On Jan 20, 2010, flowers4birds Chilton, WI (Zone 5b) wrote:
We have bought nursery stock from Stark Bros. for at least 30 years. We've grown all the fruit that is hardy here in Zone 5a and tried some that are not. They of course did not flourish. We can't help experimenting though, because that is part of the fun of gardening. But be advised to take the hardiness zones listed in Starks Catalogue with a large grain of salt. Look around at what your neighbors grow and check with your local Master Gardeners, go to local orchards and see what your local Farmer's Marketers are growing. That is how to find out what will grow in your garden.
Our only problem with Starks is that they list plants for hardiness zones where they are will never bear fruit. Also many plants labeled as hardy in Zone 5 will not thrive here in the northern part of Zone 5. So a few things listed as Zone 5 hardy die back. Examples are the Chester Thornless Blackberry which dies back to the ground every winter and has never had a berry on it. The vines unfortunately are incredibly vigorous and are spreading wildly. They grow six feet tall every summer and die back completely to the ground every winter. If you live in our climate, get Prime Jim and Prime Jan Blackberries that bear on first year canes. But Only half of them get ripe before they freeze in the fall.
Well we figured we'd be safe only ordering trees for Zone 4, but not so. Their Reliance Peach and Intrepid Peach died the same winter they got old enough to bear fruit. Apricots? Forget it. They never fruit. The trees are hardier than peaches, and never die, but the flowers always freeze this far north as they bloom at least two weeks before our last killing frost. We got some apricots once in the last 35 years. By then we'd given up wasting spray on them, so they were wormy.
We bought a Pawpaw that they list as zone 4 hardy. It's not! It dies to the ground every single winter, even in mild winters, and gets six feet high again the next summer. It's at least 15 years old now and still trying.
American Persimmon fared even worse, and didn't even make it through the first winter. Hardy Kiwi? Nope; not hardy. The Carpathian Walnuts we bought are now great big shade trees. During the 25 years they've been growing we got 2 walnuts. The problem again is not the hardiness of the trees, but that the flowers always freeze.
I have no complaint about the products that really are hardy. We have wonderful apples and pears that have proven their quality. Everything we buy grows the first year, but you have to wait until the next spring to find out if they are really hardy.
This year is the first time I ordered from Starks on-line. It was a nightmare! I don't know if the problem was at their end or mine, though we have a slow dialup on a rural telephone line, but I have never had this problem ordering on-line from other businesses. It took me about an hour to check out. First it took about 20 minutes just to bring up the checkout page, Then they informed me I had to set up an account to order on-line because I don't have a clue what our customer number is or where to find it, and they don't tell you which number of the many numbers on your catalogue it is, or maybe it isn't there. I don't know where to find it. Apparently I made a typo on my repeat password entry, because nothing happened when I tried to continue. But they don't tell you what the problem is. Finally I simply re-entered everything and tried again. Their program changed the last four number of our zip-code and there was no way to correct it, unless I would start the entire checkout process again and waste another half hour. Since they ship UPS, hopefully they can find our place with only the first five zip-code numbers.
My warning to customers is that if you are on a slow dialup system, you are better off to get a catalogue and send in a paper order by snail mail. It will save you a lot of time. If the slow response is at their end however, something needs to be fixed.
I ordered a variety of fruit trees from Stark Bros. in 1985, planted them in the fall in Montclair CA. very carefully and well (huge holes, lots of good soil, etc.). The trees were amazing! Six feet of growth on the plum the first year. Peach blossoms the next spring! The trees were two years old and going strong when I sold the place (full price, the buyer wanted those trees!). A drive by ten years later confirmed all are alive.
I ordered again in 2002, only four dwarf trees. I planted them carefully, but late, ten days after receipt, in the fall, in Sylmar, CA. The Asian pear and a peach dried up, but the 2in1 plum, and Nectarine took off like mad. Both bore fruit their second year. Four years later the Nectarine is l2 feet tall, as thick as my arm, and bears wonderful fruit heavily. The Plum is OK, putting on a dozen fruits of both varieties. Its 9 ft tall, and a couple inches thick.
I ordered again in 2009, three cherries, five peaches, an apricot, also nuts: Hickory, Butternut and Chestnut all ordered and delivered in mid spring. The planting this time in Northeast Pennsylvania was not so well done this time: because of less time and more trees... smaller holes, also stony, wettish soil. All the trees are doing well. In spite of Japanese Beetles and pruning by deer, all but the Hickory trees have a couple of feet of good growth.
I'm ordering again (I still need plums, apples, pears, paw paw, pecans.... Stark has varieties and improvements on varieties that are unique. Yeah, I've looked/ordered some stuff elsewhere, too, but Stark is#1 in my book. Their little trees make up for their size by excellent growth right out of the box.
On Aug 27, 2009, JamieCatheryn Louisville, KY wrote:
I have bought from Stark Bros twice. First, I bought 2 great apple trees and had a perfectly smooth transaction, the only negative was they shipped quicker than I expected and I ended up planting trees before I planned to, hardly a negative really. That was last year, and they are doing very well this year despite a run in with rust disease picked up from a neighbor's cedar (I treated them organically and they bounced back fine).
The second purchase, I got a few blackberry plants and several currant bushes. The currant bushes never recovered from shipping, but customer service kindly and quickly refunded my money when I called in after waiting 7 weeks for them to leave dormancy. The blackberry canes are growing quite well. A great transaction there too, all told.
On Aug 12, 2009, willowwind Moundridge, KS (Zone 6a) wrote:
I ordered several things from this company last spring including strawberries, rhubarb, asparagus and cherry trees. My order arrived in a timely manner and everything was planted. Everything except the asparagus did quite well and I couldn't fault the company for the asparagus as I planted it in a trench, as directed, then we proceded to have 3-4 weeks of solid rain, and they just sat in it. We have continued to have a rainy summer and one of my cherry trees started loosing leaves and then slowly died. When I called the company they were very nice to talk to, said I might want to check the drainage and that they would replace the tree for me with fall shipping. I am very pleased with this company and will definitely order again.
Being from the South I could never emphasize enough how fanatical we Southerners are about Peaches. I have been married to a Georgia Peach for 27 years. When I looked at http://www.starkbros.com and saw all the varieties of Peach Trees they offered I quickly began filling my shopping cart with Blushing Star Peach Trees and the Stark special hybrid Saturn Peach Tree and a few Blackberry Bushes. I bought a few peach trees from a local nursery also and planted them close to my Authentic, Hybrid, Saturn and Blushing Star Peach trees so that I could more easily keep them sprayed as my local nursery had instructed. I watered and trimmed all trees the same, keeping a close watch for the growth buds that Stark Bro's Nursery promised would be popping open any time and that was back in mid April! Now I have 3 peach trees from my local nursery that are lush and green and 5 brown twigs from Stark Bro's Nursery. I should have known when Starks would not advise me about how to spray my Saturn and blushing Star Peach Trees that my local nursery was right and I should have bought locally. I will NEVER make that mistake again!
On Jun 3, 2009, Stark Brothers Nurseries & Orchards Company responded with:
"On Apr 7, 2010 3:37 PM, Stark Brothers Nurseries & Orchards Company responded with:
Thank you for letting us know of your disappointment with our peach trees, we are very sorry to hear they did not meet your expectations! All of our fruit trees are two years old when we ship them, coming to you on average 3-4 ft. tall. The trees may look like sticks (especially if they've been pre-pruned) and that is mostly due to their young age. The strength and quality of our trees is in the root system. It's from there that the tree tops will grow and mature.
It's been about a year: are you satisfied with the growth of your peach trees? If not, please notify us and we will gladly send you free replacements. We want your peach harvest to be abundant and your growing experience, exceptional! Our Product Specialist can assist in any spraying information you may need. For replacements on your peach trees, or for any inquiries, comments or critiques, you can contact our Customer Support Team at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 800.325.4180. Your satisfaction is important to us!"
So far, so good! I ordered 5 different "2-in-1" fruit trees, 50 strawberries, and a couple of blueberries that arrived earlier this month, all well packed. All of the strawberries, and four of the five trees (apple, sweet cherry, pear, plum) have been fabulous from the start, and now are growing beautifully.
I was a little concerned about the blueberries early on (they're quite small) because it looked like they were beginning to brown at the tips, but after a few days, I saw new shoots starting, and after snipping off those brown tips, both blueberries seem fine and are making new leaves.
The one issue that remains is the asian pear tree, which is not leafing out as the others have. I called Stark, and they told me it's a little late in the season to ship out a replacement now, but that they'll automatically send me a new one in September when they start fall shipping. They also said that the tree might just be a little late getting going, and to leave it alone and see what happens, and to call them to cancel the new one if this one does decide to take off. Customer Service was very friendly, and I'm happy with that arrangement. Now I'll just wait and see what happens!
On May 20, 2009, nygardener2 New Hyde Park, NY wrote:
The company is great with shipping and replacements. The only problem is they run out of stock fast(even when order is placed early) they don't hold your inventory they will let you know. I love them! otherwise their stock is first rate. Items ship fast. The service is also great.
Last summer I ordered 3 fruit trees and some raspberries, with a stated delivery time of early November. This is a bit late for our area, but I hoped that the weather would cooperate once the trees got here. The trees arrived late in November, and were planted promptly. The berries did not arrive, and a December shipping date was given. That is just not realistic at all, so I asked them to change the shipping date to spring. Although I had checked the packing slip when the trees arrived, this spring I checked the tags on the trees themselves. Instead of 2 pears, I had a pear and a cherry. When I notified the company, they did not want to replace the cherry, stating that it could just have the wrong tag. I insisted that I didn't want to lose a growing season and that any error was theirs, so they somewhat grudgingly agreed to send another tree. All trees are doing well, and it does appear that the "cherry" is actually a cherry. The raspberries arrived at an appropriate time this spring and are growing.
All plants arrived healthy. Packing had little material around roots, and it shook loose during shipping. Shipping times need to be more in tune to the growing area. Previous experiences with Stark's have been very good, but this was more trouble than it needed to be.
On May 18, 2009, Stark Brothers Nurseries & Orchards Company responded with:
"On Apr 7, 2010 3:17 PM, Stark Brothers Nurseries & Orchards Company responded with:
We apologize for the unmet expectations you experienced! Shipping green goods - items that are specifically dependent upon weather conditions all across the United States - can be a very difficult thing to do. We currently ship orders based on your USDA-approved Hardiness Zone. This zone is determined by the zip code found on your shipping address. The Hardiness Zone Map itself is based off of years of observing the typical weather patterns across the United States - but as we all know, Mother Nature does not limit herself to our 'maps.' This past winter was long and harsh for many southern states, some areas seeing snow for the first time! Because this was such a large weather pattern across the United States, we delayed our shipping by 2 weeks to those areas. In more obscure cases, we depend on you, our customers, to notify us of any unusual or out-of-season weather that is affecting your area. We offer special shipment options if necessary to ensure that your green goods arrive when you can plant them!
You are right in expecting us to correct any errors that we make regarding your order, and you shouldn't have to lose any growing time for our mistakes! We are striving to meet those expectations as best (and quickly) as we can. Should you have any other issues or comments that you would like to share with us, please let us know at email@example.com or by phone at 800.325.4180. "
I ordered 8 fruit trees from Stark on 4/27 and received the trees on 5/6. I was excited to receive the trees so soon, but I really didn't have anywhere to put them until I could plant them. I ordered semi-dwarf apple trees sept. fuji, granny smith, golden delicious, and prarie spy, montmorency and starkrimson cherry trees, a methley plum, and a july elberta peach. Of the eight, six have lots of green already (after being in the ground only 5 days). The other two were not branched when I received them and are slow to green up.
Overall, I am very pleased with the condition of the trees and roots. I actually received a supreme tree package, although I ordered no supreme trees. That was pleasing because I was curious about the bark protector but was unwilling to spend the money on them just yet.
I am a novice in the garden and have NEVER planted bare root trees before. The information manual stark sent was helpful, although I wish they would send one with more detailed information on pruning! I plan to expand my garden with berries next year and I will definately be looking at stark's offerings before purchasing.
On May 13, 2009, Stark Brothers Nurseries & Orchards Company responded with:
"On Mar 16, 2010 4:09 PM, Stark Brothers Nurseries & Orchards Company responded with:
We're creating new planting and pruning guides designed for both new and experienced gardeners.
As a novice, what information would you like to see in a pruning guide? Where do you get the information you need now?
If we offered plant care email alerts timed specifically to your trees, would that be meaningful?
I do business with this company because they stand behind their stock and all claims about it--no muss, no fuss. They can't offer the highly personalized service that some of their smaller counterparts do, but they're a fine source of mainline nursery stock. Good prices, dependable.
On Apr 30, 2009, CO_Gardener Broomfield, CO wrote:
Positive with a tiny complaint...I am new to grape growing but after compiling a list of preferred varieties, I searched here and then searched reputable websites to order. I decided to order from Stark Bros because they had more varieties listed in stock and their overall price was better, when including shipping. When I finally received a shipping confirmation, part of my order had been canceled due to stocking issues. I feel that an email notification of this, prior to shipment, would have allowed me to add something else in place of what was no longer in stock. However, my order was half way here when the shipment notification was sent. Besides that, the plants seem strong and healthy, with strong roots on all the plants I received. If these plants do well and Stark Bros sends me a substantial discount offer for next year, I'll order the rest of my original order. If not, I'll order from someone else (earlier) and pay more.
I ordered three thornless boysenberries, three thornless blackberries, and a peach tree. All of them came in a timely manner and in very good condition. I would like to thank the Stark Bro's company for providing timely service and great plants. I just received them, so I haven't planted them yet, but I'm sure they will do very well. I have had so much trouble with shoddy plant sites that have delivered half dead plants after months of waiting, so it is so nice to do business with Stark Bro's. I highly recommend this company!
On September 30th, 2009, madampolo added the following:
My berry plants and my one peach tree all died. I think the weather was just too hot for them, and I should have provided some shade. They were watered regularly. I forgot about these dead plants. To my great surprise, the Stark Bro company called me to find out how my plants were doing. I was shocked that they actually called. When I told them none at survived, they said I'm sending you replacement plants right now. These plants came, and they look beautiful. I have another chance at growing them, and I am so grateful to this company.
On Feb 11, 2009, mersiepoo New Freeport, PA wrote:
Last year was the first time I ordered from them. I was very happy with the quality of the plants and their sizes. The mulberry tree was really large and even got a mulberry on it that same year! The sweet heart apricot is still alive and kicking, nice sized plant as well. I also got a great deal on a concord grape for about $ 3. 59, and it was very large and put on healthy new growth despite our drought last year. Also pleased with the sour cherry tree. I just ordered again this year! Also, they ship via UPS which is good, because UPS is so easy to deal with.
On Feb 7, 2009, DennInMI Manistee, MI (Zone 4b) wrote:
Just a comment about their website shopping experience. Stark Brothers DEFINITELY needs to add a mechanism to retrieve a forgotten password on their website. It's simply not possible, and it requires a call to customer service to do so. Almost every company out there on the web that has login information has a simple mechanism to e-mail forgotten log-in info to your e-mail address within seconds. Stark Brothers should seriously consider updating their website to allow this, since it would save everyone time and trouble.
IF you forget your log-in information, you CANNOT order again until you retrieve the information via a phone call.
I haven't had major problems with their products, and order quite often from them. Just wanted to post this to encourage them to make their website more user-friendly.
On Feb 7, 2009, Stark Brothers Nurseries & Orchards Company responded with:
"On Apr 7, 2010 2:19 PM, Stark Brothers Nurseries & Orchards Company responded with:
To all of our customers who made us aware of the changes you wished to see on our website - thank you for telling us how we could make your online shopping experience better! We do listen to your suggestions and have made some changes based on your advice:
1. We have included an automatic email retrieval of password information that no longer requires a call to our Customer Support Team.
2. The checkout process has been modified and updated to be quicker and more self-explanitoy.
3. You can now search for products based on key words or item/catalog numbers.
These are only 3 of many new changes that occurred in 2009, thanks to your suggestions and honest critiques. Look for many more changes to come in 2010.
Thank you for taking part in the creation and development of our website! Your comments are always welcomed by our Customer Support Team at firstname.lastname@example.org or toll-free 800.325.4180.
On Jan 10, 2009, GideonOrchards Springboro, PA wrote:
I have ordered several times from Stark over the years. Plant health is always good. The last order, however, was disappointing. I ordered several Persimmons, Paw-Paws, and many Walnut and other nut trees.
The Persimmons and Paw Paws were twigs. The caliper was no more than 1/4 inch, and the "trees" were, essentially, 1 year's worth of growth twigs.
The nut trees were somewhat better. They were, typically, short, but at least looking like more than 1 year of growth in the root stock.
In short, they would sell a lot fewer trees if they were honest in their catalog about the stature of the trees; 1/4" caliper, 1-3 feet tall. In other words - twigs.
I'd rather have had the information before I ordered the trees, because once you unpack 60 trees you are pretty much committed.
My opinion now is that Stark is borderline deceptive with their catalog - deceit through omission.
I placed two orders with Stark for this fall and have received partial orders for both to date (the items available in pots were shipped). Everything has arrived in great shape. Received items include 2 carpathian walnuts, one mulberry, a mango paw paw and a grape vine. I'll follow up once I receive the bareroot trees.
On December 12th, 2008, jim777 added the following:
I received the bareroot trees I ordered to complete the partial shipments made earlier in the fall. The packaging on one of the shipments only had tape for a top and a bottom with a tree sticking out the top and in both there were only a few strands of newspaper to keep the roots moist (which seemed to work so maybe not an issue - just receive more to keep the roots moist from other companies). There were no branches so they look like very large whips - the Stella cherry is extremely thick. I'll report back again in the spring. I'm leaving it at positive for now as eventhough the packaging was a bit of a shock, everything arrived and hopefully will grow.
On Aug 28, 2008, trainsplanes51 West Milford, NJ wrote:
bought 15 raspberry plants about 5 years ago, approx. 8 did not grow, company gave refund for failed plants but would not refund the total bill. sent plants a month before spring frost dates. last spring pulled up all remaining plants due to desease. would not reccomend.
I purchased a dwarf peach tree from your company about 5 years ago. Since that time I have enjoyed full-sized, tasty peaches from this tree. I had the tree in a very large pot. You know like the ones you see in hotel lobbies. I wanted to be able to take it with me in the event we had to move. (We have moved around a lot due to my husband's job). We moved from Arkansas to Texas 2 years ago. Sadly, due to Sept. 11 and the changing regulations of moving companies, we were not able to bring our tree with us. I gave the tree to a friend of mine who is an Agricultural Specialist. He took the tree out of the pot and planted it in the ground. It did not do so well the first year out of the pot, but this year.....Wow!!! I have pictures I would like to share with you. You will be amazed as well. Even though this tree is only about 3 feet tall, it produced bushels of fruit. They tell me they have made pies, preserves and eaten loads of fresh peaches. They have even given away several bags of peaches to other people. I just wanted to thank you for such a wonderful product. I will be placing another order soon for my new yard. This time, my plant will go in the ground, so that I can enjoy a bumper crop also. Keep up the good work. This tree is amazing! My friends will remember me each time they harvest. Thanks again....Adrienne Ruth
Ordered 6 fruit trees late in the spring this year and they were all in stock and beautiful when they arrived promply. All are well leafed out now and thriving with minimal TLC on my part. All had excellent root systems. This is the place to go for fruit trees bar none. Other companies sell trees half the size for similar prices.
I am not totally displeased with this company by any means, but I have noticed a dropoff in quality compared to the good ol' days.
I first planted 12 Stark Brothers Dwarf and Semi-Dwarf fruit trees when I moved here 31 years ago. They all grew great, gave great fruit and (I still visit the old place even though I have moved) are ALL still thriving all these years later.
3 years ago I moved out of town to 35 acres to start my semi-retirement. I planted 26 Stark brothers trees over the three springs I have been here.
I never had a problem with the old Stark trees, but I have had THREE of these new ones break at the graft! (It does get a little windy here, but I only live 5 miles from where my original dozen trees are still going strong.)
Two of the trees were less than a year old and Starks replaced them, no problem. However, today I found that one of my original apple trees, unfortunately with quite a few small apples on it, had broken off at the graft. Now that's a tragedy!
Since it's over a year old, I won't be able to get it replaced, but I don't really care about getting a new tree free. I care about a tree that was doing GREAT suddenly dying on me.
Contrary to some of the other folks here I have had NO problem with their customer service people. What I am worrying about is if they are cutting some corners somehow? No sense in going to all the trouble planting these, spraying, watering, just to have them break at ground level! It seems to me that a grafted tree in its third summer should have enough new wood not to do this.
I'm just hoping no more die.
As far as them getting started out of the box, I have NEVER had a Stark Brothers tree do less than really thrive even the first year, but I do takes pains to plant them right.
I was very happy with my order. I ordered 3 raspberry plants, a peach, and a aprium, and Stark Brothers sent me a free apple tree. I ordered late in the season, so that is perhaps why they sent a free tree. Everything is doing very well. They were well packaged, in a large box to accomodate their large roots, and very healthy. I would definately order from them again.
On Jun 16, 2008, throneofyord College Station, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:
I really am quite upset by these people. The impression I have gotten from them is that they think I am trying to scam them. They really don't want to take care of the issue. The issue is that I got two trees that were dry in a box. The plastic wrap inside the undamaged box, was not sealed. I got two crippled trees that suffered because they were baked dry. When I call support, the feeling is that I am lying or incompetent. If the bag had been intact, then maybe I would not be complaining. If their support had handled the problem I would not be complaining. Instead, they know that what they sent was perfect.
I ordered two trees from them in March. They were both pretty small but since I usually have pretty good luck with smaller trees over the long run, I didn't have a big issue with the size. I really wanted an Everbearing Mulberry and a Van Deman Quince. The Van Deman Quince is one of Luther Burbank's varieties, so, for me, it has an extra charm.
I called their support when I got them and was assured that they were perfect in every single way. Seriously. They were absolutely sure they were fine. So I planted them. I also planted two pears, three jujube trees, three quince, five plums, four peach trees, a persimmon, a mayhaw, a hawthorn, three elderberries, a goumi, an olive, a russian olive, two mulberries, and a few other fruit trees from various sources. The jujube's are growing slowly, but they are growing. The rest of the trees are doing great, except for the two trees from Stark.
I don't want to waste good tree locations on trees stressed beyond their ability to recover gracefully. I especially don't want weakened trees promoting disease in those locations.
They still have what looks like live growth spots on the trees. . It is June, there is no healthy growth on these plants although they are alive. So I will continue nursing and watering two trees that have small chance of thriving. I really don't expect them to become nice healthy fruit trees after what they have been through. I am not at this point interested in their sending me a replacement at the end of the year so I can have a repeat of the issue. I garden for the beauty of it, the fun, food and relaxation. I have gotten none of these things out of this experience.
I will be ordering from someone else to replace these trees. I really don't want to have any further relations with these folk. I will continue to water the sad sticks, in hopes that they will make it. I probably should dig them out, carefully wash the soil off the roots, and remove the sections of root that are dead.
On Jun 14, 2008, dancingbear27 Elba, NY (Zone 6a) wrote:
This year I have placed 2 separate orders to Stark. The first one was a large order consisting of: 20 fruit trees, 2 grapes, 3 raspberries, a contorted hazelnut, a key lime and valencia orange. The second order consisted of 2 more fruit trees and a lilac.
Most of the trees budded out promptly . There were a few that I was concerned about that showed no growth even after the others were well budded. With the raspberries, 1 leafed out quickly, one looked promising, and one looked completely dead. I continued to water everything and gradually everything came to life. Even the raspberry that looked totally crispy.
On the 2nd order, I had ordered about twice as much but they were out of stock of several items. They did send me a letter asking if I still wanted my order if those items were out of stock. All in all, I have been very happy with my order and will certainly not hesitate to order from them again.
I ordered twice from Stark Bros this year, both positive experiences. A 2 in 1 sweet cherry tree was slightly smaller than some nurseries send, but it was a well budded, very straight 3 foot tree that took off quickly and is doing well. This is the only company that offers a 2 in 1 sweet cherry.
I also ordered 6 blackberries in a separate order. These plants were in nice condition, and about a foot tall.
Stark Bros trees and plants are very well packaged, so the plants or trees cannot move at all during shipping. I will order from them again.
i am very happy with my order from stark bros, i ordered a dwarf apple tree with pruning.living in minnesota the weather is very un predictable and they sent the tree at the appropriate time .it arrived ,yes it looked like a stick but so what, i planted it right away and it is doing great! its starting to bud with the rest of the trees here! so im very happy with my order. if anything should not work from this point on would be on me.i even at one point changed my mind about the kind of tree i ordered and wanted to get something else and they were extremly kind ,polite and helpful and i still got the right tree,now thats good business!so thank you stark bros !
I ordered 2 cherry trees, one Stella at regular price and one Balaton at a ' Supreme" price after consulting with customer service who explained that the supreme price would insure a better tree and a special planting package. The Stella was about 3 1/2 ft tall and in good shape. The SUPREME Balaton was puny, barely 2 ft tall. The package consisted of a treeguard which was of no use since there was no trunc enough to wrap it around, and 3 plant tabs. When I conctacted customer service they said that Supreme simply meant the best available, NOT superior quality and that they would send me a replacement if the tree failed to grow. I feel that I was misled and that the tree they sent was not only not supreme, but actually SUBSTANDARD and if that was all that was available they should have notified me. Needless to say I will never order from this company again.
In March of 2008, I ordered a Dwarf Reliance Peach and 3 Heritage Red Raspberry plants. I received my order in April (appropriate time for zone 4) and I was so impressed! The peach tree was 4.5' tall with a nice sturdy trunk and a large root system. The roots came well packed and were nice and damp upon arrival. The price was great and the shipping was very reasonable. The company had timely communication as well. I am very pleased; and I wish I had known about Stark Brothers when I ordered my cherry trees.
I ordered 4 fruit trees about 1.5 years ago. I was concerned with the advertised shipping schedule, and the company was very helpful working with me to have the trees shipped at the appropriate planting time.
3 trees arrived in good shape (2 apple, 1 plum), and 1 tree looked small, weak and in poor shape (peach). I planted all 4, and when the peach failed within the year as I expected it to, I called the company back. I was just past the 1 year time to report failed plantings, but they made no hesitation to ship me a new peach.
The new peach arrived strong and healthy, and is currently thriving.
Additionally, one of the apple trees was grown with their special extended root system (only some plants are offered like this) and a year after it was planted my dog got himself wrapped around it and tore the tree out of the ground. I replanted and took special care for the next 6 months and surprisingly the tree is fine! I credit the health of the tree to the company, good job.
With customer service like this, I will always do business with them.
Ordered 4 plum trees from stark brothers and received 4 very healthy bare root trees. They arrived this spring and I got them in the ground and all four have greened out. Stark Brothers offers very hard to find varieties and sell them at a competitive price. My family has dealt with Stark Brothers probably for as long as Stark Brothers has been in business and I have never received anything but plants of the highest quality. I buy something every year from Stark Brothers. I suppose it is because I know they will deliver a plant that was accurately described in their catalog.
Just recieved my order of fruit trees in a timely manner, and on the exact date specified. I ordered two sweet cherries, (Royalton & Starkrimson) and a pie cherry (Balaton,) all grafted onto semi-dwarfing rootstock. To be perfectly fair, their website does not specify the tree size offered; that should have clued me in right away that I would be recieving WHIPS. The Balaton is aproximately 3 feet tall, planted. The sweet cherries are less than 4 feet tall.
By comparison, both my local Home Depot and Lowes have semi-dwarf sweet (Bing and Black Tartanian) and pie cherries, ( North Star, I believe,) that are 6 feet tall and very heavilly branched- for the same price.
I have no reason to expect that the trees I recieved will not thrive, however, for a company that specilizes in fruit trees, I would have expected much better from Stark Bros. I will not be ordering from them again.
I discovered Stark Brothers when we were fruit ranchers in Washington State. Bought trees by the hundreds and they were always well-packaged, strong root structure, and larger than any other nursery we purchased from. In fact never lost a tree after planting. We now live in the high-desert country of southern Idaho, 6000', cold winters and hot summers, heavy clay soil and with care their trees are doing fine in our small home orchard. Ordered our dwarf trees from Stark's and one other nursery and Stark's were by far the superior. Just received word that this years order is on the way, they're the best.
On Mar 22, 2008, greyhairedmommy Montevallo, AL wrote:
I just love Stark Brothers!
Every tree I have ordered from them has had amazing root stock and arrived healthy. The tree trunk end looks dinky, especially if ordered pre-pruned, but the roots are impressive!
The only tree I had trouble with from them was one that was really not suppose to grow in my zone anyway...but it tried valiantly.
Their customer service is wonderful and even accepted a return I had to make because of lack of planning on my part. (Too many plants, too little credit card...I'm only human. Don't order fruit trees when hungry...)
It would be difficult for me to order my fruit trees anywhere else.
On Mar 6, 2008, jrgarden Miller, MO (Zone 6a) wrote:
I just received my first Starks order, 2 bare-root North Star cherry trees. They arrived packed in a cardboard box approx. 5.5 feet long, with a little shredded newspaper around the roots, and both plants wrapped loosely in a single big plastic bag. The trees both appear healthy, with many buds starting, and well-developed root systems which were still nice and damp from the packing. The plants and roots were long enough to fill the box. Each tree has two main branches, plus others, so they are not just whips. I am happy with the delivery, now we'll see if I can take care of them!
I ordered a varigated weigela shrub, a cascade weeping peach and a snow fountains weeping cherry tree, all bare root, on my first order placed in January. They arrived within a week and were really a nice size. Packaging was fine, very simple but effective. The plants were potted within a couple of days and are all now sprouting leaves. They look great! After that I ordered a Harry Lauders Walking Stick. It took longer to process but that might have been because I ordered at the tail-end of shipping scheduled for zone 8b. It arrived very healthy and big, with buds showing. I'm excited about Stark's! I'll report on the progress of these good-looking plants later in the season.
I ordered 2 white peach trees and they arrived in fine shape despite a problem on Ups part. I just ordered a mini peach tree and haven't received it yet,but thus far I have nothing but good things to say about their trees and customer service.
About six years ago I Purchased about 25 trees from Stark Bros. Since then three have died at the time of purchase there was a life time guarantee. When I tries to get the trees replaced Stark Bros. refused to comply. Excuse no.#1 The company has been sold and we don't have the records. Second call . WE now only give a one tear grarantee. Third call refer to call #2. I asked for a letter for the reason since the name Stark Bros.is still being used and how they can void our contract . Eight months later still no response.
Northampton CO. PA
Stark Bros. really impressed me a few years back. I had ordered a Reliance Peach tree from them. It grew beautifully the first year, but died the next. I assumed the warrantee was for one year so I didn't do anything about it. Then one day I got a call from Starks asking me how I was getting along with all that I had purchased from them. I told them everything was great except for that peach tree, but it wasn't their fault, it had grown the first year. The lady said, "We're going to send you a new one anyway". Wow.
This time it lived and bears great peaches.