Frankly, I have ordered plants and bareroot stock from many many online nurseries, including almost all of the major ones, and it is generally a very mediocre experience, at best. That is why I am so pleased with Raintree Nursery.
I ordered a bareroot blueberry plant, variety AURORA, since no one sells Aurora around here. I ordered it in early May and it was delivered in late May, so both the order and the delivery were late in the year for our Zone 6. Because of the lateness, I expected them to send me scraggly, picked over stock, and I thought it would probably arrive in poor shape and not do well, but I wanted to try.
Was I ever surprised. The plant, when it came, was very strong, beautiful and full of life. The packing was excellent, the roots were moist, and I soon moved it into my garden where it is doing very well. Truthfully, I would have been pleased if it had arrived in half the condition it did.
Based on this experience, I rate them very highly. Unlike some of the large, national mail order companies, Raintree Nursery really seems to care.
Being from washington, it seems to make sense to order locally to lessen the ordeal of shipping. Raintree has a great online selection and great apple varieties you cant find at the big box stores. I ordered 2 apple trees, 1 Akane and 1 Beni Shogun. The Akane was nice and large about 6.5 ft tall but the Shogun was a tiny whip about 3ft. Strangely enough they were the same price. They were well packaged and the newspaper shredding were still moist upon arrival. I have them in the ground now so hopefully they do well this spring.
Got anxious about when plants were coming add I had to take off work to get them put out. Brandon from customer service was very helpful helpful. Trees, shurbs, and plants arrived in excellent condition, especially considering they were shipped cross country. Everything was bused and obviously alive and we'll. Trees were tall and very few branches were broken. Excellent roots. Definitelygot our money's worth, will order again for sure!
On Mar 26, 2015, sbs Greenwood, IN (Zone 5b) wrote:
I've ordered several plants from Raintree over the past several years, and all have been good, healthy specimens. Received a Meyer lemon this year, also in great condition. Needed to make an adjustment to a current order, and found their customer service to be courteous and helpful. Looking forward to receiving my next order!
It was last year when we ordered Mirabelle de Metz plum and Imperial Epineuse. Yvonne was wonderful and knowledgable to deal with and sent us beautiful trees. A year later, they are in their full glory as healthy and perfect specimens. We had worried how they would overwinter and they did wonderfully despite the hard winter. Thank you!
On Jun 9, 2014, clpgirl Chippewa Lake, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:
Wanted to give a major 5 stars to Raintree!!!Have 2 columnar apples, same variety and have been looking for a third variety as pollenator-saw that Raintree had it for a reasonable price.. Crossed my fingers and ordered.
WOW! Good-sized tree arrived at right time for my zone, packed sooo carefully,bareroot- leaf buds came quickly, followed by beautiful flowers.To my COMPLETE surprise I just noticed around 9 apples on one of my original trees!
THANK YOU SO MUCH Raintree-not expecting anything from apples this year and can't tell you how thrilled I am with your careful packing, timely shipping and communication, rapid growth of this new tree and, most of all, the surprise of finding new little apples-no question I'll be back when in the market for trees or berries!!
Posted on April 23, 2011, updated May 17, 2014
Posted on November 11, 2010, updated April 23, 2011
I ordered two sweet cherries and two goose berry bushes.
The sweet cherries survived a brutal winter in upstate NY and a dry summer - they started producing fruit two years after planting.
The gooseberries were very good but this year they were attacked by some insect or disease that defoliated them - my fault for not spraying them. Good quality fruit trees and bushes.
On April 23rd, 2011, bryana added the following:
I ordered two fig trees.
One was good sized - 24 inches tall in a 6 inch pot. The other was only 7 inches tall, also in a 6 inch pot. I called to complain about the size of the smaller one and they refunded the purchase price.
Not the best experience (I would rather have had the full sized tree) but still good enough for a positive rating. Both trees have a small pair of leaves on top and appear to be healthy.On May 17th, 2014, bryana added the following:
I ordered two fig trees, some blackberry hybrids and some raspberries.
All arrived (across country) in excellent shape. The fig trees especially were very good sized.
On Apr 30, 2014, bessie89 Hearne, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:
I ordered a 4 in 1 pluot tree last winter, and received it this spring. The tree was bare root but had good branching and root structure. I quickly planted it after washing the rootball. The tree is thriving! Good leafing and some small fruit even formed. We had a strong windstorm a few weeks ago, so unfortunately, the little fruit did not make it, but I am sure it will fruit plenty next spring! I am very happy with my purchase and would order from Raintree again!
Just received a dwarf cherry tree that was ordered several weeks ago. The tree arrived in good shape, it's a reasonable size (4.5'), has several well placed little branches and a pretty good root system. It hasn't yet broken dormancy, and that's good in my estimation, because it's worrisome to see a tree that's not yet in the ground but is starting to try to develop leaves. Overall, I'm very pleased and fingers are crossed that the tree settles in well.
After searching almost everywhere on the web for Ribes odoratum Crandall I finally looked on the Raintree site and found them in stock! I have known about this nursery for years, but resisted ordering because of the price of their fruit trees. however, the price of all their Currants is fair so I ordered 2 Crandalls and a Minnesota 52. The plants arrived in excellent condition and were large and well rooted. They have now leafed out and are sending out new shoots from the roots. I will order from them again and recommend them.
-Good refund policy (though shipping costs aren't included).
-Good Customer Service (though not getting a response to an email which they directed me to send was annoying).
-Good Deals with bulk and package orders.
-Most of the three dozen or so plants I have ordered have leafed out: only a few duds.
-Plants arrived well packaged/protected, but (see below). . .
-Nice Website, but (see below). . .
-Comparatively expensive plants (and for what you pay: they are modestly sized: some of the trees are 'whips': e.i. no branches).
-Comparatively expensive shipping.
-I don't think their refund policy extends over the winter: it's just for the growing season.
-Plants arrived slightly on the dry side -so if you order: tend to your plants soon.
-Website could be organized better: not pared down: just less information/choices thrown at you at once. Also, a little blurb for each plant listed would be nice, so one wouldn't have to click on each plant to get even basic information.
- I am very satisfied with Raintree and I would order from them again.
-That being said I planted many of their smallish trees this season and though they have leafed out (except one) I am concerned how they will do over the winter -and without a one year guarantee my positive experience could turn into a negative one if I have a bunch of dead trees come spring!
Posted on July 11, 2013, updated July 22, 2013
raintree nursery had packed my wolf river dwarf apple and methly plum like they were museum pieces. They arrived in healthy condition and container having much room for the little guys were undamaged . While their size was smaller than the fruit trees I have purchased from Gurneys eons ago when they had a better reputation,they were hardy and ready to go.They have survived so far a spring and maybe half a summer. It took faith and dedication to grow them this far with God's help,but they would not have not gotten this far if the trunks were not as straight and branching as symetrical .I intend on ordering from them soon so I can get more sturdy stck for next spring!They should be in Dave's top ten or at least top thirty!
On July 22nd, 2013, jimlujack added the following:
It is almost Aug. and two fruit trees are still alive and healthy.I forgot to mention that the "soil" here is what the old westerns used to call hardscrabble and I think it rained once here last.......well you get the point.My trees have to depend on Jim(that is me) to water them and they get well water. Bugs are everywhere. You have to have quality stock for anything to grow leaves and keep them and keep them they did!
Great experience with these folks. I pre-ordered ten or so currants, gooseberries, jostaberries, elderberries, and figs. They came when promised, packaged well, and looked good (even with a cross country trip from WA to VA). The plants (minus the figs) were bare rooted. I planted them within a week and have been so pleased with their strong and healthy growth over the last couple months. Nice plants! Plus, with the pre-ordering, a couple of the plants were free. I'm very pleased with them and will order again.
On May 12, 2013, caliweathercast Adelanto, CA wrote:
Last year I received a bonus pack of 25 Shuksan strawberries, and this year I received a bonus pack of Myco fungi, I fertilized my strawberries with the fungi and they exploded with both leaves and blossoms, three months later I harvested my first crop.
This year I bought two bare root trees: a nectaplum and an aprium, both of my Flavor Delight aprium and my Spice Zee Nectaplum are growing like weeds, my Falvor Delight aprium has 11 inches of new growth, my Spice zee nectaplum has 12'. I am expecting some fruit next year.
I will be ordering again next year.
Thanks Raintree Nursery.
Ordered a few plants - a weeping Santa rosa plum, a yacon, and a cranberry. The Yacon and cranberry were as expected - four inch pots, ho-hum in size - but the tree looked great - over an inch in diameter, with a solid graft, and pruned to a single whip about five feet above the rootball. The tree arrived bare root (roots were trimmed, but well-formed), and packed in moist newspaper, but should be fine, as it is fully dormant. I'm excited to see what it looks like in a year.
I have worked with and occasionally for Raintree Nursery for over 30 years. The owners of RT are good people dedicated to the mission of finding and supplying the best edible varieties from around the world for home gardeners. They have succeeded! The care and support to their employees have always been foremost in creating a pleasant working environment and benefits for their employees as well as an educational and pleasant experience for the customers.
People being people sometimes some employees do not fit in and harbor resentment or frustration when this happens. Sometimes even the best of care on the part of the nursery some plants do not grow. The place to look is to the soil and to the gardener where most gardening problems originate. I am very glad Raintree exists and am grateful that I can easily get these plants delivered to my door year after year.
On Apr 2, 2013, Sundownr (Bev) Wytheville, VA (Zone 6a) wrote:
I received shipment of our group's order of berry plants last week and they were all very beautiful, well packaged, and healthy. I'm still tentative about the bare rootstocks, but will have to wait and see how they do. So far we are all quite happy with the service provided. We will definitely order from them again!
On Mar 22, 2013, greenwaterjan Enumclaw, WA wrote:
I live in the Cascade mountains and needing help with deciding which apple tree would work for me. I also used their online advice from their horticulturist twice. All the calls I made were responded to with very helpful advice, while their horticulturist responded to me (email)promptly, and also answered all questions on several topics. I found this service very helpful. I ordered one tree and requested the tallest they could ship to me. It arrived when stated and exceeded my expectations. A beautiful 6 ft. tall tree, with several side branches, and very healthy roots. The packaging was great. I have ordered another tree, the last one they had. Would highly recommend and use this nursery again!
On Feb 19, 2013, MrsG47 Newport, RI United States wrote:
I am a backyard orchardist. I have eighteen fruit trees, 15 of which I have purchased from Raintree. The negative comments do not do this company justice at all. They are a wonderful company. They have replaced trees for me, and sent the right order, on time, every time I have ordered. They returned my phone calls and emails. But then, I don't get angry or impatient. You get what you want with kindness and fairness. The company is excellent!
On Jan 18, 2013, jeremybro Saint George, KS wrote:
Approximately one year ago, I ordered five apple trees and three cherry trees.
First, the bad: The first communication I received was a ship notice (several weeks after I placed the order, at the appropriate time for my zone) that stated one of my apple trees was sold out and had been removed from my order. This should have been stated on the website prior to my order, or, at least, I should have been contacted and given the opportunity to select an alternative (I would have).
Now, the good: All seven of the trees I received are thriving. I was impressed with the gauge (diameter) of the trees. They were well packaged -- the healthy roots were packed with damp shredded paper, and a bamboo stick provided additional strength. One of the apples and all three cherries put on blooms (that I removed.) I followed the included pruning instructions, and, by the end of the season, several of the trees were taller than me, having grown as much as four feet in one year.
I will absolutely order from them again. Their prices are a bit higher, but their stock is excellent, and their selection is great.
I just got my order the other day and while Raintree didn't get the order completely right, I got a jumbo hardy kiwi instead of a red; they went above and beyond to make things right with me! I will be ordering from them again. Also did I mention the plants came in looking great! I have ordered from other online nurseries before and raintree's quality was superior. So over all I will say a positive for me.
This was the first time I ever ordered plants from Raintree-and I will continue to order from them for fruit bushes and unique plants. The fruit bushes I received are fantastic. They are very nice sized bushes-an elderberry, a lingonberry and a aronia. Their website provides great info on the plants and they send a planting booklet with the plants. I'm excitely waiting for a second order I placed for a goji bush and wasabi plant.
Posted on April 4, 2012, updated April 21, 2012
I'm giving this company a positive mainly because their catalog is so informative and interesting.
Their trees have been good, although their customer service has only been fair. I ordered something last year, and simply never received it, even though they billed me. I contacted them again, and they at least acknowledge they have to send it to me this spring, so there was poor communication, but nothing really bad.
But, with a very informative, and I do mean very informative, catalog, excellent varieties, and good quality trees, I have no issue giving them a positive.
On April 21st, 2012, TA152H added the following:
I had the same experience as usual with RainTree, both good and bad.
I wanted to add another item to an order that had not shipped in about a year, but was scheduled, as it turns out, nine days later, but they would not let me. They told me it had already been sent to the warehouse (I guess they don't know what a computer is, so probably won't be able to read this anyway), and could not be changed. Really bad customer service, as the person made no effort; even the email was very terse, without even putting a name in it.
On the plus side, they sent me another catalog, and their catalogs are extraordinary. They are very honest, very informative, and very interesting. It's a great catalog for ordering, and a great catalog for learning.
Also, I received two trees (from last year's order), and both were top quality. Very, very nice trees. So, I'm still leaving it positive even though their customer service blows. Even so, they lost the sale of the other tree I wanted.
Posted on January 29, 2012, updated February 27, 2012
Ordered Top Hat Blueberry April 2011. Flowered and maybe 40 blueberries couple weeks later. Cant wait for this growing season.
Here is a picture from January 2012 /photos/9755832@N08/6785930047/
On February 27th, 2012, jkmbaum added the following:
Placed an order Jan 29 ,2012. paid extra shipping off there recommended shipping date. Received Order Feb 25, 2012. Shipping was a little slow for me, but trees are in good shape. Will report back
I received an order of plants from Raintree on Feb 9 2012. These folks really know how to produce blue ribbon champion roots on the plants they offer. I received what they called a seedling rugosa rose- it was four feet tall! I also received a rare and hard to find Carolina sweetshrub, to plant in my yard in memory of my mother and greatgrandmother, who grew one in the yard of the house where they lived and where I was born. Also I received two beach plums with roots heavier and larger than the plants themselves. The packaging included shredded paper, and the roots of every plant arrived in Louisiana from Washington state moist and vigorous. Put me down as a breathtakingly impressed customer. Their prices are just right for someone on a fixed income. Their mail order catalog is a virtual encylopedia. If this place were a restaurant in New Orleans, these people would earn five stars from me. I live in Lafayette (Scott) Louisiana.
Posted on January 25, 2011, updated August 30, 2011
I ordered a petite negri fig several years ago that has done very well. Their customer service has been good when I've called with questions, etc. This season, I've ordered a dwarf mulberry and will update this post once the order is complete.
On August 30th, 2011, Bobbette added the following:
Dwarf Mulberry is doing very nicely--may be my favorite plant in the yard. I am very happy with Raintree!
On Jul 18, 2011, greybanks Staten Island, NY wrote:
I ordered from RainTree for the first time early this spring after researching sellers of rare and interesting fruit trees. I ordered a Prune D'Ente tree, a clove currant, a gooseberry and three blueberries. All of them are doing wonderfully, and two of the blueberries even set (some) fruit this year.
As for the service, I needed to change some details of my order after placing it and customer service was very responsive to my emails. They then gave me a shipping window and stuck to it. Some of the plants were bare-root, which I had never seen before (this being my first time mail-ordering plants). My wife joked- "honey, your twigs are here." But as I said, once in the ground, they all took off and leafed out beautifully. Overall, I'm very happy with the experience and plan on ordering from them again this fall.
I ordered two Asian Pears, an Asian Plum, and a Pluot from them this spring. When all four arrived they looked a little rough and very dried out. I soaked everything overnight not just the plums. I planted them out and it took a little longer than expected for them to leaf out. A couple months later three of them have really taken off. One Asian Pear was struggling until recently. I put it into a tree shelter and now it has stabilized. It is starting to look real good too.
I have been ordering from raintree nursery for years. They have always sent me healthy plants that have grown well. No company can have 100% success with plants that have been shipped across country and may or may not be planted within a reasonable time and in a reasonable manner. My experience with this company has been very good. They have always treated me fairly. Great selection. Good prices. Shipping is done certain times of year to make it affordable to ship. If you have shipped anything across country lately you would know it adds up. If you are able to plan ahead and order early and provide good care of the plants you should have success.
I have nothing but good to say about Raintree. All my fruit trees grew. I have about 25 of theirs to date (all 2011) and more from another nursery which are good too. I had 3 separate orders up to May 15th. Their 4-5' trees are well branched and actually started blooming buds and have fruits the first year. I knocked off all but one on each tree just to see them grow and learn. The wips which were cheaper, but all they had late in the season, are growing nicely and will be well branched for next year. At first, their shipping to the east seemed high but when the package arrived it was well done and time consuming. The heavy weight boxes was 6' long and were quite heavy. I needed a cart. So I it if you want good healthy stock safely packaged, it is well worth it. Who wants to lose a growing season? Not an older retired person...ha. They have very hard to get varieties which will fit in nicely for a small orchard grower. You do need to do some prep work. Dig a nice sized hole "before" the trees arrive. Use some non burning lime and fertilizer (little), soak the trees for at least an hour before planting and spread the roots, water well to settle the tree, and finally don't be afraid to prune. Prune down at least half to a bud pointing in the direction you want the tree to grow. And finally keep the trees watered. I use a drip irrigation system set for 2 hours every 4 days automatically. Check the newer trees, they might need more watering since they were planted late. And, don't forget to use sprays. It's a bad world out there for these little trees until you get things settled down for them. They can't walk away or go to the doctor so you have to protect them. Use the internet for spray guides and read over the material. I found my pears like green light fruit tree spray (neem oil for mites? and they didn't seem to like captan), bonide FTS for apples peaches plums etc. However the later effects good bugs too and you might find using this more frequently to settle everything down where green light FTS might be better for you. And serenade for fungus. It works real well on bad diseases. it kills most and it's even a good suppressant for bacterial spot (peaches-plums etc.) and fire blight apples - pears. It's organic too. I will defiantly buy from Raintree again.
I have been ordering from Raintree Nursery for the past 18 years and have always had a positive experience with the 35 trees I have ordered. The staff is knowledgeable, courteous, friendly and responsive to questions. Once when a tree did not grow, they replaced it for me. They offer classes, have excellent plant information in their catalog, and have informative videos on their website. Raintree is also very committed to assisting non profits to make the world a more bountiful place for all.
On May 10, 2011, borealrose East Hardwick, VT wrote:
This was my second year ordering from Raintree and I have to say I'm a happy customer. The dwarf apple trees I ordered from them last year arrived healthy and fully branched out and survived a particularly nasty Vermont winter with no damage whatsoever. This year's order was of similarly well-developed and robust trees. Raintree has a truly excellent selection of rare fruits like quinces and medlars along with hard-to-find European varieties of apples and pears and the prices are reasonable considering the quality of the plants. The only thing I don't like about them is that their catalogue makes me wish I lived in a more forgiving growing zone.
On May 9, 2011, wildagain Clarks Grove, MN (Zone 4b) wrote:
This was my first time ordering from Raintree. My order arrived on time and in wonderful condition. Bare-root trees had great root systems and were safely bundled with lots of wet paper shreddings, then double wrapped in plastic. Blueberries came with a wedge of soil attached, which made me very happy. And kiwis arrived in pots wrapped in plastic, and fully leafed out, which was a surprise.
The plant care guide included in the package was a wealth of information-- I'll be saving it for future reference, probably for years.
I'm already looking forward to placing an order next year.