On Sep 16, 2015, jeremybro Mulvane, KS (Zone 6b) wrote:
In the last year, I have received from Stark Bros: Jonathan apple (Fall '14), All-In-One Almond (Fall '14), Redhaven peach, Moorpark apricot, Santa Rosa plum, Kanza & Peruque pecans, 3 Boysenberries, 3 Jewel black raspberries, and 25 Eversweet strawberries. Now, at the end of the season, everything yet lives.
The fall-planted trees have had some trouble. The apple was debarked by deer over the winter, and the top 3/4 of the almond never leafed out, but both showed growth from the bottom, but above the graft. The apple is now taller that the original whip, but the almond had some insect pressure and isn't looking as good. So, the apple is not the fault of Stark Bros, but the almond is, at least partially.
Everything else looks great. Despite deer pressure in the spring, and a cool, wet May, the trees all are growing strong. The Boysenberries were potted, and slow to take off, but started putting on long canes in August. The raspberries actually put on a few berries, and have since put on many new canes, rooted at the tips, and grown more canes. I should have a pretty good crop next year. Likewise, the strawberries have taken over their bed and are still putting on a few berries.
I placed a few calls in to customer service regarding order details prior to shipment, and, in every case, I talked to a human who addressed my concerns quickly and professionally. One representative even pointed out that an item similar to the one I was requesting was on sale, and offered to change the order to the sale item, saving me money. Their website even allows you to go back and change orders that are waiting for spring to ship, so if you change your mind or want to add something between January and March, it is easily done without having to call customer service or deal with multiple orders and higher shipping costs.
All in all, I am impressed with the service and quality from this business, and will most likely continue to place orders from them in the future.
Posted on July 4, 2015, updated September 10, 2015
We have a small orchard (about 200 trees) and have been buying trees by Mail order and then online for about 45 years. I have gone through about every major nursery and learned a lot. I had not ordered from Starks for a long time so I thought I would try them again last year.
Just so everyone understands my unique situation. We had the coldest winter in our history two years ago and our coldest February in history this last winter along with cooler than normal summers so this has been very difficult on all orchards in Michigan. We also live in a strange Micro-Environment. We have a University of Michigan weather station 8 miles away and they have completely different weather than we do here in Capac.
I ordered a Spring Satin Plumcot, Green Gage Plum, Shiro Plum, Bubble Gum Plum and the Cream of the Crop Peach tree collection.
I was very disappointed when they arrived. The Plums were ok but the ‘Professional Pruning was just taking off every limb and cutting to 4’ so they fit in the box. The Peach collection had to have been a mistake. I only order Supreme so they were supposed to be 4’ tall with a minimum 5/8” trunk. They were about 3’ tall and the diameter of a pencil. Plus they were clearly in poor condition.
I planted them the day they arrived and the Green gage started growing within a week. The Shiro and Bubble Gum plum had very limited leave but no growth. The peaches were a total loss. Some had tiny hair-like leaves come out for about 3 days then turn jet black like they were burned by fire. The only one that had leaves was the Elberta Queen but it never leafed out this spring and it was past the warranty.
One the plus side they replaced all but the Elberta Queen without any hassle and the ones they replaced them with were in fact 4’ but still no limbs.
Due to the service I gave them another shot this year. I ordered a Golden Delicious, Candy Crisp apples, Harglow Apricot, Elberta Queen, Flamin’ Fury Jumbo Peaches, Royal Giant, Sunglow Nectarines, Elephant Heart Plum and six jewel Raspberries.
I have several Golden Delicious trees but know the only true ones come from StarkBros so you would think they would send out their best. In fact it was in the poorest condition and still has not started growing as of the 4th of July.
Most of the other trees are going well except for the Elberta Queen which has not produced a single leaf, the harglow Apricot, Sunglo Nectarine and the Burbank July Elberta Peach (replacement for last years).
I am still leaning toward Starks as my go-to but since I am in my 60s a lost year is annoying at best. I may upgrade this review depending on what happens next spring. I also use two other nurseries. They have different issues but I got 100% good trees from both of them this year.
One last note; That Green gage is a freak. It’s 6’ foot tall and has limbs growing 3’ out! It may become my favorite tree when it starts producing.
On September 10th, 2015, RobertCrandall changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:
Well another summer is coming to an end and we had some of the wettest conditions in years along with a cool summer.
I am upgrading my review to 'Positive'. I placed a large order of Apples, Peaches, Nectarines and Apricots this year.
I had 5 trees never break dormancy by June so I cut them in half. Two of them (Golden Delicious and Reliance Peach) took off after that. 3 did not but one was a replacement so I did not ask for a second replacement. I did report the Sun Glo Nectarine and the Stark Elberta Queen did not pass the scratch test and they promptly place the order for the replacements.
They would send them this fall but I find my success in better in the spring so she placed it to arrive in March.
The ones I have seen the most growth on are the Green Gage from last year which is about 9' tall and branched nicely. The CandyCrisp apple grew about two foot this summer and the FlaminFury Jumbo has so many braches, I had to thin them by 50%.
I am already starting to get my order ready for next spring for Stark Bros.
BTW I only order the Standard Supreme if they are available.
I've been gardening for three years and over this period have purchased a variety of products from Stark Bros, as well as from other online sellers. Some of what I planted from SB has died, but not after having responded positively to my garden environment. In most cases death was due to a late frost. In another instance I may have overwatered.
In addition to their products having faired well in my garden, I appreciate the expert advice their call center folks offer and info on their website (e.g., espalier instructions seem far more logical to me than what has been recommended by others).
Upon recently phoning to understand possible causes for two rhubarb-plant deaths, I was (pleasantly) surprised when SB offered to replace the two crowns (I was going to order two replacements).
Across my online purchases from all sellers, I haven't yet received a plant, or seeds, different from what I ordered and only once did a plant prove to be weak (one doorman red raspberry plant grew weakly whereas the companion plant in the same mailing put out so much fruit that the county agent said it was the most robust doorman red he had seen that season). The raspberry plants were not from SB...just checked and they don't offer that variety.
On Aug 23, 2015, Annakari Campbell, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:
I have bought quite a few trees and other plants. I won't lie, I am absolutely not the best gardener... if it isn't pests, vermin, or just some failure on my part, it is a miracle.
In the past, I have bought plants from many many many places, but not online, except Burpee and Stark Bros.
I am going to leave feedback for both of these.
Yes, I have plants I bought from Stark die...some my fault, some maybe not so much.
I didn't complain much if I KNEW it was probably my fault. But this year, I didn't see my Paw Paws coming up, and I lost a pineberry strawberry, and then all the Kiwis went "blahhhhhuugggg" and tried to die.
Ok, I know I don't suck this bad this year, because look, that apple tree is still alive, so are all those plants, and I even figured out how to successfully move plants and my seedlings are doing amazing... plus, all the other plants in the order and overwinter plants had done well.
So, I complained. Technically, they didn't have to replace the Paw Paws, but they offered to if they were dead. She told me how to conduct the scratch test they were alive (the puppies didn't agree and pulled them out a month later).
The Kiwis... well all but the male were dead, except this one, it showed dead wood but it had a leaf on it. I was baffled, but she said it was dead. They sent me all new kiwis, but the male, because he was still alive.
So, I have had very good experiences with Stark. IF you have problems, you really really should call and talk to them and try the things they suggest if you can. I don't kill most of their plants without help from the pups, I cannot always say that about my local nurseries.
Ordered several trees over a year ago and one peach tree did not survive. I waited till other trees leafed to be sure it was dead and that made it a couple months past their 12 month warranty. Based on other comments I was afraid they would not want to honor the warranty but I had no problem. Since they were busy during the spring it took a while to get a response but then they processed a replacement order with no problem.
Gardening requires faith and responsibility. Stark has both, especially with their product and customer service. I urge you negative "gardeners" to exercise a little faith and responsibility, for your own good. This site isn't the place to debate your issue with the company. Pick up the phone and call or move along.
I have several years, past and recent, of positive experiences ordering with this company. Sure, their boxes don't say THIS END UP, but our friends in the delivery trucks don't mind that anyway do they? Sure, much of their product is pruned prior to shipping. It can't be to fit in those (spacious) boxes, but it is to balance the tree tops with the disturbed root system. Any gardener who isn't blinded by victim-rage knows this is important. It doesn't hinder growth and performance in the least.
If you have 100% mortality rate on anything, it's time to take responsibility and call a spade a spade. If you can manage to receive plants with dry roots in a package with wet paper inside, consider that you might be a wizard. If you wait for a clearance sale and complain about availability, I want to meet you because you make me laugh. If real-life gardening is too real for you, they have an app for that.
Just so I don't seem like a Stark BRO, I will say Stark could improve in their communications to customers when things are not going to ship as planned. I am a gardener, which means I'm the most patient person on the planet next to a mortician, but it's easier to rest easy if I know about the occasional delay or unexpected change to my order.
Stark, you have always been a pleasure to work with even when things don't go perfectly. It's gardening. Anyone who expects perfection has got the wrong idea in the first place.
On Jun 24, 2015, HamletAdams Fort Wayne, IN wrote:
We ordered a set of 10 asparagus roots. After following the enclosed directions, only 4 sprouts had emerged after 3.5 weeks. Since those that had emerged were a 1 foot or taller, we had concerns that the rest were not viable. I contacted Stark Bros. via their online chat at their website. We had the problem solved and a new set of 10 roots on the way in less than 30 minutes. The roots arrived on schedule, and after soaking and planting almost all of the new 10 roots have sent up stalks. We are very happy with their customer service! Prompt, friendly and helpful.
I ordered 3 of their All In One Almond trees last year. They shipped right out, and arrived looking good. All three started leafing, but then 2 just shut down. Sad. I let them know, and they scheduled me 2 replacements for this year.
This year, the one from last year woke up fine, and the 2 replacements arrived, leafed out, and look good. Very happy.
Ordered multiple varieties of strawberry plants (150 plants total) that were received promptly. Within one week, all 150 bare root plants had leaves and several weeks later all 150 are doing well and growing vigorously. Very happy with the quality of the plants so far, the ease of ordering, and prompt delivery.
I highly recommend this company: great products and great customer service. Last year I bought 3 trees there and 2 are doing very well. The 3rd one was not. When I called in, the rep was very nice to talk to and quickly set up a replacement. I supposed to received the replacement yesterday. Unfortunately, FedEx lost my replacement. I called in this morning, the rep checked and set up 2nd replacement!! What a great company!
On Jun 8, 2015, MeganRoseMcLain La Crosse, WI wrote:
Posted on June 8, 2015, updated June 8, 2015
Posted on June 8, 2015, updated June 8, 2015
I absolutely LOVE Stark Bro\\\'s!! So far I\\\'ve ordered 20 berry plants and seven fruit trees and will definitely be ordering more in future years. This is my go-to nursery and I only buy from others if they don\\\'t have something I\\\'m looking for. I would definitely recommend this nursery, the costumer service is outstanding and the website is VERY well organized and easy to navigate.
On June 8th, 2015, MeganRoseMcLain added the following:
I should also add that the shipping is very fast and all my plants are thriving!!On June 8th, 2015, MeganRoseMcLain added the following:
I should also add that the shipping is very fast and all my plants are thriving!!
I've been ordering from Stark Bros. for a few years now ... Ive had more success with their plants then most other mail order places I've tried ...and I gave up on Walmart , big box store trees long ago ( all diseased ) .... I can't afford Stark's cherry trees but I have gotten nice peach and apple trees from them ... I have bought " blight resistant " pear trees from them but they have all succumbed to fire blight here in MO. I didn't write to them about the 2 Maxine "stark delicious " pear trees dieing on me because I reckon that this area might just be a bad place to try and grow pears . I don't think the fire blight was Stark's fault .. . I bought a Carpathian walnut tree from them that never sproated a single leaf , and a plum tree died on me this year but Stark replaced them without a problem ..... their replacement policy is trouble free and makes them a safe bet to buy from ...... yes, their pruning is extreme , to fit it in a long rectangle box but I'd rather start out with a nice straight , solid-trunked tree right at the get-go instead of dealing with some crooked twisted spindly thing that some other places send you .... all of my Stark trees have grown nice branches in no time and have become attractive trees that didn't need too much in the way of staking or corrective action . I like Stark Bros. and I'll keep buying from them for sure .
I ordered a contender peach tree and some guards from stark bros after some hesitation from reading reviews over the web. However, since most of their competitors had a deadline for spring ordering (that i had missed by less than a week) I decided to roll the dice.
I received my order a few days later with everything I ordered in the box and alive. I tested my soil's moisture level and pH level based on their instructions (and the instructions on almanac.com) and planted my tree. It's been a few weeks now and the tree is doing great! It's budding well and quickly. Now, I really can't tell you if it's what I ordered until it grows a peach, but I am very happy so far.
If I did have some constructive criticism, I would encourage Stark Bros to add a 'this side up' arrow to their boxes, when I received my box it was upside down and all the wet shredded papers were everywhere but around the roots. If I had to guess, I would think bags aren't sealed to prevent plant suffocation, So I think an arrow would help a lot.
But all in all, it was a great experience and I would definitely order any plants I can't get locally from them!
On May 16, 2015, tallenmorgan Mount Juliet, TN wrote:
I ordered from Stark Bros. because of the generally positive reviews here on Dave's Garden. I have had many bad experiences with mail order garden suppliers and am very leery of ordering by mail.
So far, I'm impressed. When I got the plants, I had the same reaction as many others. I ordered 50 bare-root strawberry plants and 5 bare-root raspberry canes. The strawberries looked barely alive and the raspberries looked completely dead. I'm not new to this, so I was mildly concerned, but not alarmed. I know life can spring from dead-looking things.
The plants came well packaged, with good instructions on how to prepare and plant them. Unfortunately, life intervened and I was not able to plant them until nearly two week later. I was sure I would lose most if not all of them.
That's not what happened. Everyone single one of those plants has not just survived, but thrived. The strawberries were sending out leaves less than 48 hours after I put them in the ground! The raspberries, which were just little sticks with dry looking roots, are growing so vigorously, I may have a small crop of raspberries THIS season!
Moreover, I find their website to be one the best, most information resources on the internet. They are constantly updating it with useful information. I will definitely be ordering from this company again. Thanks to the other Dave's Garden readers that took the time to share their experiences.
I ordered from Stark last year and the trees came through wonderfully. However they didn't make it through the winter and I contacted them and they promptly sent replacements! I will continue to order from them and recommend them to anyone else who wants what they offer.
I ordered plants from Exciting Gardens on April 11, and I ordered from Burpee and Stark on April 24th. Stark promptly shipped my order (within three days), and the plants arrived packed nicely, and looking quite healthy. Was able to get everything in the ground right away, just in time for warmer weather and a rainy week. Buds are developing on my trees, and strawberries are leafing out nicely, already. Quite pleased with both the shipping speed, and condition of the plants/trees. Have also ordered in the past from Stark, with no problems. (True that trees' branches are mostly removed; but they seem to branch out just fine afterward.) My orders from the other two companies still haven't shipped--I'm hoping they decide to before we start getting hot, dry weather. I will order from Stark again, in the future.
I have no problem with this company who ships appropriately sized bare root product and anyone who calls them a stick thinks that's Lowes root bound trees are a good product.
Stark ships timely and provides a good product and I have never had a problem with their one year gurantee. I have had great experience with customer service and good luck with their online question forum.
If I had to list one negative is that once I ordered a thornless boysenberry to get one with thorns and then have their customer support tell me they didn't sell a thornless one until I had them google it and there name was first in the product line. Other than that beautiful experience witll well packed and dampened trees. I have only ever ordered fruit trees from them and I have 41 standard fruit trees of which they make up about half as they have a decent selection
I've had nothing but great experiences with Stark Brothers. My great grandfather planted the old family orchard through them almost 100 years ago and today I'm proud to use them for the vast majority of my trees and plants.
I've had issues getting many things to take root and survive and without even an ounce of doubt, they quickly ship replacements for me. There have been times, while frustrating, that orders have been delayed due to weather or inventory issues, but they always have the best interests of the plant at heart. Sometimes I get impatient but they are delaying it to make certain I have the best chance of the plant surviving. As I write this I'm looking forward to receiving more plants form them this wekeend and planting those.
Stark Brothers is reliable and stand by their products. Every single time I've had them not survive within that first year, they are happy to send a replacement no questions asked. Their customer support and guidance is top notch as well.
Also check out their blog as it has lots of cool articles in it.
On Mar 27, 2015, Dsnider2006 Grant City, MO wrote:
I've ordered from Stark's 3 times now, once back when it was Miller Nursery. I've had really good communication and good to excellent quality plants each time.
I've had two problems with them: shipping, which as another reviewer mentioned, you can simply request for them to ship later and they will, and raspberry canes.
I ordered raspberries last year, and as dormant plants do, they looked like dead sticks. Planted them, got a few leaves, and then really heavy rain. I have clay soil...They drowned. I called and Stark's sent me more. I attempted again, and dug them all up after 6 weeks. In my terrible soil, the roots had turned to mush. Lesson learned: select plants suitable to your soil type! The only raspberries I have success with here is potted ones.
However, roses are notably finicky and I ordered a Peace Rose off my first order (2011). She is still with me, through TWO replantings due to moving. Bloomed nonstop from May til October this past year. I ordered more roses last year, and despite my dog digging them up and shaking them all over the yard, they went crazy and took off upon replanting.
My new order was a Key Lime Tree, two Cranberry bushes, and a Forest Pansy Redbud. The Lime is way bigger than I expected, and thorned me good getting out of the package. I had no idea it would have thorns, but it looks awesome. The cranberries are potted nicely and seem vigorous. The Redbud is 4' tall but not overly leggy like Big Box store plants. I cannot wait to see it bloom. It is starting to bud already and I hope a late frost doesn't do in the beautiful flowers it is promising.
Stark is now the my preferred company to order from, it just makes life easier. Here's what I've experienced- they have a great variety, their prices are reasonable, the quality is exceptional, and their service is amazing. Almost everything I've ordered from them was healthy and sprung to life after planting, and those that didn't- just give them a call and they'll send a replacement without any hassle. Last year a dwarf peach tree didn't make it, I called and they said a new one would be shipped next season- but they only had that version in standard this year, and Brenda sent me an email about it, and without any fuss added a different variety dwarf (that I liked) to my incoming order this year.
Also, I still have 10" of snow on my property, (plus my land is prone to flooding in early March) so I emailed them and asked to push the shipment date later- again, Brenda responded and pushed the date to April without any hassle. To the complainers here- they can't know your local conditions all over the country- talk to them, believe me, I have, and they have NEVER given me a problem. Again, these are living products, if some die, TALK TO THEM before getting angry, my experience is they want to help.
On Mar 14, 2015, cjparker Kennewick, WA (Zone 7a) wrote:
Posted on April 11, 2013, updated March 14, 2015
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 March 14th, 2015, cjparker added the following:
As always, another great experience ordering from Stark Bros. My mini-orchard is in full bud, and all trees are beautiful and healthy. Great communications.
I've never had one second's trouble from Stark Brothers. I have had a couple of trees that didn't make it and both times they sent replacements without any trouble at all, shipped free.
I recommend Stark Brothers nursery without reservation.
I was a little surprised to see the number of negative reviews for Stark Bros given my extremely positive experience. I have tried ordering from several nurseries thinking I could get as good of quality at a lower price and ended up coming back to Stark Bros every time. I have ordered everything from blueberries, grapes, and raspberries, to fruit, nut, and flowering landscape trees. I can't say that I have had one bad experience and have been delighted with the quality of product I received. I don't waste my time with other nurseries anymore.
I have purchased many plants from Stark Brothers nursery with great satisfaction. I would recommend them to anyone. Plants are always well packed and delivered in a timely manner by FedEx. I have been very pleased with the instructions and the results. They are without a doubt my go to plant company.
I have ordered many plants from many companies. After several years and probably a couple thousand dollars spent, I'd say that stark bros plants are the most consistently healthy when they arrive and the healthiest as they grow. They also arrive at the correct time to be planted (which has been a problem for me with a few other nurseries). They tend to be a bit higher priced than other nurseries. But in exchange you get better customer service, plants sent more reliably at the time they should be planted and healthier plants.
Posted on June 24, 2014, updated June 30, 2014
I placed my first order 06/06/14 and the trees were very nice, well wrapped and in excellent condition when they arrived. I was so impressed I ordered three more order#1175958 and when they arrived I was shocked. The trees were not well wrapped, the first set had wet paper wrapped around the roots that was still damp when I received them This shipment did not, no feeder roots like the first set, just a stump root, and very few buds,The trees seemed to be dead but planted them and hoped for the best.. I emailed customer care twice, but still no response. They talk up a good game saying they want you completely satisfied.....well I am not!
On June 30th, 2014, iculov changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:
They answered my emails after a few days and refunded the total amount. They wanted me completely happy with my purchase. I would order from them again.
Purchased the 2-in-one Cherry tree, 25 pack of strawberries and a bareroot raspberry.
LOVE LOVE this nursery. The cherry tree showed up in amazing shape. Had a bit of a back slide since I over-watered it by accident but its really taken off now. The raspberry is leafing out very nicely now and the strawberries look amazing. With the strawberries it only took a few days after planting for them to start growing new leaves.
My only sad bit is that I don't have enough space to plant their amazing plants.
I recently purchased two fruit trees (2 on 1 plum, 4 on 1 antique apple) from Stark Bros and so far I am fairly pleased with both specimens. Both trees have started leafing out and seem to be doing well. I do have a few minor complaints, mostly slow response to email (usually 3-4 days, however they did send a coupon as an apology), and the fact that the grafted varieties on my plants were not labeled. In addition, the company was not able to tell me definitively what type of rootstock my trees are on (i.e. my apple could be m7 or bud118). However, the price and quality of their products are great. Overall, I've had a pretty good experience with Stark Bros and I will probably be purchasing some berry plants from them in the future.
On May 30, 2014, Johnaw Princeton Junction, NJ wrote:
excellent plants and service. I have ordered, apples, peachs,.grapes,blueberries, and pawpaw. They seem to arrive on Sat. for some reason when I' m home to plant !
Every plant ordered has"taken off" when planted which is a testiment to how they were grown before I recieved them.
Having a mail order plant company can't be easy, they must always balance their time to produce saleable plants,size of plants to ship, and trying to pack oversized trees etc so they arrive in good condition Three stars on all fronts!
On May 29, 2014, littlebunnyfufu South Sumter, SC wrote:
I have a very large acreage property with five separate fruit orchards with over 150 trees, a half acre blueberry patch, a half acre strawberry patch, and several acres for general vegetable gardening/extensive corn patches.
Therefore I spend thousands of dollars a year on edible landscaping from a dozen plus on-line nurseries. Overall, Stark Brothers is a good, reliable company with an ironclad one time plant replacement policy.
I've spent thousands of dollars with Stark Brothers alone this year because their plants have arrived in excellent condition still solidly dormant, and they ship faster than any other on-line plant purveyor I order from.
I've found that the key to being satisfied with a company is figuring out their strengths, quirks, and weaknesses. Then I stick to purchasing their best products.
If you want the largest plants from Stark Brothers, you need to order as early in the season as possible. As the shipping season reaches the end, the plants invariably get smaller regardless of the grade ordered. The supreme dwarf trees of every variety that I ordered during the winter/early spring were of gratifyingly large caliber. The supreme dwarf trees since the start of their end of season sales have been about the caliber of their normal dwarf trees from the beginning of their shipping season.
Currently all the trees I've purchased from the end of season sales have been slender whips compared to what I received two months ago. However, I'm perfectly fine with the smaller size since I paid $18 for a supreme Royalton cherry tree a couple weeks ago compared to the $30 I paid for a supreme Royalton cherry in March.
If you want the absolute biggest tree you can get, it is worth your while to order the supreme size as early as possible. Yes, supreme size really makes a tremendous difference.
The weaknesses that I have found with Stark Brothers are as follows:
1) Inferior blueberry plants compared to what you can purchase elsewhere for the same money. Their blueberry plants have been surprisingly small for the price. I've received several that were completely dried out and dead.
2) The honey berry plants even ordered toward end of season are expensive. I've received small plants of poor quality. Again I have received plants that were DOA.
3) The potted trees are small and pricey compared to what you get for bare root trees. The 2-in-1 cherry trees were 1/3 the size of a regular grade dwarf bare root cherry. The potted persimmons are even smaller than the potted cherry trees. Think restaurant drink straw in height and caliber. These small persimmon plants are frail and easily suffer watering insults.
4) Their customer service is currently overwhelmed/understaffed. I haven't gotten them to answer a customer service e-mail in weeks. If you want to reach a real live customer service representative right now, I hope your cellphone plan has unlimited minutes. I managed to grill steaks, eat my dinner, clean up the kitchen, and pay all my bills on-line while on hold in an obscenely long phone queue waiting for the next available representative who sounded very frazzled by the time she got to me.
As with all on-line nurseries, I've received orders with missing plants or plants that I didn't order. I probably get an unusually high number of errors on my orders because I tend to order 10-30 plants at a time. The current tally is two missing trees and four fruit tree varieties that I definitely didn't order.
Actually errors in plant orders are so common from every company that I've bought large and repeated orders from that I have an "oopsy section" in my orchard at the very back of the property for orphaned trees dropped into my care.
It's rather remarkable how many plants in fact have the wrong plant tags on them.
I've found customer service prompt and very responsive in between shipping seasons. I just batch my issues with orders for one involved phone call to customer service during their slow times.
Besides great quality bare root fruit trees from Stark Brothers, I've gotten large, top notch filbert trees as well. I only wished that I had ordered a couple more for my nut grove before they ran out this year.
The end of season sale that Stark Brothers has every May along with their no hassle one time plant replacement policy will insure that I'm a repeat customer every year.
Posted on April 21, 2014, updated May 24, 2014
I am not new to gardening, but I am new to buying plants online. I decided to take a chance on stark bros because of the good reviews on here, figuring that even the bad reviews mostly had good ending.
I will not order from here again.
We live in the wonderful era of computers and potential for automated systems. A company the size of stark bros has a responsibility to it's customers to have a record of what's going on with their order, and to provide as accurate as possible shipping times. Add me to the list of those who seem to be on the back burner and unimportant to Stark. I'm not an unreasonable person, I don't mind waiting for my plants. I would however, expect a response to an email inquiry and not have to telephone the company multiple times to try and get an answer. I also expect the customer representative I speak to to have information AT LEAST about how their system works and how long I can typically expect to wait for my order. I also expect said customer representative to not be rude to me when I ask questions trying to pry an answer from their unwilling self. How hard is it really to tell someone "Typically, we ship within x amount of days. My apologies for it not shipping when we said it would, we are doing out utmost to fix the problem and will have your plants to you as soon as possible."
Honestly, these could be the bestest most award winning plants ever and I STILL would never purchase from here again. I'd rather have less unique plants and support my local, friendly nursery than deal with "customer support," who care nothing for customer service. Stay away.
On May 24th, 2014, Kbearda changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:
After this review, within hours actually, StarkBros responded here, and sent me an email apologizing for the issues and sent a $25 gift certificate. On top of that my other plants shipped almost immediately.
Once everything arrived a few days later I must say I was rather unimpressed with the packaging. The elder berries and gooseberries were stuffed into a bag with a few damp newspaper clippings around the roots and were looking fairly dried out, the boysenberries looked sick, and the strawberries had nothing protecting their roots. I planted them all anyway since upon scrapping them I could see there was still green.
And oh my, the transformation. I am still in shock at how quickly all the berries took off! The elderberries especially are looking gorgeous! The boysenberries needed some love and serious tlc, but they're also looking fabulous now. I truly expected this to be a total bust and an expensive learning experience, and now I am very happy I ordered from here. I'm fairly convinced the issue I had over the phone was an anomaly, admittedly a very rude and upsetting one, but none-the-less an anomaly. And while I wasn't impressed with the packaging, I cannot in any way argue with the health and vigor of the plants I received!
After seeing how well the rest of my berries were doing, combined with the very kind help after my review here I decided to go ahead and try ordering some honey berries. After all, they were nearly free. This time, everything shipped right on time, no hiccups, and the plants arrived looking fabulous. Can't wait to see how well these babies grow up! (and to make some honey berry wine.)9On May 24, 2014, Stark Brothers Nurseries & Orchards Company responded with:
"On Apr 21, 2014 4:57 PM, Stark Brothers Nurseries & Orchards Company responded with:
Thank you for your feedback and for sharing your experience here. We dedicate ourselves to providing quality product and service to all of our customers, and it is something we take seriously. It is our goal not only to meet, but to exceed your expectations, and we would like to sincerely apologize that this did not happen.
Because we are shipping living product, the shipping dates we provide are only estimates, and they may change. We apologize that we didn't communicate this to you in a more timely manner. Our customer support manager will be reaching out to you shortly so that we may work with you to restore your faith in our company.
We appreciate your feedback and want to thank you again for taking the time to leave your thoughts here. We look forward to better serving you in the future should you choose to shop with Stark Bro's again.
I ordered a Cherry Tree, A shade tree and 6 raspberries from them. The trees were packed well, although some of the papers surrounding the roots was off. I liked that they pruned my Cherry tree so I didnt have too. It was a good size, with buds swelling. The shade tree was in a container with a bamboo shoot holding it straight. The tree doesnt show really any life, but it might be just trying to come out for spring. The raspberries seem to also be alive. The roots on them were very long and thick. Customer service has always treated me very well anytime I called. I hope everything I planted survives, I am not sure what kind of guarantee they have?? If everything survives I will definitely order again from them. First time ordering here. I also ordered from Gurney's and their trees died on me and were not half as nice as these.
I don't often go through the trouble of leaving reviews, but as I order more plants through the mail and realize others rely on such reviews or bbb ratings or whatever, I should say the following: I have now ordered from Stark Bro's 4 separate times over the course of the past 3 growing seasons, and each time I am at least satisfied, and recently impressed. I've ordered fruit trees, several fruiting shrubs, and strawberries. My most recent order this past week was several small 2-year old blueberry plants, and they arrived larger and more vigorous than I had hoped. The trees I ordered last season (American persimmon and fig) arrived healthy and are still doing extremely well. I was surprised to see some negative experiences because I can say with a good deal of confidence that Stark has reliably delivered for me.
I've ordered a total of 6 fruit trees from this company in three separate orders; all have established and grown well. I wish Stark would provide online information about the type of grafted root stock used for their semi dwarf and dwarf trees (allow gardeners to assess fit with their soil, regional root diseases, etc.) so I don't have to call, but other than that, I like everything about this company.
I've ordered fruit trees from Stark Bros in both of the last 2 years, and each time I've been very pleased. Both times the trees have arrived in good condition, with good root systems, and they have been packed carefully and well for transit.
On Apr 28, 2014, naturegirl85 Skaneateles, NY wrote:
I'm really surprised at the number of negative experiences! I ordered 11 fruit trees and 1 fruiting bush from them in February. They had originally planned to send them to me at the end of March. They did delay sending them to me, which I was grateful for. The weather in central NY has been miserable (very cold and wet (snow & rain) for spring). I did receive the trees last week. I was as pleased as could be as to the condition of the trees when they arrived.
I have to say I am surprised to see the negative comments here especially with customer service. they have always been helpful and friendly with me. I ordered from them in 2013 twice and again this year.2013 contender peach blushing star peach goldcot apricot and a halls hardy almond. the two peach did great growing about 21/2 ft last year and have buds on them now. the apricot is doing good also despite deer getting in my yard and eating most of the leaves off it and all but a couple leaves off the almond plus what looked like a possible almond. the almond had quite a few blooms not long after planting. I was impressed with these trees. I also ordered a butternut that has done ok as well. unlike some of the comments here they shipped my stuff black berries sure crop and hardy giant pecans and English walnut early this year.so far everything is looking ok except the black berries as the weather has turned cold again low to mid 20s at night. iv'e been covering them but I don't know we'll see. also as a side note I used their tree pep stuff on the trees last year and this year when I planted them. the English walnut seedling wasn't as big as I was hoping but I would definitely order from them again. I also noticed they supply a big northwest coast university with some of their plants. this was the best company I ordered from last year out of 6.