I have ordered from this company several times since the late 1990s. Most of my orders were for potted stock for birthday party favors. The only problem I had was with some Rudbeckias that were a little small. I let them grow for a couple months longer and they were fine. All of the trees and shrubs were very healthy and a good size. I always have friends giving me updates on how big their seedlings have become. I am very happy with my orders overall.
Ordered 10 Northern Bayberry plants this Spring. What I received was what looked like one mature plant hacked into 10 pieces. All were brown leaved, but still supple, so I planted them. Now, three months later, I have ten very supple brown leaved sticks planted in my yard. Their return policy is only good until you receive your plants, so I figured 1) It was no use contacting them, and 2) It would be pointless buying from them again. I also bought and paid for a Mountain Laurel in a 4" pot. I got one 1/2 the size (2" pot). I got no refund for the downsizing, but unlike the bayberry plants this one actually lived. Bad experience--won't happen again!
Posted on April 23, 2011, updated October 23, 2012
Posted on April 5, 2011, updated April 23, 2011
They did a good job for me. The (3 year?) bareroot seedling trees were well packaged, and the roots were moist. Smallish, but cheap and healthy, with nice roots - exactly what I wanted.
The potted plants look good. No wilting at all, though a couple of pots were cracked, probably during shipping, and the soil in those was dry. My pots were in little individual plastic bags, with tie-tags closing them at the tops. That seems to have kept the soil where it's supposed to be. The mountain laurel are tiny (but hey, they're $6 or $7, not $25 from the local nurseries...). The potted birch were a surprise - bigger than I expected.
A good experience overall. My only concern is that they're in a slightly colder zone than I am, and they also were running a little behind this year. So I ended up planting the bareroot seedlings a little later than I'd like. Just something to be aware of if you're in a warmer climate. I'd still order from them again.On April 23rd, 2011, AS added the following:
OK, I'm impressed. Of the 30-40 trees I planted, mostly bareroot seedlings, there's only one that looks like it might or might not make it. All others are budding (deciduous trees) or looking green and healthy (evergreens). Admittedly, I dashed around in a drizzle to plant them the day I got them, so the roots would stay moist. Still, this is a good success rate so far for seedlings.On October 23rd, 2012, AS added the following:
I'm still having good luck with both bare root and potted trees and shrubs from this company. Last year, I ordered several tiny potted rhododendrons and mountain laurel and had some concerns about the roots on two (pretty puny), but all survived and are growing. I also ordered 25 of their seedling white dogwoods for our woods, after I managed to kill 3 expensive potted dogwoods from Lowe's, one after another. This time, I was going for quantity rather than quality. All but one of their dogwood seedlings survived and are doing nicely. Go figure.
I bought10 American Sycamore seedlings all but 1 was dead or died. They shipped me 10 more just like them. One is all that is doing like it should. Some of them sprouted out at the ground the rest died. Out of 20 1 is all that is doing well. They were the worst looking crooked little seedlings I have ever saw.
woodweasel Fleetwood, PA (3 reviews) August 3, 2011
I took advantage of Musser's offer of 20 plants for $20.00. I ordered 10 boxwood and 10 shamrock holly. They arrived on the exact day I requested and were extremely well packed. .My bargaion plants were large (for the price) and healthy looking. I potted them all up waiting for better weather to plant my hedge. I noticed one of the holly plants began to drop leaves. It shortly went completely bare. I decided to plant and discovered that the roots of the holly plants, tightly rootbound on arrrival, had not extended beyond the original pot size, inspite of my efforts to loosen them up before planting. I was worried about the health of the remaining holly plants and contacted Musser. I received an answer from them the very next day saying that they will replace any plants that fail to thrive.
Seems like a company that is doing everything right. I hope my plants will grow but I am confident that Musser will stand by their word if they don't.
Last fall received an order from Musser's where over 50% of the plants were out of their pots with roots exposed. When placing a spring order for 87 plants, mentioned this issue and it was written on order to make sure order is packed well as dirt was out of pots. Well.... received order today and one box was nothing but soil, pots and plants all in a big mess. It looked as though they were never in the pots as pots were stacked together. The other two boxes were adequately packed but tags were scarce and Viburnums look similar when in bud. Received Althea, 10 of them, which I did not order so this means I am short 10 of another plant. This order was meant to be part of a plant sale to raise money for Horticultural Programs but sadly this may not be the case due to Musser's lack of attention in shipping their plants.
Definitely my LAST order to them. Money will be directed to companies that take better care of their plants.
sab66 Rensselaer, IN (2 reviews) September 24, 2010
Very pleased with my 100 periwinkle plants...seemed a little dry at first but after a few hours in water, perked right up. Individual plants are many runners with rubber band around the roots...easy to plant. Happy ;)
I got a Chinese Dogwood from Musser's for $5.95 plus S/H. It was securely packaged in a long narrow box and I received it fast in 2 days. The dogwood was about 2 feet long when I got it. I live in central Pa so shipping may take longer for other people. I was able to plant it immediately and it's been doing quite well in my yard for the past few weeks. I will be buying from them again in the future.
I placed an order on Monday and everything arrived by Friday. I called and asked for a UPS tracking number and they sent it by email the next day. They said this wasn't automatic and is the one thing I wish they would begin doing.
I ordered 2nd year potted seedlings of the following types; 2 Ginkgos, 2 Chinese Chestnuts, 4 Hybrid Poplars and a few non-plant items. The seedlings were securely packed and strapped in place so they wouldn't be shaken from the pots while in transit. Everything looked good except for the Chinese Chesnuts which appeared to some frost burn on them and I chalked that up to the late frost we had in PA. The plants in my yard were also affected by this late frost and I had one Holly drop all of it's leaves because of it. All the seedlings seemed to have good root systems.
I would order from Musser again in the future and am already planning a fall order.
MorsisX Lockport, IL (Zone 5b) (27 reviews) May 26, 2010
My father and I have ordered stock from Musser for decades. Their product is first rate and prices are very competitive. Few offer the ability to order for mass plantings they way they do. When ordering 100 - 1000 plants to see all of them healthy and ready to go is a welcome sight. They have been in business for a long time with good reason.
My plant were sort of healthy...the problem is they grow everything too close together and a 2ft plant does not have any branches.Basically just a 2ft stick with a couple of leaves on top....
Your classic Charlie Brown tree.
braun06 Peoria Heights, IL (Zone 5b) (10 reviews) April 29, 2010
In the past I have ordered carya ovata seedlings and recently as last year ilex verticillata seedlings. I have been impressed with the quality of material I was getting, considering what the service is. All of my holly did well, except for those chomped on for chew toys by rabbits. This year I ordered some Hicks yew and they all came in great condition yet again, and are all growing. For inexpensive ways to get mass quantity of planting stocks I cant recommend anyone but musser.
Order came very promptly; well packed and plants in very good shape. Plant sizes as advertised.
jamespenna Washington, PA (4 reviews) April 1, 2010
I ordered from Musser for the first time this year; I ordered some white spruce seedlings and the sugar maple special of 30 two-year seedlings for about $37. I am very pleased with all aspects of this purchase: the packaging was excellent and the trees were in good shape for the low price. Of course they are small--they are seedlings after all--but all of them seem alive and well. The best part is that their root systems are completely intact with no damage; whoever dug them up did it properly. I expect rapid growth as a result.
I'll definitely order from them again and would recommend them to someone who wants large quantities of small but healthy seedlings at very good prices. Getting 10 (ended up with 11) white spruce and 30 (ended up with at least 35 in the bundle) sugar maple for about $70 including shipping is a great deal in my book.
Bob_C East Berlin, PA (2 reviews) October 31, 2009
I ordered a total of 25 bare root tree seedlings for Fall planting this year. The seedlings arrived in good condition, although the Balsam Firs were definitely on the small side.
My complaint is regarding shipping notification: there is none. I travel for a living, and left early in the morning for three days on the day the seedlings arrived unannounced. A simple email notification of shipment with an estimated arrival date would be helpful and pretty easy to do, instead of the vague shipping date of "Proper time for my area" on the order confirmation.
I will probably order from another company next time so I am not surprised again.
I have ordered from Musser Forests for well over 20 years. Years ago, I was completely satisfied with all aspects of every order. However, for the last 5 years or so the quality of their plants has not been that great. Although they are packed well, most of what I've received (trees) are fairly scrawny, seem to be random sizes, and barely meet the minimum size stated in their catalog. Very disappointing. Bases on comments I've seen on the web, guess I'll give Cold Stream Farm a try. Their shipping costs are fairly high, but the extra cost may be worth it if the quality and size are more reliable.
cjparker Kennewick, WA (Zone 7a) (11 reviews) April 29, 2009
I'm very please with the package I just opened from Musser Forests. In order to take advantage of their "50 Frasier Fir seedlings for $1 with any order", I ordered a 1-2 foot sawtooth oak. The sawtooth oak is a tad shy of three feet, has many leaf buds and looks healthy and ready to grow. The fifty supposedly 4-8" seedlings are all over a foot tall and are healthy and pliant. They were packed in such a way that they could not move about in the box. So I have a three foot oak tree and a bunch of foot-tall fir trees, all for under $20 including shipping. Very nice!
I placed a nice order with Musser's. All the plants arrived in a very secured manner and all very viable. I have had to pot many of the bare rooted plants as the planting area has not been cleared due to the wet and cool weather we have been having. All the plants have budded out and are very healthy in their pots.
PinetopPlanter Auburn Four Corners, PA (Zone 5a) (23 reviews) April 21, 2009
My father and I have ordered from Musser for years (at least 15), and we have been relatively happy customers. They were the first nursery in our area, to my knowledge, to offer bulk seedlings of Concolor, or White, fir, and each year have a few unusual pine, spruce, or fir offerings that can be had at a decent price in amounts as little as 5, or even individually, in pots. They have been the only commercial catalogue we have ordered from for bulk tree seedlings beyond our state nursery in Pennsylvania. Over the years, for sure, they have fallen short a couple of times, in supplying seedlings that were definitely at the lowest end of their scale in terms of height. However, on the average, they have been quite good regarding the material they supply and the time they ship.
This year's order included 25 bareroot Concolor fir, and smaller amounts of Lodgepole pine, Serbian spruce, Southwestern White pine, potted Austrian pine, and a smattering of individual potted trees. Although the Lodgepole pines were on the small side, the others were beyond expectation, and all looked healthy, fresh, and ready to grow.
We are quite happy to have Musser as a resource for quality seedlings. I look forward every year to their newest offerings.
PAMSPACE Temperanceville, VA (Zone 7a) (4 reviews) April 14, 2009
I ordered 5 Eastern White Pines on 3/29/09. When I got off their website I went cruising the 'Net looking for pictures of my soon-to-be grown up trees. To my horror, I realized that I had ordered the wrong type of tree. It was a Sunday, and I left a rather long-winded message regarding my mistake. I was contacted at work the next day and we discussed my requirements at length. After several trips for the customer service rep to talk to a botanist, we determined what tree to order and what the shearing requirements would be. Well, those babies came last night and they are wonderful. Packing was done carefully, pots were moist, and I only had to tease the roots a little bit before they went in the ground. I will definitely order from Musser's again ! Pamspace
I have ordered hundreds of trees from musser's and have never been dissapointed. They send what you order. Out of those trees I can count on my hand how many didn't make it. They have saved me so much money reforesting my property.
Musser Forests is a Superior tree farm. Been planting their trees and shrubs for 15 years. One week delivery time after ordering(fast). Just keep your plant roots moist and plant right away on arrival. Water regularly the first season. You'll be rewarded with lush stands of trees or shrubs as I have. A stand of palowuania is now 40' high, and the seeds have spread, with trees everywhere on my lot. My evergreens are over 30' high. Redbuds have seeded and appear everywhere. 12' wegeilias. More forsythia than I can transplant all from one bush from musser. You got to never let the roots dryout when transplanting ordered stock or dividing your own, that is the key to success. Best to plant early spring or late fall, my plants always survive.
cbandina Horseshoe Bend, AR (Zone 6b) (2 reviews) January 13, 2009
Jan. 6th ordered 10 spratan trees recieved today 12th . They are in good shape and hope they all thrive where I plan to grow them as a hedge. Will plant them 3 ft apart. we still have wokable soil here in n.e.ar. plan to buy more evergreens from them.
I received my supposed Whitney Crabapple tree in 2001. It finally bloomed and fruited this year.(2008) Well, it is not a Whitney crabapple. So I called the company and they said they have never had a Whitney Crabapple and could I send them a leaf or something so they could identify it. Ha! I could see where that was going. I am not very happy that after the seven years it took to bear fruit that it is not even what I ordered and then they tell me it is not even theirs. It is the only mail order company I have ever ordered from so I know that it is their tree.Their response is very disappointing.
jessums Pittsburgh, PA (Zone 6b) (1 review) June 14, 2008
Beautiful garden center with extremely helpful staff. Decided to visit them in Spring and was able to get some incredible deals. If you get a chance to go some time, it is definitely worth the trip.
I ordered several bare root trees and a few potted ones last fall. They arrived at the very end of October. The bare root plants looked pathetic and the roots were almost dry. I suspected they wouldn't survive the winter so I called to ask for a refund. They noted this in their files but said wait until spring. Sure enough, all but 2 of the 15 had no buds that opened this year. The 2 that did had major die back and sprouted very low on the trunk. They won't be ready for open ground for at least another year!
I reported the news to Musser this spring. They said a supervisor had to review my claim and was very busy. I called back 3 times over the next 10 days to get an answer. They never called ME. The third time they said my money would be refunded for the trees I requested and I would receive replacments for the five holly, as requested. At least they didn't fight me on that. The holly arrived and were even more pathetic than the first batch. One was literally the length and diameter of a toothpick!
Yes the prices are good, but what's the point if the stock is substandard and doesn't survive.
I ordered about $130 worth of seedlings on line to be shipped to my house. Shipping added another $26, and Tax another $10 to the order. I asked for confirmation about delivery time, so I could keep an eye out for the order, Musser Customer Service decided to change the shipping method, incurring another $67 in shipping charges (effectively $93 to ship $130 worth of plants) but never sent me an e-mail regarding this change. When I found out that the plant order for $130 was charged on my credit card on March 7th for $230, I cancelled the entire order. Customer Service has assured me repeated that they issued a credit for the $230 on March 19th, but no such credit has been issued either on the March Statement, nor the April Statement to date. How deceptive is this?
quiltjean North Chelmsford, MA (Zone 6b) (2 reviews) March 30, 2008
On the whole I am pleased with Musser. Last year the bayberries they sent were healthy and immediately went to work; however the Annabelle hydrangea died upon impact! I buy only potted treesbecause I've had less luck with bare-rooted stock. Most of my little trees are better than expected, more vigorous and ready to grow.
Uaru02 Simpsonville, KY (2 reviews) February 29, 2008
I ordered 100 Norway Spruce last Fall. I didn't plant right away and then took too long to plant them when I had them in the field. I still had about a 80% survival rate. Not too bad. For the price, Musser's can't be beaten for bulk orders. I expected a certain amount of loss since I simply dropped the seedlings into the ground with a shovel-full of top soil. In about 75 years, the living screen that I am aiming for should be majestic.
I used to live relatively near Mussers and would visit the farm on occasion. It is a well run operation with a real desire to do things right in their niche which is trees. They haven't tried to be All-things-to-all-people.
psalm72 Fort Worth, TX (1 review) February 18, 2008
I purchased 5 Paulownia Trees that were described on the website as being 3 years old. Being a little familiar this type of tree, upon arrival they looked like others I've had that were 1 yr old. These are not pot grown, they dig them up in the fall and ship them. They could not give me a specific time they would be shipped, but a 6 week window. I asked to be notified when they shipped so I could be on the watch for them. They refused to provide me with any type of notification upon shipment stating that it was impossible to notify customers of shippments (even through email.) The trees arrived in a condition that was less than expected. Hard to tell if they were dormant or dead. All major roots had been cut 6-8 inches from the ground line and very little or no fine roots in tact ....meaning that most of the root system was missing. Even keeping these in good soil and controlled condidtions 45-65 degrees, only 2 have developed any type of root growth, the other three just rotted in the dirt. I don't plan on making any future purchases here.
Love this company, which is a godsend to the underfunded tree lover:-) Not every tiny tree I ordered from them has lived, but 99% have, and I can't fault Musser if I try to grow Nyssa sylvatica in my highly alkaline soil! I have a beautiful hemlock hedge, though, despite the alkalinity. And 2 of 5 notoriously difficult to establish yellowwoods have made it.On December 11th, 2007, EugeniaBostwick added the following:
And by the way...my bald cypresses are doing beautifully, 5 out of 5. I don't recall which size I ordered, but I planted them right away. --in heavy clay muck to which I add some sulfur every year. They are two years old and about 5 feet tall.
I ordered ten bald cypress trees from Musser this spring, following the advice of a professional nurseryman. I made the mistake of ordering the larger plants (4 year, 3-5 ft.) - these arrived bareroot as expected, but these plants had already developed long taproots which were ruthlessly chopped off on digging, leaving no more than ten inches of root. Musser shipped eleven plants, and these were well-packaged with moist roots upon arrival. I planted these immediately in 3 or 5 gal. containers and kept them well-watered all summer. By late September, I had just four plants worth planting out into the landscape - in effect, these were rooted "cuttings" with new roots sprouting from the severed taproots. Two more had died to the ground but resprouted and were under ten inches tall - they may be salvageable for next season. The rest have not broken dormancy at all and were discarded. Am I disappointed? Perhaps yes, but the prices charged by Musser are so reasonable that I can hardly complain. I have not contacted the company as I don't really want to repeat the experience with larger plants. I would definitely recommend ordering smaller bald cypress stock from them which might be dug with more root.
I've been ordering from these folks for about 7 years, twice a year, since we have a large/barren lot that we are attempting to resurrect. Usually their bareroot arrives moist, and the potted are invariably in good shape, size is always generous to what is promised. One ongoing problem is that often I have to call to ensure that my order actually gets shipped - one year it was it was end-November and snowing when the order arrived! This spring's order was disappointing; the bareroot were dried out and many didn't survive (these are hardy standbys such as Lynnwood Gold and Rosa Rugosa), I had to contact regarding incorrect/missed items, and there were mislabelled items.
I've ordered from this company many times over the last 10 years, while living in three different states (military moves). They are my first choice for trees and shrubs, period. I usually order items in multiples of 5, and almost invariably, they send 6. Most things I've gotten are bare-root, which arrive with the roots wrapped in wet newspaper and then in plastic. I've never gotten a plant with dry roots, or which appeared damaged. The rare times I've had a problem with a plant, they sent a replacement or gave me a credit, with no hesitation or questions asked. I'm working on trying to establish a coniferous tree screen along one of my lot borders, which is very shady; a tough spot to start trees. Musser's small trees are so cheap, I can experiment with several varieties to see which will establish themselves. The "losers" I can afford to throw away after they've died. This spring's order arrived, as usual, in perfect condition with every plant healthy and viable. I've dealt with many mail order nurseries over the years, and these guys get my top rating.
JeffLuther Grove City, PA (5 reviews) July 2, 2007
Was in Indiana on Saturday, so I had to stop. Excellent selections including perrenials,very knowledgeable help. Great shopping experience. For those of you who say, I could have bought a bigger plant locally, why didn't you? I use mailorder only for odd hard to find items, that I can not get locally.
dc_luke Washington, DC (Zone 7a) (2 reviews) June 13, 2007
I've ordered from them twice. The first order was for
some potted deciduous trees. They arrived in great
shape and are still doing great [cherry birch, alder
and arrowood]. I then ordered a two batches of
evergreens (hemlocks and arborvitae). I choose 2 day
air being that it was getting into May. They arrived in
great shape. The young arbs looked better initially, due
to the more regular growth habit. However, the young
hemlocks new growth is now lengthening and filling
them out. They look like they'll pull through the summer
heat [with plenty of watering]. Planting 10 bareroots
takes awhile, so I heeled them in (5 per pot) in large well
drained containers of pine bark fines and kept the mix
moist and in a shady spot. This worked so well that they
showed new growth while I was getting the various holes
prepped. I've ordered bare root from other places where
dieback and stump sprouting from dormant buds seems
to be more the norm. I will definitely order from Musser again.
PS Don't skimp on shipping. Be there and be ready when the trees arrive.
carolinablue Aulander, NC (Zone 7a) (5 reviews) June 6, 2007
Ordered from Musser for the first time this year with mixed results. The container grown trees and shrubs were great and are growing as expected. However, the " 2-3 year old
seedlings" were miniscule, dried out, and despite intensive care, promptly died. I don't understand why a company that sends out quality product would send such an embarrassingly poor product along with it.
kerry_in_ky Dry Ridge, KY (Zone 6a) (4 reviews) May 19, 2007
I was going to rate this a negative but to be fair I have only had the trees a few days and did not end up contacting the company for a refund.
I ordered the white birch and received 6 rather than 5 trees. 3 had crunchy leaves, two had very pale almost white leaves due to a lack of light and one very small one had no sign of growth. I've planted them in pots and am watching them carefully. It looks like two may pull through, too early to tell if the other 4 will make it.
In February of 2005 my husband ordered 10 European White Birch trees from this company. The description said 2 year old 1-3 ft. trees. When we received them none of the trees were more than a foot long and they looked pretty dead. But we hoped that they were only dormant. To increase the trees’ survival rate we planted every one of them in separate containers with rich soil, made sure they got plenty of light and got watered regularly. Only one tree showed any signs of life and that was a sprout from a root. So in fact none of the original stems made it. Of course, this did not become obvious until months after we received our order. So we did not see much point in trying to get in touch with Musser Forests. Their instructions in regards to claims say “notify us in writing within 3 days after receipt of nursery stock”.
So 2 years later we have a young birch tree that is about 3 feet tall now. It still has a dark brown stock. So it is not clear yet if we actually have the white birch. The truth is that for the amount of money we paid for this order we could’ve gotten a tree of this size 2 years ago from one of local nurseries…..
I ordered 10 potted Green Giant Arborvitae, which arrived last week. The plants were robust, very well packed, and, something important to me, were uniform--all were nearly exactly the same size. This place seems like a good source for trees in bulk. Prices are very reasonable and at least in my experience, stock is good.