On Feb 3, 2010, food4me Idaho Falls, ID (Zone 5a) wrote:
Posted on February 2, 2010, updated February 2, 2010
Decades ago the plants I bought from Miller's were top quality, expertly and carefully packed, and nothing ever died. My recent experiences echo the other posts. Something has gone very wrong at Miller's compared with what it used to be. I bought rhubarb, and what arrived was a carbonized shapeless lump with no indication of which end was roots. It never sprouted. The replacement was exactly the same, and it too did not put out one leaf. My fruit tree order several years ago was a shock. Someone had tossed a bare handful of packing material on the roots, not packed it around them and not enough to keep the roots moist. The roots were badly dried out. Branches were broken and the paper wrapping itself was badly ripped. One apple I ordered, one of the disease resistant varieties, arrived as a sort of whip a bit over two feet tall, but with two branches barely 4 inches from the ground about the same length as the main stem. Who let something like that get out of the nursery??? It has never done well and has not put on much height, so this year I'll probably replace it. The Stella cherry was a barely 3 foot tall whip and it did not even leaf out. The replacement was shorter, did go through bud break, and then died. The Plumcot didn't leaf out, and the replacement also died. The Fellemburg plum also died. These are examples, not the total experience. I initially bought a lot from them expecting to have the same positive outcome from decades ago, but just can't continue. Miller's has replaced most of the dead plants, but they can't ship when I would like to have the plants. With each dead tree or bush we all lose a year of growth and production and we have to repeat all of the planting work. Based on what I've seen recently, Miller's seems to have serious and pervasive management, quality control and training issues and has lost its respect for its customers. It's as if they toss plants in a package as they come down an assembly line at high speed after being dug mechanically in the dark, and no one stops to look or check or reject anything. It's a shame. They used to be a top class outfit.
On February 3rd, 2010, food4me added the following:
Additional comment: Those of us who have had a negative experience seem to be writing about the same types of issues and we seem to be mostly mail order customers. After reading most of the other comments I'm adding that my experience with raspberries and blueberries echos that of other negative ratings. I bought 15 raspberry plants last spring, and a third or more of them did not grow. Things I noticed were the same as others - I got dried out dead stems with no roots attached for plants, roots were dried out past reviving, etc. Of 25 strawberry plants, 3 lived. The rest had been packed badly and were dried out. Blueberry plants were tiny sticks, stems broken, stems broken off the roots, and the ones that lived are struggling. About half of them were DOA or died soon after planting and were replaced.
We have ordered many plants, bushes, and trees from Miller's for the past several years. We have always been completely satisfied with their quality of product and customer service. The few times that we had a plant/bush/tree not survive, Miller's Nursery has replaced it without any questions. Although it is midsummer, we are already planning this fall's and next spring's orders. We highly recommend this business.
Running a small heirloom fruit orchard in central Mass., I have been a long-time customer of Millers Nurseries, and have been delighted by the wide variety of their heirloom fruit trees and in general their attention to detail with their products. I have referred many people to them, despite having had some bad experiences, such as getting grapes that were not what they were said to be (my Lakemont Seedless grapes have good sized seeds in them for example), or having no information listed in the catalogue that some varieties are very vulnerable to disease (such as my Canadice Seedless grapes which, where I am, are highly sensitive to black rot and had to be pulled). But my last order with Miller's convinced me that their quality control has gone down-hill. My Dwarf Chinese Apricot was dead and so was the Steuben Grape in the order. It is frustrating to have to wait for months to find this out.
I was disappointed to see so many negative comments. I love this company! They have always had great service. I have ordered many plants from them, they arrive on time, and perform as promised -- PROVIDED one follows the instructions! I did have one plant that didn't do well -- I think it was really my fault -- I couldn'tget it in the ground right away, and it lingered on my porch for three weeks -- I forgot to water it a couple times. But they promptly sent me a replacement, no questions asked. Not every plant is suited for every soil/climate, and home garderners use so many pesticides that poison the soil, that they have to realize that they are always taking a chance with live plants.
I ordered (2) Pawpaw trees that were on sale for $9 each. They arrived in just a few days. I was amazed at the care that was put into the packaging of these tiny trees. Each tree came potted with a plastic tree guard and tied to a piece of bamboo for support. Thank you to the Miller family for treating my small order with such care! I wish all nurseries treated orders in the same fashion. Your company has earned my respect and future plant orders!
On Jun 4, 2009, asturnut Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b) wrote:
Last year (2008) I purchased 3 cherry trees and 2 beach plums for myself and Mom for Mother's Day. I was surprised by how small everything was. Two of the cherry trees I bought were the same variety and they were healthy and fine (and they were on sale.) But they were very small and only had 4 branches each. One of them was a wierd shape and a full year later, it has mainted the bizzarre shape. I should have sent it back. The beech plums I got are doing very well this year, although as I said, they're small. I think given the size of their products and the condition they are shipped in, they are way overpriced.
The most expensive item I bought, a cherry tree that I paid full price for, was complete dead when I got it. It had nothing but a tap root on it. There was absoultely NOOOOOOO feeder roots on it at all. I have no idea how the packer could have thought it was okay to ship something like that. Furthermore it had NO, NONE as in NADA branches on it at all. Even if it had had roots, I would have sent it back. I tried to get my money back from Millers for the dead plant. They claimed they would credit my card, but every time I checked my statement, I never saw a credit. I finally gave up looking.
On May 9, 2009, herbalbetty Middleburgh, NY wrote:
We received our order of cider apples, mulberry, aronia and grapes from Miller and were very happy. The plants are of very good size, seem healthy and were packed very well. I definitely would order from Miller's again.
This is the second year I've ordered from millers, and both times have been positive. Last year I ordered a dwarf apricot tree, and it's doing quite well; it overwintered gracefully and is now budding. This year, I ordered a dwarf cherry tree, 2 blueberry bushes and a blackberry bush. They all arrived packaged together with no damage whatsoever. They also already had buds on them and look very healthy. The tree is a good size, around 4 ft, and the berry plants are also decently sized. Overall I am very impressed with this company, and will definatly order from them again.
I ordered 2 pears,5 apples,2 plums, strawberrries and horseradish last year. I purchased other fruit trees from local large chain home stores. All of Miller's not only lived but thrived, my other trees half died. I was very happy with the size of the trees for the price. Ordered more this year.
On Apr 3, 2009, bsetiawan Corryton, TN (Zone 6b) wrote:
I have ordered from Miller's for years. They have my respect. Shipping is always at the proper time for my area and I have only had a one tree that was split pretty bad on arrival. After calling Miller's my tree was immediately replaced. So far I have never had a tree from Miller's to die. Many things can cause a tree to die or not do well. I have 3 acres in fruit trees supplied from Miller's and we are very pleased so far. I love the way they send the written statements and they never charge my credit card until my order is filled and shipped. Thank you Miller's.
Bought an apple tree at Miller Nursery for spring 2008. Packed extremely well. Shipped at a good time (not too cold/not too warm). I wasn't able to plant in a timely manner --sat in our garage over 3 weeks (my fault). Was leaving for vacation and ended up planting in the dark (also my fault). Planted in a slightly damp area (again my fault and I tried to amend soil and placed in a raised area of our vegetable garden.) I felt horribly b/c if this beautiful tree did not survive it was 100% my fault.
I followed instructions on how to keep roots moist. The tree that arrived was far bigger than I expected. In spite of all MY mistakes, the tree is doing beautifully. I was extremely pleased w/ Miller nursery product. Thanks guys!
On Jul 29, 2008, figaro52 Oak Lawn, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:
The blueberry bushes that I ordered this spring were far inferior to the same cultivars I ordered from Miller in 2005. This company's service and product definitely show signs of slipping. This year's blueberry bushes were tiny -- and these were supposedly the larger ones! I've gotten good plants from Miller in the past, but I don't think I'll press my luck by ordering from them again.
I naively ordered several fruit trees from Miller several years ago. Only one of the plants has done well (highbush cranberry). The rest have either died or succumbed to disease. I have not had problems with any other nursery stock, which leads me to believe that the Miller's plants are the problem. Whenever I mention Miller Nurseries to growers in my area, they have nothing good to say about the company. I don't either.
I felt a bit cautious about ordering from Miller Nurseries after reading the mixed reviews about them. I'd ordered numerous plants from them in the 70's and 80's and had never had a problem the customer service or the plants (pre internet!).
This spring I ordered Heartnuts, apricots and Kiwis. I changed the shipping date.
The plants arrived on the date they predicted. One month later I noticed that all the plants looked very healthy and vigorous except one 3'Heartnut whip was dead 3" from the base. That portion was leafing out though. I emailed this observation to Miller and they imediately offered a refund or a spring 09 new shipment (as they had none left in stock).
Excellent customer service.
My experience of Miller Nurseries is just as positive now as in the 70's and 80's. I will definitely order from them again .
I looked all over for a male seaberry bush to serve as a pollinator. Was very happy that Miller seemed to still have them available. What they sent was a lifeless twig, with tiny dried out brown leaves. There is no way this plant was viable when it left the nursery. I expressed my frustration with customer service, and, while I was told I could receive a new plant next spring, or a refund, the woman was curt and formal and showed little empathy. I took the refund. I was surprised since they have a decent reputation, and the pawpaws I bought from them, while small, are leafing out nicely.
On Jun 5, 2008, element5 North Brunswick, NJ wrote:
I love Millers! I have placed 2 diffrent order for the following: 1 Sour cherry, 2 cherry, 3 peaches, 1 nectorine, 1 apricot, 2 walnut trees, 2 plums, 2 blueberry bushes, 1 burning bush, 3 gooseberry, 6 diffrent raspberry, oh and some other bush called orannge something (for its scent). Their packing is unbeatable! the first package lived in the "wrapings for 2 1/2 weeks. It was soo good that i placed 2nd order for more fruit trees. In total I spent around $ 450. I am expecting some raspberries and black current this year. They are not the cheapest, but their product is the best quality! PS Trees came undamaged, strong and unexpectingly tall!
Just got my order today, I ordered 2 cherry trees and 6 raspberry plants.
The raspberry's look a little worn, but I did see some growth on a few of them. They didnt send me 6, they sent me 8!!
The cherry trees were the nicest trees I have ever gotten through the mail. Each of them was about 5 feet tall and one had two excellent branches on it, both showed signs of growth already. They were also very thick, the thickest trees I have gotten through the mail.
I thought there packing was excellent. They did have twist ties, but nothing was hurt on my order. They had a good shipping container to ship the over five foot trees. Excellent protection of the roots as well
They have alot of cold hardy varieties that other places dont have. I will definitely be ordering from them again next year!!
On June 11th, 2008, troman1973 added the following:
The raspberry's I talked about all died, I didnt have any growth at all. I called customer service today and they have already put my order in for next year to replace it free of charge even though they are to charge a $3.25 delivery fee. I dont have a problem with the fee if the plants would have been alive when I got them and than died. I am keeping it positive for the good customer service and the Cherry trees are leafing out nicely. On July 30th, 2008, troman1973 changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:
Well now I am VERY disappointed, the cherry trees I said were leafing out nicely both DIED, they started to leaf out and than just stopped and dried up and died. What first turned out to be my best online purchase turned out to be my worst. I emailed customer service to tell them that my Cherry Tree died less than two months after planting and I have not heard anything back from them. After reading more posts on them I am a little more nervous, but now I have my money invested in them and spent more than I usually do with a mail order company. Customer service treated me ok with the Raspberries, so I am hoping they will treat me ok with the Cherry trees. I am really disappointed that I wasted a year of growing season on these dead cherry trees. I am going to leave my experience at neutral until I find out how they treat me with my dead cherry trees.On June 1st, 2009, troman1973 changed the rating from neutral to negative and added the following:
Well my final update on the company.
I was not able to get my two cherry trees replaced as they were out of stock, but I did get for the same price ONE white cherry tree. The tree came with buds already started, but with out roots just a stump from the tree, I gave it really no hope and I was right it died. The replacement raspberries were dead on arrival as well.
One positive is that when I called customer service althought not overally friendly they are going to refund my money so I am just out my time and some holes in my yard.
Overpriced it is.. the 2 honeyberry "twigs" I received were not worth a total of $47.45.. They are using metal bread twist ties or trash bag ties in the packing and those things cut into the bark and damage the limbs.. they were twisted around the 2 twigs to hold them together and I nearly destroyed the limbs trying to get them off.. I planted them but I am not sure one will make it or maybe I should say either will make it.. lesson learned, no more orders from me.
On May 1, 2008, theaceofspades Brentwood, NY wrote:
I bought just two dwarf sweet Cherry trees on sale. They came delivered in heavy kraft paper wrapper, plastic around the roots and a support tied to the stems. Large root system with the little hairs attached, thick long arrow straight stems. Leafed out in less than two weeks. Nurserymen answered my e-mail questions concisely. My best experience ordering on line. I have nearly 100 various fruit trees growing.
I have ordered from Miller several times before. I just received 6 blueberry bushes. These were replacements from the ones that did not do well last year which they replaced, no questions asked, even paid shipping. My problem is that their blueberry bushes just seem so small and weak, one or two were no more than 18" sticks with roots. I dont mind paying the price if the quality is there. I also ordered blueberrys from another source just to compare, they have yet to arrive. Will update my posting after I get the others and they have all had time to grow some.
I ordered asparagus from Miller two years ago, and while the asparagus itself is growing fine, it was also apparently contaminated with the roots of a willow-like shrub that will not die, and it's taking over my garden! For two years we've been digging, pulling, and treating with a variety of weed killers in the hopes of eradicating the weed without killing the rest of the plants we have growing in the area, but with no luck. When we kill it in one location it pops up in a couple of new ones.
orderd 2 sweet cherries lapins and kristin , kristin came with very bad roots, buds opened in july and died 2 months after planting. neather type seid what root stock they were on .
also ordered 10 blue berrys they are doing fine . dont think i'll order trees form them again.
I ordered a number of plants and trees and had a mixed experience. My Reliance peaches both were dead on arrival in 2006 (never leafed out). Miller sent replacements this year and although the trees were good sized, they were also dead. I had 40 other peach and apricot trees from another supplier planted the same place this year, and all 40 trees - which were all smaller than the Miller trees - leafed out. I ordered 3 types of raspberry in 2006 and only one of the varieties had decent survival. One of the red raspberries had about 25% emergence. I have grown a lot of fruit over the years and find the uneven performance of Miller plants mystifying.
On May 21, 2007, farmerbobby South Lyon, MI wrote:
I find their products over priced for the quality that they are. I ordered 4 bare root stock for $82.54 and they were small and thin in quality. The Reliance Peach was dead. Their guarantee is weak also. You have to return your order list or packing list along with $3.25 . By the time you do this you may well be past prime planting time. I choose to just write them off and buy a local variety at this point.
Initially I placed an order for two grape plants, to see how they would arrive. The shipment came through nicely via UPS, and the grapes were undamaged, supported well by bamboo for the shipping. After two weeks, one has started to leaf out.
I did place a second order for two more grapes, and they came even faster via priority mail, and they had already started budding; they are greening now after two days in the soil.
Overall it has been a positive experience.
This was my first experience with Miller. I ordered from them because my mother-in-law, a long-time gardener, had good luck with them in the (distant) past.
I ordered: 18 raspberries, 2 roses, 12 grapevines, 5 horseradish.
The horseradish were in excellent shape.
YES, I had planted raspberries before succesfully; and we are professional farmer's market growers. We know what we're doing.
Planted upon arrival (took a week in the mail). A month later, I've got 5 raspberry plants out of 18 that are growing/leafing -- the rest show no change, dead as doornails. I have zero grapes leafed out. One of the two roses appears to be (weakly) leafing out , the other was clearly dead from the moment it got here.
I am absolutely flabbergasted at the poor quality of their (rather expensive) stock and will never order from them again. I'm going to call and see if they'll give me my money back- I sure as heck am NOT going to PAY THEM for crappy replacements!
On Apr 29, 2007, buzzbuzz77 Urbana, IL (Zone 5b) wrote:
Great first experience with Miller Nurseries. I ordered 23 red twig dogwoods and a few other items (raspberries, asparagus, hydrangeas). The red twig dogwoods were advertised as 1.5 - 2 foot dormant bareroot plants, but I received HUGE 3 - 4 foot well-branched dormant bareroot plants. They have all broken dormancy and look great, even after the week of late freeze we had in Illinois. They sent about 8 or 9 extra doogwoods too! All the plants were packaged very well and arrived in good condition. Highly recommended based on my experience.
I ordered over $200 in plants from Millers this year. They followed my instructions to send it late and everything was alive and well. The plants were small though. Still, I would order from Millers again in a heartbeat!
Last year I ordered several knockout roses from this company. One rosebush was dead so I e-mailed them and they told me that they were out of stock of this type of bush but would send me one the following spring. Well I just received it today.
Thank you for keeping your promise.
I wanted a cherry tree - a dwarf self pollinating one. Miller Nursery came up in a google search. I bought a bing, x-tra dwarf, self-pollinating cherry tree. I kept checking and couldn't find any shipping information on their website - yet the payment had clearned my bank. I emailed and emailed - but no response. Then I came across this website and read all the comments about Miller's not being great about responding to emails (which was odd, as they responded when I was asking questions - before buying). Anyhow, I called and they found the information quickly. I was concerned as the website showed the tree was back ordered unitl Spring, but the woman assured me mine had been sent.
I received it yesterday. Or should I say "them". I'm sure it was a mistake, but I received two trees instead of one. both trees look great. They are about 4 feet tall (and at full height only get 5 feet). They have small buds on them already - roots looked great. And they were shipped with a can pole strapped to them to keep them from bending.
It's too soon to tell if I'll get cherries, but at first sight - the trees arrived in better shape than any I have bought through a mail order cataloug so far. I'm optimistically happy.
On Feb 3, 2007, Annepaola Manahawkin, NJ (Zone 7a) wrote:
Some time ago I purchased 12 Heritage raspberry plants a little late in the spring. 7 died. When I called about it replacements were sent quickly. Most of these died also but now I have a wonderful raspberry patch. However, it is a bit frustating that they do not communcate at all in response to emails. I bought forsythia as a gift last year and the plants looked very good. Now I am concerned about an advertised item - Summer daffodils Erlicheer. I was unfamiliar with it, and they describe it as a "plant'. I think after research it is a bulb like any daffodil primarily grown in the southern states. I like to buy north rather than south with hopes of greater hardiness.
After shopping for and purchasing hardy kiwi plants from several suppliers, Millers Nursery is the leader by far. The plants I received from them are the only ones that thrived.
They were several times the size of the other plants and very healthy.
Even plants that I purchased locally from a kiwi farm could not compare to the ones I got mail order from Miller.
Nearly all of the plants from other suppliers have died. The ones from Miller will no doubt eventually bear fruit.
I just placed an order for a Dwarf Orange Quince and a Santa Rosa Plum from them.
I trust that they will also be superior to what I would have received for my money from other suppliers.
On Jun 24, 2006, MarcBMeijer Crown Point, IN (Zone 5a) wrote:
In 2003 I received in early Spring asperagus roots, gooseberry, and a white mulberry. The mulberry was a whip. This year the asperagus produced a lot of spears and the mulberry (which I prune to keep it is a large shrub) has grown well.
This year I bought 4 cherries, 4 apples, 4 pears, and cranberries, blueberries, strawberries, rasberries, currants, lingon berries and some other fruit. About $475.00 worth. Everything looked good when it arrived, well packaged and very dormant (it took the pears 2 month to get out of dormancy). Out of all the fruit only 6 strawberries died. This is to be expected when you are dealing with living material.
I espaliered all the fruit trees and it is growing very well even with the prunning I have done.
I like it when a company sends me dormant whips because once planted they do very well. I will continue to buy from them until my orchard is complete.
A few years ago I ordered a Mountain Ash tree from Miller's. When I got the little tree, it didn't look quite 'right'. But, I went ahead and planted it exactly as the directs they sent me stated. I watered it with care, mulched it etc. That tree never came out of the funk it had from shipping. I didn't even bother to call them, because I didn't figure they would do anything about it. For the size of the trees you get Miller is not a very good deal anyway. Too bad because they have a nice little catalog.
On Jun 9, 2006, marylandmama Clarksburg, MD wrote:
This was my first time ordering from Miller, I did so on the recomendation of my father. The stock I ordered was on sale since it was the end of the season.
The order consisted of: 2 American Pawpaws, Meador persimmon, orange quince, whitney crabapple, green gage plum, and a champion white peach.
Even though the products were on sale they didn't look like it. Nice size stock with large roots. All but one of the products has leafed out and looks good. The peach is still dormant as of today.
I was happy to find some older varieties still in stock and on sale to boot. The sale prices were excellent for the stock I recieved. Shipping costs were very reasonable as compared to other companies.