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Burgess Seed & Plant Co. is a total fraud. The only good thing about them is that they have beautiful catalog and attractive prices. But don't fall for it. Even with their low prices you will lose your money and time.
In 2012, I ordered plants for more than $160 and most of the plants were delivered either dead or mislabeled. For dead plants I requested a replacement, and they sent me again dead plants. For mislabeled plants (they sent me ostensibly black currants but the plants were anything but.) After much back and force e-mailing and sending them back the plants they seemed to agree that the plants were not the black currants and issued a replacement certificate for $25 which stated that it must be used “during the next regular season”.
When I placed my new order for $24 for 2 plants this spring with this replacement certificate they sent me 2 dead dried plants (the plants were sent in a soft plastic envelop without any bending protection, so one of them was broken at the root, the other one did not have root at all, just a dry stick).
After I contacted them about this, their reply was “The 1 year replacement guarantee is valid for 1 year from the receipt of the Original PAID order, and does not extend with issue of replacement.” That concluded their customer service.
So their replacements has NO GUARANTEE, therefore they can and they do ship any garbage to you in a soft green plastic envelop.
I use mail orders from various nurseries for many years, and most of them are good or excellent. But this company, Burgess Seed & Plant, is just as horrible as it can get.
Avoid Burgess by any means. Their plants are horrible, their customer service is awful and their no guarantee replacement policy sucks as well.
These guys should go to jail for they are defrauding thousands of gardeners. Stay away from Burgess Seed & Plant Co.
On May 25, 2013, Burgess Seed responded with:
"On May 28, 2013 2:14 PM, Burgess Seed responded with:
We are sorry to hear of this customer’s experience as we do take pride in our customer care. We do have both a refund and a replacement guarantee which is clearly posted on our website and we stand behind them. "
Beware of their guarantee. They will not honor it unless you retain the original shipping label. This is a company policy designed to avoid the guarantee since few people probably retain this and there are multiple other ways to prove the purchase. I e-mailed from my original sales receipt e-mail. Burgess responded:
We are sorry to hear of the problem you have had with your plants.
Our guarantee regarding replacement is as follows:
If any item you purchased from us does not live, or if you are certain that
your plants are dead, for a FREE REPLACEMENT just RETURN THE ORIGINAL
SHIPPING LABEL along with your written request within 1 year of receipt.
Replacement guarantee is VOID unless the original shipping label is
Therefore, for replacement, as required by the guarantee and to expedite the
handling of your inquiry, please return the ORIGINAL SHIPPING LABEL from the
package. The original label contains all of the necessary information needed
to efficiently process your adjustment and it acts as a sales receipt.
Please include a full explanation of the problem by item name and quantity.
On May 13, 2013, Burgess Seed responded with:
"On May 28, 2013 1:46 PM, Burgess Seed responded with:
We do have a refund and replacement guarantee and we stand behind them. Our guarantees are clearly posted on the catalog, website, even on the label itself.
A customer care representative has contacted this customer for further information. "
I read a lot of negative reviews but I really wanted cheap trees so I decided to risk it. I placed my order in early Feb. My order arrived in early March. It consisted of many sticks with roots. Each stick was clearly labeled so I would know what was what.
I didn't know where I wanted to plant my trees and I had read so much about trees never growing so I decided to just plant them in a bunch of pots for now.
After a few weeks the first trees started growing leaves. Slowly several more of the trees began to show signs of growth. Many did not. By the end of March, 6 trees were still sticks and 4 had sprouted. By mid April 2 more trees had sprouted. By last week 4 trees still hadn't done anything and I told my hubby it was time to forget it. But I was busy and didn't have time to through them out. Yesterday 2 more trees were showing life!
I think people who write the bad reviews about trees being dead don't think about the different time periods for different types of trees. I bought two of each tree type and each type is sprouting within a day or two of each other. It has taken two months for my lily of the valley trees to sprout! And I was sure they were dead. I am so glad I didn't give up. The only two trees to not sprout out of my 16 tree order are my red buds but I will not give up.
I wonder how many of those negative reviews just didn't give their tiny plants time to wake up. I love my trees and the ones that have started sprouting are now growing like crazy! I would absolutely order from them again.
On May 8, 2013, Burgess Seed responded with:
"On May 28, 2013 1:43 PM, Burgess Seed responded with:
Thank you for your post! We are happy to hear that your trees are thriving! Happy Gardening!"
On May 6, 2013, xxrouguexx Farmingville, NY wrote:
I placed an order on April 18th for 23 plants. Its been over two weeks now, so I decided to give Direct Gardening a call to see if or when my plants would be shipped. The line was busy, I called several more times at different parts of the day, the phone line always busy, so I tried calling Four Season's Nurseries phone number instead - again, the phone line constantly busy. I've emailed them as well, and yet to receive a response. If they do not get in touch with me by Friday, I'm calling my credit card company and filing a dispute. Whether or not I receive my order, I will not order from Direct Gardening or Four Seasons Nurseries again.
On May 6, 2013, Burgess Seed responded with:
"On May 28, 2013 1:39 PM, Burgess Seed responded with:
A customer care representative has contacted this customer for further information. We do hope to hear back from the customer as we would like to help resolve this problem."
I ordered 28 plants and 1 pack of seeds, totalling over $79. I did receive the pack of seeds. However, it is now May 3 and I have still not received any of the plants. I have not received ANY status updates, anticipated ship dates, tracking numbers, etc. Nothing. I have contacted Customer Service twice, and the only thing they tell me is "soon" and "in time for planting in your area." Well - planting time in my area is almost over! If the plants arrive and in good shape within the next week, I will consider updating this review. Either way, I will NEVER again order from this company. At this point I'm hoping that I didn't lose $79 for non-existent products!
On May 3, 2013, Burgess Seed responded with:
"On May 28, 2013 1:37 PM, Burgess Seed responded with:
We are sorry to hear of this problem. A customer care representative has contacted this customer for further information"
On Apr 24, 2013, imagardner1967 Old Orchard Beach, ME wrote:
I ordered 54.00 in plants (including their 9,99 shipping) and received a giant green unpadded bag with my order in it. Needless to say many of the 'dormant' branches were broken, their idea of a 1-3' tree is a single stick smaller than a pencil, and my rose bush (again the few branches were no bigger than a pencil if even) was bare root but enclosed in a non-vented plastic bag in itself that it's molding.
Today I emailed the customer service department and am awaiting their reply. The fact that their return policy requires the ORIGINAL shipping label is insane - they have all orders on computer - they KNOW who ordered what. What happens if I were to return the label now and then later this season I have problems with a different product from this same order ? I would no longer have the label!
The order I got I will plant in pots with good faith............but not feeling too confident. For $9.99 they could afford a box!
Stay tuned for further developments
Received my plants several weeks ago, soaked according to directions and planted in potting soil. They are growing well and greening up great! Lots of new leaves! I will be ordering again! Thank you Burgess!
Horrible company. I ordered a Dawn Redwood from this company and it came in a red bag with completely dried out roots. To top it off they had packed starter fertilizer (another part of my order) in the same bag, which had spilled out and coated the roots. How can a respectable company send bare root trees with no packaging material to hold in moisture? Don't they care about their product at all?! Needless to say I'll be asking for a replacement until I get one that might actually grow.
Ordered 2 cherry trees&10 asparagus plants. Trees arrived bare roots dry as a bone. 1 tree was as thin as a broom straw not as advertised. Asparagus plants had green mold. Reported this to customer svc. Told I had to send back shipping label to get replacements. Am in the process of canceling another order. Said it would take 2 weeks to cancel my order?? If they stiff me we will meet in small claims court no matter what it costs me. After reading all the other negative comments about this group of companies you have nobody to blame but your self if you order from them!!!
If I had seen these plants in my local nursery with a FREE tag on them, I still would not have bothered to take them home. Upon receiving, I immediately followed planting instructions. I have a greenhouse and am no novice to keeping plants alive, but I cannot resurrect them when they arrive dead. My silk tree was 2 feet tall, a brittle dry stick with no green under the bark at all. My Thailand Giant was a withered stalk about 3 inches tall with a dead leaf on it. The Hybrid Poplars were about the only plant ordered that grew a leaf at all. All bulbs (ranaculus and windflower) are dried up, altho when planted a few sent out one exploratory green stem, so we will see what happens with them. The Christmas Cactus will probably make it, but is only 3 inches tall, withered and half the plant was pulled out of the dirt and cant be resurrected now. The Queens Tears was 5 inches tall, but all the ends of the leaves (this is an aloe-type succulent) are brown and rotted. In short, I would never ever deal with this company again. You can get a full refund if you return it all in 14 days with the original shipping receipt/invoice, at your own shipping cost. Their shipping is outrageous to begin with, sending dead plants in plastic bags to Arizona is ludicrous. Otherwise, if you want replacements, get ready to wait for a year. My last complaint is this: THEY decide WHEN they will ship you what you ordered. So if you are like me and want to start plants early in your greenhouse, forget it. They will ship when they want to ship and that is the end of it. Based on that alone, by the time they sent me my plants, it was already too hot to even have them outdoors, with highs in the mid-80s. Live and learn- buyer beware- don't be dumb like me!
On Mar 29, 2013, puuuurfect68 Beaver Dam, WI wrote:
im new here and people on here might already be too late for advice but if u look around virtually ALL of the nurseries hug the 50/50 live/ die sorta rating. ive been transplanting for a long time and u cant win them all no matter what. im gonna purchase some trees from burgess that i cant get locally and talked to them on the phone about some of the issues and i think most of it is the sending via USPS. i asked and she said i can request it be shipped fedex, its worth the couple extra bucks $11 to be exact... that way it gets some breathing room and actually gets there within 2-3 days for most and DOESNT stay baking in yer metal mailbox all day or weekend til u get it! ALSO>>>>>> i was at walmart today and saw an awesome product i never saw. prior to this its all kinds of plants in bags of dirt. rootings and flower bulbs. most were 2-4 of whatever type for $5.98. 3 hosta roots for $5.98 right off a warm shelf IN dirt i think is a no brainer. not worth it to go to wholesale mailorder when can walk right over to walmart and look at it. some of the flowers had nice green healthy blooms on them. well i thought they looked awesome and wanted to pass that on and if yer thinkin of buyin go there first and then like me try out a smaller order at the online sites to fill in the spots u want with more rare plants not available locally. GOOD LUCK and dont take it so hard when things dont live. just try again, noones really to blame for mother natures frailty!:) plus u have to be like me when it comes to gardening and really baby the things and have lots of free time for coddling....sometimes its a task that should only be attempted by the retired!:).......scot
I ordered some blackberry and blueberry bushes, and a couple of trees. They came in a giant red plastic bag, shipped via Federal Express. They were dry as bone and they are so brittle, I do not think there is a bit of life left in them. It is very sad, that I wasted my money on this company. I wish I had found this site before hand. I sure wouldn't have ordered from them.
Many of our items are shipped bare root and dormant as this allows them to be transplanted with much higher degrees of success. They are in a dormant state just like during winter with no leaves. It does not mean they are dead, but since they are dormant, and not leafed out, people unfamiliar with bareroot nursery stock may they mistake them for dead. We suggest soaking in water overnight or for a few hours before planting. Then keep well watered after planting and within 6 weeks of warm weather, the plants should break dormancy and show signs of life
We have contacted this customer via D-mail to see how we may be of assistance.
I ordered 3 gardenias, "Summer Snow", from Burgess. The hybridizer referred me to Burgess. After I completed the web transaction, I was informed an order may take 10 days to ship. A few days later, my local nursermany was able to secure 1 gallon sizes and contacted me. I sent an email and a web inquiry to Burgess asking if I could cancel. I was given a run-around for about 5 days, no person identified themselves, they always remained anonymous and referred to other departments. Finally when I pressed the matter I was advised that it would take up to 2 weeks to cancel if, and only if, they had not shipped. Finally I received an email saying that the items shipped.
They arrived today, Thursday, they were shipped by U.S. mail last Friday. What I received are basically newly rooted cuttings in 2 1/2" pots. Their leaves are bright green and look professionally cultivated, but they are about as fresh from the rooting bench as one might dare call a plant. One even had a bud on it that was about the size of the 2 leaves accompanying it -- no doubt the bud from the mother plant this cutting came from, it's as if somebody plucked a bloom and popped it into the 2 1/2" pot to root.
I think they are rooted, time will tell, I don't want to disturb these fragile newbies. It will probably take a good growing season, e.g. March - November, to get these to blooming size.
My feeling is I was ripped off. My time is best spent trying to help these fledglings along.
Their web site should have indicated these were newly rooted cuttings. I'm afraid to even touch the soil just in case they rooted during their 6 days in the U.S. Mail.
We are sorry to hear that we were unable to catch and cancel the order before shipping occurred as this can become difficult if the order is already in the shipping department. We do hope that the customer decides to keep the order as we are sure it will flourish, however if decided, we do also have a refund guarantee.
Many of our items are bulbs, bare root, or starter plants which is why we are able to offer them at such a great price!
On Mar 10, 2013, ojnh Mount Pleasant Mills, PA (Zone 6a) wrote:
on my previous post they said this customer was contacted, that is not the truth , no one called me or e mailed me !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I sent the raper in months ago and did not get a responce yet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! of the many plant, tree, and seed co i deal with and have delt with this is by far the worst co , please save your money and go some where else !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! the hassels will cost you a bundle in time and labor and time is money
On Mar 10, 2013, Burgess Seed responded with:
"On Mar 11, 2013 3:14 PM, Burgess Seed responded with:
We do show that we tried to contact this customer via Dmail on August 27th and received no reply. We do hope to hear back from this customer as we would like to resolve this issue."
On Mar 6, 2013, jenipa02 Lincoln, IL (Zone 5b) wrote:
I had placed an order with Burgess late winter/early spring 2011. I figured since the company was only half an hour away from where I live that it would be great to support a local business. I had ordered three lilac bushes, a rose bush, a shade perenial package, plus free items. I planted all of these according to the instructions and NONE of them grew! Not even a seedling from the free seeds! Even though I had only spent about $46 I was and still am very disappointed. I emailed the company regarding this and received no response. I keep checking every year to see if maybe they just needed time but nothing so far. I even have some of the free seeds that they sent me left over and tried planting a few weeks ago in my greenhouse with no success.
On Mar 6, 2013, Burgess Seed responded with:
"On Mar 11, 2013 3:22 PM, Burgess Seed responded with:
We are sorry to hear of this customers experience. We do have a 1 year replacement guarantee and do hope that the customer took advantage of this guarantee. A customer care representative has contacted this customer for further information."
I will never order from this company again. The asparagus crowns sent to me looked questionable, but I gave them the benefit of the doubt and planted them anyway, following the instructions to the letter. Nothing ever came up. When I sent back my label (a requirement of getting them replaced) I was sent a bag of nasty, moldy crowns that clearly belonged on the compost heap, not in the garden.
Also, my first order of paw paw trees had no visible root systems, but I planted them anyway -- again, giving them the benefit of the doubt. Of course, they never leafed out and were probably already dead when I planted them. They too were replaced -- but the replacements not only had no visible roots, but one was so long dead it was actually brittle. When I complained a second time, I got no response. This company obviously does not care about plant quality or customer service. From now on their catalogues go directly into the recycling bin and I tell any gardeners I know to steer clear of them.
On Mar 4, 2013, Burgess Seed responded with:
"On Mar 5, 2013 4:09 PM, Burgess Seed responded with:
A customer care representative has contacted this customer for further information. We do hope to hear back from the customer as we would like to help resolve this problem."
Last year I ordered several rose plants, the shipment came 3 months late, with 2 of them near dead. The size of these rose plants was less then five inches, very difficult to plant during hot summer. The replacement came - what a joke - even in smaller size, around 2 inches tall and near dead !!
Their replacement policy has plenty of fine print, you have to keep original labels. I did not follow up with their custumer service anymore, it would be a waste of time. I wish, Illinois Attorney General would take a good look at Burgess misleading advertisement policies.
On Mar 4, 2013, Burgess Seed responded with:
"On Mar 5, 2013 4:12 PM, Burgess Seed responded with:
We are sorry to hear of this customers experience. Our guarantee is clearly printed on the website as well as all of the catalogs and we do stand behind this guarantee. A customer care representative has contact this customer for further information."
Posted on February 25, 2013, updated February 25, 2013
Posted on February 25, 2013, updated February 25, 2013
I could write a long essay on all the Plantron Group Companies...Scrolling down over the long list of negative comments below, my experiences were basically similar...Rotted material, repeat shipments of dead/rotted material, grey mold on roots, the exasperation of trying to get hold of a live person on the phone, long busy signals, etc...all finished out with the nuisance and discouragement of having to send back that mailing label and wait and wait and wait with not much assurance that the situation would be any better around the second time...or third for that matter. I have received entire bags of decaying putrid mush (for elephant ear bulbs) only to have them replaced with a second round of decaying, putrid white mush. Finally, the situation did get resolved...way late in the season I should say.
The crowning insanity occured 2 years ago when some Chesnut trees that I bought from them (nearly a decade back now), finally nutted for the first time...AND: after the Long wait they weren't chestnut! Great! Kind of late to send back that mailing label now isn't it!
Conversly, I have had some success with some of their stuff as well.
Generally I would say that mail order plants are for Experienced Gardners ONLY to start with...beginning gardners should never start with mail order material.
Mail order material is best bought in the Hundereds...not just one of these, one of those and one of that...my best luck from single plant mail order has been from Spring Hill...their packaging is superb...but their prices are also much higher.
Unlike many of the previous commentors, I probably spent several thousand with many of the Plantron Group Companies over about 6 or 7 years, because I finally learned: How to order, What NOT to order, and What to expect...I would temper my purchases with these companies with a less than 50% Success Rate right from the outset.
Forget about ordering delicate little Astilbies, Dicentras, Lupines and stuff like that...your success rate here will be less than 25%. Amazingly, I have had some of their Cheap Grab Bag assortments to yield some incredible results also: Some of the Best Globe Thistle, Kniphophia, and the tallest Yarrow and Liatris I ever saw came from these assortments. Bulbs mostly come through OK...also don't forget that some of these teeny little mail order Bare Root jobs are often best potted up for a year and set out next year.
I have never seen the Great Gunnerra survive no matter how many I ordered...I would love to hear others stories on that one!
Forget about the 5 in one Jobs also ( Fruit cocktail Tree, etc)...the grafts are set too close in, and what eventually happens is 2 Dominant Species crowd out the other 3 and you end up with a 2 in one Pear, or Apple. These little trees are Bud Grafted, and they more often fail than not...ALSO: If they do not have a photograph of a living specimen of this tree in their magazine, and have to resort to a cartoon drawing (like the one of that little boy with the Apple Basket under the tree) to serve as an illustration, then it probably means that they couldn't get it to grow either. I currently have one of their 5 in one pear trees, with 2 dominant limbs, a 3rd sickly one that is never going to fruit, and the othes are now a distant memory. They are actually grafted about 7 times or more, in case you have never seen the actual thing.
As the reader may have already surmised, at some point I just gave up and quit ordering from all of the Plantron Group of Companies.
On February 25th, 2013, JohnBMc added the following:
I thought I should also add: Use Google Maps to check out the 4 Seasons Road address in Bloomington Illinois....and it takes you to an empty lot right across the street from an OK Appliance store....there isn't even a building. So even their Address is bogus!On February 25th, 2013, JohnBMc added the following:
Since I made my last Post, I used Google Maps to search all the Addresses of the Plantron Groups...with the Exception of House of Wesley, and Farmer Seed, all the other addresses are Bogus. Farmer Seed address pulls up a pathetic little Rinky Dink garden center, the Fairbault MN address does actually pull up an image of a fairly Medium sized operation with several modern looking Greenhouses, however.
The East Lincoln street address is connected to the same Empty L Shaped lot that the 4 seasons road address is connected to. In the corner of the properties there is a Church of Christ...so both addresses are for the same group of empty lots! I have also spent some time look
ing at the reviews of other customers on this page for all the various groups...Overwhelmingly Bad Bad Bad...
I see many other customers have gotten those bags of putrid mush only to have been told that they have to mail it back to get a refund (of course, the Post Office will not except bags of liquified decay!).
That scheme of sending the mailing label back and having it 'kept on file' for when everything else finally up and dies also seems to be a regular scheme of theirs also.
I also see lots of buyers have had the wrong items shipped (Like my Non Chestnut Trees!) only to be issued 'credit' for a future purchase that they do not wish to make...honestly the negative comments on these group of companies just beggars description.
Also check out all the posts on The Ripoff Report relating to all these various groups.
It is worthwhile to point out that their paper catalogs have a very out of date feel to them (maybe late 1960's or early 70's) which suggests a company that can not afford to update. Many of the photographs are woefully overused, and that picture of that little boy running around with a beanie cap on and his toy airplane in front of those roses is just laughable...he would be inside on the internet today! The whole presentation is one of a nearly extinct company ran by aging persons hoping to just keep it alive long enough to get through and possibly retire.
It definitely does not present itself as a 'go-getter'.
"On Mar 5, 2013 4:07 PM, Burgess Seed responded with:
We are sorry to hear of this customer’s experience as we do take pride in our customer care. We do have both a refund and a replacement guarantee which is clearly posted on our website and we stand behind them. We are affiliated with other companies but these are separate companies.
A customer care representative has contacted this customer for further information. We do hope to hear back from the customer as we would like to receive further information."
On Feb 9, 2013, sweetpeafairy Sunnyvale, CA wrote:
Just last week I placed an order with Burgess and have been very happy with their Customer Service. I am looking forward to the receipt of my plants at the appropriate seasonal time and will update at that point.
I was looking to save money. I ordered about 140.00 worth of plants a yr. ago from this company.-big mistake! Everything came late, some had roots some didn't there were moldy plants and dried up tangled mess of walk on me plants and dried up perwinkle plants.Soaked most in water hoping some would survive. Planted what I could.
Out of 100 plants, trees and shrubs, about 30 made it. I mailed back my shipping label to get replacements-which arrived 7 wks later in the dead heat of summer. They were moldy, and rotted, and did not grow. Instead of re-ordering I chalked it up to experience. Tired of sticks, mold, and dead tangled messes. You get what you pay for. Will never order from them again!
On Feb 3, 2013, Burgess Seed responded with:
"On Feb 13, 2013 10:37 AM, Burgess Seed responded with:
A customer care representative has contacted this customer for further information. We do hope to hear back from the customer as we would like to help resolve this problem."
I ordered on Aug 17, was told all the items were in stock and would be shipped in Sept. Which is when we need to receive items in Montana. When they did not arrive in Sept, I called in Oct and they said they were scheduled to be shipped out before Nov. 1. After talking to them on Nov. 5 they still had not been shipped and no one including the supervisor could tell me if my order would be filled on their last shipping date in 2 days. They couldn't tell me availablity and they said they couldn't contact anyone to find out if my items were even available. I have canceled my order and was extreemly disappointed in the service and how the supervisor was incapable of doing anything useful. You can't even cancel your order over the phone. But they can take your money over the phone!
Most reputable companies ship according to zones knowing that Zone 3 gets snow early and keeps it a long time. Burgess also charges upfront, instead of when they ship the items like other companies. I guess it's just as good to buy from Lowes or Home Depot, they have a one year replacement policy too, and you get to see the trees before you buy.
On Nov 5, 2012, Burgess Seed responded with:
"On Nov 6, 2012 8:57 AM, Burgess Seed responded with:
It does state the following on our website:
"Please allow 1-2 weeks for your order to be processed. We will then ship based on weather and availability of the plants. We continue to ship through the summer months as much as possible. Most bulbs and perennials are usually available by September. Some deciduous trees and shrubs are not available until October."
A customer care representative has contacted this customer for further information.
I placed my order on Sept 19 and was charged right away. I called their toll number for an update and they promised it was shipping shortly. When October 5 came and they told me it still had not gone out, I emailed to cancel my order. They did not answer the email so I called to confirm the cancellation. The agent advised it had shipped on the 5th despite their email to the contrary. They shipped the plants in a bag (which took a week via USPS). I have to say these are the most pitiful plants I have ever seen. Avoid these guys like the plague! Save yourself the time and trouble.
On Oct 12, 2012, Burgess Seed responded with:
"On Nov 6, 2012 9:03 AM, Burgess Seed responded with:
We are sorry to hear of this customers experience. We do have a refund and replacement guarantee available. We have contacted this customer via D-mail to see how we may be of assistance."
I placed an order with eBurgess on 7/1/2012, emailed them on 7/13/2012 for a status update and was told that my order would ship at any time, I waited until 8/12/2012 to to email them again for a status update and received a reply as follows;
"Thank you for your e-mail regarding your order. We have checked on your
order and found that it is currently in our shipping department and
scheduled to ship at any time. Please allow time for delivery once the order
has been shipped."
Fast forward to 8/26/2012.....still no product, I did not receive my order, but I did receive a catalog....two months and nothing but a catalog ....hmm, don't think I have any motivation to double down on a very bad experience!
On Aug 26, 2012, Burgess Seed responded with:
"On Aug 27, 2012 12:34 PM, Burgess Seed responded with:
We are sorry to hear of this customers experience. A customer care representative has contacted this customer for further information. "
This is my first time ordering from any mail order/internet gardening site. After finding this site and reading all the negative feeback I was feeling discouraged about my two orders totaling around $180. The two week processing time came and went, I waited another week before calling, got a friendly CSR that informed me that shipments were being delayed because of the heat wave, this sounded reasonable. After another week my first package arrived. As others have said, the packaging is pretty sorry looking, and the sticks with roots looked pretty sad. My wife and I immediately planted everything as directed, and soaked the sticks overnight and planted the next day. Approximately four days later the order of fruit trees arrived, I was not there to witness the actual packaging but when I arrived home in the morning I was unimpressed with the purchases I'd made sitting in the bucket of water, but again we planted the trees as instructed.
It has been about three weeks, two (of 6) of the hydrangeas (which arrived potted) don't look as though they will make it. The blue festuca grass (3) does not show any signs of life. The two ferns and the daylilies from the color in the shade garden have done nothing so far. I bought the dwarf fruit tree trio, the only tree not showing leaves is the pear, but it is still green under the bark. The two cherry (trees/bushes) have shown the most growth with many leaves. The silk tree has one small green growth at the base and I'm hopeful as this was the largest stick I received. Everthing else from the shade garden has come up nicely, the ground cover rose has a great deal of new growth. The mock orange (2) while not getting any larger has green buds, and some leaves everywhere. The two lilies I purchased have come up although I'm not certain if they will bloom this year.
While I was put off by the slowness of the transaction, in this day and age we are so used to instant gratification with our purchases. The condition of the plants when they arrived was scarey. A lot of the plants that I bought, I have not seen anywhere else locally, and definately not at that price. Yes, it will be a year or two before some of my plants look anything like the ones in the catalog, but I was not expecting to get full grown plants/trees in the mail. I kept my shipping labels and I have every confidence any plants that do not make it through this winter will be replaced, maybe not as quickly as I'd like but I think gardening is an exercise in patience.
Another thought, I did buy some lily bulbs for my wife's birthday in May, during a QVC moment of weakness. 25 Dutch Master Grower bulbs for about $35. The bulbs arrived in a bag, inside a box. they were planted as directed 20 of them came up only about half of those ever bloomed. I complained and was told I would get 5 new bulbs. Three weeks later I received another box of 25 bulbs. I did not want to have to plant 25 more bulbs and frankly that was more than would fit into the area I had set aside for them. I planted them anyways and again only about 20 came up and fewer than 7 will bloom before winter. None of the blooms were anything like the ones on TV. I paid much more for these bulbs up front and my results with them is not as good as those with Burgess, so far.
On Aug 21, 2012, hojn Mount Pleasant Mills, PA wrote:
1. trying to get through to make a complaint is almost imposible. 2.this is my second time ordering from them,was not real happy with my almond treesthe first time, the roots were broke off at about 3inches and 5inches. so like a fool I tried again telling the lady about it ,she said she would make note of it. once again the root was missiing. I have a small nursery and tryed to save it but to no avail. 3.this time I bought a gogi poted to do cuttings , the pot was crushed ,the stem was about 3 inches 1 bud and no roots, although I was able to put hormones on it and root it in my green `house. but for ten bucks the plant should well rooted. 4. out of 6 pecan trees all planted in my nursery in 5 gal buckets with pro mix only 2 broke dormency. 5,the same with the 3 papa trees planted in buckets with pro mix none broke dormency. 6.There prices sound good but when you consider the size and lack of quality its just as cheep to go to the local nursery and get a potted plant you know is alive !! 7.The one thing that I have bin pleased with both times is the chestnut seedlings they are of a good quality and price.
On Aug 21, 2012, Burgess Seed responded with:
"On Aug 27, 2012 12:26 PM, Burgess Seed responded with:
A customer care representative has contact this customer for further information. We do have a 1 year replacement guarantee on all of our plants and do hope that the customer takes advantage of this guarantee."
On Jul 31, 2012, staceyfenea Fredericksburg, TX wrote:
I ordered plants on June 26, 2012. The company website says the delivery time is two weeks. They charged my credit card on the day I ordered the plants.
Two weeks passed but my plants did not arrive. I contacted the company and they said shipping had been delayed but they hoped to begin shipping again the following week. Three weeks passed with no notification and no plant delivery. I ordered the plants with the anticipation they would arrive in time to get them established before I left for vacation. On July 20, 2012 I contacted the company and ask them to cancel my order and refund my money. Today is July 31, 2012 and I still have not received a refund. I would stongly recommend against ording from this company!!!
On Jul 31, 2012, Burgess Seed responded with:
"On Aug 2, 2012 2:37 PM, Burgess Seed responded with:
It does state on the website to allow 1-2 weeks to process an order. The orders are then scheduled to ship based upon plant availability and weather. This information is also printed on the order confirmation. We do continue to ship through the summer months as much as possible but do sometimes halt shipping due to the hot weather. We have been watching the weather closely and there were a couple of weeks in July we were unable to ship. This is to ensure your plants arrive in the best condition possible. A customer care representative has contacted this customer for further information."
On Jul 13, 2012, theatreorganman Valdosta, GA wrote:
I have been not only pleased but somewhat amazed at the plants I have ordered from Burgess. Especially noteworthy are the Rose of Sharon trees I purchased for about $2.50 each. They have been planted in my smaller garden less than 6 months and today, two of the plants are covered in a mass of double purple blooms. The other two plants are begining to exhibit a plethora of buds.
My Sugar Sweet Cherry has also performed well above all expectations and has grown over two feet in less than six months.
I did receive a damaged climbing rose (the tap root was broken in shipping) and immediately got a healthy replacement. It too is growing at an astonishing rate.
I don't think you can find better values by mail/internet than with Burgess!
I placed a large ($300+) order, which included over 250 plants.
The order came in 2 separate packages, approximately 2 weeks apart. I was able to plant the plants in the first package right away, and most of those did well. The second package came just before we left town. While we were gone, there was an unexpected hot spell, and even though I had heeled in the plants, many of them had dried out.
We still had to dig holes and make gopher cages for the 100 burning bush plants, which were our top priority. It took another week for us to get all of the plants in the second package planted. By that time, some of them had passed the point of no return.
We planted them anyway, knowing that we wouldn't really know the status of them until we had tried.
After 6 weeks, we counted it up. We had lost 38 out of 100 burning bush plants, 7 out of 12 lavender, 1 banana, both elderberries, 1 hosta. Actually, that's not a bad percentage, considering the circumstances.
Since I felt it was mostly my fault that the plants had died, and since it was now getting to be pretty hot weather, I emailed Burgess, letting them know I was planning on purchasing new plants to replace the ones that didn't make it, and asking if it was too hot to plant now.
They responded that if I had the original shipping label, they would replace the plants free. I hadn't kept the original label, and again, told them I was planning on purchasing the replacements. They offered, on a ONE-TIME basis to replace the plants using an alternative method of actual purchase evidence.
I thought that was EXTREMELY generous, considering that it was (mostly) my fault.
I also find their prices to be extremely good. I would guess that for the most part, it's because these are shipped as bare-root plants. As long as you're prepared to deal with the plants as soon as they arrive, this is an extremely economical way to buy plants.
And now, the Bad News:
Yes, it was a long time from the time I ordered until the plants were shipped. The web site said 2 weeks, and I think that's probably because it may take that long to actually dig the plants and get them ready for shipment. But that's still a long time to wait, and since the plants were shipped in 2 separate packages, the 2nd package took even longer.
There was no notification of when the plants were shipped, so I wasn't prepared for their arrival. I think it's very important to send an email when they're shipped. With any of the major shippers, it's very easy to do that.
Yes, some of the plant roots looked moldy. It's very hard to tell if that was due to the specific circumstances that my plants encountered. I really don't know if those were some of the plants that didn't live, because we went ahead and planted everything.
One of the plants that I ordered were 'out of stock' and they replaced them with a different plant that I knew nothing about, without asking me in advance. I would have, instead, asked them to cancel that part of my order.
All in All, with the good and the bad, I would order from them again.
On Jun 29, 2012, suriburg Glenwood Springs, CO wrote:
i ordered plants worth$166.80 from this company on 02/17/2012. this was my first time dealing with them. i wish i had taken the time to read this site. i received my 1st package and most of the plants were dead or rotten . i called the phone number many times and got busy signal. i wrote emails complaining about the order and asked to cancel the order completely . they asked me to mail back the package which i did and paid the postage. they did not cancel my order and sent me the 2nd part of the order which was in poor condition . again the same song and dance. i again spent time and money to call., email and paid postage to send the 2nd package back. they finally made a partial refund of$ 87.57 to my account 3 mounts later. today i receive a 3rd package of a rose which is 2 inches tall .!!! are these people out of their mind? How many time should i tell them please can my order? cancel means cance !!!! their customer service representative is not helpful and actually hurts the image of the company. i am still trying to get the rest of my money back. this company is still in business due to people like me who is trusting and thinks companies are trustworthy and honest. soraya burg
I received my order two months after it was placed. This is by far the slowest and most questionable company I've ordered plants from.
There are absolutely no tracking numbers, customer service is nearly impossible to get ahold of, much less getting a straight answer if you do get a person on the line. I ended up having to resort to their online feedback form and each time I asked for shipping information I was given a vague answer that part of an order had been shipped or wasn't shipped. They wouldn't provide shipping dates, which part of the order was sent out, expected delivery date, etc...
As for the plants themselves, it was a total loss and waste of my money. Everything was either dead, moldy, or damaged beyond repair. I had ordered:
Arrived yellow and moldy:
10 Mixed Color Hybrid Lilies
2 Creeping Phlox
Arrived as what appeared to be dead twigs or bulbs with poor to non-existent root system. Despite best attempts, no foliage or further root growth ever occurred:
1 Persian Lilac
2 Dahlias, Tahiti Sunrise
10 Eye of the Tiger Dutch Iris
2 Red Maples
2 Butterfly Bushes
Severe damage due to poor shipping methods:
12 Douglas Fir Hedges
After trying several weeks in vain to revive these plants, which Burgess insisted were simply "dormant", I sent the original shipping label back with a written replacement request. Its been over four weeks now and I've received nothing but silence from them. I can only imagine that if they did actually uphold their end, I'd probably receive more dead and damaged plants.
For the cost, I'd like to think that they could at least utilize a more reliable shipping method than the U.S. postal service (which kindly stuffed my dead plants into the mail box, for me to retrieve moments later) and a bit more protection than a flimsy green plastic bag (that got ripped apart by fir and maple limbs during shipping).
All in all, I would never recommend them to anyone. They seem to be more interested in making a dollar and running with it than quality or customer service. I'm amazed they've lasted this long with such questionable business ethics.
We are pleased to have celebrated our 100th year anniversary this year and to have been part of America’s gardens and gardener’s lives for so long. We aren’t sure why this customer is saying that they did not receive the order until 2 months after it was placed. The first package shipped in two weeks and the 2nd package in three weeks. Our website from which he ordered does clearly state that processing takes 1-2 weeks and then plants are shipped by availability and weather. We are sorry to hear that some of the items did not survive. However, all of the items are covered by our one year guarantee. We did send a Dmail to this customer and hope they take advantage of our guarantee. "
Thought at first wow this will be great all plants we wanted from one place. But that happiness was short lived once it arrived.
Before reading further read this "Don't buy from Burgress spend the extra monies and you will be much happier."
Most arrived dried and even the horseradish was smaller than a pencil nothing like the roots show in their catalog. also the horseradish was not the same # as the one I ordered.
So we contacted customer service and received plant it it should all grow and the horseradish should be large by fall.
I have grown horseradish before and picked up roots and other plants locally to supplement this batch and all the local items have bloomed none dead.
I have spent double locally and received less but all is blooming and growing well.
But my $75+ order from Burgess approx 50% not blooming.
6814 Phlox, Creeping 5 of 12 dead/brown
6811 Periwinkle 25 of 25 dead arrived as brown sticks have yet to bloom
7394 Bulb Garden, 50 piece Yet to see any pierce the soil surface
7741 Garden, Color in the Shade, 2 blue hostas and 4 trinity and one fern have grown nothing else
2 Regal Blue Hosta (mid summer)
4 Red Trinity Plants (early summer)
3 Mixed Astilbe (summer)
2 Double Blue Barlow Columbine (late spring)
5 Lily of the Valley plants (early summer)
2 Cinnamon Ferns.
6243 Horseradish 3 roots came smaller than pencil have yet to show but others picked up locally have that were planted 2 weeks later in same soil
6853 Freesia, Mixed 24 of 24 have yet to show
7270 Hosta, Regal Blue 2 of 2 have yet to grow but the ones included in 7741 did
6665 Hosta 2 of the 6 have yet to show others are 2-4 leaves 6"+
6755 Daisy, Alaska Shasta 3 of the 8 have yet to show
6298 1 Pkt Vine Peach nothing has shown yet
6702 1 Pkt Trip-L-Crop Tomato 14 plants have reached 2-4"
1281 4 Flowering Shamrock Bulbs 3 of the 4 bloomed
5606 3 Peacock Orchid Bulbs 2 of the 3 bloomed and are 6"+
The guarantee is a joke send back the roots some of which are so small or rot in the year and you send the original label so if you have recevied dead items and send the label I asked them what about next spring when the rest doesn't bloom I won't have the label....no response as of yet.
We are sorry to hear that some of the plants have died. All of our plants are covered by our one year replacement guarantee for which we do not require the return of the dead plants. Once we have received the original shipping label we do keep it on file for the duration of the guarantee. Should any of the remaining plants listed on the label happen to die we would simply need to be notified. We have tried to contact this customer via Dmail, but have not received a response.
my experience with burgess is bad I purchased 2 pear trees and about 5 apple tree and my wife purchased some other flowers like some butterfly plants and stuff like that, and all the trees came bear I mean bear, no leafs, the roots were exposed no dirt on them whatsoever, just bad, and of course, as ya'll can imagine, all the trees died because they was about dead already, so my advise to ANYONE, Do Not purchase anyting from burgess, I called them, and they said that the purchase had 15 day warranty, and I couldn't get my monies back that I could get merchandise, but for real who wants to get any half dead plants from BURGESS, WELL, to summarize my comment, I will never purchase anything though the mail ever again, or from BURGESS NO HOW, I wasted about $140.00 Dollars worth of trees, and bout $60 dollars worth of flower for my wife, I am like everyone else I don't mind paying for what I want, but I want it to be worth it, and burgess sure IS NOT THE COMPANY TO DEAL WITH.
Many of our items are shipped bare root and dormant as this allows them to be transplanted with much higher degrees of success. They are in a dormant state just like during winter with no leaves and no need for soil since they are not actively growing. Therefore, there is no need to pay for a pot or to ship dirt. It does not mean they are dead, but since they are dormant, and not leafed out, people unfamiliar with bareroot nursery stock may they mistake them for dead. We suggest soaking in water overnight or for a few hours before planting. Then keep well watered after planting and within 6 weeks of warm weather, the plants should break dormancy and show signs of leaf. We do have both a refund and a replacement guarantee and stand behind them. We have tried to contact this customer via Dmai, but have not received a response.
On Jun 18, 2012, themooser98 Grand Isle, VT wrote:
As a first time buyer I only bought 6 supposedly Blue Spruce seedlings, color and needles didn't look like blue spruce to me, was told by customer servive to use nitrogen fert. to bring out the blue color. Have planted blue spruce seedlings before and I didn't have to use nitrogen fert.
Anyway, took awhile for order to arrive. Seedlings were shipped in big plastic bag and looked to have winter burn, very few green needles, most were brown . Other companies I have ordered seedlings from other suppliers and seedling were shipped in boxes for protection and roots were wrapped to keep them moist, shipping was also arranged so you knew the shipment was coming. Water and planted, 5 weeks later no buds budding all needles falling off!! Was going to ask for replacements but after reading all these negative feedbacks I am not going to waste time and postage pursuing replacements. Chalking this up to experience, you get what you pay for, only out alittle over $20. Anybody considering ordering from these folks, save your time and money!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We are sorry to hear that some of the trees did not survive. Many of our trees are bare root and dormant when shipped as this allows them to be transplanted with much higher degrees of success. If the leaves have turned brown and are all falling off, then we do not believe they will survive and replacements will be needed. Nitrogen fertilizer will bring out blue color on some items such as hydrangea, but this will not work on blue spruce, so we are sorry if the customer was told this. Blue Spruce do vary in color however from green to blue, with the truest blue coloring guaranteed only through grafted seedlings which we do not carry. We have sent a Dmail to this customer to try to get more information, but have not received a response.
On Jun 13, 2012, marymerry501 Spring Valley, NV wrote:
Posted on March 6, 2012, updated June 13, 2012
I received my order in similar condition as mentioned in most other posts; the trees plants looked dead and a bit beaten. However, I read/followed the instructions that came with the order; such as first putting them (the twigs) in a bucket of water. I think it helps mitigate some of the "shock" received by the tree/plant due to transport (temp. changes, elevation, humidity, dryness, etc.) I don't know, but they appeared to be in better condition after a day or so soaking in a bucket in my bathtub. Also, there was a plant missing from my order (Chinese Wisteria)--Lisa made sure to send it out as soon as she received the original shipping label back. There was no hassle or problem in doing so and she was very polite. I ordered a couple of hundred dollars worth of trees and plants from them, and although a few of them did not survive--I am SO pleased with the ones that did, that I would not hesitate to order from them again. All of my trees (dwarfs) and plants are in buckets. As far as the ones that didn't make it-I waited until 10 months had gone by (and I did the scratch test) before calling for replacements. They (Lisa again)were pleasant and prompt in handling the matter. Now, because they already HAD my original shipping order on file (because of the Chinese Wisteria), the phone call was all that was necessary in order to get replacements :) I am a repeat customer (I have ordered from them twice before with similar results/service each time)...and will continue to do so in the future as they have kept their end of the deal by replacing any plants/trees that do not make it within the 365 day guarantee.
On June 13th, 2012, marymerry501 changed the rating from positive to negative and added the following:
My original post was positive.
However, in light of new awareness, this rating must be changed pursuant to a negative e-mail sent to me from Burgess "customer care" department today regarding replacements...more precisely--for the replacements of the replacements for the dead originals.
Just understand...that if they send DEAD replacements for the originals...you only qualify for replacements (the replacements of the replacements of the originals) as long as such requests are made within the same 1 year "original" shipment order's window.
What good is a 1 year guarantee when the replacements are also dead?
Now, understand, I WAS lucky in that MOST of my trees are doing great...but the ones (2 in all) that never did anything at all beyond "twig" in soil stage...that tends to make me mad since I paid (originally) for live/living/viable plants and trees...NOT dead trees/plants...any of them. The fact that they don't mention that the replacements don't carry any guarantees...other than what's left over from the original order's guarantee...should be the reason no one orders from them. MOST posters here agree (and complain about) the shipping (all/any shipping) takes at least 2 months to arrive at your door. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that if one waits (like I did) 6 months+ to be sure the trees are REALLY dead--then the 2 month+time frame for requests to be received/processed and plants/trees to be shipped/received...only to plant then wait another few months to see if the replacements are even gonna do anything...is pointless if they only send you dead trees to begin with. All the time in the world doesn't make a dead tree grow...and you only get one year's worth of dead replacements...to replace them with...
So NOW you (I) ALSO know that there is absolutely NOTHING in their guarantee that prevents them from sending (for all we know--even knowingly) dead replacements for the dead originals...as long as they (the dead trees) fall within the original (and only) 1 year guarantee. There's no one to keep them honest...and why wouldn't they send dead trees??? They make the same money on the dead "trees". The one year cut-off date practically ensures them that it's prosperous for them to do this kind of business--EVEN Home Depot gives a one year cut-off date...difference IS, is that their trees are already in the soil and healthy looking w/leaves when you buy them.
Again, I was LUCKY regarding Burgess...I am happy with the trees that took off and are doing well. As for the last 2 (two of the three in the 5-in-1 trio)...I will order those again-just through a different company.
I ordered two jostaberry plants and two honeyberry plants, only one of the jostaberry plants made it, the other three plants that were sent were not healthy looking at all, but i wanted to hope for the best, unfortunately they did not make it.....I called up customer service and I needed my packing slip....my order form was not enough and I have to wait six weeks so I am sure when I wait the six weeks, they will be out of stock and I will miss out on a year of having the bushes grow. Plus the person I spoke with at customers service blamed ME and essentially said it wasn't her problem, but rather mine!!!!!! I will NEVER order from this company again, BEWARE!!!!!!!!!
On May 21, 2012, brydas Pensacola, FL (Zone 8a) wrote:
On Feb.4th, I placed an order & received part of it at the end of the month.I called twice in March & twice in April, only to be told empty promises of arrival of the rest of my order "next week". The last cust. rep. I talked to said that it was being held up because they didn't have the pussywillows. So I told them just to send me my plants NOW & send the pussywillows separately. I sent 2 e-mails after that & still got nowhere. In the last week of April, I received the remainder if my order,minus the pusywillows & got a substitution,instead, with no description or directions of the plant (pink flowering waters spirea). Never again will I order from Burgess & I told them to remove me from their mailing list & I promptly deleted them from my e-mail.
We are sorry to hear that the customer was unsatisfied with the substitution. We do have more pussy willows available in the fall, after we are able to dig. We were able to contact the customer by Dmail and a replacement of the pussy willows is scheduled for this fall.
On May 20, 2012, OregonWoods Adair Village, OR wrote:
I should have read reviews before I ordered! After waiting 4 weeks to get my trees and mosquito bushes, I got sticks stapled to the top of the bag shoved in between my mail box and my neighbors because of course there was no marking saying fragile. The mosquito bushes were moldy and dead. When I wanted to complain about this I got an email telling me the return policy not sorry that I had a problem. Don't ever order from this place unless you want to waste your money!!!
We are sorry to hear of the problem with plants and we would of course be happy to issue replacement as per our guarantee. We have tried to contact this customer via Dmail, but have not received a response. We hope they will take advantage of the guarantee if they haven’t already.