I ordered from St. Lawrence this spring. We had a long winter...still 4-5 feet of snow on the ground in April. My plants arrived on my doorstep March 31st so I followed the directions on storing them until the day I was able to access soil. When spring finally came, most of the plants leafed out, however several did not, and exhibited no signs of life. They were brittle and dead. I have sent several emails asking for a phone call or reply as well as phone messages requesting assistance but none have been returned. I cannot give them a good review nor can I ever order from them again.
I wonder how anyone can give a positive rating to this business. I wrote them a short paragraph last year giving a basic description of my ground & climate, and asked them if they had any better recommendation for apple trees other than the ones I was planning to order. NO REPLY. Then I wrote them again about 2 months later. NO REPLY. Then I waited a year, and wrote them again. NO REPLY. Then I asked a friend to write them, and ask if they are open for business. NO REPLY. I seriously doubt anyone that writes them gets a reply, and I can't imagine how anyone can do business like that. I am planning to get a calling-card to call them by phone - I wonder if I will get an answer.
As far as customer service goes, I give them a ZERO on a scale of 1-10.
I placed an order for 3 'Carmine Jewel' cherry bushes in January 2010. I clearly wrote on the order form, "Because of our elevation (9,200 ft), our ground thaws VERY late. Please ship fully dormant plants in late April. If not fully dormant, please ship around June 1st. Thank you!" Well, I received my order on April 21st and the plants were already budded out. I phoned the company and spoke to the owner, Bill MacKentley. I explained that my order had specified shipping in late April if fully dormant or June 1st if not. He said they won't ship that late. My order form clearly showed my phone number, e-mail address, and mailing address and yet I received no contact from the nursery to say that my requested shipping dates were unacceptable. I complained that the plants were already budded out, and he said they will break dormancy within 24-hours during shipment. I explained that I did not believe these plants would survive now that they have broken dormancy as we are still having temperatures in the teens at night. (In fact, we had over 18" of snow last night.) He said those were the risks of farming. Well, he is the farmer. I am not; I am the customer. The business risks of farming are his. I paid $69.50 for 3 small cherry whips. For him to be unwilling to work with me after I was so clear about shipping dates is inexcusable in my view. I had the same problem last year and none of the plants I purchased from him survived. I decided to take a chance this year and try again because this was the only source I could find for the 'Carmine Jewel' cherries. What a mistake. Never again.
On Apr 25, 2007, VirginiaHokie Wytheville, VA wrote:
After reading the other posted comments and ratings, I am apalled by how my experience pales in comparison. Unfortunately, I found these people to be slow to respond to e-mails, [sometimes 2-3 weeks, if at all], no phone call the day of shipment, and no 'instruction booklet'. I ordered 35 apple trees of unusual varieties to add to my collection of 125 HEALTHY varieties. This property also has 9 old, [over a century, by most estimates], apple trees that are also still quite healthy. 34 trees arrived, with no mention of the discrepancy, or any comment regarding a refund. Of the trees that did arrive, 14 of them showed advanced anthracose infestation, 11 showed signs of various bark breakdown, [flaking and peeling away from the wood with unviable buds along these spaces, and distal to them], 7 of them showed signs of rodent damage at the base, [some older, and some recent], and one had dead wood at the top 2 inches, with another fungal infection. The local extension agent advised against putting these trees in the orchard, and I agree. Pitty, as the time and expense of preparing for them is all a waste....They have some unique apple varieties that, unfortunately, will no longer have a place in my orchard.
I have had much better experiences with Big Horse Creek, Urban Homestead, Maple Valley Orchards, Century Farm Orchards....I would highly recommend any of them, but cannot recommend St. Lawrence Nurseries after this sad experience.