On Aug 28, 2013, KanapahaLEW Alachua, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:
I recently ordered and received 2 Cornus florida 'Red Chief/flowering dogwood trees in 13-inch-long tree pots. At this time of year, I expect plants to be in active growth, fully-leafed out, have a pot full of roots (after having presumably been growing in a nursery for some months), and, therefore, be plantable in the ground (we plant in the ground 365 days of the year and, with good cultural practices, have a high success rate). These two trees were shipped with their leaves severely cut back, many to mere nubs. The single sheet of information included in the package said, “Some leaves may be trimmed back, not off, prior to shipping. This helps ease the tree thru shipping and transplanting. This does not hurt the tree.”
There is not much foliage on these trees. I order lots of plants (including trees) online and have never received any with their leaves largely removed or absent (unless they were shipped dormant and not actively growing). There is absolutely nothing on the “Terms” page ( or anywhere else on the website) regarding the removal of leaves.
I work in a botanical garden and do lots of propagation. The only times I remove any foliage at all is when I take cuttings or when, in the process of digging a plant out of the ground and either potting it up or replanting it elsewhere in the ground, root volume is reduced.
The information sheet also said “Be very careful as your tree may not be rootbound in this pot.” When I slit the pot open I found that the bottom 2” of soil had no roots in it. The rest of the soil fell directly away from the roots. I emailed these people about this and was told “Per my growing guide that I sent, I state that the trees may or may not be rootbound in their pots.” Just because something is “stated” doesn't make it acceptable. They also said, “They were potted this past winter after they were dug from the fields”. I emailed and asked why they didn't fill their pots with roots if they'd been potted up since winter (which, even assuming potting up as late as March, would have meant they were in these pots at least 4 to 5 months). These people refused to answer that question, and there is nothing anywhere on the website regarding the fact that plants may not be rootbound.
They also wrote in an email, "In fact, I don't suggest anyone plant any type of tree in July and August due to the heat as many do not know how to care for them properly."
This does not appear anywhere on the website or in the information sheet. If that is what they believe, why do they ship trees in August?
I have repotted these largely defoliated trees and hope to get them eventually into the ground (once they properly fill their pots with roots and grow leaves again). Wish me (and the trees) luck.
On Feb 11, 2013, sweetmelonpie Kemp Mill, MD wrote:
Posted on February 9, 2013, updated February 11, 2013
bought two bareroot multifruit trees from martha's secret last spring to try this online store among other online merchants. Initial experience was very nice and personable. she replied to emails and questions promptly within a day. But when one of the tree did not grow, multiple emails were ignored as if she made a 180 degrees turn.
I have bought multiple tree from other companies that have been thriving and none of them died or fail to grow as yet.
Would definitely not recommend this company to anyone and will definitely never buy from them again. Fail to respond to emails when things go wrong and are only nice to you when you buy from them but fail to take reponsibility for their products.
On February 11th, 2013, sweetmelonpie added the following:
As I had said before, I have bought multiple bareroot trees from other companies and they grew without problems. I do know how to follow instructions, and yes I know how to hit the reply button on gmail when a company sends me an email.
I wrote this emaill almost a year later because I wanted to let fellow planters know about my experience with this company, and yes I moved in the meantime to another state as well.
As most readers will probably pick up that the person replying to my complaint is non apologetic and verge on the border of accusing me of either not being able to follow directions, not know how to email someone and of course being a fake agent of some sort.
Now if you want to compare her products compared to the other vendors that I have used, yes her bareroot trees are actually smaller, root system is not as well developed. None of this is actually a big deal to me as long as the tree grows. Now I don't want to put the other companies names on this forum to avoid additional accusations of being their salesmen or something like that.
As I have said before I will not deal with this company again.On Feb 11, 2013, Marthas Secrets responded with:
"On Feb 9, 2013 2:07 AM, Martha's Secrets responded with:
I do not know who you are as I cannot look up an order from a sweetmelonpie from Kemp Hill MD but I did just search my data base and I don't show one single customer from MD that purchased multiple bareroot cocktail trees last year. Why didn't you post your name so that I could look up an order? I do respond to all emails. How long did you have your tree before you said that you wrote to me with an issue? What address did you use? Were they watered and fed on a regular basis? There are so many factors that are involved with plants. I do have a phone number and I return all phone calls. I did not receive a phone call from anyone regarding this issue. All plants are wrapped professionally and guaranteed to arrive healthy and alive. All packages are insured in full. In addition, I ask that customers send photos of their plants so I can see what issues are going on. "
I purchased a tree from Martha on Ebay and when it arrived it was in poor shape and nearly dead. I followed all her directions to a tee however it died within days. Ebay advised me to file a claim against her within 30 days in order to receive a refund. Martha then pleaded with me to NOT to file a claim against her and see if the Post Office will cover the cost from the insurance. Martha then PROMISED me that if the Post Office denies the coverage, she will send me a new tree by the Fall season. With my kind heart and trusting Martha, I obliged to her wish and waited for the results from the Post Office. After 30 days had lapsed to file a claim with Ebay, the Post Office denied my insurance claim for the cost. I immediately reached out to Martha. I tried several times and realized that Martha had BLOCKED me from contacting her. I cannot believe a business person is willing to jeopardize the moral of their business for a lousy of $75 ($59.99 for the tree and $15 shipping cost) and feel satisfied that they sold another item regardless if it was done morally or not. I pity Martha for her shenanigans and strongly advise all potential buyers of her items to be very careful to doing business with her. I still have plenty of TRUST out there for the sellers at Ebay but I do not trust Martha at all.
On Nov 25, 2012, Marthas Secrets responded with:
"On Nov 25, 2012 5:10 PM, Martha's Secrets responded with:
You purchased your tree on 6-6 and it arrived to you on 6-9. You left the following positive feedback on Ebay '' GREAT SELLER !!!!! WILL BUY FROM AGAIN'' which conflicts with your statements above that it arrived in ''poor shape and nearly dead.''Anyone reading this can easily look up that feedback by texaspetunia. You sent me a note stating how pleased you were with your tree. You may want to rethink the rest of your statements that you wrote on this forum as you know they are false. "