100 Arbor Ave.
Nebraska City, 68410 (United States)
(402) 474-5655


The National Arbor Day Foundation is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to helping people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees.

Our shipping seasons are in the Spring from approximately February 2nd to May 30th and in the Fall from approximately November 1st to December 10th depending on the weather factors that allow us to ship safely. The trees are shipped at the appropriate planting time for your horticultural zone. For more information about shipping bare-root stock, please call the National Arbor Day Foundation Member Services Department at 888-448-7337 or contact us at //www.arborday.org/contact.

The ten free trees that you receive for becoming a Member of The National Arbor Day Foundation are shipped via the U.S Postal Service standard mail which means that these may take a bit longer to arrive. These trees can be shipped to a P.O. Box or to a physical address. Our Tree Book or nursery stock is shipped by either USPS Priority Mail or UPS depending on the shipment size and cannot be sent to a P.O. Box, they can only be sent to a physical address.

posted on October 11, 2002



Displaying the 50 most recent reviews

On May 5, 2021, revjbsii123 (1 reviews) from South Bend, IN

I ordered trees for our school and was promised delivery for Arbor Day. Arbor Day was approaching and there was no delivery. When I contacted them they said there was a delay and shipping wouldn't occure until 17 days after. The school year would be close to over by then. I told them this was not acceptable. They pretty much said "Tough Luck". I contacted them via email and told them I wanted them immediately. I got the run around. I called and said I wanted a refund. They still wanted to charge me shipping even though the trees were never shipped. Do not do business with these crooks. There are better places to get trees from with better customer service. They refuse to let you talk to a supervisor. They refuse to follow the law. So... I'm taking them to court just to cost them the added expenses. NEVER do business with this place.

On Mar 21, 2021, Aehernek (1 reviews) from Chattanooga, TN

I got a tree survey in the mail and filled it out online. I got my 12 free sapling the other day. They had very healthy roots and are in pots for now. I know they said to go straight to ground but where they are going they are building a new house by that area and I'm not risking them getting damaged by the construction guys. They are in big grower pots and checked on daily for what ever needs they need. They even color coded the saplings so I knew what trees are what. Im happy so far and everyone is thriving. I hope at least half of them make it and if all do then huge win.

On Dec 30, 2020, bmedloc (1 reviews) from Tacoma, WA

I never received the free trees as promised--what a let-down. I wonder how they decide who gets them and who doesn't?

On Aug 12, 2020, carolh1 (1 reviews) from Boulder, CO

I am just appalled at the amount of paper this organization -- of ALL organizations -- sends out. I got yet another mailing today with a phony "tree survey" that came in a big paper envelope with five sheets of oversized paper. Hey Arbor Day people, how about you save a million trees by NOT sending out these ridiculous 1970's-style mailings? Maybe the Arbor Day Foundation was a good group once upon a time, but they are antiquated hypocrites now.

On Jul 19, 2020, VanVoastPark (3 reviews) from Schenectady, NY

I made the mistake of ordering 15 trees from their catalog BEFORE I received my 10 free "trees" as part of my "membership". I did search for arborday.org on this site, but I didn't realize it was "National Arbor Day Foundation", so I didn't find all the negative reviews. Anyhow, my 10 free "trees" finally arrived in late June, in zone 5b, when they should have been in the ground by late April. And, they are 10" long twigs which are about 1/8th the diameter of a pencil. Needless to say, the twigs have done NOTHING since planting, nor do I expect them to do anything. The 15 trees I ordered arrived a few days after the free "trees", and I was immediately dismayed. They were packed horribly and while the box was in perfect shape on the outside, the trees inside were very dinged up. Not surprising considering they were bundled all in one bag and the roots were all tangled together. So far the witch hazel and forsythia are doing great. That's about it. The two azaleas and one lilac had some dried up leaves on them but they fell off while I was trying to gently separate each plant from the jumbled mess. NOTHING else has shown any signs of budding. So...I'm out about $170 for 25 "trees" and all I've got is a witch hazel and a forsythia. There is zero point in complaining about the condition of the plants since no one ever answered my numerous emails about why my orders still had not shipped by May 31st, which was the last shipping date listed for my zone. I will NEVER buy from arborday.org again.

On Apr 10, 2020, jasarthur (7 reviews) from Brentwood, TN (Zone 6a)

This company is not a charity or an educational foundation. It is nothing short of a SCAM! They constantly bombard "members" with mailings that a professional con-artist must create. But the worst aspect of this so-called nursery is the horrible quality of their stock. Time after time we were sent the smallest trees imaginable, some devoid of life upon arrival. Out of 15 cedars ($4 for a 1/2 foot whip...are you kidding?), NOT ONE survived! Then the replacements they sent were just as puny, and guess what--NOT ONE survived! We will never ever do business with this fraudulent imitation of a nursery. Do yourself a favor and stay away.

On Jan 12, 2020, Dahaker (1 reviews) from Pensacola, FL

I was so scared to order due to all of the reviews here and on other pages, however I placed one order for the fall delivery and everything ce in promptly. Even the free trees which they mailed priority came in the 23rd of December. Potted order came in earlier than their bare root. Every single plant and tree survived. I am in Florida so that may be why since it's a bit warmer. Definitely ordering from them again.

On Jan 2, 2020, Mattman3 (1 reviews) from Los Banos, CA

Very similar experiences to other negative reviews shown here and elsewhere. Quite the hassle in getting the trees delivered. The trees that I obtained (I hope they are actually the varieties I purchased) were small compared to what I can obtain from my local nurseries. Cheaper yes, but it is the cost of caring for young trees that is the bulk of the cost anyway; so, it is important to start with good stock. The member 'trees'...LOL were tiny seedlings. None of the items shipped within the specified time window. Phone reps, although courteous, were clueless as to the status of the orders. The items did appear alive and I will see how they do in the spring and will post a followup if they break bud and if grow with any vigor. Nevertheless, after my experience, I will never purchase any trees from NADF again. I would rather take my business to local nurserymen anyway since they are usually paying attention to adaptability/success of various species and cultivars and have a more vested interest in insuring quality. The Arbor Day Foundation's goals and mission statement of promoting tree planting appear to be there only primary positive attributes; basically selling a good meme. It appears that the nursery stock they sell and provide for free is second or even third fiddle to 'collecting donations', money needed to pay the execs who run the racket.

On Dec 6, 2019, scienceteacher1 (1 reviews) from Paonia, CO (Zone 5a)

Similar experiences. Three dead orders. Zero live. Good customer service, promising to replace. OK replacements but on their timeline. I had called and said higher altitudes would see frozen ground by delivery time. Too bad. "Put them in your garage." Now one delivery is AWOL. Not worth the cheap prices. I think I'm done with the extra effort it takes.

On Oct 25, 2019, alainsan (3 reviews) from Gaithersburg, MD

As a dilettante gardener I do not expect a 100% survival rate for online-ordered plants. However, my experience from two orders with the arborday foundation is appalling: out of 18 plants/8 varieties, only 3 plants have survived at the 6-month mark despite following the planting and care instructions step-by-step precisely. From this experience, I will definitely check Dave's garden reviews before my next online order.

On Sep 10, 2019, jawick (5 reviews) from Trinity, TX

I expected so much more from the likes of "the Arbor Day Foundation" instead of a worthless membership and waste of my time and money. I have never, ever had such a bad experience as this one, and I've dealt with the likes of Aaron's Nursery. I received not one, but two orders of dead Burbank plum trees. Now, I've lost a year of my life/one growing season due to this severe lack of quality control on the Arbor Day Foundation's part.

On Jun 4, 2019, TreeGlee (1 reviews) from Minneapolis, MN

I have bought and planted thousands of trees on my land. Literally. I have bought from nurseries nationwide. Reputable ones, and even one sketchy one. But always, the trees have lived, or at least only a few died, and that over many years. But the Arbor Day Foundation, an organization I thought would be professional and competent, one that presents a pristine, nature-loving image, let me down. In so many ways. Let me share my opinions. 1. Unreliable tree descriptions, particularly as to zone compatibility. I definitely was too trusting here; I should have researched sooner. Two examples: Sargent cherry is listed as a zone 4 tree. Yet, my research now shows it is not reliable in zone 4 except for named cultivars selected after successfully growing in that zone. The same goes for the Eastern Redbud which, except for a few proven named cultivars, also cannot survive zone 4 winters. So the unnamed seedlings I got have very little chance of surviving a test winter like the one we had this last season. If they ever break bud, that is. 2. Free trees incomplete. They only shipped two of the promised three free trees. 3. Incomplete order. I was shorted a tree I ordered. 4. Late ship date. The trees came around May 15. That means that they've probably been sitting in a warehouse in Nebraska for two months. Hence, problem #5. 5. Low survival rate. All five of the Eastern Hemlock trees I received quickly dropped their needles and died, and that despite rain every other day since I planted. Except for three oak trees, only one of the twelve other trees I received has broken bud. I'm not hopeful about the others, which show no signs of life. In fact, one is bone-dry dead. 6. Instant junk mail from unheard-of, schlocky garden catalogs. Since I've ordered from no other place this year, the conclusion as to the source of my address is obvious. The junk mail hasn't been overwhelming, but it is disgusting. 7. Unacceptable "Instant charge" policy. The Foundation charges your card at the time of the order, not when it is shipped. I should have seen trouble on the way when I placed the order and was informed of that policy. I suspect they had too many cardholder disputes from upset customers who had similar experiences to mine, and so finessed it by getting the money well in advance of shipment. That's a pretty hefty problem list for one company. Not problems I will ever have again, of course. The experience certainly put a dent in my idealism about at least one do-good environmental organization -- a type of organization I'm otherwise prone to support.

On Jun 4, 2019, BlueRidgeMtnGrl (4 reviews) from Penrose, NC

Unfortunately I didn't come here before ordering as I have for other companies. I guess I thought that because it was a non-profit and nationally recognized I didn't need to worry. I placed two separate orders for bare root dormant trees/shrubs this spring. Only one of the redbuds leafed out and then the leaves fell off. The free forsythias did leaf out nicely, though. I also ordered elderberries, which leafed out, only to be what I think are Rose of Sharon instead, which will have to be pulled out because I am landscaping an area of our property with only natives to keep it natural. I am just going to consider my purchases a donation and move on. Extremely disappointed.

On May 27, 2019, jrod02 (1 reviews) from Evansville, IN

I sent in money plus a small donation to receive a membership and the ten free flowering trees plus one red maple, approximately 6 or 7 months ago. When I didnít receive my trees I contacted them via email. They said I only donated 6 dollars. I have scanned 6 to 7 months of bank statement and canít find anything, which means I payed via cash. Each time I try and explain this they just tell me to contact my bank. The thing is, I already received a membership number, the tree book, and the chosen free gift of personalized address labels when you send in your money for the membership/10 free tree deal. I tried to explain this also in multiple emails, to no avail. I should have taken these reviews into consideration before I ordered. This organization is a big scam, or at the very least a mis-managed organization. Instead of owning up to their mistake and satisfying the customer by sending what I paid for, they were indignant. Now, they lose hundreds of dollars of my business and support and will receive a bad review on every site I can find.

On Feb 13, 2019, Cat_S (2 reviews) from Hohenwald, TN

I have purchased trees from the Arbor Day Foundation several times. The trees always arrived in good condition and as advertised. (That is, dormant, first-year plants approximately 12" tall.) I got what I considered a reasonable survival rate for trees that young. (60% after 3 years with no special care) These are infant trees. Older trees have a better survival rate and you get a larger tree faster, but you pay for the years of nursery care. On the occasions I had reason to contact them, the response was prompt, polite, and reasonable. I will deal with them again when I want what they have to offer. As a charity, I think they do a pretty good job of promoting their primary agenda -- getting people to plant trees and raising awareness of the importance of trees to human survival and quality of life.

On Oct 9, 2018, SeniorGardening (14 reviews) from Sullivan, IN

Posted on December 26, 2017, updated October 10, 2018 I ordered a dwart Stayman Winesap apple tree from Arbor Day in 2010. The tree languised, but finally produced fruit in 2017. The apples were yellow! I could give the Arbor Day Foundation the benefit of the doubt, but the "free" tree they allowed me to order, a red maple, wasn't a red maple. They went oh for two in filling my order, which tells me they really don't care. I now view the Arbor Day charity as a ripoff.

On October 9th, 2018, SeniorGardening added the following: After another year, the supposedly Stayman Winesap tree the Arbor Day Foundation shipped was clearly not the right variety...probably a Golden Delicious. When I challenged the Foundation last year, they responded by only removing me from their mailing list It's pretty obvious to me that the Arbor Day Foundation is just another corrupt, false charity.

On Apr 5, 2018, Mid12nt (16 reviews) from Stone Mountain, GA

I recently purchased two azalea bushes, when they arrived I was shocked at how small they were, and one was in such poor condition it didn't survive. I am very disappointed, because 6for a few dollars more I was able to purchase much larger and healthier plants from Home Depot. I'll never purchase shrubs from National Arbor Day again. However, I will buy trees as they are of a nice enough size and have enough roots that with some TLC they do fine and thrive.

On Mar 30, 2018, Jkbone (1 reviews) from Raleigh, NC

As my friends know it takes a lot to push me to this point. Arbor Day Society customer service is TERRIBLE!! I bought more than 50 trees from them in September. They waited to ship the small small trees until December. Way too late to plant. Not long enough to have them adjust. Their first suggestion you should have put them in pots and kept them inside. Second conclusion I must have soaked them in water too long. No Einstein it was too cold. Fall planting occurs in September and October. Maybe early November. I planted most in my raised bed gardens and they are dead. I even provided them with pictures. I have been a long time customer but no more! Small plants, disregard for proper shipping times , and TERRIBLE customer service. Not even the free trees lived. #arbordaysmalltreespoorcustomerservice

On Jan 22, 2018, marsydoats (1 reviews) from Cincinnati, OH

I placed two orders last fall. The first contained trees with insufficient root structure for planting. The second wasn't shipped because the NADF could not correctly place my zip code in the proper zone, which is pretty egregious for a national mail order company of trees. I did not get a satisfactory response when I called and followed up with an email. I have received no response to my email. I have canceled my outstanding order and will not be ordering again.Nor will I sign up as a member again, despite the multiple opportunities to do so.

On Jan 4, 2018, Johnny7 (1 reviews) from Lenni, PA

This company uses the same scam MO as the "Name a Star After Someome" scam does. Meaning this: this business' angle Is that it tries to come off as being somehow "official". I received their survey in the mail, complete with such pertinent questions as: "Have you ever climbed a tree?" "When you were a kid, did you ever play in a tree?" Even the question "Do you think the Hemlock should be the official state tree of Pennsylvania?" is ridiculous because, do you believe that the guy who started this buisness cares one way or the other? Does any of this do anything to protect trees? In fact the whole "survey" is just filled with meaningless questions that do nothing other than to make the recipient believe they are providing important information to some "official" organization. And after all, I was specifically chosen! I was one of the few percent! Think about it, they could not possibly send this "survey" out every household in the country, so YES it's true, that only a small percent received this spam. And let's not forget the "FREE" GIFTS (that you receive if you "donate" money to this buisness). Sure ill send you some seedlings too, if you "donate" $10, $15, $25, $50, __$more. I will also name a star after you for an additional $50.

On Aug 10, 2017, camiam (1 reviews) from Milton, FL

Ordered 5 pine trees and received a free maple as well. The Arbor Day Foundation ships trees on their timeline, supposedly the best time to plant for your area. Well, my trees arrived the first week of December, which here in northwest Florida is a *terrible* time to plant, as we regularly have hard freezes throughout the winter. I thought this was insane, but they give customers no choice in delivery time. I had no choice but to plant them, as they arrived as bare root *twigs* (which was disappointing as well. I expected a little more for my money than 10-inch bare root twigs). Two days after we planted them, sure enough, we were hit with a cold spell that plunged nighttime temps down into the teens for several nights. We covered each twig with a bucket and blankets, but every single one of the pine twigs died. Only the maple twig survived, but it went on to die the following summer, for absolutely no reason at all. So we had nothing left to show for our order and expense. We called when the pine trees died and asked to be sent more trees, since there was a guarantee they would live. They required us to dig up and return the dead twigs first! Which we declined to do, as that would've been more expense on our part. So the guarantee is basically worthless. The trees ship out at terrible planting times, and they arrive as bare root twigs. I am someone who can plant *anything* and it end up growing and thriving, but every single one of their trees died on me within the first weeks or months.

On May 26, 2017, ninjamonkeymama (1 reviews) from Burleson, TX

I ordered a sargent crabapple tree from Arbor Day. I planted it this spring. It's dead. I won't order from this company again. I didn't like how it was packaged. It never grew into anything more than an ugly little dead twig.

On May 23, 2017, dncampbell (3 reviews) from Abingdon, VA

I have purchased membership with NADF for several years because I believe in their mission; however, I will not be renewing because the quality of the last few orders has been very poor. They state that they guarantee delivery of healthy trees. My first order for 2016 was the 10 free trees and 8 redbuds are still alive. The second order included a variety of trees that I purchased: maple, magnolia, beech, sourwood, and aspen and 3/5 are still alive. In 2017 I ordered another batch of 10 trees: oaks, viburnums, crabapple, tulip, hawthorn, spruce, viburnum, dogwood, and river birch. All of these were dead on arrival except one of the viburnums. Finally I ordered hazelnuts in March and only one tree is alive. All trees were planted correctly the day I received them. Meanwhile they continue to solicit me with offers to order stock. I plan on writing them and asking them to remove me from their lists.

On Feb 8, 2017, blueinmo (1 reviews) from Saint Charles, MO

As with most people's reviews, I got 10 sticks in the dead of winter, so I don't really expect them to survive. However, I did some research online and both charitywatch and the better business bureau's give.org give the arbor day foundation positive ratings for being legit. It's unfortunate that they don't do a better job, because I'd love to order more of the trees that they offer, but after my experience, I will never order again for them, nor will I become a member.

On May 28, 2016, flowermaiden2 (19 reviews) from Saint Maries, ID

I joined this cause a few years back, and haven't renewed for the following reasons: The ten trees they sent were merely twigs, bare root, and some of them had hardly any root, at all. I don't have great luck with bare root anything, and it may just be me. Still, I planted them, and nothing survived. I would have been willing to try again, except for the fact that AFTER I had joined and paid my membership fee, they continued to send me various additional solicitations for membership -- as though they were totally UNaware that I had already joined. I finally called the number they had provided and asked the very arrogant man whom I got on the phone why I was still getting solicitations to join when I was already a member. He wouldn't give me a straight answer. To this day, I have no idea why they did that. The man wouldn't give me a CLEAR answer to my question. I don't do business with people who won't give me straight answers to legitimate questions when I have a right to know those answers. I'm still supportive of planting trees, and indeed we have planted several on our property, which we acquired as seedlings (with roots and needles already on them) from our University Extension's forestry classes department. I'm a stickler for open, honest and upfront communication. When I can't get that, it always raises a red flag. I'm not saying this is a bad organization -- just one I no longer wish to deal with.

On May 25, 2016, Garush (1 reviews) from Flanders, NJ

Been a member since 1998. Believe in their tree planting cause. Most of what we ordered from them has not overwintered. Recommended they send items during dormancy in spring. Also do not send when ground is frozen. Not one request was tailored. We know how to plant, and plant same day (except when the ground was frozen). As my PhD ag bro said, it is the stock.

On May 7, 2016, bstnh1 (6 reviews) from Barrington, NH (Zone 5a)

The trees and shrubs from this outfit are better referred to as "rooted cuttings". For what you get, the prices are high. Places like Musser Forests sell better quality trees and shrubs at a much better price. I ordered river birch, red maples and forsythia from Arborday last fall. They were well packed. A few of the red maples survived, none of the river birch made it and the forsythia made it but with significant die-back. I have planted hundreds of trees and shrubs from various sources for decades. In all those plantings, I have never had a single plant fail - until I put in those from Arborday.

On May 6, 2016, Rpeazalea (5 reviews) from Potomac, MD

I became a member and also purchased a dozen trees. They have not shipped the ten trees that come with membership yet, though they keep promising to. They just can't get order of a dozen trees right. They sent four, I complained. They sent one more. Every time they send all of these free trees (junk). Just send the trees I ordered and paid for. No need to send part orders or free junk trees. I would think counting trees would be an integral part of business. By the way, nothing has survived. I would never waste my time again. For a few dollars more I can buy a one gallon tree locally, and they live.

On Apr 13, 2016, LilDesertPlot (3 reviews) from Tooele, UT

I started ordering from this company this year (2016) and have thus far received two orders from them - though one was their "10 free tree" thing. I have to say that over all, I'm pleased with my experiences with them and will likely order from them again. The ten free baby trees I received were the flowering tree bunch (crabapple, flowering dogwood, Eastern redbud, hawthorn, and two extra crapemyrtles) I've potted all of them in a mixture of plain old garden dirt and aged manure and all are flourishing except two (one dogwood and one redbud) which I consider to be very good odds, as the two babies still lacking any signs of life are a little more delicate than some of the other types. I'll give them a few more weeks and see if they come around. The second time I ordered from them, I got two apple trees, one butternut, one Rose of Sharon, and also received the free red maple and two free forsythias as part of their ordering promotional deal. All arrived healthy and are doing well (one apple tree was almost six feet tall!) I'm waiting for them to wake up from dormancy but all have the telltale green beneath their bark. The maple has been sitting in a bucket of water for the past several days and is already budding out with leaves. I have high hopes for these plants.

On Mar 9, 2016, CarolMcKenzie (7 reviews) from Irvine, KY

In 2015 my mother and I got the "free" 10 trees for joining the Arbor Day Foundation. I'd read the reviews that stated members had gotten "sticks" so I was prepared to get sticks. I did receive bareroot trees, which were all alive, and basically looked like sticks. I dusted each with mycorrhizal fungi and potted them up in several plastic pots with good soil, compost, and I think aged horse manure. The little guys took off, grew over the summer, and all did well. Fast forward to spring 2016. Three or four didn't survive (or at least didn't pass the scratch test) but the rest have buds and very well developed root systems. Since I still don't have homes for them yet, I've repotted them into larger pots, again giving them a good sprinkling of mycorrhizal fungi. I've potted the "dead" ones as well, just in case. They'll probably stay in pots this year, since they are still on the small side, an easy to mow height, and also seem like they'd be interesting to deer and bunnies.

On Mar 6, 2016, mettech (2 reviews) from Luling, TX

I ordered several red maple trees from Arbor Day in 2014. When the leaves developed in spring 2015, ALL of them were silver maples. I don't want silver maples, so I emailed customer service with pics of the leaves and they sent replacement "red maples" this winter. The leaves are now developing, and guess what? They're all silver maples! I've gotten oaks, elm, and sourwood trees from them with no problem. But they can't seem to pull off maple identification. They'll get no more money or support from me.

On Feb 16, 2016, MamaFil (1 reviews) from South Pittsburg, TN

I've ordered from this organization twice, and never received one tree. They promised, for two years, to correct the mistake in the next season, and never did, even with repeated phone calls and e-mails. My sister had the same experience. I will not be trying again, ever.

On Feb 14, 2016, Gottaspin77 (1 reviews) from Edon, OH

I ordered a weeping willow, a peach tree, 90 privets, and received the ten free trees. Also, I was given a second weeping willow and two forsythia bushes for free. When we received our trees, they were packed perfectly in moist wrapping protecting healthy bare roots. The peach tree was surprisingly tall and healthy, as was everything else we bought. The peach tree was exceptional, though. We received our trees at the end of March 2015 in Northwest Ohio and ended up not planting until April and May (and some even in August!). We kept our trees in buckets outside and they continued to flourish. We had no reason to wait except for life and laziness. As terrible as we initially treated the trees and bushes, they all thrived and we never lost ANY. I do not understand the bad rap this company receives, specifically regarding the ten free trees. Of course they are going to be small! They are healthy and FREE. This company is a non profit. Ease up and stop expecting giant, lush trees for cheap or free. We are dealing with live plants and people need to keep this in mind. Even the most popular nurseries have bad plants. It happens. They have excellent customer service and great plants.

On Dec 21, 2015, CindyC720 (1 reviews) from Walnut Creek, CA

We put in an order in early October and also became members. I was a little concerned about what might or might not arrive based on the feedback I've seen. But I was pleasantly suprised! We ordered 2 Sweetgum trees, 2 hydrangeas, 3 north privets, 2 beauty bushes and we received the free red maple. We also got the 10 free flowering trees for becoming members. They are white dogwoods and American redbuds. First we received the 10 free trees. They accidentally gave us an extra dogwood. When I opened the package I smelled the smell I had read about but the plants looked healthy and passed the scratch test. A few days later we got the main package. I had high hopes after seeing the condition of the free trees and WOW. The free red maple was described as having a shipping height of 3-4' but it is more like 5-6' not including roots. It was slightly bent over in the box it's so big! And it was free! I can't get over that. It has one secondary branch along with the main trunk and plenty of little buds. I didn't even scratch test the trees in this order because they all have lots little buds on them and look great! The sweetgum trees have lots of little branches and plenty of buds. I can't wait to see them all come alive in spring! Overall I was very happy with my order and we paid around $60 with membership fees and all. Not too shabby if you ask me! I'm planning on raising some of the free membership trees and selling them so they will probably pay for themselves eventually. I will definitely be ordering from them again and would recommend.

On Dec 15, 2015, WonkaChad (3 reviews) from Lovettsville, VA (Zone 7a)

Posted on December 3, 2015, updated December 15, 2015 Back in August 2015, I paid the membership to get the 10 free trees AND I made the mistake of ordering 2 forsythia, a Japanese maple & 6 hydrangea. Now it is December 3rd & I am being told my order has been moved to the Spring shipping schedule. They only told me this because I CALLED THE ARBOR DAY FOUNDATION. They did not reach out to tell me there was a delay in my order at all. I have cancelled the order & have informed them I will never renew a membership. They have said, however, I should get my "10 free trees by December 8th" I'm not going to hold my breath on that one either.

On December 15th, 2015, WonkaChad added the following: My 10 free trees finally arrived on December 12th. They were reasonable well packed but it is clear that with the way they are packaged they need to go into the ground ASAP. They are tiny twigs but all did arrive alive. Hopefully they will still be alive next spring.

On Sep 14, 2015, yardener (20 reviews) from Greenfield, OH (Zone 6a)

Posted on January 16, 2009, updated September 14, 2015 What do you expect for 10 bucks. Over the years its been kind of a hobby for me to see if the sticks will grow into anything. After ordering 40 flowering "sticks" (the last order was 5 years ago) I have 3 Washington Hawthorns and 2 crabapples. Lets see, thats 1 out of 8 that make it to waist height in 10 years. Thats $8 per tree. Still a good bargain? I wouldn't waist my time. I've had over 85% success rate with better bargains at other tree sources. If you want a challenge, order from NADF. If you want trees, go somewhere else.

On September 14th, 2015, yardener changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following: 6 years later and I sill have 1 hawthorn and 1 crabapple from my original order. I have to be fair and admit that 2 each made it to over 10 feet in height but I had to cut the others down. I'm upgrading to neutral simply because the trees can live with the proper care, but I'm guessing MOST people don't want to start out with 6" sticks.

On Jul 14, 2015, elmbelle (1 reviews) from Tulsa, OK

Posted on May 5, 2015, updated July 14, 2015 Like several of the recent posts, I read these comments after already ordering 10 shrubs (3 forsythia, 4 mock orange, 3 red twig dogwood) and 2 trees (autumn flowering cherry and red maple) from the Arbor Day Foundation and boy was I rattled! Based on some of what I read, I guessed that many people had unrealistic expectations of what they were ordering, but nevertheless I was concerned I had wasted my money. I must say, though, that what I received in the mail entirely lived up to (or exceeded) my expectation. For starters, the plants arrived promptly within a week of ordering, which was better than what I expected. With almost all of the plants I ordered being under 10 dollars (3 of them were entirely free - 2 forsythias and a red maple), I knew that all would be young saplings - essentially small sticks with roots. I mean, come on people, you get what you pay for! I've got other big beautiful trees in my yard that I ordered from a local nursery and for 4 good sized trees, it cost over $800. Keep expectations in check and you may be pleasantly surprised. Both trees (sticks) were impressively large to me - about 3 ft in length. The smallest shrubs were the 2 free forsythias that were about 12" tall, all others were between 2 and 3 ft tall. Since many reviewers reported plants DOA, I gave all of mine a quick scratch test and all were living. Only one was questionable that had some dead branches (the forsythia I paid for), but the base was still living - will update later what did and didn't survive. I followed the instructions to the letter and soaked them in water around 5 hours. I planted all of them the same day and I'm excited to say that ONE DAY LATER I already noticed small signs of new growth on a few. These are baby plants - so I intend to baby them, as should anyone ordering. Keep to a watering schedule so they aren't dried out and be sure the location chosen for planting is appropriate. I felt I needed to post this to help outweigh all the negative comments. Again - I will be happy to update in the future to let you know the outcome of my purchases, but so far so good. I have other friends that have ordered trees through the Arbor Day Foundation and none have had anything negative to say. One friend drove me past the 3 trees she planted 3 years ago and all were healthy and thriving. Happy planting!

On July 14th, 2015, elmbelle added the following: Update! We have had records amounts of rain here in Tulsa, so no watering schedule was needed. Every. Single. Plant. Is thriving! They are growing like crazy - even the one forsythia that had one dead twig has put up tons of growth from the base. Many have doubled and tripled in size. Both trees ordered are doing well - full of leaves. The Red Maple was a gift to my in-laws and they say it is bursting with large maple leaves. It's too bad I can't add pictures - it is impressive to see. Even my husband (who is not a gardener at all) has been shocked by how well they are all doing. I remain one very satisfied customer! Thanks Arbor Day Foundation!

On Jun 17, 2015, Liz7700 (1 reviews) from Conway, AR

I ordered two apple trees and received a free red maple. When I ordered the trees I was given the option to have them shipped now or wait until fall planting season. I chose ship now. When I received the trees I was pleasantly surprised. The apple trees were about 3 feet tall each. I soaked them in water and planted them. The apple trees started to bud out about a week later. They are doing really good. I also planted the red maple. It was smaller but it budded out within a couple of day and its growing nicely. I am really happy with my trees. I ordered a bunch more for the fall planting season, over $200 worth of shrubs and trees. I will definetly order from Arbor Day again.

On May 26, 2015, arborist49002 (1 reviews) from Portage, MI

My girlfriend joined the Arbor Day Foundation and donated the $10 because she wanted the free 10 flowering trees. About a week later I decided to join and donate to get the 10 bird lover trees. It's been 2 months and neither of us received any trees. We contacted the company and they said both of our orders had been shipped out and must've been lost in the mail, but that now they couldn't ship us any trees since the Spring season was over and we had to wait until Fall. Curious as to how many others this happened to, I went online and did a search. Sure enough, with the thousands of other people this has happened to, it seems to be quite a scam that has netted them a whole lot of money and there is nothing anyone can do about it except to use public forums to let others know.

On May 18, 2015, EM007 (7 reviews) from California City, CA

For many years, I avoided the Arbor Day Foundation because of all the negative reviews on this site. But after losing many expensive trees from local nurseries, I decided to join arbor day.org because the lower prices allowed me to plant more trees at once. I placed two orders totaling $150. Customer service was polite and helpful. I received 50 trees including member trees and free trees and only 1 looked dead when unpacked (a hydrangea costing $2.79). The free trees and those under $3 tended to be small but healthy. The nursery trees costing $5+ were large and robust. Despite a very hot spring in the mojave desert (86į-91įF and humidity as low as 15%) 80% of these seedlings survived, which is a higher success rate than I expected. Will certainly buy again.

On Apr 28, 2015, tdouble (1 reviews) from Eastford, CT

I've ordered trees from Arbor Day last year and although small, each tree was nicely shaped, no broken branches, well packed and alive. I'm sorry to have to say that the trees I received this year did not live up to last year's shipment literally. Supposedly two Douglas Fir replacements are on the way (only ones I reported DOA) and as for the others, pin oak, tulip tree, sugar maples, a plum and a red bud, to date I have not seen one iota of life. Before receiving this shipment I also ordered a sweet bay magnolia. It also arrived with each leaf dried out and turning brown. In the future, I'll spend the extra money to get a nice, well packed tree from Spooner Farms. Should they fail me, that's it for buying plants online!

On Apr 26, 2015, chancremechanic (13 reviews) from Wartrace, TN (Zone 7a)

I read all these negative reviews after ordering my plants from Arbor Day Foundation as well; however, I too was pleasantly surprised at the quality of trees that I received. My first order was for two Dawn Redwood trees and a Red Maple. The trees, although small, were healthy and in bud. The packaging was tight and well done. After a month in the ground, all three trees are doing well. My second order was for 10 Forsythia plants. I thought the plants would be tiny sticks, but lo and behold, they were all about two feet in height and well packaged. I didn't have time to plant them in their permanent location, so I planted them all in one-gallon pots, and I am happy to report a 100% survival rate as well as some of them putting out a few blooms. As an aside, I noticed that both orders came from a nursery about 60 miles from my home. I can only surmise that Arbor Day Foundation sub-contracts with local nurseries in order to supply trees that are both locally grown and healthy. I will order from Arbor day again!

On Apr 25, 2015, factorx (1 reviews) from Mount Pleasant, TN

I read these reviews AFTER placing our order for 10 Flowering Trees last fall. I would not have ordered based on what I read here, but it seems people who are unhappy are far more likely to post than the people who are happy. It took longer to receive the trees than expected. But the trees were exactly as expected, plus the two bonus crepe myrtles. About a week later we received a second complete set, by mistake. We left them in our garage for longer than we should have, but did get them in the ground following the instructions they include to plant them at an angle. The place we chose was close to the house to provide extra shelter, but we didn't realize it was also an area that's wet. And then we had an unusually harsh February with snow and ice on them. It's now late April and I'm happy to report that of the 24 plants about 18 of them are doing well. We lost a couple of the dogwoods, which got the worst of the wet. And I think only 1 of the 4 crepe myrtles are OK. It should be noted it appears we lost a couple established crepe myrtles (a couple years old each, purchased from nurseries) - too much cold for the younger ones, I guess. Frankly, I didn't expect this success rate - and that was before reading the reviews here and not caring for them optimally! So, for $10 we have at least 18 trees with leaves that appear to be doing fine. I'm happy.

On Apr 19, 2015, PatYates (3 reviews) from Ogden, UT

I wish I would have read the reviews. I got the 10 flowering tree package. I'm not too confident they will survive. I think one of the Washington hawthorns was dead on arrival. I also ordered 3 other trees and was supposed to receive a free red maple. I'm not sure what happened with those. Haven't seen them.

On Nov 24, 2014, gsimcik (2 reviews) from Huntington, NY

Joined as a member in the spring and received 10 bare root Colorado Blue Spruce seedlings. Once summer rolled in, they began to perish, one by one, until only one seedling had survived in the fall. Also, ordered two American hazelnut bare roots in the summer, but did not receive during their fall shipping. Later, customer service told me that my credit card number on file did not work and as a result the seedlings weren't shipped. However, no one at the organization reached out to me to let me know there was a billing problem until it was too late to ship for the season.

On Jun 5, 2014, devinevegan (12 reviews) from Igo, CA (Zone 9a)

Posted on April 30, 2014, updated June 5, 2014 I will update my review as time goes on but for now I'll list it as neutral. My husband and I submitted our $10 donation to receive 10 free trees and 2 free shrubs. Months later they arrived, around the date of average last frost for our area, so that was to be expected. The bag of water the roots were sitting in was very brown, milky and smelly. None of the trees or shrubs were broken but they were all very thin and small. We planted them in pots and will update on their condition, no change in them yet.

On June 5th, 2014, devinevegan changed the rating from neutral to negative and added the following: Update: Only one shrub out of 10 plants has grown leaves. The others never grew any leaves at all.

On May 31, 2014, itsmesue (8 reviews) from Canton, IL (Zone 5b)

I would never have suspected a place that is supposed to be so very special about taking care of our planet and about trees to be so very very very *disappointing*. Oh my gosh! I was excited about ordering trees from "The National Arbor Day Foundation". I had grown up hearing how wonderful this organization is. I even paid the extra money to not only order trees but to join it. But what I got was shocking. I was shocked by how awful the items I got looked and I felt the quality was horrible. I feel as if all I did was waste money on stuff that looks as if any of it lives and/or grows, will be a miracle. I am not talking about the trees they send when you join National Arbor Day, but the trees and shrubs you order from their tree nursery website. //shop.arborday.org/content.aspx?page=tree-nursery I am totally disgusted that a place I trusted sent what I got. NEVER again will I trust them, NEVER again will I order anything from them. And I strongly recommend no one else buy from them. I hope to save anyone else the experience I had with The National Arbor Day Foundation trees you order and pay for from their website.

On May 15, 2014, krasim (1 reviews) from MOUTH OF WILSON, VA

I ordered fruit trees from this company/organization some years back. The cherry trees that I ordered were very small and took years before you could identify them. I was so disappointed to find out that the 2 bing cherry trees as well as the 2 black Tartarians were in fact all ornamental cherry trees. :( Being the Arbor Day Foundation, you would think that they would send you the right trees. I contacted them with pictures. After they examined them, they still said it was the Bing trees I ordered even though I told them the cherries were bitter and the size of a very small pea. Then, I invited a member of the local agriculture dept. to take a look. At this point they did reimburse me the $40.00 I originally paid for them years previously, but I was sad about this too because they grew sturdy and tall and all that time wasted to find out they were not what I ordered. By the way,they were all the same and I ordered 2 different varieties.Also I bought 2 different plum trees methley and damson, well years later, I have 2 identical plum trees with thorns and very small plums. I will never buy from them again and would not recommend buying from them.

On May 10, 2014, kal_el (1 reviews)

I should have read the reviews first. If you are wiser and reading this review know the following: 1. Do not expect to receive plants from your order. You will receive twigs. 2. The 10 free plants are 10 twigs about 6 inches in length shipped as a bundle. These are not potted plants. They are shipped without any soil. 3. I expected that at least the tree saplings that are listed with longer lengths will be shipped with proper proportions and as living plants. No, they were twigs too, tied together in a bundle. I don't know whether these will grow at all, I will try anyways. Do not spend your money thinking you are spending it after a charitable cause. This company from all accounts and my own experience seems to be running a scam. If you feel charitable, donate money to a good charity organization. If you wish to help with reforestation, do it yourself. If you want to grow trees on your own property, find a good local nursery.

On Apr 30, 2014, Lianimals (1 reviews) from Mount Vernon, OR (Zone 6b)

I really hate to say it, but I can no longer in good faith support the Arbor Day Foundation based on the last two years of plant performance from this organization. The first year I became a member, I received my membership trees about a month later than is optimal for planting in my desert region. By the time the bare root 'sticks' arrived, daytime temps were approaching 90's which is pretty warm for a struggling little seedling. Although not one of those trees lived, I chalked it up to it being late in the season with soils just too dry to support early growth. On that occasion, I did not complain or request replacements. So, this year, I contacted the ADF twice to request an earlier shipping date and they did in fact comply with my request, sending the free trees in mid-March which was perfect. I went to great lengths to plant these quickly and under perfect conditions but despite my experience with and care of these bare root plants, only 2 of the ten have leafed out. The rest are officially dead and I suspect were never viable to begin with. In attempting to request replacements, so far I have been getting the email run-around from the ADF and they are still suggesting elementary things like 'do a scratch test' despite my explaining two weeks ago in my initial inquiry that the cambium of all the remaining seedlings was dry and brown. What it comes down to is this: if the Arbor Day Foundation showcases its wonderfu contributions to conservation, then they'd better factor in the millions of gallons of precious water that people are pouring on dead seedlings.

» Read the rest of the reviews