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 Americaís gardens and gardenerís lives for so long. We arenít 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 havenít already.
SCAM!!!!! Crooks!!!!! I ordered strawberry plants on March 13, 2012 for spring delivery. The plants were delivered April 4, 2012 and of course couldn't be planted here before early May without danger of frost. The plants are all dead and when I asked for a full refund I was reminded of the 14 day refund policy. If they were delivered May 1st this would have worked out fine but I think they knew the plants were dead and thats why they sent them so early unless they were frozen in transit of subject to radiation.
Martha at the company told me "go ahead and report it to your credit card company, you won't get anywhere with the claim" as if she gets these claims everyday! I don't want the plants replaced next year as I want to grow them now and am out $53 that they stole from me as well as the cost of buying established plants from the local garden center which I should have done in the first place! I had good luck with these strawberrys when I bought them a few year back from them and they were delivered on time but I guess times change. I say its a scam but if it was an accident that the plants were dead Burgess customer service stinks and anyone would be crazy to business with this company. Go to your local garden center for more money but be eating strawberrys rather then dealing with crooks!!!!!!
I ordered plants from Burgess on 4/1/12, having been lured by their low prices. Their website says to allow 1 to 2 weeks for processing. On 4/17, after the 2 week processing period, having heard nothing from them regarding a possible shipping date I inquired via email. Being impatient, I also inquired via their website the next day. On 4/18 and 4/26 they gave me the exact same email responses with no information specific to my order: "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." Sound familiar?
That seemed odd to me so I searched the internet and found the reviews on this website and immediately cancelled the order. To make the story short, I'm still waiting on my refund two weeks after having cancelled the order. They said today it might be another week or 2. I just recently placed the charge in dispute with my credit card company and that's where it stands.
They have had my $$ for over 6 weeks, and I still don't have any plants. When I talked to their customer service department, they simply replied that it takes that long. I am very disappointed. Spring is nearly gone, and I have nothing to show for it but an empty bank account.
Posted on March 30, 2012, updated May 9, 2012
drastically scaled back my first order with this company based on reviews. it is with extreme regret that i can't check positive because our order arrived yesterday and our plants are amazing. fresh, moist and green despite being on a truck for several days. yes the trees look like sticks but they're sitting in a bucket of water and i'm sure they will be just fine. My only problem is that my order is short by one plant (only two prime-ark blackberries when i ordered three). i called this morning and jeff was very polite but in order to get my third blackberry i now must mail a detailed letter and my original shipping label, you know the one i need to keep for the one year warranty, back to the company. why can't they just say "we're sorry there is another blackberry on the way"? seems like it would require very little effort on their part to get an outstanding review from me and a lot of effort on my part just to get the dang $7.00 blackberry that i ordered. not sure if I'll bother trying to get the plant or ordering from this company again, I don't have the time for BS.
On May 9th, 2012, ShanMan changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:
my other blackberry arrived in magnificent condition so i am changing my rating to positive. one of my two mosquito shoo geraniums has since died and i will be sending it back but on the whole i am not worried as it was only $.01. two persimmon trees planted still show no outward signs of life but definitely pass the scratch test at the base and i am still sure they will be just fine as the two pomegranites in the same order a busting out like crazy. All plants are of top quality and i will be sure to order from this company again.
On May 5, 2012, mnflower East Gull Lake, MN wrote:
I am new to ordering online and my dad expressed that he did most of his ordering from burgess most his life so I followed his direction and boy was I amazed at the kind, pleasant people I had dealt with, My order was shipped when they said they would, they shipped when it was time for me to plant and all of my plants we are stated when ordered, sealed, wet with plenty of soil, but the time I got he plants I had buds all over all of them and I bought, roses, 3 of them, they come with directions how to plant and today they are all green and budding like crazy..One bad plant does make a company bad. I would definately encourage others to buy there products from this company. I am very pleased and amazed at how many buds were already on them all.
Buyer beware---under NO circumstances should you order from this company. Your credit card will be charged immediately but you will have to wait 60-90 days until you finally receive a bag of DEAD sticks. They take the term "bare root" to a new level that should be called "dead root". They make no effort to provide any moisture to the so-called roots to enable them to survive the shipment. You have been warned!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
I am new to this life, not new to life, but new to the pleasure of sinking my hands in to that backyard black gold.
I found Burgess online and found a few of their plants to be on the more interesting side. I placed the order, which was for more than a few of their plants, and after waiting 50 days for my order the order was wrong and several of the plants were dead or missing. And when I say missing, I donít mean they forgot to put the plants in the shipment - they forgot to put the plants in the pots!?!? They just sent me 3 empty pots with dirt with no plants.
So I called their customer service and yes they were very nice and pleasant, but their solution was for me to pay to have the "dirt" returned to them. I am sorry, but I did not order "dirt" nor should I have to pay to have the "dirt" returned for a replacement of most likely ďdirtĒ.
I am not sure how this company stays in business with service like this.
I ordered for the first time from Burgess this year. I have much experience with other catalog/online plant suppliers. When reading reviews of this or any other catalog company, please be aware that some of the reviewers posting negative reviews have never ordered plants before, and are not aware of the way it works (plants are typically bare-root, cuttings, etc and aren't "pretty" on arrival; also typically shipping is when the company feels appropriate planting for your area is).
My plants arrived in good shape, with the exception of one butterfly bush that the root appeared moldy (I'm still going to see whether it grows). They arrived in several shipments (expected) and at an appropriate planting time (mid-April).
The ordering was easy, shipment as expected, and the plants arrived healthy. I cannot comment on customer service, but many of the issues other reviewers ran into are not issues most would be likely to encounter (calling them to have a shipment moved up, calling to check on an order, etc). Possibly that's because I just ordered and relaxed, trusting that my order would arrive, and that if there's a problem it can be rectified at the WORST case by stopping payment on my credit card. And lo and behold - it did arrive, and in good condition!
Approximately 3 weeks after placing my order, and nearly 2 weeks after having gotten my first shipment, I contacted Burgess to find out the status of 7 items that had not been received. After NUMEROUS busy signals, and finally a ring through which was picked up and hung up with out Burgess saying a word, I finally reached a human. Although pleasant, she said that she could not tell me which item(s) was holding up the shipment of the balance of my order. After she talked with a "supervisor", she came back on the line and stated that the items that she thought were on back order were not, and that my order just had not been processed.
When pressed about a date to ship, she said it would be good to wait at least another week before I should look for my order.
If you want your order, and need what you order, there are other suppliers who are eager for business, and would rather provide service than a run around.
Overall ordering from burgess seed co. was very positive...they were consistent with thier web site and sent the seeds I ordered two weeks after the payment was processed....I orderd garlic sets, and potatos from them and they arrived in great shape and are growing well....the bare root trees came exactly as described on thier website. They were dormant with many healthy roots, and even some buds...they seem healthy and strong....they were shipped lightning fast via fedex and arrived in a very thick sturdy plastic bag,NOT a flimsy garbage bag as some described...they arrived at the end of March exactly when they shoud arrive in my growing zone.....now for the negative (though there is not much to complain about I do have one complaint that may cause me to consider other nuseries in the future)....BURGESS PLEASE, PLEASE, adequately train your telephone operators....while they are all american (which I like) they are very argumentative and quick to LIE TO CUSTOMERS....i called about 5 times in six weeks to check on my order status (to see if i could have them move up the shipping date due to warm weather,) every time I called they said, "oh it just shipped today you'll have it in a week" based on thier responses I am assuming that your opperators either don't know how to use computers, naturally lie to customers, or have been trianed to lie to customers to get us off the phone quickly....I could give more exampls but this isnt a hit piece...I just would like some one from Burgess to explain why tso many of thier customer service reps are either unable to access information or lying....we are adults, if they don't know exactly when something will ship, or can't change the shipping date they should just say so...that is the only thing that might keep me from doing business with them again.....too bad, really are fantastic products, and this is comming from someone who worked ten years on a tree farm.
I regret that I must post a negative review based on my shopping experience, in order to prevent this from happening to other potential customers. I just received my order with an unwanted substitution for what I did order. I also have concerns about the freshness of seed from Burgess.
I suggest implementing the following quality control improvements:
1. Implement an inventory control system that disables sales of sold-out merchandise.
2. Explicitly solicit permission from the customer to substitute, if that is your policy. I suggest implementing improvement #1 above, and only substituting in extraordinary circumstances, with explicit customer buy-in. I also suggest substituting only items likely to make up for the disappointment. You want your customers to have a positive shopping experience.
3. Maintain fresh seed stocks, and if seed must be stored, store it for optimal longevity. If Burgess is in fact a liquidator of old seed stock, then be up-front about this and discount it appropriately.
I'm rating the company as a neutral. I bought a variety of trees last year and did have the three multi-fruit tree types all survive. It will be a long time before I see them reach a productive size and can verify that they were as advertised but I'm in no hurry, just glad they've made it so far.
A cherry I bought was an irritating disappointment as it had obviously been been snapped and rammed in to fit, and arrived too far gone to recover. The "Lisa" noted as being responsible for that shipment should have been ashamed. Smaller bareroot tree's were more likely to be damaged and/or dry due to the lack of protective packaging, a few pulled through.
I am ordering the four multi-fruit trees again this year based on the fact that they were a bit sturdier and seemed to come through their handling and shipping better, a key there is that they don't really have branches which also helps I think. This year I'm passing on all of the additional items I thought were interesting.
Like other reviews, I am mystified as to why they don't put their tree bags in protective boxes with a little moistened newspaper around the roots like other online nurseries. I'd be willing to pay the extra few bucks for actually getting the products to me in better shape.
The adage "You get what you pay for" certainly applies. My orders for things that didn't come in good shape from them last year are definitely going elsewhere but my experience wasn't so terrible I'm not willing to give them one more shot.
This is the first year that I purchased anything from Burgess, but the shipment came in 2 orders, the first one came fine and by Fedex. the 2nd came with USPS, which I hope they never send with them again, the shipment was shoved in my mailbox even tho it was too big to fit in. The plants all looked like they were dead but after inspecting them a little bit more you could tell that they were just dormant. I ordered 10-12 different Roses, 4 Weeping Willows and assortment of other plants. They are all in the ground and you can see that they are starting to bud. So far I am happy with my purchase. Burgess gets a positive review from me for speed of shipment, ease, and the price of the items. I'm hooked on the buy one get one for a cent. :)
On Feb 16, 2012, NC_Garden_Lover Angier, NC wrote:
I have just ordered a LOT of plants from Burgess and now I am reading so many negative comments about them and the quality of their products. I have only received 2 little packets of seed so far but I can tell you, I paid $6.19 for 12 cucumber seed!!!!! That is outrageous. I don't care if the cucumbers are lined in gold as they grow this is terrible so I am wondering if the remaining part of the two orders I have placed will have similar 'surprises' for me? I will keep you all posted.
On Feb 9, 2012, DixieSalvation Spotsylvania Courthouse, VA wrote:
Fool me once...
Well, it's shame on me at this point in time. I have ordered from them a few times and had a headache every time. When i contacted them they were prompt in responding but my first order that contained some plants that were dry as a bone and dead was replaced with a shipment of some lovely moldy plants, one of which was actually bent & snapped in half to fit in the box they shipped them in. Well, i placed another order and in it ordered lily of the valleys. I got some tree looking things, let them know and they said they would reship the correct plant. Well, i received another package a few weeks later with the same dormant tree things in it! I looked around online and i don't think i am crazy but lily of the valley plants are NOT trees. I gave up trying to get the to correct that. Then i ordered 50 strawberry plants. 25 were fantastic, 25 were rotten (they were bundled into two bags of 25). I never let them know at this point in time i don't feel like wasting my energy with them, i just wish i hadn't wasted my money too.
I ordered a lot of plants my first time out ordering from Burgess, I only did so because my grandmother used to. I did not have good luck when e-mailing to ck on a shipment which I began to worry about after they had billed me 2 months prior-I finally got an email saying they were in the shipping Dept-but it still took another 3 weeks. I did not expect the twigs, sticks and dry grass-I ordered seeds too-some I could plant in late fall, not according to their package but what I read on-line-I did not realize I would be getting 'dormant' plants-but used the instructions and planted all anyways-my weeping willow started gettting leaves right away, which fell off once winter set in, but I can see it is growing a bit anyways. Same with 2 lilac twigs-they are all sticks right now-I did ck one tree that had no leaves that looks dead but a light fingernail scrape shows green in the trunk so I am sure it is fine-the grasses still look dead, blue fescue-but all arrived for planting at a time when growth is not number one priority as being visible. Now my burning bushes on the other hand started to get masses of green leaves shortly after our first cold freezes-same with my winter hardy roses. I am giving them a good rating based on the prices and instructions-I do see even dormant that there is life of some sort-and I did additionally add root growth liquid to all just in case. I have heard that even a year is not enough to know with some plants so have all planted in good locations for them and plan to plant around them because high patience with verything is not my strong point!-I have seen my grandmothers from Burgess take 2-3 yrs to really take off and am willing to wait on certain plants in the belief that overall these may end up being my sturdiest plants in the future because they were bare root. I am not thrilled with my own yet-but can say that my grandmothers-which are only purchased (she is very loyal to this company) over the years from Burgess and the Dutch sounding line they are affiliated with-are outstandingly healthy plants, and she has a yard full- so I know what possibilities may be in store for my own. The only negative was email responses and my own not understanding their shipping dates, which I do know now! I will definitely order again.
On Jan 9, 2012, prettyflower1 Evergreen, WI wrote:
I have to admit that I was a little shocked when I recieved my hydranea treas-looked like sticks. They were dormant-followed the instructions and to my delight they came to life and flowered. I ordered a variety of plants and a few trees.
Not everything survived but most of it did. I have been ordering for several years now and will order again. The prices are great. If something does not make it I don't feel to bad. I have tried a lot of companies, paid more, felt bad when plant/tree did not come back. I am ordering again this year!
On Jan 9, 2012, Burgess Seed responded with:
"On Jan 12, 2012 3:56 PM, Burgess Seed responded with:
I wanted to 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. I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to post your comments.
beware - do not buy from Burgess.... sent me bad plants. ( dead black and moldy when they arrived ) much complaining later agreed to refund $200 of it - about 1/4 of the order with me spending another almost $50 to mail the dead stuff back. . 4 years ago! I finally just got a stale dated check this past summer. I politely informed them the PO messed giving them a chance to weasel out. since then the excuses/lies. they can not find the original order - have no record of me. they will not take an email attachment of the check. - did not like copy I sent to BBB when they were contacted. I sent them a copy registered mail. they are insisting I send original back to them... they did not like a letter from my bank stating check was not cashable. got a letter from them demanding the check since it was cashable 4 years later - yet another lie proving they have no intentions of honoring the check. if I give them the original I have nothing to give a judge - told them so... they have ignored me since. I am contacting the IL state attorney as well as the Bloomington city/count atty office over this also. note this place goes under many names... out of bloomington IL
among the names they use Burgess Seed
Direct Gardening Dutch Gardens
Farmer Seed and Nursery Four Seasons Nursery
Honeycreek Nurserie House of Wesley
Inter-State Nurseries Kelly Nurseries
Richard Owen Nursery / Exciting Gardens
Posted on August 15, 2011, updated November 13, 2011
Do not order from Burgess. They do bad business. I grow fruits and vegetables to sell at farmer's markets and have planted over 50 raspberry/blackberry plants from various vendors. I decided to order 168 plants from Burgess. Many of the plants arrived completly dried up or soft and moldy. All the dead plants were not "bare root," they had no root at all. I wrote them an email asking for replacements and they told me to just plant them. I have already done so without them telling me to, however, I do not think they are dormant plants. I recieved dead plants. I don't like to have to go through all the work and hassle of having to ask and wait for a refund or replacements. I would like to be able to pay for and receive a quality product. I will give the plants some time to see if any of the dead plants are salvagable but will not order from them again. Here is the email that I sent them and the reply I recieved.
I sent them:
I placed an order with you on July 20, 2011 for some plants. The order number is 33508760. It consisted of 42 Amber Raspberry plants, 42 Thornless Canby Raspberry plants, 42 Brandywine Raspberry plants, and 40 Black Satin Thornless Blackberry plants. Many of the plants arrived dead. They were brown, dried up, withered, and moldy. Of the plants sent, 41 Amber Raspberry, 32 Brandywine, 6 Thornless Canby, and 30 Blackberry were dead. Iam requesting for replacements all of the dead plants. Thankyou
The reply I received:
Thank you for your email regarding the plants you received from us. You stated that some of your plants appear "dead" or have not yet started to bud and leaf-out. Please keep in mind that much of our nursery stock is shipped in a dormant, bare root condition or in starter pots that require transplanting. Also your plants may be stressed by shipment. Therefore,the plants may look "dead," be droopy upon arrival, have lost leaves in shipment, or may leaf-out later than an established plant. If you have not already done so, please plant all plants immediately following the instructions in our planting booklet. Water them regularly.Give them a chance. In nearly every instance the plants will grow and thrive. If after six weeks of planting, your plants do not leaf out or if you are certain they are not alive, return the original shipping label from the package as required by our guarantee. Upon receipt a replacement order will be scheduled for you. Please include a full explanation of the problem by item and quantity. Thank You
Customer Care Department
On November 13th, 2011, Plor added the following:
Sat, October 8, 2011
Hello, I am now sending the shipping label along with all the dead plants for a refund. Here is the letter that is being returned with the plants. They are being sent to 905 Four Seasons Road Bloomington, IL 61701.
To Whom It May Concern:
I placed an order with you, Burgess Seed, on July 20, 2011 for berry plants. The order number is 33508760. I am requesting a refund for the following:
Many of the plants arrived dead. They were brown, dried up, withered, and moldy. I planted them right away following the directions that were included. I also ordered pep start pills and included one for every plant. All of the berry plants are dead except for three blackberry plants. I have inquired before and requested a refund but was asked to give the plants more time to grow. I am convinced that the plants are now dead and would appreciate a prompt return of my money. Included is a copy of the email purchase order. Thankyou
Mon, October 10, 2011
I am sorry to hear of the problem with your plants. Our refund guarantee does state that you must return the plants within 14 days of receipt for a refund however, you are still eligible to receive replacement or a credit voucher. You will want to return the original shipping label, along with a brief note detailing your request. We do not ask that you return the plants. Please let me know if you have already sent your letter at this time.
Customer Care-Email Division
Sun, November 13, 2011
I am concerned with your refund policies. I am told to keep the plants for 6 weeks to make sure that they really are dead, however I am only allowed a refund if I ask for it within 14 days. I hope you will consider giving me the refund because I was not satified with the quality of the product when I first recieved it. The only reason why I did not return it within 14 days was because you told me I had to keep it for 6 weeks in order to make sure they were not alive.
Panachon Lor On Nov 13, 2011, Burgess Seed responded with:
"On Oct 20, 2011 1:24 PM, Burgess Seed responded with:
The items received in this order were are all shipped bare root and dormant as this allows them to be transplanted with much higher degrees of success. Since they are dormant, and not leafed out, they may be mistaken for dead. We suggest soaking in water overnight or for a few hours before planting. We were able to contact the customer via Dmail and did ask that they allow some time for the plants to break dormancy and show signs of life since they had just been received and planted. At this time, we have not heard back from the customer by dmail, so hopefully all have survived. If they do not survive, the plants are covered under our one year guarantee.
Posted on November 2, 2011, updated November 3, 2011
I recently ordered some plants from Burgess. The almond tree I ordered was not available. As a substitution, they sent me two chestnut plants. I contacted the customer care department through e-mail and explained that I did not want the chestnut trees. They offered me a refund for the almond tree or the choice of being put on a waiting list for the almond tree. They also allowed me to keep the two chestnut trees. If I find that I like chestnuts as well as I like almonds, I will probably order more. I am very well satisfied with Burgess plants and customer service.
On November 3rd, 2011, dorismarie added the following:
My plants also looked like dead sticks when they first arrived. But, I followed the directions and soaked them in water and then planted on a Saturday. By Thursday, the Rose of Sharon "sticks" had started putting out new leaves.
On Nov 2, 2011, mizznkeeper Lincolnville, SC wrote:
I am still waiting for an order I placed on 8/18. I have communicated several times but still no order...I have orderded before and alot of items did not grow but I did not want to hassle with the replacement. I was not going to order again but the catalouge looked inviting...Now I throw out the catalouges soon as I receive them and do not look at them. If I ever get my order I will never knowingly make the same mistake again....some of these nursery's are affilliated so I am going to be more careful....
On Nov 2, 2011, Burgess Seed responded with:
"On Dec 5, 2011 8:08 AM, Burgess Seed responded with:
We have tried to contact the customer via Dmail and have received no response. The current order had already been shipped at the time the post was made and delivery shows it was received shortly. We are sorry to hear that plants from previous orders did not survive, and hope the customer chooses to take advantage of our one year guarantee. "
On Sep 28, 2011, rocdoc77 Great Falls, SC (Zone 8a) wrote:
Letter about Kelly's and Burgess nursery.
> I guess I'm a glutton for punishment, because I bought plants from both
> The plants from Kelly's were dry beyond recovery upon were arrival, I
> complained by e-mail replacement plants were of no use to me they were also
aI had ordered some plants from Burgess, when I found out that two are
> related I e-mailed to stop this order. E-mail after e-mail they said the
> the plants would be sent, I asked for a refund, the excuse was it would be hard
> to stop.
"Thank you for your email. Once an order has been processed, it does become
> very difficult to cancel an order. Please allow more time for your request
> to be processed.:"
My last email I quote
> You took money in July 2011 and have had it over 2 months.
> I plan To Send a copy of correspondence to The Attorney General in
> Bloomington, IL Consumer Protection Division and Dave's Garden web site.
> Return my money.
> Donald Privett
> Thank You Customer Care Departmeny
We purchased a new home about a year & a half ago which sits on a little over 2 acres - most of it yard. We decided to plant some fruit and nut trees, not just for our own enjoyment but to increase the value of the property. We ordered quite a bit from Burgess and a few from Four Seasons. The orders arrived right before Memorial Day weekend - when it was already HOT here in Georgia. I didn't expect them to be shipped until fall.
All the plants arrived as dormant bare root in plastic bags. It took me 3 days to get them all planted or potted. As I was about to plant one of them, I realized they had sent me a peach tree instead of the dwarf stanley plum that I'd ordered. Apparently that variety was victim of crop failure, yet when I visited their site, the only plums they were selling were the dwarf stanley variety. I called the company because I didn't want a peach tree at all! I didn't order any, why would they believe that would be a suitable substitute. I was instructed to send the peach tree back to them with the shipping label and a note with my request. I did, and a couple of weeks later, I received a dwarf stanley plum.
As any gardener/farmer will tell you, you're not gonna get 100% of the seeds/seedlings you plant to grow. That's just a part of nature. Of the 14 trees ordered from Burgess and Four Seasons, 5 haven't "survived" (including the dwarf stanley), but the other 9 are growing beautifully. I'm in the process of sending the shipping labels back with requests for replacements right now. Found this discussion while having trouble getting their websites to come up. :(
Overall, I'm very pleased with the quality and service I've received from both Burgess and Four Seasons.
On Sep 9, 2011, ccsslb Chenoa, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:
I actually read the reviews here first, but decided to take a chance anyway. I am in the process of converting all of our landscaping to edible choices for my family and livestock. I needed a LOT of plants and I was able to speed up my plans due to the affordable prices at Burgess.
I ordered over $400 of fruit and nut plants this Spring. They arrived in several shipments in the infamous green and red plastic bags. I knew I was buying dormant, bare-root plants and was not surprised to receive the 'dead twigs' that everyone talks about.
It was also no surprise to me that, although most of the plants grew very well, some just didn't make it. There was about a 10% fail rate. But I also bought plants at the same time from some very reputable companies and local nurseries. Some of those didn't make it either. That isn't a reflection on any of the companies I bought from, it's just the nature of delicate young plants.
On August 22, I sent them a letter along with the original shipping labels detailing which plants failed. Today, September 9th, I received the first of two shipments of replacement stock.
I waited to post this review to first see how they would handle the warranty. I am very pleased with my experience with this company and, in fact, am preparing my next order.
BTW, in case you have a skeptical mind like me, I am a real person and I don't work for them in any way!
I purchased and planted 2 sub-zero roses in 09; I did not mulch, cone or tip them prior to our severe, No. MN, zone 4 winter.....they lived. This year I planted 9 more and they are beautiful; I look forward to enlarging my rose garden and ordering another assortment of 9 next spring. The price was very reasonable and I am very pleased with the experience.