I have done business with online nurseries for years but have never been as unhappy with the product as I am with my first (and last) order from Willis Orchards.
In October I ordered 6 apple trees and 5 drake elms. Taking note that part of the order would not be shipped until the 10th of November I monitored my email after that date for a shipping notice. None came and about a week later I called them to inquire about when to expect shipment. I was informed they did not ship until December. Upon receiving this information I requested they ship ASAP as I wanted the trees by my birthday on the 24th of November. They shipped them on the 24th and receipt was made via fedex on the 26th. Holes had already been dug and fertilizer added for the trees arrival. The apples will probably survive but note there was only 1 of the 6 that had a single leaf remaining. All of the others were bare. The drake elms were the most spindly looking things imaginable and did not have a green leaf amongst them. The remaining leaves were dead. They appeared to have been harvested weeks before they were shipped. Of the 5 received, one had a large gash about 3 inches long in the bottom of the trunk. Here in Florida that means an infected tree that will die within the year. I threw it in the garbage.
I will not do business with this company again and will warn others about them.
On Nov 28, 2014, Willis Orchard Company responded with:
"On Dec 1, 2014 10:18 AM, Willis Orchard Company responded with:
The trees you mention are not supposed to has leaves at this time of year. They are supposed to be dormant when transplanted. That is why they are not shipped any earlier than mid November. We ship the northern states first then start on the southern states so we typically don't start shipping these type of trees to Florida until December, which is the beginning of planting season for that area. If you will contact us regarding your order, we will take care of any problems you have. Also you should not add fertilizer when planting bare-root trees, as stated on the planting guide accompanying the order.
On Nov 24, 2014, juliannen New Hartford, NY wrote:
I ordered cherry trees, grapes, and raspberries in September. It's now almost December. I'm in upstate NY and it is way too late to plant. When I called Willis Nursery they treated me horribly! The worst customer service I've ever had! I asked what I should do with the grapes when they got here since you should plant them in the Spring. She said there was some button on the order form and offered NO help. I spent $100 and like many many times before expected my plants to be shipped when it was time to plant them. I've always ordered in the Fall for my Spring planting. The guy (once transferred from the wicked witch) pulled up my weather and we are having a freakish warm day..ONE day.. and asked what my problem was. The problem is is that it will be 20 in another day again. The snow just melted so I can see the ground. RUDE RUDE RUDE. I so wish I had found these reviews before I went with them. I am going to try to save anyone I can from ordering from them.
I received four trees last spring-
Two survived two did not, in spite of being in equal sized pots and cared for equally-
The Stewartia and the Indian Peach never emerged from dormancy.
I called and was told that I did not have to send them back- I offered to send the pictures but the rep assured me that she knew I was right and would supply a store credit-
Today I called and was told that if I want the trees I have to pay another nineteen dollars for shipping-That is their minimum-
So now I have a 20- store credit and have to pay almost as much for shipping if I want to ransom my money. Also, apparently their attitude towards items that are sent dormant is that it is my problem if nothing happens when I plant them.
Of course, too late I read all the other complaints about Willis Orchards so I guess I am out the 20- bucks.
The new rep was adamant that I had to send the two dead sticks back or supply pictures. I do have the pictures somewhere I think,
But the whole idea-their attitude is just not the way other legitimate
and reputable companies operate.
All of the other mail order companies I deal with have always acknowledged a problem, if rarely there was one.
For instance, last spring I received a dormant tree from a very reputable company- One of four and it did not emerge- The rep assured me that this sometimes happens and sent a refund nor pictures or sticks required.
If my twenty dollars is that important to them I guess they can put it toward their advertising to try to reclaim their reputation.
I would never deal with them again and will tell my garden club to think twice. Willis Orchard just bought a whole lot of bad advertising on my twenty dollars.
I tried them for fruit trees....they had a great website....and several weeks after the promised delivery date, I received the now half dead trees. I asked for a refund....I did not plant living trees and have them die by my fault...I did not receive what was promised...but NO REFUND....and the lady on the phone was pretty rude in addition.
I would never order anything from them again, and neither should you.
On Aug 17, 2014, Doughster4 Bowleys Quarters, MD wrote:
I ordered three fruit trees this past Spring. They were all shipped VERY late. The size was what I expected but upon close examination I noticed that the buds had broken dormancy and had been stripped from the branches. The apricot and peach never showed any sign of life. The Bosc pear sprouted BELOW the graft from rootstock. Everything above the graft turned black. Their guarantee anad return policy is not evernbothering with over three trees. I will order from a reputable source. My own fault for not reading the negative reviews from gardeners.
I ordered an angel red pomegranate from these guys over the winter and kept it in a container indoors and then moved it outside in June. It has never leafed out but it sprouted a new stalk from the roots; the top of the tree was dead on arrival.
When I called and described the issue, the woman explained that pomegranates can die back on top and start over, much like figs. I again explained that the tree was not outdoors here in the winter, and she told me that they don't keep the trees in a greenhouse and had a cold winter...the implication is that the dieback happened on their end. When I asked why I had bothered to pay for an older tree that was dead up top, she transferred me. I explained the situation again to the next guy, and he attempted to place the blame on me for the dead top growth (my coast of maine potting soil isn't good enough?). I again noted that the tree is alive (it sprouted from the base) so the soil seems not to be an issue, it's just dead on top. He changed up their answer here and said it was grown in a greenhouse and it's not their fault...he claims I must've killed it somehow.
It’s really hit and miss with Willis Orchards. You have to be very careful what you order from them. They ship their Fruit trees “Dry Root” They ship in the spring when the trees are dormant, but they do not perform any kind of “Live” test. Both our original Fruit trees and their replacements were dead! Three years wasted when we could have gotten our trees from a more reputable and professional grower.
Ordered two trees from this company and via email notified them that the weather in Az was heating up and if they could ship my plants sooner than what their website stated.
They agreed and sent an estimated shipping date with 3-4 shipping time.
It has now been three weeks and my order has not arrived. It will not arrive for 2-3 more days. Per the shipping company, Willis Orchard did not ship my product to arrive in 3-4 days like their salesperson indicated in her email and neither did they ship my plants early like they stated they would.
When I called them to find out why it was taking so long, they stated that I fell into their "busy" period and kept transferring me from person to person who simply stated they had done their part and i just needed to wait.
If the company had been honest in their emails regarding shipping of my plants and their arrival I feel I would have been able to make a more informed decision as to my order.
They said what they had to say to get my business and then they washed their hands when I called regarding my order.
They had their money and didn't care about conveying accurate information.
I ordered 4 PawPaw trees to be shipped to me in the Fall. I received them mid November after the ground was frozen. I had my professional Gardner come out and install them the same day they arrived. He told me that this time of year that they would not survive, they should have been shipped a month earlier.
He was right, I have 4 dead trees. I sent an email asking for a replacement & they said that I would have to pay shipping & handling charges to get replacements or send the dead ones back at my cost & they would send out replacements.
I asked them how it was my fault that they sent them out to late & they replied that this is their procedure and there is nothing they will do for me.
Its back to Gurneys for me! Their replacement policy rocks and Willis Orchard sucks.
Don't do it, not even for a second, Willis Orchard is a rip off.
I will never shop here again! Sorry I did! Last spring I ordered a pomegranate tree almost $100. Before I put in the order I read reviews of the company and as you can see here - they are mostly bad. Not using my best judgment I ignored them and put the order in. Big mistake! The tree came completely dead. I called right away and the lady on the phone told me to give it some time. So I did. It never budded at all. So I called back in May and I was told again to give it some time. Still never budded and not one leaf! I did a scratch test in different spots and the tree was not green. Dead! Just like I told her! I called back to get a replacement and was told that they do not ship trees over the summer and to call back next season and they would send a new one. I called March which is the beginning of our planting season. I was told that I would need to pay for the shipping of the new tree. Why should I do that?! I already paid for the shipping A YEAR AGO and this company sent a dead tree! I am only located a few hours away as we are in the same state so I don't believe that it died in shipping. It was dead when they sent it. Horrible customer service and dead plants - taking my business someplace else and working on disputing this on my credit card as they NEVER sent me a live tree.
You get what you pay for. If you send a message saying your plants died, you have not in fact requested the warranty replacement. At least this was my experience. Notification apparently does not equal a request. It was a small order and a 100% loss. I requested a later shipment, but got the bare root stock months before the ground thawed. I tried to nurse them, but they all died.
So, given the number of negative posts, it appears as if doing business with Willis is a crap shoot. Some posters are happy, most are not. I'll go back to buying locally. YMMV
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."
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."
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.
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: email@example.com mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
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:email@example.com
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:firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.
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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Guaranteed: All Valid Reviews Posted
5 Star Rating These are good folks......quality is excellent and service is the best
By Bob T.
on 12/12/09 I have been bit quite a few times by people in the nursery business. Well, I ha ... (Read review)
5 Star Rating quality product, very fast service, easy to talk to, not a machine
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) "
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 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. "
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.
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.
On Aug 13, 2012, breadreaders Raleigh, NC (Zone 7b) wrote:
Last March I received my Willis Orchard order of berries and grapes that was fouled up, first by being a month late. The phone rep was nice enough in promising to include a free plant with his acceptable excuse of being overpowered by a huge, surprising number of unexpected orders at the last minute. The raspberry and blackberry plants were misrepresented by sending dead sticks that never sprouted. Out of 3 muscadine grapes ordered, 2 grape vines sprouted, but the other vine is a dead sprig. After receiving no telephone satisfaction on replacing my order, I surfed the internet checking out Willis Orchards and found the terrible reputation of the company on Daves Garden and many other Garden Web complaints claiming as a rip off site, and even in their home town of Moultrie, Ga and Berlin Ga, where they operate is claiming that Willis orchards is abandoning its prime location there and is moving the operation several hundred miles away and will be changing the name to another untraceable nursery. The Topix web site http://www.topix.com/forum/city/moultrie-ga/TNFGOFHP07002SHE... says that a bankruptcy is predicted as the Willis Orchards pattern of complaints pile up bad faith responses to customer problems. Hopefully my plants will be replaced before the company sinks into bankruptcy. My fingers are crossed that the replacement will be alive when received this Fall.
On Aug 11, 2012, hofstra 30666 United States wrote:
In December of 2010 I purchased a 6 ft.' fuyu' persimmon tree from Willis orchards. Upon receipt of the tree, I inspected it and found the roots to be black, spongy and peeling, I immediately called and a rude employee,Cynthia told me to take pictures and email them which I did and received no reply. I planted the tree properly and as of this day, over 2 years later, there is still no sign of life. I scraped the bark and there is no green. I called my credit card company to get assistance with a refund since Willis orchards made it clear I would not get a replacement because of the time factor. I feel Willis operates with very deceptive and tricky business practices and a sinister policy designed not to replace inferior trees. I will contact the Georgia Department of Agriculture and file a formal complaint, along with the BBB in Ga and the Governor's office of consumer complaints in Atlanta. So much for my $$$, though.
my stock was shipped dead (discolored and shrived up so clearly it has been dead for a while), when I called the were very defensive and rude and told me "to bad", I was very polite and non-accusatory. When I asked for a manger, I was told "the manger does not want to talk to you", I was shocked. Their over all demeanor was very sarcastic and they went out of their way to be rude and disrespectful, This was very disappointing as they are very high priced and thought I would try a few items to see if received more for your money which was not the case. Honestly, of all the companies in any industry they were the rudest, not sure how they survive.
Posted on July 2, 2012, updated July 2, 2012
HORRIBLE CUSTOMER SERVICE AND DOES NOT STAND BEHIND THEIR PRODUCT. After being in customer service for over 30 years, this is the first company that would not refund my credit card. I ordered 4 crepe myrtle trees on 8-8-11 which were immediately charged to my credit card, not shipped until December 2011. 4 sticks arrived and stayed that way into they all bit the dust in June. I have a yard of 40 roses bushes, 50 hostas, 21 dogwood trees etc. I have a half acre yard of plants that are mulched and very well cared for. I have e mailed Sarah several times and was told to scratch the bark and if it was green, it was thriving?? Did I miss something here?? I requested a refund, but was told that I would be given a credit for something else. Why would I want anything else from this company? I lost a whole summer of growing time and am not young, this is the one thing I treat myself to is something pretty for my yard. Has anyone reported them to the BBB in Georgia? I am writing my cc and disputing the charge.
On July 2nd, 2012, abbeyp added the following:
I checked the BBB and they are not accredited with them. They do have to have a license to operate. Sam Olens is the Georgia Attorney General and his number is 1-800-436-7442. If anyone can get an address, please post it.
On Jun 23, 2012, flwchld Florence-Graham, CA wrote:
Here's my experience:
$50 minimum order - that's okay. I placed an order for several items on 6/9/12 to meet the order minimum. Credit card charged immediately for the full amount.
A couple days later I received an e-mail informing me some of the trees will not be shipped until the fall of 2012. The e-mail offered to hold the entire order until fall, substitute other trees, or split the shipment...for a $17.00 up-charge. I do not remember reading anything about an up-charge for split shipments!
After considering the options I decided to cancel the entire order. After I cancelled the order It took several e-mail inquiries to get a refund (none of which were answered)...guess what: the refund is for 90% of the total paid; there is a 10% order cancellation fee if you do not cancel an order in 24 hours.
I'm guessing these people make a pile of money on cancellation charges.
Posted on April 16, 2011, updated June 11, 2012
I ordered an almond tree, peach tree, and two paw paw trees in 2009. I had some concerns about the peach tree as I had done forestry projects overseas and know you should get tree seeds/plants from similar climates.
Only the almond tree was alive. Willis Orchard sent replacements for the three trees that perished. They sent a Saturn peach (recommended by NC extension) as the first peach was not for North Carolina. The peach tree is doing fine.
The two additional different varieties of paw paw have shown no signs of life. So I'll do the math for you. 5 dead 2 living trees.
On June 11th, 2012, nukusjeff added the following:
The Saturn Peach and Almond tree are still doing fine.
Angel Red Pomegranate Tree $84.95
Hosui Pear Tree $44.95
Celestial Fig Tree $119.95
None of them grew, ever after 4 months, they are dodging without sending any replacement. The owner's son Austin is "missing" and I am unable to reach him. When I talk to him he promises to send the plants, but when I talk to his associates, they give a reason why it was not sent.
I will never buy anything from them again. The trees received were also of no good quality, compared to what I found latter in local nursery.
On Jun 5, 2012, blythe197 shelby United States wrote:
I placed an order with Willis Orchard Company for 3 Kwanzan and 1 Yoshino Flowering Cherry Trees. I was told the plants would ship the next day in time for my wife's birthday, and I would have them by the weekend. Several weeks later after many unsuccessful calls I still didn't get my plants. Finally they arrived three weeks later. I ordered these trees for my wife to specifically fill in gaps in my landscape to extend lines of Yoshino and Kwanzan Flowering Cherry Trees. After arriving three weeks late, I was shocked to find that they sent me 4 Flowering Cherries of the same but wrong Cherry variety. Willis Orchards was very uncooperative when I called them back and were in total denial, demanding that I take photos and send them and other extensive “run around”. Do not order from this incompetent and unreliable company. I will return the trees and take my losses on shipping charges, but I will charge back on my credit card and be happy to cut my losses after a bad experience with Willis Orchard.
On Jun 4, 2012, greenerisbetter west linn United States wrote:
Last January I ordered by phone 2 Reliance peach trees in the 5-6 ft size, and one Satsuma plum 3-4 ft. size. When I received the trees in late March I was immediately disappointed, the trees were starting to come out of dormancy - in fact the peach trees were beginning to blossom, they were smaller than stated on their website, and the roots were heavily pruned back and did not appear to be large enough to support the top structure .I bought the large peach trees to shorten the wait for fruiting. When the trees failed to grow I called Willis in late May and they told me if the bark was still green when scratched to wait. When it was obvious they were dead in mid-June I called and after the women on the phone suggested Miracle grow (to raise them from the dead?) I was told to return the trees for new ones that would be shipped in October. I shipped them back to Willis today and it cost me almost twenty dollars. Willis’s stock were the only ones that failed to grow I planted this spring from six different providers. Not a bargain by any means.
On Jun 2, 2012, vaccinateme concord United States wrote:
I ordered 10 trees from Willis orchards and planted them within 72 hours of receiving. When they failed to bud in a few weeks I called their nursery and asked how long I should wait, I was told the end of May. Of the 10 trees, only 4 have survived. There is no evidence of life in the rest of the trees at all. I called to ask for a refund and Cynthia was VERY rude and combative stating they only replace trees the following season. The bottom line is I ordered and paid for 10 trees 6-7 feet tall. What I received were 10 trees 5 feet tall and only 4 lived. This company sells an inferior product and wont refund. Be smart and don't deal with Willis!