It's time to read and vote for your favorite article in the 2013 Write-Off Contest! The four finalist's articles are featured in the May 13 newsletter and can be found through this link. Hurry! Voting ends May 18.
I've only ordered two cornelian cherry trees from Miller, and both didn't look that great when they arrived. One never did leaf and the other only had one or two live branches. Their guarrantee seems pretty good, but "my bad" for not exercising it within their time limit (although I should probably call and see if they will provide replacements anyway). I should add that their cornelian cherries are very low cost which means my expectations aren't very high. Since the general response here and on the BBB site is positive, I ordered replacements and some apple trees this year. This is a bigger and more expensive order, so I certainly won't hesitiate to ask for replacements if I have a similar experience again this year. I will update this comment when I get the order (as to the quality of the stock), and again a month or so later after it's planted.
On Aug 18, 2012, plantgnome1 nowhere land, NY (Zone 6b) wrote:
Ordered a Heritage Raspberry Plant and received same never grew waited longer-nothing. contacted them, sent me another one and this one took forever to show any growth. No berries this year. Hopefully next summer. Its in full sun, composted soil and gets watered and fed.
On May 31, 2011, jtellerelsberg Norwich, VT (Zone 5a) wrote:
I've had a mixed experience with Millers regarding their plants, though their customer service has always been excellent. I've bought many plants from them over several years. The trouble is that quite a few have not survived--a few failing even to leaf out at all after planting and seeming to have been "dead on arrival." Some plants have arrived looking to be in excellent condition, but others have been pretty drab coming out of the box. The plants I've had trouble with are a Berry Blue honeyberry, three different Sungold apricots, about 1/3 to 1/2 of the strawberries, a few asparagus crowns, and about 1/5 of the raspberries I've ordered. On the other hand, the Moongold apricot I bought from them is growing like gangbusters and this year--it's fifth season in my garden--it is producing fruit (and lots of it) for the first time. (This is especially surprising because Moongold is supposed to require a Sungold companion for cross-pollination, but there was no living Sungold nearby to do that job.) New this year--and looking fantastic--is an antique 4-on-1 apple. It's even got a few blossoms on it this first year, another wonderful surprise. As for the good customer service I've had, each year that I've received some dud plants, Millers has always been completely willing to replace the plants the following season with no hassle. So consider my review as being halfway between neutral and positive. Unfortunately, I've just had a few too many dud plants to be able to give a full thumbs up. (I realize that I might have made errors in the way I planted things, but given that I planted all my trees, bushes, raspberries, etc. the same way and in similar soil, and yet some fail even to leaf out at all, I think some if not most of the blame lies with the plants.) My only other "complaint" is that Millers does not list the Latin name of their plants in either their print or online catalog. I love my Latin names--especially for the more unusual breeds of plants they offer, I really wish they'd include this info.
I used Millers on and off for years and I never was what I would consider happy. It seems everything with them is hit or miss. At one time I ordered several types of raspberries and the differences in terms of root development and quality was amazing. Some were sticks that you knew would not leaf out and others fairly well developed. Same with bushes and trees. There seem to be limited quality control. About the only things I saw consistent were strawberries. Now days I order from more specialty nurseries. Some are significantly pricier, but the quality is worth it.
This year, one of my favorite nurseries was not able to fill my order. Miller did fill the order, even though it was late (April 28) in the season. The trees (peaches, cherries, paw paws, lilacs and a fig) all looked normal, but they sent me two cherries that were not what I ordered. They replaced the unwanted cherries with what I originally ordered promptly. Some of the trees had almost no roots, but they all seem to be surviving except for the Elberta peach. I also ordered strawberries. They looked bad, and only about 1/3 of them survived. I probably won't order from Miller again unless I have to.
On Jun 4, 2009, asturnut Anchorage, AK (Zone 5a) 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 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 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.
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.
The 15 border roses that I ordered five years ago are now six ft high and in great condition. Last year my wife ordered another 15 and we treated them just like the first group, but only one survived. We noticed that they weren't very large or healthy looking when they arrived. We won't buy any more roses from this company. I also bought a semi-dwarf Yellow Transparent apple tree (five years ago)and have finally come to the realization that it is only a dwarf.
A warning to all gardeners! Try to do a little research on potential problems such as diseases, proper pollination, et.cet, before you buy. The nurseries can't provide all this information. I had bought a seedless white grape from Millers and it along with the Transparent tree grew very well until they were hit with cedar apple rust . I finally used a chain saw on the grape and have to use Captan fungicide on the Transparent. I planted a "Sundance" apple this spring and it is highly resistant so far. I will also plant a "Sargent" crabapple,which is also highly resistant to these diseases, to pollinate the new tree. This spring we purchased roses from a company in Oregon (Jackson & Perkins) and they have all grown well.
I have received good plants from this firm, but they will not answere even the most basic of question by email, even after 3 tries. Good plants, poor customer service. Because of the lack of an email response, I was unfortunately forced to order from another supplier (Stark) who was willing to respond.
Fairly impressed with my order. Packaging was excellent.
I was extremely impressed with the strawberry plants I ordered... very healthy and the roots are excellent!
I also ordered a gooseberry plant... which was a little smaller than I expected but, seems healthy. The Jostaberry and White Current also look good.
I also ordered 2 Honeyberry plants, which were also smaller than expected. I'll have to wait and see how they do.
Also ordered 2 Rhubarb plants, which to my surprise, arrived as huge roots. One root did have a bit of mold on it however.
And finally, the asparagus I ordered were as impressive as the strawberry plants.
Will have to come back here and report on how everything does, later.
On May 26th, 2003, BerryGuy changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:
It appears that the Honeyberry plants I ordered did not survive. They were pretty small... less than 12 inches and only had a couple stringy roots on them.
Also, the pixwell gooseberry was a lot smaller than I expected and only had a couple stringy roots. It has managed to survive but, the leaves that have formed are smaller than a dime. The catalogue claims that it will produce berries 1 year after planting. With the plants current size, I find that highly unlikely.
Everything else I ordered is excellent and doing good.
I ordered 3 roses because of a great price they were offering. Now 1 month after receiving them, they still show no signs of life. Even the shabby looking ones I received from Gurneys are flourishing and they were put in weeks before and had to survive a few deep freezes.
On July 30th, 2003, cverch changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
I have to admit that Miller Nurseries checks out what is happening on this website. They contacted me shortly after I had posted my comments.
As for an update on the roses, the ones from Gurneys are doing great, 2 of the Miller roses are doing ok at best, but the 3rd from Miller is doing very poorly - but it is alive (some what).
So I change my negative to a neutral based on their customer service.
very prompt service, quick to answer any questions, and really great stock. This is the first year we ordered from this company and will do so again. The apple tree was one of the best we have ever received.
On September 1st, 2004, enilniah added the following:
this spring we ordered several plants and trees from this company, we lost 2 of the cherry trees this summer, and they are being replaced this fall with no problems. We have found this company to give excellent service, and are very polite when making inquiries. Will continue to buy from them. The trees and blueberries we received from them this spring were of good size, well packaged, and very healthy lookingOn March 23rd, 2006, enilniah changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:
they replaced 2 of the fingerlakes peaches that had died, the replacement plants sent last spring did not look to healthy when we planted them, and did not leaf out at all. by summers end they were completely dead, my husband who normally loves the stock we have from this company, was extremely disappointed, We will probably try them again in the future, but not for peach trees. I will say they are good at replacement usually and you usually get very healthy stock. The apple trees were have from them are doing very well.
This nursery came highly recommended by a source I trust so I sent for their 2003 catalog, and sure enough it contains lots of trees and shrubs that I'm interested in -- including several pages of apple trees and blueberries -- unfortunately, 99 percent of the plant descriptions do NOT include the scientific (Latin) name!! Why, I wonder?! It came as quite a surprise. I can't place an order without knowing exactly what I'm getting. I hope they read this and change next year's catalog!
In past years most plants have been of good to very good quality, however this past spring my wife ordered a Northern Spy apple, which had a broken limb and the bark was off at the graft. I planted the tree anyway thinking I may have a rootstock to graft. The limb was broken in packing or shipment but the bark looked as if a mouse had eaten it. The tree showed no sign of life after several weeks, so I called. As requested, I mailed a check to cover shipping cost. The replacement tree arrived a short time later. It seemed to be completely dead. It was soaked 5 or 6 hours before planting but no buds ever opened. I never contacted Miller after the second tree as I thought it was useless. The company does not seem to be the same as it was 10 to 15 years before my last order in 97.
Stay away from the English roses that they offer! I ordered an English rose that looked awful when it came. I complained, was sent another one, and it was even worse! It had a huge gash down the side, and the roots were sparse and no more than 4 inches long. I planted it anyway, but it is dying fast. I was really surprised, because I thought that Miller had a pretty good reputation. Have they been bought out, or something?