Posted on April 16, 2011, updated June 11, 2012
I ordered an almond tree, peach tree, and two paw paw trees in 2009. I had some concerns about the peach tree as I had done forestry projects overseas and know you should get tree seeds/plants from similar climates.
Only the almond tree was alive. Willis Orchard sent replacements for the three trees that perished. They sent a Saturn peach (recommended by NC extension) as the first peach was not for North Carolina. The peach tree is doing fine.
The two additional different varieties of paw paw have shown no signs of life. So I'll do the math for you. 5 dead 2 living trees.
On June 11th, 2012, nukusjeff added the following:
The Saturn Peach and Almond tree are still doing fine.
Angel Red Pomegranate Tree $84.95
Hosui Pear Tree $44.95
Celestial Fig Tree $119.95
None of them grew, ever after 4 months, they are dodging without sending any replacement. The owner's son Austin is "missing" and I am unable to reach him. When I talk to him he promises to send the plants, but when I talk to his associates, they give a reason why it was not sent.
I will never buy anything from them again. The trees received were also of no good quality, compared to what I found latter in local nursery.
On Jun 5, 2012, blythe197 shelby United States wrote:
I placed an order with Willis Orchard Company for 3 Kwanzan and 1 Yoshino Flowering Cherry Trees. I was told the plants would ship the next day in time for my wife's birthday, and I would have them by the weekend. Several weeks later after many unsuccessful calls I still didn't get my plants. Finally they arrived three weeks later. I ordered these trees for my wife to specifically fill in gaps in my landscape to extend lines of Yoshino and Kwanzan Flowering Cherry Trees. After arriving three weeks late, I was shocked to find that they sent me 4 Flowering Cherries of the same but wrong Cherry variety. Willis Orchards was very uncooperative when I called them back and were in total denial, demanding that I take photos and send them and other extensive “run around”. Do not order from this incompetent and unreliable company. I will return the trees and take my losses on shipping charges, but I will charge back on my credit card and be happy to cut my losses after a bad experience with Willis Orchard.
On Jun 4, 2012, greenerisbetter west linn United States wrote:
Last January I ordered by phone 2 Reliance peach trees in the 5-6 ft size, and one Satsuma plum 3-4 ft. size. When I received the trees in late March I was immediately disappointed, the trees were starting to come out of dormancy - in fact the peach trees were beginning to blossom, they were smaller than stated on their website, and the roots were heavily pruned back and did not appear to be large enough to support the top structure .I bought the large peach trees to shorten the wait for fruiting. When the trees failed to grow I called Willis in late May and they told me if the bark was still green when scratched to wait. When it was obvious they were dead in mid-June I called and after the women on the phone suggested Miracle grow (to raise them from the dead?) I was told to return the trees for new ones that would be shipped in October. I shipped them back to Willis today and it cost me almost twenty dollars. Willis’s stock were the only ones that failed to grow I planted this spring from six different providers. Not a bargain by any means.
On Jun 2, 2012, vaccinateme concord United States wrote:
I ordered 10 trees from Willis orchards and planted them within 72 hours of receiving. When they failed to bud in a few weeks I called their nursery and asked how long I should wait, I was told the end of May. Of the 10 trees, only 4 have survived. There is no evidence of life in the rest of the trees at all. I called to ask for a refund and Cynthia was VERY rude and combative stating they only replace trees the following season. The bottom line is I ordered and paid for 10 trees 6-7 feet tall. What I received were 10 trees 5 feet tall and only 4 lived. This company sells an inferior product and wont refund. Be smart and don't deal with Willis!
The four grapevines I ordered from you were supposed to be at least 3 feet tall. What I received did not match your websites description. What we got were slender twigs, without leaves and in NO way close to 3 feet. Two of the grapevines have failed to show any sign of life- we have had a perfect spring, with perfect temperatures and rainfall. The other two have some leaves but certainly are not of a size that should bear fruit this year, unless they hit a tremendous growth spurt, in a hurry. Now that I have read the fine print on your warranty I am more than a little disappointed to learn that it will be a major hassle to get replacement plants or a refund. Your advertising is very misleading and your products are less than satisfactory.
On May 30, 2012, desilva Canton, OH (Zone 5a) wrote:
I spoke to you by phone sometime this month about some crape myrtle trees I received. I expressed my concerns because of the small size of the trees and the generally delivered poor condition. I may be dumb as you insinuated, but, I am not plumb dumb; I have been gardening all my life! By the size of the stems cut back I don't think the trees were even 6' high before they were pruned, not to mention how scraped and banged up they were. Most of their little branches were dangling by the skin. They have steadily lost virility and will most likely be dead soon. I have called my daughter who works with the New York City Parks department to recommend a reputable nursery to sell me some replacements for your unhealthy pitiful product.
On May 20, 2012, Wildchild53 Clarksville, TN wrote:
I ordered from this Co. last 05/10/2012. The order was for an African Banana tree. I was informed that the tree would be shipped on the week of 05/14/2012. I never got the FedEx conformation email that there site says you will get when shipment has been made. I emailed Willis Orchard back with my concerns and asked if the tree had been shipped. I got no reply, I called there phone number and never got an answer. Now I'm very worried after reading all these negative postings about Willis, I'm very skeptical if I will ever see my tree.But one thing is for sure ( My bad for not reading about them before ordering from an unknown website sales,but never again). Even If I ever receive the tree I will never order from them again, They are very unprofessional in there business. I'm starting to fill like the only thing they are professional about is Scamming out of your money.
On May 19, 2012, IndaShade Kylertown, PA (Zone 5b) wrote:
Posted on March 31, 2012, updated May 19, 2012
I wish I had read the reviews here before I placed an order for two fruit trees: Green Gage Plum and Moorpark Apricot. They arrived this past Wednesday, well packed. Planted yesterday (Friday). Green Gage plum was a nice tree, no leaves and well branched. Moorpark Apricot was a six foot tall bent stick, no leaves, NOT well branched. After reading the reviews, I am a little worried that they are not what they are supposed to be, but I won't know that for a couple of years. :-( They are planted and I am hopeful, but I would not place another order with Willis.
On May 19th, 2012, IndaShade changed the rating from neutral to negative and added the following:
Well, not quite two months later and both trees are dead. I am not interested in paying postage for more of the same from these people, so I'll just have to suck it up. That's $75 I'll never get back. My fault for not checking GW feedback.
Posted on May 28, 2011, updated May 17, 2012
Posted on December 30, 2010, updated May 28, 2011
I ordered a dozen golden rasberry plants. I called later about the shipping date. Mid October. OK. Mid Oct I call. First week of November I'm told. They finally arrive in November. Most November's in Kansas, the ground is frozen. Got them in the ground, but the next week it dropped below freezing. Would have been tough to plant normally. These were supposed to be 3 yr old fruiting size. Total length of plants from top to bottom edge of roots was about 14 inches. I actually got an extra because 2 of them were less than 1/8 inch in diameter. Small cane cut way back, tiny root ball. I'll follow up in the late spring to let you know how it goes. Oh, the two phone calls I made, I got the impression I was interrupting something. Not rude, but,,,,,
On May 28th, 2011, pepper11 added the following:
Of the plants ordered, only 4 survived. While they did survive, the foliage is thin and at the very base of cane.
Cane that is litlle more than 1/8" mentioned. These were advertised as "fruiting size". If they fruit at all this year, I'll be surprised if they turn out to be golden rasberry. I lost the money spent on the plants-less than 50% survival rate.
They were not fruiting size, so I lost money on sales. All preexisting bushes I purchased at local nursery's, and they turned out fine, so I know how to prepare the soil, and maintain the bush. I guess they stay in business through sheer volume. Less than 50% positive ratings. Wasting people's time and money.On May 17th, 2012, pepper11 added the following:
ok, the 4 survivors (3 year old fruiting size?) are finally bearing some fruit. They aren't the goldens I ordered.
Just red rasberries. I already had lots of those. Willis can't even get the variety right, let alone the age. Oh yea, too late for returns and no refunds. What a business model.
I ordered 10 high bush blue berry plants from willis orchard on 5/4/12 and received them on the 5/10 all plants were as advertised and and survived the handling well. I was pleased with Willis' service and the quality of the plants I received.I will from them order again.
We purchased 5 trees. Two were dead. They would not replace without us sending them more money . Cynthia was very rude and hung up the phone on us. Told me we were very stupid for trying to plant the dead trees.. Was very rude and we will not purchase anything from this company again. Their warranty is worthless.
Posted on April 23, 2012, updated May 4, 2012
Below Is an email I sent to Willis Orchards today. The first windmill palm was smaller than expected and had a dead center frond. I called and spoke with one of the owners about my dissapointment, I think if you talk to these people instead of yelling or demanding you will get the results I did. All people make mistakes and these folks restored my trust and faith in thier company.
I wanted to take a moment to thank you and your son Jason for restoring the trust between myself and your company. I received the replacement palm your son Jason sent me on Monday. This windmill is the same quality, age, beauty, shape as the other two I purchased last September. I thank you both for replacing this palm no questions asked, I think the world of your actions in a most difficult situation. I will let everyone I know the level of customer service I received from your most honorable actions. The windmill is perfect, It’s really a beautiful palm tree that fits in well with the other two I purchased.
Thank you for all your help and information you provided. I am really pleased with the results
On May 4th, 2012, rrrutah changed the rating from positive to negative and added the following:
Since I last posted, one of my undesized silver saw palmettos has died, Spoke to Sara today about relacement, she informed me that I can send back the dead palm for free shipping, or I can pay for shipping plus 5% for the credit card transaction and wave the send it back policy. So if you spend money shipping back a dead palm they will replace it and ship it for free. Why not just ship a new one for free they have to ship it anyways? I have pent over $1000.00 with this company in the last 6 months, not a singlke dime will I spend more. You have lost yet another client, more negitive comment on this site than good. A real shame, nice people, poor policy's
On Apr 26, 2012, Conradcheated Ellisville, MO wrote:
Fall of 2010, I ordered a Persimmon Tree. Paid for a 10 foot tree. I planted the tree professionally upon arrival. The Spring came, and there were no leaves. Willis told me that sometimes, trees dont grow leves the first year. I asked what happens if no leaves grow next year, and they said to give them a call. Now, we are in the second spring season, and still no leaves. I called Willis and they said sorry, their trees are only garunteed for a year. I referred them to the conversation from last year and they said too bad. They were rude on the phone and hung up. Warning -- DO NOT PURCHASE FROM WILLIS ORCHARD.
Posted on April 20, 2012, updated April 24, 2012
Posted on April 5, 2012, updated April 20, 2012
On March 29th, I ordered from Willis Orchards a fig tree which was to be delivered as soon as ready, and a magnolia tree which was noted would be delivered in the fall of 2012. I received the confirmation invoice from Willis stating the shipping charge of $17.50 for the two trees. On April 4th, I received an email from Sarah at Willis offering me "options" on the delivery of the trees. I could have both trees shipped in the fall (not acceptable since I wanted to have the fig tree aclimated before the winter), or, the trees could be shipped separately and I would have to pay extra, or the trees could be shipped now but I would have to waive my right to a replacement in the event the tree (s) died. When I called Willis today, I was treated rudely. Sarah informed me that "everyone gets charged $17.50 for shipping. Then you will receive options on the delivery. I told her that Willis had changed the terms of the confirmation invoice and that was not right. I also realized that they had charged my credit card on the 29th. Sarah finally asked abruptly if I wanted to cancel my order. I replied that I certainly did want to do that. Before I could ask her about whether they would charge a restocking fee, she hung up on me! I will check my credit card for a credit and, if it is not there in a few days, I will file a dispute with the credit card company. Perhaps the two employees I spoke with, Cynthia and Sarah, are overworked. I asked to speak with someone else in charge, and was informed by Sarah that "there is noone else". Unbelievable and upsetting.
On April 20th, 2012, sutton31 added the following:
Still no credit for this order. I emailed Willis this morning to inform them that I will file a dispute with my credit card company if I do not see a credit within the next week. On April 24th, 2012, sutton31 added the following:
A credit to my account from Willis was posted by my credit card company on April 23rd minus $7.40 which is their 10% deduction for cancelling an order after 3 days. They sent me their "shipping options" email 5 days after my order. I am not going to dispute the $7.40 simply because I am happy to never having to do business with Willis Orchards again. I advise others to do the same.
On Apr 23, 2012, magicwanda Spanish Fork, UT wrote:
I ordered blueberry bushes and a pecan tree. After two weeks and they didn't come, I called, Oh you have to pay $17.35 extra for a split shipping charge. Ok, then charge it and ship the bushes. 2 weeks later, I called again, it had not been done. Oh, we fired that lady because she didn't follow thru. OK then refund my order, and don't charge the split shipping charge.
A week later, I get an email charging the split shipping charge, and not refunding anything. Oh, we can only refund 10% of your original order. NO I AM NOT HAPPY WITH YOUR COMPANY. REFUND THE ENTIRE ORDER - BOTH OF THEM.
On Apr 22, 2012, LancasterGirl Brickerville, PA wrote:
I bought two 5 gallon Windmill Palms from Willis Orchards.
They were to be 4-4 1/2' tall. I was concerned this included
the root system and my tree would be a disappointment, so I called and ask. The woman I talked to said that the 4' is after planting. Well, you should have seen my face when I came home from work and saw a 5 1/2' box on my porch. It had 2 of the most beautifull Windmills I ever saw. We gave 1 to our Mom for Mother's day and she said it was everything she ever could have hoped for. There was not 1 brown spot or broken leaf. We planted immediately according to instructions and it was a good 4 1/2'. If it doesn't live thru our winter in Pennsylvania, I cannot put any blame on this company. I will definetly be buying another one next year.
I ordered some boysenberry and raspberry plants from Willis Orchards on Feb 15, 2012. After receiving the plants, I planted them that day. They did not look as large as expected for 3 year old plants...but, I really was not sure how big they should have been. For several weeks I waited for them to show some life. None seen. I contacted Willis Orchards via email and had several conversation with Shannon on the plants. Shannon told me to make a small scratch on the vine, if green they were alive if not probably dead. I waited another few weeks and again emailed Shannon to say I was sending back. No return authorzation needed I was told. Long story short. I sent back 7 plants, 2 shipments. Was told they never received them. Maybe one lost? Doubt it, But 2 lost shipments?
I called the company again, was told...no proof, no plants. Terrible experience...will not recomened to anyone.
Just received an order of three blueberry plants that took three weeks. No way are these anywhere close to what was described.... Supposed to be "5 gallon" plants "4 year" old and "3-4' fruiting size". Yeah, right....
Scrawny plants with few leaves and broken or dead stems since last fall; one main stem was broken in packaging below its ID tag. And since they were 'on sale' and $.55 below there guarantee minimum of $17.50, they probably won't do a damn thing.
I've been an organic gardener for well over three decades and never seen such poor nursery stock. These plants should never have been shipped.
On Apr 9, 2012, avidorcharder 32024 United States wrote:
Last week I drove up to Willis Orchards at Berlin, Ga to get replacement plants that had died last summer. My order of fig trees, peach and plum trees was received in late Spring of last year. The fig trees lived, but the peach trees and plum trees arrived with chopped off roots. Willis Orchards promised to replace them this growing season but after many calls on the phone, no replacements ever came. Since our planting season in Florida was at an end in April and no replacements were received, I decided to drive up, even though it was the first week in April and pick the trees up at their nursery. There were several workers at the nursery, scurrying around, pulling off leaves from piles of fruit trees that were lying on the ground. One of the men was placing the leaf stripped trees in plastic and sliding the orders into cardboard boxes. Numerous boxes were being put in organized groups next to a lean-to metal shed. When I announced that I had come to get my plum and peach tree replacements, I was told that they were too buy filling orders that were all supposed to have been shipped and delivered by March 31st and I would have to wait my turn on getting the replacement plants by Fed Ex shipment. Knowing that my trip was fruitless, I felt that even if they do ship my replacements this late after pulling off the leaves prior to shipment they would more than likely die of stress if planted in Florida this late as bareroot trees. I took out my phone camera and filmed some of the workers leaf stripping and then drove along the fenced area of the nursery where a machine looking like a backhoe was digging up trees in full leaf and carrying them up to the shed. Long rows of fruit trees were planted just inside the fence adjacent to the road. Some of the rows had spaced out trees planted but others were filled with bundles of over crowded trees, many dead and tilted over. Weeds were growing tall in thick matted grass that covered the ground, most weeds were waist high and others were tall as the trees. All this entire, weedy nursery was blighted with mummy trees crowded among the living ones. All of my videos can be viewed here http://www.tinyurl.com/willisorchardsvideo/weedy
In February I ordered flowering pear trees, Kwanzan and Yoshino cherry trees from Willis Orchard Nursery and several phone calls have not gotten a definite delivery date, nothing except rude responses. Willis only says that all orders are shipped out in the order they are received and it doesn’t matter if the order was for $50 or $500, the orders are all sent out as soon as they process. They claim that their business this spring has been so great that they just are delayed in processing them. I was told to wait in line just like everyone else does. Their website says they don’t ship bareroot after March 31st, so am I being punished by getting my order in April, and does that mean it’s too late to plant flowering trees to get flowers this year? I think I will just call my credit card company and put an end to this nonsense.
Last year when I ordered, I was shorted 4 trees-the ones I ordered double-out of a VERY large order. Willis Orchards was apologetic when I contacted them about the missing trees and promised to send them out this year, since they felt the trees wouldn't survive shipping at that time. While most of my trees died last year (2 exceptions, and the gophers got one of them this spring) I feel that it was due to a combination of problems on my end including a delay in planting and the unusually long lasting cold weather we had last spring. That's always a hazard when you live practically on top of the Continental Divide. Because of the problems I had with getting the trees planted, I didn't feel it was right to ask for a refund, and I was extremely impressed that the Winesap Apple actually survived the delay and weather! The other tree that survived was an Italian Everbearing Fig and while I thought it was dead too, it eventually resurrected itself from its roots and is now going strong! (I planted it in a large 3' container so I can move it inside for the winter.) Very few trees are strong enough to survive a weeks long delay in planting, followed by near freezing temperatures, but 2 of Willis Orchards did! I planted some additional trees, grapes and ornamental plants from a different mail-order supplier and none of them survived-even though they arrived much later in the spring (with much warmer temperatures) and were planted almost immediately after I received them. Overall, I am very much impressed with the quality of trees I received from Willis Orchards, and especially with the fact that, even though I had forgotten I was owed some trees this year, they remembered, and shipped them! I will definitely be ordering from them again.
l ordered two 6-7' heavy branched fruiting sized apple trees. they arrived in a somewhat untimely manner...
These trees are no where near ready to produce fruit...
The pruning on some of the branches was terrible... the lower part of my Arkansas black apple tree only had branches on the left side... All of the branches on the right were pruned off making its shape look hella foolish.
The tops were pruned abruptly nowhere close to the nodes and almost all of the root system was missing... the granny smith looks ehhh.... and alot of the branches were broken in delivery.
i bought a tree for the same price at home depot this year that is already budding with flowers... i would buy from willis again but only for rare variety's the local garden center wont have...
Also for the record l bought a baby cherry tree from gurneys.com 2-4 ft with a way larger root system the 7ft fruiting size tree's from Willis orchards...
On Apr 7, 2012, riddlemethis raleigh United States wrote:
About 4 years ago I moved to Raleigh, NC to be closer to my elderly mother. In reminiscing about the earlier days we remembered how delicious my grandmothers apple pie was, so, we decided to recreate that memory with our own, homegrown, apples and my grandmothers heirloom apple pie recipe. I got on the internet and found Willis Orchards, amazed that I could buy a tree large enought to produce the first year, I ordered 2 golden Delicious and 2 Red Delicious, "instant orchard" size trees and paid a small fortune for the trees and a small ransom for delivery. As advertised all 4 trees produced the first year but the fruit never got larger than a golfball. I called Willis Orchards who quickly explained that sometimes, the first year, the fruit does not fully mature and to give them another season. After 2 seasons in the ground our trees produced fruit fully matured, bright red, cherry-sized, bitter, seed filled crab-apples. I called Willis Orchards for a refund and was told I could only have store credit for a replacement. After reading some of the reviews here and my own wretched experience, I don't trust them to send me the right trees. My money is wasted and my mom does not want to try again because of this great frustration and is exceedingly depressed that she cannot revisit the wonderful memory of eating fresh apple pie from home grown apples!
Ordered a $110 "well branched fruiting instant orchard" 7 ft Angel Pomagranate tree Feb. of 2011. It arrived in a timely manner but looked bad, and had no root structure. Planted it, and waited. It was dead and never grew. I called the company in the fall of 2011 and talked to the RUDEST female who was no help at all. They do have a 1 yr warranty so,for $25 more I sent my tree back in Feb. 2012. Again the tree came in a timely manner and it looked better than the 1st Pom that I received. But, once again the thing was pretty much dead. The top 5 ft of the tree was completly dead. Atleast this one wasn't a total loss, it does have a couple of green shoots coming out of the bottom. So much for my "instant orchard". I basically spent $135 for a 3 inch Angel Pom. I feel like I was ripped off.
I placed an order with Willis Orchards in October for pecan trees. I was told when I placed my order that they were not dormant yet and that I should expect the pecan trees around the first of the year. Well here we are, its almost April and I still don't have my trees! I've called Willis several times and just keep getting the run around. Whoever answers the phone has to talk to someone else about it and call me back, and as of yet I still have not had my call returned! As warm as its been getting I think I will just call my credit card company to dispute the charges.
On Mar 31, 2012, Willis Orchard Company responded with:
We filled all of our pecan tree orders by mid February. Are you sure that you didn't order from another company? Also we handle any and all service issue and find mutual closure to whatever situation may arise, in a timely manner. Something doesn't sound right?
They were to ship before April first and they did ship three weeks before the deadline, I live in Texas and asked for it as early as possible.I had ordered nearly a month before but realize they do have shipping schedules. The tree came well packaged, it was in a really wonderful pruned shape, larger than anticipated and I had it planted in less than an hour after it arrived...I had been looking forward to it. The response from the company was very proffessional when I requested the tree earlier due to our unusually early spring.
Posted on February 26, 2012, updated March 26, 2012
Order Dwarf Bonanza Peach Tree From Willis Orchard. Shipped 2 days later. Tree came Very well Branched. First time ordering from Willis Orchard so far so good. Will report back with more pictures.
My neighbor Garrett Adkins is a former employee of Willis Orchards in my hometown of Hahira, Ga. He agreed to pick up several trees that I had purchased by phone from Willis Orchards, a nursery located at Berlin, Ga, just a few miles away. He planted them in my yard since my health is not good. The trees were planted last March but a pear tree and an apple tree died and Willis told me that it's too late to get my replacement trees this yea. When I told Garrett he said he no longer worked at Willis Orchards and they are shutting down the nursery, so I guess its my tough luck. Garrett said he though Willis Orchards had gone broke.
On Mar 21, 2012, Willis Orchard Company responded with:
As you know, this year has been unusually warm all winter and the trees have awoken from dormancy weeks earlier than normal. That is why we "recommended" waiting until it cools off this Fall, in your best interests. We didn't say we will not give you the two trees.
Also my most trusted employee and friend no longer works here due to his great theft from me and the company that supported his family. However, we are not shutting down or going broke over it. Yet it does break my heart.
Jason Willis - owner"
On Mar 18, 2012, jakeknifey Fitzgerald, GA (Zone 8b) wrote:
Las year Willis Orchards mistakenly sold me 6 flowering pear trees instead of the fruiting kind that I paid for at their local nursery outlet in Berlin Georgia. all these trees flowered beautifully then formed tiny one inch pears that remained on the trees until Fall. I shwoed one of the workers these small pears that dont fall and he agrre to replace them free of charge this spring. When I went back to willis orchards for my replacement trees last week, all the leaves and buds had been ripped off, and the worker told me they had to pull off all the leaves because of an unusually early spring. There were lots of migrant workers in the field surrounding the nursery digging up trees and pulling off the leaves and loading them on trucks. This seemed suspicious to me that they were replacing my wrong trees with trees that would be stressed and weakened by pulling off the leaves. Willis should be ashamed for practicing such shady ways!
On Mar 18, 2012, Willis Orchard Company responded with:
There seems to be a similarity and eerily suspicious connection between this post and the next. Not to mention the two towns noted are so close to each other. It's just strange when we have so so few customers from this area. Out of +20,000 customers a year, the state of Georgia ranks about 10th and 90% of the folks are from north Georgia. Yet one of our infamous competitors is located about 15 minutes from both Fitzgerald and Ashburn.
Just food for thought while reading some of these posts.
Posted on March 16, 2012, updated March 17, 2012
After driving down to Berlin, GA March 15th, 2012 in my pickup to buy some peach and plum trees from Willis Orchards, I decided not to after seeing all the trees were in full leaf. One of the migrant works said they would be happy to pull off the leaves and the trees after being planted would grow new leaves, and that this process was normal. The nursery was in shambles and weeds were already more than a foot tall in the tree rows where the workers were digging them up and boxing them up to ship out in waiting Fed-Ex trucks. I'm surprised that the government would let this place sell trees growing in these dreadful conditions, after returning home treeless, my wife and I decide I had made the right decision. I started looking around on the Internet to see if anyone else had a similar experience and found an article from the Moultrie Observer that Willis's manager, Garrett Adkins, had been arrested for forgery on over 60 company checks amounting to $48,000.00 written to and signed by himself. To read this article simply type Garrett Adkins Moultrie Observer Willis Orchards and see for yourselves.
On March 17th, 2012, jj6191953 added the following:
Oh, I forgot to mention there is big sign on the main gate that there is a $200.00 minimum for walk in customers and you must have an appointment too. What kind of retail nursery would discourage sales by walk in customer's that would like to pick out their own trees. I guess I was fortunate I didn't my walk order wasn't going to be over $200.00 nor did I have an appointment, thank you Mr. Willis for saving myself money and not get weed infested trees.
JimOn Mar 17, 2012, Willis Orchard Company responded with:
Since Ashburn is only 45 miles away, you would have certainly known how hot it had already become by March 15th this year in south Georgia. You are certainly right that peaches and plums had already began to leaf out. That's why we had to suspend availability for so many products on our website, at least two weeks earlier this year. So with the unusually warm winter and most trusted employee/friend's theft, it has been a tough year so far.
But a few things I want to clarify. To grow grasses between field rows of trees is a common practice for several reasons. We are routinely inspected by the USDA and are one of very few that are certified to ship to the most strictly regulated state of California. Also, we are not a retail garden center that is set-up for shoppers. We are a national mail-order operation that grows most of our products in fields. We do however have many customers to schedule the pick-up of their order and they of coarse have the opportunity to inspect. To date, no customer has ever come to pick-up and rejected their order. Finally, there are no migrant workers here. All are US citizens. The four hard working and fine young men you profiled were born here and have never even been to Mexico.
Jason Willis - owner "
Posted on March 17, 2010, updated March 17, 2012
Posted on February 27, 2010, updated March 17, 2010
Posted on November 24, 2007, updated February 27, 2010
I purchased three trees from W.O.C. Three weeks ago.
1) Santa Rosa Plum
1) Florida Prince Peach
1) Washington Navel Orange
They answered the phone quickly the day I placed my order and every time I called there after and when I requested a tracking number they provided one. All together I placed 3-4 calls with questions after the order was placed and each time I was greeted by a friendly and knowledgeable person on the other end. The trees were well packaged and arrived safely and more importantly they were all not only within the size range purchased but at the high end of the range.
To date this is the best experience I have had purchasing trees from an online tree nursery. I will buy trees from them again come January and I highly recommend them.
On February 27th, 2010, AZPHATMAN added the following:
This is the third order I have placed with Willis Orchard Company. The order arrived yesterday. Over all I’m pleased-very pleased though I could have been ecstatic if they had not over looked one thing.
The 5’-6’ Garden Prince Genetic Dwarf is a full 6’ above ground with really, really nice branching and adequate root system. The branches are limber and not bent or broken. Score 1 for Willis Orchard.
The 3’-4’ Blueberries are really nice and starting to bud out. The canes appear to be healthy and limber and they were on the large side of the 3‘-4‘ range in the description. The tag that came with them says "2 3'-4' So. HighBush Blueberries". Here is where I have a problem.
I specifically requested an O’Neal and a Sharp Blue. They also Carry "Misty" and I have no way of knowing which is which or even if I have what I ordered. On the good side even if they messed up totally any of the three varieties they stock are well suited to my zone.
They look wonderful and I’m glad to have them but I would have been MUCH HAPPIER if they were properly labeled. In later years when I propagate other bushes from these plants I won’t be able to tell my friends with any certainty what they are other than Southern HighBush.
I have ordered blueberries from other nurseries in past years and from another nursery this year. Some I paid more for and some less but none were ever as large or healthy as the ones I received from Willis Orchard Company.
As nice as they are I will give Willis Orchard a somewhat hesitant score 2 here..
I also have to give another thumbs up for Willis’s shipping and customer service. They were prompt with the order confirmation email. They shipped very fast at the very reasonable price of $ 15.96. Not to mention Willis Orchard emailed me a shipping conformation with tracking number; a thing which no other online nursery I have purchased from has done.
I’m really not sure what to think of all the negative feedback Willis has received. No nursery is perfect but many of the negatives I have read do not valid on the surface. All dormant bare root trees look dead to someone new to purchasing bare root trees and many of the negatives are from admittedly new growers. Bare root trees require immediate planting and diligent care or they will die.
I just can’t even imagine being in Willis’s shoes with negative reviews from new growers who say they purchased 10 trees that arrived healthy and they all died. Then Willis’s replaced them with 10 more healthy trees which all died. Somehow this is made out to be Willis Orchard Company’s fault. For this kind of customer service Willis Orchard receives a negative feedback and the guy bad mouths them on at least one major gardening site at every opportunity. To me it looked like Willis went above and beyond the call and lost money on the sale only to pay for it again and again. Again I’m not saying this company is perfect but I have read a not of negative and neutral reviews that in my opinion should not be.
Even with all the positive experience I have had with Willis Orchard Company I was hesitant to purchase from them again do to all of their negative feedback. However they have shown themselves to me once again that they provide superior service and top quality products.
In closing I would have to say that this has been a very satisfying purchase experience and one I won’t hesitate to do again. On March 17th, 2010, AZPHATMAN added the following:
DON’T FORGET TO READ THIS ONE.
I have placed two more orders at Willis Orchard company since I last updated my review. With both orders I received excellent customer service and fast shipping.
The first order was placed on March 3rd and received on March 10th. The Elephant Heart Plum 6-7' (Fruiting Size) Sugar Pear Tree 6-7' (Branched - Fruiting Size) were received in good condition. The Sugar Pear was good and the Elephant Heart Plum was really nice with some nice branching. Nothing bad to say about either tree.
The 2nd order was placed March 8th and received March 17th. This was my 3rd or 4th order this year and they gave me a free tree. Thank you Willis Orchard.
This order is not all peaches and cream as it has its high an low points.
1 Lapins Cherry Tree 5-6' (1"cal. Branched Fruiting Size.) $41.95
1 Beauty Plum Tree 5-6' (Branched) $26.95
1 Methley Plum Tree 5-6' (Branched) $26.95
1 Blenheim Apricot Tree 6-7' (1"cal. - Fruiting Size) $31.95
1 Transcendent Crabapple Tree 5-6' (3/4" cal. - Branched) (Complimentary Gift)
Shipping was $ 31.95 which I feel is very reasonable given the size and weight.
The box was adequate for the trees shipped. The roots were wrapped in black plastic and there was a good amount of that jell that holds water bouncing around with the roots. However there was a lot of air space and the roots of some of the trees were bone dry. A couple of the trees showed signs of obvious stress which I will get too below.
The Blenheim Apricot Tree 6-7' (1"cal. - Fruiting Size) $31.95.
This tree is the nicest tree I have ever received from an online nursery. It is a bit over 7’ tall and well branched with a large root system and roughly 1 ¼‘ caliper. I would say the tree is roughly 7’ 6” tall X 3’ 6” wide X 4’ 6” wide. That’s the good now for the bad. The tree arrived leafed out. The leaves where very light in color. My bet is the tree was just starting to break dormancy when it was shipped and it was leafing out during the full six days it spent in the box. Man I wish I had purchased this tree earlier. I think it likely the tree will lose its current leaves. Even so I love this tree and am very pleased to have it. I expect this tree to live and hopefully thrive if not this season for sure it will the next..
The Lapins Cherry Tree 5-6' (1"cal. Branched Fruiting Size.) $41.95.
The tree arrived in excellent condition and looks like it will be pushing leaves in a few days. The tree is a close to 7’ tall and has an adequate root system and was 1“ caliper. The tree has three supple and bendable central leaders and no real branches. Not the best configuration. I plan on spreading the leaders and I’m confident it will make a nice tree though I hope it grows more branches. I would be lying if I said I would not like more branching but its still a nice tree. I expect this tree to live and thrive.
Methley Plum Tree 5-6' (Branched) $26.95
This tree arrived in poor shape. The tree is a bit over 6’ tall and ¾”+ caliper with a good sized root system. The roots were higher up in the wrapping and I think this tree had little or no water for the six days it was in the box. It had flowered and leafed out before arrival. Nearly all of the leaves and flowers died while in transit. Some of the small branches are brittle and I think dead. A real pity as the tree is of good size and well branched with a good root system. I hope it pulls through and does better than I fear it will.
Beauty Plum Tree 5-6' (Branched) $26.95
This tree arrived suffering a little from lack of moisture. It also was toward the top of the root packaging. This tree was a bit over 6’ and well branched with an adequate root system. It arrived already leafing out and flowering and some (about 30%) of the leaves and flowers died due to lack of moisture in transit. Thankfully the branches were still supple which gives me hope. The branch angles are very steep and remind me a lot of my two Santa Rosa Plum trees. I expect this tree to live and thrive.
Transcendent Crabapple Tree 5-6' (3/4" cal. - Branched) (Complimentary Gift)
This tree was a bit over 6’ with a small but adequate root system. It appears to have been topped at roughly 4’. Two new central leaders have formed each a little over 2’ long. Ordinarily I prefer un-topped trees but all of the trees I have ordered from other nurseries arrive topped somewhere around 4’-5’. If I was happy with them how could I be unhappy with this tree. I see the two leaders as a bonus and the tree is free so yea I‘m happy. Sure I would love to see more branching but I will bend these two leaders apart a bit more and I bet it will make a real nice looking tree. I expect this tree to live and thrive.
So yea I would call this an unintentional stumble by Willis Orchard but not enough for me to change my Positive rating from a Positive to a Natural. I know of no other place where I can get trees like these online. I also know if one or two of these trees don’t make it Willis Orchards guarantee is good.
One things for sure and that is I will order early next season before trees start leafing out. I hope some one at Willis Orchard’s reads this. My hope they will add some damp shredded newspaper around the roots of each tree or something else better than what they are currently using when shipping multiple trees. It might also be a good idea to soak the roots in water for a couple of hours before packing the trees. If they are more hydrated they may arrive in better condition.
This is my favorite nursery because they ship the nicest trees and have the best customer service. Now if they can only get the packaging dialed in just a little better I feel they will become the standard by which all other online nurseries are juged by. On March 17th, 2012, AZPHATMAN added the following:
The last poster apparently cannot read. He is trying to say that Willis Orchard is ripping people off and says to look up an article. The article does not say that Willis Orchard ripped anyone off. To the contrary; In the article Willis Orchard was the company that was the victim of someone else who stole nearly $ 48,000.00 from them. Now Mr. Willis not only has suffered a massive financial loss but is being accused of the crime perpetrated against him by some anonymous poster? The poster should be ashamed of themselves.
On Mar 16, 2012, bonellict1 Philadelphia, PA wrote:
Coming from a small business family and after reading some of the inflammatory negative reviews (although some were constructive), I wanted to give Willis Orchards a try. I always hate to see a good business lose customers because of unfair remarks, so I thought I'd be the judge and start out with a small order.
We ordered two willowy green bamboo plants, one blue henon bamboo plant, and a blueberry bush. I received the package promptly. As another post said, it was actually the most well-packed plant order I have ever received. It was clear that a lot of care was placed in the packaging. The only problem was that, alas, there was no blueberry bush. At this point, my initial thought was, "uh-oh, those other reviews were right...good thing I only placed a small order." However, I gave Sarah at Willis Orchards a call and she was very courteous. All I had to do was take a picture of my order with the blueberry bush missing, which I did and emailed to her. I am pleased to say that the mistake was promptly corrected, and I received two confirmation emails. First, I received a personal note from Sarah thanking me for sending her the pictures of my order and complimenting me for my placement of the bamboo plants. Second, I received an auto-generated invoice for $0.00 to correct the error and get that blueberry plant sent out to me.
I believe that mistakes are made from time to time. Certainly, nobody is perfect. Therefore, when these mistakes happen, I think that the true measure of a company's commitment to their customers is how they deal with those mistakes. While I can't speak for everyone here, I can at least say that I am probably even more impressed with this company now that I have seen how they respond to customer issues with integrity, speed and care, than I would have been if I had simply received everything without issue the first time around. I will certainly use Willis Orchards in the future, knowing that if I have any issues, they will be resolved with the kind of personal attention usually only reserved for face-to-face transactions.
Thank you, Willis Orchards! - C. Bonelli & J. Young
On Mar 12, 2012, Scott_Harmony Charlotte, NC wrote:
I bought the persimmon trees from them-the trees arrived with trimmed roots and were dead before I have got them!
They sent me the replacement with the same short cat roots already the THIRD!!! time!! But now the roots are like munched!!
I lost more then $150!! Because the company only give you credit-NO!! money back!
My suggestion for Willis Orchard-Don't even bother to dig the tree out! CUT IT! with knife by the ground and send to the customers just the stick! LOL
I should have read the reviews. i ordered 20 3 yr old $8 a piece raspberry plants from this company paid $40 in shipping and what gets to my house, pretty much seedlings mabe a year old, why did they charge me all that shipping i'l never know. phone calls and e-mails were exchanged and of course i was on the losing end. i had to pay to ship them back and was then told by sarah that no refund will be given that i will receive store credit.
I was very hesitant about ordering from this company after reading all of the negative reports. I spoke with Sarah when I placed my order. She answered all of my questions, she had great customer service skills and I was very impressed with her knowledge of the trees that I wanted.
Today, March 9, 2012, I received the peach trees that I had ordered. I was very reluctant about opening the box. After examining the trees, I am very very pleased with the quality of the trees that I had ordered. If I need anymore trees, I am sure I will order from this company.
I had made a couple small orders in the past and was satisfied with the products and service. Last spring (2011) I placed an order for nine trees. It was late in the season but Willis made the decision to fill it. When I received the shipment I saw there were problems in the way it was poorly packaged and the bark on some trees had shriveled. We planted the trees properly and gave them good care. Only one, a small pomegranate tree, grew. I returned the bottoms and packing slip as requested and requested fall shipment of the replacements. They acknowledge receipt of the shipment with a list of what I had returned. Without reviewing it I filed it.
They did not honor my request for fall shipment and I finally called them and ask them to rush it to me, which they did, but it was mid winter by then. To my dismay they only sent 7 of the 8 trees. When I called them they said they would send the missing tree but I would have to pay the $17.50 shipping cost. She said I should have checked their acknowledgement for accuracy and caught their mistake before they shipped. So now it is my responsibility to manage their shipping department remotely. I just chalked this one up to experience. Be assured I will never order from Willis Orchards again. I don't do well in dealing with people who dishonest or who will not accept responsibility for their mistakes.