Are you ready? It's time for our 14th annual photo contest! Enter your best pictures of the year, for a chance to win a calendar and annual subscription here. Hurry! Deadline for entries is October 21.
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.
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.
Posted on June 2, 2011, updated June 6, 2011
Donít buy from Nature Hills catalog company. And donít buy shrubs online.
I repeat, DO NOT BUY FROM NATURE HILLS CATALOG COMPANY. AND DONíT BUY SHRUBS ONLINE.
You still want to take a chance? Go ahead. Plunk down your hard-earned money for inferior products and abysmal customer service. Hey, itís your dough.
But, if you want to listen to me, hereís why. It was April of 2010, youíll find out later why I remember the date so well, and I ordered a double flowering plum and a flowering almond shrub from Nature Hills. I received a crabapple and a flowering almond. *sigh* So I emailed them. They told me to keep the crabapple Ė I later found out why Ė and sent me a double flowering plum. The plum was THE saddest shrub you have ever seen. I planted, and watered, and waited. Nothing. The spring waned, the summer faded, and nothing. I emailed them to tell them of my sad little do-nothing plum and itís only a little better almond. They offered to send me a new plum at 50% of the cost Ė WOW, what a return policy! - but being a schmuck, I said Iíd let it go until spring of this year. MIStake.
Spring comes and the crabapple Ė free, remember? Ė flowered and then promptly went into hibernation. The almond is only doing a little better. The plum? No flowers, no foliage, gone, in the trash. I emailed Nature Hills, IN MAY, to tell them.
OH, they said, your year of Ė get this Ė a 50% replacement on a new shrub has expired and now youíre out of luck.
So, I repeat. Itís your dough. But, my advice:
Donít buy from Nature Hills catalog company. And donít buy shrubs online.
I repeat, DO NOT BUY FROM NATURE HILLS CATALOG COMPANY. AND DONíT BUY SHRUBS ONLINE.
On June 6th, 2011, ignatz713 changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
An update to my experience with Nature Hills.
I was contacted by the head of the customer service department, as apparently this site is a live one and my note made a difference. It prompted the result I had hoped for initially, and I have to give credit where it is due. Sadly, whomever was online when I tried to resolve my year-long issue was ill-equipped to handle the matter, and went by the book.
As my conversation with the CS professional revealed, this was an unusual issue and had been ongoing since I first planted the products. I had tried to give the product(s) a chance, but to no avail. One out of the three seems to be growing well.
Ultimately, I will be receiving a refund for the plant which struggled last year and died this, and am duly enough satisfied with Nature Hills to exhort everyone to give them a try but to not go quietly when told to go away.
Thank you to Nature Hills and the head of the CS department.
I ordered several plants for my new garden from NH in early April. A third of the shipment arrived within two weeks. 3 "dormant" sweetspire and a twisted lavender redbud which i planted immediately. All are doing well.
By mid-May, I hadn't recieved the rest. By May 21 I was getting concerned as I would be leaving for vacation for 3 weeks. I phoned the company and they seemed suprised that I had not recieved my shipment. The rep however asked me when I would be returning from vacation and guaranteed me the shipment would be sent the week of my return. It was.
In June I ordered a Northern Sun Forsythia. It arrived in a dormant state, was planted and is doing well, although it too looks as if it was grown against a wall with branches only on three sides.
Last week, my "Carnaby" clematis bloomed ... it's not Carnaby. It's been identified as HF Young. I emailed NH, got a response back within 2 days and was given a store credit after providing them with a picture (of course, they were out of Carnaby and don't plan to carry it again).
No other questions asked.
Last weekend I ordered fall bulbs. I haven't used my credit yet because I was told I needed to do it by phone. They weren't open on the weekend and I wanted to take advantage of the free shipping which ended on Sunday.
This is my first experience with a mail order nursery. If there had been no complications, I would give them a positive rating. All the plants that I have recieved have been packaged with great care and all the dormant specimens have bloomed.
I ordered an elderberry and a virginia creeper plant. They arrived promptly and were packed very well. Both plants were in very good condition.
On July 23rd, 2008, yippee1999 changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:
Around the end of July '08 I was having problems with my Virginia Creeper. It seemed to develop some type of a disease, and many leaves were turning yellow and had brown spots.
When I called Nature Hills for advise, it was suggested that I call the horticultural department of a local university or something to that effect...that they would have information for me on plants in the area and problems they might encounter. When I told her that didn't sound very feasible...and that I suspected I would run into a dead-end..being transferred repeatedly from one department to another... she said that unfortunately there was no one there at Nature Hills that could answer my question.
Seeing as I am a customer of theirs, I was rather disappointed they made no effort to assist me and just tried to pawn me off to someone else. And I am also very surprised that the rep would even say that no one there could answer my question. I mean, wouldn't one think that a place that sells plants would know a thing or two about plant disease?!
Back on January 31, 2007, via phone, I placed an order with a Nature Hills customer service rep. for two trees, which with shipping charges added cost me $73.89.
At the time I was ordering the trees I specified that my USDA zone was on the border of 6b/7a with a heat or sun zone of 8. Then requested that any bareroot trees be shipped to me at the best time considering our short spring, window of time any bare root trees would have, to develop enough roots to support the spring leaf flush of the trees, once I planted them.
By 3:12 pm on that same day Nature Hills nursery sent me an order confirmation number along with notice that I was to wait 48 hours before inquiring further about the order.
As soon as I looked over the confirmation, it was obvious that the order listed my USDA zone as a 6. A true zone 6a region's cool spring temps extend much longer than the much shorter window of time my zone area of the state has for bare root trees to acclimate in preparation before the mid 90 degree F and above heat up stress occurs in the region. This issue concerned me enough that I felt it necessary to canel my order, even though I saw their documented policy to keep $10 of any cancelled order they agreed to grant.
So, in respect to their 48 hour delayed response request, I waited until February 4, 2008 to email Nature Hills Nursery my request to cancel the order and to qualify my reasons for doing so. In the reponse they emailed back to me, they ignored my request for reconsideration of their zone policy and they simply restated that they considered my zip code area to be a zone 6. and stated that they do not consider sun or heat up zones.
They closed the email by afirming the fact that one of my trees should survive in USDA zone 9, which had nothing to do with my concern of receiving both the trees I ordered in time for bothof them to acclimate well enough to survive our quick heat up periods that we so often receive in early Spring. Then they included a request for me to confirm that I still wanted to cancel the order.
I do not know why a company would base their shipping dates for my area as being a USDA Zone 6. Expecially since in the Last several years, our area has been most often classified as a zone 7a by many sources and no less than a zone 6b by the most up to date USDA zone charts.
I do not appreciate a company which holds to a policy which clearly refuses to comply with a customer's experiential reality, when it comes to needed ship by dates.
On February 28th, 2008, patience1 added the following:
My original comment should have begun with the statement: "Back on January 31, 2008, via phone........
Sorry for my mistake in listing the year of my initial phone order as 2007.On February 29th, 2008, patience1 added the following:
19 business days later and still have seen no refund.
On March 7th, 2008, patience1 changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
Nature Hills notified me that they refunded the entire amount of my purchase on Feb, 29, 2008.
Even though the refund should have never taken so long, I am pleased with the fact they tried to compensate for the delay, on their part, in the failure to issue a timely refund; by waving for me their policy of keeping $10 of every order that is canceled.
If this company did not have the policy of collection payment prior to the time the items shipped, than my complaint never would have occured.
Still I am willing to change my rating for them to a neutral.
On May 7, 2007, RaiderLep Los Alamos, NM (Zone 5a) wrote:
On the positive side of the ledger, Nature Hills has provided me with excellent customer service. On the negative side of the ledger, I've needed to call upon customer service representatives at Nature Hills on numerous occasions.
Last fall, I ordered three pumilum lilies and 200 mixed daffodils (separate orders). The lilies were tiny (even for their species) and dry. Needless to say, they quickly rotted. The daffodils, believe it or not, made the lilies look great. All of the dafs were in the process of rotting, and many of them were just gone - nothing left but dust. Yes, it was that bad. Anyway, I received an immediate refund and apology, but I was stunned that a product that poor could have actually made it out of their warehouse.
I've only had one slightly negative customer service interaction. Last spring, I ordered several Butter and Sugar Siberian Irises. About half of them survived the summer. I let Nature Hills know about this, but didn't ask for a refund. In the same e-mail, I also mentioned how small and soft the Oklahoma City lilies I had received were. Although I really wasn't asking for anything, I would have at least appreciated a reply.
I give Nature Hills a neutral rating because their products are, in my experience, marginal at best. However, they're very good at issuing refunds!
I ordered a tree- a dogwood during the clearance sale.
My entire family is laughing at me over this "twig" that I received. While it was indeed the height advertised- the "tree" was so tiny and the diameter so small it was not even able to be called a branch. It was taped to the inside of the box with a small piece of scotch tape. It was laughable at best and lots of laughs we did get. I figured oh well $ lost. I had to tie it in all directions for fear a slight breeze would blow it down.
However, on the positive side so far- the darn thing has
I cannot give a positive because of the mere twig I received but I stuck with the neutral for now till we see if my twig survives winter and grows to a tree
I ordered two trees, a mimosa and a bur oak, which were to be delivered in mid-November. I only received them last week. I received no advance notification that my trees would be late arriving, nor did I recieve any explanation when they arrived as to why they were late.
Other than the fact the delivery was over one month late, the trees arrived in good condition, packed well and with everything I ordered in one box. I guess only time will tell as to whether or not they will grow.
Unfortunately for me, I did not discover Dave's Garden until after I had made the purchase from Nature Hills. Needless to say after I read the postings, I was a bit anxious as to when my trees would arrive. In future, I wil be certain to check here for feedback before ordering again.
about 80% of the tiny plants i ordered from naturehills was either DOA or died within days of planting. naturehills advertised well established plants, so i was not at all pleased with the very small plants i received knowing that i paid close to $20 for each of them. the reason why i'm giving them a neutral is because the customer rep i talked to was very polite about sending replacements, & the replacement plants i received were more satisfactory the second time around.
I'm new at gardening,so I placed 2 perrenial orders within 5 days of each other (3/22, 3/27). Each order had, among other things, one russian sage. I got most of the first order promptly, packaged well. Including the Russian Sage. Some seeds were backordered and no one told me until I inquired. But I had most of my first order by mid-late April.
No sign of the second order, and the days kept scrolling by. I made two e-mail inquiries and got basically form e-mails saying "your order is in the system, plants ship from different locations, please be patient with mother nature." What about my second Russian Sage? I'd already had the first one for some time!
Finally the second order came in (weeks later, when it was placed only 5 days after my first one), but with no Russian Sage. At this point I could now buy all the plants locally.
Shipping notification -- I got only one notification of shipping e-mail for one of the boxes. The orders came in several (at least 4) different deliveries. At one point I was getting concerned as to whether or not I could go on vacation due to the timing of plants possibly hitting my doorstep.
Cancellation -- Finally, last week (second week of May) I sent a frustrated e-mail asking to cancel the missing-in-action russian sage. At this point, I had already bought one from the local nursery that was more well developed and healthy, at a fraction of the cost.
Teresa wrote right back and agreed that a cancellation and refund would be best. Whatever credit card problems a previous negative reviewer had, I did not, because apparently their policy is to simply send refund checks, which she did promply.
The biggest negative/neutral for me is that I spent at least $150 more for their plants than I needed to (yikes), and I'm hard pressed to see the advantage of their site for commonly available plants, even though their plants are bigger than a lot of online places. Everything I ordered was soon available at my local nursery (Washington, DC, Zone 7), and even though a few plants arrived from Nature Hills before I would have been able to get them here, the fact is that by the time I WAS able to get them here the local plants are already better developed than the stuff I had previously ordered online and already planted. I was shocked to find out that almost all of the plants I paid $17 for are now available from my local nursery for $4.99. Maybe $8.99 in some cases. They are either as well-developed or better-developed than the mail order ones. My Nature Hills order is blooming no faster, nor is it showing increased growth compared to what I have now planted from my local nursery. I see no advantage to paying so much money for mail order, when the shipping schedule is sporadic and the growth rate/bloom rate ends up being no better than what's available locally.
The e-mail responses and the refund were prompt.
Packaging is good, as others have mentioned.
One plant arrived broken (the UPS box had bent and snapped the main growth stem). Nature Hills didn't hesitate to send a replacement (although I haven't seen it yet).
It was an overall neutral experience because for the most part I got what I (naively) chose to pay for. But due to the very high prices, the slow delivery with no clear communication on ship dates, and the ready availability of similar-to-better plants at my local nursery (much cheaper), I would hesitate to order again except for rare or uncommon plants.
If you need uncommon plants, live in an area where the local nurseries don't offer well-developed perrenials, or if you simply don't mind spending quite a bit, then your experience will probably be positive like other reviewers.
I'm giving them a nuetral SO Far! I ordered a Lilac and two trees late last summer, a Black Gum and a Bald Cyprus. I received a very small lilac promptly and it didn't make it through the winter even though it was mulched and sheltered. I called about the trees when the lilac arrived and was informed that they were bare root and could not be shipped until spring, even though my credit card was billed VERY PROMPTLY. I asked why that wasn't made clear when I ordered because I have had much better luck with fall planted trees here due to our very dry July and August months and ordered them with fall planting in mind, not waiting 6 months all the while having paid when the order was processed. So far, poor communication and I sure hope the trees are better than the lilac. I wasn't given any reason, although I did receive and apology from a supervisor when I asked to speak to someone other than the person I got on the phone. Stay tuned, comment will be forthcoming if and when the trees arrive.
On Feb 26, 2005, Nature Hills Nursery responded with:
"Thank you for posting your comments. I apologize for the poor communication you have received to date. All of our plant are guaranteed and we want to make sure your receive a replacement this spring. Please email me your contact information so I can contact you in regards to the replacement plant and an explanation of why the trees did not ship last fall. Again, thank you for bringing your situation to our attention. "