Stark Brothers Nurseries & Orchards CompanyPlants & Seeds: Nut Trees, Hardy Fruit Trees View Their Product Listing
P.O. Box 1800
Louisiana, 63353-7800 (United States)
NotesGreetings! Please feel welcome to post here knowing that we take ALL reviews to heart. Positive, Neutral, or Negative -- your feedback provides us with an opportunity to continue with what we do well and improve our service and your experience going forward.
If you have not done so already, please connect with our customer support team (800.325.4180) so that we know first-hand about your experience with our products and service.
posted on January 28, 2016
Displaying the 50 most recent reviews
On Jun 21, 2021, don1357 (1 reviews) from Palmer, AK
Horrible experience all around. end of 2019 I ordered several bareroot trees to be delivered first week of June 2020. Why? Because in Alaska this is the best time to put a tree on the ground. First week of April, with foot and a half of snow on the ground and a frost line down to 3 feet I get a notification that my shipment is being prepared to go out. The second I got that email I replied saying 'don't do that'. Two days later they finally emailed me back saying that they could not stop the shipment and that I would receive tracking where I could refuse the package. Once again; promptly responded "refuse shipment where? The fedex site?" A few more days went by and I got my package before their response. Long story short the plants had to be tossed. My dirt and compost piles were encased in ice with more snow all but certain well into May. Stark Bros did agree to send me a shipment in June. And again the screwed up... What's the point to pay for 2nd day air if you are going to ship the Friday before a 3 day weekend? And this was the least of the problems; it looks like I received the very bottom of the pile; For half of the trees I have not seen such bad plant material outside of a dumpster. The other half let's just say that when they talk about their professional pruned trees their staff probably sinkers a whole lot. I realize that by June there is not much inventory left but canceling an order is far superior to sending garbage. I contacted them again, waited 3 more days for a response, which was that they were under warranty and that I could contact them if the trees didn't survive the winter. Surprise surprise, two died. Emailed them again a month ago about the trees being dead. They never responded. To sum up my experience: Horrible communications, prone to screw up, they have no qualms with sending you garbage plant material that the most cursory of visual inspections should have spotted, and their 'guarantee' is only good if you don't try to use it.
Company representative comment on July 20, 2021:
On Jul 20, 2021 1:38 PM, Stark Brothers Nurseries & Orchards Company responded with:
We’re sorry to hear of your less-than-satisfactory experience with Stark Bro's and hope you will accept our sincerest apologies. We pride ourselves on our customer service and the high quality standards we maintain with our product. We would like to make things right. Since we do not have your account information please email our management team at [email protected]. Attention Tabitha or Tiffany and please reference your order information.
On Mar 24, 2021, quiggs1 (1 reviews) from Biddeford, ME
Have seen some negative reviews about Stark's online, and was a little hesitant... Took the plunge anyway, and my experience was totally positive. In fact I'm ordering something else from them. Good communication skills, good product, good packaging. Don't know what they're like on the phone - didn't have to call, but a little slack, maybe, people... Weird times, and it's not like I never screwed up or dropped the ball
On Mar 4, 2021, rogerhall68 (1 reviews) from Little Rock, AR
I have ordered from them many times in the past, and always excused their constantly changing delivery estimates because I liked their website features and found their plants to be healthy and well packed, if small. I will be ordering from them less in the future though, because of poor communication with their customer service about the new charge for "split shipping", which is not mentioned anywhere on their site until the very last step of checkout. Every page says "free shipping with $X order", which has been a constant promotion for years. Previously they would immediately ship whatever they had on hand and then predict when other order items would be available to ship. I was willing to wait and they were able to pre-book sales. Starting this year, they want customers to pay for that, which wouldn't be a problem if they actually told customers that before hand. But they don't. The website still says "free shipping with $X order" on every page. I tried contacting customer service repeatedly and they were never able to understand that I was upset about their false advertising.
Company representative comment on March 17, 2021:
On Mar 17, 2021 1:29 PM, Stark Brothers Nurseries & Orchards Company responded with:
On behalf of Stark Bro's, I want to extend my sincerest apologies for the negative experience that you had. I understand your disappointment and recognize that you feel that our new multiple shipment fee was not properly communicated to you when checking out online. Our free shipping offer is for standard shipping excluding Alaska and the multiple shipment fee is a service fee, not a shipping charge. As a token of our apology, we have removed this fee for you this one time since we did not make this change clear when ordering. Again, we apologize for causing you this frustration.
On Dec 24, 2020, LuvMyGarden100 (1 reviews) from (Zone 6a)
I want to like this company, but I struggle with a few points. We bought a home with garden space in 2018 and started to look around to see where to purchase related items including fruit trees. A relative had used Stark as one source for their mixed large personal orchard. We liked what we saw on the Stark website. For the next year (yes, year) we couldn't quite figure out how to successfully find what we were looking for in-stock. OK, maybe we had bad timing - it happens. Finally, I actually called them with the basic question of "how in the heck do I find x, y, z in stock on your website...?" The customer service person was friendly and tried to be helpful explaining a few things, but it wasn't a "fruitful" exchange bc I still was unable to find and purchase what I wanted at that time. It was still awhile before I could find two trees that I was interested in, in the correct size (semi-dwarf). Overall, I'm looking to buy 6-7 semi-dwarf trees across 3 types. Their website is populated 90% (it seems) with out of stock items. When an item is in stock it only gives you what is currently available - not listing what can be available. This is important bc maybe they just don't ever have what I am looking for in a semi-dwarf tree in bare-foot stock. So, I ordered two semi-dwarf trees, bare-root (same fruit type, 2 varieties that work together for pollination). Unfortunately, only one showed up. they CANCELLED the other one without notifying me. ??? So, I call and the pleasant customer service person tells me they did not have that item and I respond with "I need two of these tree types so I get some fruit - I can't really use just one!" So, amazingly, one of my desired item is apparently available to ship. It arrives. Both were healthy bare-root stock. Although both were the same size purchased (diameter of trunk and height of tree per description), one was twice the thickness in trunk size as the other, both were same height. Yes, I took digital calipers to the tree trunks to verify I was not imagining this size discrepancy. These have been in the ground since Spring 2020, and appear to be doing well. Overall, their website is attractive, but I find it's useful functionality to be poor. Since I would like to purchase 4-5 more trees, I have routinely been on Stark website, and also added my email to be notified when in stock on particular varieties. However, I'm still very unsuccessful in finding the larger bare-root versions of the varieties I'm interested in. When I spoke with a customer service person, they indicated it was more of a real-time sort of update - they go out in to the field, see what is ready and add it to the site. But, at no point in the past 2 years of frequently checking their site, have I experienced even half of their fruit tree items being in stock at any time - most of the options are "out of stock". At first I had thought "oh, in the late winter they will refresh their site"..nope. then "oh, in late spring or early summer they will refresh their site for fall plantings"...nope. Overall, my experience has been a frustrating one, that I think doesn't need to be so frustrating from the customer experience side. Maybe it makes logical sense to the company bc they understand their system. But, to me it just ends up being a frustrating shopping, yet unsuccessful, experience.
On Nov 11, 2020, BrianKnight (1 reviews) from Signal Mountain, TN
Placed order May 7 2020. Received 2/3 of order over course of '20 summer. One item canceled and remaining 1/3 of order has been pushed back numerous times, now expected in July of 2021. That's receipt of product over a year after ordering!
On Sep 4, 2020, mbarryNY (1 reviews) from Lancaster, NY
I ordered from Stark Brothers because local Nursery's did not have strawberry plants in stock. I wanted to get some plants established so that they could get right to business next spring. I thought the price was a little higher than I wanted to pay for 3 month old plants, but I couldn't find many other sources with inventory. I ordered 6 Honeoye strawberry plants, 4 inch pots. Shipping was surprisingly quick. I ordered on Wednesday and received them Saturday! As received, the plants looked pretty healthy. The tag indicated they were 3 month old plants. Unfortunately, 2 of the 6 plants had a few bent stems. I do think it's asking a lot to expect every plant to survive shipping without any damage though. I am trying to splint the bent stems to see if they will recover. But, in one case, it's 3 out of 5 stems that are bent on that plant. Besides the shipping damage, the only thing that bugs me a bit is that several of the stems are turned upside down. I'm trying to support them as they turn back around toward the sun, but they really want to push the leaves face down into the dirt. It almost looks like they were grown upside down, or were tipped sideways. The plants are about what I expected (age/size/health), but I am not thrilled about the additional care required to "save" 2 or 3 of these plants.
Company representative comment on September 10, 2020:
On Sep 10, 2020 1:03 PM, Stark Brothers Nurseries & Orchards Company responded with:
We appreciate you taking the time to share your experience. We are very sorry to learn that a few of your plants were damaged upon arrival. Our plants are covered by a one year guarantee so please do not hesitate to contact us if they do not survive.
On Aug 28, 2020, loveplants101 (3 reviews) from Arlington, VA
I have ordered numerous plants from them. All of them were healty and well packaged. But they keep moving the delivery date on an additional plant I ordered now it has been 3 times. I have tried on numerous occasions to cancel the order. They have not responded. If they don't like what they hear they just ignore.
Company representative comment on September 10, 2020:
On Sep 10, 2020 12:45 PM, Stark Brothers Nurseries & Orchards Company responded with:
We are sincerely sorry for your order being delayed so many times. Our arrival dates are merely estimates because we are at the mercy of our growers providing us with an approximate date in which the product will be ready to ship. We hold them to very high standards and this can cause dates to change multiple times along with unexpected cancellations. Please email us at [email protected] if you need to make any changes or would like to get a update on your order.
On Aug 10, 2020, verani (2 reviews) from Londonderry, NH
Hi, I've contacted Stark's about 3 bareroots that I planted correctly, watered, fertilized and insecticided properly and all died. I even did a scraping and these trees were dead. I have emailed them 4 times to be returned messages to call and a robot told me that I couldn't leave a message or talk to anyone then to receive 3 messages that they wanted more information and couldn't read anything I wrote. At this point I'm at a loss except to report them to the BBB. The bareroots were only 4 months old. I will not purchase from this place again. Does anyone know the email or mailing address for the CEO?
On Jul 11, 2020, Ishaelish (1 reviews) from Arvada, CO
I've ordered from Stark's to the Denver area a few times. Their plants come on time and in good shape. My last order came with some hiccups, but after I reached out, Stark's handled things excellently. The order shipped the week that Covid hit the US; the plants arrived dead, and a currant bush was missing from the order. Starks made good on the entire order -- shipped the whole thing again. Come July, everything is leafed out and piling on new growth. Meanwhile, some apples and raspberries that I ordered from Stark's a year ago are, also, looking beautiful. Not a thing has died.
On Jul 2, 2020, VanVoastPark (6 reviews) from Schenectady, NY
I ordered hundreds of $ of mostly fruit trees and berry plants in early 2019. Twelve of the twenty-seven plants did not survive the winter and I requested replacements in mid-May. Four of the twelve arrived in a timely fashion, but after numerous emails pushing back the shipping dates for the remaining eight, I was notified today that the rest were either no longer available, or would not be shipped until 2021. Utterly unacceptable. The only reason I rated them neutral and not negative is that Stark Bros. has agreed to refund my money for the eight plants. I will not be ordering from Stark Bros. again.
On May 21, 2020, oleusi (1 reviews) from Framingham, MA
Posted on May 6, 2020, updated May 21, 2020 Posted on May 4, 2020, updated May 6, 2020 Posted on April 30, 2020, updated May 4, 2020 I recently purchased a bareroot tree as well as several bare root berry bushes and grape vines from Stark Bros. One of the vines was completely missing from the order. The tree come more or less in tact (a few of the branches broken while being jostled, as to be expected during shipment), however all of the other much smaller bare root plants were packaged along with the tree. What this means is that all moist material was gone from the root systems of the smaller plants. The berries seemed like this was recent as the roots were still relatively moist, however the roots of grape vine I received were bone dry. The reason this is a negative review and not a neutral review is that it has been almost a week since I received my order and emailed Stark Bros about this problem, however I still have not received a single reply. I'm unable to reach them over the phone as they have disabled their phone support systems.
On May 4th, 2020, oleusi added the following: I did finally receive a response from Stark Brothers however it appears they failed to actually read through my initial email. They addressed a single point and sent the item that was missing, however they didn't even bother addressing the poorly packaged bare root plants that were shipped dry
On May 6th, 2020, oleusi added the following: I've had several rounds of back and forth with Stark Bros at this point and they still haven't even acknowledged the dead grapes shipped in my order. Every time I email them they respond with the same canned response about being busy and shipping taking longer than usual without addressing the matter at hand
On May 21st, 2020, oleusi changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following: I'm changing this review from negative to neutral. I had an email exchange with Tabitha, the customer service manager, explaining the problems I've had with Stark Brothers customer service and she offered a very generous good-faith offer. I'm hoping my bad experience with the product quality and customer service is a byproduct of the current state of the world rather than a reflection of Stark Brothers so I'll give them another shot and If I have a good experience next season with them I'll upgrade this to a positive review. I really want to stress that Stark Bros has gone above and beyond trying to rectify my experience and I'm grateful that they made this effort.
Company representative comment on May 19, 2020:
On May 19, 2020 1:20 PM, Stark Brothers Nurseries & Orchards Company responded with:
We appreciate you sharing your experience and feedback with us. Every email that we receive is sent an auto reply just to let you know that we have indeed received your inquiry along with an expectation of when to expect a reply. This is not a resolution email.
On Apr 26, 2020, BostonPlanted (11 reviews) from Boston, MA (Zone 5b)
Posted on April 24, 2020, updated April 26, 2020 I found Stark Bros customer service to be very good. They were just super helpful to me. Almost every nursery seems to have delays right now. I work for a company that ships items, not garden-related. We have been shut down temporarily by the state twice now and had to appeal. We could resume operation but with less people working. Employees in most companies right now are free to call out and take as much time off as they see fit, and they do. So I can see why there may be varying delays in processing and shipping orders. Often in these times, there are many unknowns.
On April 26th, 2020, BostonPlanted added the following: Trees arrived a great condition. A plum tree was the supreme type, it’s about 4’ trunk almost an inch thick and a another foot of roots. The other 4 regular bare root pear and cherry trees are 3’ and lots of roots. All are budding. I’m actually very pleased. there are no dead dried roots to cut away, no dead dried branches. They’re also pruned correctly. You don’t want a lot of branches when planting a bare root tree. The branches left are cut back hard and spaced well.
Company representative comment on May 19, 2020:
On May 19, 2020 1:27 PM, Stark Brothers Nurseries & Orchards Company responded with:
Thank you so much for leaving your feedback. This has been a very difficult spring for many businesses and we have been fortunate to have remained open. It truly has had its challenges and we greatly appreciate our customers for being patient and understanding during these unprecedented times.
On Apr 21, 2020, Sue22 (1 reviews) from Lake City, PA
Generally happy with this company and their products. I have purchased blueberry plants and a few apple trees. The blueberries are doing great. However last year, one of my Honeycrisp apple trees snapped off at the graft for no apparent reason. No storms, nothing. Fully leafed tree, lying on the ground. I called (last October) and told them the tree was ordered about 2 years ago. The person said they could refund my money and I could buy another, or they could replace it in Spring. I had bought it on sale, so I opted to get it replaced, and they said to call back in Spring. I called (April 2020), and they now say they will not replace anything ordered over a year ago. Should have taken the refund.
On Apr 19, 2020, NDPASR (1 reviews) from Rochester, PA
We just recently moved, and were looking for a company to supply new plants for us. We found Stark Bros while looking for a specific type of berry bush that isn't sold locally, so we decided to order it from them as a test to see how they'd do for supplying the rest of our starter needs. We ordered from them on April 2nd, were charged in full, and were initially quoted that it would arrive April 8th. I received an email several days later informing us that the order had been pushed back to the 17th. Days later we received another email informing us that they were pushing it back to the 24th. At this point I attempted to call them only to find their phones had been turned off, and so was forced to email them telling them that my patience was wearing thin, and that I either wanted my product or a full refund. They replied with a completely meaningless apology letter telling us that due to the coronavirus that the order could be pushed back up to a week. At that point it had been pushed back 2 1/2 weeks. They then pushed it back again, this time without notification, to the 25th. Mind you that this entire time they were still taking orders for the plant, and were still quoting less than a week's delivery time. I replied to their response only to receive another pointless reply saying that some of their products needed more time to grow. They then pushed the order back, again without notification, to the 28th. It was at that point that I canceled my order. Nothing but pointless emails and lies. I'll never deal with this company again, and suggest nobody else does either. Other major growers shut down new orders to fill what they had during this outbreak, and as noted by another reviewer, other growers were still fulfilling their order requests. Stark Bros was simply pocketing money and hoping people wouldn't notice/care due to the virus. Total crooks. Awful, unprofessional, no customer service, crooked liars that just give you the runaround. I haven't checked my bank yet, but if I haven't received a full refund I will be taking legal action, and suspect it won't be the first in a series of lawsuits leveled against these thieves.
On Apr 12, 2020, Baila (1 reviews) from Columbus, OH
I placed my order on March 18th 2020 and was given a date of delivery last week in March. When that date came and went I received an email and I was given another date of April 11. After that date passed I was given yet another date at the end of April. Now I can't raise a response from them. For background, I called when I received the notice of April 11 and was then promised over and over that it would be the 11th. I can see now I was lied to, more than once. Here’s the rub, had I been told the truth all those weeks ago I would have bought from another place (can’t now because they are all sold out). I can name 5 nursery companies that have sent orders out despite the national crisis, the same crisis thst Stark Bro's uses as an excuse to take money and NOT fill and send the orders, That is generally considered fraud and gouging. The crisis only elevates that charge and does not excuse it. Neither is legal in MO or any other state. At this point I have no reasonable expectation of a remedy so I am filing a complaint with the attorney general of the state of MO and will also file a complaint with the task force set up to investigate deceptive practices, gouging and fraud done under the excuse of COVID 19. Maybe that will alert Stark Brothers that actually sending peoples orders is in fact what they are supposed to do. I would buy from any other place that had in stock but SB made that not possible because Stark Bro’s kept up the deception and basically lied over and over and strung me along. Nothing more I can do except hope the attorney general investigates and I imagine they will because bottom line Stark Bro's have used a national crisis for their own profit. I think most gardening and growing consumers will have the same take away—shame on Stark Bros, America is suffering and Stark Bros is basically stealing and lying to people. I would, if I could, get from ANY other place. In fact it disgusts me to have to deal with people that have exploited a crisis so blatantly as a cover for unethical business practices. I am ashamed to have done any business with Stark Bros. I have called them. I have emailed them and they have not filled the order and kept stiringing it along. I contracted with garden help for the day after the 3rd time they promised and now they can't even do that. I have been ripped off. They basically stole money and because they lied 3 different times. I was stupid enough to wait for them now I can't get what I need anywhere. You might want to take note that in fact Stark Bros is the only company in the mail order and online nursery trade that is failing to fill orders. This I can prove. Because I have been ripped off and lied to and basically scammed and I am going to alert in detail every gardening and organic gardening site on the internet and on social media and let the community know exactly how Stark Bros destroyed my family’s garden in the most needed season of the past 100 years—disgusting and beyond contempt. They have done nothing to remedy the situation. They stole money and lied and scammed me into waiting for an order they clearly have no intention of sending in time to be planted this season. Now I am SOL. My family garden is trashed because of Stark Bros. what gets me is the fact they should have not taken an order they could not fill but they were so greedy and had so little care about people who depend on their gardens they just kept lying and string me along. If I get rotten dead plants by sometime May I am supposed be happy--whoopy. I have never ever seen any company pull something like it. Let me be clear I ordered from 5 other companies all in Mid and late March and they all sent on time and there were no problems. Stark Bros is really very unethical.
Company representative comment on May 19, 2020:
On May 19, 2020 1:36 PM, Stark Brothers Nurseries & Orchards Company responded with:
We are truly sorry that we made you feel this way. Our entire team of growers, production, shipping, and customer service, have been working overtime to help ensure our customers get the healthiest plants as quickly as possible while still doing our very best to keep our staff safe during these unprecedented times. This is not an excuse and we do operate a very ethical business keeping our customers and staff's best interest in mind.
On Apr 2, 2020, Botanist3 (4 reviews) from Stanardsville, VA (Zone 6b)
I ordered 12 raspberries on Feb. 3. Stark Bros. charged my card the full amount. On March 18, HALF of the order was shipped; the other 6 plants were "out of stock". Worse, they did not refund my card, they basically stole the money and put it in my "Stark Account". I don't want an account with a deceitful company. After this stunt, I may never order from them again. Now, I'll have to issue a credit card dispute in order to get my money back. If you want your money disappearing into the bank of Stark, take your chances. I emailed them, asked politely for a refund and they did not comply. The company is going down the toilet, like so many once honorable vendors.
Company representative comment on April 7, 2020:
On Apr 7, 2020 10:27 AM, Stark Brothers Nurseries & Orchards Company responded with:
We appreciate you sharing your feedback. We’re very sorry to learn of your experience. Our credits are definitely refundable and this should have been offered to you in response to your email.
On Jan 17, 2020, frostpocket (1 reviews) from Tallahassee, FL
On January 10, I ordered 3 pawpaw varieties online and was given an estimated delivery date a week in the future, specifically January 17, 2020. That sounded great! I created an account so that I could follow the progress of my order. I logged in on January 14 and found that the estimated delivery date had changed to 01/19. Ok a delay, but only 5 days in the future. However, I subsequently logged in everyday for the next three days and each time found that the delivery date had been pushed farther out by just a day or two, each time the delivery date being from 5 to 7 days in the future. Here's what I think Stark Brothers does. They give an initial delivery date that is close, in my case a week away, so as to secure the sale, and then little by little they adjust the date farther into the future so as to keep the date approximately a week in the future. They do this to keep you "on the hook" rather than being honest about not having stock available, or order processing manpower available, to fill your order as promised when you made it. This procedure is harmful to the horticulturist because it lulls him or her into not searching for other sources for the particular plant he or she desires. Near the end of the cool season planting window when nursery stocks are low for many varieties, this can result in the horticulturalist not getting the plants at all. Shame on you Stark Brothers. Do you have this deceptive-delivery-date shifting programmed into your order handling software?
Company representative comment on January 27, 2020:
On Jan 27, 2020 12:44 PM, Stark Brothers Nurseries & Orchards Company responded with:
I am very sorry that the estimated delivery date has kept changing on your order. We have made a lot of improvements to avoid situations like this and our team needs to have an in-depth discussion to figure out what the issue is so that we can resolve this immediately. Our relationship with you is extremely important to us, and we never want our errors to set you off track. We never meant to make you feel deceived.
On Oct 31, 2019, glm76 (1 reviews) from Suffolk, VA
I purchased nine fruit trees and sixteen blueberry bushes from Stark Bros last week. I received my shipment in just five days! The plants arrived in a large box, very safely packed with cardboard sheeting and large plastic air bubbles between the plants. Every plant's pot was wrapped and sealed in its own plastic bag. Every tree was staked in its pot and all the plants looked to be in very well cared for before shipment and beautifully pruned. The blueberry bushes even had a little mulch around the top of their pots. Stark Bros' EZ-Start pots are very easy to transplant from and they obviously permit a healthy root system to develop. I love how, once you register on the Stark Bros website and give your location, every product page indicates whether the plant is suitable for your growing area. I am a happy customer!
On Aug 22, 2019, elpasquedo (1 reviews) from Independence, OH
Earlier this year, I ordered 6 apple trees (2 Enterprise, 2 Jonafree, 2 Goldrush all semi-dwarf supreme) from Stark Bros. The order arrived on time and the trees were packaged well with wet newspaper strips around their bare roots and loose plastic lining the box. The trees looked healthy as far as I could tell (I am very new to apple trees). I wasn't able to plant them for a few days and kept the roots moist, like instructed, and the trees did fine. The trees came with a little instruction booklet on how to plant that was helpful. Each tree was between 4-5' tall, as described on the website for supremes. Some had a few branches left on them, but most were just whips. The trees were planted in mid-April and responded well. I planted them in a mix of the soil, hummus, and roto-tilled partially decayed leaves. When spring truly broke, they started producing leaves. Now August, most are at least a foot taller, many have produced large lateral branches and are leafed out fairly well. I am very happy with purchasing from Stark Bros. The trees appeared very healthy to me and have flourished. On another note, the Stark Bros website was very helpful when choosing trees. They had certain varieties of apples I was looking for that other companies did not. I also like the descriptions they give of the sizes of trees, the characteristics of each type, etc.
Company representative comment on August 30, 2019:
On Aug 30, 2019 11:38 AM, Stark Brothers Nurseries & Orchards Company responded with:
Thank you for leaving us such a wonderful review. We are thrilled that you loved your experience; our team will definitely be happy to read what you wrote. We put quality and customer satisfaction as our priority, and your review reaffirms the hard work we put in every day. So thanks for your kind words and we look forward to being your nursery of choice in the future.
On Jul 9, 2019, taufgardner (21 reviews) from American Fork, UT
Posted on May 17, 2019, updated July 9, 2019 Posted on November 25, 2013, updated May 17, 2019 Posted on July 21, 2011, updated November 25, 2013 Posted on September 25, 2010, updated July 21, 2011 Posted on June 23, 2010, updated September 25, 2010 Posted on June 9, 2010, updated June 23, 2010 After my Elephant Heart Plum that was purchased locally (not through Stark Bros.) had not produced after the fourth year, I found it needed a pollinator. I don't like other plums, but Stark Bros. had a variety (Delicious) that looked similar and could pollinate my Elephant Heart. Of course, my other trees are in full leaf and so my order was VERRRRY late. In fact, I was told I called it in on about the last day Stark Bros. would even ship bare root at all. They recommended waiting until fall so I would have a better experience with the tree. But I could not wait and ordered anyway... Well, the tree came today. I was expecting a leftover that I could nurse in a corner of my property for primarily pollinating purposes. What I got was better than the description in the catalog. The tree was well proportioned, the roots well developed, and there were clear indications of life, including new root shoots and swelling buds. I normally buy my trees from a friend who is a commercial grower and who gives me pick of his bare root stock. I have never picked a better looking tree myself than Stark Bros. sent me today. Stark Bros. exceeded my expectations in every way and I will definitely use them again if I am in the market for the products they carry. I recommend them highly. P.S. We are having a cool spell and wet weather for the next week, so the conditions couldn't be more ideal for this tree to succeed and I have no doubt it will.
On June 23rd, 2010, taufgardner added the following: Tree has been in for two weeks. Very much alive and well, with new buds and good growth happening. Absolutely nothing but good to say about my Stark Bros. experience.
On September 25th, 2010, taufgardner added the following: Fall is beginning and the tree met or exceeded all expectations. It grew well, has good vigor and I have no doubt it will be a productive part of my home orchard for years to come. I liked that the phone rep took the time to explain that I may want to wait on the order because of chance of failure for time of year I ordered, rather than to sell just because I was willing to buy. When I wanted to order anyway, they gave me what I wanted. What I received was terrific and better than I could get locally for the same price, plus I got to choose a variety that was specific to my needs, not just one of the limited two or three varieties that all the local nurseries seem to carry. In short, I am very happy with my Stark Bros. experience and cannot say enough good about them. I am also impressed that they watch the Watchdog and respond to many of the posts. They really do seem to realize that if quality service, great products and the customers are the focus, the business takes care of itself.
On July 21st, 2011, taufgardner added the following: Ordered grapes this year. All are doing well. I have no complaints about Stark Bros. and will use them again.
On November 25th, 2013, taufgardner added the following: Ordered Hazelnuts this year and got a replacement cherry tree. All did very well. Every item I have ever received (and I don't use the word "every" lightly) from Stark Bros. has met or exceeded my expectations. My yard is limited and I find myself feeling badly I am unable to order more items from this company. They are my favorite of all the catalog companies. I went from being very skeptical of ordering live plants to fully embracing the notion because of this company. I give this company my best recommendation. If they have a plant or tree variety you need, you will not go wrong using these guys.
On May 17th, 2019, taufgardner added the following: Update on the "Delicious" plum. Best. Plum. Ever. Compact and highly productive tree. Excellent fruit. This year, I ordered the Madame Lemoine Lilac and was amazed at the size and vigor of each plant. They were extremely well rooted, branched and with good budding. I'm very pleased. I have not had a bad experience with Stark Bros. I would order more, and more often, but there is only so much I can fit into my 1/5 acre suburban lot.
On July 9th, 2019, taufgardner added the following: Several of my Madame Lemoine lilacs actually bloomed this year. I would have paid so much more for so much less had I gone to a local nursery. By the way, the lilac is as beautiful as pictured. And the plants are large and well developed. I couldn't be happier.
Company representative comment on September 27, 2010:
On Sep 27, 2010 12:05 PM, Stark Brothers Nurseries & Orchards Company responded with:
We are so grateful: not only has your experience with our trees and plants been wonderful, but you took the time to tell us (and all here at the Garden Watchdog) about it! We're very happy to hear of your growing success. :)
On Jun 12, 2019, Slschiller (1 reviews) from Windsor, CA
I ordered some raspberries. Half the plants came back dead. I emailed them and told them. I didn’t hear back from them for a while then all of a sudden I get a shipping confirmation. They sent the order again. Ok, not the friendliest (no apology or anything), whatever. Then when the order came again, half the plants were wet rotted. I’m done with them.
On May 28, 2019, madforlabs (1 reviews) from Duxbury, MA
I'm having a very poor experience with Stark Bros. I ordered a bunch of blackberry, raspberry and strawberry plants on 5/5/19, with an estimated shipping date of 5/25/19. I did not receive them. When I tracked my order on their site, using my order number, it states that the estimated shipping date is now the end of June, with no further explanation. So, I tried to call them to find out what the delay is. No luck. I was on hold for 15 minutes before I gave up. I do a lot of ordering from online nurseries and I depend on these online nursery reviews when I'm deciding who to order from. So, it may be helpful for others to know that you won't know when your order will show up with Stark Bros and you won't be able to talk to anyone at the company, either.
Company representative comment on May 28, 2019:
On May 28, 2019 5:02 PM, Stark Brothers Nurseries & Orchards Company responded with:
Thank you for taking the time to leave this review. I am very sorry to learn that you had issues contacting customer support to check the status of your order and that your orders shipping date is delayed. Spring is our busiest time of year, and we are all very sorry for the long wait times. When you place your order, we strive to give you the most accurate estimated ship date.
On May 15, 2019, meadmkr (1 reviews) from Mc Lean, VA
3rd cancelled partial order in the last 2 years! Ordered several hundred dollars in trees back in August 2018 and months later got yet another "We’re sorry to report that the inventory we had of the following item(s) you ordered has sold out. " I can understand that some items don't grow to meet inventory but this is a growing trend and am seeing more and more negative posts. Looks like they don't want to do business with smaller homesteaders or need to hire a new inventory manager! Will NEVER again do business with them !
On May 11, 2019, Sharpchick (2 reviews) from Mabelvale, AR (Zone 8a)
On 1/5/2019, I ordered a Sicilian sunshine sweet bay tree and a Meyer Lemon tree. Based on my USDA zone 8A, I knew the bay tree would ship first, and was delighted to receive a lovely tree, which I have in a terra cotta pot and is doing quite well, with new leaves coming on weekly. However, after waiting two and a half months for the Meyer lemon, what I received was appalling. On Saturday, 4/6/2019, I opened a box to find a half dead lemon tree with leaves that look as if they had been hit by a shotgun blast. It was obvious insect damage. Since their customer service line was already closed (I got the tree around 5 p.m. my time), I sent an email. On Sunday, I took photos of the leaves. On Monday, 4/8/2019, I called customer service. I asked why anyone would have even attempted to ship a plant in this condition. No explanation on that, but I did get a refund for the tree back to my Paypal account. The customer service rep offered to send another tree, but the website was showing they were sold out. Oh no, she said, we still have them. I declined - in case they were ALL like that - and opted for the refund. New order packers? I have no idea. But if it were me, and even if it were my first day at work, I'd have looked at someone who picked THAT tree for me to pack, and asked, "Are you serious?!?" Submitted a review about it on Stark's website. They have still not posted my review. If you click on "Most recent" reviews, they skip from 12/8/18 to 5/3/19. Stark's doesn't want anyone to know they will ship out plants with insect infestations to customers. And that's a shame. Back in the day (I'm 60 and remember), Stark Bros. was a really good company with top quality plants. My experience would never have happened then.
On May 7, 2019, GAGardener19 (1 reviews) from Ball Ground, GA
I was rather surprised to see the negative comments for Stark Brother's. I have ordered various fruit trees from them several times in 2018 and again this year and have never had an issue. Online ordering is simple and I get an email with an estimated shipping date right away. I am not charged until the order ships and it has shipped every time on the date given. The trees I ordered are all growing great (now that I protected them from the hungry deer). I've ordered cherry, peach, apricot, pear, and many apple trees and all are doing great. Now the hard part is waiting for the trees to bear fruit.
On Apr 23, 2019, AenRiv (5 reviews) from Fallbrook, CA (Zone 10a)
Customer since 4/20/18, so I obviously missed the merger that some customers mention here. I was originally looking for an apple tree variety that for some reason is a major pain to find around here in Southern California - Granny Smith. Granny, BraeStar, and Mac trees that I purchased on that day are all doing great right now with Granny being loaded with flowers. I think Mac and BraeStar just need more TLC and mulch. The next order in August of 2018 added a plum, a peach, and a few brambles into my collection - all doing well currently. Another order, January of 2019 - two sour cherries and a set of honeyberries. While cherries seem to have taken off like there's no tomorrow, one of the honeyberries arrived quite beat-up looking. They already broke dormancy, and the smaller one recovered a lot quicker. Maybe I should trim the leggier one. I'm giving these honeyberries a "meh" grade for now. March of 2019 - cornelian cherry, muscadine grape 6-pack, Tribute and Tristar strawberries - all doing well, especially Tribute. Tristar are sort of slow even though they're in the same growing conditions as Tribute. April of 2019 - two filberts (already leafing), jostaberry (dormant), hardy almond (leafing), lilacs 10-pack (leafing), and rose (looks like it's going to bloom already). I'd say all of these are doing well. That sums it up as a highly positive experience. My only wish is that they wouldn't advertise pecans when they're completely out of them :)
On Apr 20, 2019, susanliu (1 reviews) from Issaquah,
It is such a poor experience ordering from this website! I ordered a Moorpark apricot tree on Apr 2nd. Till Apr 17 I didn't receive any shipping information. So I contact the support to check why, and got a very ambiguous answer on Apr 19 only. If you don't have it, tell me you don't have it directly. Then on Apr 20 I check again they tell me that they don't have it any more. So I missed out the planting season and didn't buy from others because of the delay! And no one tell me it is out of stock without my checking!
On Mar 10, 2019, Tayman44 (5 reviews) from West Boxford, MA
I bought trees, berries, asparagus, and supplies from Miller Nurseries for over 30 years before they merged with Stark. Great products---I have blueberries and fruit trees still bearing after 35 years. With Miller gone, I started doing business with Stark. In that time, about half of the trees and berries bought from Stark have died. Yes Stark will replace once, but half the replacements died. Since I've been planting for nearly 50 years with success on the same land, I don't think it's me. I will no longer buy plants from Stark. A lessor reason is their refusal to let you pick the delivery date for plants on their website as all the other companies I deal with do. Instead, you have to call in. If you do and get the little old lady I got last year, she'll tell you they must ship to my area in March because the USDA says they have to ("...it's the law.")(!!). Last year on 15 March we had frozen ground and 3 feet of snow. It's not the date, it's charging your credit card that Stark wants to do ASAP after receiving your order. In all fairness, Stark does have a good selection of specialized fertilizers at reasonable prices if you buy in bulk. I'll still buy those.
On Jan 14, 2019, Pierce63 (1 reviews) from Bonnots Mill, MO
Since 2015 i have spent nearly $1000 with Stark Bros. Every time i have attempted to do business with this company it has been disappointing to frustrating. As an example: My last order was nearly impossible to place. Upon placing it there were a few items that they didn't have in stock even though the site registered them in stock. Stark decided to send a different variety as a replacement. This action was not ok'd by me. They sent an email declaring their intensions and i had to quickly call them to stop their mistake. The solution i chose was to cancel those items. After the credit did not post on my account i had to call them again to insure i got my money back. Recently, i tried to order again (glutton for punishment). Being a fellow Missourian i wanted to invest in local businesses. This was not to be. After spending hours trying - unsuccessfully - to place my online order i contacted customer service. As with every other time of contacting customer service, i found no satisfaction. In both, phone contact and live chat, they were incapable of resolving the problems with their site, or give a workable solution. In chat today, customer service informed me that the problem is with my system. I find this replete with error. All the different sites i do business with and this is the only one that has trouble taking my order/money. I would not recommend this nursery to anyone. Avoid at all cost. All of the varieties one could get from Stark can be found on other nursery sites that do work and are operated by companies that understand customer service.
On Oct 9, 2018, freetofarm (1 reviews) from Tyrone, PA
In March of 2014 I purchased from Stark an Idared apple, Damson plum and Green Gage plum. They were delivered promptly and planted right away. All grew well, and still do. That's the good news. Of course, it took three years to see what was actually delivered. The Idared and Damson produced a few fruits in 2017 and were confirmed as correct. The Green Gage, however, clearly was not. Rather than producing greenish-yellow plums in July as planned, it produced red/purple plums in late August, along with my other plums (which I was intentionally trying to avoid.) In late August, 2017, I left a message on Stark's site detailing the issue. We exchanged e-mails, including photos of my fruit, and we decided that it was a Santa Rosa tree. (I've had Santa Rosas before, and this seemed likely.) Stark promised to discuss my issue with "management" and get back to me. This did not occur. I checked Stark's site and found the Green Gage no longer offered. So was this an intentional substitution on their part? No way to know, but that would be disturbing given how much time and effort goes into bringing a tree to fruition. The Santa Rosas are a decent plum, but not what I had planned for. Not having heard back, early this September (2018) I replied to their final e-mail from a year ago, asking whether anything was going to be done. To date, I have heard nothing. Not all of my experiences with Stark Brothers have been negative, evidenced by the Idared and Damson. But this one suggests a disregard for the presumption that the customer actually knows what he wants and would know the difference. I'm out four years and the price of the tree, and now feel the need to find another nursery.
On Sep 17, 2018, HomeGarden10011 (1 reviews) from Lancaster, OH
Let me start by saying I've never left a negative review on any company and to go through this much trouble and actually spend time in making others aware of how bad the company is, is just ridiculous to me! but here it goes..... Originally I bought 7 fruit trees from them back in December of 2016. ALL of them DIED! 3 died before the next winter came, they did replace those quickly in the fall of 2017. Come spring of 2018 they were all dead. I called and asked for replacements. Some of the trees were not available so I had to pick another species of tree. I had to persuade the company in replacing the 3 that were replaced in the fall. I did this by upgrading the size of the tree but had to pay for the difference in the two sizes. Not a bad deal, I thought they would make it through the winter if they were bigger. WRONG! They ALL DIED again. Come spring of 2018 not a single tree lived. I called the company and asked for replacements. Guess what, most of the original trees I bought were no longer available. So once again I spent more time on the phone picking out new trees to order. Approximately 2 months later I received an email saying we apologize for the inconvenience but your trees are no longer available. This happened 3 times!!! The 3rd time I received the same email about my trees being unavailable I called and asked for a full refund. They stated I would receive $50 back. I said excuse me? I ordered $180 worth of trees in 2016 and not one of them are living and your going to give me $50 back. She asked what do you think you should receive. I told her I have no idea because I've had to call in so many different times and re-order completely different trees, and some I upgraded the size of that I don't know where I stand anymore. I told her I had full faith in the company to do the right thing but they kept putting me on the back burner. I felt as if someone else ordered the same trees I did and they were purchasing for the first time they would push their order in front of mine. Thus me receiving emails that the trees were no longer available and they apologize. Every time this happened I had to call back and re-order and re-order..... She blamed it on mother-nature.... She tried saying that the company policy is that they replace the tree once with no charge. My ADVISE to you is if you order from them and the first tree dies. Get your money back and don't let them keep it on file until your next tree arrives. You'll be waiting almost 2 years like I did and never receive your trees. In the end, after being on the phone and arguing with her, she stated she would give $150 back. I was happier to hear $150 compared to $50 but was still disappointed. After all the of the time and effort I had to put into trying to receive trees I was just fed up with their lack of commitment to a customer. Do yourself a favor and buy from someone else!
On Jul 5, 2018, Hobbyplanter (3 reviews) from Kendall, WA
Plants typically very tiny, and do not meet expectations. Actual turn around time if they prosper is more than 4 years from time of planting, i'd be optimistic if i said 6 solid years of continual growth may get you your tree ideal tree start. The attraction to buying grafted plants is not waiting till you are 75 years old to reap the rewards. Stark Brothers doesn't meet that expectation. They do have some interesting or unique varietals but that is the most positive thing i can say about them. Grafting methods are sloppy or haphazard, they apply the if it ain't broke I won't try to fix it methodology. Height of tree is heavily leveraged on ads and on the site, instead of selling you a thick tree that will prosper faster you get a sick and thin looking plant. Health and condition of plants sold are very unpredictable.
Company representative comment on July 9, 2018:
On Jul 9, 2018 2:40 PM, Stark Brothers Nurseries & Orchards Company responded with:
Thank you for your specific comments. Being able to identify the problem is the first step in fixing it. That said, it seems like you experienced multiple problems, which is an unusual occurrence for our company. We have been in business for more than 200 years and our growers and grafters are very skilled. Consequently, your post raises some significant concerns for us. We’d like to discuss these issues with you personally, so we can make this right for you and correct any internal problems. If you would kindly call our Customer Support Team at 800.325.4180 and identify yourself by referring to your Dave’s Garden post, we will be delighted to speak with you.
On Jul 3, 2018, Imcara (1 reviews) from Sicklerville, NJ
Posted on June 19, 2018, updated July 3, 2018 I ordered Everbearing strawberry plants from Stark brothers 3 springs ago, several of the plants arrived completely dead but I understand that that happens. Unfortunately the plants they sent me were NOT everbearing but June plants! I have consistantly gotten one HUGE crop of strawberries in June and then nothing for the rest of the summer!!!! 75% of the berries go to waste because there’s no way my family can eat them all! As an amateur gardener I had NO way of knowing they sent the wrong plants but as professionals they have to be completely incompetent or just completely dishonest...personally I feel they are just dishonest scum!!! Their prices were also higher than other companies but the other conpanies were out of stock by the time that I ordered and had too many scruples to rip me off...Stark brothers had no problem with it!!!
On July 3rd, 2018, Imcara added the following: Though publicly Stark Brothers offered to try to rectify their mistake, I had emailed them first and only posted this review after they ignored my email and phone call. I can’t figure out how to paste a copy of their response but they basically said that they most certainly were a reputable company and if I had a complaint that I should have contacted them the first spring when I received the plants...how I was supposed to know the tiny muddy twigs with maybe a tiny leaf on them weren’t the plants I ordered I don’t know and they didn’t explain! They then told me to find another nursery! Lol if you are reading this and want decent, reasonably priced plants that are the plants you ordered, I highly recommend that you order from a different nursery as well!!!!
Company representative comment on June 21, 2018:
On Jun 21, 2018 2:28 PM, Stark Brothers Nurseries & Orchards Company responded with:
Thank you for leaving your honest review. We regret learning that the strawberries shipped to you were the wrong variety. We completely understand your frustration and disappointment as growing strawberries takes time and patience. We truly never meant to send you the wrong product.
On Jun 19, 2018, chamba (1 reviews) from Delphos, OH
Very disappointed with the packing and delivery of pear trees ordered. I met the FEDEX truck and the driver took the torn box out and said it was received that way--one end had been completely ripped off. Two of the 4 trees ordered had shipped, the 2 not shipped were marked "unavailable" on the invoice, with no prior notice. The 2 trees that arrived had a small amount of damp newspaper at one end of the box, and the roots had dried (for who knows how long). Since I was planting at a location out of state from my home, I had no choice but to put the trees into the ground and hope for the best. This was the worst plant delivery I experienced on this planting venture, with purchases made from several plant suppliers from several locations. I will not order from Stark again, as their performance did not live up to what they advertised. So sorry, as my time and money were both wasted, and planting options suboptimized, despite the effort of planning for 8 months.
Company representative comment on June 21, 2018:
On Jun 21, 2018 2:22 PM, Stark Brothers Nurseries & Orchards Company responded with:
Thank you for leaving your honest review. We are very sorry to hear that your package was delivered damaged and missing trees due to them being unavailable at the time of shipping without proper notification. We strive to fill each order as it is received and completely understand your frustration and disappointment.
On May 22, 2018, TexanNNewYork (1 reviews) from Gansevoort, NY
I have bought quite a few items from this company including fruit trees and garden plants--apple trees, cherry trees, raspberries, blueberries, asparagus etc and have had only a few issues that were not attributable to them. I had a bare root cherry tree that must have been delivered upside down the whole way. The leaves had started to rot and eventually fell off. I planted the tree and that was two years ago--the tree rebounded and is growing great. I had some raspberries that were abused by the shipping company--it looked like he body slammed the box after dropping it off at my front door. Starks replaced them all with no questions asked. As far as shipping dates are concerned, they have either beat their estimate or were right around it. They have always sent me an email with a ship date and tracking numbers. Everything that wasn't abused by the shippers always seemed to be in great shape. I've only had one blueberry bush die after arriving. That bush was replaced the next spring per my request. Again--no questions asked other than for me to determine that it is was dead by doing a scratch test. I'll buy from these guys again
On May 22, 2018, Eeezy (1 reviews) from Lynchburg, VA
After ordering a citrus tree trio for Mother’s Day, there was very little communication and some hiccups once my order had been received, just a damaged plant, initially the customer service was not great but after calling and speaking to the customer service manager my transaction went smooth as silk from there. Tabatha and her customer support team at Stark Bro’s really did a great job of quickly sending me a replacement tree, and all three are amazing, showing new growth within only a few weeks of being put into some Coast of Maine bar harbor potting soil and feeding with Jacks citrus tree food. I will definitely not hesitate to order from Stark Bro’s in the future, a little hiccup in the beginning but they definitely made up for it and retained my business.
On May 3, 2018, cepeders (1 reviews) from Moorestown, NJ
I have ordered a couple dozen fruit trees and vines from Starkbros over the last few years. I have never had any issues with the plants, they have always been large and healthy. Their website is also very informative.
On May 1, 2018, skinner23456 (1 reviews) from Bountiful, UT
I should have read these negative reviews and followed their advice. I ordered 8 peach trees of different varieties during their promotion free shipping time. I was charged the shipping and when I contacted them regarding this they told me that my order was placed after the promotion was completed (even though my receipt said free shipping). It took a while, but I was refunded the shipping. I then got an email stating that my order had been shipped and that there would be 11 trees delivered instead of the 8 I ordered. When my order arrived there were only 5 trees. I contacted customer service again and they told me that I would need to wait until the fall or spring of next year to get the rest of my trees. When I asked why they didn't notify me they said that I was notified by email about the delivery which was clearly wrong. I know people make mistakes, but there were mistakes made that were avoidable and not remedied very well by the company. It has been a disappointing experience.
Company representative comment on June 21, 2018:
On Jun 21, 2018 2:16 PM, Stark Brothers Nurseries & Orchards Company responded with:
Thank you for leaving your honest review. We are very sorry to hear about all the troubles you’ve had with this year’s order. We strive to fill each order as it is received and completely understand your frustration and disappointment. We value our customers and understand how important it is to offer exceptional service- and we clearly failed to do so this time. There have been some process changes because of your review. Going forward customers will be notified much sooner if we have an issue with our products.
On Apr 15, 2018, willisjw (10 reviews) from Frederick, MD
The fruit trees may survive but it will not be because of the packing. The plants arrived with a wet blob of newspaper at one end of the box and the dry roots at the other end of the box. Very poorly done.
Company representative comment on April 16, 2018:
On Apr 16, 2018 10:21 AM, Stark Brothers Nurseries & Orchards Company responded with:
Thank you for leaving your honest review. We are very sorry to hear that your order was packaged poorly. The wet newspaper does have a tendency to move around inside the box during transit. It should have been wet enough to keep moisture inside the package so the roots would not dry out. This is why we suggest soaking the tree’s roots in a bucket or large tub of water one to two hours before planting.
On Apr 11, 2018, gardenupastorm (2 reviews) from Granville, IL
I ordered 50 strawberry plants from Stark Bros on March 26th. They shipped out on April 9th, which I was at first a little upset with, but then realized it made sense given it's still only early April and that they're likely very busy with shipments this time of year. I received my bare root plants today, the 11th, and counted exactly 50 plants, all alive from what I can tell. Being used to buying bare root plants only to find half of them dead, I was pleasantly surprised. Some of the best prices I could find for strawberries, too! I almost certainly will do business with them again.
Company representative comment on April 16, 2018:
On Apr 16, 2018 9:53 AM, Stark Brothers Nurseries & Orchards Company responded with:
We appreciate your positive review. We love being your partner in growing your own legacy and are honored that you selected us.
On Dec 24, 2017, hudsonlab (1 reviews) from Rockville Centre, NY
I have ordered blackberries, strawberries, and apple and peach trees from Stark Bros. and have always received plants in excellent health. Indeed, the everbearing strawberry plants produced a nice crop of fruit during the fall of their first year (from a summer order and planting).
Company representative comment on April 16, 2018:
On Apr 16, 2018 9:53 AM, Stark Brothers Nurseries & Orchards Company responded with:
We appreciate your positive review. We love being your partner in growing your own legacy and are honored that you selected us.
On Sep 12, 2017, RobertCrandall (8 reviews) from Capac, MI
Posted on September 10, 2015, updated September 12, 2017 Posted on July 4, 2015, updated September 10, 2015 We have a small orchard (about 200 trees) and have been buying trees by Mail order and then online for about 45 years. I have gone through about every major nursery and learned a lot. I had not ordered from Starks for a long time so I thought I would try them again last year. Just so everyone understands my unique situation. We had the coldest winter in our history two years ago and our coldest February in history this last winter along with cooler than normal summers so this has been very difficult on all orchards in Michigan. We also live in a strange Micro-Environment. We have a University of Michigan weather station 8 miles away and they have completely different weather than we do here in Capac. I ordered a Spring Satin Plumcot, Green Gage Plum, Shiro Plum, Bubble Gum Plum and the Cream of the Crop Peach tree collection. I was very disappointed when they arrived. The Plums were ok but the ‘Professional Pruning was just taking off every limb and cutting to 4’ so they fit in the box. The Peach collection had to have been a mistake. I only order Supreme so they were supposed to be 4’ tall with a minimum 5/8” trunk. They were about 3’ tall and the diameter of a pencil. Plus they were clearly in poor condition. I planted them the day they arrived and the Green gage started growing within a week. The Shiro and Bubble Gum plum had very limited leave but no growth. The peaches were a total loss. Some had tiny hair-like leaves come out for about 3 days then turn jet black like they were burned by fire. The only one that had leaves was the Elberta Queen but it never leafed out this spring and it was past the warranty. One the plus side they replaced all but the Elberta Queen without any hassle and the ones they replaced them with were in fact 4’ but still no limbs. Due to the service I gave them another shot this year. I ordered a Golden Delicious, Candy Crisp apples, Harglow Apricot, Elberta Queen, Flamin’ Fury Jumbo Peaches, Royal Giant, Sunglow Nectarines, Elephant Heart Plum and six jewel Raspberries. I have several Golden Delicious trees but know the only true ones come from StarkBros so you would think they would send out their best. In fact it was in the poorest condition and still has not started growing as of the 4th of July. Most of the other trees are going well except for the Elberta Queen which has not produced a single leaf, the harglow Apricot, Sunglo Nectarine and the Burbank July Elberta Peach (replacement for last years). I am still leaning toward Starks as my go-to but since I am in my 60s a lost year is annoying at best. I may upgrade this review depending on what happens next spring. I also use two other nurseries. They have different issues but I got 100% good trees from both of them this year. One last note; That Green gage is a freak. It’s 6’ foot tall and has limbs growing 3’ out! It may become my favorite tree when it starts producing.
On September 10th, 2015, RobertCrandall changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following: Well another summer is coming to an end and we had some of the wettest conditions in years along with a cool summer. I am upgrading my review to 'Positive'. I placed a large order of Apples, Peaches, Nectarines and Apricots this year. I had 5 trees never break dormancy by June so I cut them in half. Two of them (Golden Delicious and Reliance Peach) took off after that. 3 did not but one was a replacement so I did not ask for a second replacement. I did report the Sun Glo Nectarine and the Stark Elberta Queen did not pass the scratch test and they promptly place the order for the replacements. They would send them this fall but I find my success in better in the spring so she placed it to arrive in March. The ones I have seen the most growth on are the Green Gage from last year which is about 9' tall and branched nicely. The CandyCrisp apple grew about two foot this summer and the FlaminFury Jumbo has so many braches, I had to thin them by 50%. I am already starting to get my order ready for next spring for Stark Bros. BTW I only order the Standard Supreme if they are available.
On September 12th, 2017, RobertCrandall changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following: Well, another year. I only had two trees delivered this year and neither one got a single leaf on it despite a very good wet spring. The reason that I lowered my rating however is my big Green Gage Plum tree. It is still huge and gave us fruit this year. The plums are some of the best I have had but they are regular Prunus domestica which I have many of, not Green Gage which I ordered. I posted a question on the Stark Bros website to see if anyone else had this issue. I got an e-mail just stating that they no longer carry this variety. Not even close to an answer, so I decided to go back on the site to see if there were any other replies. I got a big drop down saying that my question had been removed from their website. So they take off the questions they don't like? This is the very description of deception. I am very disappointed in how they handled this. I am not even going to ask for replacements for the two trees that did not live this year.
Company representative comment on September 29, 2017:
On Sep 29, 2017 1:33 PM, Stark Brothers Nurseries & Orchards Company responded with:
First and foremost I’d like to apologize on behalf of Stark Bro’s. I am very sorry to learn that your question regarding the Green Gage Plum was removed from our website. I regret that we have made you feel deceived and have given you a poor customer experience—it is the exact opposite of what we pride ourselves on. We value our customers and understand how important it is to offer exceptional service. I understand your frustration.
On Aug 27, 2017, coachmeade (1 reviews) from Endicott, NY
I wanted seedless grapes and Now I've wasted another two years. If you don't know what your doing you shouldn't be in the business. Screwing up crops is probably a greater sin then killing something
Company representative comment on September 29, 2017:
On Sep 29, 2017 1:45 PM, Stark Brothers Nurseries & Orchards Company responded with:
Thank you for leaving your feedback here regarding your grape plants. We are very sorry to hear that there is an issue with your plants. We regret that we have made you feel the way you do and have given you a poor customer experience—it is the exact opposite of what we pride ourselves on. We value our customers and understand how important it is to offer exceptional service. We understand your frustration.
On Jul 3, 2017, bdeason (2 reviews) from Indianapolis, IN
Posted on June 23, 2017, updated July 3, 2017 I ordered an apple tree and a stake. I noticed that I wasn't charged the full amount. I sent a message to find out what was going on, but have not received a response. I have now received only the stake, no tree. There has been no communication from Stark Bros about whether the order for the tree has been delayed or cancelled. I have no idea whether I should wait or start looking elsewhere. I am also surprised that they would send me the stake without the tree. What am I supposed to do with just a stake?
On July 3rd, 2017, bdeason added the following: If it takes nearly two weeks to send a quick email to inform a person that their tree order has been cancelled, then it is time to hire extra help.
Company representative comment on July 3, 2017:
On Jul 3, 2017 1:14 PM, Stark Brothers Nurseries & Orchards Company responded with:
Please accept our sincere apologies for the inconvenience you have experienced in respect to your order. We apologize for the delay in our response to your email as Spring is our busiest time of the year.
On Jun 17, 2017, garlicguyII (2 reviews) from Devils Tower, WY
I placed an order for Goji and Honeyberry plants in January, to ship in mid April. Called 4/17 to check on an email they sent 4/15 that changed delivery date to a date we would be on a trip. Then they dropped the Goji's and left the Honeyberries for an unacceptable ship date. Tried to get that straightened out, but delivery didn't occur so I called CUSTOMER SERVICE again, during business hours, but got recorded message "you've called after hours". Left voicemail, but got no response. Finally called the "orders" line and got a bit of help. They order people got some action for me because we were leaving on a cruise. However, only 6 of the ten Honeyberries arrived. When I called yesterday, during business hours, I got the same "you've called after hours message twice. Finally got through and was told they would ship the rest next spring. I'm 79 years old, and waiting another year means I may not live to see a crop from them, so asked for a supervisor. Told "she's in a meeting". Asked to have her call me back. Never heard. Terrible Customer service.
On Jun 14, 2017, Mcchazo (2 reviews) from Greenlawn, NY
Posted on June 10, 2017, updated June 14, 2017 Posted on May 19, 2017, updated June 10, 2017 Just received my order, have mixed thoughts. First I placed my order on April 23rd, the order wasn't shipped out until May 15th. The package made it from MO to PA and then was sent back to Start in MO because the " shipping label is unreadable". Which made me wonder how that could be possible. Oh well, so it was sent back to MO then made it back to me in NY today. When I got the package I realized why the label was unreadable... The package was a real mess, as if they ran it over, which left me with little hope for the plants themselves. They are pretty sad looking and all the branches were broken off for the most part but I guess time will tell how they turn out. If they end up doing well I may change this to positive but as of now I'm slightly disappointed. If you're on the fence about this nursery I would look at the recent review breakdown. It may save you some frustration.
On June 10th, 2017, Mcchazo changed the rating from neutral to negative and added the following: Dropped rating from neutral to negative. One of the raspberry plants are now officially 100% dead and the other looks like it's still struggling a little. After the experience and quality of product I received from this nursery I looked through others listed on here and ordered 10 raspberry plants. ALL TEN are showing tons of growth and these were planted DORMANT AND BARE ROOT! Very disappointing. Oh well
On June 14th, 2017, Mcchazo added the following: Disregard that 'struggling' second plant, neither plant survived the abuse.
Company representative comment on June 14, 2017:
On May 26, 2017 11:15 AM, Stark Brothers Nurseries & Orchards Company responded with:
Thank you for leaving your review. We are very sorry that to hear that FedEx had issues with your package.
On Jun 14, 2017 3:05 PM, Stark Brothers Nurseries & Orchards Company added:
We are very sorry you have had a horrible experience, not only with FedEx but with our product not surviving.
On Jun 7, 2017, nh248 (3 reviews) from Strafford, NH
In the fall of 2016 I ordered a potted apricot tree. It arrived on time and was very healthy. I planted it and watered it. This spring I realized that the tree did not survive the winter.....I contacted Stark by phone and they immediately sent me a replacement tree. No complaints so far. When the new tree arrived, a couple of weeks after my phone call, I was very disappointed. When I opened the box the packing material and the plastic the tree was packed in all fell out. The roots were all dried out. This was not even a tree. It was a stick that was about 3 feet long. It did not have one branch on it. I did not have much choice, so I planted it. If this thing grows I will be very much surprised.......I sent Stark Bros. an Email expressing my displeasure at what I received as a replacement. I have not yet received a reply other than a note asking me to be patient as this is their busy time of year. If this tree/stick does not live, I will be buying a replacement, but it won't be from Stark Bros.
Company representative comment on June 14, 2017:
On Jun 14, 2017 3:17 PM, Stark Brothers Nurseries & Orchards Company responded with:
Thank you for leaving your review. We are very sorry for the delay in responding to your email as this has been our busiest spring ever. We are very saddened to learn that your replacement tree arrived in this condition.We completely understand your frustration and disappointment.
On May 8, 2017, BorderlineFarm (1 reviews) from Sturgis, MI
Terrible customer service, equally terrible product quality. Customer service will stop responding to you at their whim. 4 out of 7 fruit trees ordered last spring did not survive a full year, seemingly from bad grafts. The 3 that are alive still are in very rough shape. Contrast the fruit tree quality from 2 other vendors ordered at the same time (over 35 trees) and ALL of the other trees are doing perfectly well.
Company representative comment on May 26, 2017:
On May 26, 2017 10:36 AM, Stark Brothers Nurseries & Orchards Company responded with:
Thank you for leaving your review. We are very sorry that to hear that a few of your trees have died. Our promise of satisfaction at Stark Bro's is to provide healthy, viable trees and plants to ALL of our customers. Excellent quality of our trees and plants is our #1 value as your partner in growing.
On May 7, 2017, Oasysconsulting (1 reviews)
Ask for actual pictures of plants you want to purchase. Also ask the age. We ordered and received 8 one gallon blueberry plants. What we received were 8 2" pot sized bluberries stuck in one gallon pots. All green into the soil. No woody stalks. Base thinner than a pencil with one or two shoots. Local nurseries got their stock in. Plants anywhere from same to half the price. Multiple shoots.. some with dozens of shoots and flowering, Woody trunks and 4 to 8 times larger. Complaint to company resulted in NO response. WARNING: SEE THE PRODUCT BEFORE YOU BUY.
Company representative comment on May 26, 2017:
On May 26, 2017 10:27 AM, Stark Brothers Nurseries & Orchards Company responded with:
Thank you for leaving your review. We are very sorry that to hear that these plants were shipped in this condition. Our promise of satisfaction at Stark Bro's is to provide healthy, viable trees and plants to ALL of our customers. Excellent quality of our trees and plants is our #1 value as your partner in growing. Therefore, we completely understand your frustration and disappointment.
On May 6, 2017, Cust22181100 (1 reviews) from Columbia, MO
I am now tending my third home orchard. In the past, I have worked as a landscaper. I have been planting Stark Brothers trees for almost 50 years and I have enjoyed a lot of success growing their trees. But, since Stark Brothers merged with Miller Nurseries the quality of the plants has suffered some, and the customer service is much worse. This Spring they have just missed their 5th promised delivery date on the same order. This is particularly bothersome since I have read reviews on this site from other people that have received the same items since I placed my order. The best time for planting here would have been 2 months ago. I assume they know this since I live 100 miles from their nursery, and they promised delivery then. Had they done this on a fall order I might be planting in the middle of winter.
Company representative comment on May 26, 2017:
On May 26, 2017 10:09 AM, Stark Brothers Nurseries & Orchards Company responded with:
Thank you for leaving your review. We are very sorry for all the delays with this years order. We completely understand your frustration and disappointment as we have been just as disappointed that we had product(s) that were not ready to be shipped on time this year.