Ordered a PawPaw tree. Was not an easy process to get to order it, but I persisted.
When it came it was in a USPO mailing triangle, smashed in the middle, no plant damage.
But, the "tree" was a stick with dying small leaves. These promptly turned brown and died. I contacted the company by the only means provided, email, and got their auto reply. I waited a week and tried again for a reply. Still nothing from them.
I feel that this company is a formal joke on you. They take your money just fine, but what you get is aggravation.
Glad I only bought 1 tree as my loss is contained.
Doing business with this company is not recommended by me.
Posted on August 16, 2016, updated August 22, 2016
I do not like to leave negative ratings for a company, and will change it if the situation changes. I purchased a weeping higan cherry from empire nearly two weeks ago and never received a confirmation of sale of any kind. The credit payment went through on the day the purchase was made. I emailed the company and the email bounced back. I checked with my credit card company to find their phone number and they still have a NC phone number listed as their number even though they are now in Minnesota. Maybe they are just luddites who don't have a well functioning internet system, but given the two comments prior to mine I am beginning to wonder if I will ever hear from them at all.On August 22nd, 2016, asteric changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:
Well, this is embarrassing... I have found a response from Empire in my junk mailbox. A very polite and detailed personal response at that. Not sure why I received a notice of "failure" to send in my inbox but the other negative reviews may have predisposed me to think the worst. Anyway, they have confirmed my order and will be sending it when the weather cools a bit, which makes perfect sense. I do hope not too many people read my review since I wrote it a few days ago.
brett24 Birmingham, AL (1 review) February 17, 2016
Posted on February 11, 2016, updated February 17, 2016
I ordered a large aspen tree for my wife for Valentine's day. Paid 20.90. The tree arrived today. Its not the tree I ordered, and is small. There is a note on the packaging that they were out, so they "adjusted the price,refunded to paypal" Well there is a plant here that I didn't need for the gift due to the size, which is why I didn't order this size in the first place. AND THERE IS NO REFUND TO PAYPAL. Thanks and happy valentines day to all of you. Now I have to go to a local nursery and pay whatever before the 14th!On February 17th, 2016, brett24 added the following:
After I disputed the purchase with Empire to PAYPAL, Empire continued to lie, and thru the lies to PAYPAL, PAYPAL refunded my money! BEWARE EMPIRE!
I sent them a check for two plants. The first one came nice & healthy. The second never came. Wrote to them by snail mail & e-mailed about 6 times for a plant or refund. I'm being totally ignored. They sure didn't hesitate cashing the check.
My experience with them could not have been better. The two trees I ordered arrived in good shape. The packaging was fine.However one tree died rather quickly after I planted but the other one grew for a month or so. It seemed to be doing very good but it too died. I am sure it was me, not the plants however they did replace them both and the new ones are much larger and doing wonderful. I WILL buy from them again. They were quick to answer all my emails and very helpful.
MorsisX Lockport, IL (Zone 5b) (27 reviews) June 10, 2008
3 years ago I planted 6 of their trees that were listed as fast growers, they arrived in "fair to middlin" shape. Two died but the remaining 4 are flourishing. The Ameri-willow is over 15' tall from a 3' sapling. The hybrid poplar is over 12' and Empress is over 10' tall.
My neighbors are in awe that I went from a bare backyard to shade trees in 3 years, this year alone the willow and poplar have already added 2' in height, and both are over 10' wide.
I paid around 5 bucks a tree, that is an investment well worth the dime and time.
This spring I ordered a honeysuckle vine with the Arbor day coupon, which meant I paid shipping only! They shipped 2 of them and both of which are quickly taking over their section of fence.
I would highly recommend Empire. Fast shipping, trees arrived well packaged with good root systems. There were no surprises; these were twigs just as the website stated. The Ameri-Willow's were quite large twigs which was nice - about 4 feet tall! I ordered these as a birthday gift for my brother and included in the "note to seller" field that I would like any pricing information left out of the package. Not only did they read my request, but I was sent a polite email confirming that the the pricing information was omitted. It was reassuring to know that they are attentive to special requests. I have very high standards when it comes to customer service and they did not disappoint.
Two thumbs up...thanks Empire!
lkz5ia Denison, IA (Zone 5b) (12 reviews) January 1, 2008
This company reminds me of other scam companies like burgess. They don't care about the customer, they only care about getting money, even if it involves dishonest means.
I asked This nursery what were the parents of their particular hybrid, Ameriwillow. They said it was a hybrid of a black willow and the other parent was a company secret(which means they didn't have a clue). After seeing my ameriwillow grow this summer, it showed the exact same characteristics of the other common hybrid willows, such as the Austree(which is a hybrid between salix alba x matsudana). When I questioned them on this issue and wanted a refund, they stuck to their make believed delusions that it was in fact a different hybrid.
So watch out for this company, they make up tree names, such as "ameriwillow' to set themselves apart from other nurseries, but that willow can be bought for less than a dollar somewhere else. They also sell many species that are on invasive species lists.Company representative comment on January 28, 2008: On Jan 28, 2008 9:56 AM, Empire National Nursery, LLC added:
Sorry to say a business can not please everybody all of the time. To this customer, we do apologize for her unhappiness.
We would like to say that we have been in the nursery business for nearly 40 years, and for the most part, people have been satisfied with our trees. We do have a Policies webpage, and links to it on every order form page, and, we do urge everyone to read the policies first before purchasing. That makes good sense for everyone no matter where you shop... Our policies are updated and have changed, but its the customers option to do so.
Our Ameri-Willow is different than the Rocky Mountain Aus-Tree, but like the many hybrid willows on the market, they all have very similar characterisitics. By visual means, it can easily look the same as many of the willows out there. The Ameri-Willow has a patent pending, and until that process is complete, we are not able to reveal the hybrids parent.
And very true, there are many mail-order plant suppliers that can offer below-cost plant deals. We run discount promotions as well, like any grocery chain, but we are growers and have cost structures associated with our products. We grow an ever-changing list of trees (primarily), some people like them, others may not. Yes, some species may be considered an "invasive" tree according to the National Plant Board, but every tree has a niche, and every tree can be of worth when planted in the right place.
As a nursery, we are interested in trees and the promoting of tree planting nationwide. The money we earn goes back into the nursery. We rather have friends interested in the same, than customers.
Empire National Nursery, LLC
dave719 Humansville, MO (Zone 6a) (8 reviews) June 28, 2007
ordered 16 Ameri-Willow tube size all arrived in good shape had good service even when I missed wrote my e-mail address it took a second e-mail to get everything straight i would do business with these folks again.
I ordered live trees from them on their on-line Internet site and most were received dead or dying on arrival.
I contacted them several times by e-mail because this is the only type of correspondence they will receive. They are slow on getting back to me and will not acknowledge my complaint. When someone does get back with a response nothing is resolved and they end it with, (exact words) “we are very busy and will get back to you, Hope this helps” Very frustrating to get this type of a reply for a response to a customer service complaint. I want to just hear, will send out replacements right away. I purchase trees and plants from several other on-line plant nurseries and never had this much problems with getting replacements and issues with someone not getting back to me with a positive response. If you get plants from this nursery and they live, you are lucky. If you order then and they are dead, It’s a crapshoot and you will most likely get burned.
Cordeledawg Cordele, GA (Zone 8a) (19 reviews) April 20, 2007
Extremely pleased with the Tulip tree I received in response to their Dave's classified $5.00 tree ad in celebration of National Arbor Day. I was needing a large shade tree for my lot and the one they sent fits my needs exactly. This tree was packaged well and shipped quickly too. In reviewing their website, I also find their prices to be very affordable. Their plant spacing and information on fast growing trees was also helpful. I've e-mailed them today for additional information about ordering a male and female spicebush. I'm interested in host trees for butterflies and they do have others like paw paw. The Tulip tree I received is a bf host tree as well.
tedroonio in Parker, CO (Zone 5b) (3 reviews) November 12, 2006
The website is hokey (color schemes, promotional hype, no navigation bar, etc). It's also very unsettling to deal with a company that does NOT DISCLOSE its phone number.
That said, I ordered 6 Ameri-willows from them and they arrived as described. It's fall now, so we'll see how they survive the Colorado winter.
kingsolo Ocean Springs, MS (Zone 8b) (1 review) April 2, 2006
Ordered 5 trees & 2 vines from Empire. Recieved all items a day ahead of when I was expecting them. All appeared to be healthy. Two things I would change if I was Empire... website was a bit difficult to navigate & use, and plating instructions were a little lacking as I am a new gardener & never really planeted a tree. The instructions didn't state how far to plant trees/vines apart, a reccommended fertilizer to help trees acclimate to their new home, etc. Overall a great experience so far.
Empire National Nursery in Naple, FL, could answer my rather complicated and detaile-oriented questions about Paulownia Tree and Ameri-Wood (both fast growing trees,) immediately and with 100% accuracy and 100% thoroughness. This kind of nursery is very rare. It is important to select the nursery that "KNOWS" about what they are growing.
There is only one negative comment in this site from one customer about this nursery so far. And if you read it, you will know that it must not be labeled as "negative."
I have been in Central Florida, near Orlando, for 8 years, and purchased quite many trees from the nurseries located in North, where not all of them were knowledgeble and kind enough to answer my questions. Now, I only wish I had found Empire National Nursery 8 years ago.
Empire nursery rocks! They have a huge selection of trees and their prices are very affordable. I ordered 15 trees and all 15 trees arrived in perfect condition. The 3 European white birch trees that I ordered branched out 3 days after planting. I also ordered 6 of the smallest Dawn redwood trees they had to offer. I was shocked when 36"+ sapplings showed up at my front door. I was expecting tiny 8" cuttings.
I highly recommend this company to anyone that is tree shopping.
Tigershark San Antonio, TX (1 review) March 7, 2005
This was my first time dealing with Empire Nursery. I ordered 2 Coastal Redwood Trees and they arrived in perfect condition. They were well packaged and arrived promptly.
The trees were exactly as described. They are doing beautifully. I plan on ordering many more trees from them and have found the company a pleasure to deal with.
bagpiper8 Weldona, CO (8 reviews) January 30, 2005
I have dealt with Empire in the past and also am ordering from them this year. They have been extremely courteous as far as their emails and correspondence are concerned One thing also, their trees are what they advertise them for--seedlings usually or one or two year cuttings, so don't expect huge trees as you would from a local nursery. The rates are reasonable and you can get a lot of trees for a smaller amount of cash. I will definitely do business with them in the future.
gcmastiffs Jupiter, FL (Zone 10a) (6 reviews) April 25, 2004
My order of huckleberries, blueberries and raspberries arrived in good condition, well packaged, undamaged. I was a little surprized at how small the potted blueberry plants were for the price, but all 4 are doing well. One of the raspberries died shortly after being planted, the others have grown beautifully and have berries on them now. The nursery will replace the one that died, with my next order due in a few weeks.
I have placed a much bigger order after seeing how well my berries are doing.
I recommend this nursery, especially for southern growers, since they are located in Florida and carry plants that thrive here.
I ordered some trees from them through their eBay store. Shortly thereafter I received an email from them explaining that, due to crop failure, they were unable to fill my order. They further stated that they were refunding my money--not directly to me, but to a PayPal account in my name. I don't use PayPal, and I don't want to use PayPal!
I object to not getting a direct refund. I have attempted to use this balance to purchase several items since, but have been prevented from doing so unless I offer a credit card # or bank account number to PayPal (which is why I don't use PayPal in the first place). In any event, I stood to lose money on the deal because I would have to purchase something for less money, leaving a small balance in the PayPal account. I finally threw up my hands and ordered some similarly priced items from Empire National. I'm still having difficulty paying for these using the PayPal account!
I would rather have had the money refunded directly to myself, to use as I wish. Barring that, Empire National did not offer substitutions to the plants that I had ordered. All-in-all, I still do not have my plants, or the money I have paid for them.Company representative comment on January 9, 2006: On Jan 9, 2006 7:45 PM, Empire National Nursery, LLC added:
Sorry to say, the tracking information for the package did suggest the plants were delivered. We did refund the customer using by the same payment method used when ordering. If payment was made by PayPal, it would also be returned by PayPal. For PayPal account problems, they should contacted, not us, since we are one of their customers as well.
Overall, we tried our best to help the customer, even refunding the purchase.
Pitch Port Washington, NY (6 reviews) February 20, 2003
Received healthly trees promptly, in good packaging. Customer service is great, and e-mails are answered quickly with informative answers. Prices are also a bargain. Pleasure doing business with, and will definitely do business with again.