Posted on December 8, 2013, updated December 15, 2013
Visited this place a couple of times in the spring, 1 year apart. Both times found the place to be in disrepair (broken old benching, muddy, uneven walkways, broken pots, piles of dead or dying plants, etc.)
Never went back. On December 15th, 2013, MikeNJ changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
Hmmm...Sorry after reading your reply it is possible that I was wrong and have my nurseries mixed up! I apologize if that is the case.
MikeCompany representative comment on December 9, 2013: On Dec 9, 2013 6:42 PM, Triple Oaks Nursery & Herb Garden responded with:
This is a very curious review, the rows in our nursery are mostly straight on a grid, with pea gravel river rock covering all areas and there is no mud, and there are no benches in the front except one concrete table with concrete benches that are not broken and not in disrepair. Our nursery stock is not near any "piles" of dead plants, if a plant dies and is pulled it may stay temporarily at the end of a row. But in spring, that is really not the case. And with our attentive staff and irrigation system, its only a tiny percentage of plants, and at peak season anything is moved out quickly.
Now you may accurately be describing our compost area way out back, outside of the retail area. We are a working nursery and landscape service, we do have an area with some stone, empty pots, and the large compost pile where plants removed from a landscape job would be put to compost. There is a broken bench there. After heavy rains, there can mud there, although we have very well drained sandy loam soil and mud does not last very long. Every single nursery in the world has one area like this.
This is one of my favorite places to shop for plants, particulary rare and hard to find items. They carry every conceivable herb, as well as hard to find hydranges, trees, and shrubbery. I came across them when attending the Philadelphia Flower Show, and have never regretted a purchase since. Today, I called about purchasing perennials I will need to plant for a May wedding, and they were gracious, helpful, and actually went out to peruse their huge inventory to check on availability. In the summer, one of their salespersons walked me around their grounds, showing me rare historical items.Will shop with them again
davidrt28 Columbia, MD (Zone 7a) (10 reviews) June 27, 2010
All of the plants I have ordered from them were well grown, bushy specimens, and have performed beyond my expectations. I'm particularly happy with the Gardenias I bought here. Overall a great place to get hardy subtropicals.
After researching, I decided to plant a camellia. I called and spoke to both owners a number of times. They were very nice and agreed to send me a plant. They recommended shipping in mid march. I was surprised but they are the experts. So I purchased the plant in Dec. For delivery in March. They shipped a beautiful plant with very good instructions. I followed the instructions line by line even calling to check.
A week after planting the leaves started to fall off and eventually the plant died.
I had been contact since the trouble became apparent. All sorts of recomendations were made but none solved the problem.
I have since bought a replacement although I was advised not to plant another in the same place by the owner. It is thriving. The owner tells me that they are not a shipping nursery, but that my plant was the nicest they had and that all of their camillias are doing beautifully.
She will not replace the plant or refund any portion of my plant cost or shipping. Not great business. Very dissapointed! Will not shop or recommend this business.On July 14th, 2009, citynshore added the following:
I NEVER DEMANDED ANYTHING! You did not return my phone calls, so I became frustrated. I've learned my lesson though and will not do business with you again. For you to post my name is just bad business, but I expect that. The Tagged was a virus, and no fault of mine, but I guess you must protect your own business. The plant I bought elsewhere is thriving. I guess I shouldn't have listened when you told me to plant in the beginning of March here in the North east. If I were really the person you say I am, I would have stopped payment with my credit card company.On July 14th, 2009, citynshore added the following:
Oh let me not forget that you are lying! I STILL have the plant, and NEVER threw it away. You told me to put it in the ground and wait until next year to see if we could have a better result. The plant is still in the ground in another place. YOU NEVER HINTED THAT YOU WOULD WORK WITH ME ON A REPLACEMENT. That was all I wanted. It is apparent that you are nasty people. And check because I joined this forum in 2007. You were just as nasty to someone else who had a negative experience with you! Good Luck with your business. LOLCompany representative comment on July 8, 2009: On Jul 8, 2009 12:14 PM, Triple Oaks Nursery & Herb Garden responded with:
I assume this citynshore is Pei Lazar, and I'm very surprized to read your review but not surprized that you registered for Dave's Garden just for this one review and are not a member of this community but only signed up for this one "review".
I will take this opportunity to explain our decision and our policy.
Our mail order policy, which is consistent with mainstream mail order nurseries requires to be notified of a problem within 7 days of receiving the plant. As you accurately stated, both owners spent a great deal of time with you to select the right plant which was a 3-4' Parks Hybrid Camellia x 'April Tryst'. When your plant was shipped in March, it was as you stated very beautiful and top quality and a magnificent specimen with dark green glossy foliage and loaded with flower buds. It was shipped at the right time (December would have been the wrong time as I pointed out and we specifically waited until the cold of early March was past and using the NWS 14 day outlook for guidance, and it was very healthy and the weather outlook fine. We heard from you upon receipt by phone what a gorgeous, healthy and huge plant it was and how happy you were with it. How could you be otherwise the plant was outstanding. The rest of the crop here in the nursery or planted in other customer's gardens have been fantastic with not a single problem reported out of several dozen.
In mid June, I received an email stating that Pei Lazar had "tagged" me to look at some photos. No note or text from you just an invite to join and see the photos after. I attempted to see the photos but was prompted to sign up for a social networking service and I did not want to do so and therefore was unable to view the photos. Based on our conversations and how incredible that plant was I figured it was a beautiful photo of the beautiful plant in your yard since I received no indication otherwise.
A week later I got several hostile phone messages in a 24 hour period. Upon speaking to one employee who took one of them she explained that you felt the need to throw a tantrum and berate her and demand a refund. This may be the way it works in New York City but its not the method of choice here in South Jersey, and if you are looking for an exception to our policy, which IS possible, that is definately not the way to go about it.
The day after your hostile messages, you spoke to the other owner and at that point you had apparently already thrown away the plant and demanded a refund.
Within our warrenty policy, we do not offer refunds but rather replacements. Now you didn't qualify for a replacement since your plant was healthy and outstanding and you verified that upon receipt. You notified of us of a problem in mid June after receiving it in mid to late March. Instead of being polite you felt it necessary to attempt to humiliate our clerk who was a senior in high school. And while we don't offer refunds and require proof of death of a plant and for you to return the dead plant, you threw it away and only demanded a refund.
I'm sorry you had a bad experience with our company, but in our defense you were not a model customer and you completely ignored our policies and procedures and after killing a stupendous plant, you were rude and ignorant about it. All you had to do was be respectful and civilized and we would have sent you a replacement but you chose a different way to handle yourself. I'm sorry after all we did for you that it did not work out.
Had you called in before the plant was dead and gone I could have attempted to figure out whether you watered it too much or not enough, or whether it was planted too deep and to trouble shoot what the problem with your site or your care was that caused the plant to die.
The_Hillers Monroeville, NJ (1 review) January 22, 2009
We have gone to Triple Oaks for over five years now and got nothing but the highest quality plants with, more importantly, the most knowledgeable staff of anywhere else we have visited.
Our property is full of a variety of (their) grasses, flowers, herbs, shrubs, hollies, evergreens, and our latest addition this past fall - a beautiful >10' Ginko tree (male, of course) at an unbeatable price. Lorraine Kiefer gave us reference material on the trees that we were looking at and spent alot of time sharing her extensive knowledge to help us plant wisely. Joe delivered it personally and offered great advice on care and planting as always.
This place is second to none in knowledge and plant quality - we haven't lost one and look forward to the spring every year as all of the plants come out bigger and better. They have immediate access to BIG trees, too.
The nursery is full, unique, and well kept. Highly recommend just visiting and walking back to the pond if you are nearby.
wind Mount Laurel, NJ (Zone 7a) (1 review) September 7, 2008
As an avid gardener, I rank Triple Oaks among my top 5 favorite nurseries. Over the years we have purchased (in person and via mail order) native plants, herbs, roses, trees, concrete statues, lovely glassware, pottery and other items in their gift shop, and have always received excellent customer service.
I am most familiar with Lorraine Keifer //www.tripleoaks.com/display.php?id=33. She has written many articles and more recently a book, "Best Garden Plants for New Jersey" //search.barnesandnoble.com/BookSearch/results.asp?ATH=Lorraine+Kiefer.
She generously shares her horticulture experiences with her customers and is a delight to speak with.On September 7th, 2008, wind added the following:
oops! I misspelled your name Lorraine, so sorry...her last name is Kiefer!
RonDEZone7a Wilmington, DE (Zone 7a) (1 review) January 20, 2008
Triple Oaks is a great resource for hard-to-find plants and subtropicals like palms and bananas, as well as native and other common cultivated plants from the mid-Atlantic region. It is one of the few nurseries around that actually propagates some of their plants. Triple Oaks seems to have healthy larger plants, with superior root systems, that transplant well. I've had better luck planting their crape myrtles, camellias, and magnolias than those from some other sources where the plants are rootbound and too large for their pots.
One of the owners, Joe Keifer, is extremely knowledgeable about plants in general, but especially in growing and wintering marginally-hardy plants in southern New Jersey and the Philadelphia area. Joe has extensive test gardens behinds the nursery where he grows hardier palms, bananas, yuccas, cactus, numerous subtropical bulb plants, camellias, and a wide variety of broad-leaved evergreens and crape myrtles. He holds plants swaps and garden tours several times a year, to those interested in growing exotic plants. Well worth a visit. !!! Triple Oaks is about a 45-minute drive from Wilmington (Delaware) or Philadelphia.
asturnut Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b) (8 reviews) September 12, 2007
I live near Triple Oaks and used to stop there frequently. I've never mail ordered from them since I live nearby, but I've always had a good experience when I've gone there. In addition to having a really nice selection of common and unusual plants (I love their herb selection) they have interesting classes and a nice gift shop. Staff is always helpful and knowledgeable.
Francymae Williamstown, NJ (1 review) February 15, 2007
I have lived in this area for 15 years and frequently shop with this company. They are knowledgeable, friendly and devoted to their craft. If you can't find it here, you can't find it anywhere. We not only buy plants here, but my husband frequently purchases rose bouquets for me and they are always beautiful. A recent purchase of Venus Fly Traps for my grandchildren came with detailed information from the staff about how to pot them, and, after following directions, the children have enjoyed them immensely. They also provided information on what to do with them over the winter season so we can restart them in the Spring. They are ALWAYS friendly and willing to take whatever time is needed to assist you with whatever your growing needs might be. I recommend Triple Oaks to anyone I know who might have gardening needs.
BenGurnee Gurnee, IL (Zone 5b) (8 reviews) October 12, 2006
I was very happy with my Triple Oaks' experience. I live in the Chicago area and I was looking for a reasonably sized American Holly. Unfortunately American Holly is rare around here (due to, I believe, our typically alkaline soils). Most of the American Hollies that I found online were smaller than I wanted. I stumbled across Triple Oak's online inventory (their offerings are not linked in PlantFiles) and found they had good sized American Hollies of a nice cultivar. I called and ended up speaking in length with Joe. Not only was he willing to ship me a large specimen, he rushed the order out the same day because I was eager to get it planted before it got too late in the season. He also provided a wealth of information and caring tips for hollies. The holly arrived very well packed and in excellent condition. Joe went well beyond my expectations on this order. I will be giving them future business!
At the end of last season, I called this company, spoke with Joe, and was delighted to get personalized attention about what items I could add to my garden that are fragrant. I ordered the following plants and each of them arrived packaged beautifully, each survived the winter and are really thriving: (1) five lily of the valleys; (2) five violas, including Konigin Charlotte; (3) one Fothergilla bush (the dwarf kind); (4) one Edgeworthia (Chinese paper plant); and (5) one Korean Spice bush (Viburnum Carlesi). These are such healthy plants - the foliage on my violas even stayed evergreen over the winter and the unusual Edgeworthia was somewhat mature with a real strong root system when it arrived from this nursery. When Spring arrived, I phoned the nursery to ask about fertilizing and got wonderful input from Joe's Mom. Nice place. Will most definitely order from them again (or do the road trip to them). On June 13th, 2006, charlenenj added the following:
Maybe it would be nice to include pics of how some of the plants look now:
JohnYurkow Franklinville, NJ (1 review) November 30, 2005
MY TREES THAT I PURCHASED FROM TRIPLE OAKS NURSERY WERE PLANTED IN APRIL/MAY OF 2004 HAVE SINCE DIED OR ARE INTHE PROCESS OF DYING AND EVEN AFTER JOE CAME OUT TO MY RESIDENCE NOTHING WAS TO RECTIFY THE SITUATION.
Company representative comment on December 2, 2005: On Nov 30, 2005 8:47 PM, Triple Oaks Nursery & Herb Garden added:
Triple Oaks Nursery & Herb Garden offers a two year warrenty policy on woody plants that we install. I have been to your residence twice now and have not been able to figure out which trees need replacing. I apologize to you for any lack of follow up on my part and for my inability to figure out what needs replacing after two visits to your residence.
In my defense, according to our warrenty policy, which is posted at our store and on our website http://www.tripleoaks.com/page.php?id=1 you are required to inform us in writing of which plant or plants would need replacement as well as providing size, price and date of your receipt to ensure that your purchase is within the warrenty period. We have an online form where you can provide us with the information that we require, right online, or you may write us via USPS or submit a written request to our office for our files. While I have been informed of your situation verbally and have visited your property twice, we have not received the information necessary or been able to figure out with visits to your property to proceed with your warrenty claim and schedule your replacements since I could find no dead trees.
You posted this same post on my nursery’s discussion forum (http://forums.tripleoaks.com/) this morning and I responded promptly that I will come out again tomorrow (Thurs) to your residence for a third time to attempt to figure out which trees you would like to make a claim for. Please understand that our warrenty does not include on site visits to determine plants needing to be replaced, and that I have come out twice already without any claim actually being made against our warrenty policy. If I am unable to figure out what trees need replacement a third time tomorrow, I may actually require you to follow our clearly stated policies and provide us with the minimal information necessary to proceed.
We are a small family owned specialty nursery. Until your post on Garden Watchdog, our rating was 100% positive because I personally make sure as the owner that everything is right and our policy is 100% customer satisfaction. Our warrenty policy is also the very best in the business, and I assure you that your trees will be replaced as soon as I can figure out what we need to be replaced.
As always, I can be reached at 856.694.4272 or email [email protected]. Or you can probably just post it here again if you prefer.
Joseph J. Kiefer, Owner
Triple Oaks Nursery & Herb Garden
On Dec 2, 2005 1:56 PM, Triple Oaks Nursery & Herb Garden added:
John, I went out to your residence again yesterday (Thursday 12/1) and saw that you tagged 1 dead and 5 trees with varying degrees of dieback. I have pulled your invoices and can find that you purchased 4 Norway Spruce. The reason that I could not identify them before was because they are among a much larger planting of evergreens that was not done by Triple Oaks, and without knowing exactly which trees you were referring to, it was impossible to figure it out since many of the other trees there not planted by Triple Oaks are also dead & dying due to a soil or drainage issue.
And that brings up the issue of the planting site. This area either has a drainage problem and/or construction site soils common to modern housing developments. This can easily be seen in the amount of dead trees there from us and from other sources. I can only vouch for our trees which I know were perfectly healthy at the time of installation and the direct reason for their poor performance is the soil situation they are in. You may contact the Gloucester County Agricultural Extension service at 856.863.0110 or find their website in the “links” section of our website: http://www.tripleoaks.com for assistance or advice on how to remedy this situation if its possible or feasable to do so.
We have ordered your replacements and will take additional soil preparation measures when replanting some time next week. Of the six tagged trees, I have record of selling you 4 so if you care to indicate which 4 you would like replaced, just let me know. If you purchased more trees additionally that were not invoiced (ie cash & carry at our cash register) then please provide us with a receipt to indicate that we need to replace all 6 trees.
Joseph J. Kiefer, Owner
Triple Oaks Nursery & Herb Garden
856.694.4272 - [email protected]
stclouser Blackwood, NJ (1 review) October 22, 2005
Variety and Service keep me coming back. I have a boggy area on my property, and I was looking for a way to dress it up. I received suggestions on ways to handle this
snapple45 Holland, OH (Zone 5b) (15 reviews) October 20, 2005
When ordering, the person who took my order arranged to have the plant shipped so that it would arrive on my day off. Thus the plant spent the minimum time in a shipping container. The best part however was the excellent quality of the plant. I have ordered over the years from many mail order nurserys and this was about the very best quality plant I have ever received, large, vigorous and well packed. Overall, a very good company to deal with.
c2garden Virginia Beach, VA (14 reviews) May 22, 2005
I placed an order with another nursery for the new Double Knockout Roses but was told a couple times that it would be "a couple more weeks before we can ship them". I found Triple Oaks on DG and decided to place an order with them. I talked to Lorraine and was told that they had them but to ship them out would take someone all day long to get them ready. I was also told that they would have to cut them down and it would cost more than the plants were worth to ship them to me. The nursery here that had them priced them at 39.99 each. Triple Oaks priced theirs at 24.99 each. I told her I wanted them and would come get them. I ordered 10. I live 5 hours away from them. Lorraine emailed me several times with information and pictures of the Double Knockouts. She offered to take me on a tour of the display gardens. When I got there she was busy with customers but did find time to show me how to get back to the gardens. My daughter and I met the only dog in the world that will fetch a rock but not a stick! Lorraine gave my daughter some corn to feed the chickens that wonder around the nursery. I was stopped by one of the customers there. She said "you must be the lady they were talking about". We chatted for a few minutes about the five hour trip and then she said she had to shake my hand for being such a "plants person". I gathered up my roses and left there without saying goodbye because Lorraine was busy.
Thank you for all the information you sent to me and thank you for the wonderful roses that I just had to have. I would make the trip again tomorrow if you had something I just had to have. You have a wonderful staff and great plants. I can tell you love what you do!!!
I ordered two "Chuck Hayes" gardenias and received big, beautiful plants. These are hard-to-find, extra-hardy gardenias which every nursery should sell, but doesn't. I guess most nurseries prefer you replace your gardenias every year after they die from the cold. (I'm in zone 7b.) I received the plants quickly. The roots in dirt were wrapped in plastic bags--no pots. I'm not sure of the purpose of not sending a pot; were they dug up from the ground? If so, I would worry about root loss. But so far (2 weeks), they seem to be doing fine. They were free of bugs and disease and the leaves were a healthy dark green. I can't rate customer service since I haven't had any complaint yet. They are more expensive than average, but they do give you your money's worth and have rare plants. I will be ordering from them again.
Bought several hardy palms that are in excellent condition and received lots of good advice. They are definitely interested in what they do. Highly recommended.
Philly Philadelphia, PA (19 reviews) April 27, 2004
Great nursery with very knowledgeable staff. Very healthy plants.
Nigella Wilmington, United States (23 reviews) January 22, 2003
I checked this site and I saw no fruit trees at all!Company representative comment on February 22, 2005: Any fruit trees would be found on our website availability found on the link to the left under "availability" We do carry a wide variety of fruit trees in 7 gallon containers. Sorry that you could not find it easily!
Joe Kiefer - owner
Triple Oaks Nursery & Herb Garden
I was doing a search for a very specific plant when I found this NJ nursery website, which is equipped with it's own search engine. They do not sell online but will ship plants mail-order style (thru email/phone). What I like is they are very up front about what they have and don't have, and they also have a wealth of articles about plants,written by the owner. I called them to place an order, and they shipped me some gorgeous shrubs I had been looking for and couldn't find in my area. They were very helpful and knowledgeable on the phone, and I got the order in a reasonable amount of time, packed very carefully. You just have to keep in mind that they are a teaching plant nursery first and a mail-order business second, so you may have to wait longer for plants to arrive, but I think it's worth it to get the best quality.