The National Arbor Day Foundation is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to helping people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees.
Our shipping seasons are in the Spring from approximately February 2nd to May 30th and in the Fall from approximately November 1st to December 10th depending on the weather factors that allow us to ship safely. The trees are shipped at the appropriate planting time for your horticultural zone. For more information about shipping bare-root stock, please call the National Arbor Day Foundation Member Services Department at 888-448-7337 or contact us at http://www.arborday.org/contact.
The ten free trees that you receive for becoming a Member of The National Arbor Day Foundation are shipped via the U.S Postal Service standard mail which means that these may take a bit longer to arrive. These trees can be shipped to a P.O. Box or to a physical address. Our Tree Book or nursery stock is shipped by either USPS Priority Mail or UPS depending on the shipment size and cannot be sent to a P.O. Box, they can only be sent to a physical address.
clj422 Parkersburg, WV (1 review) December 1, 2013
got my trees yesterday. of course ground is frozen and there is snow on the ground. shouldn't the arbor day foundation know this is not the time for planting trees?
cnstrxgrrl Chillicothe, IL (2 reviews) August 15, 2013
I went into this purchase knowing that I was not going to get large, semi-mature plants. Honestly, when one sees the low prices, one should assume that.
I ordered 100 north privet plants in March of 2012. When I was given a 'time window' of shipment, I asked to hold off until a certain date. Arbor Day did this with no problem whatsoever.
They arrived as small sticks. Some were a bit on the small side compared to others, but I planted them anyway. When a rep called me a few months later to check up on my satisfaction with the purchase, I mentioned the small ones. She placed a note in my customer file, and told me to call the next spring and report any that died over the winter, and any that were still very small. Of 100 plants, I only lost 1. Those are pretty good odds!
So, in spring of 2013, I called in with my dead shrub count, and a count of those that seemed undersized, which were about 6. These replacements were sent to me free of charge, and both times I received shipments, the plants were packed well and moist.
Overall, I am pleased with the outcome. The shrubs are growing very well, and this year they are easily double to triple the size they were last year when I planted them.
I'd recommend buying from Arbor Day, as long as you realize that you're not going to get a big tree/shrub in the mail. That is simply not realistic of any garden company, so a local nursery is the better option if you're looking for a more mature specimen.
I just received an offer from the Arbor Day Organization that promises me I will get "free" trees for completing a survey. After reading the offer more closely, I could see that I needed to make a donation of at least $10.00 in order to get the trees. They tried to disguise their offer by saying I could redeem "free vouchers". I would have been more likely to send them the money if they had just been honest about their offer. The trees can't be "free" when getting them requires a donation. Why couldn't they just say that they were giving me the opportunity to purchase some trees for a small price? I bet that the survey is a meaningless part of the offer and they aren't interested in my opinions about trees. They just want my money.
Wonsungee Saint Johnsbury, VT (1 review) June 22, 2013
In late May, I ordered 60 bare-root trees from this website for spring planting. They included 12 Sugar Maples, 20 Eastern White Pines, 6 Bur Oak, 10 Snowdrift Crabapples, and 10 Spruces (half Norway, half Colorado Blue). The trees arrived 2 weeks later, in early-mid June. This is rather late, though not too bad considering my northern position. I planted all of the trees within a week, and I have noticed many of the maples, crabapples, and pines already coming out of dormancy, and developing leaves. The oaks are exiting dormancy much more slowly, but are still very much alive. The spruces, which I planted relatively late (5 days after receiving the trees) are faring more poorly; the Colorado Blue Spruces are all doing reasonably well, but I expect all but one, maybe two, of the Norway Spruces to die. Not too big of a deal though, I have 50 more healthy trees.
Altogether I am satisfied with my experience with the Arbor Day Foundation, and will offer some tips to prospective buyers:
* The trees varied widely in condition and health; some had branches developed, others were nothing more than stalks with a few buds (or pine needles). Because of this admittedly unavoidable consequence of purchasing trees online, I would recommend assigning a priority to each planting site. Planting the more healthy, vigorous trees in a more important site, and putting the sickly trees in a temporary site to serve as potential replacements would appear to be the best option.
* The conifers in general seemed to be much more negatively effected by the shipping process than the deciduous trees. Perhaps this is due to conifers having a less pronounced dormant period, and having much more fragile root systems (my conifers were <1 ft tall, while the hardwoods were all more than 3 feet). Take special care planting them.
* The flowering trees sold on this website have been growing exceptionally well; the "Snowdrift" Crabapples I ordered were the first to develop leaves, and none demonstrate any sort of weakness.
To conclude, I would urge others to follow this advice, and keep in mind that the most important thing to do after plant reception is to ensure that the root systems of the trees do not dry up; that is a sure way to have a dead tree!
The Pros: My trees came about 3 feet tall, which I feel is appropriate for the price. I ordered around 13 fruit trees, all of which show signs of life and are growing. They came in good condition, but the hazel nut trees I ordered are still in dormancy, so I cannot say if they are alive or dead.
The cons: The 10 free oak trees I received ( a month earlier than my fruit trees) only one is showing signs of life, but the others seem healthy, and I think oak trees come out of dormancy later than other trees.
A couple of the trees rootstock were trimmed back too much IMO, although they are leafing and seem to be doing fine. I also think that the shipment came a little bit late for this area, in late may, almost June, but that is a matter of opinion.
Overall, I am very pleased since the only trees I really cared about ( the fruit trees) are doing terrific. Time will tell how they do, but I don't think I will have much of a problem. I am fairly happy with Arbor Day as they met and even exceeded some of my expectations.
I placed an order for several trees and also for a one-year membership last month. The price can't be beat but in reality, the chances of receiving viable trees is 50-50 at best. Several of the deciduous trees I received had no sign of any life (despite being mid May). The hemlocks I ordered were devoid of a single needle on any of their small branches and were obviously dead. Some of the other trees appeared to have some buds and may yet survive.
I had joined Arbor Day and paid for a one-year membership a few years ago too. At the time, I merely took advantage of the "10 free trees" that they always offer with membership. Of the 10 small twigs they sent back then, about half never showed any signs of life. A few others died almost immediately. Three actually survived. I didn't even bother ordering the 10 free trees offered with my membership this time, opting instead to order from their catalog instead. However, I don't think I will bother with them again though.
Sure wish I had read the reviews first! All ten free trees, dead. Both Apricot trees, dead. Both apple trees remain under 3 feet after 5 years. Forsythias so small that I ran over them with a push mower, never seeing them. All cedars, dead. Red maple, dead.
I thought I was helping a non profit so I placed a large order. Big mistake.
I have ordered multiple small trees and plants from Arbor Day, with few complaints given their prices. Their best deal is most assuredly the 10 included trees when becoming a member for $10. One must remember that these trees are small, and this is a charity attempting to reforest the country, not send full grown trees. I have rarely had trees from Arbor Day die, and even then only in the extreme drought of summer 2012.
What Arbor Day's trees are great for is establishing roots correctly. When you buy an eight foot tree from a garden center, the roots are wrapped in a tight ball circling the inside of the pot. These roots will not spread out normally, and planting a large enough hole disturbs the soil's capillary columns. I planted a garden center oak over a year ago and it still shifts in heavy rain and wind because of its poor root structure (despite a excellent and broad planting hole) Arbor Day's trees are saplings, and their roots are not yet in balls. It is best to water them deeply once a week, or, better yet, plant them using a dew/rain collection storage device like a Groasis Waterboxx to allow them to develop deep, natural roots. Arbor Day ships according to planting schedule, which is helpful. Also, I get satisfaction in replanting the nation's forests with my purchase.
I joined them last year and received a bag of 10 moldy sticks with some anaerobic mud at the bottom of the bag. I didn't care about that, I joined them to help their cause, not get free stuff. Once they got my address, they started sending me a ton of junk mail asking for more money. If they planted 10 trees in my name, they must have killed 15 others to get the paper to send me junk mail. It appears that they also gave my address to two other places that also want $10 donations for free junk. One was to save wolves, the other one was to save the rain forests.
Later, I joined their $20 hazelnut program and received three twigs, the tallest of which was 3 inches high. The nuts were still attached to the small twigs but were growing green mold. In fact, the whole inside of the bag was green mold with roots and three tiny sticks poking out. When I tried to lift the hazelnut twigs out of the bag, two of them just desentigrated. The third one has grown more mold and shown no signs of plant growth.
I placed an order with Arbor Day. I called within 10 minutes after I placed the order because I was going to be out of town so I wanted to make sure I would be home when my plants arrived. I was told there was no way I would know when my plants arrived and I also would not receive any type of confirmation when my plants would be were shipped. Since I probably would not be home when my plants arrived, I cancel my order. My credit card has now been charged and it looks like it is going to be a REAL PROBLEM to get my refund (esp. the membership fee), which I never plan on using, or recommending Arbor Day to anyone. Since they won't work with their customer on when the plants arrive, I really wonder if they really care about the plants. It appears the only thing they care about is getting your money.
I have ordered several trees from the Arbor Day Foundation (ADF). When I received them, the roots were well wrapped in shredded paper, moist, and covered tightly with a plastic bag. The one negative is that the trees they send are very young (READ their description carefully!), so the yield is low (~50%). However, they never gave me any hassles about sending replacements. Why am I neutral? Because my county sells similar nursery stock (saplings) every Spring as a fund raiser for conservation efforts. They are grown at a local nursery, arrive for pick-up on fixed dates (no mailing), and are lower cost. Consequently, the yield from the county trees is ~90%, although there are no replacements. You need to understand what ADF provides, look for local alternatives, and make a decision whether what ADF provides is really what you want.
I 100% know for a fact that the Arbor Day Foundation has its own employees write positive reviews on Dave's Garden. I was told by the employees themselves. The ADF is SHADY! Nature Explore and the ADF have questionable dealings. Nature Explore actually has a church writing checks to their contractors. The IRS needs to look into both orgs.
Posted on December 15, 2012, updated December 19, 2012
I just received 14 fruit trees from Arbor Day (several varietiies), and they look beautiful. I paid next to nothing for them, and many are as tall as I am. I read the reviews after placing my order, so I was actually expecting disappointment, but I'm very happy. I still haven't received the free trees - they are shipped separately. I am glad I supported this organization.On December 19th, 2012, laurelpo added the following:
update - I received my ten free trees as well. Seriously, I have more trees than yard! The ten are between one and two feet, packaged well, and healthy looking. I am planting the dogwoods and gifting the rest.
I planted the purchased trees about a week ago, and they are doing very well so far.
Toots1960 West Hamlin, WV (Zone 6a) (1 review) November 28, 2012
I sent them my $10 and am still waiting on my trees. They told me it would be between Nov. 3rd and Dec. 11th. I had to complain to get my tree book and subscription. They are already wanting $10 more. If and when I get my trees I think I will do like the one person and put them in gallon buckets to see if they are gonna make it first before I take the time and energy to dig the holes. Yes they do pass BBB's standards for charity but they could at least send better plants. I didn't see any complaints on the BBB's website against the Arbor Day Foundation. Sounds to me like whoever ships the orders just grabs whatever is within reaching and sends them.
rpk1210 Henrietta, NY (1 review) September 6, 2012
I find Arbor Day Foundation to be a wonderful charity with many wonderful programs. Providing nursery stock is just one small part of what the organization does. I personally have been happy with the trees I received and plan to order from them again. About 4 months ago I ordered from them for the first time and received 3 pink dogwoods, 1 norway spruce, a snowdrift crabapple, and one free red maple. Everything arrived in good condition, and were the size advertised, except for the red maple had been snapped in half during shipping. I didn't contact Arbor Day about it since that tree was free but I planted it anyway.
Four months after they were planted, everything is doing well except the broken red maple. The dogwoods have branched out and got lots of leaves on them and have each grown about 4-6" already. The norway spruce is taking slowly but that too has grown a few inches and is starting to look good. The crabapple has grown about 6" and is doing well. The red maple is actually still alive but didn't get and leaves and looks pretty bad so I plan to replace it.
My advice when deciding whether or not to order from Arbor Day is to do so knowing your trees will arrive very small and will require patience and diligence as they establish. I am putting in a fall order for some shrubs, a peach tree, and another free red maple and hope they do as well as my spring shipment. I will update on my next order!
I am sad to say I am also extremely displeased with this company, the service, and the hazelnut trees program. I am a novice gardener, but doing quite well overall, especially with my 4 other hazelnut trees bought locally. I am also successfully self propogating lilacs and mock orange, etc. Hazelnuts are somewhat hardy, tough trees, well usually. I live in the Pacific Northwest, hazelnut capital, so they tend to thrive here. However, Arbor day could not tell me when they shipped, just a general idea, but the three tree twigs were in the mail for at least 2 weeks from what I understood (I waited 6 months for them due to the ship date). I then received 8 inch thin, sickly twigs with white mold/fungicide/ or something on them. They were alive at the time so I planted them same day/time received and in a great location, well draining, not too deeply planted, not too shallow, etc. and they died (no green on the stem if rubbed) within a month, no leaves, etc. Customer service was polite but would not refund my money or send a replacement when I called to see what they intended to do, basically they said,"Thank you for the donation." They did not reply to my two emails as well with the questions, concerns, and complaint about the trees. I do not plan to purchase from Arbor Day Foundation again nor recommend them to others....
PamelaBaja Sierra de San Pedro Mártir, Baja Mexico (Zone 8b) (3 reviews) June 11, 2012
Posted on May 14, 2012, updated June 11, 2012
Won't be rejoining no matter what the cause...the trees I "purchased" ( not freebies)were VERY sad twigs-WAY too much junk mail as well from them-save your money and trees by sending me less!!!ARGH!! Their gaurantee-send them more money for replacement twigs? Don't think so:(On June 11th, 2012, PamelaBaja changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
I was contacted and a refund was issued for the plants that never came to life.
I stupidly order trees from this org. several times. Fool me once.....The 1st batch of trees included "paper birch". I understand that the prices are low but if you sell yourself as people trying to introduce more trees into the world, and experts, shouldnt you know hat you are selling? They sold me 10 twigs which I nursed and fussed over and spent $$$ & time on and they are not paper birch. They are some variety of birch but they are nowhere near white. This is 5 years down the road, the twigs are now 12' tall with dark brown bark. of ~ 25 conifer I bought maybe 3 are alive. Lastly I bought 3 eastern Redbuds - I got twigs with NO ROOT BALL - NONE. 1 root like someone yanked it out of the ground and threw it in the box.
Their resolution is to send me more twigs - which I do not feel compensates me. I spent time & $$ and could have gone in other directions if they kept their end of the deal. I think they are all about a few people at the top lining their pockets while they, and I have no proof of this, probably get Agriculture students to work for nothing.
I would not buy anything from them. They cannot be trusted. The vast majority of thier trees are non viable.
Im not sure this organization(company) truly cares for its cause. I donated last year and got the 10 free twigs, i wasent expencting anything amazing as it was just a donation, but none of them lived, i wasn't upset or anything since it was only $10 and i didnt have room for that many trees to begin with. However i recently placed an order for two japanese cherry trees with them since the National Cherry Blossom Festival had them listed as their prime source for people wanting to have their own... i received one of the two today, about 3 feet long with spinly hairs for "roots", now unfortunaly for me i don't forsee this taking off to a wonderful start with suck lackluster roots on a brance this size. I would completely recomend you use a more competent nursery for your tree needs, one wich will make sure their plants are well rooted before they send them to you, one that actually cares for their image and the fate of their plants.
donated to this foundation and just received my ten free moldy, smelly trees. This is the last time I will have any kind of dealings with them. Last year I bought trees from them and all I have to show for it are a few sticks, they did nothing but sit there last year, no growth, just sticks, I have been a member for a few years now, but no more. To whoever reads this don't waste your time or money
I had no problems with Arbor day so far. I joined and gifted a membership. I also donated another $15 for 5 rose of sharons. All the trees and shrubs had good roots and still had water with them! I see way to may people complaining about the size of the trees! What do you want for FREE. You just donated $10 to a good foundation and they give you free trees. I paid Michigan bulb for the same size trees and more than $10 for one. Both places sent me healthy bare root trees. I'm very happy with both places, I'm just saying if you didn't want a small tree than go spent around $100 for a big one and stop complaining!!
I bought a membership, for $10.00, then went head over heels and trusted the foundation, bought $800.00 in northern privets to make a hedge wall around my property, everyone of the 400 plants i bought were small and had very small roots, i planted them in early March, they said the hedges grew 3-6' per year, a year later they are the same size as when i planted them, about a third of them died, the other two thirds grow leaves but have not expanded at all, they are the same twigs sent to me when i planted them only they have some leaves on them. False advertising probable, and the size of some of these hedges are really a joke, they also shorted me around 30 of them had to have them send me the other 30 or so. They sent me some crepe myrtles to replace the third that died in December when i asked them to send them to me in the spring. I went ahead and planted them and they aren't doing anything 3 months later not even a bud. I would avoid these "foundations" they are only fronts for the super rich to hide their wealth in, and don't really care that i spent $800 dollars on them, they said after sending the crype mrytles that dont do anything it was all they could do. Sorry company "foundation" whatever.
Last spring I sent the foundation $10.00. I was told that I would receive ten free trees in the fall. I emailed them last month and they said that I should receive the trees by December 10. It is Christmas and I still have not received my trees. I emailed them again yesterday and am waiting to hear back.
I wouldn't mind giving them a donation without expecting a product, but when they promise same they really need to deliver.
If I do not get my trees by the first week in January I will post a negative review.
The Arbor Day Foundation is a nonprofit that sells retail seedlings by mail. The foundations only objective is to sell more trees and memberships. This company should be paying taxes like other for-profit retailers because the ADF is no charity. I'm going to request an inquiry from the Commerce Department in to their shady business.
I bought trees from the ADF and most of them lived. I'm really soured by the way the ADF has disrespected me as a customer with loads of junk mail, and sending membership renewal notices every other month after I purchased a year of membership in exchange for trees.
Don't give these dodgy people your address, unless you want a bunch of junk mail asking for money. The surplus nursery stock they liquidate is way overpriced, IMO. But worst, are their business practices, very unethical... After you order, The company continually tries to obtain revenue by deceiving their customers /"members". If you become a member of the "foundation" the company will send you repeated renewal notices by mail asking for more money. I understand they may even try to charge your credit card the membership fee after you don't respond before your membership runs out.
I don't want my money back, I just want this foundation shut down. Capitalism isn't evil, but companies like the National Arbor Day Foundation make it feel that way. -Devin
I ordered one dogwood and one japanese red maple. They sent us two trees and both were planted. The Japanese maple died but the other tree prospered and grew and then we realized it was NOT a dogwood but a weeping willow. I didn't want to kill off the tree by removing it but I have to say there is a huge difference between a large water hungry tree like a WW and a dogwood. I called the Arbor Foundation and even emailed and sent pictures of the wrong tree they had sent. Not only did I not receive a response but then they didn't even bother to offer suggestions or even replace it. I would never ever order a tree from them again. They did send a Japanese red maple and its growing in a pot and will have to go out in the ground soon, but like I said I am not very happy with their service. Sending the wrong tree is not acceptable, especially if its in the ground and growing before you even know what it is you planted. I have little trust for them and they have lousy customer service.
Ordered about 15 dwarf fruit trees from them. They shorted me 1 Bing Cherry last fall. I called them. They sent me another first thing this spring. I've had a few trees not make it through the winter. No problem. With online companies, this is the best one I've dealt with.
I hate to give a negative because I love what they stand for, but I have not had a good experience with these folks and will no longer be ordering from them.
I have purchased quite a few fruit trees and green giants from them over the last couple of years... and, at this time, all the fruit trees are struggling and not growing. Over half of the baby green giants have died...
Plants I have ordered from other nurseries have flourished in my garden.
When I contacted them about one of my fruit trees that had died I had to pay 1/2 of the cost of the original to get a new tree.
On the other hand, their prices are low, which is great, if you're willing to take that risk. And the free red maple they send with your order grows very well. So, if the rest of your order doesn't do so great, at least you have that red maple tree!
I ordered two almond trees from them. After a few years of growth, they are decidedly PEACH trees, not almond trees. Very unhappy.
brigidlily Lumberton, TX (Zone 8b) (6 reviews) March 22, 2011
Philosophically, I am 100% in favor of this organization. I have gotten a couple of pear trees from them that are doing well. But when I ordered those pear trees, I also ordered a weeping willow. They did send me a willow, but not a weeping one. When I emailed them about it 4 years later, having tried to give it time to develop, they responded that weeping willows do not have a weeping habit. HUH?????
It has to be hectic to do what they do, and a mixup in the occasional order should be forgiven. But -- WEEPING WILLOWS DON'T WEEP? Sorry, I'm done with these folks.
JAMIESMITH Decatur, MS (Zone 7b) (6 reviews) March 22, 2011
Posted on December 20, 2010, updated March 22, 2011
Free is free! I received my ten free trees on Saturday and planted them on Sunday. Each tree is about a foot tall. I'm not sure how well they'll grow, but they seem to be okay right now.On March 22nd, 2011, JAMIESMITH added the following:
Because this is a charitable organization, I won't change my rating from positve, BUT the trees are small and take much more patience than I have to take care of.
Yooper1 Atlantic Mine, MI (2 reviews) March 2, 2011
I have had nothing but great experiences with Arbor Day. 2 years ago I ordered several trees, all arrived in good packaging, and all the tree roots were still moist. Unfortunately 1 tree did not survive (peach). I contacted Arbor Day, and they sent me a free replacement, which is doing great. Last year I ordered several more trees from Arbor Day, unfortunately some didn't survive, but I called, and they will be sending me replacements this spring. GREAT customer service. As far as the "free" trees are concerned, I consider them a bonus. I order enough trees that paying the $10 for the member prices easily pays for its self versus paying the non-member prices. So by paying $10, I save money, plus get 10 extra free trees. The first year I ordered, 2 of the 10 free ones survived, last year, all of them survived. My only "complaint" is that I wish they had a bigger selection to choose from. I will definitely be ordering from Arbor Day again!
mnrvoigt Temperance, MI (1 review) December 31, 2010
I would just like to comment on the Arbor Day Foundation in a positive light...I have been a "member" for years! I love getting the lilacs, hazelnuts, free trees, cuttings, or whatever you want to call them. I donate the $10 for the work that they do. they educate youngsters and adults alike about trees and how important they are to our environment. Maybe some of you with negative comments should rethink why you give the $10...hopefully not expecting somewhat mature nursery quality trees...these little "twigs" they send, and they are small, are just as viable as the more mature ones you buy retail, in fact somewhere along the line thats how those trees started. Its about nurturing something to grow, watching it mature. Give a "twig" to a child to nurture or donate to your local schools as part of an outdoor education program. If you want bigger more mature trees, then put your $10 with some more money and buy from a wholesale nursery. You cant expect a mature tree for $10! Look at the big picture and think about the good works their charity does!
When I sent my $10 "donation" to ADF with the promise of 10 free trees, plus lilac bushes, etc. I didn't expect much, but I did expect some common sense from a foundation that wants to grow healthy plants. Although I sent in late summer/ealry fall the shipment wasn't received till around mid Dec. By then we had 2-4 feet of snow in our yard. We live in the snowbelt. If ADF had done its homework they'd have known that. They claim they'll be shipped at the best time for planting in our area, but Dec. is rarely the best time to plant anything here! We never received the lilac bushes...just as well, I guess. The tiny twigs are still lying out in our back room; no chance to plant them. If ADF really cared about growing things, they wouldn't send the babies to their certain demise by shipping them to a snowy death! Such a shame.
robert693 Dahinda, IL (2 reviews) December 8, 2010
One reason to join the Arbor Day Foundation is to get fruit trees really cheap. They are small but do grow. I have ordered peach and cherry trees that are doing as well as the 25 dollar trees I bought at a local garden center. The Arbor Day trees were only 4 dollars. The 10 free trees are just a thank you and aren't really that great but do grow most of the time. I wouldn't send them money for the free trees. The Arbor Day Foundation is a charity that has done much to educate about the importance of trees. They were instrumental in educating farmers about shelter belts and in reforestation in this country. It has four stars from the Charity Navigator website and is a Better Business Bureau accredited charity.
cris23464 Virginia Beach, VA (1 review) October 10, 2010
Why do I support the Arbor Day Foundation?
1. This is a Better Business Bureau Accredited Charity that donates time, effort and money to reforesting our National Parks, teaching children about the importance of trees through the "Nature Explore Classrooms" program, and encouraging adults to create a better living environment through the "Tree City USA" program. It is also working to train inhabitants of Central America's rain forests in improved agricultural and conservation skills so that they can continue to live as they traditionally have without leaving a huge negative impact. It's not all about the free stuff.
2. 90% of the trees I have received have lived. The free trees are tiny but do grow. My only problem was identification through the color-coding.
3. The newsletters help broaden my knowledge of trees.
4. I feel good doing my little part to repair this planet.
Toni05 Brookfield, IL (60 reviews) September 11, 2010
Never send a donation, unless you plan on joining.
I get continuous letters from the Arbor Day Foundation. A few months ago, I decided to send a small, very small donation, without asking for trees, or any other products.
Now, they write at least once a week. They say I'm a member. I am NOT a member, didn't ask to be a member, I don't want to be a member, and sure don't want 10 trees. We don't have room for one, let alone ten!
I don't know if they pay for postage, but so far, by sending numerous letters, they've spent more in postage then I sent as a gift. lol
If anyone decides to send a gift out of the goodness of your heart, there are numerous charities. The Humane Society is a great choice, and foundations for diseases. Cancer, Heart, Lung, etc, etc. Toni
I would Avoid this scam at all costs. They tell you the trees are free, but charge you 10 bucks to join...ok, so it turns out what you pay for what you get, a buck a plant, a buck a sick and and paltry plant that is. After 40 years I know what good stock is, and this is not it...and this is the first 100% negative review I've ever given.
Stunted stock that no self respecting nursury would sell. I also made the mistake of ordering a few extra plants...they came dead, and never recovered though they got immedicate and tender care. The few things that did survive were the smallest excuses for nursery stock I've seen in 40 years of mail orders!! Bare none.
And, to top it all off...if you don't watch them, they will renew your "$10 membership" each year without your permission, costing you even more.
To top it 0ff even more, they call themselves a "non-profit", as if they are doing us and the world a favor...well, if the world deserves to get ripped off, by folks selling garbage, and paying no taxes either, they I guess they are right on.
Personally, I stand by my assessment:
AVOID this company, it is dishonest and inept, and doesn't even attempt to approach the quality good gardeners have come to appreciate.
Sure, they send little twigs that may or may not survive. But the worst part is they always send them at the worst time of year. They claim it is "the best for your area", but June is a terrible time to plant in Virginia! It is not even in their range of when they are supposed to arrive. I read another complaint from someone way up north who got their trees long after the ground was frozen solid.
My theory is that they get the trees at the end of the season from cheap tree sellers at a huge discount. I find it hard to believe that they want people to grow trees when they are so uninterested in the success of their seedlings.
I made the mistake, after receiving half-dead sticks in the heat of June, to order some hazel nut trees. They were beautiful seedlings when they arrived in a timely manner in spring. They looked like they were greenhouse raised, not field raised, and normally I would have carefully hardened them off. But, the directions promised me that the best method was planting them immediately. The first mild frost blasted the bark right off of them.
pookerella Bellmore, NY (Zone 7a) (9 reviews) August 12, 2010
Posted on June 12, 2006, updated August 12, 2010
Arbor Day, regardless of the questionable donation fund placements you will read below, is an excellent source for education and also a really great website. Their EMAIL customer service is excellent. Paul Knapp, who answers my unending questions with a great deal of patience, is alone enough for the money for his help in figuring out what to do with these trees and shrubs and with help with plant ID. I'm neutral on their telephone support because I had one good and one bad experience. Unfortunately, the only things I remember is that one was nice and one was very mean and nasty.
I wish I could say that I was pleased with what I received, both the 10 free trees and the numerous ones I paid for, but I certainly was not. About 50% of the trees/shrubs are doing OK. I was shipped my PAID trees in very late fall. I told them I wasn't happy about this and they offered to send them "a little earlier for a $25 fee." I planted them and about 8 of them died (I will say, they did promptly refund my money for the trees and also offered, as an option to my refund, to replace them in the late fall). My 10 free trees were shipped after our ground was frozen (even though I begged them not to send them at that time) so I put them in pots and 6 of them actually sprouted and did better than the ones I paid for that I planted outside late in fall (but 4 did nothing). I got the free trees sent again, believe it or not, in early spring because I complained that it was too cold to dig in fall. I actually wrote to them to say "never mind," but they sent them anyway. The second set was even better than the first, even though they were TEENY. I got the "flowering trees" both times, and the first time, I received ZERO redbud trees (didn't find this out till AFTER they grew). I think I got their Prairie crabapple (in addition to the sargeant's crab that is part of their collection) which isn't a terrible thing, but the redbud was the only tree I REALLY wanted! The golden rain trees were duds in both shipments. The Hawthornes only came in the first set; I didn't get any in the second (yes, more crabapples).
Unless you live in a warm climate, take your 10 free trees, pot them in a greenhouse (it's nice cause they can stay outside with no heat all winter) or basement with a grow light and give them food and attention. You'll have a better shot at getting a tree that will live and thrive. As far as purchasing your trees and shrubs from them? There is a about a 50/50 chance they will die. Pay for the "expedited" shipping (you will literally have to beg them to tell you this exists) and take your chances. If not, there are many, many nurseries where you can purchase these trees and shrubs from that will not give you such a hard time about shipping and you will get more than just a stick with a bare root.On August 27th, 2006, pookerella added the following:
To answer the post from miulloj, I don't mind the "free trees" being not much to write home about, but how about the ones you pay for? 50% of them did nothing, plus the ones I paid for....I didn't even get the right things! I now have 2 purple leafed plum trees growing where there should be 2 SHRUBS and I am not too happy about it!On August 12th, 2010, pookerella added the following:
Update: My "almond" tree is actually a peach tree. I got a ton of peaches, although I have no interest in having a peach tree. I wanted an almond tree.