This company sells weak and stunted nursery stock. I couldn't believe the diminutive size of the trees in my recent order. What I got would compare in size to the 10 free trees that arbor day used to mail people for becoming a member. In fact some of the trees arbor day used to send would be bigger than the trees cold stream ripped me for. In my opinion I was seriously overcharged for such small trees. If they live I'll be surprised. I don't like how they put masking tape around their trees either. Very difficult to remove from tiny trees. Previous orders were not successful. Only dealt with them the second time because they had a certain species that I couldn't seem to find anywhere else. Since I found a place that's closer to home with what I want, I'll likely drop Cold Stream.
On Jun 21, 2014, RoosterBoy Burgettstown, PA wrote:
I ordered sugar maple and swamp white oak (25 each); the company helped me select the right size for my application (2-3ft seedlings). They arrived on time in dormant state (in March) and all looked healthy. They were planted soon after arrival and all but one leafed out. I will plan on ordering again from them in the next planting season.
I'm pleased to report of my completely being pleased with Coldstream regarding the trees I bought from them. The quality, the e-mails I got back from them, it all added up to a good experience that I will repeat next year when I re-order from them. The Black Locust trees are awesome.
Although Cold Stream Farm advertises as a wholesale source, I have found them to be an excellent source of trees and shrubs for our home. I bought several trees from them in 2013. Although a couple of the trees did not make it past the first year, I blame myself for over-fertilizing tender young roots. Most of the trees from last year have performed wonderfully.
This year I ordered several more trees and all arrived as promised and in fine condition. Everything is thriving! Cold Stream Farm offers some of the best prices around whether you are buying 1 or 100 trees or shrubs. While you are not going to find a lot of rare or special cultivars here, they are a great source of a lot of basic species. I would definitely recommend them.
I ordered 100 hybrid poplars, 2 hazelnuts, and 2 american plums from them. Everything arrived together, and in great condition
One thing to note is if you do order from them they send you a "order verification" email. Make sure you check your spam folder if you do not see this from them. Mine turned out to be there, which surprised me as I use a corporate Gmail account, and never usually have any issues.
I don't think anyone can beat the prices they have for good sized and good quality bareroot stock.
On May 30, 2013, ForestAvenue Des Moines, IA wrote:
We ordered two white snowberry shrubs and one pink snowberry shrub. After not hearing anything for several weeks, I e-mailed about the status. They said they would ship in two weeks and they did. Unfortunately, they only sent one which was unlabeled. I asked where the other two were, they apologized and sent one more good shrub and one stick which is supposed to be a shrub. I asked if they could at least tell me which were the white shrubs and which were the pink shrubs. Their response was "(a)lso, as these are grown from seed, it is impossible for us to determine the flower color." This is still the case even though they sell both a pink and white variety. Snowberries can be hard to find, but it's just not worth the hassle to deal with this company.
Theres good news and bad news......
The good news is the prices are cheap... and they have a very nice selection.
The BAD news is (in my experience), that bare root evergreen trees have a VERY LOW survival rate.
Especially if you order int the fall.
They say "Stock is guaranteed fresh and healthy upon delivery. FALL EVERGREEN SHIPMENTS ARE NOT GUARANTEED"
I have ordered several times from them and I have a 20% survival rate at best.
I suppose that is the only way they can keep the prices down and sell mass quantities.
I am no longer ordering bare root trees.
On Mar 1, 2013, TanglewoodGarde Independence, MO wrote:
I was sent half good plants and half very poor plants.
I gave it my best the good plants lived but the poor ones struggled and died.
They did NOT stand by their guarantee.
These all were supposed to be 2'-3' plants. BE CAREFUL!
On Jan 23, 2013, pirateradio Waynesboro, PA wrote:
I've had very positive experiences with Cold Stream Farm. A year & a half ago, I bought 25 cranberry viburnum seedlings, 25 black locust seedlings, and 4 sycamores. The cranberry viburnums had better than 100% survival (all made it & are growing well + 1 or 2 extras that were included), the sycamores grew about 2 feet last year, and the black locusts were a lot spottier because I planted many in tall grass & where rodents could gnaw on the bark. I think about 30% of those survived.
Because of this, I bought 25 sycamores from Cold Stream Farm this fall. Shipping is good & the customer service has been very friendly via e-mail.
Posted on March 2, 2012, updated December 31, 2012
I have ordered several varieties of trees from this company in the past. Unfortunately I killed them. All trees arrived in excellent shape. I just like to plant in strong drying winds...that does not work well with bare root.
But, the plants have always been in great shape. Will be purchasing soon
On December 30th, 2012, marktrot1 added the following:
Ordered a combination of Hackberry, Maple, and Spruce this spring and requested the latest date possible for shipping in which they complied completely. Every single plant grew despite not having rain for over a month, only drip irrigation. So I am very pleased with the plant stock and the quality. Some of the Silver Maples were quite large and well branched. Thank you Cold Stream Farm!!!
Ordered about ten bare root red maples at the end of Spring. Cleaned out the last of their stock. They came quickly with healthy, damp roots. Height was as advertized. All have grown well, survived and thrived. Will definitely order again next year..... but earlier.
On Jun 27, 2012, Pepper88 Granite Falls, MN wrote:
I placed 2 orders with Cold Stream Farm this spring and I think they offer great healthy stock at unbeatable prices. The plants I ordered included Paper Birch, Basswood, Ninebark, Snowberry, Viburnum, White Pine, Wild Plum, Spicebush, and Serviceberry. One order was placed in March. Everything arrived promptly and safely packaged. All are thriving except for the spicebush which got partially eaten by rabbits (my fault of course). June is late to be planting bare root trees, but my June order has all done well, leafed out and looking beautiful. I will definitely order from Cold Stream in the future and highly recommend them to my friends!
ordered 25 red osier dogwoods and 4 spicebush. i didn't expect to get much for the money, but the dogwood twigs were extremely thin, although they were all well rooted and almost all of them did survive. all of the spicebush appeared dead and have never leafed out after more than a month.
I only ordered 4 serviceberry plants so I didn't really expect the best service. The plants arrived in a timely manner and appear in good shape. They had nice, green leaf buds which have opened in the last few days. I will be ordering from these folks again.
Posted on March 14, 2012, updated April 16, 2012
Ordering seemed easy enough, I ordered hybrid poplars, a few types of maples and trumpet/hummingbird vines. I still haven't recieved a shipping invoice by email, but it hasn't been 5 days yet either.
I'll update... but so far I am pleased with the good prices, decent selection of trees sized large enough NOT to take accidental-but-deadly blows from a weed wacker (you know, those 1-3' sticks so many places like to sell) and an easy to use website for ordering.
On April 16th, 2012, JMKM1976 added the following:
Cold Stream Farm has great communication, I received an email informing me my order had shipped and a tracking number. The shipping took just two days, so my trees were delivered with nice, damp roots and still dormant.
I ordered four, 3-4 foot sugar maples, four, 3-4 foot silver maples, four 3-4 foot Amur maples, 25 trumpet/hummingbird vines and 25 hybrid poplars. All items were to specified size and with great root systems, all appeared to be very healthy dormant plants.
I set all the trees into bluckets of slurry made from Terra-Sorb crystals on arrival so that they were kept moist but not soaked in straight water all night and planted them the next day. It took an entire day to plant even though the weeds and grass had been removed in preparation, the roots were so developed that the planting holes needed to be quite large. In each tree hole went at least a cup of hydrated tera-sorb crystals, in drier places, more crstals were used. Last year's heat and drought taught me a thing or two about trees and warm weather.
A great company, I will order from them again and have already recommended them to others.
I ordered 200 Norway spruce in late February. I received my order yesterday (April 13th) due to the early spring and was pleasantly surprised at the beautiful 18 - 24" trees, all with a fantastic root system. They are by far the nicest spruce trees I have ever bought in bulk. I'm only disappointed that I didn't find this company 5 years ago!
I ordered about 500 shrub seedlings from this Nursery in the spring of 2011. I was pleased with the items. They were packed well and shipped when promised (I had specified a date). I spoke to them a number of times on the phone in the process of placing the order and they were always helpful and professional. Would definately buy from them again.
On Apr 28, 2011, irmaly boone, NC (Zone 5b) wrote:
I am about to throw in the towel on this company. After reading decent reviews here, I have been trying to place an order for weeks. No one ever answers the phone, and no one ever returns a voice message. I placed an order online, and after 5 days, Cold Stream responded but they were out of some of the sizes I requested. This is totally understandable, so I replied with an updated and revised order, and haven't heard a word since. They have the WORST customer relations I have ever experienced. I know it's a busy time of the year, but come on--just a quick "reply" to an email. Is that too much to ask. I was very hopeful of doing a long term business with Cold Stream, and I understand from the reviews their stock is pretty good, but if you have to spend day after day and week after week trying to place an order, it's just not worth it.
On Mar 22, 2011, upstatetj Central Square, NY wrote:
I have changed my order with this company too many times, being a royal pain in their---. However they were excellent in dealing with it and finally I have my small order in for spring 2011. I think they are great taking care of a small order of sixteen plants with just as much enthusiasm as a large order. I am very much looking forward to my trees and shrubs arrival. Thank you Coldstream Farm for all your support in my decision making.
We ordered 50 sample trees last spring, they looked great out of the box and grew nearly 1' prior to fall. This year we have ordered 2600 various trees, Cold Stream split the order up into smaller groups to allow us time to plant each bunch prior to the next bunch arriving.
The shipping cost issue is no big deal. I was sent an email the same day I ordered with the tentative invoice attached showing the exact shipping fees. They require approval confirmation from that email before they will process your order. Contrary to what others have said I like this failsafe invoice, there is no guessing and you have a copy of the invoice in your hand before you are charged anything.
Great service and great product. we are reforesting 70 acres of farm land and all of our orders will be placed through Cold Stream.
Ordered 33 18"-24" Norway pine and Spruce. Received them yesterday and none were under 26" with some up to 36". Arrived in very good condition. Helpful over the phone assistance. Could not be happier with the quality of the product.
I ordered trees and it turns out they were out of the size I wanted. They let me know right away and offered a different size. I decided not to take them up on the offer and they cancelled with no problem and no charge. Communication and customer service was very good.
I Ordered Chestnut trees. They arrived on time, and at the right planting time. Excellent job to who ever packed my trees. This is what I expect from a quality supplier. And thanks for the catalog you
sent. I will be using it in the future. I've been ordering by mail for well over 35yrs.
I have delt with many places and found Cold Stream Farms very enjoyabe to deal with. I have many Scotch pine trees and add every year. Some people have complained about check out. They maynot give you shipping at check out but always e-mail you an invoice for your approval, they will not ship till approved so send an e-mail back if you want your trees. The trees may be a little smaller than shown but are beautiful specimens. I have bought from several companies including VA DOF and found many bad, butchered trees till I found these guys. Had a bad planting last year but was a tough winter, not the products fault. This year I am planting later than norm and going for late spring. Thanks guys!!
On Nov 21, 2009, clpgirl Chippewa Lake, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:
The folks at Cold Stream Farm can't be beat for customer service and product! I placed an order in August to be shipped at planting time for my zone.I immediately got confirmation. Within several days I received a phone call from a very nice and knowledgable gentleman at CSF suggesting that I would save money if I purchased all my plants the same height. I had questions regarding fall planting and tree size, and we had at least a 20 minute conversation-very helpful!
Then I forgot to notify them when I changed banks prior to their charging card/shipping date- the charge didn't go through. They immediately contacted me by email and phone, and we were able to sort out the issue.. They held my plants for at least two weeks while I got these issues straightened out!
This nursery deals in huge orders of wholesale trees. My order was tiny-one Rowan tree, and three Rose of Sharon-arounjd $15 total w/shipping! The customer service I received was outstanding.
The box arrived two days ago. I am thrilled. Huge roootballs, and healthy plants and trees (much larger than anticipated!) with detailed planting/growing instructions.
Thank you so much Cold Stream for the healthy well-rooted stock, and well as your incredible customer service!
On May 18, 2009, therica Falling Waters, WV (Zone 7a) wrote:
I was happy to find the exact trees that I wanted, and in various sizes. But when I went to check out, first I was told that shipping charges would be "Calculated During Checkout."
Then instead of them simply asking for my zipcode in order to calculate shipping charges, they wanted me to give all my personal information and register on their website-- with password and email address included. I rarely do that unless I'm actually about to place an order, and before I place an order I need to know shipping charges.
But-- I went ahead and registered on their website, expecting to be shown a final total including shipping. No-- I was then asked for my credit card and told "Shipping charges will be summarized in a pdf invoice emailed to you following checkout."
That's bogus. There is no way I'm going to give them my credit card and let them charge whatever blind fees they want for shipping, and then tell me afterwards. I do believe this practice violates their own state's consumer-protection laws.
On May 11, 2009, gnu2222 Lester, WV (Zone 6a) wrote:
Ordered 35 evergreens on 4/4/09. Was apprehensive when my credit card was processed in about 10 days but the order had not shipped. I emailed twice to determine shipping date and response was somewhat slow with no specific dates. However, I did receive the order on 4/27. All the trees looked healthy with good roots. Some were smaller than advertized but I was sent an extra Scotch Pine. Overall I am pleased with my order and will assume that the weather was responsible for the time between placing & receiving the order. Generally, credit cards are not charged until an order ships. Perhaps this should be company policy.
bought 100's of trees from this company spring 2008 and fall 2008 with mixed results. first, make sure to count bundles as i have been considerably shorted more than once (on larger bundles of 25). second, size is almost always smaller than promised. for example, 3' -4' cedars are going to be mostly three feet with maybe one branch reaching close to four. in some trees, as the aforementioned cedar, there is MUCH size variation, and whoever is pulling them is doing a hack job on the roots. do not expect the full thick cedars from the garden centers. same goes for hemlocks with regard to size and thickness.
this company is positively responsive regarding replacements. i recieved about a hundred hemlock that were no good (sat in bags too long) and they replaced them with very healthy plants that were a size larger and i was happy.
all white pines, red pines, oaks, chestnut, white spruce, black spruce , balsam fir i ordered were good size and shape but shorted on some larger count bundles. avoid 25 count bundles and ask for bundles of 5 for everything and pay the extra stock fee for this.
this company is weather dependent so make sure to be flexible regarding arrival time of trees. spring 2008 was very late and so was available stock but that's not the company'ss fault.
overall, the stock is good, prices good, but there was always a count problem and unsatisfactory size variation with cedars and hemlock of larger size. i'm trying to find alternative sources but would buy again from them.
My first and thus-far only experience with Cold Stream was last Autumn. I ordered several trees with specific shipping dates. Their communication was excellent, the packing was very careful and all items arrived safely and dormant, though obviously with green wood and nice root systems. As this is Central New England, buds aren't showing yet even on long-established early trees so they haven't woken up yet, but the ordering, communicating, shipping and receiving experience has been excellent!
On May 15th, 2009, ndps99 added the following:
Time for an update. My rating remains extremely positive.
Unfortunately, a couple of plantings did not survive a winter that was extremely intense at times, despite what appeared to be very healthy dormant specimens and my best efforts. Therefore, I did not deem the death of a couple of plantings to be anyone's "fault."
However, I did want to replace these plants as they are part of an overall plan that has taken close to a decade to develop. Dealing with other companies of lesser repute, I have found that asking for replacements becomes an expensive and time-consuming feat that can end up being more trouble than it's worth. Often, warranty replacements drop to the bottom of the priority list and can take eons to come through. With the comparably quite short growing season of central New England, a replacement shipment can easily put one a year back in terms of seasonal growth. In this case anyway, as already mentioned, I didn't consider the dead plants to be Cold Stream's fault. These aren't stones, they are living organisms and things happen. So be it.
What I did was simply place an order for one each of the dead plants and a second Dawn Redwood, the first of which is flourishing. I was so pleased with the survivors that I sent along a complementary e-mail with the order and mentioned the dead plants. Guess what they did? They eliminated the cost of the two replacements and treated the entire shipment as a new one, without delay.
I had to travel for a bit of time so I asked for a shipping time of May 25, 2009. That is, of course, Memorial Day. For some reason, I missed that. Former Army man, that's unusual and I am embarrassed. But I was made aware of that fact via a personal call from Craig at Cold Stream who left me an extensive, detailed message offering me options and alternatives for shipping dates and methods. At the same time he offered alternative methods, i.e., expedited, he discouraged using them because of the disproportionately high cost charged by the carrier.
When I returned his call the next day, a very pleasant woman answered on the second ring and immediately transferred me to Craig's office who answered live and in person within seconds. Craig is very pleasant, accommodating and articulate. How refreshing!
This all proves that an UNFORTUNATE experience such as the death of plantings, does not have to be a NEGATIVE experience at all.
The plants that survived are a pair of Paper Birch, a European Mountain Ash and a Dawn Redwood. All four of these are picture-perfect excellent specimens. I loved the Dawn Redwood so much, I've ordered another. The leafing-out of the Euro Mountain Ash was exciting to watch as it is quite unique. The two Paper Birch are so perfect, they look like their full-grown parents in miniature. I need to start making a photographic log.
I highly recommend Cold Stream Farms for every positive reason you can glean from my above comments.
I'm a newbie to gardening and especially to planting bare-root saplings. On Sept. 21st '08 I ordered small (1.5 to 3 ft.) bare-root Washington hawthorn, red mulberry, Sargent crabapple, shadbush serviceberry, tulip tree, and American sycamore for a total of $26.27. The Cold Stream Web site said that fall shipping would be some time after Oct. 15th. Shipping costs seemed a bit high, so I economized with UPS Ground, knowing that the plants would spend more time in transit. My credit card was charged on Oct. 29th and my plants arrived on Nov. 5th. They were well-packed with small plastic bags around moist roots, larger than expected, and with apparent healthy buds. I planted them all 4 days later and chicken wire-caged all but the sycamore and hawthorn, since they were the largest. Bad move. Starting in December it got real cold here (classic St. Paul, Minnesota) and the squirrels/rabbits marauded more than usual. The sycamore and hawthorn were eaten to the ground -- nobody's fault but mine -- but the others look fine. Cold Stream Farm did exactly what they said and delivered what appear to be healthy stock. I'll report in about 5 months if it seems otherwise. Meanwhile I look forward to ordering replacment sycamore, hathworn, and more trees for the spring...
Very fast service. I bought Oregon Grape (Mahonia Aquifolium). They were out of the larger size I'd ordered and emailed me asking if OK to substitute the smaller plants. Plants were packed nicely and traveled well. They were partially dormant but starting to grow. I put them right in the ground and am waiting for some action. I would buy from them again.
I found Cold Stream Farm on this website and was very happy with my order. They shipped it around my vacation schedule and the plants (25 elderberries) arrived in great shape and health. Quality plants at a great price.
On May 30, 2008, jrgoflo West Lafayette, IN wrote:
I have ordered from Cold Stream Farm 4 or 5 times now, all with positive results.
Had to cancell an order once, also with no problems.
I like this nursery because of the large amount of natives they carry and the friendly "mom & pop" service.
The only negative thing I can say is that they are one of the few nurseries that still sell the highly invasive (once highly regarded) Autumn Olive shrub which has slowly & quietly taken over our wildlands in Southern Michigan. (at least they provide a warning).
After looking all over the web, this website offered the cheapest trees. That is what initially drew me to them. I got my trees on April 2nd, which is perfect for my area, and they were packaged in a way to keep the roots moist. All in all, this is the best tree sapling company on the web. I will buy from them again next year.