This is the third year that I have purchased from Cummins Nursery, and I have found them to have quality trees and exceptional customer service. Although their guarantee is simple and does not over-promise, I have found that they stand behind their commitment to provide healthy trees and, in the end, they over-deliver.
I have interacted with several staff members, all prompt and courteous. As new orchardists, my husband and I were not easy customers; we asked lists of questions and changed our order multiple times. Cummins staff were patient and taught us much about disease resistance and rootstocks. Although they do not make a big deal of it, Cummins Nursery is backed by the professional expertise of Dr. James Cummins, who spent years helping to develop the Geneva rootstocks at Cornell University. I sense that Cummins' goal is not just to sell trees, but to improve orchard science. They invest in customer education not only by answering questions, but by providing a list of recommended books. We bought one--The Apple Grower, by Michael Phillips--and found it worth the buy.
Their website is not flashy, but I appreciate being able to view actual inventory with rootstock identified. (The packing slip also identifies rootstocks, which I find helpful). Cummins does not mail me glossy catalogs, but they have put their effort into producing what I think matters more...healthy trees and satisfied customers.
Super awesome customer service so far. Five stars. I was so encouraged I went ahead and ordered more and I'll be keeping an eye on their tempting product list as it grows. After I go through their spring catalog my orchard will have officially run out of space because they have so much cool stuff!
MrsG47 Newport, RI United States (3 reviews) May 13, 2014
I have a small, private orchard of now, thirty trees. I placed my first order this spring (2014) with Cummins. My order was for two 'Calville Blanc d'Hiver' apple trees. They are superb! The root systems were very large and the trees were branched and very sturdy. I couldn't be more pleased. All was right on time and packed very well.
becker99 North Spearfish, SD (4 reviews) July 5, 2013
I have ordered fruit trees from Cummins yearly for the past 5 years, and have been very pleased each time. Each tree has leafed out and done fine. The staff is very accomodating and knowledgeable. Excellent packaging. Their selection of varieties is large, and the website provides lots of information. I will order from them again.
I ordered several m7 and Geneva 11 rootstock from cummins nursery. When I called they were very friendly and helpful. They are arguably the most knowledgable fruit nursery I've dealt with. The rootstocks shipped promptly and arrived in good condition. I will order from them again without hesitation.
I ordered 39 trees (peach, apple, pear, plum, appricot, cherry) from Cummins Nursery and only one tree did not leaf out; I thought that was pretty impressive. The trees came in excellent condition, huge roots and large caliper. I will be ordering more trees this year; in fact, I have some on "hold" right now until I complete my order. I don't know what I want to order completely yet. My husband was impressed to with the stock and we order a lot of trees and he's not easy to impress. So their website isn't spectacular, who cares, but their trees definitely are!
Posted on May 1, 2012, updated May 1, 2012
Posted on May 9, 2011, updated May 1, 2012
Professionals or knowledgeable amateurs should have no hesitation dealing with any of the staff at this nursery. If you know exactly what you want and confirm its availability, then you should have few problems as well. Otherwise, deal with Dr. Cummins directly to resolve your general, vague, or doubtful notions/issues. Other staff members tend to be a little arrogant in dealing with customers with general notions and imperfect knowledge of what they want and what this nursery offers. You cannot depend on the website either. This nursery perhaps has the worst website on the net: poorly organized, graphically challenged, contradictory, incomplete, and geared (again) to professionals and sophisticated amateurs. Product quality is uneven: side grafts that arc several inches off center and take 6-9 inches to grow vertical again, sparsely developed root balls, powdery-coated stems resembling fungus, numerous dead-looking buds, and minimal stem diameter. I have seen better looking stock at Home Depot and a lot cheaper.. This nursery does have a great selection of rootstocks and varietals. If you have minimal demands/specs you can probably do better elsewhere. If you want a modest quantity of any one item you may meet their minimum requirement and can get (at some point of time) just about any rootstock/variety they have available either as a regular graft or as a budded graft in a range of ages. If you want one tree or one each of several, your options may be more limited. Shipping charges may seem strange ($35 regardless) but is understandable when you remember their bias toward seasoned customers: the more you order the less cost per unit until shipping is practically a non-factor. Personally, I would deal with this nursery again only as a last resort.On May 1st, 2012, augenwink added the following:
UPDATE: Overall, a WASTE OF TIME AND MONEY. Three of the five trees did not live through the first year; none of the trees produced any new branches during the first season. Of the two that overlived the season, one has about four new sprouts at the very base of the tree; the other shows more branch sprouts but with large bare gaps along the stem. So, one of the five will probably make a decent tree with considerable luck in inducing some more buds to sprout branches; a second one is starting over close to a benchgraft stage instead of a three-year old tree; three are dead.
I purchased replacement trees from MAPLE VALLEY ORCHARDS (WI) and have had just the opposite experience: straight grafts, straight stems, lots of live buds over length of stem (and sprouting after two weeks in the ground), and super customer relations. I have ordered other apple varieties from BIG HORSE CREEK FARMig Horse Creek Farm for fall delivery and if their trees match their customer relations and their website depictions, I should be able to report similarly good results next springOn May 1st, 2012, augenwink added the following:
Excuse the keyboard glitch. I needed only to erase the duplicate name of second nursery and to indicate it was in NC before the computer misinterpreted a keystroke as "finished".
- BEST root masses (with lots of rootlets) I've ever seen on bare-root stock, and I am no spring chicken- I've ordered from a LOT of places over the years. These blew everyone else's away!
-They had all the varieties of apple I wanted, plus some pear and cherry trees.
-I was impressed with the caliper of the trees.
- Very good communication/advice from them prior to ordering.
- All the trees are busy leafing out right now!
Will DEFINITELY be ordering from them again (as soon as I figure out what else I 'need'! ).
PinetopPlanter Auburn Four Corners, PA (Zone 5a) (24 reviews) April 18, 2012
I ordered two apples and a pear tree from this company; which, with shipping, was about $115 and change. All three were hard to find varieties -- the pear I hadn't even heard of, but was sold on by their description. I did not expect the trees to be the size of top-heavy, bottom(root)-light Home Depot or Lowe's fruit trees.
Communication was terrific. Confirmation e-mails, then an e-mail that it was planting time, and when would I like my trees. They were delivered extremely well packed, promptly, and the quality was, honestly, the best I have ever seen in fruit trees. Bud break was just commencing on one of the apples; the other two were still safely dormant. The tops were not thin or scrawny, as I feared, but were nicely feathered and of a good caliper. Most impressive were the root systems on all three . . . easily twice the size of any fruit tree I've ever bought from anyone, with plenty of feeder roots, all intact.
Although one has to pay a "broken bundle fee" of $2.00 if buying less than 5 trees of a variety, I think the cost (actually all of their charges) is worth it, given the quality of their trees.
If I can find room for more trees next year, I will order from them again.
In my opinion, this is the best nursery I've bought from. Their trees are excellent, always. I have ordered probably 20 trees total from them, and they are always excellent to the point that I wonder why I buy from anyone else (which is only because of varieties available).
The only negatives about this company is they run out of trees earlier than others, and that's probably because they are so good, everyone wants them.
There are some good tree sellers out there, for sure, but these guys never disappoint and are on the top of my list.
gourdobean Minden, NV (10 reviews) February 2, 2012
I ordered and planted 21 apple, plum, cherry and apricot trees last spring. The bare root trees were beautiful with substantial root systems that gave us a workout getting the holes large enough. I have no idea how they managed to get all those roots in the package without breaking a one. The trees grew without pause and show every promise of healthy growth this spring. Don't be afraid to ask questions and take your time making your order. If I had to do again I would order smaller unbranched stock so I could have more control over shaping. In my lifetime of gardening I have never been more pleased with a nursery. Now all that's needed is cooperation from our fickle Nevada weather and we just might get a piece of fruit...eventually.
FLAGPHARMER Kachina Village, AZ (7 reviews) January 16, 2012
I had such a good experience, esspecially in picking out my trees- I live in a very odd 5a zone with cold/heat/drought. Was given prompt responses too. Also my husband "surprised" me by having someone come in and weed wack the garden- girdling 2 trees. I contacted Cummins to see what I could do and they were prompt in their reply, which will ensure a long time customer! Also all 8 of the trees that I planted did great, even the one my dog chewed off the top third of. Super healthy happy trees
Last year I ordered peaches, plums and apricots, three of each. I had lots of questions on which varieties to select and the staff couldn't have been more helpful both by phone and email. The trees came when I requested them and were beautifully packed. Later they contacted me about a problem with the apricot trees that was identified after they had been sent. Cummins offered to replace or reimburse. These folks give exceptional customer service and sell exceptional trees.
Janna Mahwah, NJ (Zone 6a) (26 reviews) October 29, 2011
Great customer service and great experience. The trees I ordered from them grow nicely. They were very helpful in resolving the issue I had with 2 trees, and very generous. Pleasure to deal with.
Feste79 MC INDOE FALLS, VT (3 reviews) September 4, 2011
Wonderful experience from the friendly, knowledgeable staff at Cummins. I have three wonderful trees that I've gotten from them and I'll be getting more next spring. They have a wonderful assortment of varieties with great many rootstock options.
When I recently contacted Cummins Nursery about a single snow apple tree shown on their inventory, the person I talked to said that since it was the last one, it might not be as good a quality as he would like, so he'd rather not sell it to me. Instead, he referred me to Trees of Antiquity (Great people!) where I did purchase the tree. (Please see my review for them too!) A business looking after MY interests by NOT wanting to sell me something they felt I might not be happy with is refreshing, encouraging, and says a lot about those people and their business. If I lived closer, they'd be getting some of my business for sure.
AxillaryBud Thousand Oaks, CA (8 reviews) February 16, 2011
Just another member of the "Amen" chorus, especially about Dr. James Cummins himself. Honored Cornell professor, a full life of teaching, research and grower experience and--best of all--willing to share that wealth of knowledge with his customers. I've developed a sizeable rare and heirloom fruit orchard and vineyard behind my California home and he's been a great help over the years. He's kept me from making some big mistakes, helped solved some pathogenic problems I had, and suggested some wonderful heirloom apple and pear varieties that I wasn't aware of. And we love the Cornell "Geneva" rootstocks which are almost impossible to find anywhere but Cummins (in the mail order world at least). The G11's and G16's are working beautifully for us. Can't speak about Cummins stone fruits (shipping to California prohibited) but the selection and quality of Cummins pome fruits are exceptional. And they will, no doubt, stay that way, because Cummins is a family business.
I ordered three dwarf apples, a standard and two semidwarf pears, and a sour cherry from Cummins two years ago. I kinda wanted to wait and see how they did before posting my review--once I had a pear that did very well for years, and then it finally fruited and I discovered I had an ornamental variety. By then there was nothing I could do about it. But now I think I should put in my post before I forget things, and I can always put a note below if they turn out not to be as advertised when they fruit.
I had a lot of questions. I don't like the phone, but had a long, detailed exchange of e-mails with Dr Cummins about which varieties and rootstocks would be best for my conditions and organic proclivities--as others have commented, these guys are not stingy about sharing their expertise with even "little" customers! My trees arrived without problems and I planted them. All took, all are still alive. Last spring, a year after planting, two of the apples had a few flowers, although they didn't succeed in settitng fruit. The apples have grown well, the cherry not well but I think that's because I decided it needed a central leader style and pruned it severely soon after planting. The pears haven't grown much either, which I attribute to the fact that all I have given them in the way of fertilizer is a very small amount of compost, due to fear of fire blight. This year I am going to be braver and give them more as I've decided they have never shown any sign of fire blight. They've had black spots on the leaves in mid to late summer, but I think that's just the same leaf spot that bothers the native persimmons. If I had room for more fruit trees, I would order them from Cummins.
orchardbook Colorado Springs, CO (1 review) January 24, 2011
For the last few years we have gotten most of our trees from Cummins. If they cannot provide it, they will find it or send you to another provider. If there is a crop failure, they try their best to offer a replacement. They have been extremely helpful with hard growing areas, and share their considerable knowledge freely as to the best trees and rootstocks for your situation.. Shop with confidence.
BBrandon77 Knoxville, TN (Zone 7a) (12 reviews) November 29, 2010
I've ordered from Cummins Nursery twice. Both times, I've experienced a good selection, helpful customer service, knowledgeable advise, reasonably good packaging (plants could be a little better secured in the box), and good quality plants. Some of the plants (both tops and rootstocks) were a little banged up, but not any worse than I see from most other nurseries. Overall, I'm very satisfied with Cummins and will likely order from them again.
I placed a very small 2 tree order with Cummins this past fall for receipt this spring. Their customer service has been excellent, taking the time to respond in depth to questions from someone who is not giving them very much business. The trees came well packaged, with strong root systems and in excellent shape. I could not be more pleased and intend to place a much larger order next year.
cincihort Cincinnati, OH (2 reviews) March 17, 2010
I ordered some rootstocks for a fruit crops class's grafting lab. Cummins' people worked with me carefully to assure that we had them for the dates we needed. They arrived in time, in great condition. It was especially nice to see that they would send a relatively small order since I think they prefer wholesale customers. They were a pleasure to work with and I would definitely order from them again.
I ordered 20 different varieties of apples from this nursery last fall, and received them timely this spring. I had a 100% transplant success rate and all the plants look healthy and vigorous, some even blooming straight away. Their selection of scions and rootstocks may be the broadest in the retail industry. While their website is still a little clumsy, these folks will work closely with you to assure you get exactly what you want. They are knowledgeable and skillful, but also quite busy. So be patient when working with them, and you'll be pleased in the end game.
ecoman1 Independence, KY (Zone 6b) (3 reviews) May 2, 2009
I am brand new to orchardry and needed guidance. I called, they answered, and were extremely helpful. I ordered four cherry trees and two apple trees in January 2009. The trees arrived the third week of March, optimum time for planting here. Five weeks later, the trees are vibrant and beautiful. I wish I had also ordered my peach trees from Cummins rather than getting ripped off by White River Souce.
I ordered an apple, apricot, two sweet cherries and a pear from Cummins Nursery in two separate orders. I called them to confirm availability since I was ordering late in the season. I talked to two different people. Both were tremendously helpful and knowledgeable. They even chose specimens based on how I planned to prune them. They shipped each order on the day I called them and the trees arrived about 3 days later. The trees were healthy and arrived in perfect condition due to the excellent packaging and use of UPS. They carry a huge variety of fruit trees and can help you pick the best for your circumstance. Great people, great trees!
This was my first order with Cummins, and I was very pleased. I order a sweet cherry, a plum, and a pear. The trees were of nice size and well budded. They took off well after planting. Safely packaged as well.
The folks at Cummins are extremely helpful and knowledgable. When you call or e-mail them you are going to be talking to someone who knows fruit trees thoroughly.
DigMontana Libby, MT (Zone 4b) (4 reviews) May 5, 2008
I recieved my grape vines without any problems. They were in great shape and had excellent roots.
When I placed my first order, the email messed up, so Steve called me on his cell phone while he was on the road. He even made a suggestion for me when I told him what I was looking for in my grapes. I was given a shipping date and asked if it was the date I wanted. I was concerned about all the frosty mornings and he assured me it would be okay to plant. I thought the service was great and the grape vines healthy. I would order again from this company.
I ordered three apples, two plums and a pear from Cummins this winter; they arrived a few weeks ago, in great shape, and are now budding out. I'd actually changed the order twice on them, and they were always completely accommodating. The trees were perhaps a little smaller than those I've gotten from other companies, but they informed me in advance of what I'd be getting and the size was reflected in the price. They have a fantastic selection of trees on many different rootstocks. A great business.
gosh this has to be one of the best places to buy apple pear plum and peach trees. i dont know how they do it but they have some of the best prices on grafted trees. also the lady i have talked to on the phone went way out of her way to make feel like they appreciated my small order. i am reordering again this year!!! greatest nursery!! i put it up there with bear creek nursery that use to be another great nursery untill it closed down ricky poore
Cummins Nursery is a rare gem. How many nurseries have a phone answered by one of the top apple men in the whole country? Jim Cummins gives some priceless advice along with the order. I have ordered quite a few trees from them over the years and the quality has been uniformly high and the prices very reasonable. They have one of the most interesting variety selections in the country as well. You do need to get your order in early or the varieties you want may sell out. They are also a bit disorganized sometime about the orders, it is a family business and everyone is very busy with lots of other things besides orders. They have always done their best to correct the few mistakes they have made, and overall I am a very happy customer.
jjberman Colorado Springs, CO (2 reviews) May 21, 2007
Being a novice tree grower, I was thrilled to find Cummins Nursery & Dr Cummins. Their impressive credentials are invaluable to a person just starting out. I know they saved me from serious mistakes and their knowledge of genetics got me the best choices in apple trees for my area , which might be the difference between the trees making it or not, here in Colorado. The trees arrived in good condition, and I will be ordering more plants from these folks next year.
Like most, I find dealing with real honest people in today's business world a rare delicacy. Look no further, here it is. I ordered 25 assorted fruit trees this year from them for the first time. They delivered when I requested It arrived within 2 days of my request date. All phone conversations were extremely polite and personable. All 25 trees are doing great. 2 of 6 trees I also ordered from Miller's put in the same area are not so good. Just the chance to do business with some of the few good ol' american businesses would be reason enough for me to order from them again, but add to it a 25 out of 25 success rate, and I have to say, I am sold.
My Mother recently talked about an apple that her father raised for years here in southern Ohio and she had never seen in 50 years, called a Wolf River, known for its huge size. I talked to Jim Cummins and he was so informative about the planting, care, and any questions I had that I ordered 8 along with 8 peach trees. The shipment arrived in mid April and were great trees, We did lose 2 peach trees , and Steve Cummins immediately replaced them. Could not have asked for better customer service, products, and help. I highly recommend this company for any gardening need. They are the greatest. Jim & Brenda Spears
Ginda WELLESLEY HILLS, MA (2 reviews) April 20, 2005
Cummins has a fantastic variety of apples and other fruits. They are very pleasant to do business with. And I was very happy with the shipping and the trees.
I ordered three oddball, hard-to find apple trees from Cummins over the winter. Actually, I ordered two cultivars I wanted, and a geneva rootstock I wanted to try (since I only wanted one, I got it with a named scion on top.) I called, and discussed what was available. The on-line list wasn't completely up-to-date, but Mr. Cummins was very helpful, and checked to see if he had any of the "Tydeman's Late Orange" that I wanted.
They arrived last Friday, after perfect shipping weather, and before perfect weekend planting weather. (Which is partly the luck of the weather, but they took advantage of it.) They were nice trees, as described, fully dormant and in good shape. I only wish I had room for more trees.
ewinter El Prado, NM (10 reviews) September 6, 2004
This nursery is a good choice for those who need winter-hardy varieties, as they have a good selection of Geneva and other hardy rootstocks. I found them to be very helpful in selecting rootstocks.
Cummins carries a good selection, often with multiple choices of root stock for each variety. There are numerous interesting heirloom varieties and modern introductions. As it happens, I was called away from home for a family emergency at the last minute, and asked to have my ship date delayed at the last minute. All was handled as I requested, and the trees have shown acceptable first-season growth.
I have had a completely positive experience with Cummins Nursery. I had placed an order with another company last fall, and the trees never came(even though they cashed my checks); I wasn't sure where to turn. I called Cummins, and they couldn't have been more patient with my beginner questions. I called back a couple days later to place an order, and in 6 days I had my trees. They didn't even ask for money up front. They had all but 2 of they heirloom varieties I wanted,( which will come next spring) and even threw in a "freebie". I will definitely use them again, and recommend them to anyone looking for hard to find varities.
Ordered from Cummins several years in a row, this spring the 'Balaton' cherry and on Mahaleb rootstock, which was not even listed for this spring, however, they looked around and found a very small supply, just enough for me--it arrived on time in very good shape. They took time and effort, which I greatly appreciate.
I had hesitated using Cummins because, despite having had a nice email experience last year with the elder Cummins, who is retired from the Geneva Agricultural Station, I did not want my apples on a variety of rootstocks and some of the varieties I wanted were on different rootstocks from the one I preferred (this year, however, I have changed my mind on this--long story). Also, I was aware of the negative experience posted below. However, emboldened by the positive experiences now being reported here, I emailed again, and had several fruitful interchanges with Dr. Cummins, resulting in my driving down to Ithaca to pick up my order, although, sadly, at this time of year, many of the more desirable antique apple varieties are sold out. February is a better time to place orders than April.
In Ithaca, I dealt with Dr. Cummins' son, Steve, who maintains a large warehouse packed with well-cared-for trees. He likes to "have a conversation" with people about their orders, and I had a long, enjoyable one with him. I wasn't able to get a couple of varieties Dr. Cummins had thought were still available, but found some others that unexpectedly were in stock, and left very happy, with 11 lovely strong, healthy trees (on varying rootstocks) pre-pruned and well-packaged for their trip home, at a fantastic price. Also, Steve gave me a variety to try, which I thought most generous.
Steve will do cutom grafting in August if you can get the "wood." (I had an odd variety I have my heart set on getting.) He gave me lots of useful information on this and other subjects.
Obviously, I am VERY pleased with this nursery, which is really just getting rolling and promises to be absolutely stellar in future. I will be putting in a large order next year. Don't be put off by the confusing pricing system. Have a "conversation" with one of the Cummins.