There are a few things worth pointing out about this company.
First, they are incredibly nice when you initially deal with them. However, in business, things go wrong all the time. I think it is how you deal with those things that really matter. There is no question they made a mistake when I witnessed these folks talking with a family member of mine. However, they quickly became irate and very nasty in their discussions when the family member was trying to reason with them.
The second thing made obvious is that I was amazed (with attitudes like that) at how reasonably positive the customer reviews have been on their website. It contradicts the tone found on Dave's Garden reviews. I learned how this is possible. I posted a negative review on that website, and The Willis management challenged my review. To have the negative review posted, then I would have needed to fax a receipt to show I am a customer. If you didn't save documentation or if their attitudes caused such distaste that you didn't make a purchase, then you likely would be prevented from making a negative post. That seems pretty convenient. I wonder how many receipts might be required if someone wanted to ever improve their own score and write their own positive reviews of themselves?
On Dec 22, 2013, Willis Orchard Company responded with:
"On Dec 26, 2013 12:22 PM, Willis Orchard Company responded with:
I asked every rep here to read this and give any feedback as to what this is about. We are perplexed as to what this post is referring too.
They did try to make a post on Customer Lobby that basically accused of being rude, nasty people. However when I used the name and email given in the post and checked it with our customer database, there was no match. So I did challenge the review and it was removed, as they we not an actual customer of ours. Also the post did not speak specifically to an event or critic a product or service. It just blasted us personally as being awful people. It's to bad DG doesn't have any kind of safe guards to ensure the posts are actually qualified reviewers. If it did, many of the negatives here would be gone. It would eliminate false posts by non-customers or competitors.
I really wish I knew DMBerry and what this post is about so that I could better respond and attempt to make things right with them.
Anyway, Merry Christmas to everyone and I wish you blessed new year."
On Dec 16, 2013, GeneDaniels Gravel Ridge, AR wrote:
This is the third time I have ordered from Willis Orchard company. I have been very pleased with the plants received. When I received my latest order I realized that two of the blackberry plants were not the 3-year old plants like I had ordered. I exchanged a few emails and pictures with the staff and they quickly resolved the matter by sending me the correct plants.
Everyone makes small mistakes from time to time, but a truly good company makes their mistakes right - and that is exactly what Willis Orchard company did. Good healthy plants and honest business practice - great company!
Christmas is upcoming, and I called Willis to schedule an appointment to pick up some plants. These plants were to be gifts for my young son who has a passion for gardening and farming. I had asked to make the appointment for this coming Saturday (called on Tuesday or Wednesday). According to their website, this is an option for orders over $200.
A very polite lady named Cynthia told me an appointment wasn't necessary. I live an hour away, and she told me to call ahead and place my order on Saturday before leaving to go to their nursery.
When I called them as requested, this nice lady wasn't as pleasant this time. She told me that picking up today is not an option. She told me I should probably get my son a gift card and pick up the plants after Christmas (out of town later and a later delivery is not an option). Very simply, this is my son's "big gift," and a gift card can't be a youngsters big gift under the tree. As opposed to what she told me earlier, Cynthia said I should have given her 24 hours notice. Of course, I would have been happy to do that if that had been her earlier instruction.
Obviously, these guys hold the cards, and there isn't much I can do. However, most nursery people are good folks and real "Mother Earth" type people. These folks (talked with 2 different people) were quite indifferent about my situation.
Trust me, go to Ellijay... The folks I have worked with in Ellijay are good "salt of the earth" and "hands in the dirt" type of kind people. I hope my comments will help others avoid the same problem with Willis.
Also, it is very interesting that Willis has such a poor rating on this website. However, the reviews they post on their website are all so positive. I posted my negative review on that site as well. It will be interesting to see if it is displayed.
On Dec 14, 2013, Willis Orchard Company responded with:
"On Dec 16, 2013 10:17 AM, Willis Orchard Company responded with:
Normally to call ahead in the morning and pick-up a couple hours later would be fine. However, on this particular Saturday, it was raining cats and dogs so we let our outside crew off for the day prior to receiving his call. Christmas is still a week and a half away so he could have decided to come another day when the weather wasn't so bad. We're sorry he doesn't understand our position and is angry at us."
On Dec 12, 2013, dogdoc01 Oklahoma City, OK wrote:
Made a small order of bare root trees. Three apples, one crabapple, and one pear tree. All trees arrived in great shape. The roots were packed with moist clay/mud and some type of gel balls and in excellent shape. I was actually surprised at how well the roots looked and the amount of roots on the trees.t The trees were the size advertised and a few even larger. Will definitely order from Willis Orchard again!! Highly recommend.
I made an order from this company becuase they had a great price and an awesome selection.
I went into my order knowing that I was not going to get a nice tree like you can get at the big box stores on every corner. I had experience from Arbor Day and their little twigs and I was hoping that thats not what I was getting. I guess I was hoping for something in between. I called them a few weeks after I placed my order and they answered imediately. Answered all my questionbs about what trees they were waiting on and assured me within the week they should be shipped.
The big day finally came and I saw from the tracking number that I got my trees. I rushed home and there was a HUGE box waiting. I excitedly opened the box and there were the best looking bare root trees I had ever seen. Well bare root is an understatement. they still had dirt around the roots unlike arbor day with no sign of any dirt. The trees were awesome and well pruned for the next growing season. I can't wait for this spring so I can see how well they flourish.
By the way I ordered a peach, nectarine, two blueberry bushes, and a kiwi. The Blueberries were still green with two feet long branches and the Kiwi had numerious two to three feet vines.
I found the staff at Willis Orchard friendly and easy to work with. There was an issue that came up regarding my order and it was resolved to my satisfaction. Because of their willingness to work with me this time, I plan to return in the future.
I have to admit, i was a little concerned about this company because i was paying extra for larger trees, and there were some negative comments. However to my delight, the trees came as promised, fruited the first year as promised, and grew really well. We had an exceptional growing year, but trees were as promised and healthy. I have no concern about purchasing from this company in the future. I used to by cheap small trees when i was younger, now i by older, larger trees that i am older.
Willis was good by me and i am not an easy to make happy.
On Oct 3, 2013, Neworchardowner Pulaski, TN wrote:
I ordered nut and fruit trees and grape vines from two separate Georgia orchard companies last fall. Several trees from one supplier never leafed out and were apparently dead when I received them. The other company was Willis Orchard Company. The trees I received from Willis arrived packed well and were healthy. Since planting, all my trees from Willis Orchard are doing great and I anticipate my first small harvest of apples next year. I just ordered additional nut and cherry trees from Willis to be shipped during the coming season. I am pleased with their products and customer service.
In the spring of 2013 I ordered an apricot, a blueberry, and three muscadine vines from Willis Orchards. The plants arrived promptly, packed with gel. I planted the apricot and the blueberry, but ended up leaving the muscadines on my back porch in a bucket of water for a week. I thought one of the muscadines had died, but three weeks after the other two had sprouted leaves, the third did as well. All of the plants are healthy and thriving, and survived the Texas summer (not an easy feat). I plan on placing another order with them this fall.
I was nervous about placing that second order after reading all of the reviews on here, and other forums, but the issue seems a lot more complicated than just some unsatisfied customers. In 2012, Willis' business partner was arrested for embezzling over $40,000 from the company. Also, the infamous TyTy Nursery is located near Willis. TyTy has a reputation for poor service, launching negative review campaigns, has over 40 false names for its business.
It is very hard to know what to believe and not believe. I'm sure some of the reviews here, both negative and positive, are legitimate. I've had a good personal experience, and will continue to do business with Willis until I have a poor one.
would like to submit a complain regarding Willis Orchard company.
I had to cancel my order and they insisted I still pay 10%. I cancelled the order b/c it would not arrive in time.
-At no time did they inform it the order wouldnt ship for weeks.
-They stated I had to cancel the order within 24hrs. They were closed for a week. there was no way for me to contact them within 24hrs. and when I did finally get a hold of them (a week later) then and only then did I realize they wouldn't ship my order in any normal time frame.
-never the less they told me it was my error and insisted on making some money off of me for something I never purchaced
In January 2013 I ordered six wine grape vines from Willis Orchards. I live in Kentucky and assumed they would be shipped to me at the proper planting time. Instead they arrived in mid-February when the ground was frozen and there was three inches of snow. A representative casually instructed me to put the bare root vines in a bucket filled with potting soil and leave them in my garage. (Just what I wanted in my garage for a month and a half, a half dozen grape vines waiting to be planted!) I planted them in late March. Five of the six have done quite well, but the sixth is dead. I contacted Jay at Willis Orchards. He told me he would give me credit toward another vine but I would have to pay shipping (which would cost more than the vine itself, plus he would charge me $1 to use my credit card to pay for shipping to replace a vine that quite possibly died because Willis shipped the vines about six weeks too early. Willis is a very amateurish business. They are not people-friendly and do not stand behind their product.
I had placed a order on 3-20-13 with Willis Orchards consisting of 20 assorted fruit trees/vines before i had found the reviews on Daves Garden. I thought to myself i am in trouble now!,but everything went like clockwork and the order arrived soon after. Everything was packed well in the gel and shipping price was reasonable. I had dug 18" holes in the center of 5'x5' tilled beds before the tree's arrived. I took them out of the gel packing and put them in a water bucket for around 45 mins. as I planted them.
I mounded the beds in the center , added a raised border of dirt around the beds and backfilled the holes to get all the trees at proper depth, and watered them in well. The only thing i added was a shovel of fully composted cow manure and azomite rock dust to each hole and used the original dirt from the holes.
I set up drip irrigation to all of the trees and mulched the beds with wood chips. The mulch works wonders and keeps the bed moist for a long time so they dont need water as often as without mulch.
To date all the tree's have leaved out just fine and look very healthy. The apples actually bloomed but a freak late frost came and they made no fruit. the eastern pawpaw was the last tree i was waiting on to bud and it took the longest but has nice leaves now.
one of the redbuds also took a bit of time,but it too has leaved out(its later than the other redbud tree i ordered i guess).
All others(cherrys,plums,nectarine,elderberry,etc are thick with leaves
My grapes have done well so far and are staring to vine.
there is even a bunch of tiny grapes on one vine so far.
the blackberry is doing well and is just now starting to vine.
The raspberries are another story, soon after i got them i noticed something boring into the top stalk and i trimmed it off about 2" to find some black fly type bug. i got rid of the wood i cut off and all seems fine now.
The raspberries have not shown any signs of life but the scratch test shows some green on the stalks still,so i have to assume that they are late to grow here- i don't have have any experience with raspberries here so this may be normal,especially with the odd weather we have had.
i will keep my eye on them and try and report back. I think they will be fine.
I ordered 2 Pindo Palms, and a Banana Plant from Willis Orchard. All three arrived in one box, and were very neatly packaged. The plants were very healthy looking, and were in great condition. My order was processed and shipped within two days. I am very pleased with the product and the service that I received. I will be ordering more tropical plants from Willis Orchard.
After reading the comments here and on another site, I was thinking twice about ordering from Willis. However, they had many of the trees that I was looking for that other orchards did not have. So, I called them first to let them know my concerns and the review I've seen and the guy made a very good point. People are 10x more likely to voice bad experiences than good. There are many people out there with good experiences that don't go around posting it on every site. Which is true. I bought, 3 grape vines, kiwi vine, golden delicious apple tree, asian pear tree, 2 paw paw trees, Quince tree, walnut tree, 4 blueberry bushes & 2 elderberry bushes. When the plants arrived all looked to be relatively healthy and the correct item. Out of all those items I have only 3 that I think may not be doing so good. Not sure if it's the plant itself, but I don't claim to be an expert so it could also be error on my part. I have not called them yet, as it's still early spring and I want to see if they are just late bloomers. My experience with them so far, has been good.
On Apr 30, 2013, Chrissy099 Burleson, TX (Zone 7b) wrote:
I purchased a Natchez Crepe Myrtle and French Pussy Willow from Willis Orchards on March 4th of 2012. I planted them straight away after receiving. After a couple of months it was very obvious these were both dead. After a series of emails that at first seemed to be helpful, I received a very rude (I felt) one from someone named "Jay Young".
I never replied to this email from him... he apparently did not seem to care that Chrissy is not "MR" Edwards. I did not "choose" to email them pictures of the dead items, I asked if I "could" take photos of the dead items. Prior to Jays email, Austin said Yes I COULD email pictures of the dead trees. Needless to say they have MY money. I donated to their fund and called myself stupid for ever ordering from them in the first place. I am not mailing them another cent. I payed $77.40 for these two dead items including shipping. And they want me to mail them MORE money?
My loss. Please beware.
To follow is the actual emails as sent with only my full name, email address and full order number removed. These have not been altered in any other way.
From: Jay Young
Sent: Thursday, September 27, 2012 9:28 AM
Subject: Re: Fw: Willis Orchard's Order number 10094630XXXXX
Since you have chosen to send me pictures as opposed to the dead plants, you are responsible for the $17.50 packaging and handling fee. Please send payment via check made payable to "Jason Willis" and I will process your replacement order.
On Thu, Sep 27, 2012 at 8:13 AM, Cynthia wrote:
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Fw: Willis Orchard's Order number 10094630xxxx
Date: Tue, 25 Sep 2012 16:16:46 -0700 (PDT)
From: Chris and Jerry mailto:chrissy099
Reply-To: Chris mailto:chrissy099
To: firstname.lastname@example.org mailto:email@example.com
I attempted to email "Austin" and the email was returned to me. I am emailing the pictures if someone could get back to me about this I would appreciate it. I have been emailing since approx May with not much luck.
----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Chris and Jerry mailto:chrissy099
To: Austin Willis mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Sent: Sunday, September 23, 2012 2:18 PM
Subject: Willis Orchard's Order number 10094630xxxx
Hello again and thank you
I have taken the pictures of the two items that are dead...and they arrived exactly as you see in the photo. They have not ever gotten a bud on them. I kept hoping and praying tho. Thought maybe they were in shock but was pretty convinced they were dead.
Please let me know if you need me to send you anything further...
From: Austin Willis mailto:email@example.com
Sent: Tuesday, August 21, 2012 2:40 PM
Subject: Willis Orchard's
I apologize for the situation, But yes pictures would be great if you could email them to me. Also your zip code would be great as well. The tree's should be replaced in the fall during the month of November.
On Apr 22, 2013, scleghorn Copperas Cove, TX wrote:
Posted on April 15, 2013, updated April 22, 2013
I placed an order earlier this week for one item to ship immediately and two that were to ship in the fall. My account was immediately debited for the entire amount (which I'm fine with, but just so you know). The following business day a company rep contacted me and told me that if I wanted my "immediate shipping" item to be shipped immediately I would have to pay an additional shipping fee- or else wait until the fall to get my entire order. I said that it would have been nice to mention the additional fee when I was checking out using their website, and to cancel my order. The company rep them told me they would refund me minus a 10% restocking fee, which is interesting since they shouldn't have to restock an order they hadn't pulled, and the entire incident wouldn't have happened if they'd simply been honest about the actual shipping they charge.
On April 22nd, 2013, scleghorn added the following:
Shortly after I posted this review I was contacted by a company representative who told me that they had the plants I ordered in stock and would mail them all out together for no additional shipping. My order was shipped quickly and arrived in good condition, but when it arrived I noticed that they had mislabeled one of the plants. I was supposed to receive a grape and a blackberry, but the plant labeled "blackberry" looked exactly like the grape and even had climbing tendrils. I called again, and was immediately told that the plants were "dormant" and might be hard to tell apart. I explained that the plants were, in fact, already in leaf and I had enough gardening experience to tell them apart. After another phone call, a couple emails, and sending them some digital pictures of the plants in question they admitted that it was mislabeled and said they would refund me the cost of the blackberry. Good gracious.
Plants came with washed rootballs, all bundled together with sodium poyacrylate gel and a bit of rotted pine bark potting soil wrapped in black plastic. Not much to look at, but that's how they keep down shipping, I'm sure, and the plants seem to be in decent shape after being potted up. Overall, if you can find the specific variety you are looking for at a local place, you are probably better off going there, but if you are looking for less common varieties and willing to nurture small plants along, Willis has alright prices for small plants and a pretty wide selection of edible plants and some ornamental trees. Be careful on trusting their range maps - they are just the USDA zone maps, and don't really take local conditions into account (i.e. their Zone 8/9 cherries might do fine in California, but probably wouldn't produce in the humid Southeast).
I ordered five fruit trees Feb 9 (Pippin Apple, Green Gage Plum, Elephant Heart Plum, Hachiya Persimmon, and a Fuyu Persimmon). The trees shipped early March which is appropriate for my area (northern Indiana). The trees I received were in perfect shape, very healthy, good color, and the exact size I ordered. I planted them two weeks later (due to bad weather) and now they are budding, flowering, with leaves started to appear on all the branches. I will absolutely buy from them again.
Posted on April 15, 2013, updated April 17, 2013
Unfortunately I'm worried. I do not know if they are a broker... I didn't think so by the catalog on line. 3/31/13 ordered $666.20. 6 large plants. Invoice on Net/do not reply, e-mail orders. OK Money snatched out of account. 2 E-Mails latter have not heard back from them. If you have a mail order business you should have good customer contact. Beware I think they are a broker ! Will put note to shipper to require signature. Not Happy !!!
On April 17th, 2013, yodafannie changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
they are not at address listed. They are in Cartersville Georgia. They are bare-root shippers. The web site is deceiving, Beware! and they represent themselves as having large plant material. The photos are deceptive because you will receive a dormant plant. Their on line communication on e-mail is non-existent. As I researched the Co. Further I decided to cancel my order after speaking with one of the owners. I hopefully have my money refunded within 5 business days. Minus the cancellation fees. I will post on the result.
Over the winter months I ordered three pond cypress trees from Willis Orchard and they arrived with full branches and lots of roots. I ordered a fourth eight footer pond cypress and Jason called to let me know they where out of eight foot trees and would I settle for a six to seven foot and he would refund the difference. I accepted he refunded my money and to my surprise sent two six foot nice looking pond cypress trees. They have all leafed out and are absolutely gorgeous.
Posted on March 28, 2013, updated March 28, 2013
I've used Willis Orchards for many purchases: Fruit Trees, fruit bushes, strawberry plants, but mostly their trees.
In the past I've tried Gurney's trees and never had much luck. With Willis the first year I ordered 5 of their cheapest root stock of the "Red Baron" peach. I received them in the fall, planted them and in the spring only two survived. Not a good return on investment, but I REALLY wanted those peaches. The following year I bought 5 Comice Pear, and 5 additional Red baron trees but all of older root stock, maybe $38 per tree vice $18 per tree. I got those trees fall of 2011 and they did great. 10 for 10 so far.
When I first opened the boxes that I got from Willis I noticed how well they were packaged, how healthy and viable the roots are (unbelievable roots on the blueberry bushes), and the material they use to ship. The use a water absorbing gel and triple wrap that in plastic and tape, non of the plants I've ordered have ever showed up with dry roots. Mostly though, there trees are pruned to ship, but they still look like trees. They still have multiple branches, and just LOOK healthy.
The lesson I think I learned is the old one: You get what you pay for. You go cheap and get the youngest most fragile trees, the survival rate is going to be low. Spend the extra money and get the better, older, and stronger trees you won't go wrong.
I've read the reviews, and decided to try another company for my cultivar pear trees. I wasn't impressed. I bought their high end tree not their cheapest, it came in the roots are packed in wet newspaper inside a plastic bag, and it doesn't even look like a tree, it looks like I've planted 3 sticks in my yard. I was hoping I would get trees that would bloom this season to pollinate the Comice Pears, but I don't think there is a chance of that happening. I think I'll have to go back to Willis and order a couple of their 6 or 7 foot trees to get any blooms this year.
On March 28th, 2013, itsbob added the following:
So that was the trees (oh, and the Comice Pear is the Harry and David Pear)..
I've bought blueberries and raspberries from both local nurseries, and Willis. The selection locally is pretty slim, you buy one of the two varieties they have or you go without. I think, at the time, Willis had 8 or 10 different blueberry varieties and about the same if not more for the raspberry. I've planted 24 raspberry bushes, maybe 18 from Willis, and by far there's are doing great. Had berries the first year I had them in the ground, and they spread out and have new bushes coming up all around.
Blueberries, again when I opened the box, just GREAT looking bushes. Roots were amazing. I think I'm up to 15 of their blueberry bushes, and maybe 3 local bushes.
What I like the most is the variety. Blueberries I think I have 4 different varieties, and the rasberry probably 3 different. I'm TRYING to get the right mix so one plant is getting harvested, while the others haven't ripened yet.
Last summer, my then 6 year old would get home from school and head right to the raspberry bushes to get his fill.. we ran out of blueberries too quickly, but we're working on fixing that.
I wasn't real happy with Willis after I ordered the first lot of trees, but I'm real happy I went back to them. Have not been disappointed since.
Now I have to add some apple trees to my "orchard".
On Mar 17, 2013, CFLGardener Kenansville, FL wrote:
I had already placed my order of trees before checking Garden Watchdog, which immediately after was a big red alert. I thought "Oh No! I have just given these people close to $400 for trees that are going to be totally dead". I placed the order in September I think, and once I read some comments on here, I called the company (I had ordered two mission olive trees, and 2 medjool date palms among other trees). I asked that those two trees be shipped before winter if possible so that they would have time to take root before the winter set in (never know with Central FL which type of winter we will have). Charged a little additional shipping, which was fine, and the trees arrived in no time, beautiful, and nicely packed. Planted and they are still going strong even after a few frosts this winter. Much to my surprise, however, I received the rest of my order (which I thought I would get in the spring) about a week before Christmas, which was one of the coldest weeks we had here this winter. I was appalled that they had shipped it, since Moultrie isn't too far from where we live (we often go up to the ag expo in October). Although I was a little upset at first, I quickly decided that it wasn't too bad, since a couple of the muscadine vines I had planned to give as a Christmas gift (and they are all budding out right now). I put the things inside that I knew might not be okay outside as a transplant. Other than that all is well. Ordered a total of 12 trees/vines/berry bushes (I think) from them, and all my trees are growing, budded and have fruits forming on some of the older ones. None arrived with dry roots, and were all packaged fine. When I had called them in the fall, they were fine on the phone, and very helpful, I even emailed them after the plants arrived to thank them for the beautiful trees. I would probably order from them again. Have no complaints, they even sent two more palms and olive trees (although the palms were way smaller than the first they sent, but I think they might not have realized they sent the others in the fall).
On Mar 5, 2013, pocketwatches Beaverton, OR wrote:
ordered 8 trees. They all showed up in about a week. I liked that the roots were packed in jellies. There were still wet when they got to me. All the trees were the correct side. All but one had good roots. One was a little smaller than i would have liked. For the price i dont think i could ask for more.
On Feb 19, 2013, courtneylassite Socastee, SC wrote:
In January of 2012 while in Valdosta Ga visiting relatives I went to Willis Orchards Nursery in Berlin, Ga near Moultrie to purchase some bamboo. Upon arriving I was greeted by Garrett and shown the different types of bamboo they had to offer. We chose Moso, Timber, Black, and Blue henon but the clumps had to be dug and shipped which was ok with me. Mr. Garrett took my name and address and said to expect delivery within 5-7 days. My order total was over $600 but I only had hundred dollar bills and since the owner was away Garrett could not make change for 700 and said 600 was fine- no tax since it was a cash sale. Happy that I got a cash discount I left and eagerly awaited delivery. Roughly a week passed and I had not received my plants so I started calling Willis only to Find out they had no record of my order. They asked for a copy of my receipt which did not have since Garrett needed it for shipping. After numerous, UN-returned phone calls to the owner, Joy finally got my order shipped but when it arrived it was not as described to me and looked nothing like what I saw growing when I was in Berlin. Reluctantly, I planted the 14 clumps of dirt and by no surprise to me only 3 of the clumps ever sprouted. Knowing what a pain it had been to get the order shipped I decided to return the dead plants in person the next time I went to visit relatives in Valdosta- Again after the way I was treated last year it was no surprise to me when I arrived in Berlin to find a closed and abandoned nursery. I called the local nursery number 2293243045 and surprisingly someone answered. Apparently they had moved. I asked where and to my amazement they were in Euharlee, Ga, near Cartersville, Ga. Wondering if I was being jerked around I went to the sheriffs office to see if they had been run out of town and they were very little help but a deputy sheriff said the Colquitt county tax accessor told him that Jason Willis had moved his Willis Orchards Nursery to Euharlee ga. Does anyone have any insight about this Nursery or why they moved? I bet they had too many complaints if they treat all their customers like they treated me and after reading on the internet about Mr. Adkins forging checks at Willis Orchards I think he pocketed my money and the only reason I got plants was because he was afraid of getting caught. I do not want anything else from this company and have since replaced my bamboo with some from a reputable daves garden recommended nursery. I am writing this to save other gardeners from being fleeced by Willis Orchards.
Bought about 600 worth of plants from them. One year later with good care only a handfull are still alive. My rural king trees are doing better than anything I bought from them. I received horrible looking plants in shabby packaging. You could tell they did not care for their customers. WILL NEVER EVER BUY FROM THEM AGAIN.
Bought some Reliance peach trees (1000 chill hours) in March of 2010 in hopes of beating the late frosts we get in my area. They produced first last year and I blamed it on an early spring. February 6 this year they are already in pink bud. I called Willis. Seems as though their Reliance trees have a lower chill hour requirement than anyone else's in the world and ripen in June. Could be I really am as dumb as I look. I was in March of 2010 but not this week.
I would like to very HIGHLY recommend Willis Orchard Company for any interested customers. For many years now I have been purchasing fruit and nut trees, grape vines, berry bushes, etc. Of all of the on line companies I have dealt with, Willis Orchard Company has always proven to be the most dependable and willing to work with me. They always have great products and are friendly, helpful, and accommodating depend upon the customer's needs. Other companies have brushed me off in the past, but not Willis Orchard Company. They have very helpful and easy to read and understand maps showing what zones are appropriate for each item, which really helps take out the guess work in determining what is safe for your zone. They are also the only such company I am aware of that offers Mycorrhizal Fungi which really does make a difference in root growth.
On Jan 14, 2013, jameswewing Bainbridge Island, WA wrote:
Last year I purchased three trees from Willis. They arrived in a timely manner but after planting two of them took a really long time to start budding out (June from a March planting). The other never did. I contacted Willis and they told me to do a heavy pruning. There was no effect and by August all of the bark was gray and the twigs brittle. I contacted them again and they said they would issue a "store credit". What this means is that they will give me my $16.95 back for the tree but I have to pay the full minimum shipping amount which at the time was $17.50. They took no responsibility for the failure. I even offered to pay actual shipping (about $4.50 according to THEIR shipping calculator) but they refused.
I spoke to Willis several times about the problem and the last thing I heard was that the rep promised to "talk to Mr. Willis on Monday and call back". That was last September.
They have low prices but, as you can see from many other reviews, you'll end up paying about the same as better quality companies when you factor in failures plus the headaches of dealing with people who really don't care.
On Jan 14, 2013, Willis Orchard Company responded with:
"On Jan 15, 2013 2:35 PM, Willis Orchard Company responded with:
It is the goal of Willis Orchard Company to make you a satisfied customer--we can accomplish this only by providing quality trees and plants at affordable prices.
Category: Garden Center
Rating Summary of 139 Reviews
Availability 4 star average
Price for Value 4 star average
Total Experience 4 star average
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By claude t.
green creek/tryon, NC
on 11/24/09 I own a vineyard in nc and know what a good looking plant/tree should look like ... (Read review)
5 Star Rating Excellent Products & Customer Service
By Joseph .
on 10/22/09 This company ships exactly what they advertise. The customer service person whos ... (Read review)
5 Star Rating Excellent quality, good pricing, very helpful and knowledgeable staff.
By Brent S.
on 10/13/09 I first found Willis Orchard Co. on the Internet when I was looking for fruit-be ... (Read review)
5 Star Rating quick service and very nice trees.
By mark m.
on 10/02/09 I was so surprised when my trees arrived in less than a week and were very well ... (Read review)
5 Star Rating I am very pleased with all the products.
By Turan A.
on 01/13/13 ive been using this company since the past 6 years. anything i buy it comes on t ... (Read review)
5 Star Rating Excellent Service and Quality
By Hadi A.
New orleans, LA
on 01/11/13 I have ordered twice and both times they provided excellent service and quality. ... (Read review)
4.65 Star Rating good job
By rolland t.
on 01/09/13 was afraid to order had read some reveiws(not good) Items arrived as promised in ... (Read review)
5 Star Rating Great honorable company to do business with
By Vito G.
on 01/05/13 Ordered some fruit trees towards the end of the Spring planting season and a few ... (Read review)
5 Star Rating Great job on getting orders out fast.Just
By Glen M.
on 12/21/12 Placed order on Monday, plants were shiped Tuesday.I got them Thursday in great ... (Read review)
139 reviews, 4 star review average, currently viewing reviews #1 - 10
On Jan 15, 2013 2:37 PM, Willis Orchard Company added:
5 Star Rating Good communication, plants in good condition for fall planting. Nice root system. Well packaged. Will wait for spring to see how they grow. Otherwise, very pleased with Willis.
By Linda S.
on 12/05/12 Good communication, plants in good condition for fall planting. Nice root system ... (Read review)
5 Star Rating Will buy from Willis again
By Steve H.
Big Bug, AZ
on 12/03/12 We just bought 22 friut trees from Willis for our 100+ year old orchard on Big B ... (Read review)
5 Star Rating Great prices and customer service
By Tom B.
on 11/29/12 I have ordered several times from them and have always got what I ordered in per ... (Read review)
5 Star Rating Company has strong family and customer values!
By Eric W.
Fort Irwin, CA
on 11/10/12 The owner and employes have always provided a sence of personal care to their cu ... (Read review)
5 Star Rating Excellent in every way
By Glen M.
on 11/09/12 Plants were in excellent shape.Fresh and healthy,no dry roots. Leafs not even wi ... (Read review)
5 Star Rating They did what they said they would do.
By Charles H.
on 11/02/12 I found them on the internet and ordered three trees. Two of them did not make i ... (Read review)
5 Star Rating Love them!
By Ithro L.
on 10/08/12 I have placed several orders with Willis Orchard and have learned that they ship ... (Read review)
5 Star Rating Plants arrived in good shape and very much alive. Good Job!
By Janet R.
San Antonio, TX
on 10/08/12 Plants arrived in good shape and very much alive. Good Job! ... (Read review)
5 Star Rating I will definitely order from Willis Orchard again.
By Scott B.
on 10/03/12 Willis Orchard shipped healthy stock and they were easy to deal with. I had a fe ... (Read review) "
On Jan 8, 2013, mongoose32216 Jacksonville, FL wrote:
Posted on December 26, 2012, updated January 8, 2013
Posted on December 26, 2012, updated December 26, 2012
I have purchased 2 bamboo, blueberry bushes, and now 2 apple trees from willis orchard. They have been wonderful to deal with. my bamboo and blueberry bush all came roots wrapped in a gel to keep them moist and cool during shipping (with was during summer in Florida) i now have a wall of 5 bamboo about 6ft tall so far, and 5 more in pots. My neighbors all love the bamboo and ask were they can get some too. the blueberry bush already had 5 berries on it so that was awesome just had to wait for them to ripen and they did and it was delicious :) can't wait till my apple trees get here now woot.
i just wanted to give some props to the willis family you guys are USA owned and operated family business and its just great to see that nowadays.
please keep up the great work!!!
On December 26th, 2012, mongoose32216 added the following:
i forgot to mention when ordering my bamboo i picked a runner type and after deciding against installing a barrier i called to see if i could change my order to the alphonse karr clumping type bamboo, they said this would not be a problem at all and changed the order as i was on the phone. very very good customer support, you call them and you talk to a human who is ready and willing to help what more could you ask for. On January 8th, 2013, mongoose32216 added the following:
My apple trees came in and the roots on them looked great, very well packed with the gel around the roots and lots of little buds swelling up on the branches.
I wish I would have read these reviews before I ordered boysenberries from Willis Orchard Company a couple of weeks ago. For starters, I called to confirm their delivery timetable before I ever ordered from them. But now, two phone calls and two emails later, they've done absolutely NOTHING they said they would. Just excuses and more promises. In contrast, I ordered loganberries from Berries Unlimited on the same day and they arrived as promised just four days later. I'm now trying to cancel my order with Willis Orchard Company so I can re-order with Berries Unlimited, a company that's been a pleasure to do business with.
On Nov 8, 2012, Gardenthumbs Greenville, NC wrote:
Posted on November 2, 2012, updated November 8, 2012
I'm glad that a website like this exist so that we may all share our experiences, ranging from bad ........to good as well. I ordered from Willis Nursery yesterday and made a few mistakes ordering the wrong varieties. I called and spoke to Jay who was very pleasant and patient with me for changing my order. He fixed my request and confirmed my new order. Although there are many negative feedbacks about them here, I wanted to be fair and experience them for myself and so far it has been great. So here's a positive from me. For their prices, I cannot go wrong. I will keep everyone posted with my order when it arrives. I am very confident about my order and look forward to my trees.
On November 8th, 2012, Gardenthumbs added the following:
Hello everyone, my order has arrived . First and foremost, Willis Orchard, you did a WONDERFUL job! Thank you so much to Jay who personally took my order. They exceeded my expectations and I am very pleased. I ordered the desert king fig tree and got a huge tree. I also ordered the smaller fuyu persimmon and mayhaw and got bigger plants. For the price, I am very impressed. Very neat packing and care put into it. I had to call Jay to thank him and let him know I will be ordering from them again. It's hard to understand why so there are so many negative feedbacks on them. If you're one to search for a good deal but just too afraid to order because of reputation about Willis orchard, you're missing out and passing up on great prices. I've worked retail before and believe me when I say that there will always be customers who go to customer service to complain but rarely will you ever have happy satisfied customers who come in to say "I am pleased with my purchase". Happy customers usually go on with their lives and ways so you don't really hear about their experiences. I just wish more happy customers came forward and not only the negative. I'm not dis-crediting the complaints on here but I really think it's unfair that Willis Orchard is put in mostly negative light. Jay if you're reading this please keep up the good work. I will be recommending you to people I know. I am a very satisfied customer. A+++
On Oct 25, 2012, BeulahRanch Siguatepeque Honduras wrote:
Posted on February 11, 2012, updated October 25, 2012
Posted on February 11, 2012, updated February 11, 2012
Recently I came across the Willis Orchards' website when searching for several Berry varieties I wanted. Since I was not familiar with them, I came here to see what kind of reputation they had. Seeing all the negative feedback, I thought it best to look elsewhere. However they were one of the few who had what I wanted, so I decided to try them anyway.
I ordered the plants on Feb 7, 2012 and told them that I need them ASAP, and was told that they could get them out the following day. The next day they called to say there was a problem with the card number I had given them, and so we were able to give them another number. The same day they sent me an order confirmation and shipped out the plants. I also recieved a shipping notice from Fed-Ex on the 8th with the tracking number. On the 10th (3 days after ordering) I recieved my plants in good condition. I couldn't have wished for any better service.
On February 11th, 2012, BeulahRanch added the following:
As a note of clarification, I had these plants shipped to MS to be taken to Honduras after I have my Import Permit completed.On October 25th, 2012, BeulahRanch changed the rating from positive to negative and added the following:
To be fair to all I feel I need to change my rating and give an update. To bring these plants to Honduras I had to get them inspected and have a Phytosanitary Certificate issued. Below I have included an excerp from the MS Sate lab concerning that inspection. After doing a little more research on this type of root rot, I decided that I sure do not want those plants on my property. I imported quite a few other plants and trees from several different nurseries and they al passed the inspection but we decided it was best to destroy these plants from Willis rather than contaminating anyones property with them. I sent Willis several emails about this, but they have never replied. I, for myself, do not want to risk buying from them again, and would warn anyone else to first do a little research on this type of root rot before buying from them. WARNING---
“A non-regulated Pythium species was found causing root rot in this sample. Plants that have limp or obviously rotted roots should be destroyed. Pythium is a watermold and can survive in infested soil indefinitely so you will want to prevent introducing it to your planting if at all possible. Pythium is favored by excessive soil mositure. Avoid overwatering plants and make sure the soil drains well.”
On Oct 10, 2012, sherryhiines001 Moultrie, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:
This morning, Oct 9th, 2012 I drove up to Willis Orchards Nursery at Berlin, Ga to get my free replacement plants and could not believe that the place was padlocked, shut down and out of business, but they are still advertising fruit trees for sale on the internet. The trees that were in the field were grown up in weeds 6 feet tall and higher than the fruit trees and most plants looked dead. The Willis Orchards signs that had been out front last year had all been taken down. There was a white truck marked Emc electrical company parked at the gate and there was a man there disconnecting the power who said that they were cutting the power off at Willis Orchards because they had been leaving messages and calling for 2 months to collect the electric bill and no one would respond. After contacting law enforcement in Colquitt, County to see about my replacements, they said Willis Orchards had been closed down and several lawsuits had been filed against them.
On Oct 10, 2012, Willis Orchard Company responded with:
"On Oct 16, 2012 1:19 PM, Willis Orchard Company responded with:
WOW, with friends like this.....right. And this is the one post they ever made on DG. Big surprise!
It's been a year in the making but we finally, in July, moved to our new facility in Cartersville, GA. We have twice the amount of land, a better climate, larger population and easier access to visiting customers, close to I-75, no gnats, close enough to Atlanta to have many more options for life away from work and for business, etc. The land in Berlin will be for sale soon if anyone wants to live in the pines and fields of south Georgia, just let us know.
FYI, our toll free number has remained the same. "
Posted on May 14, 2012, updated October 9, 2012
Wow! This place is getting rocked by bad reviews here. My experience has been good thus far. I had ordered 3 apple trees and a weeping willow from them. The apples were Honeycrisp, Golden Delicious and Gala. They were shipped when I had requested and arrived in a timely manner. They actually sent me an extra weeping willow tree, probably because the size was a bit smaller than I had ordered. I thought that was nice of them.
I had pre-dug the holes for them, so after soaking the roots I planted them. That was the end of March. As of now, the Gala and Golden Delcious have full branches of leaves. Unfortunately, the tree that I was most excited about, the Honeycrisp still shows no buds or signs of growth. I am assuming it is dead, but will give it a couple of months before I pull it out. One willow has no leaves, but the other one has finally leaved out, and is looking good. Since one was free I am not worried about it.
I will update this post later on after I return the assumed-dead Honeycrisp tree to them for a replacement per their guarantee, but so far my experience has been a good one with this company.
On October 9th, 2012, Haviland1970 added the following:
Just an update on my trees. The two weeping willows had to be cut down to about a foot tall after the top several feet turned black and died a couple of months after planting. They have actually grown back to their shipped height by now and both have plenty of leaves and look healthy. Not sure if they will ever amount to anything as they are thin, but I guess thats how willows start off.
All of the apple trees, including the Honeycrisp had good summers. They all are fully leafed and grew since planting. The Honeycrisp which took so long to leaf, actually grew the most-almost two feet-but they all look good. I would expect them to make it through the winter and do very well next year as the roots branch out.
I would suggest just ordering small willows and save some money and let them grow. They certainly grow quickly.
The apple trees all seem to be of quality stock and I can say that I would order again from this company if I ever was looking for more fruit trees.
On Sep 25, 2012, Tony_Miller Mandeville, LA wrote:
I ordered four pear trees from Willis two years ago. Two of them have fruited and are positively not the varieties that I ordered. When I spoke to the lady at Willis to explain the problem she hung up on me. Don't waste your time or money with this company.
On Sep 20, 2012, dirtlover2 Stockbridge, GA wrote:
I ordered almost $200.00 worth of fruit trees which arrived in very poor condition, after a couple of months I returned some of the plants that were dead for replacement, when my request was not acknowledged. I followed up with a call to their customer service and found a unhelpful, unwilling, and rude employee. To date, they have not granted me my request for replacement.
Fantastic experience! I ordered 5 olive trees and the trees came excellently packaged and healthy. An added bonus is they are almost triple the size advertised. I will be ordering all of my fruit trees from Willis Orchard.
On Aug 23, 2012, KatyWalker Round Rock, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:
I have just gone through a most hideously unpleasant experience with the so-called "customer service" department at Willis Orchards trying to get some satisfaction for a dead tree they sent me. They are beyond rude and I add my vote to all the negative reviews they have received here. If you order from them, I hope you receive your order in perfect condition and you have no need to contact them--because if there is a problem, you may as well forget trying to get a reasonable resolution.