It takes a lot for me to complain and post a negative rating. I've ordered from about 20 mail-order nurseries over the years and Burgess is an embarrassment. I would never order from a disreputable company such as Burgess, with their ultra-hyped, cheesy and outdated catalog which looks like it hasn't been updated since 1958, BUT, someone bought my wife and I a gift certificate for our wedding. I pretended to be pleased and ordered some apricot trees and plum trees. The order arrived on time. In a red plastic bag. Bare root trees stapled into a translucent plastic bag with NO packing material to keep the roots moist and no protection! I opened the bag and what was inside looked dead on arrival- some withered up bare root little sticks of trees, dry as a bone. Any reputable company would use moist material around BARE roots to keep the trees alive! Not just throw them bare-rooted in a bag, staple it and mail it! I mean really?!
I went ahead and soaked the roots over-night, being very proficient with handling plant stock. So far, one apricot has sprouted somehow and another looks like it MIGHT. Everything else was dead and dried up on arrival.
I called the company and got a very unenthusiastic and uncaring representative who said unless I had the packing receipt I would not get a refund for the expensive dead sticks I was shipped, which I did not keep. So, make sure not to buy from this company unless you want to be very disappointed or at best get half-dead stock. In all my years ordering trees I've never had a worse experience than with Burgess.
I have ordered seeds and plants from Burgess for several years. I have had wonderful results with seeds I receive from Burgess. I have also had positive results with tress I have ordered from them. But - I knew how to care for and plant dormant, bare root stock...you need to put the trees in water overnight and then make sure to water often after planted.....I have not had much luck with plants...nothing grew from my perennial garden collection last year and I ordered another one this year and everything was mushy and moldy when it arrived - we will see if anything grows.
On Apr 30, 2014, BrodyJames Greenfield, WI (Zone 5b) wrote:
I placed an order last year for trees, plants and fruits and vegetables. A bunch of sticks arrived along with some items in bags! Ok, I thought, not what I was expecting, but I'll give it a go. I followed the directions and planted everything up, then waited.
The strawberries, asparagus, yucca, hostas and Christmas cactus (which actually turned out to be a Thanksgiving cactus) were the only items that showed any signs of life throughout spring and summer. The yucca and cactus have since died, the hostas and strawberries have not shown any signs of life yet, this spring, but it is still early. The asparagus are the only items showing any signs of life. The 9 trees I ordered did absolutely nothing but shrivel and dry up.
I found this forum (of course after I shelled out the money), saw all the negative reviews and thought, well, there's money I'll never see again, but I've got to try. So, following their instructions, I returned the shipping label with a list of the plants that I wanted replacements for. Mainly it was the trees, since I can find everything else that I ordered quite easily where I live.
Again, I waited. I sent the replacement request in either late February or early March. After about 3 weeks, my husband asked me if I had heard anything. I told him no, that I was using a wait and see approach.
April 16th arrived and when I went to check my mail, there was that red bag again! Burgess had sent me replacements for my entire order, even the things that I didn't request! The trees were just sticks, again, but better looking sticks. The hostas have leaves on them versus just the shoots that I got the last time. The cactus plant is much larger and healthier looking than the last one, but the yuccas, although 3 were ordered and 4 arrived, look like someone plucked a few blades of grass and sent them. Last time I got 3 nice thick roots.
Everything was planted immediately. Now I wait and see. I feel a second chance is warranted since they did honor their replacement policy and even went beyond by replacing my entire order.
I ordered a number if items and when the package finally arrived, I was extremely disappointed. The red maples were just un wrapped sticks...Completely dried out and dead. The blackberries were rotted in their baggies. I ordered 6 and got 7 but not a single plant was viable. Same thing with the hollyhocks. I also ordered 5 thuja trees with only 2 of them green...others were rotted in their packing.
I will never order their sorry products again and have told everyone I know not to wastep their money.
My experience with Burgess has been generally positive so far. I only discovered the large number of negative reviews against them after I had placed my order, and I was extremely nervous, particularly because they give you no order updates, no method to confirm order status, and no shipping notification. The first portion of my order arrived, out of the blue, yesterday. Aside from some slightly moldy asparagus starts, everything looks to be in a healthy dormant stage. The grape vines I ordered are small, but well rooted, and considering I only paid three dollars for them, I am pleased. I ordered three red robin hood roses, also, and I'm actually shocked by how large and healthy they seem. I paid about $4.50 for each of the plants, and I honestly expected a rooted stick. Instead I received three fairly large, well rooted plants, carefully packaged, and ready for the ground. All the gladiola bulbs I ordered seem firm and healthy. Yes, a few of the asparagus packages have a touch of mold, and maybe I should be more concerned, but I'm not. I received 40 starts for $16 dollars, less than .50 a root crown, which is a better deal than the local nursery. Shipping prices can't be beat.
That being said, I will look forward to the rest of my order being delivered. I truly wish this company would give shipping notification and tracking numbers on their purchases, particularly because we are buying live plant materials. Aside from that, so far, I am pleased with the very low prices, the seemingly good quality, and Burgess as a whole.
I just received 7 rose bushes which were described in the Burgess catalog as 2-yr. old field grown plants. I have raised 100s of roses over the last 50 years and know that there are only 3 grades of roses bases upon age, number and diameter of canes. #1 is the best, followed by 1 1/2 and 2. Of the seven, only 1 came close to being a 1 1/2, 4 were 2 and 1 was below 2 and had canes about 1/2 the diameter of a lead pencil. If these were field grown for 2 years the field must have been near the North Pole since they grew so little. Also, they were shipped too soon because they were not dormant and had buds growing which in this area will be killed by a freeze and I have no way to keep them for another month until the frost-free date in this area. If you want good roses, pay a few extra dollars and buy from a reputable dealer, not Burgess or any of its affiliates. They make their money off of those people who do not take the time or trouble to get replacements plus the fact that the companies sell inferior products while representing them as better than they are.
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."
I've ordered from Burgess several times over the years and had mixed results with their plants- nothing to brag about but no major complaints... until now. I placed an order through their website and now I am getting bombarded with gardening spam. Just got another spam email a few minutes ago from DirectGardening. Shame on you Burgess for giving out (or more than likely selling) my email address! I'll never order from you again!
On Feb 23, 2014, Burgess Seed responded with:
"On Feb 25, 2014 1:05 PM, Burgess Seed responded with:
We are sorry to hear this. It does state in our catalog that if you provide your email address you will automatically be included to receive newsletters from DirectGardening.com. We do not give out or sell email addresses to outside vendors. It also states that if you wish to removed from the email list to please follow the "remove" link in any newsletter we have sent you.
We have contact the customer to provide further assistance.
On Jan 19, 2014, snotbottom Milton Freewater, OR wrote:
Posted on September 13, 2012, updated January 20, 2014
Seems they haven't learned... and neither have I.
I ordered a seedless grape collection from them in 2011 and while the vines grew beautifully, and was very pleased to discover that they were going to bear fruit their second season. I dutifully thinned them, but not entirely (I saved a handful of clusters on each vine, because I wanted to try each variety). Then as they started ripening, my frustration grew because they all are the same... a very seedy (NOT seedless) dark purple variety (NOT a collection).
On January 19th, 2014, snotbottom added the following:
As you've seen on so many of the negative reviews, a customer representative did send me a private message as well asking for more information to try and resolve the issue, but nothing came out of it.
I gave the information as requested, then... heard... nothing... not even a reply that the information was recieved.
Calling the customer service number was pointless as well, they were rude and completely unhelpful. The company deserves every negative review they've earned here and elsewhere.On Jan 19, 2014, 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 Feb 5, 2014 10:01 AM, Burgess Seed added:
We are sorry to hear of this. We have checked and do not show that we received a reply from this customer. A new Dmail has been sent at this time to try to resolve this issue."
On Jan 19, 2014, Ken_from_Oregon Dallas, OR wrote:
Dave and friends
DO NOT ORDER from Burgess unless you want to waste not only money and time
I recieved their great colored catalog last spring. I placed an order for
Walnut trees, cherry trees, rasberry and currents. I awaited the package. When it arrived I was a gasp. The rasberrys were not only small but the only items in a bag with any knid of water in a paper towel. ALL the trees were in a large bag 1'x3'. all of them were dried out. Of the 5 or 6 Idid get only one had any roots, another had one root 1" long. I also did not get all the trees. now I knew time was working not in my favor so I gave them a chance (they do this for a living after all) I immidatly planed and water all the plants.
I then contacted Burgess and told them of the proble senging them info off the lable I had copied down uppon arrival. Their response was unbelievable. Unless I send back EVERYTHING in the large plastic bag they would do NOTHING (I do not know about you but I discard plastic and did so on the day I got them and planted).
WHY WAIT TILL NOW TO REVIEW well I gave them a chance waited all season for any sign of life NOTHING. I removed them from the ground to check them this eeek NOTHING is left below ground even the one with a 1" root.
I will NEVER order off lone no matter how nice the pictures are.
On Jan 19, 2014, Burgess Seed responded with:
"On Jan 20, 2014 2:53 PM, Burgess Seed responded with:
Many of our items are shipped bare root and dormant as this allows them to be transplanted with much higher degrees of success. 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 dry and dead. We suggest soaking in water overnight or for a few hours before planting. We do have both a refund and a replacement guarantee and stand behind them. When requesting replacement we do not as that the items be returned.
A customer care representative has contacted this customer to see if we may be of assistance
I placed an order with The Burgess Seed and Plant Co and received my order for the quantities and items ordered. After planting I waited and waited without a single spout or shoot of any kind.
I wrote a letter stating that I was requesting a replacement order for "the items on the enclosed shipping label with an exception of 3 Burning bush and about 12 twelve strawberry plants" two months before the "guarantee/warranty expired. Without delay I received 3 Burning Bush and 25 strawberry plants, but not a full order of product. I didn't think anything out of the unusual because their "shipping time schedules for nursery stock items are shipped at the proper planting time for your (my) location." Thinking my location and time of year was still to come, I waited.
I finally called the commercial telephone number and found it took some time before I got through. I spoke with "Mary" and discussed my situation and was told flatly my response was not timely and I failed to itemize the replacement items.
On Jan 16, 2014, Burgess Seed responded with:
"On Jan 20, 2014 2:55 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
Burgess is a wonderful company. I ordered privet hedges and was short by 2. I told them and they immediately sent me 5 more. I was so happy with them I ordered 40 more and they were large plants. They were very receptive and very helpful This is one of the best companies I have ever dealt with. Customer Service is wonderful!!! They truly know how to treat their customers. I will tell everyone I know what a great company they are!!!
On Nov 18, 2013, Burgess Seed responded with:
"On Dec 19, 2013 10:35 AM, Burgess Seed responded with:
Thank you for your kind posting on Garden Watchdog. Your experience is more typical of our normal customers as we do ship hundreds of thousands of packages to satisfied customers each year. Thank you again and happy gardening!"
Burgess does not respond to complaints and does not honor it's own replacement guarantee.
I purchased grape plants from Burgess in June, 2012. They died, so in June, 2013 I wrote to them requesting replacements. I was within their one-year period and enclosed the original packing slip as they require. No response. I e-mailed them in August, 2013 - no response. I have tried to call them on many occasions over the past two months, but their line is always busy.
I would not recommend this company to anyone. Their discounted prices do not make up for their poor quality plants and nonexistent customer service.
On Oct 18, 2013, Burgess Seed responded with:
"On Oct 29, 2013 10:19 AM, Burgess Seed responded with:
We are sorry to hear of this customers experience as we do take pride in our customer service. We have many customer care representatives available to help via phone, and we try to answer all emails within 24 hours.
A customer care representative has contacted this customer for further information."
My wife and I ordered several plants and trees from Burgess Seed. Unfortunately, the plants that were shipped were unhealthy. The survival rate is less than half of the total shipment. It’s just unacceptable. I contacted the company, letting them know of the situation and also letting them know that I had the order receipt but have lost the packing slip. Their answer was less than helpful, telling me only to “give it all a chance” and that their plants are shipped in a dormant state. Also they implied that since I’ve lost my packing slip I’m out of luck on that front too. Well these plants are not dormant, they’re dead. More than half of the total order is dead waste. In effect, that fully doubles the effective cost of the order. I’ve been trying to call them again, only to find that their line is constantly busy now. Dead plants, and so much of their customer service leaves a lot to be desired.
On Oct 17, 2013, Burgess Seed responded with:
"On Oct 29, 2013 10:14 AM, 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 and we stand behind them.
A customer care representative has contacted this customer to see how we may be of assistance.
Same experience as most of the other negative reviews here... twigs (not trees) half their advertised size that arrived dead or near dead which didn't flourish!
On Oct 3, 2013, Burgess Seed responded with:
"On Oct 15, 2013 1:30 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."
I ordered 3 trees for Fall of 2012. All "twigs" arrived and were planted with care and all of them just rotted in the ground, never budding out. Well, I used the shipping label as directed and received a new batch the next spring (2013). The Mulberry's arrived alive (barely) and I coaxed one into coming out, the other has not died but has never done anything, and the cherry was just bone-dry-dead. I sent them a letter warning that I would complain to the BBB and perhaps their state's Attorney General Office if they sent me another dead cherry. Their response? After weeks of waiting they sent me a completely dead, rotten little twig that It is obvious would be a waste of time to plant. I don't mean dormant, I mean dead dead. Anyway, I am now starting my complaints and warning people away from them. What good is a warranty when you just send one dead tree after another? BTW, I ordered 3 trees from Burnt Ridge Nursery in this same year, all lived and thrived and arrived, you guessed it, alive!
On Jul 21, 2013, Burgess Seed responded with:
"On Aug 3, 2013 11:26 AM, Burgess Seed responded with:
Many of our items are shipped bare root and dormant as this allows them to be transplanted with much higher degrees of success. 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.
A customer care representative has contacted this customer to see if we may be of assistance
I spent $ 69.99 on 1-28-13 . I bought 4 blue spruce, 1 redwood tree, 1 climbing rose bush,several butterfly bushes, 3 burning bush 2 Pompass grass and a pack of lettuce seeds. Only 1 blue spruce is alive out of 4, climbing rose is alive, 2 burning bush alive and the seeds grew. Everything else was dead. I did not have the original shipping label that came with the shipment, but had the final receipt and my credit card translation ID proof of purchase, they said that would be good enough, but I had to mail it thru the Postal mail.
I mailed it to them, requesting to replace the redwood tree and 3 blue spruce. They returned my letter and envelope with no explanation. I called them 4 times and they tell me they can only correspond thru
the postal mail. I have sent a fax and tried to send it again a day later and they turned off the fax machine. I have sent several emails, but no response. This has been only 6 months since purchased.
THEY ARE A SCAM, STAY AWAY.
On Jul 17, 2013, Burgess Seed responded with:
"On Aug 3, 2013 11:23 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.
We ordered almost $300 of nut trees, bulbs, flowers, bushes and other ground cover. We received 3 original shipments, and now 2 replacement shipments for some of the plants that never made it from the first shipment.
All I can say, is this company will sell you garbage and charge you for it. In all the orders we have received either wrong plants by the label (who knows what they really are yet), and dead plants. The 1-3' dormant trees were 6-8" sticks with a few roots left (all dead). Out of the 9 dormant trees, and 7 dormant berry bushes, and 2 dormant flower bushes, only 1 tree has survived. All of the others sat and rotted. We also ordered 2 live dwarf fruit trees, one of which died quickly, and the other is not doing well at all.
Even now on our "replacement" orders, we have gotten plants we did not order, shorted plants we ordered to be replaced, and received a wad of dead plants, with not a shred of life left.
I would like to note, the other 2 acres of plants I have grown this year on my property ,myself from seeds, are thriving. They were cheaper too!
STAY AWAY AT ALL COSTS FROM THESE CLOWNS. THEY DO NOT KNOW HOW TO RUN A BUSINESS.
I would be more than happy to give any other details to interested parties.
On Jul 6, 2013, Burgess Seed responded with:
"On Aug 3, 2013 11:22 AM, 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 we stand behind this guarantee. We would be happy to replace any items that were received not as advertised as per our guarantee."
I find it nearly impossible to believe this company got ANY positive marks at all. I ordered several holly plants, a "cherry tree" and an "apple tree." By tree they mean a tiny little stick essentially. I get that dormant plants some that way, so whatever. Fine. I was disappointed it was SO tiny, but I guess for the price it was acceptable.
Well, the cherry tree and apple tree were super dead, not dormant. Following the directions precisely did nothing. Never mind that the areas we chose to plant in were already inhabited by healthy versions of similar plants, but these plants from Burgess Seed did nothing. A few of the hollys are kind of hanging in there after we had to spend extra money from a real gardening supply store to spruce them up weeks after we had nearly given up on them.
My husband and I figured it was no biggie, we would call and have them replaced, just like anytime anything has ever happened online. We make almost all of our non-local purchases online instead of going to the big box stores for items. Any exchanges are always done in a friendly manner with many apologies.
The first customer service rep I spoke with got mad and verbally, notably angry when I first called her out saying that she has a record of my sale. She was trying to tell me I had to provide proof of purchase along with a letter through THE MAIL asking for a replacement. I couldn't even believe it. She said if I had read the fine print, I would have known to keep my old shipping label. I said I'd be happy to pay for new shipping or even to pay to ship the dead plants back as proof and pay for new ones to be shipped. Essentially, it wasn't about cash at this point, it was a matter of principle, of which, i feel this company has NONE.
It's really no wonder the woman who "helped me" was so miserable, she probably hears nothing but calls from angry people who wasted a few hundred bucks on plants from this crappy company.
So then, I get transferred to a supervisor. His name was Wayne. He was condescending and actually seemed to think that it was fair practice to demand "proof of purchase." I was like, "why should i provide proof of purchase when you know for sure I purchased it because you're staring right at my order on the computer screen?!" or something to that effect.
But he insisted. I asked if he had a supervisor. But alas, not one he could transfer me to. But if I wanted to send a snail mail to "Grace Avery," she is above him in rank.
Eh. At this point, I'm not going to waste my time writing snail mail when this company already had every opportunity to be decent like most online companies are and stand behind their product. All this activity tells me is they know they sell junk. I'd rather waste my time letting everyone know how these people operate.
I even told them I would blog, facebook and review this company if they wouldn't do the right thing. He said he's perfectly within his rights because that's policy. I told him I get that. I get that he's legally under no further obligation. Bla bla bla.
When did ethics fly completely out the window though? I'm so sick of people like these people.
If you get a thrill out of gambling with your hard earned money, this is the place to go. BUT... If you want to be treated like your satisfaction even remotely matters, Burgess Seed is absolutely NOT the place to go.
I hope they keep wasting their money sending me sales junk mail though, because every time I get a piece of their advertising trash, I will use it for free kindling...
On Jul 1, 2013, Burgess Seed responded with:
"On Aug 3, 2013 11:16 AM, 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 which is clearly stated on our website, catalog, and the label itself. We stand behind this guarantee and do hope that the customer takes advantage of the exception we have offered.
On Jun 22, 2013, Hoosierguy1986 Fort Wayne, IN wrote:
Do not buy from these crooks or their affiliates in Bloomington, IL! I purchased a large order of fruit and nut trees. They shipped in a flimsy plastic bag with staples at the top. Everything was bone dry. Some trees did not have roots. The pruning was more like shredding. They did not fill my order with the correct variety even though it still showed in stock when I received my order. They decided to ship over a weekend instead of during the week so the order took longer in the hot truck. Trees were missing bark. There is zero customer service as far as a manager just a general email. They made me pay shipping to return this broken order and subtracted "shipping + additional handling" which was twice as much as I paid to send back at the same method. I have done business with multiple online catalog and local companies including stark, gurney, lowes, Home Depot, tractor supply, local nursery and more. Burgess is the worst place I have ever done business whether it be for my yard or anywhere. Do not waste your time or hard earned money because they have no problem taking it from you without giving you product.
I placed three different orders with Burgess Seed Co. back at the end of may. I had read a lot of reviews and was shocked at how many negative reviews people were posting. I stayed unbiased, waiting for my order to come in so I could make my own judgements. Needless to say within a two week time period my orders come in. Now I'm going to tell you exactly how the looked when I received them. The orders were inside solid green shipping bags, these weren't flimsy. Each plant was individually protected by a cardboard pouch, neatly stapled at the top with tags for identification. Now my order included climbing vine, bushes, container plants and such. How thrilled was I when I saw how lush and green my plants were! There was no mold or broken plants. They didn't look like twigs either. Overall I am completely satisfied. You get exactly what you pay for, these plants wer e cared for and shipped appropriately. Any mishandling happens between your postal service and delivery. I will continue to order from Burgess Seed and I recommend that you give them a chance too. They were prompt to answer any questions that I had, and were never Impatient with me. Thank you for making my experience pleasant and hassle free!
On Jun 4, 2013, BlondieMia Miami, FL (Zone 10b) wrote:
I placed an order through this website before doing research on it. If I had, I doubt I would have ordered anything from them. That being said, my partial order arrived 17 days after placing it. I ordered mosquito "shoo" geranium (4), 1 orange velvet rose, 6 sub zero ivy, 1 stevia sweet leaf, 2 Tahiti sunrise dahlia, 1 pack of large gourd seeds & a pack of sponge (luffa) seeds. (The seeds arrived separately a few days later.) I took pictures of the order when it arrived, my fiancé was cracking jokes.."if I knew you were paying for twigs & dead weeds I would've brought you a truck load for free.." That being said, the plants did still have a little life in them. I soaked them all for 6-12 hours (depending on its condition) in water with some miracle grow all purpose plant food, before even attempting to transplant or plant anything. I wish I could add pictures to this to show the order & now (a 2 months later) of how the plants look. The geranium, stevia & velvet rose all lived & are doing well. The seeds are growing fine. Out of the 6 ivy, only 2 are still alive, but haven't shown more than an inch of growth. The dahlias (which came in the form of dahlia tubes) still to this day have not shown any sign of life, not any sprout.
The orange velvet rose had its first bloom a few days ago, & looks nothing like the picture. It looks more like a very light pastel colored small hybrid tea rose. And it's not much of a climber.
For the $40 something plus shipping I spent, I'm ok with that, because, well, you get what you pay for. I do not suggest ordering from this company unless you are fairly experienced when it comes to gardening, because the plants you receive are not strong & "ready to go". They require much attention for the first week or so.
I have not attempted to return or exchange the items that died, I see it as a waste of time considering the ivy was around 6 for $7. & the dahlias were 2 for $5.
Would I order from again? Maybe.. 70% no, 30% yes.
Would I tell a friend to order from them? Most likely not, unless your on a serious budget, have a lot of ground to cover & have a green thumb.
If you do order from here, don't order exotic delicate or unusual items. Stick with the basics & you might end up ok.
Now, from my experience, all the packaged seeds I received are growing great.. Including the free ones I received. So seeds are safe from here, but most likely cheaper at your local nursery after adding their flat $10 shipping to your order.
Bottom line is I think this company is legit, just poorly managed/owned. Buy using common sense & be ready to put your green thumbs to work in overdrive when your order does arrive.
On May 31, 2013, PapaTango CORTLANDT MANOR, NY wrote:
I wish I had read this site PRIOR to ordering from Burgess Seed & Plant Co! In the UK, from where I hail, this company would be out of business for misrepresentation!
Along with others, I see, I was lured by their good-looking Garden Catalog and good prices, so without hesitation I bundled an order together totalling over $100. I was appalled at the quality of the plants I received and irrespective of whether they were in dormancy or not, seeing the results of money spent on dismal 'twigs', was very disheartening. I emailed my disappointment and was given the standard reply that the plants will grow during Spring. Reluctantly, I agreed to pursue the cultivation and I actually gave them better treatment than one would if I had received outwardly, healthier looking plants.
I have to report that NONE of the plants grew at all!
Again I pursued the company by email and was informed that if I returned the shipping label, replacements would be made available.
The subsequent Credit Note was for less than I had spent but at least it was something. I subsequently re-ordered shrubs to a bit short of the Note's value and included $5 bill for the remainder, as I was wary about giving credit card details now that I had experienced this disappointment.
Most of the replacement shrubs are now growing but they weren't what I had wanted initially and as a matter of fact 6 Hemlock plants from this replacement order, arrived as leafless brown twigs, so out went another email with pictures.
Initially, they agreed to offer an exception to their standard policy and offer replacements for the Hemlocks but, however, later retracted their response as I couldn't give them a copy of my credit card details for the order, or a crossed cheque as proof!
For anyone reading this post, my advice would be to spend a bit more on QUALITY plants from the likes of AdvancedTree.com or Arborday.org and resist the temptation to do business with Burgess!
On May 30, 2013, SquatBirdJunior El Paso, TX wrote:
Ordered some seeds, and Two Pecan Trees
Seeds came(not planted), then waited, and waited and waited for two sticks. I already have 40 pecan trees, so, this is not my first time with pecans. This is my first time with low expectations being met. I knew they were going to be small, root is included in the measurement. The two sticks arrived, and were already dried out. I followed the directions, then watered them for two months.
What a waste of my time. The first one broke off at the ground level. OK, I still have one. 50% is good, right? Then, after so long, I have to see that the second pecan is not alive.
Thanks for: 1) wasting my time ordering, 2) wasting planting a dead stick. 3) wasting my time watering. 4) Sending back a package slip. 5) Wasting one year of growth. 6) knowing that if a replacement even comes, that it is coming from the same place.
There is always " Next Year" since this is the Year of the Snake.
If you offered a 100% refund, you would go out of business.
Please explain how this is a good experience, in any way.
I went through HELL with this company, absolute HELL- and over one tree! My order was incomplete and missing one tree. It was difficult to contact a live person about this but I finally got a response that the order was complete and they were not going to send me a replacement tree. So, basically they were calling me a liar. So I contacted the BBB and Burgess responded that the order was complete and they were not going to send me a replacement tree. So I started a charge back on my credit card. My credit card company made a mistake and did a charge back for the entire order. So Burgess sent my CC company copies of my email to them stating that I was only missing ONE tree. I contacted the exact person I spoke with at my bank (I live in a village and people know each other). The gal at the bank apologized and stated that she filled out the paperwork wrong. By that time, Burgess stated that they would send a replacement tree, which they did but by this time, it was way too late in the summer to plant a tree. The replacement tree I received wasn't fit to plant. It was small, with a damaged root system and broken and dead branches. Looked like they pulled it from the compost heap. It didn't survive the winter. I will NEVER order from this company again and I would advise anyone to avoid them and the other companies too. Just go to BBB and see all the negatiev write ups on them and their other companies. No customer service. Their reps act like they just took a beating and you're trying to pour salt on their wounds. Even today I cannot believe the way I was treated.
On May 26, 2013, Burgess Seed responded with:
"On May 28, 2013 2:26 PM, Burgess Seed responded with:
We are sorry to hear of this customers experience which sounds as if it was compounded by the bank. If their is an error in shipping we gladly fix this error. We take pride in our customer service and apologize for any inconvenience this has caused."
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."