On May 8, 2014, goingtochina Cedar Fort, UT wrote:
Honestly, this order was the most well-packed and high-quality of any garden center order I have ever placed. I ordered 45 bare root trees, 11 bare root grapes, about 60 raspberries/blackberries, and lot more. ALL of it was large and well-rooted, and very well-packed. I was initially afraid to order from them due to reviews on this forum, so when I got such a terrific order, I knew I had better post a positive review. Don't be afraid to order from Willis Orchards!!! They are GREAT!!!
I ordered two saw palmettos from Willis Orchard Company. They sent me an e-mail to confirm the order and another when it was shipped. The plants arrived in good condition. I would order from them again.
Online ordering was extremely easy. It took a while for the order to be shipped but it did specifically say online that it would take up to 14 business days. The tree I received was the correct one that I ordered, however, it was in very poor condition. I contacted "willis" by phone and explained the condition of the tree. I also emailed them a couple photos. They sent me images of another tree in far better condition and shipped it out the same day for free
I order 7 trees, (2x20th century Asians, plum, apple,and persimmon plus 2 walnuts) they arrived very quickly. I must say I was dissapointed when I saw the box and felt how light it was but I got what I ordered and now 2 weeks after planting all seem to be doing very well. Thank You Willis Orchard!
I have read both good and bad and honestly was expecting something to go wrong but so far I'm very happy and will order again.
Don't let the package fool you, they have some sort of jelly around the roots to keep them moist and it is packaged tightly with all the roots together. Anyways it worked.
On Feb 11, 2014, mscratch Millersville, MO (Zone 6a) wrote:
Received the Garden Annie Dwarf Apricot tree
this morning from Willis Orchards. Beautifully packaged. Immediately removed it from the box and checked it over. Height is the size I ordered and no problem with broken limbs. Appears very healthy with nice root ball. Very pleased with this order.
Over the last 12 years I've ordered trees from several large nurseries and never been satisfied with what I've received. I've spent years raising some tree shipments only to find they weren't what I ordered. Things like bartlet pears that turned out to be bradford pears after eight years. Trees that arrived dead or died soon after sprouting. Two years ago I ordered trees from Willis and with the exception of two small trees that I new weren't adapted to my area all have flourished, more than doubling in size in two years. After reading their return policy I didn't bother about the two trees that didn't make it but the other trees I received were much better than those I have purchased elsewhere.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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+++
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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 ordered 3 trees from Willis Orchards. The trees arrived a few days later in excellent condition. They are large, healthy trees and the packing was far superior to that of other companies I have dealt with. There were no limbs broken and no root damage. I have been gardening for over 40 years, and I am an extremely satisfied customer. I will not hesitate to order from them again.
Posted on April 26, 2010, updated February 5, 2012
This is really a neutral comment, with the caveat that I am inexperienced. I ordered a dormant medium sized Smoke Tree from Willis Orchard for $50. It came pruned to the size I ordered which was what I was expecting. The issue was with the massive completely solid and round shaped mesh of root ball the size of a volley ball (Maybe caused by container growth?). There really was no way to get any soil in the root ball even after soaking. If I knew what I was doing maybe I should have clipped some roots out? I am comparing this Willis Orchard Smoke tree to the $5 one I ordered off eBay, which came with a long tap root and is performing at 100% filling out and completely leafing out on all branches, whereas the one from Willis Orchard is only doing about 50%. It has the characteristic bushing at the base and some empty tall branches like a stressed plant. The Willis Orchard plant will survive and is overall acceptable; I just wish the long branches were performing better, meaning that they would have a single leaf on them.
On February 5th, 2012, egardens changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:
I am changing this to positive. the Willis Orchard smoke tree grew 4-5 feet last year. I am pleased with it now. I believe my inexperience contributed to the initial slow growth rate. It is obvious now that it was my responsibility to clean out the root ball before planting. Looks like the tree has sorted it out for me.
In 2011, I ordered two nectarine trees from Willis Orchard. After not receiving them in a few weeks, I called. Long story short, UPS delivered them but I did not receive them (possibly stolen). They were immediately replaced by Willis at no cost to me. This January,after confirming the trees were dead, they were again immediately replaced at no cost to me. They have furnished 6 trees for the price of two. I don't see how anyone could try any harder to satisfy a customer. I would never hesitate to order from them again.
I read all the negative comments about Willis so I called and spoke with them. I decided to give them a try and ordered a red baron peach tree and a dolgo crabapple. Both trees were well packaged and were in very good condition. The peach was a larger size tree. It had a nice shape and was well branched. I was impressed with what I recieved and decided to order two mayhaw trees as well. I think a lot of the negative comments come from competitors and from people who my not be the best gardeners. There are many things that can happen to plants (like poor soil, bugs, fungus, too wet , too dry) that are beyond the control of the nursery. Some of us just have balck thumbs. I think Willis makes the honest effort to satisfy their customers and I will continue ordering from them.