I've bought and grown fruit trees before from a large well known company, but with my new property, I didn't want to compromise on my selections of variety or rootstock, and Greenmantle looked like a likely prospect. In 2011, I had them make up 5 benchgrafts, which I dutifully planted according to the detailed instructions (or so I thought). I was quite sad when one by one, most of them died off. At that point, I called out the CA and spoke with The Man Himself, Ram, at some length. He elaborated on instructions, and came up with some likely suggestions of things to tweak for my particular environment (Cape Cod - with plenty of clouds and poor sandy soil). In 2012, I put my new knowledge to the test with an even larger order (8 apples on Bud118) and am happy to report that all 8 did quite nicely, with at least one of each of variety achieving a solid two feet of growth! Bravo!
I began playing with apple trees only five years ago: bought some, started reading, pruning, and comparing notes with anyone who does the same. Last year (2011) it seemed the best way to add to the back yard orchard was by ordering bench grafts from Greenmantle. I ordered a very low vigor apple - D'Arcy Spice on Bud118 - and a more average vigor apple - Lord Lambourne on Bud9 - and planted them right where I wanted them to remain permanently. Greenmantle gives specific directions on care of bench grafts, with the caveat that some folks will do just as I did, and succeed with sufficient precautions. Succeed I have, for just this evening I discovered the Lord Lambourne has a crown of swelling blossoms at its top! Of course I will pinch them off after taking advantage of the photo opportunity, and wait several years before allowing it to produce fruit.
Greenmantle offers an excellent selection on a decent range of root stocks (if it's not listed, just ask: you may be surprised) at a price that is hard to beat.
Some day I will call for advice on one or two roses to keep for the hips -and whatever other advantages may obtain- with confidence they'll steer me right.
I ordered over ten apple benchgrafts from this nursery for delivery in 2009. Only two were in decent condition and made any growth, the rest were dead. I returned the labels of the apple benchgrafts that did meet my expectations, i.e. dead, to Greenmantle asking for replacements.
In the spring of 2010 Greenmantle sent replacements without coordinating the shipment with me. They sat in the post office for many weeks, before I could retrieve them with the sorry results that none survived. A simple 28 cent postcard (or telephone call) would of straightened this out, but as the web site for this company states, they don't accept e-mails, and I guess they were too buzy to telephone me.
In 2011 I ordered some more benchgrafts and trees and also requested that the original benchgraft order from 2009 be replaced. Greenmantle refused, basically accusing me of a "mishandled replacement".
They may have a "touchy feely" web site that talks about their so-called extensive fruit collection, but beware! Don't believe any of their nonsense about the "benchgraft option".
AxillaryBud Thousand Oaks, CA (8 reviews) February 16, 2011
What can you say about Ram Fishman? When he took over the old Etter farm in Garberville, California he provided an historic service to all of us by singlehandedly reviving many of Albert Etter's great varieties that otherwise would have been lost forever: the Atalanta's Gold and Muscat de Venus crabapples, the Colvis Spice, and the Etter's Gold. However large or small your heirloom apple collection is, make room for these special varieties. I did, and they're among the most flavorful apples I've ever eaten. Yes, they come as small grafted trees, so you'll have an extra year of potted care to provide, but, like Ron Joyner's rare varieties at Big Horse Creek Farm, they're well worth the wait and the effort! Ram's wife Marissa is an heirloom maven in her own right, by the way. She has an incredible collection of antique European roses. We've planted 19 of them and they're growing vigorously and smell much more fragrant than any modern rose. Many thanks to both of you for your dedication. Without reservation, I recommend Greenmantle Nursery to anyone.
I have ordered both roses and fruit trees from Greenmantle for the past several years. I ordered around 100 benchgraft apple trees a few years ago and nearly all of them are still alive and healthy. I have ordered roses on several occasions, and have always been pleased with the packing and the quality of the plants. Both Ram and Marissa are very helpful and know their plants. Shipping is reasonable, if you order more than a couple of plants. It gets expensive if you only get one or two, but that is not Greenmantle's fault. I do have one minor issue with Greenmantle, they don't seem to use email. It would be nice if they emailed customers when orders ship. Maybe they will do this if you ask, but it is not automatic.
floria Athens, GA (Zone 8a) (18 reviews) May 4, 2009
This is rave review about Marissa's roses. I have ordered about 200 roses from 5 very reputable companies during the past 3 years and Greenmantle's are the best!
I ordered (for the first time) 14 roses from this company in the fall of 2008. They came about 10 days ago. I could not believe how large and healthy they were. They were stripped of leaves, which made them sprout new healthy ones already. One of them had only one pencil-thick stem (as opposed to at least two for all the other ones) and it was short - therefore Marissa sent an extra rose with her apologies! However, the short stem has already put out buds and a second stem is out and has leaves already.They were shipped without a pot, which translated in the lowest shipping costs I know. They were packed so well - not a single piece broke.
Marissa also helped me a lot by discussing roses for specific places. Their website is full of useful and interesting information and links. They do not work online, but I found that my little extra effort is more than worthwhile . I will be placing soon another order for next year.
A had a great experience with them. I placed an order for a very rare rose and now after a year, as promised, I did received it in great condition.
I am very pleased and I will purchased from them anytime.
I ordered two benchgrafts from them this spring. I was happy with the ordering process and the plants arrived well packaged. However one of the rootstocks was quite inferior, it had only one small root on it. I have done benchgrafts for myself, and when I run across an interior rootstock like this I set it aside as a "backup". Unfortunately the plant died not too long after planting it. I wrote them a letter and got a polite reply about how I probably watered it too much etc (I didn't water it much at all) but they did refund the cost minus shipping. The second apple benchgraft has recently died as well. This one I would call a bit my fault because it has been very dry and I probably should have watered it a bit more. But I have grown out many of my own benchgrafts (literally hundreds) and had much better odds.
So overall I think these people are trying to run a decent business but they need to produce higher quality benchgrafts if they want to take the risk of selling trees in that form. I also wish they would sell scionwood instead, for people like me that know how to graft that is a much more reliable method.
spidra Berkeley, CA (Zone 9b) (7 reviews) April 8, 2007
Like many nurseries, Greenmantle can be a little hard to get ahold of since they're not as "wired" to the Internet, but they sell varieties you can't get anywhere else. I made my long distance calls and though they didn't have the August Etter peach I was hoping for, I ordered bench grafts of Hauer Pippin. Initially I ordered one, but the fellow told me that shipping was the same for one as for two so he recommended I order two to be safe. I'm glad I did! One of the clumsy workmen we hired kicked one of the potted benchgrafts, killing it. So at least now I have one Hauer Pippin sapling that is still growing. Thanks to Greenmantle's wise advice!
Ordered two pear benchgrafts for a hard to find variety for Spring 2006. The trees had good packaging. Both grafts sprouted well. Don't be afraid to order benchgrafts! Would definitely order from this company again. The owner spent a lot of time on the phone with me and was very knowledgeable (He wrote the "Handbook for Fruit Explorers"-no longer in print but I got a used copy from a Web bookstore, a very helpful book). His prices are very reasonable and he has a large selection of fruit trees, especially apples, and some hard to find varieties.
I requested a rare rose and was told that my name was on the waiting list for the variety, and that the wait was one to two years. I was OK with that, seing as Greenmantle was the only place to obtain it. I paid in advance, was given a receipt and told approximately when to expect delivery. It did indeed arrive when promised and in superb condition. A hearty specimen for a very reasonable price. The customer service was courteous and informative. I would certainly buy from Greenmantle again without hesitation.
Bought three hard to find apple trees,one bench graft, arrived in excellent dormant condition and are doing fine in their third year. Their catalog is excellent resource material.
ewinter El Prado, NM (10 reviews) September 6, 2004
I haven't ordered from this company, though I intend to in the future. They are very knowledgable and generous with advice. They charge a few bucks for their catalog, and don't have a website, so they aren't as easy to get to as some. But they did send my catalog on the honor system, so I could get it promptly. Furthermore, they will custom graft a tree to the variety and rootstock specified. Good selection.
Greenmantle Nursery has been inadvertently slighted by the Seed Savers Fruit and Nut Inventory book. If you look through, you're likely to find varieties you're interested in with Gr4 listed as the source. But then, in the part where the information on the companies is compiled, there is no listing for Gr4. Now you know!
agurban Mountain View, CA (1 review) February 10, 2003
I'm very pleased with Greenmantle. The owners made a
custom tree for me, and a year later, made sure I had
everything I wanted. Their prices are very reasonable.