I had made a mistake on my order and selected a tree I did not want. I sent them an e-mail explaining that the mistake was entirely my fault, but that I would really appreciate them changing my mistake tree to one I wanted (a Hachiya Persimmon). I got an e-mail back saying my order had already been put together and was in the shipping area to be sent. Nevertheless, the lady who e-mailed me that said she would try to change it for me. I had little hope, but less than 24 hours later she e-mailed me back and said they had been able to pull my order, go get my replacement tree, take out the try I didn\'t want, repackage the order, and ship it. I am explaining all this detail because I really think it bodes well for the company and their customer service that they went to so much trouble-at absolutely no charge- and all for a mistake that was entirely my own. Many places would have said it was too late, impossible, or at best charge a change order fee. Anyway, as promised, my order was shipped on a Friday and fed ex tried to deliver it the very next day to my door in a different state over 500 miles away. (Fed ex screwed up so I had to wait one more day that was in no way Willis\'s fault) As for my order....the good news continues. All my trees arrived in very good condition. They were incredibly well packaged....bundled all together, with all roots submerged in the gel stuff most places use which was still very much wet. The roots and gel were all inside plastic, which in turn was tightly wrapped with practically a whole roll of shipping tape, then the whole bundle was placed in a perfectly sized box, with bubble wrap occupying all extra space to prevent too much movement during shipment. The condition of all the large trees was outstanding. They were dormant but starting to wake up-enough that you can tell they are most likely going to bud and leaf out. There were less roots that I\'d prefer, but that is fairly common with Bare root shipped trees. The 2 small trees (1-3 feet) and raspberries seemed to be a little more dry that I had hoped, but they were fairly green on a scratch test so hopefully they will be ok. Overall. all the trees appear to be alive and I\'m pretty sure they will be ok. I promise to come back here in a few weeks and update this review to let everyone know whether all my plants survived and, if not, how Willis handled the dead ones. But I am confident most if not all will live, and in view of some of the reviews on here I think Willis Orchards deserves the Positive rating I am giving them for everything that has happened so far (as described above). My experience was a very, very good one and if my plants live-and I think they will- then I believe they have just become my favorite fruit tree source.On May 27th, 2014, thecityman changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:
Well, things didn\'t turn out nearly as well as my original post indicated. As it turns out, I had more tree and plant deaths than with any order I\'ve ever done. I wanted to wait before updating this post to be absolutely certain of what did and did not live. I am now prepared to give you those results. In total, I ordered 5 trees and 3 plants. Out of that, a grand total of two trees lived. Two. That is a 75% failure rate. All 3 raspberry plants died as did 4 of the 6 fruit trees I purchased. Specifically, a plumcot, a Green Gage plum, Tanenashi Persimmon, and a hachia Persimmon died along with the 3 raspberries. A mulberry and Blenheim Apricot lived. I mentioned in my original review that the trees looked alive when I received them but I had some concerns about the roots on some. They were, however, packaged well. I also have to wonder if they held my order back, out of ground, longer than normal in order to make the order change I requested. If so, they didn\'t tell me that and of course I\'d have preferred they not make my requested change if it really did result in all the other trees being left out too long and caused their death. But that is just guess work anyway. Its also possible that fed ex\'s error than caused the trees to be in their hands an extra day and 1/2 could have contributed...who knows. All I know is I spent over $100 and ended up with only 2 trees, one being just 10 inches tall. I also want you to all know that I am quite certain the deaths were in no way my own fault. I got my trees at around noon. I went home immediately unwrapped and put all of them in a bucket of water where they sat for about 6 hours. That very evening I went home and put every tree and plant into the ground into holes that I had previously prepared by slightly amending the good, fertile, well drained soil I have. I watered them in and over the next 4 weeks kept them reasonably well-but not over-watered. I used the same techniques I have on all my fruit trees, and I currently have 62 trees in my orchard and over the last 3 years I\'ve only had 2 other trees die. I have 27 raspberry plants and have lost maybe 5 over the last 3 years. My point here is I may not be a professional orchardist but I certainly have enough experience and understanding to know how to properly plant and care for a new tree or plant. There absolutely had to be something wrong with these.
Now, one very, very important point: I HAVE NOT YET NOTIFIED WILLIS ORCHARDS of my dead plants nor have I requested replacements, so I cannot yet judge their customer service when it comes to warranty/replacement. Their site says to wait a few months to be sure what lives or dies, and that is what I am doing. One could argue that it is unfair to change my review from positive to neutral without giving them a chance to redeem themselves. But I felt a 75% death rate alone warranted a change in my rating. I\'m also not thrilled with their policy of requiring me to pay postage to return dead trees, but I suppose that is to protect them and I won\'t hold it against them. I also hate having to wait until fall or maybe spring to get replacements, but I know trees survive better when planted at those times so I will accept that. To be fair, if they do honor the warranty and replace all my trees and plants without a big hassle, I will probably change my review back to positive. But in the meantime, I believe a neutral rating is appropriate in view of the high failure rate. On November 11th, 2014, thecityman changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:
WHile this is a very long review, I think it is important. It has gone from Negative (because so many plants died) to Neutral (because they SAID they would make it right but I wanted to wait until they did) to Positive (because they DID make it right). I've already explained why I gave the negative and neutral, now I want to tell you how they earned a "positive"...............:
I have been absolutely blown away by the level of customer service and the way Willis Orchard's handled the problem once I reported my dead trees. Basically, at the very end of summer I called and reported that 3 of my 5 trees had died and all 3 of my berry plants had died. I spoke to a wonder lady named Sylvia who almost immediately, without any interrogation or accusations or difficulty of any kind, apologized for the dead trees and plants and offered to replace them all or give me credit toward other things. When I inquired about having to mail in the dead stuff or send photos of them, she said they would trust me and that would not be necessary! WHAT!!!! In todays world, that is an amazing position for them to take. Even more amazing, she basically told me that she would leave it up to me to decide who would pay the shipping on the replacement order. WHAT!!!??? I felt that because bare root plants can and do die without them or me being to blame, if they were going to just take my word on what had died then I would pay the shipping on the replacements. Long story short, I put together a new order which included several new trees that had not been on my original order. Sylvia simply processed my new order and deducted the amount I had paid for the original trees and plants that died, added the shipping (with my blessing) and processed my new order.
I simply cannot fathom how they possibly could have been any more polite, accommodating, or better to deal with in any way. They went BEYOND their stated replacement policy by not making me send dead plants or even photos of dead plants, and even expressed a willingness to pay postage-which I do not think they should have to do since the dead plants may not have been their fault. They never questioned my honesty or made it the tiniest bit difficult to redeem my warranty. As icing on the cake, I mentioned that I had one tree which I thought was dead but which still had a very slight greenish tint on a scratch test so I wasn't going to claim it as dead and they went ahead and credited me for that tree as well...even though I hadn't officially tried to redeem the warranty on it yet. In short, Willis Ochards went above and beyond what they needed to do to satisfy me. It wasn't because I'm a big, regular customer because I'm not. They epitomize what any company-not just a nursery-should strive to be in terms of customer oriented.
One last note: On top of all the aforementioned things they did right, the last and perhaps best final compliment is on the replacement order I just received. Without exception, each and every one of the 8 new trees I ordered were larger than the size I specified in my order-meaning they voluntary bumped up my tree size without charging a single cent more-even though larger sizes obviously sell for more money. ANd they are not just longer; they are thicker and healthier too. I am thrilled with my new trees and with the service I have received. If I could somehow give a more positive review of this company than I have just done, I would do so. They deserve it. I'm mystified by the negative reviews I see here. All I can say is my experience has been a 10 out of 10.
HartPA Drexel Hill, PA (1 review) October 29, 2014
I have had 2 separate and positive experiences with Willis orchards. My first was that the tree that I had ordered (damson plum) was not a damson plum. After a few quick emails and some pictures that I sent, they determined that it was if fact a different tree (some kind of rare green plum). They immediately rectified the issue and are shipping a new damson plum at no cost.
My second experience was with their general phone number. A very nice lady (I forget her name, Cynthia, maybe) helped me with selecting what the best cherry tree would be for my area. She also gave me the phone number to my local extension office to make sure the tree suggested was best suited for my area.
I plan to order from them again. Great customer service.
rosepetal2 Danvers, MA (6 reviews) October 3, 2014
I ordered Elberta Peach, Blenheim Apriocot, Shinko Asian Pear, Shinseki Asian Pear and Meader Kiwi from Willis Orchard. I ordered all 6' trees and received varying sizes and paid approx $140 for the lot. They were dormant, packed well scheduled for March 24th ship and received 1st week April 2014 when here in MA we were subzero worst winter conditions. Couldn't find the Meader Kiwi - it was under the peach tree and was DOA, I called for replacement (May) and was told it would ship dormant Nov-Apr. Also I specifically asked for trees that were not pruned as I wanted to use for espalier. After several emails I was assured I would get trees with branching low on the trees. NONE of the trees had been pruned 40"+ inches up the trunk - so much for the assurance. I successfully nicked the trunks and was able to encourage low branching. I agree Carrie Linden, the woman handling the phone is rude and totally not helpful. During the summer the Elberta peach never did much beyond 2-3 buds that tried to leaf but NOTHING. Dead. So out of six fruit trees - two were DOA. I tried to put in a claim for the kiwi right away, sent multiple emails, couple of phone calls and even asked for a replacement - grape and was told they would ship in fall. The two pears and apricot are growing fine and are healthy and vigorous. I think they have descent stock at good prices - I have friends who have ordered from them and are happy. The problem is who ever is harvesting the trees in not checking to make sure they are vital. So it can be a crap shoot whether you get live trees if not checked. Overall I think Willis Orchards is a viable source for trees and ordered two more trees this month - both EZ pick. I'll ship back the Meader kiwi and Elberta peach roots and ask for a couple replacements. I'll update my post with that outcome.
I received four trees last spring-
Two survived two did not, in spite of being in equal sized pots and cared for equally-
The Stewartia and the Indian Peach never emerged from dormancy.
I called and was told that I did not have to send them back- I offered to send the pictures but the rep assured me that she knew I was right and would supply a store credit-
Today I called and was told that if I want the trees I have to pay another nineteen dollars for shipping-That is their minimum-
So now I have a 20- store credit and have to pay almost as much for shipping if I want to ransom my money. Also, apparently their attitude towards items that are sent dormant is that it is my problem if nothing happens when I plant them.
Of course, too late I read all the other complaints about Willis Orchards so I guess I am out the 20- bucks.
The new rep was adamant that I had to send the two dead sticks back or supply pictures. I do have the pictures somewhere I think,
But the whole idea-their attitude is just not the way other legitimate
and reputable companies operate.
All of the other mail order companies I deal with have always acknowledged a problem, if rarely there was one.
For instance, last spring I received a dormant tree from a very reputable company- One of four and it did not emerge- The rep assured me that this sometimes happens and sent a refund nor pictures or sticks required.
If my twenty dollars is that important to them I guess they can put it toward their advertising to try to reclaim their reputation.
I would never deal with them again and will tell my garden club to think twice. Willis Orchard just bought a whole lot of bad advertising on my twenty dollars.
I tried them for fruit trees....they had a great website....and several weeks after the promised delivery date, I received the now half dead trees. I asked for a refund....I did not plant living trees and have them die by my fault...I did not receive what was promised...but NO REFUND....and the lady on the phone was pretty rude in addition.
I would never order anything from them again, and neither should you.
Doughster4 Bowleys Quarters, MD (4 reviews) August 17, 2014
I ordered three fruit trees this past Spring. They were all shipped VERY late. The size was what I expected but upon close examination I noticed that the buds had broken dormancy and had been stripped from the branches. The apricot and peach never showed any sign of life. The Bosc pear sprouted BELOW the graft from rootstock. Everything above the graft turned black. Their guarantee anad return policy is not evernbothering with over three trees. I will order from a reputable source. My own fault for not reading the negative reviews from gardeners.
I ordered an angel red pomegranate from these guys over the winter and kept it in a container indoors and then moved it outside in June. It has never leafed out but it sprouted a new stalk from the roots; the top of the tree was dead on arrival.
When I called and described the issue, the woman explained that pomegranates can die back on top and start over, much like figs. I again explained that the tree was not outdoors here in the winter, and she told me that they don't keep the trees in a greenhouse and had a cold winter...the implication is that the dieback happened on their end. When I asked why I had bothered to pay for an older tree that was dead up top, she transferred me. I explained the situation again to the next guy, and he attempted to place the blame on me for the dead top growth (my coast of maine potting soil isn't good enough?). I again noted that the tree is alive (it sprouted from the base) so the soil seems not to be an issue, it's just dead on top. He changed up their answer here and said it was grown in a greenhouse and it's not their fault...he claims I must've killed it somehow.
Bad tree and bad service.
Rickb2665 Brookfield, WI (1 review) August 5, 2014
Last Fall I ordered 2 Blenheim Apricot trees from Willis Orchard. I ordered 6' tall 1.25" Cal. Trees. After I ordered them, I read all of the negative feedback about Willis Orchard and I got concerned. My Trees arrived in Mid April , and in Wisconsin, We had very brutal winter and snow was still on the ground in April. My Trees arrived well packaged with Gel wrapping around the roots. and there were a lot of buds coming to fruition on the branches upon arrival . The trees were pruned nicely. and I left the trees for two weeks in the gel because the ground was still frozen. In late April, I was able to plant my trees. I used 50% tree & Shrub soil along with 50% native soil. I also used a local garden centers root stimulator fertilizer. It is now Early august and my trees are flourishing. The buds have all turned to leaves and there is easily 12" of new growth on these trees. I do admit that I have watered the trees religiously and sprayed liquid fence liberally on the trees to keep the deer away. I have no reservations about the products nor the service that I received from Willis Orchards. I couldn't be happier with the trees that I have received I would and probably will buy from them again in the future.
screwed69 Cartersville, GA (1 review) May 28, 2014
I've spent over $200 to get nothing but DEAD trees!
Posted on February 1, 2014, updated May 21, 2014
Posted on January 28, 2014, updated February 1, 2014
I purchased some 1-2' bareroot crab apple and persimmon seedlings to start in the greenhouse over winter. The customer service was pretty good in that my order was acknowledged right away and I even requested they ship it earlier than I had originally requested. When I received the order I was surprised that the stock had bascially no root structure at all. I have ordered thousands of bareroot trees in the past and these were more bare than root. I treated them with rooting hormone and planted them like you would a hardwood cutting, time will tell if they produce any buds.
In their defense I did not call and ask for replacements so I cannot say if they would have replaced them or not. The order for me just wasn't large enough to bother with return/replacement calls and efforts. I generally like to place small orders from new companies to test their stock before placing large ones, this was probably a one time purchase company for me. My experience was what appears to be decent customer service but I was not impressed with the stock received.On February 1st, 2014, Attica_Farmer changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:
Some of the stock received has started to show signs of life. It is the dead of winter so there are a lot of variables at play here and user error is always a factor.
To my surprise I was also contacted by Willis Orchard. They stated that they had read my comments here and offered to replace any stock I did not feel was acceptable. I am confident that if I had notified them in the beginning and requested replacements they would have honored that also. I would have to say they have good customer service and that alone is enough to give them another shot at my next stock order.
On May 20th, 2014, Attica_Farmer changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:
I did in fact end up requesting replacement stock. I received 7 new Dolgo crab seedlings ( 7 of the 8 we originally purchased) after several emails back and forth with Jay from Willis Orchard. Unfortunately the replacements had the same weak root structure as the original order.
It is now Mid/late may, of the 15 total Dolgo crabs I received and 4 persimmon, I was able to save 3 Persimmon and 4 Dolgo Crabs. I actually have Dolgo crabs larger than the Willis Orchard stock that I planted from seed in January and they look much healthier and twice the size. It is always a learning curve and every year is different but for now I will place any future fruit tree orders from another vendor. I wish I could post pictures for comparison to illustrate the difference from vendor to vendor and seed from the fridge.
Honestly, this order was the most well-packed and high-quality of any garden center order I have ever placed. I ordered 45 bare root trees, 11 bare root grapes, about 60 raspberries/blackberries, and lot more. ALL of it was large and well-rooted, and very well-packed. I was initially afraid to order from them due to reviews on this forum, so when I got such a terrific order, I knew I had better post a positive review. Don't be afraid to order from Willis Orchards!!! They are GREAT!!!
I ordered two saw palmettos from Willis Orchard Company. They sent me an e-mail to confirm the order and another when it was shipped. The plants arrived in good condition. I would order from them again.
It’s really hit and miss with Willis Orchards. You have to be very careful what you order from them. They ship their Fruit trees “Dry Root” They ship in the spring when the trees are dormant, but they do not perform any kind of “Live” test. Both our original Fruit trees and their replacements were dead! Three years wasted when we could have gotten our trees from a more reputable and professional grower.
Online ordering was extremely easy. It took a while for the order to be shipped but it did specifically say online that it would take up to 14 business days. The tree I received was the correct one that I ordered, however, it was in very poor condition. I contacted "willis" by phone and explained the condition of the tree. I also emailed them a couple photos. They sent me images of another tree in far better condition and shipped it out the same day for free
Rekrab87 West Valley City, UT (1 review) April 22, 2014
I placed an order with Willis Orchards at the beginning of March. I was fairly happy with their selection of wine grapes as they had been difficult to find at the time. We ordered a lot of plants from them: 2 wine grape varietals, a hazelnut tree, walnut tree, dwarf peach, 3 raspberries, 1 golden raspberry, 1 kiwi vine, 1 blackberry. Everything seemed to go fairly well, although it did take awhile for our order to get shipped. We assumed it was to better time planting in our zone as other nurseries do the same thing, just with a little more notification. I sent them an email on April 1st inquiring about my order and when we might expect it to ship, but I never got a response. That was a little disconcerting, and that's when I found all of the awful reviews here...
Either way, our plants shipped the following week and arrived as expected. We weren't able to unpack all of them to check our order for a few days. When we did, all of the roots were bundled up together in the same sort of gel aquatic plants are stored and grown in. They were taped up, so it was a little difficult to unpack them. But, everything seemed to be alive and in good shape. Nice root systems on everything except the hazelnut and walnut trees. We expected a little more there, but for the price they were acceptable. They did forget to send us our pinot grigio grape vine. My fiancee called them up and even though we were outside their window for making corrections to the order, they sent us our grape vine free of charge. It's set to arrive this Friday.
I'm leaving the review as neutral due to the lack of online custom service. If you're going to do online sales, you should be a little more responsive to customer emails. But they were pleasant on the phone and the plants are in good shape. We may order from them in the future if they have something we can't find elsewhere.
Ordered two trees from this company and via email notified them that the weather in Az was heating up and if they could ship my plants sooner than what their website stated.
They agreed and sent an estimated shipping date with 3-4 shipping time.
It has now been three weeks and my order has not arrived. It will not arrive for 2-3 more days. Per the shipping company, Willis Orchard did not ship my product to arrive in 3-4 days like their salesperson indicated in her email and neither did they ship my plants early like they stated they would.
When I called them to find out why it was taking so long, they stated that I fell into their "busy" period and kept transferring me from person to person who simply stated they had done their part and i just needed to wait.
If the company had been honest in their emails regarding shipping of my plants and their arrival I feel I would have been able to make a more informed decision as to my order.
They said what they had to say to get my business and then they washed their hands when I called regarding my order.
They had their money and didn't care about conveying accurate information.
I ordered 4 PawPaw trees to be shipped to me in the Fall. I received them mid November after the ground was frozen. I had my professional Gardner come out and install them the same day they arrived. He told me that this time of year that they would not survive, they should have been shipped a month earlier.
He was right, I have 4 dead trees. I sent an email asking for a replacement & they said that I would have to pay shipping & handling charges to get replacements or send the dead ones back at my cost & they would send out replacements.
I asked them how it was my fault that they sent them out to late & they replied that this is their procedure and there is nothing they will do for me.
Its back to Gurneys for me! Their replacement policy rocks and Willis Orchard sucks.
Don't do it, not even for a second, Willis Orchard is a rip off.
I will never shop here again! Sorry I did! Last spring I ordered a pomegranate tree almost $100. Before I put in the order I read reviews of the company and as you can see here - they are mostly bad. Not using my best judgment I ignored them and put the order in. Big mistake! The tree came completely dead. I called right away and the lady on the phone told me to give it some time. So I did. It never budded at all. So I called back in May and I was told again to give it some time. Still never budded and not one leaf! I did a scratch test in different spots and the tree was not green. Dead! Just like I told her! I called back to get a replacement and was told that they do not ship trees over the summer and to call back next season and they would send a new one. I called March which is the beginning of our planting season. I was told that I would need to pay for the shipping of the new tree. Why should I do that?! I already paid for the shipping A YEAR AGO and this company sent a dead tree! I am only located a few hours away as we are in the same state so I don't believe that it died in shipping. It was dead when they sent it. Horrible customer service and dead plants - taking my business someplace else and working on disputing this on my credit card as they NEVER sent me a live tree.
I order 7 trees, (2x20th century Asians, plum, apple,and persimmon plus 2 walnuts) they arrived very quickly. I must say I was dissapointed when I saw the box and felt how light it was but I got what I ordered and now 2 weeks after planting all seem to be doing very well. Thank You Willis Orchard!
I have read both good and bad and honestly was expecting something to go wrong but so far I'm very happy and will order again.
Don't let the package fool you, they have some sort of jelly around the roots to keep them moist and it is packaged tightly with all the roots together. Anyways it worked.
mscratch Millersville, MO (Zone 6a) (6 reviews) February 11, 2014
Received the Garden Annie Dwarf Apricot tree
this morning from Willis Orchards. Beautifully packaged. Immediately removed it from the box and checked it over. Height is the size I ordered and no problem with broken limbs. Appears very healthy with nice root ball. Very pleased with this order.
AEgarden BROWNSBORO, AL (1 review) February 6, 2014
Posted on February 5, 2014, updated February 6, 2014
I ordered 3 yr old plants and got twigs. They didn't make it and I was promised replacements in the Fall. They didn't come and when I inquired they said I'd have to dig them up and send them back or take pictures and pay shipping. Even though I'm out $50 it wasn't worth it to deal with them any more.On February 6th, 2014, AEgarden changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
I'm changing this from negative to neutral since the company has now said they will ship more plants.
canyons Salt Lake City, UT (1 review) February 4, 2014
You get what you pay for. If you send a message saying your plants died, you have not in fact requested the warranty replacement. At least this was my experience. Notification apparently does not equal a request. It was a small order and a 100% loss. I requested a later shipment, but got the bare root stock months before the ground thawed. I tried to nurse them, but they all died.
So, given the number of negative posts, it appears as if doing business with Willis is a crap shoot. Some posters are happy, most are not. I'll go back to buying locally. YMMV
greensfarm Bear Creek, TX (1 review) January 27, 2014
Over the last 12 years I've ordered trees from several large nurseries and never been satisfied with what I've received. I've spent years raising some tree shipments only to find they weren't what I ordered. Things like bartlet pears that turned out to be bradford pears after eight years. Trees that arrived dead or died soon after sprouting. Two years ago I ordered trees from Willis and with the exception of two small trees that I new weren't adapted to my area all have flourished, more than doubling in size in two years. After reading their return policy I didn't bother about the two trees that didn't make it but the other trees I received were much better than those I have purchased elsewhere.
There are a few things worth pointing out about this company.
First, they are incredibly nice when you initially deal with them. However, in business, things go wrong all the time. I think it is how you deal with those things that really matter. There is no question they made a mistake when I witnessed these folks talking with a family member of mine. However, they quickly became irate and very nasty in their discussions when the family member was trying to reason with them.
The second thing made obvious is that I was amazed (with attitudes like that) at how reasonably positive the customer reviews have been on their website. It contradicts the tone found on Dave's Garden reviews. I learned how this is possible. I posted a negative review on that website, and The Willis management challenged my review. To have the negative review posted, then I would have needed to fax a receipt to show I am a customer. If you didn't save documentation or if their attitudes caused such distaste that you didn't make a purchase, then you likely would be prevented from making a negative post. That seems pretty convenient. I wonder how many receipts might be required if someone wanted to ever improve their own score and write their own positive reviews of themselves?Company representative comment on December 26, 2013: On Dec 26, 2013 12:22 PM, Willis Orchard Company responded with:
I asked every rep here to read this and give any feedback as to what this is about. We are perplexed as to what this post is referring too.
They did try to make a post on Customer Lobby that basically accused of being rude, nasty people. However when I used the name and email given in the post and checked it with our customer database, there was no match. So I did challenge the review and it was removed, as they we not an actual customer of ours. Also the post did not speak specifically to an event or critic a product or service. It just blasted us personally as being awful people. It's to bad DG doesn't have any kind of safe guards to ensure the posts are actually qualified reviewers. If it did, many of the negatives here would be gone. It would eliminate false posts by non-customers or competitors.
I really wish I knew DMBerry and what this post is about so that I could better respond and attempt to make things right with them.
Anyway, Merry Christmas to everyone and I wish you blessed new year.
GeneDaniels Gravel Ridge, AR (1 review) December 16, 2013
This is the third time I have ordered from Willis Orchard company. I have been very pleased with the plants received. When I received my latest order I realized that two of the blackberry plants were not the 3-year old plants like I had ordered. I exchanged a few emails and pictures with the staff and they quickly resolved the matter by sending me the correct plants.
Everyone makes small mistakes from time to time, but a truly good company makes their mistakes right - and that is exactly what Willis Orchard company did. Good healthy plants and honest business practice - great company!
Christmas is upcoming, and I called Willis to schedule an appointment to pick up some plants. These plants were to be gifts for my young son who has a passion for gardening and farming. I had asked to make the appointment for this coming Saturday (called on Tuesday or Wednesday). According to their website, this is an option for orders over $200.
A very polite lady named Cynthia told me an appointment wasn't necessary. I live an hour away, and she told me to call ahead and place my order on Saturday before leaving to go to their nursery.
When I called them as requested, this nice lady wasn't as pleasant this time. She told me that picking up today is not an option. She told me I should probably get my son a gift card and pick up the plants after Christmas (out of town later and a later delivery is not an option). Very simply, this is my son's "big gift," and a gift card can't be a youngsters big gift under the tree. As opposed to what she told me earlier, Cynthia said I should have given her 24 hours notice. Of course, I would have been happy to do that if that had been her earlier instruction.
Obviously, these guys hold the cards, and there isn't much I can do. However, most nursery people are good folks and real "Mother Earth" type people. These folks (talked with 2 different people) were quite indifferent about my situation.
Trust me, go to Ellijay... The folks I have worked with in Ellijay are good "salt of the earth" and "hands in the dirt" type of kind people. I hope my comments will help others avoid the same problem with Willis.
Also, it is very interesting that Willis has such a poor rating on this website. However, the reviews they post on their website are all so positive. I posted my negative review on that site as well. It will be interesting to see if it is displayed. Company representative comment on December 16, 2013: On Dec 16, 2013 10:17 AM, Willis Orchard Company responded with:
Normally to call ahead in the morning and pick-up a couple hours later would be fine. However, on this particular Saturday, it was raining cats and dogs so we let our outside crew off for the day prior to receiving his call. Christmas is still a week and a half away so he could have decided to come another day when the weather wasn't so bad. We're sorry he doesn't understand our position and is angry at us.
dogdoc01 Oklahoma City, OK (1 review) December 12, 2013
Made a small order of bare root trees. Three apples, one crabapple, and one pear tree. All trees arrived in great shape. The roots were packed with moist clay/mud and some type of gel balls and in excellent shape. I was actually surprised at how well the roots looked and the amount of roots on the trees.t The trees were the size advertised and a few even larger. Will definitely order from Willis Orchard again!! Highly recommend.
lrmagee Bentonville, AR (1 review) November 26, 2013
I made an order from this company becuase they had a great price and an awesome selection.
I went into my order knowing that I was not going to get a nice tree like you can get at the big box stores on every corner. I had experience from Arbor Day and their little twigs and I was hoping that thats not what I was getting. I guess I was hoping for something in between. I called them a few weeks after I placed my order and they answered imediately. Answered all my questionbs about what trees they were waiting on and assured me within the week they should be shipped.
The big day finally came and I saw from the tracking number that I got my trees. I rushed home and there was a HUGE box waiting. I excitedly opened the box and there were the best looking bare root trees I had ever seen. Well bare root is an understatement. they still had dirt around the roots unlike arbor day with no sign of any dirt. The trees were awesome and well pruned for the next growing season. I can't wait for this spring so I can see how well they flourish.
By the way I ordered a peach, nectarine, two blueberry bushes, and a kiwi. The Blueberries were still green with two feet long branches and the Kiwi had numerious two to three feet vines.