Posted on April 23, 2011, updated October 23, 2012
Posted on April 5, 2011, updated April 23, 2011
They did a good job for me. The (3 year?) bareroot seedling trees were well packaged, and the roots were moist. Smallish, but cheap and healthy, with nice roots - exactly what I wanted.
The potted plants look good. No wilting at all, though a couple of pots were cracked, probably during shipping, and the soil in those was dry. My pots were in little individual plastic bags, with tie-tags closing them at the tops. That seems to have kept the soil where it's supposed to be. The mountain laurel are tiny (but hey, they're $6 or $7, not $25 from the local nurseries...). The potted birch were a surprise - bigger than I expected.
A good experience overall. My only concern is that they're in a slightly colder zone than I am, and they also were running a little behind this year. So I ended up planting the bareroot seedlings a little later than I'd like. Just something to be aware of if you're in a warmer climate. I'd still order from them again.
On April 23rd, 2011, AS added the following:
OK, I'm impressed. Of the 30-40 trees I planted, mostly bareroot seedlings, there's only one that looks like it might or might not make it. All others are budding (deciduous trees) or looking green and healthy (evergreens). Admittedly, I dashed around in a drizzle to plant them the day I got them, so the roots would stay moist. Still, this is a good success rate so far for seedlings.On October 23rd, 2012, AS added the following:
I'm still having good luck with both bare root and potted trees and shrubs from this company. Last year, I ordered several tiny potted rhododendrons and mountain laurel and had some concerns about the roots on two (pretty puny), but all survived and are growing. I also ordered 25 of their seedling white dogwoods for our woods, after I managed to kill 3 expensive potted dogwoods from Lowe's, one after another. This time, I was going for quantity rather than quality. All but one of their dogwood seedlings survived and are doing nicely. Go figure.
I took advantage of Musser's offer of 20 plants for $20.00. I ordered 10 boxwood and 10 shamrock holly. They arrived on the exact day I requested and were extremely well packed. .My bargaion plants were large (for the price) and healthy looking. I potted them all up waiting for better weather to plant my hedge. I noticed one of the holly plants began to drop leaves. It shortly went completely bare. I decided to plant and discovered that the roots of the holly plants, tightly rootbound on arrrival, had not extended beyond the original pot size, inspite of my efforts to loosen them up before planting. I was worried about the health of the remaining holly plants and contacted Musser. I received an answer from them the very next day saying that they will replace any plants that fail to thrive.
Seems like a company that is doing everything right. I hope my plants will grow but I am confident that Musser will stand by their word if they don't.
Very pleased with my 100 periwinkle plants...seemed a little dry at first but after a few hours in water, perked right up. Individual plants are many runners with rubber band around the roots...easy to plant. Happy ;)
I got a Chinese Dogwood from Musser's for $5.95 plus S/H. It was securely packaged in a long narrow box and I received it fast in 2 days. The dogwood was about 2 feet long when I got it. I live in central Pa so shipping may take longer for other people. I was able to plant it immediately and it's been doing quite well in my yard for the past few weeks. I will be buying from them again in the future.
I placed an order on Monday and everything arrived by Friday. I called and asked for a UPS tracking number and they sent it by email the next day. They said this wasn't automatic and is the one thing I wish they would begin doing.
I ordered 2nd year potted seedlings of the following types; 2 Ginkgos, 2 Chinese Chestnuts, 4 Hybrid Poplars and a few non-plant items. The seedlings were securely packed and strapped in place so they wouldn't be shaken from the pots while in transit. Everything looked good except for the Chinese Chesnuts which appeared to some frost burn on them and I chalked that up to the late frost we had in PA. The plants in my yard were also affected by this late frost and I had one Holly drop all of it's leaves because of it. All the seedlings seemed to have good root systems.
I would order from Musser again in the future and am already planning a fall order.
On May 26, 2010, MorsisX Lockport, IL (Zone 5b) wrote:
My father and I have ordered stock from Musser for decades. Their product is first rate and prices are very competitive. Few offer the ability to order for mass plantings they way they do. When ordering 100 - 1000 plants to see all of them healthy and ready to go is a welcome sight. They have been in business for a long time with good reason.
On Apr 29, 2010, braun06 Peoria Heights, IL (Zone 5b) wrote:
In the past I have ordered carya ovata seedlings and recently as last year ilex verticillata seedlings. I have been impressed with the quality of material I was getting, considering what the service is. All of my holly did well, except for those chomped on for chew toys by rabbits. This year I ordered some Hicks yew and they all came in great condition yet again, and are all growing. For inexpensive ways to get mass quantity of planting stocks I cant recommend anyone but musser.
I ordered from Musser for the first time this year; I ordered some white spruce seedlings and the sugar maple special of 30 two-year seedlings for about $37. I am very pleased with all aspects of this purchase: the packaging was excellent and the trees were in good shape for the low price. Of course they are small--they are seedlings after all--but all of them seem alive and well. The best part is that their root systems are completely intact with no damage; whoever dug them up did it properly. I expect rapid growth as a result.
I'll definitely order from them again and would recommend them to someone who wants large quantities of small but healthy seedlings at very good prices. Getting 10 (ended up with 11) white spruce and 30 (ended up with at least 35 in the bundle) sugar maple for about $70 including shipping is a great deal in my book.
On Apr 29, 2009, cjparker Kennewick, WA (Zone 7a) wrote:
I'm very please with the package I just opened from Musser Forests. In order to take advantage of their "50 Frasier Fir seedlings for $1 with any order", I ordered a 1-2 foot sawtooth oak. The sawtooth oak is a tad shy of three feet, has many leaf buds and looks healthy and ready to grow. The fifty supposedly 4-8" seedlings are all over a foot tall and are healthy and pliant. They were packed in such a way that they could not move about in the box. So I have a three foot oak tree and a bunch of foot-tall fir trees, all for under $20 including shipping. Very nice!
I placed a nice order with Musser's. All the plants arrived in a very secured manner and all very viable. I have had to pot many of the bare rooted plants as the planting area has not been cleared due to the wet and cool weather we have been having. All the plants have budded out and are very healthy in their pots.
On Apr 21, 2009, PinetopPlanter Auburn Four Corners, PA (Zone 5a) wrote:
My father and I have ordered from Musser for years (at least 15), and we have been relatively happy customers. They were the first nursery in our area, to my knowledge, to offer bulk seedlings of Concolor, or White, fir, and each year have a few unusual pine, spruce, or fir offerings that can be had at a decent price in amounts as little as 5, or even individually, in pots. They have been the only commercial catalogue we have ordered from for bulk tree seedlings beyond our state nursery in Pennsylvania. Over the years, for sure, they have fallen short a couple of times, in supplying seedlings that were definitely at the lowest end of their scale in terms of height. However, on the average, they have been quite good regarding the material they supply and the time they ship.
This year's order included 25 bareroot Concolor fir, and smaller amounts of Lodgepole pine, Serbian spruce, Southwestern White pine, potted Austrian pine, and a smattering of individual potted trees. Although the Lodgepole pines were on the small side, the others were beyond expectation, and all looked healthy, fresh, and ready to grow.
We are quite happy to have Musser as a resource for quality seedlings. I look forward every year to their newest offerings.
On Apr 14, 2009, PAMSPACE Temperanceville, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:
I ordered 5 Eastern White Pines on 3/29/09. When I got off their website I went cruising the 'Net looking for pictures of my soon-to-be grown up trees. To my horror, I realized that I had ordered the wrong type of tree. It was a Sunday, and I left a rather long-winded message regarding my mistake. I was contacted at work the next day and we discussed my requirements at length. After several trips for the customer service rep to talk to a botanist, we determined what tree to order and what the shearing requirements would be. Well, those babies came last night and they are wonderful. Packing was done carefully, pots were moist, and I only had to tease the roots a little bit before they went in the ground. I will definitely order from Musser's again ! Pamspace
I have ordered hundreds of trees from musser's and have never been dissapointed. They send what you order. Out of those trees I can count on my hand how many didn't make it. They have saved me so much money reforesting my property.
Musser Forests is a Superior tree farm. Been planting their trees and shrubs for 15 years. One week delivery time after ordering(fast). Just keep your plant roots moist and plant right away on arrival. Water regularly the first season. You'll be rewarded with lush stands of trees or shrubs as I have. A stand of palowuania is now 40' high, and the seeds have spread, with trees everywhere on my lot. My evergreens are over 30' high. Redbuds have seeded and appear everywhere. 12' wegeilias. More forsythia than I can transplant all from one bush from musser. You got to never let the roots dryout when transplanting ordered stock or dividing your own, that is the key to success. Best to plant early spring or late fall, my plants always survive.
On Jan 13, 2009, cbandina Horseshoe Bend, AR (Zone 6b) wrote:
Jan. 6th ordered 10 spratan trees recieved today 12th . They are in good shape and hope they all thrive where I plan to grow them as a hedge. Will plant them 3 ft apart. we still have wokable soil here in n.e.ar. plan to buy more evergreens from them.
On Mar 30, 2008, quiltjean North Chelmsford, MA (Zone 6b) wrote:
On the whole I am pleased with Musser. Last year the bayberries they sent were healthy and immediately went to work; however the Annabelle hydrangea died upon impact! I buy only potted treesbecause I've had less luck with bare-rooted stock. Most of my little trees are better than expected, more vigorous and ready to grow.
I ordered 100 Norway Spruce last Fall. I didn't plant right away and then took too long to plant them when I had them in the field. I still had about a 80% survival rate. Not too bad. For the price, Musser's can't be beaten for bulk orders. I expected a certain amount of loss since I simply dropped the seedlings into the ground with a shovel-full of top soil. In about 75 years, the living screen that I am aiming for should be majestic.
I used to live relatively near Mussers and would visit the farm on occasion. It is a well run operation with a real desire to do things right in their niche which is trees. They haven't tried to be All-things-to-all-people.
On Dec 11, 2007, EugeniaBostwick Pinckney, MI wrote:
Love this company, which is a godsend to the underfunded tree lover:-) Not every tiny tree I ordered from them has lived, but 99% have, and I can't fault Musser if I try to grow Nyssa sylvatica in my highly alkaline soil! I have a beautiful hemlock hedge, though, despite the alkalinity. And 2 of 5 notoriously difficult to establish yellowwoods have made it.
On December 11th, 2007, EugeniaBostwick added the following:
And by the way...my bald cypresses are doing beautifully, 5 out of 5. I don't recall which size I ordered, but I planted them right away. --in heavy clay muck to which I add some sulfur every year. They are two years old and about 5 feet tall.
I've ordered from this company many times over the last 10 years, while living in three different states (military moves). They are my first choice for trees and shrubs, period. I usually order items in multiples of 5, and almost invariably, they send 6. Most things I've gotten are bare-root, which arrive with the roots wrapped in wet newspaper and then in plastic. I've never gotten a plant with dry roots, or which appeared damaged. The rare times I've had a problem with a plant, they sent a replacement or gave me a credit, with no hesitation or questions asked. I'm working on trying to establish a coniferous tree screen along one of my lot borders, which is very shady; a tough spot to start trees. Musser's small trees are so cheap, I can experiment with several varieties to see which will establish themselves. The "losers" I can afford to throw away after they've died. This spring's order arrived, as usual, in perfect condition with every plant healthy and viable. I've dealt with many mail order nurseries over the years, and these guys get my top rating.
Was in Indiana on Saturday, so I had to stop. Excellent selections including perrenials,very knowledgeable help. Great shopping experience. For those of you who say, I could have bought a bigger plant locally, why didn't you? I use mailorder only for odd hard to find items, that I can not get locally.
On Jun 13, 2007, dc_luke Washington, DC (Zone 7a) wrote:
I've ordered from them twice. The first order was for
some potted deciduous trees. They arrived in great
shape and are still doing great [cherry birch, alder
and arrowood]. I then ordered a two batches of
evergreens (hemlocks and arborvitae). I choose 2 day
air being that it was getting into May. They arrived in
great shape. The young arbs looked better initially, due
to the more regular growth habit. However, the young
hemlocks new growth is now lengthening and filling
them out. They look like they'll pull through the summer
heat [with plenty of watering]. Planting 10 bareroots
takes awhile, so I heeled them in (5 per pot) in large well
drained containers of pine bark fines and kept the mix
moist and in a shady spot. This worked so well that they
showed new growth while I was getting the various holes
prepped. I've ordered bare root from other places where
dieback and stump sprouting from dormant buds seems
to be more the norm. I will definitely order from Musser again.
PS Don't skimp on shipping. Be there and be ready when the trees arrive.
On Apr 18, 2007, thecollector Farmville, VA wrote:
I ordered 10 potted Green Giant Arborvitae, which arrived last week. The plants were robust, very well packed, and, something important to me, were uniform--all were nearly exactly the same size. This place seems like a good source for trees in bulk. Prices are very reasonable and at least in my experience, stock is good.
I ordered five Lynwood Gold Forsythia that were so inexpensive it's hard to believe. Were they small? Yes, but this cultivar grows fast. I have a lot of time and patience when it comes to gardening and saving money. Were they rootbound? Yes, I cut ends off the longer roots, untangled the rest and spread them out over a small mound like a bare-root rose. No problem, they are growing beautifully. Were they well packaged? Absolutely. The only better packaging I've seen is from Logee's and Marj Gossler (that lady runs an incredible nursery). Were these small plants well branched? Yes, all except one had multiple branches. Was it worth a little over $20.00 (including S & H) for five beautiful plants? Duh, I challenge you to find them for less. These were potted not bare-rooted. Would I buy from them again? Definitely.
Ordered or the first time from Musser (5 bare root Hetz Wintergreen) and must say was quite impressed. The trees were all larger than ordered and had healthy root systems. They were packaged very well and arrived in VA healthy and moist. Planted them upon arrival yesterday and now it's just wait and see!
hi, i just joined and want to tell you that last spring i bought 10 rosa rugosa. when they got here i had to call them because they were 2ft long sticks. they were extremely friendly and advised me to just plant and wait i have to say by the time fall had crept up here in zone 7 they were HUGE! blooming and even full of hips. i am sold on them. do not be discouraged by the fact they are bareroot and look like twigs there are roses in there!! thanks musser my front yard will be gorgeous again this year im sure.
I have ordered many times from Musser over the years. While their upper PA climate has little in common with mine in the deep south the results have always been satisfactory. The best "deal" from them is the potted plants. I recently bought two potted bald cypress trees. Both had extremely healthy root systems. I also purchased two chinese dogwoods. Since we were in the middle of a drought I planted the trees in clay pots until conditions improved. When I finally got around to planting the trees, about three months later, their roots had filled the pots! Be more cautious about the bare root trees, but I would have no hesitation ordering any potted tree from them.
I ordered Canadian hemlocks from Musser last year and they were in good shape when I received them. They were not huge, but were a reasonable size considering the cost and were packed well. I would order from them again.
On Apr 25, 2006, JohninMichigan Delta Township, MI (Zone 5a) wrote:
I ordered 2 Bald Cyprus and 5 Catalpa trees in Spring of 2005. These trees survived the first year and are doing great this year. Musser's Forest is a company that I will use in the future for buying trees. I have had no problems with this company.
On Apr 23, 2006, CT_Ohio Millfield, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:
Just received the 25 Canadian hemlocks (3+3) I ordered and could not be more pleased. The trees have heavy, healthy root systems and well branched, full tops. There were at least 25 trees the size stated in the catalog as well as 4-5 smaller but very healthy trees in the package. Packing was excellent for bare root plants and included instructions for planting were explicit and easy to understand. I am quite impressed with the quality of the plants I received.
Very pleased with the of value of well wrapped plants received from Musser. Ordered both bareroot and potted. Yes, looked like a stick and tiny. But with proper planting and care have been pleasantly surprised with the results especially given my New Jersey clay, heat and drought. When buying any plants mail order or local, highly recommend similar growing climate. Local nursery tried to sell me established evergreens grown in Oregon-don't see how that would work for my garden. Mussers customer service representatives treated me professionally on the telephone and that is how I treat them.
On Apr 19, 2006, Enchantra Farmington, NY (Zone 6a) wrote:
I have ordered from this company and so has my Father. All the trees have arrived packaged in damp paper mulch with plastic wrapped around the roots. There has been no breakage in shipment at all, and the trees all took so far. I ordered several potted Red Japanese Maples from them this year and they were much larger than I expected. The stock seems to be of good quality.
On Apr 12, 2006, provincialblond Lansing, MI wrote:
I've ordered numerous trees from Musser Nursery: Corkbark Fir, Pitch Pine, Mugo Pine, Douglas Fir, Japanese Black Pine, and Austrian Pine; the quality of the aforesaid orders have been excellent. Musser is very accomodating when It comes to shipping: I changed my delivery date 4 times and they followed my instructions accordingly. I plan buying from Musser in the immediate future.
I have placed two really large orders with Musser Forests and been well-pleased with every aspect of the transaction.
The first order had a few 'duds,' which I would expect when I'm paying so little for things. They replaced them quickly and courteously. After the initial glitches, I am pleased to report that these plants have all grown and thrived for several years...through bad winters and droughts (and truly awful soil in some cases).
This year, I placed another huge order. I was amazed at the quality of the plants they sent! The root systems were huge and the plants were well-developed.
There are 'bargains' out there, and there are rip-offs. I would definitely place Musser in the bargain category. Their plants are priced very cheaply. So their 'experts' aren't really knowledgeable. Buy a book! I've found very few mail order nurseries who can tell me how to handle my plants when they are located in different growing areas from mine. Don't expect that! If you receive nice plants...well rooted...alive!...haven't they lived up to their end of the deal? Even some breakage is to be expected. They probably needed to be trimmed back a bit anyway, to ensure successful transplant.
I like them and will continue to do lots of business with them.
I ordered 10 winterberry hollies early this month. They were listed as 4 year old seedlings at 2-3 feet. The total, with shipping and handling, came to just a shade over $30. Okay, the price was very reasonable, but what about the timeliness and quality of the shipment? Well, in less than two weeks, a long cardboard box arrives on my porch. Inside are the specimens bundled together ratherly tightly, with the roots well wrapped in plastic with a finely shredded paper material covering them for moisture retainment. I lightly watered the roots and waited several days to plant. To date, all are doing well. The plants all fell into the advertised size range, and they even shipped me one extra. They are well rooted, vigorous plants. Based on my initial experience, I couldn't discourage anyone from buying from them.
On Mar 6, 2006, Live2garden Waterford, WI (Zone 5b) wrote:
I love Musser forests - in fact, if there ever was something to get me to drive "east" it would be to visit their nursery in person.
Over the years I have ordered many different trees and shrubs. And they all arrive very well packed, very healthy looking - as if they were just dug from the ground. I have tried all their different options - from bare root to the different ways of being potted and each time the plants are very well shipped and arrive in good condition. I only had one disappointment in that I lost all of my shipment a few years back but that was due to very severe drought conditions and a personal illness (I wasn't able to haul water to the transplants) so I do not blame the company. I have never had to ask for replacements.
I haven't had as much success when speaking to the horticulturists though. My impression is that they are reading rote responses listed in some "FAQ" manual and not listening to the specific concerns brought up. Maybe I just hit them on a bad day, we all have them.
I absolutely recommend this company based on my experiences....I am probably known there as the "sky rocket" queen as I order a dozen or so every year. But they are so quick growing, so cute when they are little and I have never lost one due to shipping or handling.
Ordered about 100 trees from Musser in 2005, both spring and fall. Thuja Green Giant, Beech, Red Oaks, Black Walnut, Cornus, Cercis... Only a couple didn't survive and not by fault of Musser. One or two succumbed to the summer drought (cornus kousa and black walnut) and one or two to my neighbor's well-intentioned, though ill-sighted, mowing efforts (was that a tree you planted there? oops). They were shipped quickly or when they needed to be, and always packed well. Yes, you have to untie them and sometimes the roots are a little tangled but I don't see that as anything unusual, you just pull them apart gently and they are fine. I have ordered mail order trees and plants from many companies and Musser has always been reliable for me.