When I was getting started I ordered from the Ty Ty nursery folks, Arbor Day and even E-Bay before I stumbled into the likes of Musser Forests, Forest Farm and others. I've received plenty of plants which ended up not making it, more that did from all the above and they all had some life!
Finally this year, the third time I ordered a hundred metasequoia bare root seedlings I had a bad experience. Last two times from Musser they showed up and every darned one leafed out. They were for giveaways so I don't know how many made it but they all leafed out.
This time Musser was out so I paid slightly more and ordered from Cold Stream Farm. Oops. Some shipped without even buds, as of the end of May here 60 or so haven't leafed out at all. Most of the ones which have leafed out did not do so from the top. Something, probably cold, went wrong with these trees.
After weeks of picture trading of trees in pots the dishonest or stupid crooks at Cold Stream became concerned the dead sticks were in pots and offered me possible credit on the non containerized ones or something illogical.
So shame on you Cold Stream Farm. Hire a better person to answer questions or SOMETHING. Even a "tough luck buddy" reply would have been more logical.
Beautiful plants. I couldn't believe how long some of the roots were... up to 2' on some of them. I ordered gingko, basswood, speckled alder, rose of sharon, black locust, and pawpaw. Everything looks perfect. Really couldn't ask for anything better.
Placed a small order (10 saplings). Items arrived within a few weeks, securely packaged and in great condition.
94dutchman Kalamazoo, MI (2 reviews) December 16, 2016
I've ordered hundreds of trees from this company over the last several years and have had great success with them. The very few trees that did not make it were replaced in full.
They have a great selection of native trees and they arrive well packed, moist, and viable. Some of the tulip trees I ordered a few years ago are now about 15 feet tall! Some other species I purchased from Cold Stream that are doing well are bur oak, sycamore, tamarack, balsam fir, white spruce, birch (yellow, paper, river), jack pine, mountain ash, and witch hazel.
I continue ordering each year from this company, which helps me achieve my goal of reforesting several acres. I suggest purchasing smaller seedlings 1-2' or 2-3' because of better survival and lesser shipping charges. Also, order evergreens and other fall hazard trees like black gum or oaks in the spring.
I recommend CSF for their quality and selection of bare root material.
I ordered a bunch of evergreens in early spring. They were dry when I got them but didnt look dead so we planted and watered as directed. All but one died and now they will not accept returns or refunds since it is passed June. Complete waste of money and time and very bad customer service.Company representative comment on August 26, 2016: On Aug 26, 2016 9:35 AM, Cold Stream Farm responded with:
We do accept claims past June. We can replace or refund any item that fails to leaf or bud out after planting. Just email or call and let us know.
I placed two orders this spring, for 71 viburnums, 25 serviceberries, and 12 assorted trees. All the stock arrived in excellent condition. Only 2 bushes failed to leaf out in 30 days, and the company promptly sent replacements without any dispute. Despite being very busy, they were polite and willing to take my order by phone. While the bare root stock is small, it is healthy and thriving, giving me more confidence for survival than potted nursery plants. Shipping rates were incredibly reasonable. I recommend Cold Stream Farm, and will order more from them next spring.
Bought several trees and shrubs including 4 viburnums. None of the viburnums leafed out. Contacted the company via their website with no response and no refund or replacement. They clearly do not stand by their warranty.Company representative comment on August 26, 2016: On Aug 26, 2016 9:37 AM, Cold Stream Farm responded with:
We always stand by our warranty. Our 'contact' link on the website was unfortunately not working this past season (very sorry, we were not aware of this problem until recently!). Just ring us or email and we can refund or replace any of the plants that failed to leaf out.
woodweasel Fleetwood, PA (4 reviews) April 28, 2016
I tried this company for the first time in 2014 with a small order - 3 Oregon Grape hollies. No problem with ordering or delivery but what I got was a box full of leaves and three leafless sticks.
I photographed the plants and called to complain about their condition. They assured me that the plants were "dormant" and would be fine. I put them up in 3 large pots and sent them to plant ICU in my greenhouse where after a month or more they looked even worse. I sent updated photos which convinced them finally that the plants had indeed expired.
I was told I would have to wait until the next spring (2015) for replacements. The new plants arrived and they looked marginally better. I planted them but as soon as they managed to push out one tiny leaf another died off.
Now it is spring 2016 and I have three small leafless sticks with no sign of life. I unearthed one and it had the same (minimal) root system as when I planted it.
I don't think their stock is viable. In two years I should have had a nice little shrub. I am not going to complain again - I don't want more of their plants.
jagrogan Somerset, KY (Zone 6b) (8 reviews) March 25, 2016
Well, admittedly I am about through planting my yard as it's only 0.57 acres and about full but I read about the fall bloom of American Witchhazels and I had to try one so when the one I was saving in my Henry Field's shopping cart was sold out I search a search engine and comparison shopped and the one I bought from Cold Stream was both the correct type (the American native with a latin name soething like hammilus Virginia or something like that), the best size, and the best price.
So I ordered it, it arrived fast, I planted it fast and got rains right after planting. It looks great for being not much more than a sapling and I look forward to seeing it grow.
I ordered 250 hardwoods.Sugar,red,Norway maples.Quaking aspens,River Birch and Bald Cypress.When planting hardwoods bareroot I planned as I have heard for a thirty percent loss.I am a 55 year old female.I watched a utube video and planted them in late fall with a dibber.They are all budding and leafing out.Amazing survival rate.The only ones showing nothing yet are the Bald Cypress.I looked it up and they leaf out very late.I am definitely going to re order from them again as I am reforresting seven acres.
Posted on November 19, 2015, updated March 3, 2016
This was my first time ordering from Cold Stream Farm, and I must say that it was a pleasant experience. I ordered 25 Rosa rugosa native rose bushes, and they arrived with roots well formed and moistened in time for planting. I also order two 6-inch native wild grape vines, and they too were in great shape. This nursery has a smorgasbord of native trees and shrubs that are are priced very fairly. I will order from them again.On March 3rd, 2016, chancremechanic added the following:
I purchased more trees and shrubs from Cold Stream Farm, and they arrived today. This is the second time ordering from this company. The trees were all healthy, roots placed in damp saw dust which stayed damp throughout the mailing process, and the trees tied tightly. This is a great company for buying all sorts of trees, shrubs, etc. for a very reasonable price. I would highly recommend this company for those who want to purchase lots of trees and shrubs.
ordered many bald cypress and dawn redwood seedlings.
all dawn redwoods leafed-out, but only about half of the bald cypress did. contacted CSF and they agreed to ship out replacements next spring. I'm happy with their prompt and satisfactory response.
This company sells weak and stunted nursery stock. I couldn't believe the diminutive size of the trees in my recent order. What I got would compare in size to the 10 free trees that arbor day used to mail people for becoming a member. In fact some of the trees arbor day used to send would be bigger than the trees cold stream ripped me for. In my opinion I was seriously overcharged for such small trees. If they live I'll be surprised. I don't like how they put masking tape around their trees either. Very difficult to remove from tiny trees. Previous orders were not successful. Only dealt with them the second time because they had a certain species that I couldn't seem to find anywhere else. Since I found a place that's closer to home with what I want, I'll likely drop Cold Stream.
RoosterBoy Burgettstown, PA (2 reviews) June 21, 2014
I ordered sugar maple and swamp white oak (25 each); the company helped me select the right size for my application (2-3ft seedlings). They arrived on time in dormant state (in March) and all looked healthy. They were planted soon after arrival and all but one leafed out. I will plan on ordering again from them in the next planting season.
I'm pleased to report of my completely being pleased with Coldstream regarding the trees I bought from them. The quality, the e-mails I got back from them, it all added up to a good experience that I will repeat next year when I re-order from them. The Black Locust trees are awesome.
Although Cold Stream Farm advertises as a wholesale source, I have found them to be an excellent source of trees and shrubs for our home. I bought several trees from them in 2013. Although a couple of the trees did not make it past the first year, I blame myself for over-fertilizing tender young roots. Most of the trees from last year have performed wonderfully.
This year I ordered several more trees and all arrived as promised and in fine condition. Everything is thriving! Cold Stream Farm offers some of the best prices around whether you are buying 1 or 100 trees or shrubs. While you are not going to find a lot of rare or special cultivars here, they are a great source of a lot of basic species. I would definitely recommend them.
I ordered 100 hybrid poplars, 2 hazelnuts, and 2 american plums from them. Everything arrived together, and in great condition
One thing to note is if you do order from them they send you a "order verification" email. Make sure you check your spam folder if you do not see this from them. Mine turned out to be there, which surprised me as I use a corporate Gmail account, and never usually have any issues.
I don't think anyone can beat the prices they have for good sized and good quality bareroot stock.
We ordered two white snowberry shrubs and one pink snowberry shrub. After not hearing anything for several weeks, I e-mailed about the status. They said they would ship in two weeks and they did. Unfortunately, they only sent one which was unlabeled. I asked where the other two were, they apologized and sent one more good shrub and one stick which is supposed to be a shrub. I asked if they could at least tell me which were the white shrubs and which were the pink shrubs. Their response was "(a)lso, as these are grown from seed, it is impossible for us to determine the flower color." This is still the case even though they sell both a pink and white variety. Snowberries can be hard to find, but it's just not worth the hassle to deal with this company.
Theres good news and bad news......
The good news is the prices are cheap... and they have a very nice selection.
The BAD news is (in my experience), that bare root evergreen trees have a VERY LOW survival rate.
Especially if you order int the fall.
They say "Stock is guaranteed fresh and healthy upon delivery. FALL EVERGREEN SHIPMENTS ARE NOT GUARANTEED"
I have ordered several times from them and I have a 20% survival rate at best.
I suppose that is the only way they can keep the prices down and sell mass quantities.
I am no longer ordering bare root trees.
I was sent half good plants and half very poor plants.
I gave it my best the good plants lived but the poor ones struggled and died.
They did NOT stand by their guarantee.
These all were supposed to be 2'-3' plants. BE CAREFUL!
pirateradio Waynesboro, PA (3 reviews) January 23, 2013
I've had very positive experiences with Cold Stream Farm. A year & a half ago, I bought 25 cranberry viburnum seedlings, 25 black locust seedlings, and 4 sycamores. The cranberry viburnums had better than 100% survival (all made it & are growing well + 1 or 2 extras that were included), the sycamores grew about 2 feet last year, and the black locusts were a lot spottier because I planted many in tall grass & where rodents could gnaw on the bark. I think about 30% of those survived.
Because of this, I bought 25 sycamores from Cold Stream Farm this fall. Shipping is good & the customer service has been very friendly via e-mail.
marktrot1 Flagstaff, AZ (3 reviews) December 30, 2012
Posted on March 2, 2012, updated December 31, 2012
I have ordered several varieties of trees from this company in the past. Unfortunately I killed them. All trees arrived in excellent shape. I just like to plant in strong drying winds...that does not work well with bare root.
But, the plants have always been in great shape. Will be purchasing soonOn December 30th, 2012, marktrot1 added the following:
Ordered a combination of Hackberry, Maple, and Spruce this spring and requested the latest date possible for shipping in which they complied completely. Every single plant grew despite not having rain for over a month, only drip irrigation. So I am very pleased with the plant stock and the quality. Some of the Silver Maples were quite large and well branched. Thank you Cold Stream Farm!!!
Ordered about ten bare root red maples at the end of Spring. Cleaned out the last of their stock. They came quickly with healthy, damp roots. Height was as advertized. All have grown well, survived and thrived. Will definitely order again next year..... but earlier.
Pepper88 Granite Falls, MN (7 reviews) June 27, 2012
I placed 2 orders with Cold Stream Farm this spring and I think they offer great healthy stock at unbeatable prices. The plants I ordered included Paper Birch, Basswood, Ninebark, Snowberry, Viburnum, White Pine, Wild Plum, Spicebush, and Serviceberry. One order was placed in March. Everything arrived promptly and safely packaged. All are thriving except for the spicebush which got partially eaten by rabbits (my fault of course). June is late to be planting bare root trees, but my June order has all done well, leafed out and looking beautiful. I will definitely order from Cold Stream in the future and highly recommend them to my friends!
ordered 25 red osier dogwoods and 4 spicebush. i didn't expect to get much for the money, but the dogwood twigs were extremely thin, although they were all well rooted and almost all of them did survive. all of the spicebush appeared dead and have never leafed out after more than a month.
I only ordered 4 serviceberry plants so I didn't really expect the best service. The plants arrived in a timely manner and appear in good shape. They had nice, green leaf buds which have opened in the last few days. I will be ordering from these folks again.
jknittel Hastings-on-Hudson, NY (Zone 6b) (3 reviews) May 17, 2012
I really liked dealing with Cold Stream Farm, they have a great selection of bare root plants, they were quick to communicate, and did a great job shipping.
Posted on March 14, 2012, updated April 16, 2012
Ordering seemed easy enough, I ordered hybrid poplars, a few types of maples and trumpet/hummingbird vines. I still haven't recieved a shipping invoice by email, but it hasn't been 5 days yet either.
I'll update... but so far I am pleased with the good prices, decent selection of trees sized large enough NOT to take accidental-but-deadly blows from a weed wacker (you know, those 1-3' sticks so many places like to sell) and an easy to use website for ordering. On April 16th, 2012, JMKM1976 added the following:
Cold Stream Farm has great communication, I received an email informing me my order had shipped and a tracking number. The shipping took just two days, so my trees were delivered with nice, damp roots and still dormant.
I ordered four, 3-4 foot sugar maples, four, 3-4 foot silver maples, four 3-4 foot Amur maples, 25 trumpet/hummingbird vines and 25 hybrid poplars. All items were to specified size and with great root systems, all appeared to be very healthy dormant plants.
I set all the trees into bluckets of slurry made from Terra-Sorb crystals on arrival so that they were kept moist but not soaked in straight water all night and planted them the next day. It took an entire day to plant even though the weeds and grass had been removed in preparation, the roots were so developed that the planting holes needed to be quite large. In each tree hole went at least a cup of hydrated tera-sorb crystals, in drier places, more crstals were used. Last year's heat and drought taught me a thing or two about trees and warm weather.
A great company, I will order from them again and have already recommended them to others.
I ordered 200 Norway spruce in late February. I received my order yesterday (April 13th) due to the early spring and was pleasantly surprised at the beautiful 18 - 24" trees, all with a fantastic root system. They are by far the nicest spruce trees I have ever bought in bulk. I'm only disappointed that I didn't find this company 5 years ago!
VAFarm New Castle, VA (3 reviews) January 27, 2012
I ordered about 500 shrub seedlings from this Nursery in the spring of 2011. I was pleased with the items. They were packed well and shipped when promised (I had specified a date). I spoke to them a number of times on the phone in the process of placing the order and they were always helpful and professional. Would definately buy from them again.
irmaly boone, NC (Zone 5b) (14 reviews) April 28, 2011
I am about to throw in the towel on this company. After reading decent reviews here, I have been trying to place an order for weeks. No one ever answers the phone, and no one ever returns a voice message. I placed an order online, and after 5 days, Cold Stream responded but they were out of some of the sizes I requested. This is totally understandable, so I replied with an updated and revised order, and haven't heard a word since. They have the WORST customer relations I have ever experienced. I know it's a busy time of the year, but come on--just a quick "reply" to an email. Is that too much to ask. I was very hopeful of doing a long term business with Cold Stream, and I understand from the reviews their stock is pretty good, but if you have to spend day after day and week after week trying to place an order, it's just not worth it.
Just received Blue Spruce, Giant Sequoas, Scotch Pines, Norway Spruce and Red/White Cedars.
All trees looked very healthy and got them exactly when I wanted them.
Only negative was trees were mostly at the smaller end of the range but thats more or less normal in my experience.
upstatetj Central Square, NY (2 reviews) March 22, 2011
I have changed my order with this company too many times, being a royal pain in their---. However they were excellent in dealing with it and finally I have my small order in for spring 2011. I think they are great taking care of a small order of sixteen plants with just as much enthusiasm as a large order. I am very much looking forward to my trees and shrubs arrival. Thank you Coldstream Farm for all your support in my decision making.
We ordered 50 sample trees last spring, they looked great out of the box and grew nearly 1' prior to fall. This year we have ordered 2600 various trees, Cold Stream split the order up into smaller groups to allow us time to plant each bunch prior to the next bunch arriving.
The shipping cost issue is no big deal. I was sent an email the same day I ordered with the tentative invoice attached showing the exact shipping fees. They require approval confirmation from that email before they will process your order. Contrary to what others have said I like this failsafe invoice, there is no guessing and you have a copy of the invoice in your hand before you are charged anything.
Great service and great product. we are reforesting 70 acres of farm land and all of our orders will be placed through Cold Stream.
coltsfoot Susquehanna, PA (4 reviews) May 25, 2010
Purchased 50 Red Twig Dogwood all arived fresh and healthy. It is obvious these people care about a high quality product and the manner in which it is packaged for shipment.
Ordered 33 18"-24" Norway pine and Spruce. Received them yesterday and none were under 26" with some up to 36". Arrived in very good condition. Helpful over the phone assistance. Could not be happier with the quality of the product.
I ordered trees and it turns out they were out of the size I wanted. They let me know right away and offered a different size. I decided not to take them up on the offer and they cancelled with no problem and no charge. Communication and customer service was very good.
I Ordered Chestnut trees. They arrived on time, and at the right planting time. Excellent job to who ever packed my trees. This is what I expect from a quality supplier. And thanks for the catalog you
sent. I will be using it in the future. I've been ordering by mail for well over 35yrs.
jake277 Winchester, VA (1 review) January 18, 2010
I have delt with many places and found Cold Stream Farms very enjoyabe to deal with. I have many Scotch pine trees and add every year. Some people have complained about check out. They maynot give you shipping at check out but always e-mail you an invoice for your approval, they will not ship till approved so send an e-mail back if you want your trees. The trees may be a little smaller than shown but are beautiful specimens. I have bought from several companies including VA DOF and found many bad, butchered trees till I found these guys. Had a bad planting last year but was a tough winter, not the products fault. This year I am planting later than norm and going for late spring. Thanks guys!!