I am mostly writing to complain about Stark's complete lack of an inventory system. Last year on 2/13/13 I put in my order for 10 items. Everything showed in stock and the order was processed. A few months or so later I received a letter showing all but 2 of the items were cancelled...one of which was a Bubblegum Plum Dwarf Supreme tree. This tree was the reason for my order and I just added the rest. I called to complain asking why they were just cancelled and was told that they were just out of the stock. After discussion I found out that I could get the same tree...but just not "Supreme." The rest of the items were just out of stock. VERY frustrating.
This year I decided to give them another chance and sent an email after my order asking that if I could get better service. This was my email:
"I am writing to you in hopes that I will be put on a priority list. Last year I ordered early and over half my shipment wasn't available at the time it was to be delivered. Nobody called, they just cancelled it. I am giving you another chance. This is my order this year: Thanks"
This is the reponse I received:
Thank you for your email and for your recent order. I'm sorry, but we don't have priority list with our items. They are priority in the order they are shipped out and we cannot guarantee any item will remain in stock at any given time. I can change your estimated shipping date to earlier April if you think you can plant at that time.
Please let me know if you wish to make any changes to your order."
What I don't understand is why people who live in zone 3 or 4 can't receive priority based on their order date and not the suggested shipping date. Although abnormal, last year in April we still had snow on the ground. Sure I could keep them in the house and try to keep them healthy, but why should I have to?
On Feb 12, 2014, Stark Brothers Nurseries & Orchards Company responded with:
"On Feb 14, 2014 2:20 PM, Stark Brothers Nurseries & Orchards Company responded with:
Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and experience here! Your feedback is useful for us to address and improve things on our end in order to meet, and exceed, your expectations! We have been in contact with you via email and hope we have a solution that meets your satisfaction.
If you have any questions or concerns, our customer support team is here to work with you! You can reach us by phone during business hours at 800.325.4180 and of course by email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
On Feb 4, 2014, mscratch Millersville, MO (Zone 6a) wrote:
I spent 90 minutes on the computer to choose and order from this company, only to discover when checking out that because I have a rural address I would have to call the company and pay extra because of separate handling. Well, that's just not going to happen. This is the only company that I have ordered from so far that requires me to do this. Sadly, I will choose from the other catalogs. I took their catalog over to my neighbors this morning and suggested strawberry plants for him to order. Now I will have to go back and tell him to look for another nursery or buy local. Very frustrating and time consuming! I didn't see any small print or any print that said I would have to call them to place my order until the very end when I clicked continue to check out and of course after I entered my address. etc. Just because I live out in the country??? We don't have streets out here.
On Feb 4, 2014, Stark Brothers Nurseries & Orchards Company responded with:
"On Feb 4, 2014 3:05 PM, Stark Brothers Nurseries & Orchards Company responded with:
We're sorry for any frustration you've had trying to place your order on our website and we would like to help! Please contact our customer support team (contact information below), with your customer number and address handy, so we may work with you to resolve this issue. Sometimes the system has trouble recognizing rural route numbers -- but this isn't something that you are charged extra for. If you have questions about your order total, please let our customer support team know!
On Nov 25, 2013, taufgardner American Fork, UT wrote:
Posted on July 21, 2011, updated November 25, 2013
Posted on September 25, 2010, updated July 21, 2011
Posted on June 23, 2010, updated September 25, 2010
Posted on June 9, 2010, updated June 23, 2010
After my Elephant Heart Plum that was purchased locally (not through Stark Bros.) had not produced after the fourth year, I found it needed a pollinator. I don't like other plums, but Stark Bros. had a variety (Delicious) that looked similar and could pollinate my Elephant Heart.
Of course, my other trees are in full leaf and so my order was VERRRRY late. In fact, I was told I called it in on about the last day Stark Bros. would even ship bare root at all. They recommended waiting until fall so I would have a better experience with the tree. But I could not wait and ordered anyway...
Well, the tree came today. I was expecting a leftover that I could nurse in a corner of my property for primarily pollinating purposes.
What I got was better than the description in the catalog. The tree was well proportioned, the roots well developed, and there were clear indications of life, including new root shoots and swelling buds.
I normally buy my trees from a friend who is a commercial grower and who gives me pick of his bare root stock. I have never picked a better looking tree myself than Stark Bros. sent me today.
Stark Bros. exceeded my expectations in every way and I will definitely use them again if I am in the market for the products they carry. I recommend them highly.
P.S. We are having a cool spell and wet weather for the next week, so the conditions couldn't be more ideal for this tree to succeed and I have no doubt it will.
On June 23rd, 2010, taufgardner added the following:
Tree has been in for two weeks. Very much alive and well, with new buds and good growth happening. Absolutely nothing but good to say about my Stark Bros. experience.On September 25th, 2010, taufgardner added the following:
Fall is beginning and the tree met or exceeded all expectations. It grew well, has good vigor and I have no doubt it will be a productive part of my home orchard for years to come. I liked that the phone rep took the time to explain that I may want to wait on the order because of chance of failure for time of year I ordered, rather than to sell just because I was willing to buy. When I wanted to order anyway, they gave me what I wanted. What I received was terrific and better than I could get locally for the same price, plus I got to choose a variety that was specific to my needs, not just one of the limited two or three varieties that all the local nurseries seem to carry. In short, I am very happy with my Stark Bros. experience and cannot say enough good about them. I am also impressed that they watch the Watchdog and respond to many of the posts. They really do seem to realize that if quality service, great products and the customers are the focus, the business takes care of itself. On July 21st, 2011, taufgardner added the following:
Ordered grapes this year. All are doing well. I have no complaints about Stark Bros. and will use them again.On November 25th, 2013, taufgardner added the following:
Ordered Hazelnuts this year and got a replacement cherry tree. All did very well. Every item I have ever received (and I don't use the word "every" lightly) from Stark Bros. has met or exceeded my expectations.
My yard is limited and I find myself feeling badly I am unable to order more items from this company. They are my favorite of all the catalog companies. I went from being very skeptical of ordering live plants to fully embracing the notion because of this company.
I give this company my best recommendation. If they have a plant or tree variety you need, you will not go wrong using these guys.On Nov 25, 2013, Stark Brothers Nurseries & Orchards Company responded with:
"On Sep 27, 2010 12:05 PM, Stark Brothers Nurseries & Orchards Company responded with:
We are so grateful: not only has your experience with our trees and plants been wonderful, but you took the time to tell us (and all here at the Garden Watchdog) about it! We're very happy to hear of your growing success. :)
If you ever have questions or need anything, you know where to find us!
I placed an order for 16 fruit trees in early August. There were five different fruits in this order. The order was scheduled to be shipped in early November and I asked for a later shipment. That was no problem. The shipment was delayed again due to a tree not being ready. Nonetheless I was kept informed of the ship date and I must say I was delightfully PLEASED with my many fruit trees. I scratched the bark on all the bare root trees and saw green! That means they are all alive. The trees have nice labels on them which made it easy for me. They were also all well rooted and the graft area looked good. I was able to plant them all today and am really looking forward to good things from these plants. I will for sure order from Stark Bros again. Thank you!
I ordered two WineCrisp and two GoldRush apple trees after doing as much research on these two types of trees as I could without tasting them on http://www.orangepippin.com and by typing in WineCrisp PDF and GoldRush PDF for a Google search. These both seemed like really nice trees.
I received my four trees when there was a considerable amount of snow still on the ground. I called Stark to ask them how to keep my trees alive. Their representative told me what to do and if they did die, call them back for replacements. I kept them in the box in my basement wetting the roots every so often for two weeks...the ground where I wanted to put these trees was still frozen about 18 inches down. I thought they would be better in the ground than in my basement. These trees started to leaf out a bit and they were not in the spots that I wanted them because my land was still being prepared by a local farmer...so, I dug them up and put them in the spots that I actually wanted them.
All four trees made it through the first year and looked great. They were all very beautiful solid trees when they arrived.....I didn't want any replacements, I wanted these trees to make it and they did under a lot of stress.
Stark Bros sends the trees out at the proper planting time, but this spring was abnormally cold here in Michigan. They can't predict how bad it was up here for weather.
So, I just want to let people know how healthy their trees are to withstand two weeks in a box in a basement, planted in semi-frozen ground, then transplanted again and to look as good as they do.
Posted on August 21, 2013, updated August 22, 2013
-Excellent 1 Year Replacement Policy: No arguing over dead plants.
-All of the thirty-two trees I ordered over the last three years have at least leafed out, though about six didn't survive a winter (including two replacements).
-All of the dozens and dozens of berry, vine, ground cover & root plants I have bought at least leafed out.
-Good Customer Service.
-Great late season deals.
-Free shipping over 75$, and now 85$, is spectacular.
-Great, easy to use website.
-Decent, but not overwhelming number of varieties.
-I've gotten a great plum crop and a good peach crop in the third year here in Zone 5.
-Informative emails/website with special deals.
-Six berry plants arrived small and leafless (but all survived and are now doing well).
-Somewhat limited number of varieties if you are looking for something different/unusual.
-Rootstock information isn't listed -which could come in handy as some rootstocks are better for wetter grounds and some are better for dryer grounds etc.. . .
-My cherry, pear and pawpaw trees (planted three years ago) seem a long way away from fruit bearing, but they are in a shadier part of the lawn and I have had to ward off deer (which especially LOVE cherry trees).
-The listing of the size of the trees was confusing, especially three years ago: Standard Trees: 18-25 feet was what was easily found, but on another page: Peach Standard Trees: 12-15 feet. (I would get different results from different employees as well). I think Stark Bro's has corrected this now: they, as well, have added size info on their berry plants (which used to be missing).
-Probably my favorite place to do Plant Business so far: They just seem to be the most professional: I just really like the iron clad replacement policy: no wishy-washy wording or implementing of their policy.
-I would lean more towards trees than bushes with Stark Bro's, but I wouldn't rule Stark out for bushes, for, as I said, the bushes I bought, though scrawny, did survive.
On August 22nd, 2013, VonMalcolm added the following:
A couple of more Positives:
-Plants are shipped securely.
-I've had great success with their strawberries: near 100% survival rate on two orders of 25 plants each: even though I had put off planting them in favor of planting the trees and vines (I planted the strawberries about 5 or so days after arrival).
In 2012, I ordered three European Pears, three Pawpaws, and a Brown Turkey Fig from Stark's for fall 2012 planting. All except one, a pawpaw, survived the winter and are now thriving. I contacted Stark's about the dead Pawpaw, and they agreed to ship a free replacement for planting in fall 2013 without any hesitation.
I also ordered European Plum from them in spring 2013. It is also thriving.
Excellent plant material. Excellent customer service. I highly recommend this company.
I am a 63 year old male that has been a Stark Brothers customer for over 50 years. My Grandfather bought his trees from them and they produced great quantities of apples and peaches. I suppose he is the reason I got the bug to grow fruit.
I now have an orchard of 100+ trees and even though I have lost some trees to disease I am overall satisfied with my purchases. I can't blame Stark Brothers for a tree dying when there is info that tells me the dangers of planting some varieties in my location. It takes dedication to have solid trees and delicious fruit. Stark Brothers is the right place to start the process.
On Jun 24, 2013, Hoosierguy1986 Fort Wayne, IN wrote:
Ordered a cox orange apple tree from them during the spring sale. Awesome price. Shipping and tracking were right on. Packaging was great moisture wrapped roots inside a bag to seal in moisture inside a card board box to ship with least damage. Pruning was done by experts. Stuck it in the ground with a peat, topsoil, compost mixture and had buds breaking open and leaves shortly after.
Side note. Customer service is excellent. The were able to research info on the almond trees for me and willing to do so. I was contacted by a real person with real responses in a timely manner! They will definitely see more of my business as I turn my 6.5 acre hay field into something generations can enjoy!
Posted on April 8, 2013, updated June 21, 2013
Posted on April 8, 2013, updated April 8, 2013
Posted on April 5, 2013, updated April 8, 2013
STRONG NEGATIVE!!! DO NOT BUY from them! I paid almost $275 on around 17 tree's and few berries plants, on March 7, 2013... they said April 1st is the day they will ship, it is not 1st time they postpone. they keeps on postpone then again postpone until April 5th, checked my account again, postponed again to April 10th. said they didnt have Honeyberries. Bullcrap I read another views they already got theirs before April 1st, I WANT MY ORDER SHIP TO ME RIGHT AWAY when I PAID THEM RIGHT AWAY........ keeps on contacting customer service and talk to them about where my plant. I brought top best soil, set the spot for 17 plants (trees/berries)..... soil dried out and everything.. I felt I am wasting $450+ money and was hoping in trust Stark Brothers to send me high quality products... this never happened. I DO NOT trust them, they are my FIRST time order with them and it was $275... giant order. NEVER AGAIN with them, and WILL NEVER recommend them to all my green die hard thumbs friends/ professionals. I would recommend to go to wilson orchard instead! It is very rare that I gets angry: I am one of the most ANGRY customer with them the Stark Brother ever!! Been very patient with them. said will get my stuff in 2 weeks after March 7th, never did, then postpone another week, now another week april 1, then april 5 THEN april 10th!? WTF SERIOUSLY, they want some serious business and large $$ they better send it out right away! NEVER AGAIN...... EVER.... I was going to buy a large amount of nut trees from them next, but no its a drop it and run! DO NOT buy them if you dont have patience and expect your stuff in the mail right away less 2 weeks, this is not the place for you. I wait past a month few days for my stuff. unhappy. :( these are what I ordered: MidnightBlue & Night Mist Assortment (#131383)
$19.99 1 $19.99
Dwarf Banana Plant
Dwarf Banana Plant (#3682)
This is a potted plant. This item is self pollinating.
$11.99 2 $23.98
2-N-1 Cherry Semi-Dwarf
2-N-1 Cherry Semi-Dwarf (#3000)
This is a potted plant. This item is self pollinating.
$29.99 1 $29.99
Stark® SweetHeart™ Apricot Dwarf
Stark® SweetHeart™ Apricot Dwarf (#28779)
This item is self pollinating. This product will be professionally pruned before shipping.
$22.99 1 $22.99
Red, White & Blue Seedless Grape Assortment
Red, White & Blue Seedless Grape Assortment (#91480)
$29.99 1 $29.99
Peach Lover's Assortment Dwarf
Peach Lover's Assortment Dwarf (#28660)
This product will be professionally pruned before shipping.
$59.99 1 $59.99
Stark® Primocane Red Raspberry Assortment
Stark® Primocane Red Raspberry Assortment (#26504)
$25.99 1 $25.99
Dwarf Asian Pear Assortment
Dwarf Asian Pear Assortment (#26473)
This product will be professionally pruned before shipping.
$59.99 1 $59.99
Stark® Crimson Gold Nectarine Dwarf
Stark® Crimson Gold Nectarine Dwarf (#28778)
Merchandise Total $272.91
Professional Pruning -
now you see it is a LARGE order.... got NOTHING from them. I am their first time, new customer. Wished I never brought anything from them! Not recommended.
On April 8th, 2013, Moonshine84 added the following:
Postpone AGAIN: until April 13th!? ...... never again they lost me as a customer once I get my stuff, never will buy from them again.On April 8th, 2013, Moonshine84 added the following:
I called this afternoon, already agreement to split the order: The reasons I declined the offer because they are making me pay for the shipping at the first time we talked about split order. I should not be paying for shipping AT ALL since I paid 3x of $85, $273 around total......... Split the order today after I called they now said will ship it for free so I accepted the offer... which I expect them to ship the rest BY TODAY after I called in...... but no what I see is date to be shipped again postpone to April 13th..........On June 21st, 2013, Moonshine84 added the following:
Since they fixed the problems and all. I been working with Tabitha, she fixed most of the issues. Most of my tree's are doing well over here but no fruiting yet....
Honey berry is what I am also crazy about. Few did not make it.
I am also pure in berries. Goji first pack did not make it, but 2nd pack they sent, was beautifully, transfer them to bigger pot. it still beautifully and green!
One another thing I am MOST amazing impressed with BLUE MOON Honey berry, they arrive thick lush, sweet! Beautiful new green leave keeps on coming up. However the rest; start to turning brown on me. quite few of it died. :(
Ordered few cherry trees as well. Two is not seems doing good I will be contacting Tabitha soon in two months IF it doesnt show anything. no leaves yet on the Starkrimson's, and White Gold Cherry tree at this time.
One most big concerned and disappointment Raspberry seems are sick; thriving like crazy with new green stalk then end up start to purple at the bottom spread all way up killed the new stalk, turn to black and drop like dead. has to pull all out. I am waiting for Tabitha to contact me back about it.
Since they truly do care about their customer and try their most best effort to take care of them, myself including after myself post this negative comment first place was NOT very happy with them until Tabitha done super well job to take care of me. I will rate their company A* at this time as positive rate. MUCH BETTER at this time. Fyi Stark Bro, I have all pictures. I DO take pictures OF COURSE to prove the process and all.
Thank you for taking care of me from the day one u found out the bad negative rating. As you can see this year I brought so MANY plants from you. :) Please do continue taking care of me as a customer, might coming back next year for more honey berries and cherry tree's. Got to take care of these order that I purchased from you that did not make it.
~ me.On Jun 21, 2013, Stark Brothers Nurseries & Orchards Company responded with:
"On Apr 8, 2013 10:10 AM, Stark Brothers Nurseries & Orchards Company responded with:
We dedicate ourselves to providing quality product and service to our customers here at Stark Bro's, and we take pride in that! We are able to improve this when folks like you share your feedback with us here. Your honest experiences with our company are appreciated.
We sincerely apologize for your frustration with your order, especially since it is your first experience ordering with Stark Bro's. It is our policy not to charge you for your order before it ships out to you, because it is sometimes the case that product becomes unavailable before it is able to ship. This is the nature of dealing with living product. Our Dwarf Banana Plant states in its description that it is unavailable to ship before April 1 -- this is to protect the plant's cold-sensitive leaves from damage occurring in shipping. Our records show that we offered to split-ship your order so that your plants and trees that are available now will ship, and your back-ordered items will ship when they are available. We know you originally declined this offer, but we would like you to know we can still do this for you, since your order is still waiting to be shipped to you. Please contact our customer support team [800.325.4180 | email@example.com] so that we may have the opportunity to work with you.
Thank you again for your feedback and we look forward to hearing from you.
Super company. Friendly and knowledgeable advice over the phone, efficient and professional ordering process.
Best of all, everything I've ordered from them (over 100 fruit trees and berry bushes) has been vibrant, and of superb quality.
I will never roll the dice with any other nursery. Cant imagine improving over what Stark Brothers offers
On Jun 16, 2013, backyardgrowing Littlerock, CA wrote:
As of today, this is the best online nursery i have experienced with. the packaging of their box is outstanding, so don't worry that they will arrive broken. My dwarf Suncrisp apple tree arrive at about 3 feet tall and had over 20 BUDS. i was impressed with the quality of their trees A++. My kiwi vine was healthy and about 16 inches tall. However, its been a month and the vine as not produce any type of grow (leaves or branching). It looks like if its stunted. Does anyone know why? are they slow growers?
Ordered a bunch of trees and berry bushes from them this spring. Everything arrived in great condition (they easily have the best packaging of any online nursery I've ordered from). All the bare root trees are just starting to sprout and look thick and healthy.
My only beef with them was I had ordered one variety of blueberry bushes. Well they must have sold out of the bush, and cancelled them from my order. While they didn't charge me for them, they never let me know that they had cancelled them. I only found out by viewing my order status on their website. By the way. Their website is the best in the business (I say that as a web designer).
I plan on buying all my fruit stock from Stark's from now on.
On Jun 10, 2013, joebvet MOUTH OF WILSON, VA (Zone 6b) wrote:
Have ordered several Stark select fruit trees each of the last two years.
First year grapes, Stark Gold Cherry, two apricots, Plumcot. all arrived healthy and growing as of second year . This year new order of Black Gold cherry, Pawpaw and Itchy persimmon, former two select. Former two arrived with top 6 inches or more bent and broken. Called to inform, and immediately they offered to send replacements, Replacement of the persimmon arrived healthy, pawpaw due to arrive in the fall. This is a company that prizes customer service and I am very satisfied with size and healthy of the trees, responsiveness to correcting problems, and would not hesitate to order from them.
I only ordered one thing to test the waters so-to-speak.
I ordered a 6 pk. of Boysenberries and I am very pleased at
the condition of the plants, roots, and fast shipping.
I ordered thornless and I wouldn't call them thornless, they do have small thorns and my brothers don't (I called him to ask) so don't know why mine have thorns.
But the plants were beautiful and I will order from them again. Thanks
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 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 | firstname.lastname@example.org] 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.