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Comments regarding Fast Growing Trees (formerly Empress Tree Nurseries, Paulownia Supply & fastgrowingtree.com)

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148 positives
4 neutrals
61 negatives

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RatingAuthorContent
Negative ranjani
(2 reviews)
On Feb 9, 2021, ranjani Jacksonville, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

I had bought a fruit cocktail tree for almost $179 on Feb 2019 which came with one missing graft. I didn't want to complain since I felt the tree should be cared for and did exactly the same. After a couple of months, I didn't see any improvement and called customer service. They asked me to purchase a warranty by paying $38! why would anyone want to pay an additional $38 to buy a warranty when the original price itself was $179. Even Walmart, Home depot and Lowe's offer a year warranty on fruit trees with no additional cost. Now the tree looks totally dried up and may have to pay to get it removed! Again I contacted the customer service and was of no use. I have tried my best to post a very honest 1 star review on their website and obviously they will not publish anything other than a 5 star review. Please stay away from this company as you can get these trees for much lower price at many other plant nursery websites with a one year warranty and good customer service!

Negative johnkirk
(1 review)
On Sep 28, 2020, johnkirk Kirkland, WA wrote:

Ordered 4 shrubs from Fast Growing Trees - they arrived dried out, nearly leafless and pretty much dead. After notifying C/S at Fast Growing Trees, they attempted to convince me that they were fine and I should plant them as is. Pictures were exchanged and FGT said they would send replacements- would normally be an acceptable solution, but transit time is clearly the issue here and after asking how the replacements would arrive in any different condition when they would be sent to the same address and packed in the same manner. I was told: the plants should be fine. They weren't - they took almost 2 days longer to arrive and were not in any better condition. After requesting a refund, FGS is saying that I will have to pay shipping to return dead shrubs and a 25% restocking fee - I am certain they will not restock dead shrubs. The "healthy and thriving" guarantee is worthless.

Negative MOM6654
(2 reviews)
On Sep 17, 2020, MOM6654 wrote:

Purchased Hundreds of dollars in trees from this company thru the years. Purchased a group of 10 trees that were suppose to do good in my area. I tried everything to keep them alive. I felt that they could really care less on what had happened.
Anyway, I found another company to purchase trees from. They lost a Good customer. Watch out who you buy from and the guarantee they give.

Negative Dvon69
(2 reviews)
On Sep 11, 2020, Dvon69 wrote:

Tried to order a rainbow eucalyptus back at the beginning of August. The first tree to show up was completely dead. So I called and talked to one rep I believe her name was Alicia she was not helpful and told me to call back 3-4 days later after the picture I submitted to their website, to give them time to get the photo, this was unacceptable to me so I called back right after and talked to ashlynne who was helpful and sent a replacement tree. She told me it was probably due to the unusually long shipping(11 days). Well the second one showed up dead (9 day shipping) and I emailed ashlynne back to let her know, and they sent a third, I told them they may want to expedite the shipping due to the waste of trees we we're creating. Well the third one showed up 2 days ago(6 day shipping) and I bet you can guess how it showed up, so I emailed again and this time Alicia responded telling me it was still alive. Refused to either sent me an overnight tree or refund my money which at this point (1 month and 3 trees later) I think is reasonable. So I called and spoke with Eric who said they would refund 30% and I have to wait two weeks to see if the plant comes back. I told them that the first showed up in same condition and that it's not even showing signs of life. So now I have to wait 2 weeks to get my money back even though it says on their website that if your not 100% satisfied to let them know so they can make it right! Oh and it says if they don't arrive happy and healthy to let them know so they can make it right. Well mine did not arrive happy and healthy, and I am not happy yet they wish to make me wait for what? I did not want to pay 128.00 for a twig thats dead, or 3 for that matter. This was my second purchase from them and we were planning on putting our orchard in through this company, glad we found out this is how they operate before I placed the big order!!! I will never use fast growing trees again due to this customer service.

Negative mrgoop
(1 review)
On Aug 21, 2020, mrgoop Chicago, IL wrote:

I ordered a 6 foot tall maple tree on their website that was not cheap, but I was reassured by their guarantee of receiving a “happy and healthy” tree, so I thought it would be good quality. I received a tree in clear poor health whose leaves were charred to a crisp and eaten by pests, not at all anything similar to the pictures on their website. I’ve never gotten anything this atrocious from discount nurseries or Home Depot, let alone a place charging $300 for a tree.

I contacted them the same day I received the tree because I was appalled. They told me it looked bad because of shipping and to wait two weeks, even though shipping wasn’t the issue here. I waited two weeks and sent them more pictures, since the tree was certainly dying. Their response is “unless the tree is dead, we’re not giving a refund”.

So beware, their guarantee of a refund if not satisfied within 5 days of receiving a tree is a lie. Their guarantee of a “happy and healthy” tree is also a lie, since apparently as long as the tree isn’t completely dead on arrival, they won’t do anything for their customers.

Negative BrentonSims
(7 reviews)
On Jun 17, 2020, BrentonSims Jacksonville, FL wrote:

I ordered a few trees that were out of stock elsewhere. They were ridiculously small and nowhere near fruiting age as the website explained. One tree died shortly thereafter and the other has taken 2 years to start flowering.
They rip people off and ignore any complaints.

Negative Regalo
(2 reviews)
On May 22, 2020, Regalo Friendswood, TX wrote:

I ordered shrubs from this nursery during the Covid19 shutdown. Previously, goods from here had been securely packed and arrived in fine shape.
This time, there were three unsecured pots in a long box. At each end was a large Weigela and in the middle was a small clematis shrub. The two large pots had crushed the small pot and sheared off the crown and almost all stalks. All plants were completely or partially out of their pots and contained only by the plastic bags over the pots.
I had two damaged plants and one that died without putting up any new shoots from broken crown.
The company would not accept phone calls, but after searching around I found a link to complain. Filled in the form and submitted photos and the screen showed a receipt of the info and a note saying they would reply in 2-5 business days.
They have not replied and are not accepting phone calls.

Negative Tifflny
(1 review)
On Apr 29, 2020, Tifflny Wayne, PA wrote:

So I purchased an apple tree for $140, a cherry for $130 and a magnolia plant for $30. I also purchased insurance for all these plants. When I received them I was a little disappointed in the size as they said that they were large trees. They were smaller than the ones you can get at Home Depot for $29.95! Nevertheless I planted them according to their instructions and hopped for the best. With in a year the cherry and the magnolia were dead. So I took a picture and sent it for my insurance. I got a reply after a couple of email saying that I will receive my insurance in the form of gift cards and to wait for this email. It never came. Sometime goes by and the apple tree dies but it’s past warranty so I eat that $140. In the meantime I purchased 2 apple trees from Home Depot which are thriving! So come the beginning of this year and my husband is eager to get some new items for the garden and I remember that I never got that so called gift cards from Fast growing trees. So I send them an email and they reply sending me the gift cards. The next day my husband tries to check out only to find that the gift card codes expired at the end of March 6 days after they sent them to me for the first time! So I contacted customer service as said that they were expired and they replied that they expired a year from issuing them. So they were issued but never sent and as a result I never got them but that doesn’t matter to them because they were issued... I suppose me being psychic I should have known and acted accordingly. So I replied stating I would never buy from them again and write a horrible review for the way I was treated and then they had the audacity to send me a review survey for how I would rate my customer satisfaction. I mean really! So after reading other negative reviews I realized that I should have never bought from them in the first place. So take my advice and learn from my hard learnt lesson, DO NOT BUY FROM FAST GROWING TREES!!!!! Their trees are crap! And your chances of loosing you $$$$$ is great even with their so called insurance!

Negative jc1331
(1 review)
On Apr 9, 2020, jc1331 Poquoson, VA wrote:

I don't know where to begin. I spent $390 on 8 blueberry plants and 5 pomegranate trees. The blueberry plants looked like they had some kind of blight or something with black track marks and much of the leaf was missing on most of the leaves. They were all very small and not worth anywhere near what I paid for them. The pomegranate trees were even smaller and also not in good health - not much more than seedlings. What I received wasn't worth more than $150 at most if they were in good health and these are not in good health at all. I'm just glad I didn't spend more. When I can get a 6' fruit tree in perfect health at Walmart for $25, this just seems like a bad joke.

Negative deepgreenthumbs
(6 reviews)
On Jan 30, 2020, deepgreenthumbs Seattle, WA wrote:

Never again. I received a tree worth maybe half what I'd paid--a tiny starter that had been described as "ready to fruit".
I contacted them and in the hours that followed, they both defended the tree to me as capable of bearing fruit "within a year under ideal condition"--which is NOT "ready to fruit", AND deleted those three little words from the web-page. I called them on that contradiction, and suddenly found myself CC'd on another customer's complaint--and, I later found out, they could see my info, as well. So, a clear violation of our privacy...
They are now saying I will receive a full refund, which, basically, this tiny tree is allllmost adequate compensation my time and trouble...but they're not getting another chance from me.

Negative Omaima
(1 review)
On Jan 24, 2020, Omaima Woodcrest, CA wrote:

A year ago, I purchased over $5,000 worth of plants from Fast Growing Trees company. More than 50% of those plants died. I purchased warranty for those plants, and they honored the warranty and replaced those dead plants, but the new plants still died. I got tired from replanting, so I decided to find another nursery. I feel they exaggerated the description of their plants and they use incorrect zoning to get more people from different location to buy their plants. We live in zone 9b, so we have hot aired summers. I made sure that all plants I purchased from them are for my zone. But still most didn't survive. I purchased 2 Mimosas, 2 fragrant tea olives, 3 bamboo, 3 royal empress, 2 Princeton elm, 1 Avocado, 3 Camellias, 1 butterfly Magnolia, 1 Apricot, 3 blackberries, and over 60 Arizona Cypresses, and more. I always purchased their root rocket special fertilizer that they claim will make sure that their roots get a good head start. Unfortunately most of these plants died. The only plants that survived (mostly) were their Arizona Cypress, but I had to replace about 10 or 12, but as least they lived. I feel that they sell their plants before they have good developed roots, or maybe they give them a boost of nitrogen before shipping to make them look healthy. I am very disappointed at them as I spent a lot of money on those plants and I planted all of those trees myself, so I put in a lot of effort on them. Their plants are very expensive too compared to local nurseries, which I started buying from our local nursery to discover that the price of the same plant at FGT is double what our local nursery sells. Never again to buy from them.

Negative ddodd3329
(1 review)
On Aug 15, 2019, ddodd3329 West Hartford, CT wrote:

I am not happy with the quality of my order! When I cut the fastener holding the bag closed the soil was so dry the plant just lifted out of the planting medium and might as well not been in a pot. The last inch of the branches were dry and yellow. The plant overall does not appear healthy. It is now well water and hope the plant recovers in time to survive the winter.

Negative Elvis_A_Presley
(2 reviews)
On Apr 28, 2019, Elvis_A_Presley Grand Prairie, TX wrote:

Have ordered trees before from FGT, and they have done well in my opinion. My last order was in late August 2018, and this company for some inexplicable reason shipped two mimosas so that they were in transit over the Labor Day holiday, resulting in the plants being confined to their box for a week before delivery. Needless to say when opened all of the foliage had dried up and fallen off. Planted them (correctly I might add) on the chance that they might regenerate in the following spring. One did, one did not. The one that did not was a “chocolate mimosa” which already faces a challenge due to being a graft, much less after being confined in shipping box for a week.

Contacted customer service, again in this case since I had called out the shipping delay previously last September. Only offer was to pay more for a replacement, to which I replied no, since their shipping incompetence is solely their own fault. To FGT I say congratulations on being penny wise and pound foolish, as you have permanently lost my business. It’s not like I don’t know how to grow trees either, as was implied during my most recent customer service experience, given that I am a degreed forester.

I rarely leave negative business reviews, as this is only my second one ever. Sometimes it’s appropriate however, and this is one of those times.

Negative htxgardener
(1 review)
On Apr 25, 2019, htxgardener Houston, TX wrote:

I'm so disappointed that such a diverse selection and good website has staff that have no clue how to package, care for or ship the trees you order. I got two saplings in about a week's time of shipping, both were broker mid trunk. Sent in a very detailed complaint, a week later they sent me replacements for both as an apology. Those arrived today and were damaged even worse than the originals. They cut corners and don't care. I'll never support that kind of approach to gardening and shipping for plants, really pains me to see this much damage.

Negative secretscorpion
(1 review)
On Jan 3, 2019, secretscorpion Tolland, CT wrote:

Reached out to the company 4 times without any response. Very concerning when a company not only refuses to resolve customers issues, but refuses to respond at all. $400 of dead trees and no response from the company.


On Jan 3, 2019, Fast Growing Trees (formerly Empress Tree Nurseries, Paulownia Supply & fastgrowingtree.com) responded with:

"On Jan 3, 2019 4:17 PM, Fast-Growing-Trees (formerly Empress Tree Nurseries, Paulownia Supply & fastgrowingtree.com) responded with:

Hello,
We are very sorry to hear that your experience with us hasn't been a good one. Our customer service manager has been notified of your concerns but will need additional information to be able to assist you further. Would you please contact Jackie Ready our customer care manager at [email protected] and let her know of your experience so she can assist you further?


On Jan 3, 2019 4:42 PM, Fast-Growing-Trees (formerly Empress Tree Nurseries, Paulownia Supply & fastgrowingtree.com) added:

We have reached out to the customer in regards to their concerns and feel that we have resolved the customers issues. "


Negative KarenMYou
(1 review)
On Aug 12, 2018, KarenMYou Saint Paul, MN wrote:

My son sent me two trees for Mother's Day (May 13t, 2018 Order # 2900339 REf # 9300244). The maple tree was in beautiful shape and is thriving. The oak tree had some wilted leaves, and the dirt was dry and had been shaken away from its roots during shipping. I soaked the tree and planted it. It failed to thrive and most of the leaves wilted. I sent an email to the company with pictures in July but no reply. It worsened and I sent another email. Both emails were to (the person who had sent me a congratulations email with no notice of a 30-day period). Again I received no reply.

I was shocked when I received no response at all from the company. Then, when I searched their website, I discovered their 30-day policy. Since this was a gift, I had no idea there was a 30-day notification period about something amiss, and am, in fact, used to reputable firms guaranteeing trees for a year. So now I'm spending my Sunday afternoon warning customers on the Internet to beware of this company. I will make it my mission to help people avoid wasting their money with this firm.


On Aug 12, 2018, Fast Growing Trees (formerly Empress Tree Nurseries, Paulownia Supply & fastgrowingtree.com) responded with:

"On Aug 13, 2018 12:03 PM, Fast-Growing-Trees (formerly Empress Tree Nurseries, Paulownia Supply & fastgrowingtree.com) responded with:

We are so sorry to hear that your Oak tree has not thrived. We do guarantee our trees with a 30 day guarantee and we will be reaching out to you privately to assist you further with your concerns and to research as to why you didn't receive a response. "


Negative ejefferies
(3 reviews)
On Jun 23, 2018, ejefferies Tryon, NC wrote:

Once again, I believed FGT's ads for free shipping, then was charged shipping: The way to get free shipping is to enter the code they provide. The problem starts when there's no obvious place to enter the cde and they don't show the shipping charges until after you have provided your credit card and checked out.

IF you notice after check out that you have paid a substantial shipping charge, you can complain; IF you notice. IF YOU NOTICE AND COMPLAIN they'll send a refund, eventually, maybe.

It is interesting that this problem is one of their pre programmed problems, so I guess I have lots of company.

I wonder how many customers don't notice? I bet a lot don't notice, which even tho they say they will give me a refund is why I am leaving a negative review, I am convinced this is intentional and makes them a lot of money.


On Jun 23, 2018, Fast Growing Trees (formerly Empress Tree Nurseries, Paulownia Supply & fastgrowingtree.com) responded with:

"On Jun 25, 2018 7:16 AM, Fast-Growing-Trees (formerly Empress Tree Nurseries, Paulownia Supply & fastgrowingtree.com) responded with:

We are so sorry for the troubles! In no way is this intentional. If the code is mistakenly left off for any reason and we are notified we will refund you the shipping cost. We have a field on the check page that says " apply promo code" . This is where you would enter the code. Again are very sorry if it wasn't clear and will make sure we pass along the information to our eCommerce team. "


Negative TNPlanter
(1 review)
On Nov 18, 2017, TNPlanter Dunlap, TN wrote:

Avoid Fast-Growing-Trees.com (unless you like spending good money on subpar plants). They trees they sent me were limp noodles, had crooked trunks, and they deleted my negative comments on their website.

I recently ordered 8 Autumn Blaze Maples (5-6') from Fast-Growing-Trees.com. My order, after shipping and planting kits, topped out at close to $1000. I was very excited about getting these trees (that had received such rave reviews on the FGT website.

The shipment arrived. I had a full day of planting ahead of me, so I did a quick inspection and got started placing the trees. Each of the trees arrived with bamboo nursery stakes attached. I wasn't sure what to do about those (nothing was written about them in the planting directions, on the website, and FGT don't have weekend phone hours--when most people are out planting stuff).

I left the nursery stakes on for stability while I planted them all. The first thing I noticed was that about 3-4 of the 8 trees had trunk bases that contained a somewhat severe growth bend--about 2-3 inches above the root flare. These not only gave me concern, but made angling the tree straight quite a challenge.

After getting the trees planted (and looking up loads more of instructions as the planting directions provided are laughably simplistic and incompleted), I cut the small ties that held the trees to the nursery stakes.

Boy was that a mistake.

No fewer than 6 of the 8 trees promptly leaned over to such a degree that I grew concerned that the tree would break in half. These trees could simply not support their own weight. To make matters worse, the "planting kits" that I purchased from FGT included nylon straps that were almost completely unusable for the "sticks" that I was sent. The reason? They are so slick that they can't gain traction on the bark, so they end up sliding all the way down to the bottom of the tree.

This being Saturday, I had to wait till 9am Monday to call FGT regarding the sorry specimens they had sent me. Their response was, "Why did you plant them if you didn't like them?" My response was that I had no idea until I removed the nursery stakes (which are not even mentioned in the directions) that these limp noodles were so flimsy. They gave me so much grief.

Finally, they agreed to give me a partial refund. But, of course, when I left some "less than stellar" feedback on the review section of their website (with photos) they deleted the post. Now I know why these trees all have 4-5 star reviews...they delete most of the negative reviews.

Buyer beware of Fast-Growing-Trees.com.

Negative mcrosby57
(2 reviews)
On Jul 13, 2017, mcrosby57 Arlington, WA wrote:

This is not a discount nursery. I only bought from them because I could not find the plants I wanted from a local nursery within a 50 mile radius. I am not so concerned about the price as I would have paid more for the convenience of getting the plants now. However, Pacific Northwest is winding down it's planting season even though we can still plant, there is not much to choose from in big box stores (Home Depot's cyclone fenced area typically in their parking lot during planting season is totally empty and locked shut). So, I ordered 3 Skyrocket Junipers and got 2. I emailed, filling out their "form". After a good 18 hours, I called them. It is Thursday. They can ship the missing Skyrocket Juniper on Sunday (?) and then it will take a week to arrive, they do not do expedited shipping even when the problem is in their error. Customer service is lacking: their mistake, LONG shipping time, they won't expedite shipping or pull faster from their inventory. They did offer to refund the one tree.......... But that's not the point. Their website claims they will do anything to make things right. Doesn't that include working hard to correct their error rather than treating it just like a normal order? We are going on vacation and will not be here to receive the plant. We counted on the plants being here before we left so we could get them in the ground and let the irrigation system keep them watered while gone. Oh well, lesson learned. Next time, I will just wait until I can get plants from a local vendor. I did not purchase the warranty, though offered several times. I am aware of the limitations and rediculousness of the warranty after reading the fine print.

Negative mlslev
(1 review)
On Jun 25, 2017, mlslev Arvada, CO wrote:

I experienced problems with shipping, incorrect pricing and issues with ordering as well as correct info regarding a tree. Most of my plants arrived in fairly good shape with the exception of one of the blueberry bushes. One came and it was about 12" high and had one stem with a leaf on it. The others were at least 2 ft. with tons of leaves. They insisted that a tree barely living was acceptable and to plant it. They said if it completely died in 45 days that they would replace it. The issue is that I am paying someone $38 per hour to plant. I would have to pay for it to be planted, removed and a new one planted. Also they picture large trees in the descriptions instead of what you actually get that has a trunk about 3/4" wide. For the price it's common sense that you are not getting a mature tree but for accurate advertising they should say approx what the diameter is, versus the height of the tree.

Negative rwwright
(1 review)
On Sep 23, 2016, rwwright Evanston, IL wrote:

Ordered what I was assured would be a very nice North Star Cherry tree in a "Drop'N'Gro" bag (dirt surrounding the roots). Received a bare root plant with a very few 2 to 3 inch long thread-like roots, a few short thin vertical branches from the root, half of which were dead and the rest partially dead with a few tiny leaves. When I called to express my dismay, I was assured "all is OK." Despite religious watering, the leaves never grew but instead gradually shriveled up and died along with the branches. My negative review posted on their website was deleted, which is their standard practice. I had to pay for a warranty (unlike other quality sites), which however only provides a credit for their site. For a vast number of similar reviews for similar experiences (~85%) see SiteJabber.com.

Negative bcavender
(1 review)
On Aug 24, 2016, bcavender Livingston, TN wrote:

My order of five Leyland Cypress trees arrived with the pots dumped and roots showing. Packing was very weak. Nevertheless, I planted/watered them anyway as they were green. I checked on them carefully for a couple weeks and they seemed to be ok though most were barely able to hold their tops up off the ground. I went back to trim around them about 6 weeks later and four of the five were finally starting to bend upright, but one had bit the dust.

When I went back to the website for the guarantee I found that they only offer a 50% store credit AND that is if you are within 45 days from the purchase date. To me six weeks is pretty much no real guarantee at all. I would expect that from a discounter, not a premium price seller.

Despite 80% of their stuff growing, the plants were weak, packing was ineffective against shipping damage and their warrantee is of near zero value.

My purchases from Starks Bros carried a warrantee that goes one year with a full replacement plant shipped to you and their prices are very competitive if not lower.

FGT's lousy warrantee alone will force my future purchases to go to Starks. Buyer Compare Beware ....

Bruce
Livingston TN

Negative MarieAkhurst
(2 reviews)
On May 27, 2016, MarieAkhurst Lancaster, PA wrote:

The tree they sent was big (for a mail order tree) and healthy. The reason I'm giving a negative is because of a problem with their 'everbearing mulberry tree' advertising as well as their lack of ethics. The web page title says 'everbearing' yet the html line faintly indicates 'black beauty', a tree with different dimensions. There are questions below on the pg. that also indicate the confusion of what species of mulberry this is. Just after ordering I noticed the faint html line and then the questions below which caused me to suspect their info may not be accurate. I asked and was told in emails that the tree is a dwarf and would remain small but when I called a plant specialist and spoke with Lisa, she was unsure and stated to me that 'the rumor was it is an Illinois Everbearing' (40'x 40' at least) but she would try to call the grower for accurate info. She called later to confirm it was a 'black beauty' mulberry (small tree). I told her I was not confident taking this verbally as we would face a thousand + dollars in tree removal if she was wrong so could she send me an email to confirm the type and mature dimensions. She sent me an email with a dogwood in the subject line and the email was only the copied and pasted info from the 'mystery mulberry' pg. This was not helpful or firm proof of what type of tree I had. So I told her I did not trust the accuracy and wanted to ship it back at their cost and with no restocking fee (usually 25% or so). She argued but I pointed out this was not buyer's remorse as I would glady keep the tree, IF I could get something written to indicate the variety and mature dimensions. After some arguing, she offered to reimburse return shipping and give me a full refund. I wrote an email to her confirming our conversation with her offers the day prior to shipment. Upon receipt of the returned tree FGT did issue a full refund for the original purchase price and shipping but refused to reimburse for the return shipping, as guaranteed by Lisa the previous day. I am in process of having something done about this but wanted others to know about this experience so they can judge for themselves if they want to do business with a company that says one thing but does another. I want FGT to know that I had been very happy with the fast shipping and the quality of the tree sent to me so I would have continued buying from them had they handled the disagreement over a mere $31 by following thru with Lisa's promise but because of their poor ethics with my case, they will now lose out on quite alot of profit and may be forced to reimburse the shipping anyway. I have photos of the web pg and copies of all emails. FGT, the sign of a good business is how it treats it's customers when things don't go as planned. FYI.

Negative lopusa
(1 review)
On Mar 17, 2016, lopusa Brunswick, GA wrote:

The plants are very overpriced, much smaller than local garden centers. Unlike Home Depot, Lowes etc, there is no guarantee unless you pay extra. Shipping is extremely expensive.
Worst of all I have had a number of plants die, yet despite paying for a guarantee I cannot get a refund. (unlike almost every other plant and seed company, including mail order) Why not? I can only get a store credit, but guess what! I will now be charged shipping for replacement plants. Wish I'd never got involved with this company. Stay away!

Negative koms1016
(1 review)
On Jan 26, 2016, koms1016 Houston, TX wrote:

I have ordered about a 6-7 trees from this site, and I have to say that my experience hasn't been so good. I ordered an apple, peach, mango and blueberry bushes. The apple and peach didn't survive long, for which they sent a replacement. The new apple is doing well, but the peach isn't. The mango dropped all it's leaves, and is dead, and I have made many attempts to contact them to no avail. The same with the blueberry trees...all dead twice and nobody gets back to me. They have decent pricing but I have yet to experience the amazing quality or customer service others have. I want to order several more trees, but am weary of this site due to my experience.


On Jan 26, 2016, Fast Growing Trees (formerly Empress Tree Nurseries, Paulownia Supply & fastgrowingtree.com) responded with:

"On Jan 27, 2016 4:15 PM, Fast-Growing-Trees (formerly Empress Tree Nurseries, Paulownia Supply & fastgrowingtree.com) responded with:

We are terribly sorry to hear this. Per our records we have responded to all correspondence with the customer and show no other emails that were not responded too.We strive in making sure that all of our customers are responded to within 48 hours of receiving. We have also been in contact with the customer and feel that we have come to a mutual resolution to the customers concerns. "


Negative Britlon65
(1 review)
On May 14, 2015, Britlon65 Chandler, TX wrote:

I have had great success with Fast Growing Trees in the past - up until now.

I ordered a white Crepe Myrtle in April of 2013 - came as a lovely tree and it was immediately planted. It is doing so well. That same year I ordered a Crepe Myrtle that was a shrub, so it would not grow too tall for the space in my front garden - it also doling well.

Last year I ordered a Brown Turkey Fig which was planted in October of last year. It looks fantastic after a winter in Austin, Texas I ordered another Brown Turkey Fig this year and I cannot believe how well it doing in just a few weeks

I give them the best rating for the plants I received in the past.

Now to my present problem. I ordered a Sweet Bay Magnolia which arrived last week. It was covered in dead leaves, and ugly shape, and looked like it had been used for grafts for more trees. I have been a gardener for more years than I can remember, since I was a young child working in my parents gardens in England, so I am not a novice gardener.

So I called Fast Growing Trees went it was taken out of the box immediately after it arrived. They said not to send it back, to donate it - which I did to my neighbor's church. I am not sure how well it will do, or if they could bring it back to a viable tree.

Yesterday the replacement tree was delivered. It is approximately six feet tall - a bean pole with three small branches coming out - I was totally in shock that both these trees had not been of the quality I had received in previous years.

My opinion is that with the internet presence they have with so may orders, they do not keep track of repeat customers, and some of us end up getting shoddy merchandise

I hate to say this, because I have enjoyed dealing with them for my online gardening source, I will not
be ordering from then in the future.

Sincerely,

Simone Hart-Logan


On May 14, 2015, Fast Growing Trees (formerly Empress Tree Nurseries, Paulownia Supply & fastgrowingtree.com) responded with:

"On Jul 6, 2015 12:00 PM, Empress Tree Nurseries (aka Fast Growing Trees, Paulownia Supply & fastgrowingtree.com) responded with:

We were so sorry to hear that Ms. Hart-Logan was upset with her order. We contacted her and had a plant specialist discuss the differences in the different types of Magnolias. We worked out a resolution to her satisfaction and ours and feel like the is satisfied now. "


Negative Phi_Man
(1 review)
On Jul 18, 2014, Phi_Man Blackhawk-Camino Tassajara, CA wrote:

BEWARE!! They ship unhealthy plants!

I purchased 5 Hakuro Nishiki (Tri Color Willow) bushes. Full price - no discounts! Two arrived looking tired, which is expected after 6 days in a dark box. The other three arrived with brown crunchy leaves. Clearly, they were already in bad shape before they were shipped. I removed all the dead leaves (just about all of it) and had to cut the stems way back to remove the dead parts. I called and emailed, and their response was "Our apologies again for the condition that they arrived in. Please continue to keep us updated on the tree's. If they do not see improvement after a few weeks please let us know and we will be more than happy to assist you at that time.."

Umm... i'm complaining about the condition of the plants before they were boxed and shipped - way to skirt around the issue and not take responsibility. I think it's poor business practice to ship customers subpar plants and expect them to nurse them back to health. Many have written good reviews, so I expected more from this business.


On Jul 18, 2014, Fast Growing Trees (formerly Empress Tree Nurseries, Paulownia Supply & fastgrowingtree.com) responded with:

"On Jul 21, 2014 9:35 AM, Empress Tree Nurseries (aka Fast Growing Trees, Paulownia Supply & fastgrowingtree.com) responded with:

Reached out to the customer in regards to their purchase. Our customer service manager reviewed the photos and agreed with the customer that they did not arrive quality condition. Our customer service rep who handled this initially did not take care of this correctly. We appreciate them letting us know so we could use this as a training tool as well as rectify the concern. We have sent the customer replacements for those that arrived in poor condition. "


Negative evantorch
(2 reviews)
On May 30, 2014, evantorch Atlanta, GA wrote:

If there's one thing I've learned in 40 years of gardening it's risky ordering smaller trees than large ones and the smaller the seedling vs. the price, the more you will lose: Murphy's Law?

At any rate I have twice contacted "Pam" about a $40 24-30" Redbud which arrived dormant and has now failed to leaf out with no answer whatsoever.
I suspect that Pam is a catch-all name (duh) and that they just hope I'll go away.

The sad part of this is that 1). I can just stop credit card payment and 2). They lost an avid customer. I'll never understand it.


On May 30, 2014, Fast Growing Trees (formerly Empress Tree Nurseries, Paulownia Supply & fastgrowingtree.com) responded with:

"On Jul 1, 2014 9:39 AM, Empress Tree Nurseries (aka Fast Growing Trees, Paulownia Supply & fastgrowingtree.com) responded with:

We received notice that the customer was unhappy with their purchase on June 2, 2014 and tried to reach out to the customer. Our emails to the customers kept being returned as non deliverable. We tried via telephone as well to no avail. We sent out a replacement tree on June 2, 2014 in hopes that this tree would arrive in excellent condition and would hopefully make the customer happy. The customer is welcome to reach out to our customer service manager at 888-504-2001 and she would be happy to assist him should he have any other questions or concerns. "


Negative Bueno
(2 reviews)
On Sep 23, 2013, Bueno wrote:

Do not buy from this company!!!! They charge four times more than other nurseries, so you think you are getting a superior product, but that is not the case. I ordered a cherry tree from them last fall and they sent this little dead looking twig with a horrible graph. I planted it and took care of it hoping for the best. In the spring, it never had a single leaf. I contacted them and asked for a refund. They did not refund my money. I contacted them again in the fall and they said they would give me a ten dollar gift card. I will never order from them again. They are scam artists. The negative feedback is removed from their website, leaving only the positive comments. DO NOT ORDER FROM THEM!


On Sep 23, 2013, Fast Growing Trees (formerly Empress Tree Nurseries, Paulownia Supply & fastgrowingtree.com) responded with:

"On Oct 9, 2013 12:14 PM, Empress Tree Nurseries (aka Fast Growing Trees, Paulownia Supply & fastgrowingtree.com) responded with:

We received initial contact of a potential problem with this tree around middle of May. At this time we asked for a photograph of the tree, and requested a bark scratch test to be done to ensure the tree was actually dead. We never heard back from this customer until the end of September that this was still an issue. Once we heard this client was upset, we immediately reached out to this customer and came to a resolution that was acceptable to this customer. At this time we believe this issue has been resolved to the customers satisfaction."


Negative threefeethighan
(1 review)
On Sep 7, 2013, threefeethighan Grand Island, NE wrote:

SOOOOOO disappointed. So many positive reviews for this company that I wonder if they make up for it on just the occasional customer. Just received a "5-6' " golden raintree and paid full price shipping. Expected it to be in a 3 to 5 gallon tub for the price I paid for shipping, especially since there was no indication anywhere that they would bare root it (plus I paid double what others online are selling the bare root version for). So what do I get? A 5.5' tree with only the stripped down root ball, no dirt no tub, with the root ball only wrapped in some paper and slipped into a plastic bag closed with a cable tie. NOT dormant, with all the leaves still green (but dying), in Zone 5 (not the time to plant bare root in our zone). And the customer service guy has the nerve to tell me "Oh no, it is not bare root. We just strip off all the dirt to save you money on shipping (I did not save a dime, so they must have). On top of that, someone just slipped this poor poor young tree into a 6' long, 1' square box with NOTHING to stabiIlize it and NO protection AT ALL. So the poor thing was just knocking around in the box during shipping and came with several of the VERY LIMITED stems broken and parallel to the trunk, and several stems and multiple leaves completely broken off in the box, and most of the other leaves completely dry. Some were starting to brown and a few were already completely brown/black. Additionally, and surprisingly, the trunk is only less than 1" diameter but somehow already considerably bowed for most of its length, as if they did not stake/train it right. I planted it with a lot of care and high hopes, but I do not really believe it will make it (Nebraska winter will probably finish this traumatized tree off). My next step will be to talk to their so-called "customer service" again and see what they will do for me. But this really should not have happened from a company with so many other supposedly happy customers. Again, very disappointed. And VERY worried, as I also ordered two other 5-6' trees from them at the same time which have not yet arrived (kousa dogwood and weeping cherry). I can only hope those will be much nicer specimens in much better condition when they arrive.
.


On Sep 7, 2013, Fast Growing Trees (formerly Empress Tree Nurseries, Paulownia Supply & fastgrowingtree.com) responded with:

"On Oct 9, 2013 12:09 PM, Empress Tree Nurseries (aka Fast Growing Trees, Paulownia Supply & fastgrowingtree.com) responded with:

This customer contacted us immediately upon receipt of his tree. We did discuss the root ball and our method of shipping. We try to remove the pot from some product to minimize the effects to the environment by reusing these, as well as removing some of the circling roots to ensure the success of this plant. We take pride in working towards a more efficient, eco- friendly process to ship our trees. We have contacted this customer and resolved this situation to the customer’s satisfaction. "


Negative Rebiez
(1 review)
On Jul 31, 2013, Rebiez Brookeville, MD wrote:

My mother and I ordered over $800 of trees, berries, bushes, etc. Several trees arrived dormant, and two of them never grew all year. The two we purchased for total of $127. E-mailed pictures of the two (completely dead) trees that were planted immediately and cared for more than adequately.

I was told that because we didn't purchase additional insurance that they sell I was not entitled to a refund or replacement. I was offered a $20 credit to shop there again - what?! We paid for live trees. This is not an acceptable customer service policy. We will not be back.


On Jul 31, 2013, Fast Growing Trees (formerly Empress Tree Nurseries, Paulownia Supply & fastgrowingtree.com) responded with:

"On Oct 9, 2013 12:10 PM, Empress Tree Nurseries (aka Fast Growing Trees, Paulownia Supply & fastgrowingtree.com) responded with:

When we heard that there was a potential issue on this customer’s order we were well outside of the initial warranty period. We do offer a 1 year guarantee to purchase during checkout which was not purchased. When we became aware of this particular situation we extended our hand by offering a $20 store credit towards a future purchase. Our Customer Service Manager has reached out to this customer multiple times to work towards a fair resolution, and have not been contacted back as of yet."


Negative magelsinger
(1 review)
On May 29, 2013, magelsinger Mechanicsburg, PA wrote:

Fast-Growing-Trees order #606925 on 21Mar2013 of 8 royal empress trees. 6 currently growing from bare root stock- 2 have shown no growth. Sent 2 emails with no response, 3rd email I explained that I would be posting a negative comment here and got response to replace the 2 non-growing trees within a couple of hours. I will still never order from them ever again and suggest no one else does either. There are many other deserving mail-order businesses with better customer service to be utilized.


On May 29, 2013, Fast Growing Trees (formerly Empress Tree Nurseries, Paulownia Supply & fastgrowingtree.com) responded with:

"On Jul 26, 2013 10:35 AM, Empress Tree Nurseries (aka Fast Growing Trees, Paulownia Supply & fastgrowingtree.com) responded with:

We received an email correspondence from this customer on May 29th explaining that he had sent numerous emails we did not respond to. We have looked through our email system, and cannot find an email prior to this one on the 29th. The same day we received the email about an issue, we promptly added the 2 replacement plants to be processed. The replacement plants were shipped out 4 business days after the receipt of the original email. Our customer service manager has reached out 5 times via phone to make sure this customer has no further issues, and has not received a return call.
We sincerely hope our promptness with our resolution has satisfied our customer.
"


Negative msm516
(1 review)
On Apr 24, 2013, msm516 Neosho, WI wrote:

Terrible customer service, what a mistake my order has been. On april 4th, I ordered 5 Thuja Green Giants from them to start a privacy screen at our new house. All trees were getting "too big to ship" at 40% off and free shipping. The payment of $230 cleared my bank on the 5th. On the 9th, my wife was doing our budget and saw an additional $295 charge from them on our card. I assumed it was a correction of the first and they messed up the discount, wrong! I called them immediately the next morning to learn someone apparently had modified my order to add 5 extra bushes and a few bags of dirt. Thank God my wife caught this as soon as the payment posted. I figured it would be easy to clear up. The lady blamed me for the order and told me someone had access to my card, I assured her that did not happen. She said she would take care of it and refund the extra $295, leaving only my actual order of $230. She said she would cancel the whole order and reenter only my original items. I get a shipping notice that night via email. I call my credit card company to report the fraudulent charge. They told me I needed to wait 15 days since I had made a legit order from them, and this was merchant error not fraud. I called them the next day to get another lady. She pulled my order number and found nothing had changed. I had the same conversation with her and she told me they could refund the extra bushes, but the dirt had already shipped and I would be responsible for return shipping to get a refund. I thought that was ridiculous, why should I pay to return-ship 40lbs of dirt I didn't order, nothing they can do. Following the call I contacted FedEx to see if I could stop the shipment. Turns out it had been submitted for pickup, but not picked up. Per my banks suggestion I needed some sort of paper trail. I immediately opened a ticket with Fast-Trees explaining the whole situation. A weekend passes, I give them Monday. Monday night a small refund goes through, for $230 the amount of the part I did actually order. I called them again to find out they didn't ship anything yet and had refunded me for the 5 extra bushes but not the dirt. I again, explained the whole thing and told them I did not order the dirt. She flags an extra $65 for refund. Two days pass, I get a call from them. Apparently they need my credit card info to process my refund because they don't have it. I call them for the 5th time to finalize this. I call at 3:25pm, I am on hold for 41 minutes! A que tells me it will be 5 minutes, then ladies, without giving a chance to speak tell me please stay on hold. Most calls this lasts 15 mintues, but this time it happens 3 times for a total of 41 minutes. Then, an automated message comes on telling me they can't take my call today they've closed, leave a message, I do.

I still have not finalized this order mess up, it's now the 24th, I have tried to be friendly. What a joke this place is. I still haven't got their mistake cleared up, and have spent atleast 4 hours of my life working on this. I can't even imagine what these trees will look like. If I could get out of this order it would be a God-send. Never doing business with them again!

Negative shawn22
(1 review)
On Jul 12, 2012, shawn22 Fenwick, MI wrote:

Terrible! I posted the whole story on another site.... ordered over 800 in trees and shrubs... had terrible luck, terribly packaged, dried up looking stems... called them, they reassured me, plant them and if they don't perform they'd replace... ok... well I lost over 500 in the ones that died... I got just over 100 in refund to use on there site... WTH?!?! Never again! Don't get suckered!!!! It was a very costly mistake. My own fault for NOT checking reviews......

Negative Michigani
(1 review)
On Jul 9, 2012, Michigani Novi, MI wrote:

Because the internet has made it very convenient for most of us to look for information, when I was looking for gardening ideas and plants that would grow well in my area, it seemed easy to browse Fast Growing Trees (it pops up quite easily).I saw the beautiful pictures of the mature trees and plants, and what seemed to be knowledgeable descriptions and instructions and... I trusted. The FREE SHIPPING on plants and trees had the immediate intended effect (removed a huge objection to buying trees and plants online). Anyone that has payed for shipping knows that free shipping on bulky things is too good an offer to pass, not to mention that you get a $7.00 discount for signing up for their emaiI newsletter. So I spent a good hour happily choosing over $1300 in plants for our front yard. Before ordering I called them to ask when the plants were likely to arrive to coordinate with the landscaper. The salesperson told me: "If you order now, I can bump you ahead on the line so that you get your plants next week" Beautiful plants, free shipping and, special treatment! How nice! so I ordered over $1,300 in plants from Fast Growing Trees by phone BEFORE reading reviews (so very unwise). I was just to taken by the pretty images and the easy to use website. I did not read the terms and conditions, I think that most of us trust that merchants act in good will.
It was after one week of no receiving any notifications that I called them to ask when the plants were coming, they told me they had not shipped them yet and that orders to the Midwest usually shipped on Wednesdays (it was a Monday). Something about the way this customer service person talked to me did not feel right, he was not rude but much less nice than the salesperson and much less willing to give information. So, finally, I typed "Fast growing trees reviews" in my search engine, and oh, boy! so many complaints. To be fair, some people seemed happy with their purchase but the vast majority had something negative to say about the state in which the plants/trees arrived and the subsequent customer service. Because they had just told me that the order had not shipped I called them right away trying to cancel my order. This time I could not get through, the pre-recorded message was that they had an "unusually high volume" of calls (not a good sign) and that I should try again later. So I did, same robot answer. I called several times, always the same message. Could not get through.
Fortunately I had paid with a credit card, which, by the way, got charged the same day I placed the order although they had not shipped it yet . It was through my credit card company's customer service that I finally got through (she called them and got through immediately, they do answer to credit card companies) and in a 3-way call she helped me cancel the order, of course they charged me a 10% cancellation fee - I later found out that they actually charged 30 cents more, I don't know if they miscalculated in their favor intentionally, it was a bit so I let it go- They were clearly unhappy and non-committal about it. The salesperson was curt and said that she was not even sure if she could cancel because the plants were transported somewhere else before shipping and she would have to go and check, if the plants were already wrapped, bad luck, I could not cancel. The credit card person asked if they (Fast Growing Trees) would call me later to tell me if they could cancel the order, the saleswoman said : (sullen silence) -sullen "yes". Well, she never called me.
I called Fast Growing Trees again the following day, I got through and another customer service person told me that the order had been cancelled. My card received the reimbursement a few days later minus the 10% and a bit. It was a costly mistake but I am happy that I did not lose more with these people, if the tree and plants I ordered had arrived in poor condition or had died after being planted, I can only imagine the huge loss of time and peace of mind dealing with their so called customer service department.
I had in the past ordered plants by mail (White Flower Farm) and when the plants did not arrive in the best conditions, they immediately issued an apology and a refund to my credit card. Fast Growing Trees is in no way even close to courteous when things don't go their way.
The irony is that by driving around in my area, I found several local nurseries that have the plants I saw online at the same or lower price. These are plants I can see and touch before buying. What I learnt is that it is worth looking in your area first, a little footwork can save you a lot of sorrow. If none of the local nurseries have what you want, then look online but before you buy, make sure you check reviews outside their website. My advice is to STAY AWAY from Fast Growing Trees. I think that they were sort of forced to cancel my order because I got help from my credit card company but that if I had tried on my own, things would have been different.

Negative Dell31
(1 review)
On Jun 30, 2012, Dell31 Macon, GA wrote:

SCAM! BUYERS BEWARE! I SPENT 1700.00 WITH THIS COMPANY & WAS PROMISED ROBUST BIG TREES (WHICH I PAID ANYWHERE FROM 50-100 A PIECE FOR) AND I RECEIVED TINY, UNHEALTHY, DRIED UP TWIGS!! THIS IS A COMPLETE SCAM! DO NOT BUY FROM THIS COMPANY FOLKS, YOU WILL BE SORELY SORELY DISAPPOINTED!!!!! I AM ABSOLUTELY OUTRAGED. ALSO, WHEN I CONTACTED THE COMPANY (IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE INADEQUATE TWIGS THEY CALL TREES ARRIVED) I WAS UNABLE TO GET ANY GOOD CUSTOMER SERVICE & ENDED UP HAVING TO DO A DEBIT & CREDIT CARD DISPUTE & THEN CANCEL MY DEBIT & CREDIT CARD. TRUST ME FOLKS, DONT MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE I DID!! DO YOUR HOMEWORK AHEAD OF TIME!!! I GOT DUPED, SCAMMED, HOODWINKED!! DONT LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU

Negative jjsges1
(11 reviews)
On Jun 26, 2012, jjsges1 Bonners Ferry, ID wrote:

What a joke, I paid 39.00 and 10.00 shipping for a 10" twig and 3 leaves. This was a gift and I am so unhappy, I will never buy from them again, I wish I had known about their other names and checked out Daves list. Live and learn. Joyce

Negative smerano85
(1 review)
On Jun 12, 2012, smerano85 Coalton, IL wrote:

Posted on June 11, 2012, updated June 12, 2012
My husband ordered a meyer lemon tree for me as a gift for Mothers' Day. A week later, the tree had not arrived, so I emailed them and he called them. They placed him on hold and no one ever came to speak to him in the 30 minutes he waited. I did receive an email response saying that my tree had not yet shipped, and that it would arrive in a few days. No tree ever came. I have emailed and called several more times, with no response from the company. This was a very expensive tree, and it has been a month since the order was placed. I feel that they have stolen our money.


Negative lou321
(1 review)
On Apr 22, 2012, lou321 Clark, NJ wrote:

I ordered 6 Leyland cyprus trees,that were advertised at 4-6 feet.I called the company prior to ordering and they assured me that they would be more than 5 feet and full.I shoped around local in NJ at homedepot and a couple of local nurseries. The trees they promised me over the phone( a nice 5ft leyland cyprus ) were going for about 100-120 $,so at 85 $ and free shipping it looked like i could save a few bucks and the reviews on there site were all positive. Well the joke was on me and we all know the old saying "if it sounds to good to be true.......". What i got were these 2-3 foot young trees!!!! The size that you can get at any homedepot for about 25$!!!!!!!.Wish i had found this site prior to ordering!!!! The company website has all positive reviews,tried posting on the website but never was allowed,so that must mean they use false reviews. I am sure the positive reviews on this site are mostly false. Bottom line I got ripped off for about 400$,company is a SCAM!!!! beware!! I will contact my credit card company and other agencies,maybe we can get a class action going.

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