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Since my initial experience with Berries Unlimited was positive, I chose a neutral rating. My first order with Berries Unlimited was for over 100 raspberry plants and 30 honeyberries. The raspberry plants were much smaller than I thought they would be, but are quite vigorous now and I have a nice crop of yellow raspberries which is wonderful. Hare, the owner, was very helpful, and a box of Royalty raspberries that was damaged and died was promptly replaced with even larger plants.
Unfortunately, my second order did not go so well. I had ordered 200 Tulameen raspberry that were not available for my first order so I was given a discount on the second order for a later shipping date on those. This was wonderful so I ordered 80 blueberry plants, 30 more honeyberries, and 50 bare root black raspberries.
To date, about a year later, I have only received 50 bare root black raspberries and 60 of the blueberries. I am still due to receive 20 blueberries, 200 Tulameen, and 30 honeyberries.
I was hoping for spring shipping, and I fully understand weather and inventory issues arise with nurseries. When I started placing calls and sending emails, they were not returned promptly or at all. The calls I did receive back promised shipping, and I did get 60 of 80 blueberries in July. Not the best time for planting, but only two plants died due to shipping stress and summer planting. I did allow the plants to rest a week before planting in ground. I asked for a refund if the Tulameen were not available, because the order was at least $1600.00 that came from a FSA loan for beginning farmers. I have heard nothing on this. I really needed the Tulameens for the plan that allowed for my FSA loan - to grow them out over the summer for early greenhouse harvesting in March 2015. If I had received them last Fall 2013 or Spring 2014 as promised I would be in compliance with my loan agreement. I called a couple weeks ago to ask for a letter stating the ship date for my remaining berries to show my FSA loan officer - but did not get a call back or a letter. At this point, I am not sure what to do to either get a refund or my plants. I am hoping for some communication and very hopefully Fall shipping or a refund so I can order Tulameen raspberries somewhere else in Spring 2015.
I would certainly tread carefully when making a larger order from this company, or make an arrangement to pay a deposit rather than payment in full to be sure you receive your plants. As a new farmer, this has really set me back.
Received my order from Berries Unlimited - ordered a variety of blueberries and blackberries. Honestly I was expecting some sort of special plant packaging, but all the pots were just thrown into a regular box with some Styrofoam peanuts. They arrived mostly intact. The plants were much smaller than expected. The 1 gallon size is more like 1/2 gallon, or maybe a quart. The "Jumbo" blueberries were 2 year plants, but very much on the small side - compared to what the local nurseries/big box stores sell.
All the plants appear to be alive, I am letting them rest for a week or 2 before planting ( I have read the instructions on their webpage carefully)
I will update my review to positive once I confirm all plants are indeed alive and growing.
On Apr 15, 2014, Berries Unlimited responded with:
Hello! Our plants are all tissue cultured so they are all virus indexed, they are standard size+.1 gal plants are 3 years old, ours are 4 years old tissue cultured plant material. They are like big plugs to develop nice plants. Keep water balance, space them, fertilize them and the results will be WONDERFUL.They will grow much more vigorously than plants from cuttings which were larger and nicer looking in the very beginning being developed from larger cuttings not from cells like ours. But Our plants will produce much more!And we prune blueberries very short.Unfortunately we can not space them better because of the winds, but new growth will pop up in an instant through the spring/summer period.Thank You for your comment."
On Jul 7, 2011, magnaastra Charleston, IL (Zone 6a) wrote:
I placed my first order with Berries Unlimited in late 2010, for delivery in the 'spring' of 2011: four blueberries and four honeyberries. Apparently, a cold wet spring on our country's West coast [interesting, since this company is headquartered in Arkansas...unless I forget my geography, that's pretty much in the south-central portion of the US] caused delays in the honeyberries' propagation, and their release dates were changed multiple times per their website (no personal communications whatsoever from this company).
I have never received any of my plants, despite having paid for them seven months ago.
According to Lidia, it's my fault that the blueberries weren't shipped separately: apparently, I had to request that they be shipped during the appropriate planting time.
I requested a refund, which I have as yet to receive. In an interesting juxtaposition of dates, I was told that the elusive honeyberries (and their pals, the four missing blueberries) suddenly could ship in just three days...after I asked for my money back. I was also offered free plants, etc., to keep my order 'open,' but I'm not looking for sugar, and, since I have other responsibilities besides watering the h--- out of new plantings to sustain them in July heat...IF they could make the trip without getting cooked...I just want my money back.
Can't comment on the plant quality, so I'm not giving a negative rating at this time. Will this be my last order? Absolutely.