Ive ordered from Stark Bros twice, and was happy with both orders. Their pawpaw trees were taller and their cherry trees were thicker in diameter than expected for the price. Ive only had one plant from them die so far, but all the others are as healthy as can be.
On May 16, 2013, Cymbelina Prattville, AL (Zone 8a) wrote:
I ordered several hundred dollars of plants by mail this year and Stark Brothers is a company I will do business with again. I ordered the dwarf peach collection and a southern blueberry collection. The blueberries arrived about a week or so before the peaches but both arrived within a fast-reasonable shipping time. Having never really grown anything bareroot, I believed the Watchdog rating and took the chance. We planted the peach trees and within a week or so, all had new growth. Amazing! The potted blueberries are up and growing as well. Everything was well packaged and didn't lose a grain of soil during shipping. Great company and thanks to Garden Watchdog for pointing me in the right direction!
I ordered a Honeycrisp Dwarf Apple Tree from them in 2008. I planted it and babied it and it seemed to be doing well until last summer it just died on me. I thought because of the weather last year that it might have gone dormant early so I waited until this year and it never came back. I went to take the tree out and it broke off right at the base of the trunk, so I knew it was dead.
I have ordered from Stark Bros. 4 times during the last 8 months. All orders have been shipped on time and arrived in excellent condition. All orders were for Knockout Roses and totaled approximately 80 plants. There was a small glitch with my most recent order that I received a few days ago. One plant out of 17 was very small and not healthy. It died one day after receipt. However, I Emailed Stark Bros. regarding the problem and received a response immediately from Elaine stating they would issue a credit for the one plant. Great company to work with and will order from them again.
I ordered 16 fruit trees, 75 strawberry plants, 27 raspberry plants, and 18 blackberry plants.
The trees & raspberries were bare root and of the size and kind I ordered.
I was unable to get the trees in the ground as soon as I received them due to heavy snow followed by a business trip. Stark told me how to keep them alive and healthy during their nearly three week wait.
I have them in the ground and 15 of the 16 trees immediately sprung to life. I will give the last one another two or three weeks and then call if no luck. The raspberries are coming to life nicely and the blackberries are doing ok. The strawberries are a mixed lot, some ok, some not flourishing but this is due to heavy rain and standing water in my garden, not Stark Bros.
Received what I ordered? Yes
Received when promised? Yes
Answered the phone every time I called (x 4)? Yes
Charged what I was told? Yes
Would order again? Most likely. I found that my local Tractor Supply Company has Berries and some fruit trees so I will give them first shot, but for specialty items I will likely be using Stark.
On Apr 17, 2013, jameswewing Bainbridge Island, WA wrote:
I've been buying from Stark Bros. for decades and have always been satisfied with the quality and service. This year I noticed that while still healthy and vigorous, the plant size seemed smaller than in the past. The honeyberry plants were nothing more than twigs. Stark's great customer service came through and we arrived at a good solution. The bottom line is that I will still buy from Stark's but will definitely pay more attention to size and special pricing than I did in the past.
wow what a company, I ordered 10 hybrid willows, 10 lombardy poplars and 2 wisteria trees. I was blown away by the size of the willows, huge, beautiful, and they are the picture of health. the poplars were also a nice size and look very healthy. the wisteria trees also look very healthy, but could have been larger. This is my first time ordering from this company, since then I have placed two more orders with them. I cannot wait for them to arrive. I also want to say that they have knowledgeable people on the phone, I inadvertantly messed up on my most recent order and the lady I had on the phone was nice as can be, patient, explaining things, just an overall great company to do business with.
On Apr 11, 2013, cjparker Kennewick, WA (Zone 7a) wrote:
I have ordered twice a year now from Stark for the past 3 years. Each item I've received is doing fine! I got raspberries the first year I planted the canes, the peach trees are full of blossoms, the Honeycrisp apple tree is growing like mad, the blackberries have come up strong and healthy, and the 2 in 1 plum and 2 in 1 cherry have grown more than expected. I am delighted with the quality of my plants and look forward to reaping the harvest when the trees are mature enough to set fruit. My plants have all arrived in excellent condition, healthy and strong.
On Apr 9, 2013, happyroots Averill Park, NY wrote:
Posted on April 8, 2013, updated April 9, 2013
I am VERY angry regarding my recent order with Stark Brothers. I placed my order in February and everything was listed as in-stock. I was sent a message saying they would ship on April 1st. Today I get a bill stating that my order was supposed to have shipped two days ago (April 6th) and one of my items is out of stock. The missing tree is needed to pollinate one of the items that shipped two days ago. The tree is useless now! What a con! They wait until the in-stock items ship before they tell you they are out of stock on the others! Now I can’t cancel an order for a useless tree! Grrrrrr! I should have the right to know about an order that cannot be filled correctly BEFORE it ships. They certainly have enough time to send me spam up until now, trying to get me to buy more stuff. I even ordered from one of these spam messages. That’s doubly infuriating now. I will NEVER order from them again! EVER! Now it is too late to get the missing item somewhere else. I ordered in plenty of time to get available stock. I don’t want them telling me that this is normal to run out as they are shipped. I ordered early. WE HAVE INVENTORY SYSTEMS THESE DAYS STARK BROTHERS! If you can’t figure out inventory until they day you ship things, then you are pretty sorry. How can I expect good plants if you can’t even count trees? I urge anybody reading this to hold onto you hard earned cash tightly. They will take your money and not provide the plants you ordered and wait until it is too late for you to do anything about it. Buyer beware! Other nurseries were honest about their inventory even back in February. If these other nurseries can keep track of inventory, certainly Stark Bros. should be able to. Talk about misleading practices to get you to order a bunch of stuff without being honest about what they could deliver! There should be a law to protect us from fraudulent practices like this! I plan to fight my bill tooth and nail! I will not pay for a useless tree; especially when their advertising tells me to buy the pollinator that doesn’t exist.
On April 9th, 2013, happyroots added the following:
I called to argue my bill based on the problem with their stock and shipping trees that could not be pollenated because of their lack of inventory control. I was told that the tree that was not available on my original order did not grow well this year and they were too small. (How do they not know this until they were ready to ship?) They then tried to sell me the shorter version of the tree at a lower cost (non-select). So what would I be getting; a less than vigorous plant that wasn’t healthy? I also found out that my order had not been shipped, as the invoice I received in the mail had implied that it would. I pushed to get a confirmation that the non-select tree would actually ship. They would not commit themselves. They kept saying that the tree was in stock “today.” Right! Been-there-done-that. I then ask when the order would “really” ship. I was told that it “should” ship within another week. (but again, no solid commitment) Okay, so now shipping is pushed back for a third time with no guarantee of anything. I cancelled that order and another order that still had not shipped. If a business cannot tell you for certain what they have in-stock, then they have no control over anything including quality. My best guess is that this company may be a middleman that peddles trees from other suppliers. There is no other reason for not knowing what your inventory is or what the quality of your plants are. That also jives with the delays they experience in shipping. If their suppliers don’t ship to them on-time, then they in-turn cannot ship to us. I ran into this problem with another supplier years ago.
At least I have one good tree this year. At the same time I ordered from Stark Brothers earlier this year, I ordered a different type of tree from another vendor and I already have it in the ground and the buds are already swelling. They are a smaller nursery and they grow everything themselves. What a difference! I wish I could order more from them, but they don’t carry the other varieties of trees I was looking for. Oh well.
Maybe I can find another good vendor on this site that has the varieties of trees that my good nursery vendor does not carry. But now, I have to wait until next year.
Stark Brothers cost me a whole growing year and my time dealing with this problem. I won't forget that. On Apr 9, 2013, Stark Brothers Nurseries & Orchards Company responded with:
"On Apr 9, 2013 5:42 PM, Stark Brothers Nurseries & Orchards Company responded with:
On behalf of all of us at Stark Bro's, please accept our sincerest apology for not properly communicating with you when items on your order became unavailable for shipping. You can be sure that your feedback is something we take to heart and we will work earnestly to improve our communication methods to better suit all customers going forward.
Here at Stark Bro's, we have been growing and selling our own trees since 1816 -- almost 200 years. Our Stark Supreme trees, and Select EZ Start® Potted trees, are handpicked as top-grade and, rest assured, our regular-grade trees are just as healthy as our Supreme and Select trees, just of a slightly smaller caliper. But, all trees must meet Stark Bro's quality standards before we deem them salable.
Nonetheless, we want to make this right and encourage you to please contact our Customer Support Team [800.325.4180] and speak with our Customer Support Manager regarding your order with us in an attempt to resolve your issue and restore your faith in our company.
On Apr 8, 2013, hoosierbananna Indianapolis, IN wrote:
Posted on April 3, 2012, updated April 8, 2013
Posted on April 26, 2011, updated April 3, 2012
Ordered a paw paw tree and a rose bush this Spring. Promptly shipped, well-packed. Tree was small but had good roots, rose was small but healthy. Will be doing business with Starks again. Urban gardener in Indy, 5-B.
On April 3rd, 2012, hoosierbananna added the following:
Spring 2012: ordered five more trees from Stark Brothers; 2 paw paws, 2 asian pear dwarfs, and a Mimosa. Don't know if the Mimosa will survive the winters in Indy, unless they are a repeat of this year, but giving it a try nevertheless. All of the trees exceeded my expectations, were large and well-rooted, carefully packed, delivered right on time. This is my favorite company to order from, and I commend them for their integrity and great service.On April 8th, 2013, hoosierbananna added the following:
I ordered several more dwarf fruit trees from Stark Brothers this Spring, along with a bunch of Raspberries. All exceeded my expectations in quality and the service and delivery were perfect. Still my favorite mail order nursery. Love your catalogs and website and e-mailings, wish I had a larger yard to indulge my gardening compulsion. Thanks and kudos.
On Apr 7, 2013, kattrox Floyds Knobs, IN (Zone 6b) wrote:
Order was received in less than a week and trees and bushes arrived in excellent condition, well taken care of at the nursery level, root systems were healthy. Highly recommend Stark. Guarantee is second to none! Thanks so much!
On Apr 1, 2013, mmercedes Houtzdale, PA (Zone 5a) wrote:
I have to join the happy customers here to post an exceptionally postive experience with customer service. I placed two orders this Spring of 2013 with Stark Brothers. I received the first order (about $400 worth) for 3 Apricot, 4 Sweet Cherry, 3 Peach, 2 Beach Plum, 1 Mulberry, 2 Elderberry, 1 Almond and 2 Honey Berry last Friday. The ground was a sheet of solid ice and it was snowing heavily. The temps here are still in the teens at night. (The ground is still frozen solid as of April 1st.) I had no safe, cool place to store two huge boxes of dormant plants.
I called customer service to complain that I was upset that no one had monitored the weather in this exceptionally long, cold winter here in the N.E. and was not happy to receive these plants under such difficult conditions. It is impossible to "heel" them in while the ground is rock solid frozen... and the cellar is just too warm to store them.
I called on a Friday and Customer Service immediately offered to send FedEx on Monday to take the entire order back and reship my order later at the date of my choice. You CAN NOT beat that kind of service! Because I ordered a number of "supreme" trees that were sold out and would not be in the replacement order, I decided to open the boxes and go ahead and keep everything when I saw how nice the plants looked. Instead of returning it, I spent the weekend in the cellar planting everything in large pots and tubs and then moved them out to a protected small greenhouse.
One of the shrubs had a twisted taproot and customer service also agreed, without hesitation, to send out a replacement with my second order.
To summarize, the plants look good to date, though still dormant. The customer service has been top rate so far.
If you live in a northern climate, I suggest you call your order in and *specify* a shipping date that will work for you, especially for Spring orders.
On Mar 22, 2013, balconygardner New York, NY wrote:
After multiple pre-orders and cancellations I finally made up my mind on which trees to purchase -- Honeycrisp supreme dwarf apple, Pink Lady supreme dwarf apple, Stanley supreme dwarf plum, and Montmorency semi-dwarf cherry. I finalized my order in the beginning of February with an estimated ship date of March 4th. It shipped on the 6th due to a passing snowstorm, and it arrived on 9th in great condition.
The two apple trees were plump and well branched at 4.5 feet tall, the plum (although very stocky) was just under 4 feet with a few branches, and the cherry was on the short side, but had great bud activity. All the trees had a healthy root system, and all the grafts looked solid. There was some bud loss and a few snapped branches (to be expected from shipping) otherwise the trees were in great shape.
I soaked the trees in water for two hours and immediately planted each in a 15 gallon pot. They were dormant upon arrival and are all showing signs of bud growth. I am very impressed so far and look forward to the growing season! I'll post another update farther into the year.
Posted on October 30, 2012, updated March 20, 2013
Posted on April 4, 2012, updated October 30, 2012
I placed an order for several raspberry plants last fall. On January I added more raspberries to my order as well as a pair of elderberries. I was very please when I opened the boxes. The plant were obviously dormant, however they had very large root systems.
I was told my order was going to be shipped on March 27th. I was surprised when I received one box on the 24th and another on the 25th. My only fear was that if this was a regular Michigan winter I would have not been able to plant them right away. Probably not a big issue. Where I live the ground is not workable until the second week of April.
This is my first time ordering plants online, however I did my research and decided to order from Stark Brothers because most of the reviews were positives. I will order from them again.
On October 30th, 2012, camalianus added the following:
I'm very please with the raspberry plants. They sent me one extra because one was very small. All plants(37) except one came back to life, grew like weeds and even bear fruits. I was really concerned because of the drought and heat. However I made sure to water them at least twice a week. They were still blooming and giving more fruits when the first frost hit. Very healthy and vigorous plants. I highly recomend them and will buy more trees next year. On March 19th, 2013, camalianus added the following:
I placed an order of 2 hardy figs and Satin Plumcot on 11-17-12 to be shipped by the second week of April. Last week I recieived a letter stating they were sold out of the Satin Plumcot. I was very disappointed. I called them and was told some trees didn't survive the winter. They told me that trees will be available to be shipped by November. November is too late for my area to plant a tree and if they didn't survive in the nursery, most likely won't survive the outside conditions. Obviously they oversold, because after being on the business for this long they should've known the survival rate of their trees. I decided to cancelled my order. There was no charge for it which was good. A bitter sweet experience
After having a bad experience with ordering paw paw trees from another company, I decided to pay a little more and order from Stark Bros. They shipped sturdy little trees about 3 ft. tall (not at all like the tiny, pathetic twigs from the other place.) They had well-developed root systems and were carefully packaged.
The trees have now been in my garden a couple of seasons and although they have yet to bear fruit, they are still growing and doing fine. I wish I had ordered from Stark first!
Bad control of their inventory. I'm very upset with Stark Bros, a few months ago, I wanted to get the 2-n-1 cherry tree, but they were not available at the time so I signed up to get an e-mail when they got some. Shortly after I received an e-mail saying they had some in stock, so I went online and placed an order. I received an e-mail confirmation with a ship date and estimated delivery date. Both dates came and passed and nothing. I waited another week thinking it was going to be late and nothing. So I decided to call to see what was going on. I called one day and was on hold forever, so I hung up and called the next day. The next day they answered and told me that my order had been canceled because they ran out of trees. They could have at least e-mailed me right away to tell me about this. Instead they made me waste my time and money preparing a spot for me to plant the tree and buying good soil. I will never order from them again.
On Jan 13, 2013, Stark Brothers Nurseries & Orchards Company responded with:
"On Jan 14, 2013 9:46 AM, Stark Brothers Nurseries & Orchards Company responded with:
At Stark Bro's, we are dedicated to providing quality product and service to our customers, and we take pride in that. Your feedback here is appreciated, since you are sharing your honest experiences with our company.
We sincerely apologize for the lack of prompt correspondence about our product, the 2-N-1 Cherry tree, becoming unavailable before we could ship it to you. We understand your frustration in this situation. Please contact our customer support team [800.325.4180 | email@example.com] with your account information so that we may have the opportunity to rectify this with you.
Thank you again for your feedback and we hope to hear from you soon!
On Nov 30, 2012, OldChurchEggery Mechanicsville, VA wrote:
I am in zone 7 and had a fall shipment of plants from Stark: 3 Anne raspberries, 1 cherry as a back-up pollinator for my existing trees, 1 nectarine, and 1 plum. Everything arrived in early November and went right into the ground the same day. I was pleased with the size and condition of everything though I won't know how things do until spring when they leaf out. It looked like the trees had good buds, though. Next year I'll provide a progress report, but I already feel that I got my money's worth.
On Nov 21, 2012, GPBurdell Kennesaw, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:
Big fan and repeat customer. Over the last 2 years I have bought 33 fruit trees from 6 different sources. The Stark trees did the best by far in their first year, which is why i have gone back to them to fill in dead holes left by others. I now have 4 different cherries, 3 Pawpaw, mulberry, 2in1 pear, and an apple from stark. Next year I may replace some of the trees from other vendors that lived, but I will be pruning them them using the stark shipments as a model first.
For everything else I want in the future I will check stark first. They don't do pomogranate.
I have ordered trees/plants from Stark Bro's two times. Last year I purchased one persimon, blackberry, raspberry and other garden plants. I called them and asked when I expect to fruit, I was told for 3 or 4 years for persimons, and 2 years for blackberry. When I received the order, I was a little dispointed about the blackberry, they was new plant in less than two inch. I said well I will wait for two years. By summer, I noticed they were growing crazy, till last winter they were around 5 feet. This summer they started bearing fruits--big and many! Now (it is the second year) they are about 10 feet and grew many twigs expending around the root. (I bought "Tripple Crown")
About the persimon tree, last year we had extremely hot summer, the tree died. I phoned them and as they committed I had a new tree mailed last fall. This tree was alive this summer but it looks not very vigrous. I think this type tree is not suitable for planting in my place.
This years I had ordered more raspberry plants, and 2-in-1 asian pears. I was satisfied with the caliper of the trees and these trees were growing good this summer. The raspberry plants were growing good too. In fall I had harvested some (not many). I compared with their catelog, the berries are like what they described about the size, production, and taste.
I have read about one negtive comment about the small size of blackberry. My experience is that wait until one year to comment. I actually bought two "big" blackberry plant from local store last year. They were $20 each, with flowers on. After picking some very small fruits, one died, one although not die but did not grow vey well.
So for berry plants, it does not mean the bigger you plant the better.
I ordered 4 blueberry plants and 2 packages (50 plants if I remember correctly) of bare root strawberry plants early this spring (about 4 months ago). The blueberry plants were packaged well and in good condition, but were heavily pruned without many leaves. One blueberry plant had shifted a bit during shipping and had 1 branch broken. The strawberries were a bunched together tangle of bare roots without any leaves, it was a bit surprising as it was my first time ordering bare root, but obviously it was how they were supposed to come. It was actually my first time ordering plants online. I followed all of the directions in the very nice pamphlet that came with the shipment. Now 4 months later all of my plants look fantastic and are growing very well. Only about 2-3 of the strawberry plants didn't make it, all of the others have grown great, produced strawberries and are now sending out runners. I think that Stark Bros. did an excellent job and I will be ordering from them next time.
Posted on June 11, 2012, updated June 11, 2012
Posted on June 6, 2012, updated June 11, 2012
I have made a couple orders with Stark Bros. The first sweet cherry tree came snapped in half. A pawpaw tree was also broken in half in another order. The pawpaw trees that I have received have not fared well and all but one have died. The select or supposed larger superior trees are only modestly larger than the whips and they have no branches.. well they are dead. The one that did not die was the one that broke in half that I planted any ways.
I have pawpaws from One Green World that are doing super but they were not shipped bare root and poorly packaged. The replacement cherry tree is fine though the top half seems to be dead. I ordered 12 knockout roses and only a couple survived. When I contacted the Stark Bros. I got a lecture on how these were in greenhouses in Ohio and they may not yet be adapted to cold weather. Hmmm, I live in North Carolina. Better to get them from Lowes.
Stark Bros are very good in honoring their guarantee and I now have credit for the roses.. not sure what I want to order next though.
On June 11th, 2012, nukusjeff added the following:
Pawpaws in the NE are typically an understudy species but in the south they can get to 30-40 feet in height and more than a foot in diameter. I appreciate the statement that my experience was honest.
One pawpaw that is being replaced in the fall is in fact alive I discovered. Actually it is only the root stock that has life. I have moved it further into the woods in which I live. Hoping it acts as a pollinator.
The trees that came all the way from Oregon adapted well to the climate found in North Carolina and are looking super in my partial shade yard. They are planted in the same spots I had the trees that perished. Maybe they didn't have them in greenhouses? They arrived in May whereas the Stark Bros. trees I think were shipped and planted in November when they were dormant.
I am planning on buying some Pakistan Mulberry trees. Do those come in Stark® EZ Start® System pots?
All the best.On June 11th, 2012, nukusjeff added the following:
"understory"On Jun 11, 2012, Stark Brothers Nurseries & Orchards Company responded with:
"On Jun 6, 2012 2:46 PM, Stark Brothers Nurseries & Orchards Company responded with:
Stark Bro's is dedicated to providing quality trees and service to our customers and we take pride in that. Your feedback here is always welcome because you are sharing honest experiences with our company!
Other growers and nursery stock suppliers might carry bare root pawpaws, but the pawpaw trees we ship come in our Stark® EZ Start® System 4"x4"x10" pots complete with soil and dense root systems. Bonus fact: pawpaws are also an understory tree by nature and tend not to do so well planted in full sun.
The *potted* plants and trees we carry are grown in greenhouses here in Louisiana, Missouri and, when they arrive to you, it is recommended that you acclimatize these plants and trees so that they are less likely to be shocked by their new environment.
We thank you again for your feedback and hope you enjoy the selection of products we will have available to you in future seasons. :)
On May 28, 2012, hah Waukesha County, WI (Zone 5a) wrote:
I ordered Contender Peach Dwarf Supreme and Illinois Everbearing Mulberry .
The Mulberry was in a pot, but all pruned up (so looked like a long stick). It is just a few weeks later, and it has budded huge leaves all around. A very happy tree, despite me planting it way in the back and pretty much ignoring it.
The contender tree was bareroot (also a stick). I could see leaves just starting to bud after about 2.5 weeks. They are still just starting to peek out, but the tree is green and seems to be growing. Came taller than expected.
When choosing a company to buy apple trees from, save your time and just order from Stark Bros. Needless to say, you will not be disappointed. Like me, you will be extremely pleased by the vigorous, healthy, well rooted, nice diameter trees. I would also recommend to get their supreme versions, as these are advertised to be their best of the bunch. Stark Bros also preprunes these bargain trees prior to sending them on their journey thru the mail system to your house. Just as a comparison, I purchased a similar Golden Delicious from a big box store since it was priced at only 5 bucks. The roots on the big box store tree were pathetically shallow and weak. That bamboo rod they shove in the pot is really needed to keep this tree standing. I also bought a couple of tree wisteria plants for landscaping, and they are doing well. Stark Bros already is reaping benefits from my word of mouth as my boss at work will be ordering from them based on my experience. Stark Bros has made a happy customer in PA.
I have a moderately large (25 trees) seasonal orchard in Minnesota of 95% Stark trees. I have been planting Stark trees for three years now. In all that time I have lost only 3 trees (during the summer months) and they have been replaced with quality stock -- no questions asked.
Any company can grow/ship trees and have them die no matter the care, once in a while. These are living things and you can't bat 100% all the time.
These Stark trees are ALL blooming now (3 years on most -- 2 trees bloomed the year they were planted). This is the kind of quality and customer service that makes me come back time and time again.
I can honestly say that I have ordered a few trees from other companies and it has been hit and miss. With Stark's trees I really don't have any issues.
I love Stark Brothers. I ordered 50 fruit and nut trees of various varieties last year, as well as blackberries, blueberries and grapes. Everything came in great condition. We only had 2 trees & 1 blueberry bush of the group not make it through the season, and Stark Brothers promptly replaced them when I called without any hassle at all. We ordered several new trees this year, and all are thriving.
Every thing we have received from Stark Bros. has been packaged well and arrives very quickly in tip top shape. Nut trees, fruit trees, and berries arrived looking as if they never went through transit and took off growing happily.
On Apr 28, 2012, newbie2006 Alachua, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:
I have done a lot of mail order shopping for plants, and have found this site to be be quite reliable. I wanted to take a moment to let y'all know about the *amazing* experience I had with Stark Bros. not only was the shipment delivered in a timely manner, but when they arruved they were in excellent condition, packed beautifully and the soil was still moist. To top it off shipping was even free!
This was my first order with Stark Bros, though this was not the first time I tried an "online nursery." I was worried about ordering again from an online nursery since so many others I've tried in the past were just pathetic (not to mention none of the plants from the other companies have survived).
I have to say I was blown away by the quality of their products. I ordered 23 trees (mostly fruit and nut trees) and 5 grapevines. The trees were extremly well packaged and arrived in pristine condition. We planted them same-day and the plants seem to be doing well. The trees were much bigger than I anticipated! In fact, for trees of similar size from our local nursery or home improvement store, I would have paid a signficant amount more, so I am glad I gave Stark Bros a try!
Everything has gone smoothly with this order, and I fully intend to purchase more trees from Stark Bros in the very near future. I would most definitely recommend Stark Bros to anyone looking for a quality product!
I am so very excited to see our beautiful new trees start to bloom and thrive!
I have ordered 4 times from Stark Bros Nursery and I had an issue with a few plants that died, probably because how i planted them and where I planted them. When I called Stark Bros Nursery about the plants, they promptly replaced them with new plants. no hassles, no extra charges, just prompt and courtious service. It has been a pleasure dealing with Star Bros Nursery. I highly recommend them.
Posted on April 3, 2012, updated April 8, 2012
I ordered a tree from them, deluxe, and it came as a horrible tree. The bud joint looked like they tried about five times before they got one to take. The scion wood was badly beaten up, with cuts, cracks, and splits running up the entire tree. I kept trying to cut it down to the good wood, but kept finding more damage, and finally just destroyed the tree.
They refunded the money, and were not particularly difficult to deal with, but their quality control is just atrocious. What is the point of having deluxe trees if they come like this? A deluxe tree should be straight, undamaged, and clean.
On April 8th, 2012, TA152H added the following:
Because I couldn't get the variety any place else (Bubblegum Plum), I ordered another one. It was not good quality, but not horrible either like the original. It's not Supreme, it's mediocre. I received four other trees the next day from a preferred vendor, and the difference in quality is very noticeable.
Still, if this had been the original tree, I would have rated them neutral, not negative, because it's not bad. But the first tree was so poor, and this tree was not great, and would recommend different vendors if you really want a nice tree. On Apr 8, 2012, Stark Brothers Nurseries & Orchards Company responded with:
"On Apr 4, 2012 8:58 AM, Stark Brothers Nurseries & Orchards Company responded with:
A Stark Supreme Tree® tree should be what you expected: a top-grade tree. We put our pride in our quality service *and* product so it is a true disappointment to hear that this tree did not meet your -- and our own -- quality standards. This type of feedback is much appreciated because, without this insight, we would not have the opportunity to correct our mistakes and make changes for better service to you: our customer.
You have been refunded for the Stark Supreme Tree® tree, but let us send you another one of those trees on top of that -- at no charge to you. Please give us a call (800.325.4180) or send us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) so that we may have a chance to redeem our name, and our Stark Supreme Tree®, in your mind.
On Apr 6, 2012, oosa Northbrook, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:
Absolutely wonderful healthy trees. Exceeded my expectations.
I ordered from different nurseries before. This year we are planting a large new orchard of over 20 trees. I ordered 5 of them from Stark Bro's. Should have ordered all 20 trees from them. Very high quality, especially compared to other mail order places. I wish I found this place earlier.
I ordered from Stark Bros. for the first time this spring, based on the information and reviews from this site. I was not disappointed! I ordered an Asian plum, which came beautifully packaged with gorgeous roots. It was a full inch diameter, and over three feet tall! I have ordered from Gurney's in the past, and based on the price, I expected a teeny stick. It's only been in the ground a week, and already the buds are swelling.
Stark Bros. has gained a customer, and Gurney's has lost one.
Stark Brothers Nursery, 11548 Highway NN, Louisiana, Missouri.
Items ordered by phone and paid by credit card. Trees shipped by UPS.
Found online. They supply bare root trees and other items for garden and orchard. I have ordered 3 trees from them; one is growing and producing fruit, the other two are not.
In 2009 I ordered 2 bareroot Honey Crisp Apple Trees. They were planted according to instructions that fall and began to grow the next year, 2010.
For three successive years now, the trees have failed to produce any flowers; flowers will bud into apples. I bought the tree to grow apples not to grow leaves. These were sold as apple trees. For three years the grees are growing branches and leaves but no flowers and hence no fruit. Trees have not been sprayed or abused that would stop flowers from forming. Trees are well fertilized.
Last year, 2011. I called the company customer service to complain. The service rep told me to cool it. She was unprepared to give any advice or help. I was told to wait until next year and see if the trees would bud.
I just called the customer service, this year, 2012, and spoke with the head of the department, Tabitha. I told her that I wanted a refund.
She refused telling me that my 1 year warranty had expired. Then the conversation got into an argument. Yet she / they tell me that I should be patient and eventually the trees (might) produce blooms. Each year gets a little farther from their one year "guarantee". This is a scam. How long do I have to wait on their trees to produce fruit?
I spent over $50 for bareroot trees that produce nothing but leaves. This company should do the right thing and refund my money, which they refuse to do. Their customer 'no service' representative, Tabitha, was rude on the phone and did not even offer any solution. In her opinion, this incident is my own bad luck.
I would not advise purchasing any products from this company. They are not customer service friendly, especially due to the nature of the product they offer. If they sold me a car, or a washing maching, I would be able to tell right away if I got good or bad merchandise. In this case, I have to wait years to find out - and that - they are unwilling to refund if their fruit trees do not produce fruit.
If they sell me a non-fruit producing fruit tree, what is that to them??
On Apr 3, 2012, Stark Brothers Nurseries & Orchards Company responded with:
"On Apr 3, 2012 5:16 PM, Stark Brothers Nurseries & Orchards Company responded with:
Stark Bro's is dedicated to providing quality trees and service to our customers and has been since 1816. Negative feedback here always leaves us glum, but we welcome the sharing of honest experiences with our company!
Our records indicate that we have gone above and beyond fulfilling our Promise of Satisfaction (which states "If for any reason you are not completely satisfied with your purchase, let us know within a year of delivery and we will send you a free one-time replacement or refund your full purchase price if you don't want a replacement.") While the warranty is limited to a year after purchase, if, after an adequate amount of time has passed with no sign of flowers or fruit, and all our advice and your efforts to help them along were exhausted, it would be understandable and we would be willing to make an exception.
Like you said, we have upheld our warranty by replacing the first tree, and we went above and beyond our warranty by offering you a stock credit refund on that free replacement tree which you used toward another Honeycrisp apple tree. We are very sorry you are dissatisfied with us not refunding you at this point for your living trees that simply have not *yet* produced flowers/fruit. We are eager to advise you on helping your young Honeycrisp apple trees along to fruiting maturity which, with apples, may take anywhere from 2-5 years depending on their environment.
Please let us offer our services to help your trees along by emailing us directly at email@example.com. We really do want them to be the apple trees you were hoping for when they're ready! :)
On Mar 29, 2012, auntnana21 Fall Branch, TN wrote:
I've ordered from Stark Brothers for years. My little orchard is now 100+ of apples, pears, peaches, cherries, and apricots. I recently moved an ugly apple tree (not a Stark but one I grafted myself) and ordered a Stark Orleans apple to replace it. Now I know we've had an unusually warm spring but their growing rate is ridiculous! I mean that in a good way. A couple of weeks after planting I was walking through the newest part of the orchard and had to think about which tree was the replacement because it had leafed out so well! I've only had to call in for a replacement a couple of times over the past decade or so and the customer service is top notch. No hassles or haggles and the replacements did well. Last year I had an unusual ailment with one of my trees. I sent pictures to Stark asking for help and advice. They responded very promptly, courteously, and were exactly right on the diagnosis! I lost the tree but the new one is flourishing.
How about the fruits? They seem to always produce within at least two years. I've now won two master baker awards at the regional fair using the Montmorency cherries in my pie! Nuf said? Although my mother was a little disappointed over the peaches last year. My father came to help me pick fruit and noticed some of the newer peach trees had their first ripe peaches. Well we stood right there next to the tree and ate them all. None left for him to take home! Maybe I'll save her some this year.
My sister thought she wanted to plant an apple tree so I gave her my catalog. She thought they were expensive but I told her "You get what you pay for. Order the Stark!" I've made the mistake in the past and bought a couple from Home Depot or Lowes. They were dug up and burned. She ordered the Stark and uttered the oh so painful "You were right about Stark" phrase. She has an all-around black thumb but her tree is thriving.
Are they a little more expensive than the local big box stores? Yes. Are they worth it? Absolutely! The customer service alone makes up for the price difference. I will be a long time customer and hope my kids will be one day also.
I have been trying to grow Paw Paw trees for about 10-12 years now (back in the day when all I could find were the little sticks in cellophane sleeves). I have planted probably 7 or 8 of the bare root variety (not from Stark) with little success.
Last year (2011), I was please to find 4 different varieties from Stark. I planted 2 of them in the spring and was so happy with them that I ordered, and planted, 4 more in the fall.
They look to all be doing well this spring (with one of the little guys even producing flowers -- I will use those flowers to pollinate one of the previous plants).
So far so good, the ordering process was definately easier than the searching and choosing parts. I placed a small order, though I could easily have placed a much larger order, I want to have a good idea of what I am dealing with before commiting a lot of my gardening dollars to a company.
I searched for a fruit tree supplier that would hae a good reputation on Dave's Garden, whihc is how I found Stark Bros at all. I crossed my fingers that they would offer fair sized, study apricot trees as this years addition to my dwarf home orchard. Since they do, I ordered two Dwarf Supreme trees at 27.99 each:
Wilson Delicious Apricot Dwarf Supreme
Harglow Apricot Dwarf Supreme
and then found some Hinnonmaki Red Gooseberries that I would like to grow too, so bought two of those at 11.99 each.
There was a shipping special that added up to free shipping on my order, which is a big plus since most companies charge almost as much for shipping per tree as they do for the trees!
Anyway, if this company pans out and is as good as I hope it is, I saw peaches, pears, plums, nectarines, cherries and currents I'd love to add to my orchard.
On Mar 12, 2012, suzyqorchids Lexington, KY wrote:
Ordered dwarf 'Blushingstar' peach. Arrived on time and roots are in great shape. However, two of the 5 side branches are broken; I planted it anyway since I think it is healthy and will grow new ones. Sure hope so! They were great about no substitutions as I requested too. Hope in a few years to have beautiful white peaches!
Posted on March 17, 2011, updated March 9, 2012
Posted on June 24, 2010, updated March 17, 2011
Posted on May 2, 2010, updated June 24, 2010
Posted on March 8, 2010, updated May 2, 2010
Posted on March 10, 2004, updated March 8, 2010
I've always been happy with their fruit trees - they really HAVE started bearing after a couple of years and have grown well for me.
I've also been pleased with their strawberry plants, bareroot raspberries and blackberries.
Not too happy with their dogwood tree, though - $20 is a lot to pay for an unbranched whip, with a trunk less than 1/2 inch diameter, in a very small (4 inch, I think) pot. It looks healthy and like it will grow, but it'll be a while before it amounts to much.
On July 9th, 2004, AS added the following:
I'd definitely be cautious about the dogwood, unless you can baby it for a year or two. Its tiny root system didn't survive a month of our hot, dry summer, even in improved soil - needed watering every other day and finally wilted irreversibly. I'm sure they'd replace it if I asked, but I won't bother since I can't give it the care it obviously needs. The peach tree, on the other hand, is now 7 feet tall in its second year and had 10-15 peaches (before the squirrels ate them all while they were still green, small and hard!) On March 8th, 2010, AS changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:
Mixed experience this time, somewhere between positive and neutral. I was very pleased with the two apple trees - they were big and well-branched, like the trees I used to get from Stark. The rest looked almost as if they had chosen small stock so they could ship the whole lot (8 fruit trees) in a single, not terribly wide, box. The peach was small but well-branched - but I'll be very surprised if this one bears fruit within the next 2-3 years. The rest had trunks smaller than my little finger. A couple were unbranched whips, and the others had one or two puny branches. The roots looked decent, and provided they thrive, I'll be satisfied. I can't get these same varieties locally. But for roughly $25 a tree, I expect a bit better.
So for now, I'm withholding judgement. If the tiny trees do better than I expect, I'll upgrade to positive.On May 2nd, 2010, AS added the following:
Most of the trees leafed out nicely, though a third of them (the whips) look like bushes rather than trees and will need a lot more training than I expected. As I expected, I'm very pleased with the apples and one peach. Most of the others are healthy, and satisfactory except for the small size for the price. But one tree, which had a very crooked graft and a poorer root system than the others, is sickly and looks like it's trying to die. On June 24th, 2010, AS changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:
Most of the trees did about as I expected. The sickly one never managed to leaf out, but Stark gave me no trouble about scheduling a replacement for this fall. The 3 biggest trees are doing great - they remind me of the old Stark trees I used to buy. Of the whips and smaller trees, one impressed me by growing to almost the same height as the apples, so far. The others are maybe a year or two behind. I can live with that, though I wish they grew their smaller stock for another year before selling it. Provided the replacement for the dead tree is fine, I'd call the experience mostly positive. The size was a mixed bag, but most were very healthy and the problem tree (which can happen with any company) was replaced without hassles. On March 17th, 2011, AS added the following:
Final impression is still "mostly positive." Got a replacement tree that was unbranched but with much better roots and a much thicker trunk than the original tree (which was pretty puny).
After their second spring pruning (this year), I'm definitely happier with the 3 big trees than the rest. I had an abundance of new branches to work with on those, and it was easy to pick good branches to keep. The smaller trees still have only a few branches, and some never developed one in the right direction to use as a central leader. With good pruning, that should change this year. Still, it's a nuisance. A pity they don't offer more than one size, with different prices and a description of the caliper on the trees.On March 9th, 2012, AS added the following:
Final update: Mostly positive, but with caveats.
The apples and peach did very well, and are turning into nice, big trees. Looks like they might even have fruit this year. Most of the others (which arrived as thin whips) are growing well enough, though still quite small. Right now, they're mostly about the size I could buy at our local stores - so basically, I would have been better off buying locally, as long as I wasn't too picky as far as variety. The pear whips are still ridiculously small. I'd forgotten that pears are slow growers. Definitely wouldn't buy those again as whips from Stark unless there was something I absolutely had to have and was very, veeery patient... On Mar 9, 2012, Stark Brothers Nurseries & Orchards Company responded with:
"On Aug 9, 2010 1:25 PM, Stark Brothers Nurseries & Orchards Company responded with:
Please be sure to let us know the condition of your replacement when you receive it this fall! Customer Service can be reached by phone (800.325.4180) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
So glad to hear your other trees are growing strong and well. : )"