I ordered two Royal Empress tress from Nature Hills Nursery. The confirmation email I received stated the tress would be shipped the first week of October and I received them on September 24th. I'm not complaining...the only issue with that was I wasn't ready for them yet (didn't have holes dug or the protective wire to go around them to keep my dogs away from them).
When the tress arrived, they were the size I expected from the description on the website, they were packed very well and they were green and healthy! Today is September 25 and I just got them in the ground according to the instructions that came with them.
Should anything change, I will update my review but, for now I am happy with my purchase.
Well I wished I had read these reviews before making my purchase with Nature Hills.
THE GOOD: I ordered a bareroot Northern Red Oak back on April 21. Nature Hills had it ready for shipping around April 26, and actually shipped it on April 30th. It was delivered by FedEx on May 2. The box looked great and the tree was well packed in the box to minimize movement, shifting and damage.
THE BAD: Even though the box looked great, I thought the tree looked quite dry, including the packing material around the roots. I followed the directions in the box to prep the tree and then planted the tree later that same day that I received it. Western New York has received near ideal growing condition this Spring and Summer. Adequate rainfall, which I augmented when needed, lots of sunshine and not too hot temps. My garden has shown the results this year, except for this tree.
I first contacted the company on May 30th, as it was obvious to me that this tree was not going to break dormancy. It was dead. I contacted them again on May 31st and again on June 2nd. The finally replied on June 3rd. I received their boilerplate response "It can take up to 90 days for these items to break dormancy and the average amount of time is 5-6 weeks. The plants will establish their root systems before they will show physical signs of new growth above the surface (buds, leaves, etc.). Each plant is unique in the way that it will grow; even two plants of the same species could leaf out at different times (one tree could start to break dormancy two days after being planted while another of the same species can take up to 90 days to break dormancy). We have sent out thousands of plants this way over the years, and in most cases they will thrive if they are given enough time. Our nursery manager recommends a scratch test. Scrap away enough of the bark to actually see underneath. Scrap toward the top and bottom of the tree about 5-6 inches above the soil. If it is a yellow or green color, it is still alive."
I can't say that I've purchased 1000s or 100s of bareroot plants but I have purchased probably between 50 and 100 over the years and this is the first that didn't leaf out. EVER OTHER bareroot plant I've planted leafed out with 2 weeks once the appropriate growing season was reached. So I was befuddled by the need for 90 days. I also couldn't figure out the green scratch test. The wood of the tree will act like a wick and draw water up from the ground as long as it's in the ground. This could take a long time before the scratch test will show something other than green.
Well I gave it 90 days. You know the result ... still no leaves, still green after scratch test, but still dead. Contacted Nature Hills again on Aug 12, 13 and 14 to ask for a refund since I already purchased a replacement tree from Spring Hills Nursery (which leafed out in 4 days after I planted it). Finally got a reply referencing their replacement policy and that they do not offer refunds. But they'll be happy to sell me another tree at a discount along with regular shipping fees applied.
What a wonderful deal. They ship out a dead twig, make you wait 90 days and then offer you a deal to buy another dead twig at 1/2 price.
But why 90 days ... I called my credit card company to ask about getting the charges reversed. I called just in time. Visa only gives you 120 days to request a refund. hmmm ... delay shipment a few days to a week, drag out replacement/refund requests and hope that the 120 days to dispute a charge with your credit card company lapse first. Now I understand their business model. Buyer beware!
We received tree from Nature Hills as a 2012 Christmas gift from my parents. I immediately checked this site and was not super encouraged. I called customer service and asked about several things - one of them being cashing in the gift certificate. That was not possible (we didn't really think it would be) so we switched trees to one more suited for our yard. Our Lacebark Elm tree came in April 2013. We planted the barerooted tree immediately even though it appeared dead, knowing it would take some time for it to break dormancy. It showed no life by June so we called customer service. They told me to be patient and that it would take 90+ days to leaf out. By the 2rd of August there was still no life so I emailed them asking what the next step for getting a replacement was. I was told I needed to call them. When I did I was told I would need to pay half of today's cost (which is double what it was at Christmas) for the replacement plus shipping. They claim the tree was viable when shipped but I'm not convinced. I will not pay them again. We have purchased many trees, shrubs and perennials over the years (we have close to 1000 at last count) and never had an issue with a return. Don't be fooled by their low prices. I am sure there are some lucky people who have had success with them, but don't take a chance. There are many reputable companies vying for your business who offer a real guarantee - go with one of them.
On Aug 7, 2013, mimosa9 MECHANICSBURG United States wrote:
I purchased a mimosa tree in April 2013. I planted the bareroot tree knowing it would be late May at the earliest for it to break dormancy. It showed no life by early June so I called customer service. They told me to be patient and that it would take 90+ days to leaf out. By the 3rd week of July there was still no life so I called them back. This customer service expert told me to cut the top half off the 5 ft tree to shock it to life. This sounded absurd but I did it. After 10 days I knew it was not coming to life. I called again to set up a fall replacement and was told I would need to pay half for the replacement plus shipping. They claim the tree was viable when shipped but I'm not convinced. I will not pay them again. I have purchased many trees over the years and never had an issue with a return. Most of my fruit trees come from Stark Bros and they are very good to deal with. I guess that is why they have been in business since 1814. The way Nature Hills does business they will be lucky to make 15 years of business. STAY AWAY. There are many reputable companies vying for your business.
On Jul 31, 2013, moochesmom Whitmore Lake, MI wrote:
If there was a stronger adjective to use than negative I would choose that! I placed an order with this company that was supposed to ship in 5-7 business days. After 6 weeks, I still have not received my order, nor has my account been credited with the amount billed. I have repeatedly tried to contact their customer service department via phone and email without response. I would NEVER use or recommend them!
Purchased two red oaks in November of 2012, we are in July of 2013 and trees have not leafed out. Contacted customer services and was told I would have to pay half price for the trees and shipping costs. Locally if you purchase trees and they do not leaf out in Spring you get trees replaced at no costs. This is a no lose situation for Nature Hills Nursery and a big lost for the customer. Will not be associating with this company in the future.
On Jun 13, 2013, greenthumb60073 Round Lake, IL wrote:
I found this blog after placing my order with this company for the first time and needless to say I was very concerned with the number of negative comments posted on this blog. My experiences were similar in terms of the lack of communication between placing the order, eventual shipping of the trees and the immediate charging of the credit card.
Upon arrival two of trees looked dead and were sticks (brushwood looking), and one had buds that appeared to be dormant. The experiences on this blog caused me to write off calling customer service to complain, as an unnecessary headache and I immediately planted the trees with the best conditions for the trees...(lucky for me I live next to an experienced gardener who was more than happy to help).
It will take a growing season to really determine the viability of these trees, and hence the neutral rating. I have purchased trees and plants previously from other online retailers and the plants/trees were shipped in better condition with more amicable customer service and customer friendly return policies and the plants thrived immediately. I bought trees from nature hills because they had trees not readily available in my area (or I have to just look more thoroughly). Anyway, I will update this rating next year (lol) when I can determine an outcome for the trees ( particularly the 2 sticks). I probably will think twice about ordering again from this company again however.
I purchased a tree from around a year ago, they charged my credit card immediately. Two weeks pass and no tree yet so I contact support who says the tree hasn't been shipped yet and that they should be shipped in a month. I stuck with it and month passes and yet no tree. I contacted Customer Support and ask to cancel and they respond saying tree is being shipped and I should have it in two weeks so I decide to wait it out. Yet again two weeks pass and no tree. I contact support and they say I can cancel but will get charged a fee for cancellation or the tree will be shipped right away and I can wait for tree to be shipped and get a $20 gift certificate. So not only did they lie that it was being shipped but they also try charging me to cancel on an order that took 3 months to even ship !!!
Stupid me decided to take the $20 gift certificate and wait on the tree. It finally arrived and looked like absolute $hit with bare roots and no leaves and practically dead. I planted anyways hoping to save the tree. No luck, the tree died. Contacted support and they stated they would give me a 50% discount for another tree. Like WTF is that bull$hit? You give me a George Burns tree and then want me to pay you to get another tree that would probably die right away too.
This company is an absolute joke and refuse to purchase anything from them again. I am also passing the word along to everyone I know and throughtout the internet so everyone knows how terrible this company is and prevent others from making the same mistake I did.
Marty, Forked River, NJ
On April 24,2013 I ordered some trees from nature hills nursery. They immediately charged my credit card. I was told I would receive a order number and a date when they would be shipped. I never received either. On may 1,2013 I cancelled the order through their cancellation web site. On may 15, 2013 I received a box from them, they shipped it after my cancelling the order anyway. I called and left a message asking them to pick up the box as I had cancelled it in due time. I called several more times and was sent to voice mail each time. I sent another email and still no response. The box sat here for two weeks and began to smell and I started seeing bugs in and around it . I had to discard it as I did not want them in my house. These people could care less about customer service as they received the money and just ignored my efforts to resolve this. I highly recommend people to stay away from this company as they are the most unreptable company I have ever dealt with.
In October we ordered a 6'-7' Maple. We waited weeks to have the order fulfilled because they said they had to wait fo it to go dormant. In November, we received a thin box containing a 6' long twig with exposed roots. We called concerned, because this is not what we expected. The Customer Service Rep said it was dormant and would take until spring to leaf out. Spring came, and it is obviously not alive. Customer Service states that we waited too long because we should have known the tree was dead when it arrived. They offered to allow us to purchase another one 50% of the cost. Why would I do that, when the first tree obviously did not survive transit and customer service is so poor. Christian Hill, the "Customer Service" Representative is wholly unhelpful. How is a customer supposed to know that a dormant tree did not survive shipment?
Posted on June 4, 2013, updated June 4, 2013
Last year I ordered a flavor grenade pluot. It looked dead when I received it. It didn't look like the buds were alive, and there wasn't enough root present in my opinion for it to survive. I planted it anyway. After waiting the required time, there were no signs of life. No bud swelling, no root growth. (I am an experienced gardener and orchardist).
I contacted Nature Hills and explained that I didn't think their return policy was fair in this case in that they sent me a dead tree.(Their policy is to send another tree at half price). I dug up the tree and took photos of it and the inadequate root system. I told them under the circumstances the right thing to do would be to send a replacement at no charge.
After receiving my email and the attached photos, they agreed to do just that. The replacement tree I received this year is alive and healthy. I am very happy with it.
Although their return policy can be unfair, at least they will listen. In my case they took care of me, and I really appreciate that.
On June 4th, 2013, selawless changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:
On Jun 1, 2013, Bec_No_Va Huntsville, AL (Zone 7b) wrote:
Posted on May 21, 2009, updated June 1, 2013
So far so good, had trouble finding a specific rose bush and NH had it in stock - received today and if the size is anything to go by it looks like I'll be happy with my purchase
On June 1st, 2013, Bec_No_Va added the following:
I have now ordered from NH several times and have ALWAYS been happy with product and delivery! Received 3 shrubs within 2 weeks of ordering, well packaged and the plants are very healthy! Delivery company was another story tho on the last order, box clearly states plants and arrows pointing UP - but, they had obviously used the box for basketball On Jun 1, 2013, Nature Hills Nursery responded with:
Thank you so much for taking the time to let us know, it's great to hear from our long time customers!
We hope you'll check in with us over the summer, we have some great new things coming this year.
Also, please let us know if you have any trouble with any plants that were in the box that had a particularly adventurous trip :)"
OMG, WHY didnt I read these reviews before ordering with this company??? That is my fault. Also, I read the ridiculous Terms and Agreements and STILL ordered. I'm so mad at myself. The issue I have with them, however, is that I cancelled an order while my status read 'processing', according to their website. I found a hard-to-find tree at a local nursery selling a vital, healthy, 5 ft. tree for the same price as what I was paying (after S&H) at Nature Hills. I tried to call them but they close at 3pm (?!!) so I followed the cancellation instructions on their T&C and emailed. I did not hear anything from them until this morning when I saw a shipping notice for the tree. Wha??? I called them and spoke with a very rough customer service rep who kept repeating their Terms and Conditions. She cut me off so many times, I ended up raising my voice, which is always unfortunate. According to her, the status on their website may not always represent the true status, and my cancellation came a 'little too late' despite what the status said. According to their T&C, they accept no returns. So, I'm stuck. I really hope this tree is in good condition.
I highly question the integrity of this company and telling me that their website version of my order may not be accurate and that customers do not require knowledge of when a shipment is being prepared sounds shady to me at best. I feel I tried diligently to cancel and despite my efforts, they shipped anyway. Their T&C box people in, leaving no room to satisfy the customer in cases where things come up. I ordered from many other online nurseries and never found this to be the case anywhere else. DO NOT order from this company. They do not seem to care about their customers' satisfaction. Lesson learned.
On May 29, 2013, Nature Hills Nursery responded with:
We, of course, are very sorry this customer is so upset.
Ms.Lariza placed her order Friday afternoon. She had emailed us on Tuesday after business hours to cancel as according to her email "My husband already bought one of these trees for me, so I will not need this."
However, the packing slip for her order had already printed Tuesday and her order shipped Wednesday morning.
Normally customers are thrilled that their order has shipped so quickly.
However, I understand it is disappointing in this situation as a mistake has been made and they now have two trees.
Although the frustration caused by a simple mistake is understandable the review really is surprising.
I'm sorry that very fast processing and shipping did not work out in this case, but I do truly hope that she enjoys her tree for years to come. "
On May 18, 2013, Youknowwhat FRESH MEADOWS, NY wrote:
Last week, I placed an order for 1 ea. White Lady Peach tree. I placed the order on a Sat afternoon and by Sunday morning, after I learned that the tree would be too big for my aunt's garden, I promptly sent them a cancellation notification. Hoping to stop them from processing my order. During my entire ordering and cancellation process, Nature Hills was closed. Yet, when they opened on Monday, knowing full well that my order was cancelled, they still charged my credit card for the tree. When I called them on Tuesday, they agreed to refund my charge, however, they deducted $10 "cancellation" fee for the transaction. I have notified them before they could do any "work" on my order, they still insisted on charging me $10 (which is 17.8% of my order total) for performing no work. I just want to write this experience to warn any potential buyers out there about the hefty cancellation fee. I was not aware of the cancellation fee. Read their fine prints carefully before you placed any order with this store.
On May 18, 2013, Nature Hills Nursery responded with:
As I explained to Ms. Liu our cancellation fee which is 10% or a minimum of $10 is to cover our costs and fees.
As soon as an order is placed the items are removed from our inventory and reserved for a customer, that is why the credit card is charged immediately upon placing an order. These happen automatically within our system, not when we return from the weekend.
We do incur a fee from the credit card company, we also manually cancel and adjust inventory at the time of a cancellation.
Ms. Liu had stated that the tree she ordered was too large for her aunt. As I would have hoped that she still wanted to gift her aunt a tree that perhaps would work better for her I did offer her 10% off her next order to offset the cancellation fee.
We do hope that she will consider that as a tree is a lovely gift to give.
My husband ordered three hybrid poplars a few weeks ago and we've heard nothing. We've tried to call, left multiple messages, but no response at all. They have our money, but we can't even get the courtesy of a response. Extremely frustrating!
On May 15, 2013, Nature Hills Nursery responded with:
I emailed this customer twice through Dave's Garden with no response. We did however catch up to the customer on Facebook. We are sorry to hear that they had trouble getting through to us.
Their order has shipped and been delivered."
On May 13, 2013, LaneLandscape Flemington, NJ wrote:
Posted on May 13, 2013, updated May 13, 2013
I have purchased several plants, shrubs and trees online and always received what I expected. I ordered 5 Barberry Crimsons from Nature Hills. They were to be shipped in gallon containers, so I knew they would not be very big, but expected them to be visible and have some form. They arrived and I couldn't have been more disappointed. There was just a few little branches sticking out of each pot. I planted them because I was on a landscape deadline and needed them to finish job. From 20 yards away you cant even see them in the mulch beds, up close they look like a little piece of branch that broke of a tree and landed in the mulch bed.....HORRIBLE!!!..DO NOT ORDER FROM THEM. Im just glad they didn't have the other bush I wanted so I ordered them from another company and received exactly what I expected.
On May 13th, 2013, LaneLandscape added the following:
I also sent an email regarding my disappointment with my order. They never replied back to me.
On May 8, 2013, hankandellen Ellettsville, IN wrote:
Disaster!! We ordered buffalo grass plugs to plant- we made it clear we were planting them today, May 8, so they needed to arrive a day or two before. First problem - the website said 95 plugs/tray. The emailed invoice said 72 plugs/tray. Had to call Sabrina and straighten that out and order a bunch more trays to make up the shortfall. Then received no receipt for the new order. Had to call and get that straightened out. Then Sabrina calls me last week to say they can't get me the plugs in time - that if they leave NE early enough to get to IN, they will have to sit in the dark over the weekend, and we would have no guarantee on the survival of the plugs. I had a volunteer day all set with the help I needed to get >1,000 plugs planted - I asked them to find a way to make this right, as they had promised me I'd have them in time. Nope. Got a 10% price cut from Allison, which is ok but will barely cover the cost of the contractor we have to hire to plant the plugs since we couldn't set up another volunteer day in time. I never got a FedEx tracking number so had to call for that and I was told there were seven boxes and that they might be on different trucks and arrive on different days. Andrea was the one who told me that and was very rude - 'if you have a problem with that, call FedEx'. A really bad experience. Never, ever, again.
On May 8, 2013, Nature Hills Nursery responded with:
We are extremely sorry that this customer is so unhappy. We tried very hard to fix what was initially a representative's mistake.
Ms. Jacquart had initially wanted her grass delivered on a Monday. When we realized that her order would be in transit too long if we kept that delivery schedule we contacted her immediately so see how we could handle this for her.
We offered to hold the grass until a more suitable time we also offered Ms. Jacquart simple instructions so she could hold the grass and keep it healthy if she had to arrange for another install date.
Because Ms. Jacquart was a repeat customer we did offer a 10% discount as a courtesy and to help make up for any inconvenience this may have caused her. In this case that was a substantial amount.
I'm sorry we couldn't fix this to Ms. Jacquart's satisfaction. I really thought that we had as we did process the credit and she did accept delivery. Thank you."
Their prices were higher than just about every other online nursery. But in this case high price is not high quality.
I have been building up a small orchard on my property over the last 20 years and I have about 50 different fruit trees. I am not a beginner. I have dealt with several different businesses, buying both bare root and potted trees, so I know how these things should work.
I received a peach tree that was so severely root pruned that the leaves and buds dried out in 4 days, even though 2 of the days had rain. Since there were virtually no roots left, the tree could not get water to the leaves.
I thought that this was so obviously their fault that they would refund my money. All they kept repeating was that they shipped high quality trees and that the tree would recover. The answer is no on both points.
The issue is that the tree was root pruned too much and the entire tree will be shocked for a year or more - if it comes back at all.
Why should I pay a premium tree price for their mistake.
On May 7, 2013, Nature Hills Nursery responded with:
Posted on October 15, 2012, updated April 23, 2013
Posted on October 3, 2012, updated October 15, 2012
Ordered several Pluot trees and Cherry trees. Three of the pluots arrived in bad shape. One in particular had black stem tips and brown sprouts. All had NO fine root structure, just a tap root. I took extra good care of these, working from home on the day of arrival, and immediately potting them in large containers. I called to complain and was told to scratch the bark half way up the trunk, and if they were green to wait. Two were bright green but the third was a yellowish green. I informed the company that I would plant but was expecting replacements if I could not nurse it back to health. It sent one tiny sprout from the root stock and then died. It was in a three foot diameter, two foot deep planting hole with plenty of compost, peat mixed into the native loam. There was 3 inches of aged bark layed around the base of the tree in a four foot circle, and it was protected with a 7 foot high deer fence. I had planted 14 fruit trees at the same time and many from other vendors. All survived except this one. I asked for it to be replaced because it was not healthy and they said I would have to buy a new one for half price plus pay shipping. That is ridiculous. They have lost a customer.
On October 15th, 2012, BrianMacker changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
I have been told I will receive a replacement tree in the spring. I am changing my rating to neutral and will reevaluate in the spring.On April 23rd, 2013, BrianMacker changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:
I received my replacement tree Apr 23, 2013 and it looks healthy so I have planted it the same day. I am changing my review to positive because all the other trees survived, are doing as good as more expensive pluot trees (and are as large), and I got the replacement. The only minor problem I have is one of the cherry trees has a section of bark that died near the graft, but it is still alive and I think it will heal.On Apr 23, 2013, Nature Hills Nursery responded with:
We want to sincerely apologize for the issue with your tree and your experience with our customer service department. After reviewing the notes on your account, it appears that you notified us of your concerns upon the arrival of the trees, and that information doesn't seemed to have been taken in account when you last notified us. We would like to resolve this situation with you, and we will be reaching out to see if we can come up with an acceptable solution to this issue. Again, we apologize that this wasn't handled properly to begin with. We appreciate your business and would hate to lose a customer. We will be in touch.
Nature Hills Nursery Management
On Oct 15, 2012 7:23 AM, Nature Hills Nursery added:
Unfortunately, there was some miscommunications between our customer service representatives, and this situation was not handled with the care that we at Nature Hills strive for. Hopefully Mr. Macker will except our apology. We have reached out to the customer to resolve the situation. We hope he feels that the solution is satisfactory.
I may be new to website plant shopping but when I received my very expensive "trees" they were nothing but twigs. They secured the money from my credit card approximately one month before shipping my twigs to me. I ordered some springtime plants. The website states that the plants will ship according to my zone. They are now stating that they are in a cold area and the plants will not ship according to my zone but according to their weather conditions. Again the money from my credit card was taken 2 months before the projected shipping date. I am very apprehensive of the plants that I will receive. I have already purchased plants at my home town nursery for cheaper than I paid for these "sale" plants form Nature Hills. I have received very poor customer service from this company also. I called in and when a person answered she put me on hold and then transferred me to her voicemail. Needless to say she never returned my call. The email correspondence to my complaints was very brief and unhelpful. I have spent close to $1000.00 with this company with two orders and they have treated me with much disregard. I will not shop with them again and urge anyone who is smarter than me who researches the company to find someone else to buy the plants from. I could have bought much healthier trees from a local nursery for less money. I am ashamed of myself for trusting Nature Hills Nursery to be all that they claim to me on their website.
On Apr 20, 2013, Nature Hills Nursery responded with:
We are very sorry that there was any miscommunication or that you are unhappy with the products you received.
Our sales people do tell customers regularly that their credit card will be charged at the time of the order this information is also found on our website. We do this because we actually remove the items from inventory so the items can be reserved for you.
Our spring shipping does typically start with trees as most are shipped bare root and dormant, potted material ships a little later depending on the weather. You had mentioned that the items would ship according to your zone and this is correct.
However, the nursery manager does consider upcoming temperatures in your area as well as the temperatures the product will be subjected to in transit.
You had also mentioned finding some items locally at a lower price.
Please know that big box stores purchase large quantities of greenhouse grown product very inexpensively. Our items are grown especially for us at outdoor nurseries making them better quality and more hardy.
We are sorry you felt that our customer service was not up to par as we strive to offer great customer service to each one of our customers.
We do hope that you will be pleased with the rest of your order. If not please do not hesitate to contact us. Thank you.
my trees arrived in great condition , I thank nature hills for carig for these trees and for sending out the best to their customers , packaged very well and sent at the right time for them to survive . now it is up to me to continue to water and care for them . A tree cannot be planted and forgotten , plant it with love and take care of it water etc . and it will grow . now it is up to me to take care of them and enjoy them everyday .
Posted on March 25, 2013, updated March 26, 2013
I am so frustrated. Last week I ordered 4 potted plants. My debit card got charged but so far I have no confirmation email regarding the purchase. I have contacted the company's customer service line and it does not work! Seems like the line is disconnected. I have emailed customer service twice and still no response. Who runs a business this way? I wish I had never purchased from them. I should have done my research on nature hills. If I had gotten to this website first I would have never even looked at their website.
On March 26th, 2013, Monikag7781 changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:
Finally got through. I was using my cell phone and for some reason i couldn't connect using it. Sabrina from customer service called me and told me that due to the zone I live in, they were waiting to ship my pots. She was very nice and helpful.
I am a beginning gardener. I have ordered a Weeping Cherry along with some other trees and bushes. I am personally not familiar with Flowering Cherries and I never knew they didnít produce cherries. I was looking for a fruit bearing tree, looked at the picture and read the description of "Weeping Cherry" on NH website and was under the assumption this was a real cherry tree as its title suggest. When the order was on its way I found out through a friend that "Weeping Cherry" might not be a fruit bearing cherry at all. I then contacted Nature Hills about it, and told them I would like to return it. Then Iíve got this strict email telling me that if I want to return that their "Terms and Policies" will apply. So to get a return on the "Weeping Cherry" that I bought for $59.98 plus shipping I would have to spend almost half of the price to send it back. What is the use? I contacted the customer service and said that I made a mistake buying this tree but also it didnít say anywhere in the description of the tree that it wasnít fruit bearing. Then I asked if they could be more lenient and if they maybe would pay for the return shipping. They refused and send me this reply:
"Thanks for your inquiry. It is a common practice for nurseries, botanical gardens, and gardening magazines when describing Flowering Cherry trees, to describe the flower color and size but will not list it as a non fruit producing tree. The reason for this is the catagory "Flowering Cherry" refers to deciduous flowering ornamental trees only. Fruit bearing cherry trees will be classified under "Fruit Trees-Cherry" just as you see on our website. Nature Hills Nursery realizes that our customers may not be able to locate the answer to their question(s) on our web site, and we provide a toll free telephone number for this purpose. If you are wanting to return the Weeping Cherry as indicated in your previous E-mails, our return policy will apply and can be found on our web site at the bottom of each page, under "Terms and Conditions". Best Regards, Sabrina"
I am not sure if this is a common practice, but as I said before I am a starter and I didnít know. I also didnít grow up with flowering cherries as my friend who lives in DC, did. I donít think you can expect from anybody to know this unless only nurseries and botanical gardens are buying plants from you?
Now I was stuck with the tree I had no use and place for. Sending it back was even worse, what was the use of losing half the money to return it? Also I had 2 more orders pending (over $200) (that would ship in 2-4 weeks) and I decided to cancel them all and never buy from Nature Hills again. Obviously to cancel my orders was a pain in the *** too. I first wrote them an email and never got a response, then I called and some vague person told me she needs to redirect my request somewhere and then they will cancel it. I waited a day and I, of course, didnít hear anything from them on phone or email. On the website my orders were still processing and not cancelled. I had to call them again. The person on the phone said that the 2 orders will be canceled. Afterward I called my bank and they said that I have already been charged by Nature Hills for those 2 orders.
AVOID NATURE HILLS, THEY ARE NOT IN BUSINESS OF HELPING PEOPLE AND MAKING HAPPY CUSTOMERS.
THEY ARE OUT FOR THEMSELVES AND THE NASTY PROFITS BY SETTING UP THEIR CUSTOMERS.
On Mar 5, 2013, Nature Hills Nursery responded with:
I am very sorry this customer feels that we were not supportive or helpful.
We were very sorry to hear that Ms. Orr had ordered the Weeping Cherry by mistake and we truly did try to help by assisting her with a return.
We do understand that she was disappointed as a new gardener to have made such a mistake.
As noted above the the fruiting cherry trees and flowering cherry trees are listed separate on our site. We also have Plant Care Specialists available for our customers that may have any questions.
Nature Hills values each and every one of our customers so we were sorry that she felt her mistake warranted cancelling her other items with us.
We would like to assure her that her orders were cancelled and her credit card credited within 24 hours of her cancellation call. I'm not certain how she felt there was any misunderstanding regarding her cancellation.
In reference to Nature Hills charging her card for her other items, that is done at the time of the order as we had reserved those items for her.
Finally, if Ms. Orr would like to reconsider purchasing the other items we would like to offer her 10% off her next order as a courtesy.
We do hope Ms. Orr can find a place for the Weeping Cherry as it is a beautiful tree that we are sure will bring joy to her family for years to come.
I ordered a Pink Lemon Citrus Tree for a Christmas present online and recieved the order confirmation right away. I contacted the company after 2 weeks because the product had not arrived. Sabrina explained they ship out on Tuesdays and the past two weeks they were snowed in. She said I would receive notification once the product shipped and apologized for the delay. I received my tree and it's just lovely. Perfectly shaped and in great condition. It's the perfect Christmas present that lasts for years so thank you all for such a quality plant, Debi
I am surprised to see so many negatives on here about this company - had I looked at this before I ordered, I may have passed.
I ordered two American Cranberrybush Viburnums about 6 weeks ago. I agree with some other comments, the company's website was unclear as to shipping date - other than "ships in Fall 2012." So before I ordered, I called Nature Hills. They did tell me that my credit card would be immediately charged, and explained to me that the shrubs would ship when dormat, near end of October/early November.
The bare root shrub arrived 2 weeks ago, but I was disappointed to find that there was only one in the package - even though the paperwork indicated two. I took photos immediately. I called Nature Hills, and spoke with Sabrina. She asked me to send pictures, which I did. Within 24 hours, Sabrina contacted me again, apologized for the error, and two days later the second shrub arrived.
I found Sabrina to be very pleasant and professional, and appreciate that Nature Hills corrected its error so quickly. Folks, understand you're dealing with a mail order company. I wanted these particular shrubs, and couldn't find them anywhere locally. I was willing to take a chance. We'll see if they survive the winter, but I am hopeful.
I would try Nature Hills again based upon good customer service so far.
Posted on November 7, 2012, updated November 7, 2012
I placed my order on September 28, 2012. My credit card was charged immediately. I ordered 3 trees all of which were supposed to be in stock. I thought I would get my trees within a couple of weeks. Today it is November 7th and my order is still "processing". I have e-mailed three times, each time I get a response saying that my order will ship out soon. Apparently, bare root trees need to become dormant to ship out and this apparently takes a long time. I am close to calling my credit card company and issuing a charge back. No where on their website does it say that it will take a month and a half to get my trees, and I read the terms and conditions. Nor does it say anywhere for me to expect a certain amount of time after my order for the trees to become dormant. Very disappointed. I wish I would have investigated this company before I ordered. It appears that others have had the same issue as well as other problems with this company. Suggestion for Nature Hills: Don't offer false expectations. Be upfront with people so they know what to expect. Include this information clearly, not in the fine print. Don't charge somebody for a product that you can't deliver on; you will loose repeat business. First impressions are everything. Last time I will buy from this company >> this is my Nature Hills guarantee.
On November 7th, 2012, Covey changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
Bryan from nature hills reached out to me...he promised a delivery date and to better advertise the delivery schedule on their website..changing my rating to neutral to see if they perform. On Nov 7, 2012, Nature Hills Nursery responded with:
We are sorry if there was any miscommunication about your order. We do try and explain the shipping times of bareroot material on the product pages under the plant types and container sizes area. We also have information in our terms and conditions. Again, we are sorry if this was missed when you placed your order.
If the trees you ordered are bareroot, then they are field grown and harvested when they are dormant. Unfortunately, this is all dictated by the weather. Once the tree is dormant, or in a state of hibernation, then it is not disrupted when the tree is extracted from the ground. If we dig the trees when they still are in leaf, then there is a better than good chance that the tree will go into shock, and therefore will not survive the transplant. We try and take all precautions to send you the healthiest material in the safest way possible, to give you the best chance of success with your transplanting.
We apologize if you felt mislead. Our crews dig based on what species are ready (some species go dormant sooner than others). We do have a list of what is available now, and a recent update of what will be coming in over the next couple of days. If you would like, we can take a look at your order and try to give you more specific arrival date.
Please contact us so we can discuss this further, and try and come up with an acceptable resolution to the issue. If you can e-mail email@example.com with your name / order number, we can certainly see what we can do.
Purchased 5 peach trees from Nature Hills. Planted them all in the same general location and put them all on the same watering schedule. 3 out of the 5 survived. When I contacted the company about getting a replacement for the 2, I was told I would be charged 50% of the retail value plus shipping. Every REPUTABLE nursery in the country offers a 1 year warranty on their plants with proof of purchase. This was the first and LAST time I will ship at Nature Hills!
On Oct 23, 2012, Nature Hills Nursery responded with:
We are sorry that two of your trees didn't survive. We do guarantee that all orders for plant material arrive safely, and viable. Even so, when working with live material, there is a chance that a tree will not survive the transplant process. We try to offset that risk of loss by offering a no questions asked replacement policy. Any failed item can be replaced for half the current selling price, plus shipping and handling. We do explain this policy in our terms and conditions, listed on every page on our site and again in the checkout process.
I ordered a tree one month ago. They charged my visa immediately but I have yet to see the tree. When I asked for a refund they said the tree could not be shipped until the fall and that if I wanted to cancel my order they would charge a 10% cancellation fee. They also told me that I should have entered my zip code to get a delivery date. I did that and it still does not give a ship date. Be very careful when doing business with this company and read the "fine Print; I still can't find a reference to a cancellation fee!
On Sep 20, 2012, Nature Hills Nursery responded with:
We apologize if there was any miscommunication with your order. We take care to ship all material at the appropriate time for planting. Some material that we send it shipped bareroot, and weather dictates when the material can be harvested and safely shipped. We like to try and make sure that all material has the best chance for a successful transplant when it is sent.
We do explain the time frame of shipping bareroot material, as well as the cancellation fee in our terms and conditions. These terms are linked to at the bottom of every page on our website, and in the checkout process. An order will not go through until the customer checks that they have read and agree to our terms and conditions for the sale. The shipping time is also listed on the confirmation page once the order is submitted online.
I received ALL ordered 4 peach trees dead without the root system at all. Customer service rep lied about her name (she is Sabrina), was very rude, all the time talked over me and even did not lesten the problems. I suspect there are many upset customers that she is just sending out... They rised prices more than twice this Fall; therefore, if you reordering half price replacement products, you are ending up paying 1.5 times more than originally was paid. Looks like a tipical scam to me. Upset customers, do you want to file class action lawsuit on this NatureHills? I am a lawyer, please contact me if you want to do that
On Sep 7, 2012, Nature Hills Nursery responded with:
We are certainly sorry to hear that your trees did not survive. Every tree that we send out goes through rigorous inspection before it is shipped. Our nurserymen and women inspect each tree as it is dug, and when it is checked into our holding facilities. Trees are also inspected again when they are packaged. We check for height, weight, coloration, root structure, and pliability to ensure that every tree is viable when it is shipped.
We guarantee safe delivery of all material, and in the cases where a tree or plant was damaged during transit, we just ask to be notified of any issues within 48 hours. We apologize if you felt your case was mishandled, if we need to revisit the issues, we would be happy to look into the issues again.
If the issue was that the tree didn't survive a transplant, then we do offer a one year replacement for half the current selling price plus shipping and handling. Prices are determined by the type of material and the size of the tree. For many species of trees that we are carrying this fall, the sizes are significantly larger than the ones that we carried last spring. That could be the reason for the price increase. This is also something that we can look at again to be sure. Please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org is you would like us to review your order.
On Aug 20, 2012, gardener1124 Aquia Harbour, VA wrote:
Simple. They sent me a dead plant. I reported it within the allotted 48 hours. They told me it was "dormant". I said "No, it is dead", but they would not listen. So, I planted it. Four months later..still dead. The "customer service" lady who always answers the phone is very rude and condescending. She actually told me that I did not report that I had scracthed the bark in April, so I had not reported it as dead. Of course I would have done that had she asked me to. I have ordered from them multiple times, but they refuse to do the right thing regarding this one plant. Unscrupulous.
On Aug 20, 2012, Nature Hills Nursery responded with:
We are sorry to hear that you had an issue with your order, and that you felt your experience with our customer service representative was not up to our standards. We pride ourselves on offering excellent customer service.
Our trees are shipped dormant, but if there was an issue with your order when it arrived and you notified us, then we should have a record of that. Perhaps there was a misunderstanding on our end. We would like to review your order, and see if there was something that we missed. Please contact us at email@example.com, and we will see if we can't satisfy the situation. You mentioned that you have ordered multiple times, and we would like to think that is due to our service and our quality plants. We would hate to loose a valued customer because of a shortcoming on our end in this one case. Please let us know.
The tree I recieved was obviously dead upon arrival. I planted and cared for it anyway hoping for the best. After 2 months I gave up all hope. I called Nature Hills Nursery and they instructed me to scrape some of the trunk off to verify if it was dead and it was. They said they don't offer refunds but would send another tree at 50 percent off the going price. Guess what... the price for the same tree is now three times what it was when I bought this one. So in order to get the same tree I would now pay more than I did in the first place. Sounds like a big scam to me. I'm reporting this company to the Attorney General's office an the Better Business Bureau.
On Jul 17, 2012, chuckcanuck27 Vancouver Canada wrote:
In April of 2012 I ordered a Pluot tree (Flavor Grenade) that I had read about - it sounds like a terrific cultivar. It arrived and when I opened the box I was immediately dismayed. I planted it right away as instructed but it appeared to my eyes (Master Gardener) to be dead. I immediately e-mailed the company and they opened a ticket. I was assured the tree was alive but could take up to 90 days to break into leaf. I waited a while and contacted them again. I received the same info and was told about their pathetic replacement policy. My bad! I should have made sure ahead of time that they stand behind their products. I finally gave up in early July when it was still 'dormant' and pulled the tree out of the ground. It was beginning to rot and had never formed a single root. We have beautiful soil, and I gave it lots of TLC. The plant was just dead from the start - I'm convinced of it. I would never order again from Nature Hills.
On Jul 17, 2012, Nature Hills Nursery responded with:
We are certainly sorry to hear that you had an issue with your order. In some cases, trees can take several weeks to break dormancy. We do guarantee the safe delivery of all of our plants and trees. If there was an issue with the tree upon arrival, and you notified us right away, then we would certainly want to review the case. If you are within the recommended planting zones for the tree, then there might be reason to review this order. There is a bit of concern, as it looks like you are signed in from Canada. Pluots are warm climate trees, and we don't ship internationally. Perhaps it was sent somewhere within the states? Please contact our customer service department and we can have another look.
On Jul 10, 2012, ReallyTickedOff Valencia, CA wrote:
Ordered a Scarlet Oak back in February (2012), which they said would ship within a week. After almost a month with no shipment or contact from them, I tried via e-mail and phone to finally get hold of someone, who said the tree was "scheduled" to ship in April, seven months after I bought it. They had already charged my card back in Feb, and were now giving me attitude over the phone as I was requesting the status of my merchandise that they had previously stated would be in my hands long ago.
Tree finally arrived, but was poorly packed and was ALREADY NEARLY DEAD! I planted it anyway to try to save it (about 25 feet away from an existing Scarlet Oak in my yard), but it promptly died and dried up no matter how much I watered and nurtured it.
Sabrina at Nursery Hills told me they didn't guarantee their plants (the first time I've ever encountered a nursery that operates under this policy), and said not only would they charge me for a new replacement tree, but I'd have to wait until July (now) before they could process the order. Well, now it's July, and they won't have any replacements until 2013! Huh??
This is easily in the top five worst online purchasing experiences I've ever had, from a company that operates with rude customer service on the phone and horrible product policy. I lost money dealing with them, and possibly an entire year in the planting spot in my yard since now I'll have to search out a new source for a Scarlet Oak.
STAY AWAY FROM THIS COMPANY! THEY WILL TAKE YOUR MONEY UP FRONT AND THEN LEAVE YOU BY THE SIDE OF THE ROAD.
I ordered a Mandarin-Owari Satsuma Dwarf Orange tree from Nature Hills recently. I was astonished and delighted to receive the beautiful specimen that they sent. It was lush, full, and exactly what I wanted. Out of all the online plant orders I have made in the past few years, this one is the most desirable. After a week, it looks healthy and happy. I will definitely order from them again.
On Jul 7, 2012, lbsaltzman Mission Canyon, CA wrote:
I join the long list of individuals with serious complaints about this company. I received a near dead Mars grape this spring. It was very small for the price and the leaves had yellow veins. I was ignored by the company though I sent numerous emails and phoned them.
A disreputable nursery/company that does not stand behind its products. I recently ordered a white oak tree from Nature Hills. The tree was in-transit for 7 days. When opened, the box contained a "brittle to touch" tree, possessing shriveled brown leaves and bare, dry (to the extreme) roots. I immediately planted the tree, as instructed.and contacted Nature Hills about the condition of the tree - the company representative stated that the tree was shipped in elite, pristine condition and that it would respond favorably within 6 weeks, as it was dormant (are shriveled brown leaves, brittleness and dry roots indicative of a dormant state, I wondered).
Nine weeks later the tree remains completely inert and is obviously dead, just as when it arrived. When I again contacted Nature Hills, I was informed that their unbending replacement policy requires that the customer pay for a second tree, plus shipping and handling, in order to have the defective product replaced with another "guaranteed "shipment. Apparently, while the "shipment" is guaranteed, the purchased product isn't. Avoid doing business with Nature Hills unless you feel that a 50% negative rating (per the recent comments on this website) presents a good and viable service-oriented company.worthy of your trust and business.
After reading all the negative reviews I was very concerned about what I might find. Although the 4 honeysuckle bushes I received looked very sad when I opened the package, I got them started soaking and planted as soon as I got the locates done, a couple of days later. It's been less than a week and I already have strong new growth on all 4 bushes. Having been gardening and planting for most of 40 years, maybe I have an advantage when using bare plantings, but I am very happy with Nature Hills.
Recommended course of action for any potential customer of Nature Hills Nursery: Find a company with better than a B- BBB rating; one that has a reasonable and fair replacement guarantee and whose customer service canít be defined as ďthick as manure and about half as usefulĒ.
I placed a late season order for seven roses totaling just over $300, including shipping. Unfortunately, they were dormant upon receipt with dried buds and branched falling off. I couldnít judge if these were going to be healthy plants and of course two of the seven didnít come back. I spoke w/ Bill in customer service who told me I could have two replacements at half price plus shipping. What a rip off. They wanted to charge me $50 to fix their inability to ship healthy plants. Oh, it is June and I was told they also wouldnít ship until ďmid-fallĒ.
I have to take some of the blame for the problem above. They have an awful replacement policy and I should have gone to one of the many competing operations that will make it right. Based on the poor plants I received, their lousy customer service and self stacked service policies, each order is a potential disaster and I canít advise anyone wait around for the train to jump the tracks.
For the past 5 or 6 years, I have placed between 1-3 orders per year with Nature Hills. They are my 'go-to' site for shrubs, because they are one of the few places online to get BIG shrubs, and I LOVE shrubs, and I do not like to wait for 7 years or so for a tiny shrub to mature. I was quite dismayed to see these negative reviews when all of my experiences with Nature Hills have been great, including the order I received today. I got my Acer ginnala 'Flame,' 'Sem' sorbaria, and a gold physocarpus which were all as big or bigger than stated. Now, I suppose to many, these would appear to be dead sticks...when in fact, they are not!
This is called a BARE ROOT shrub, a shrubbery which is sleeping gently in a dormant state, as they do over a cold winter, which saves tremendously on shipping costs, and allows a company to send a large plant item through the mail at a reasonable cost. Which is why I can usually get a great deal on big shrubs and trees at Nature Hills. I wish I could post pictures of the shrubs I've rec'd over the years, they are gorgeous and huge! and to think that they arrived looking like dead sticks! I feel sorry for this nursery. They SO do not deserve these crappy reviews.