Placed an order for 3 viburnums Spring 2014. Called after a long delay and was told that the plant manager had declared a loss of the stock because of unusually harsh winter. I told the representative very clearly I was understanding her to say that Nature Hills *could not* fill the order anytime in the coming season and she confirmed that and said NH would credit the charge to my credit card. When I got my statement, I had been charged a 10% order cancellation fee, despite the fact that the cancellation occurred because NH didn't have viable stock to fill the order. When I called Customer Service, the representative was extremely rude and unprofessional--it was almost impossible to get her to listen to me. I could pursue a refund of the falsely made cancellation charge through VISA, but it's not worth it for the small sums involved. But I will pass on to others this warning that Nature Hills cares NOTHING about decent customer service and indeed is not above playing false with its customers. Do yourself a favor and find another source for nursery stock.
On Jul 14, 2014, aleksandr2013 Carson City, NV wrote:
Posted on July 10, 2014, updated July 14, 2014
This company is HORRIBLE! I was ripped off. I received two dead "sticks" that were supposed to be trees. I contacted them, they were hateful. Refused to refund my money, but offered that I pay half and shipping and they would send new trees! RIGHT!
If you look on Facebook you will find them and everything looks like they are a perfect company. It makes me sick because unsuspecting customers go to their Facebook page and then see all these great things about them that they wrote themselves and then right to their website and the people are all getting ripped off. It is so disgusting!!!!
How can we warn other people so they dont get ripped off too? Until something is said on Facebook about them, it is going to keep happening. I dont know about Twitter, but someone should check that out too. I only know about Facebook.
These trees were to honor my mother that passed away and my dog. They passed just a few days apart. It all sickens me.
These people are disgusting. You can also file a complaint on the Complaints Board. complaintsboard.com
On Jul 8, 2014, RippedOffTwice Bettendorf, IA wrote:
Absolutely do NOT buy from this company. They send dead and dying trees. We ordered a cherry and it died within two weeks of planting it. We have a small orchard, so this was not our first tree. This company did replace it, at a cost to me (half price and shipping) and the next tree died after 3 weeks. Then they refused to replace it or refund my money. I spent a combined total of $100 for two dead trees.
On Jun 21, 2014, treehugger27 East Liverpool, OH wrote:
I am very displeased with my experience with Nature Hill's Nursery. They were quick to charge my credit card and slow to send the tree I ordered. I cancelled my order after 3 weeks. I had called several times and was always told the order was "in process". When it came to issuing my refund, they were very slow and charged a cancellation fee of $10.
On Jun 16, 2014, CAAinBaltimore Baltimore, MD wrote:
I have been ordering plants on-line since 1997. I am a very frequent on-line shopper for every possible item sold at retail. I have never felt the need to post feedback especially negative feedback. I sincerely regret not looking up Nature Hill Nursery's reviews before ordering.
I have requested they cancel my order and refund my payment. They have done nothing. Absolutely nothing. Which is exactly what I have received from them. Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
I will never order anything from them again and I will discourage anyone I know from doing business with this company.
When making my first and only purchase, I tried calling the contact number to ask a question about delivery, and got the "after-hours" message twice even though it was clearly mid-day in their time zone. I went ahead with the online purchase anyway, to my regret.
I have two trees that did not survive, and emailed 4 days ago to ask about replacement options (their guarantees are not very good - apparently just a discount from current prices for replacements).
Nature Hills Nursery is the worst company I have ever dealt with! I filed a complaint with BBB, Federal Trade Commission, Nebraska State's Attorney, and US Attorney General, besides posting on every site consumer site I can find.
Ordered trees in early October for Fall delivery. Waited and waited, called to cancel in late November. Sales person talked me in to not cancelling. Waited a couple of weeks, still no trees, but we did get freezing temps and significant snowfall. Called the 2nd time to adamantly cancel order. All was good (or so I thought) until April 17th when package of trees arrived at doorstep. My husband thought I ordered something, and I thought he ordered something, so neither of us looked at the box until several days later. I called NHN on the weekend but no one answered. I called the next Monday or Tuesday to tell them I didn't want the trees - I had cancelled. They said I hadn't cancelled, that the girl said I decided not to cancel. What I didn't realize (and maybe should have), was that our charge card had been charged on the day I ordered the trees (oops, I guess I didn't see that charge). Because I didn't see they charged me, there was no reason to look for a credit when I cancelled in early December. After some not so nice exchanges between me and customer service over receiving an order I cancelled, NH told me to refuse the shipment. I called FedEx and was told they would pick up package next day, which it was picked up as promised. I waited 2 weeks and still no refund from NH. I called them to inquire about refund; they told me they never received the return. After investigation, now FedEx says they don't show they picked up the package. ISSUES: 1) charging credit card in October for items that didn't arrive until April ??? (that they really should have never had shipped to me since I cancelled in early December) 2) not accepting my cancel as a cancel (someone needs to learn to listen and follow customer instructions 3) they are "borrowing" customer monies interest free while the customer may be paying interest on a credit card balance and for which they don’t have the merchandise 4) CSR suggested to BBB that I lied and trees are planted in my yard (really raised my blood pressure) 5) they are slow to respond - even their response to BBB was after the due date set by BBB 6) they seem to have an answer to all complaints by stating the customer "agreed" to their terms 7) there are enough similar on line complaints to see a pattern 8) Although I didn’t open the box, I had ordered 5 trees (I believe all were to be between 4 – 6 feet tall) which came in a box that was no more than 6” x 6” x maybe 6 ft long and you could tell there was plenty of room in the box because you could hear/feel the trees move freely about – indicates that the trees were more like sticks and less like trees. This company needs to be reported by all who have had issues with them. Their terms allow them to charge your credit card at time of order; but they don’t have to ship for months after the sale (shipping is by season), so by the time you receive items you may have lost all opportunity to dispute the charge with your credit card company. Dubious business practices. . . Dates are approximate.
Nature Hills -Sucks.com -- 8 -Trees ordered - came in late. Two Red Oaks and One Sugar Maple did not make it. When I called and told them they said they would replace at half price, of the current price. Their half price was about 20% more than I could buy local, plus added shipping. Buy local and get a 100% replacement if tree dies within one year.
I ask if they could send one tree in place of the three. No way. They don't care about anything except the All Mighty Buck.
I feel I made a BIG MISTAKE when I ordered from these people, wish I had checked them out first.
On Jun 9, 2014, lincon1058 Stow, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:
I received several trees from Nature Hills on November 28th, 2013. As I just wanted to get them into the ground I did not check the tags.
This Spring as I was checking the trees, I noticed that they sent to me an Aristocrat Pear instead of the Cleveland Pear I ordered. The Cleveland Pear fits better in the location that I planted. I called April 28th and talked with Sabrina. She said to email a picture of the tag. I did that on April 28th. I assumed they would send to me the correct tree since this was not my mistake and since I paid more for the Cleveland Pear.
I have not heard from them. When I call I am put on hold. I have saved all my emails to show all my correspondence. I specifically asked to be sent the correct tree this Spring and not in the late Fall to Winter.
I am so upset. I do a large amount of internet ordering for all my plants and have never, never been treated in this manner. I do NOT recommend them. They have an excuse for everything they do wrong. It is never their fault, always the customer's fault. Learned my lesson on this company!
Ordered 4 trees 9/23/2013, they delivered one tree, said would deliver rest of 3 in FALL. Nothing happened well into the fall, called them TWICE(wanted to make sure they DO get it!) to cancel the order since snow already covered the ground. They agreed to cancel it, but DELIVERED anyway. The temperature was 20 degree under zero when trees were delivered, send the trees back was not option at all, had to dig holes in the snow - AWFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Now as of 6/9/2014, no leaf, nothing happens to 2 tulip polar trees, they ARE DEAD trees! called them, no stock, have to wait until FALL(again?) for replacement - I am losing the whole season! Ask for something else, have to pay half of cost + shipping - NO full credit for DEAD TREES, what a joke this company!!! The trees were so small, the price was so high, when you see the trees you would laugh!!!! CHECK reviews before you do anything with this company!!!
Customer service SO BAD!!! DO NOT BUY ANYTHING FROM NATUREHILLS!!!!
Client ordered 6 Nellie Stevens Holly trees. They arrived with a white powdery substance on the leaves. We immediately called Nature Hills and they said it was a product to aid in the shipment of the plants. -- It would later wash off. I planted them, watered them and waited for the substance to wash off -- it didn't. Called Nature Hills back several weeks later, saying that the leaves looked cloudy and the substance was still attached.
Their response, "Wipe off the leaves." I said, "What, thousands of individual leaves?" They assured me that it would come off. This was in early fall. This spring, the trees were dying and didn't look well. Again, called Nature Hills and they would be glad to replace plants at 50% of the cost? I said, "Why would we pay another penny just to receive more dead plants?"
Called again to complain -- emailed -- they said a "manager" would handle the case -- no one called back. I got an email recently that said that the spots were "water spots--that why did I wait so long to notify them."
I told them that the first thing we did when the plants arrived was to take pictures and call them about the powdery substance and it was supposedly a shipping aid for the plant.
They have alternating theories of our conversations based on who is answering the phones. Nature Hills Sucks. They are liars and cheats. The evidence is clear.
I suggest to everyone who has worked with Nature Hills to tweet, blog, post and facebook their experiences with this company -- who by the way has a nearly 50% negative rating with this board. The only way we as individual customers is to bond together and shame these unscrupulous companies into bankruptcy.
I'm convinced that when it comes to buying plants, trees, etc. to do it locally and with a nearby company that honors their warranty and business ethics.
On Jun 5, 2014, Nature Hills Nursery responded with:
Dear Mr. Fox AND Ms. Joan Bardossi,
As the representatives explained, the white film is strictly cosmetic and does occur on our broadleaf evergreens from overhead watering and the spray we use at our nursery to protect our plants.
The Nellie Stevens Hollies didn't thrive because they were planted outside their zone.
Ms. Bardossi is located in a zone 5, the Nellie Stevens growing zones are 6-9.
This, especially combined with a very harsh winter, would be the reason they didn't make it through the winter.
I see from the IP Address attached to the order that this was not placed with one our plant specialists. They could have recommended something more cold hardy.
Our Terms clearly state that we will not warranty plants ordered and planted outside their zone.
However, if Ms. Bardossi would like to sub something more appropriate for her zone of comparable value and use her warranty she is welcome to call us.
Posted on April 29, 2013, updated June 4, 2014
I've ordered plant material from many different mail order nurseries companies, large and small, throughout the country and have had very good experiences with all of them. The plants were exactly as decribed in their catalogs. The quality of the plants was excellent and the packaging as well.
Not the case with Nature Hills. The American holly ordered was far from perfect. The leafs were desiccated and beginning to brown. The plant 'root ball' was tied down in an oversized box with NO other packaging material. Even as bare root, the plant had no fine root structure and barely a tap root. As a grower of holly trees (and have purchased many by mail), I'm quite aware of how the plant would (and should look). The plant was 'gangly' and weak looking with no early structural pruning or shaping. I notified the company upon reciept of plant. I was told to do the 'scratch' test, which i did, despite it still being slightly green, i knew once planted out, the plant would stress further and fail. i even sent photos of the plant as i found it when i opened the package. I inquired about my replacement options. Was told I needed to wait 30 days before requesting a replacement. I was also reminded about the 'half price plus shipping' policy. The plant was bad from the start and really didnt want to start with such a poor quality plant. Ridiculous.
Needless to say I will NOT be ordering any more plants from this company and i urge others to do the same! There are many others companies worth doing business with.
On June 4th, 2014, Ilex1888 added the following:
Do not order from this company.
Still a negative review!
After I received credit from last years bad experience with them I reordered the same plant.
plant arrived with blackening leaves upon watering it, it continued to wilt and has subsquently died. I know from experience this holly will not 'resprout'. I placed the reorder in April, why they wait until plant leafs out before sending is beyond me.
This is the worse mail order company I've ever dealt with. I emailed my complaint to them. Lets see how long it takes for them to reply and for me to get a credit or some satisfaction.
Stay away for this company. Seeing all these comments makes you wonder how they stay in business.On Jun 4, 2014, Nature Hills Nursery responded with:
So my experience goes like this... Ordered Magnolia Ann tree mid January with shipping date some time in spring "when it is time to plant". I purchased tree that supposed to be 4-5 feet tall. Towards the end of April when weather warmed up I started looking for my tree sending emails to the Nature Hills nursery. They replied me that they will ship my order week of April 28. Well, that week came and past with no tree to be seen. May 11th I wrote them again asking to ship my tree ASAP. Their respond was that spring was too cold and tree didn't grow to the proper size so they holing off shipping but they will ship it NEXT WEEK (again). Understanding that couple weeks not going to make much difference in trees size I wrote back again asking them to ship my tree ASAP. I never got response to that. Finally June 2nd my tree showed up! Just by looking at the box I could tell that it was not 4-5 ft tree I payed for. Once I pulled tree out of the box it appear to be 2-3 ft tall including root ball height. In addition, couldn't help to notice tag attached on my tree saying "Magnolia x Betty". So, long story short my problem with this company is: holding off shipments of items that are already payed for, ignoring customers requests (in my case shipping ASAP), lying (every time "next week" shipping), charging for product that they do not provide (small tree priced like bigger), replacing ordered plants without notice (Magnolia Betty instead of Ann).
After reading reviews in this website, we decided not even try to find the truth with this company. Seems like it is deemed to cause endless frustration and rip off at the end of the day. So we just cut our losses and never ever again deal with this company. Shopping there is like buying cat in a sack - you never know what you will get, just be sure you will be charged for it top dollar and what happens after... well depends on your luck.
On Jun 3, 2014, Nature Hills Nursery responded with:
I'm very sorry you received conflicting shipping information. Most of our items on the web site are marked "Ships in spring 2014". As it is still spring we are still shipping spring ship items.
I do urge you to contact us if you received the wrong tree. We do NOT substitute trees without notice.
These varieties are together at the nursery and unfortunately the wrong tree was pulled for your order.
This doesn't happen often, but when it does it's an easy fix. We ask that you send a picture of the tag via email if possible, we reship the correct tree, and hope you can find a good home for the tree you received.
We apologize for any inconvenience and hope you will allow us to make it right."
On 2-19-14 I ordered two Elderberries for totalof $78. Very
bad weather here made me call and cancel order which their
customer rep did. Some time later I went to country store that
takes packages for me and found that they had gone ahead
and shipped anyway. I was shocked and had FedEx refuse;
ahipped back to them for refund. They had been there for I
do not know, and didn't want to take a chance on their not
living. Was told when plants were received would return my
money. No check received. Called them . They said plants
were "not viable" and were keeping my money. This is their
fault. They yelled and called me a liar. Don't buy from them.
We ordered trees MONTHS AGO to plant in honor of my mother that had just passed away. I was given the runaround as to why they were not shipping them. It went on for months. Then, we received them in November saying to plant them that they were dormant and everything would be fine. They were very disappointing tiny little trees much less what what we expected for the price. We did everything they said to do and these trees are dead. They were probably dead when they arrived. I called today because there is no hope for them. Nature Hills Nursery said that they will replace the trees if I pay for 1/2 the cost of the new trees and shipping.
I was STUNNED!!!! These people are a VERY BAD company. Look at all their reviews out there! DO NOT BUY FROM THEM! READ THE REVIEWS!!! You will be ripped off just like my family and I were.
The worst part of it.... I explained that these trees were in honor of my late mother. Her two favorite trees. I know they did not care ONE bit. She was just rude and said "THAT IS OUR POLICY!"
What an absolutely AWFUL experience! They have no heart or care about their customers. They take your money and run! I cannot believe they are still in business!!!
I placed an order for two bare root Paw Paw trees since there were none available locally. Both arrived without any root systems and never broke dormancy. 15 other trees I purchased at the same time from "Trees of Antiquity" all broke dormancy and came with healthy, intact root systems despite also being dormant. The Paw Paw trees are now dead and the customer service representatives are rude and unhelpful. In response to my complaint Bonnie at Nature Hills wrote "The Paw Paw does have a root system. I am sorry your disappointed." No offer for a return, no offer for a replacement and just overall terrible customer service. Rather than arguing with additional customer service representatives about the fake "1 Year Guarantee" and the pathetic examples of trees that were shipped to me I put in a chargeback with my credit card company. Do not buy from this company!!
I purchased a Willow Oak tree from Nature Hills because I was having a hard time finding one locally. When the tree arrived, it was much smaller than described, but that would have been ok if the tap root had not been cut. Obviously, the tree was dead on arrival, but we planted it anyway and followed the care instructions provided, hoping maybe it would come back. It never did. Their supposed courtesy "one year guarantee" is a joke, as you have to purchase another plant at half price and pay shipping again. I will never purchase from them again. Guess I learned my lesson about buying plants online.
On May 9, 2014, naturehillsbad Cleveland United States wrote:
I took a chance on this company and ordered a couple thousand dollars worth of plants in the fall of 2013. Despite following all the growing/planting instructions and paying close attention to the grow zones of the plants I purchased, 75% of the plants did not come back in the spring. Their 50% price reduction is hardly incentive to try again. I should have looked for reviews on this company before I ever took the chance. Now the front of my house looks awful and I have to start all over again. That's why I went out of my way to review this company. Buyer beware.
Posted on October 15, 2013, updated February 22, 2014
Consumer's Original Complaint :
Company sent the wrong tree in 2008. Replacement tree (s) had no roots. We complained, no response to our problems with their products.
We bought a dwarf red buckeye from Nature Hills in 2008. As the tree matured we started noticing white flowers on it so I looked it up online to see why our "red" buckeye had white flowers. I petty much surmised that they had sent the WRONG tree.
I called the company and a man named Brian asked for photos. I sent the photos and I waited & I waited. I had to call him back as no communication came back even though I emailed. When I called I talked to Brian again and he said he had identified it as an OHIO BUCKEYE which would eventually be a tree 75' tall & equal in width. I told him that was unacceptable and that we had 4 years invested in this tree. He turned me over to Customer Service (UGH) and their response was to send us a dwarf red buckeye at their expense. Meanwhile at OUR expense we had to have our Ohio Buckeye taken out and given to a home that could house such a tree.
EXTREMELY STRESSFUL to have to give up our tree but we were in hopes after many emails sent back and forth that the replacement tree from Nature Hills would be a nice size -- comparable to one that had been in the ground for several years.
And then here comes the first replacement dwarf red buckeye. It was a stick with one, just one, lateral hair root. My husband wrote and complained. No response. We planted the stick and like we knew it would do, it died before the end of summer. We called Nature Hills this year and told them we wanted a replacement for their ridiculous tree that they sent. They said, "Sure, NO problem but you'll have to pay half of the replacement costs." Had they not made the mistake in the first place by sending the wrong tree we wouldn't have had to have had another tree sent.
We finally decided to pay their rip-off price. That tree, too, arrived with 2 little buds at the top and ONE lateral root at the bottom. It was even smaller than the first replacement. My husband wrote, expressed our concerns and ALYSON's response to our email was that she was so glad that we had received our "healthy" tree and that roots should be developing shortly on it. She never once addressed the concerns we had over this second replacement.
That tree died even quicker than the first. My husband fired off another email to ALYSON demanding our $38.42 refunded. Of course she never responded to our demands.
While reading other reviews of Nature Hills I can plainly see that they are accustomed to sending our defective nursery stock. I plan to put a review everywhere I can to express the shoddy treatment consumers receive at this company. I have also filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau.
Consumer's Desired Resolution:
We want our $38.42 refunded. They actually owe us for the original "ohio" buckeye too but the rip-off charge for the replacement tree is what we want refunded.
On February 22nd, 2014, suz484 added the following:
I FELT THE NEED TO UPDATE MY REVIEW!
NatureHills remains a horrible, horrible, dishonest company -- customer service is rude (I.E. ALYSON) and totally unprofessional!
The update is we called our credit card company and we were given an advocate to try to work things out with NH so we could get our refund. Myself, our advocate had a 3-way conference call with goofy Alyson to hear her side of the story which the advocate quickly surmised as ridiculous excuses to cheat us out of what was rightfully our refund. Dear ol' goofy Alyson didn't budge an inch. When we hung up our advocate said, "What a piece of work!" We received the refund from our credit card company -- absolutely NOTHING from NatureHills.
On Feb 12, 2014, MareksGarden Simpsonville, SC wrote:
I put an order of $400 worth of trees in to this nursery in the fall of '12. All the specimens that came looked good except one. The Shagbark Hickory had one four inch root stem with no hairy roots at all. I am no expert, but it didn't look right, so I decided to photograph it and give it a shot. Indeed, in the spring of '13 the whole thing was brown dead. All the other trees are doing well. What ticks me off is, as others describe, is the run around. You need to provide evidence, which I had in the photo, then they need to wait for some 'foreman's' response, then they told me that it could still be alive, blah blah. Five emails later, the whammy is that NOW they will send you another for half price plus shipping. If people took that offer, it is a good business model for them. If they send me junk, then I simply buy another tree and give them even more profit, albeit less than the first. If they would have been nicer, I would have ordered another bunch of trees from them this year but they will get nothing but a poor review from me because of the treatment and policy. It is also notable that I had bought 2 Autumn Blaze Maples from them, and this spring '14 I just bought one at Home Depot even nicer than those, and it was half the price with a better return policy.
The order didn't begin auspiciously as I had to use their contact page after 3 days to determine if the order had been received. There was no other communication until I had to cancel the order because the ground was frozen where I lived. I had to call their phone # to cancel.
I called on Tuesday and told Sabrina N that I had to cancel because the ground was frozen and I would be unable to transfer/plant anything that arrived. She said to "Dig a hole before the tree arrives" as if she weren't listening. I got an email on Wednesday stating the the trees had shipped and would arrive Thursday (Thanksgiving). They did arrive Friday afternoon and what was I supposed to do with them now?
They shipped from Waterloo, WI which is 80 miles from Platteville, WI where I live, and they must have known that the ground was frozen here because it's frozen there but it was more important to keep the money and ship the trees to an area where they could not be planted than to cancel the order.
So now I have a box of trees that can be set curbside because there's no way they're going into the ground around here short of a back hoe. Heeling in isn't even an option as I could barely chip the soil with even a post hole digger.
Don't depend on their shipping to deliver it at the right time. They obviously are swamped or don't have a good system in place or can't even check the weather channel. Otherwise, it's a waste of money as in my case.
In short, Nature Hills Nursery sold me a dead plant, they were rude, and they did not replace the plant. I would NEVER buy anything from them. EVER.
I was given a dawn redwood as a moving present from my mother-in-law ordered from Nature Hills Nursery. It was "dormant" when shipped, but looked dead. I called to complain and was told to wait ninety days. I waited ninety days. The tree was still dead. I called and spoke to an extremely rude woman named Sabrina who said that she could replace the tree for half the original cost. I reminded her that she told me it was under warranty for a year. She told me that it was not a replacement warranty it was for half the value of the tree (a fact she did NOT tell me the first time I called). I still have a fifty dollar stick in my yard to look at, but I would rather pay a full fifty dollars to another nursery than give a penny to Nature Hills Nursery.
On Sep 25, 2013, PhillyKarl Philadelphia, PA wrote:
I purchased a Maple tree from them in Spring. It arrived with virtually no roots. Really. I called- they said not to worry. A month later, no sign of life. Called again - they said not to worry. Could take up to 90 days (!). Another 2 months and I finally got a bit of growth. It is now Fall, and I have a 95% dead tree with a tuft of leaves on one little side branch. They offer no refunds. They will sell a replacement at half price, plus shipping. Never again. Never again.
On Sep 25, 2013, Nature Hills Nursery responded with:
Most Maple trees are very fast growers so they would not have a large root system as even at 5-6 feet they would be quite young.
It sounds like your Maple was particularly stubborn to break dormancy. There are many things that can cause this.
Although it sounds like it may be struggling the good news is that your tree is still alive. If it has put on growth and gotten leaves that means it arrived alive and the trunk is still alive.
I hope you will keep it planted to see what it does in the spring, I think you will be pleasantly surprised.
Your warranty is good for 1 year from delivery, however I don't think you will need to take advantage of it.
Please feel free to call us if we can be of further assistance.
i have had a terrible experience with Nature Hills. I placed an online order and they promptly charged my credit card. No tree, no tree. Called no one answers, called another day, no answer, leave a message, no return phone call. call again and again and again, finally get a person, can't ship my tree until late October, although the ship time said "fall" and we are in the season of fall now. whatever. cancel the order. takes them almost 10 days to credit my charge card, but the amount is not correct. call, no answer, call, call, call finally get a person and they will not give the full amount. $10.00 fee to cancel. I saw that NOWHERE on the website and the person who took the cancellation of course never mentioned it. Do NOT buy from this company if you want good customer service.
On Sep 25, 2013, Nature Hills Nursery responded with:
I'm sorry you had trouble contacting us. As this site is anonymous I cannot have our IT department check our phone reports for your calls.
I am also sorry if there was some confusion as to the shipping time of your tree. Yes, fall has officially started and will continue until December 20th. Our fall ship trees must be dormant before they can be safely dug, and unfortunately it's still a little early due to the unusually warm start to fall this year.
It does state in our Terms that your credit card will be charged at the time of the order. This is because we take your trees out of inventory to reserve them for you.
Our cancellation policy is also stated in our Terms. Cancellation fees are automatically assessed by our accounting department to cover the fees and cost to us to process a cancellation.
I would be happy to offer you a 10% discount on a future order as we would love another chance."
I wanted to experiment with planting an apple tree in the fall. Nature Hills website said in bold type that they had the tree I wanted "In Stock", so I ordered it.
I received no order confirmation from them and no correspondence of any kind (yes, I checked my spam boxes). Despite this, the money was immediately charged to my credit card, so I just assumed the tree would arrive. It never did.
I wrote an email to them asking about it, but they didn't write back. After reading the many negative reviews of Nature Hills, here and elsewhere, I wrote them a second email a couple of days later saying that I would escalate the problem with my credit card company and their local Better Business Bureau if they didn't either respond, immediately ship the "in-stock" tree or refund my money.
They responded with two voice mails saying that they would not cancel the order via email, that I would need to call, and that the tree wasn't actually in stock but would be shipped in seven or eight months when spring arrived. They said there was text on the website ordering page indicating a spring shipping date. After checking and searching the order page again, yes, the small type that I did not see was there, but so was the much more obvious bolded type next to the "Add to Cart" button saying the tree was actually "In Stock."
When I tried to return their call, they didn't answer the phone, so I called them the following week, and they still didn't answer the phone. I left a voice mail asking them to cancel the order and refund my money, but they never responded.
Over a week later, there's still been no refund on my credit card, so I have ended up escalating it to the credit card company. This has dragged on for over a month now, they have my money, and unlike their haste in charging my credit card they don't seem to be in any hurry to make a refund to it for their "In Stock" item that is actually not in stock until next spring.
I don't know what's happened to Nature Hills Nursery. At one time they were a reputable business that seemed to care about their customers, good communication and their reputation. Maybe my experience was an unfortunate exception, but judging how their usually favorable online reviews from just a few years ago have turned to highly negative, and based on my own experience, something seems seriously wrong at this nursery. My advice: stay away from it.
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.
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?
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: