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Comments regarding OIKOS Tree Crops

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54 positives
2 neutrals
9 negatives


Negative JamesMoore
(1 review)
On May 5, 2016, JamesMoore Sandpoint, ID wrote:

Plants are sold strictly by height so you will get plants that are 1-2ft tall but with a 4 inch root system and stem diameter of 1/16th-1/8th of an inch max.So you're looking at leaves the size of peas when they are done opening up.

Plants "2-3ft tall" can still have a stem diameter of 1/4th inch and a 5 inch root system.

Every plant I ordered from Indiana berry this year had a root system 20 times the size of something from Oiko for practically the same price. I like Oiko’s selection but the plants are much too small. If you order from Oiko you’re going to need to keep your plants in a pot and baby them for at least a year or two till they are the size you would get from most other nurseries from the start. I’ve ordered from at least 10 nurseries over the last 8 years and Oiko’s plants have always been the smallest.

On May 5, 2016, OIKOS Tree Crops responded with:

"On May 9, 2016 4:04 PM, OIKOS Tree Crops responded with:

That is not entirely true. If the plants are grown in pots then you get all the root system there is. Yes, some plants have thinner stem diameter and are not the same at all compared to the grafted thick diameter root stocks that you get from other nurseries. It is not the same comparison. We sell completely different plants grown in a completely different way. What we are planning to do though is make a more precise image gallery of what to expect from Oikos Tree Crops so you are not surprised when you get our plants and say 'how wimpy!' Because they are not anything like that at all. Some of these species are kind of like that and you cannot expect them to look like those other nurseries. It really is not the same. And no, you should not baby them for a year. They need to be planted directly in their permanent site. That is the ideal way and the reason we grow them using the paper pot from seed method that we have refined over the years. "

Negative Toddott
(20 reviews)
On Apr 20, 2016, Toddott Kentwood, MI (Zone 5b) wrote:

Not impressed with the quality or pricing.
Ordered one PawPaw, 18-24" for about 20 dollars. The tree was actually a twig 10 1/2" long with a tiny branch at top. The measurement included the pot which was 7" tall. The total height... 17 1/2 inches. Won't be seeing fruit for many years.
Ordered Jerusalem artichoke tubers, eight for 18 dollars. They were the size of marbles.
Ordered two raspberry plants, about 9 dollars each. Pretty scrawny, but acceptable.
Ordered Saskatoon, 1-2' for about 12 dollars. A tiny whip (twig with no branching), but was actually 2' excluding pot. Won't be seeing fruit for many years.
Ordered Chufa, 20 pea-size tubers for 8 dollars.

Shipping, 16 dollars for 6 lb box, reasonable.

Ninety-eight dollars for 2 raspberry plants, one PawPaw, One Saskatoon, half a handful of Chufa tubers, and eight small artichokes.

I have ordered each of these products from other companies, except for the Saskatoon. Products overpriced for their size, compared to most other companies.


On Apr 20, 2016, OIKOS Tree Crops responded with:

"On May 9, 2016 4:18 PM, OIKOS Tree Crops responded with:

On the size of the plants-the pot is not included in the size, so from what you have written, you should have contacted us for either a replacement or a partial refund. I know we did run kind of 'short' on larger pawpaws this year. Sorry about that. The Jerusalem artichokes -if they were either Hypernova or Diversity- those are the smallest and will often be only a few nickel and dime sized tubers sometimes. However, often with those selections we give extra. I hope you got extra. This does not matter too much because each tuber will produce more full sized tubers in the first season. The other sunchokes can sometimes be cut from very large tubers or can be totally full tubers depending on the varieties. Almost always we give extra to make up for it.
On the plants-they are whips and possibly it is our fault for not letting our customers know they are getting whips with few side branches. Other complaints appear based around this critique. So for instance the raspberries are always whips and are 1-2 year roots depending on the species. They will fruit in 1-2 years. The same with some of the selections of saskatoons depending on which one you received. The chufa tubers are kind of teeny but soak them before planting and you will kind of get the idea of what they look like mature. Also we had a short season this last year so they came out smaller than normal.
I care about the quality of the plants I send out and have spent the last 30 years of my life refining these selections you are getting. For that reason, I purchase nursery stock from my competitors for my own yard and frequently look at what others charge for similar plants and products. I think I am pretty competitive but certainly I am not the cheapest. The prices for my plants are based on many factors, but for the money if you knew what it takes to collect the seeds, process them, sow them and plant them all by hand, then you would say-"Ken you fool-you are not charging enough." Or maybe not? I hope you can give us another chance."

Negative YvonneMal
(12 reviews)
On Jul 12, 2015, YvonneMal Waymart, PA (Zone 5b) wrote:

Posted on July 2, 2015, updated July 12, 2015
Pretty sure I checked here before making my purchase. Alas, care of Oikos' plants, for 2015 delivery, must have went downhill. My purchase and outcome:

Panicum virgatum Northwind Switchgrass pot 2 - Very tiny, and while alive, not taking off at all. Ended up combining.

Lake Huron Tansy pot 1 - Came with the stem of plant where it meets the soil rotted... died.

Buartblack Walnut 12-18" pot 2 - One was dead before arrival... trunk where it meets root was rotted. The other did not bud at all. Husband wanted these so I ended making a second purchase that was combined for shipping.

Soapweed Yucca 3 yr pot 2 - questionable on age as very tiny plants.

Giant Miscanthus root cutting fg 2 - One healthy roots and little pieces all over... ended up combining them with hope for a healthy looking plant.
Zolushka Potato Packet of 6 mini tubers 1 - Threw these out... didn't look health, I did not trust putting these in the garden with other potatoes for fear of transferring disease.
Five Cacti Pads - one pretty scared... alive
Adams Needle Yucca WI 2 yr pot 1... ok
Black Russian Improved Scorzonera pot 1 - tiny plant rotted at soil line... regenerated

On July 12th, 2015, YvonneMal added the following:

If you are game in replacing the Buartnuts... that would be appreciated. My husband wanted them and it was sad watching his hang-dogged face when no leaves appeared for months. I sent an email concurring to such on your site's contact page.

As for the other plants... no biggy.

On Jul 12, 2015, OIKOS Tree Crops responded with:

"On Jul 6, 2015 11:30 AM, OIKOS Tree Crops responded with:

Well that is definitely not a good success rate. I am not sure what happened. If you would like us to reship those plants then email us and we are willing to try again if you are. There have been few complaints about the plants you have except the buartblack walnut and Lake Huron tansy which for some reason winter damage prevailed here at the farm.
A couple of things: The Zoluskas: You may have gotten yours late so the tubers shrivel a bit, but that does not mean they are diseased. The Miscanthus- I cut the roots at the base of the bud. It is the bud you plant that creates the plant. I do not throw in pieces as those will not grow into plants. Each bud will produce one plant. It is possible your order may have been delayed or held in shipping too long, which would explain the condition of the other plants. I am not sure. But in the meantime, email us and we will send more vibrant plants now rather than wait until fall if you want. We do not want to see you go downhill with our plants."

Negative breakfast
(4 reviews)
On Apr 21, 2015, breakfast Hardwick, VT wrote:

my trees came packed horribly! 3 of The crappy tags that they use instead of the ones that wrap around the tree and stay there were strewn about the bottom of the box. So basically I have three tiny trees that I have to guess what they are. Not that awesome. I really like the approach this company takes and
i want to support them but this experience leaves me leary to be honest. Overall the stock I received was extremely poor compared to other nurseries I order from and I cant believe the bad packing job. Also, one of my nursery mail order pet peeves is when you order two of the same plant/tree and it only comes with one tag! Am I alone here? Is it that hard to put an extra marker? I would rather be charged the ten cents it costs to include another! Anyway, I will probably order again to give them a second chance but I am not expecting much

On Apr 21, 2015, OIKOS Tree Crops responded with:

"On May 21, 2015 8:37 AM, OIKOS Tree Crops responded with:

Thank you for your comments as it helps us improve our service. We did have some issues with packing this spring and you ended up on the receiving end of that. I apologize for that. If you can tell us by emailing or calling customer service we would normally send out new plants, rather than have you guess what the heck the plant is. The handling by UPS and our poor packing was enough to dislodge those tags which are normally stuck deep within the pot and wrapped in a plastic bag. I know we can add extra tags, however I always thought it was a waste of plastic. Possibly we can people the option of asking for additional tags at some point but it becomes a plastic tag mega- universe here with so many to print. I am hoping we can do better in the future. I am not sure what the issue is with the plants as I think the plants we grow are as good or better than other nurseries. "

Negative shaneatwell
(1 review)
On Feb 27, 2015, shaneatwell Carlsbad, CA wrote:

Oikos has some nice oaks. I ordered one and added some Pawpaw just for fun. Went away for Christmas and when I returned had an OIKOS receipt in the mail with a handwritten explanation on top that there was an issue with my credit card. This is now a month after I placed the order. No e-mail, no phone call, either of which I could have answered weeks prior. So I call and straighten out that issue and arrange things for the pawpaw. Turns out its too early for the size I ordered, so he's going to send more of a smaller size. No problem. Some weeks pass and I receive the pawpaws, but no oak. There's another handwritten note on the receipt saying that he cant legally ship oak to California and that he's refunded that portion. So here I am months later with no oak and some pawpaws which I wouldn't have ordered on their own in the first place.

My main beef with OIKOS is the handwritten notes. Just give me a call or send me e-mail. Its much faster and considerate.

On Feb 27, 2015, OIKOS Tree Crops responded with:

"On Feb 27, 2015 4:49 PM, OIKOS Tree Crops responded with:

Good point. Communication is the key. I did double the order of pawpaws sent as kind of a consolation prize. "

Negative FOOB
(1 review)
On Oct 14, 2014, FOOB Manchester, NH wrote:

I have been ordering from Oikos for a few years and each year have been fine until this year. 90% of the plants arrived brown and dead. They replaced some plants but will not replace the wild beans claiming that they are still in dormancy and asked me to wait and see. They request for me to contact them in August 25 to let them know and will replace them if they still have not grow. I forgot about it until later and they say sorry we cannot replace them because you miss the date. Hello Oikos, I contacted you when the plants are DOA. Delay tactic? I would understand if they are out of stock but they have stock according to their web site but refuse to replace plants that I told them were dead on arrival. What happen to the Oikos that use to sell quality plants and have reasonable customer service. Is negative experience the trend with Oikos?

On Oct 14, 2014, OIKOS Tree Crops responded with:

"On Nov 4, 2014 4:24 PM, OIKOS Tree Crops responded with:

Yes. It is true if you go past the warranty period of 90 days then you will not receive replacements. In your case we mentioned in an email in early summer to check the plants first (let them go for a while) and then contact us before August 15. You did not do that in a timely fashion. That is why you did not receive the replacements. However you did receive a refund for $12.75 when we issued the refunds sometime in October. It is also true we adhere much more closely about the replacement policy on plants than we use to in the past. That is because it became an issue about accommodating as many people as possible in a timely fashion. "

Negative forgottenman
(2 reviews)
On May 1, 2013, forgottenman Pennsbury Village, PA wrote:

I placed an order for several plants, and upon receiving the package, found that one type of plant was not included. The reason for this was mentioned on the invoice -- the plant was out of stock (though this was not indicated on the website when I placed the order, or in the order confirmation email I received). Thankfully I was not charged for the unshipped items.

However, I was not given any prior notice of this out-of-stock status prior to receiving the package. No email (including spam folder) and no phone call. I thus had no chance to modify my order to include other items to make the high shipping cost worthwhile. Instead of shipping making up a quarter of the total cost of my order, it became nearly half.

When I called about this, I was given few options; unless I limited my plant selection to items that could be shipped USPS, placing a new order would incur additional shipping costs.

The people at Oikos seem nice. Their shipping rates for small orders are high but understandably so. In this scenario they are probably just a victim of their website not being sufficiently advanced to send out-of-stock notifications. But based on this experience I am hesitant to do business with them again, as it seems likely that the same thing may happen to me again.

On May 1, 2013, OIKOS Tree Crops responded with:

"On May 2, 2013 4:37 PM, OIKOS Tree Crops responded with:

Since you did not supply us with the details of your order and I do not know who or what your order was, I cannot comment specifically on the plants.
There are no options for sold out items. We do not backorder usually and refund right away. You should definitely not order from us again should you want a 100 percent guarantee that you will always get what you want. My farm is different in that I do not buy and sell plants and the inventory is not in a box on a shelf in a cooler.
Here is what happened this year : We ended up with a large population of ground voles this winter that seriously destroyed our sunchokes. It was not apparent until it was too late. Those people who ordered in the winter had to be cancelled. This too is part of my farming operation and I have to live with it. Like it or not our customers have to live with it too. Luckily it doesn't happen often. Calling and emailing people for possible substitutes ends up slowing orders further and often brings even more cancellations while we are waiting for a response. We do frequently offer shipments via USPS in the fall for tubers and seeds. Prices run around $6.00 for that depending on the order. A website in the works for this fall will have a seed-tuber section for just this purpose. As the owner of Oikos Tree Crops, people say I am nice, but not really. "

Negative ChestnutBob
(1 review)
On Apr 29, 2013, ChestnutBob Cherry Grove, OH wrote:

Posted on April 16, 2013, updated April 29, 2013
Ordered 10 trees. None of them were even close to the minimum 6" advertised size. 5 showed signs of life, but the rest were lifeless sticks. I planted them anyway because I had worked so hard to prepare their locations and didn't want to lose another year. I sent them an email, but have not heard back from them. When you buy a seedling, you expect the thing to at least have a chance at survival. I am guessing that I got the bottom of the genetic barrel and don't expect much from these trees. It is a shame. I really enjoyed the catalog and web site.

On April 29th, 2013, ChestnutBob added the following:

Oikos did get back with me and encouraged me to give them time because it had been a long cold winter. I would love to be wrong and have to change this rating.
On Apr 29, 2013, OIKOS Tree Crops responded with:

"On Apr 16, 2013 5:03 PM, OIKOS Tree Crops responded with:

I would say you are right about the size. This year most are under the 6 inches. For this plant, it was one of the years where the sizes ran short. If you received the potted trees most of those ended up being 4- 8 inches in some cases. If you received the field grown trees then they ran from 5 inches to 18 inches on average. The plants are all grown from the same 5-6 seed trees and it has no bearing on the genetics so no it is not the bottom of the genetic barrel. They are lifeless sticks when you order trees from us. They are dormant and few if any buds will be showing, but rest assured they are alive and I did not send you dead trees. It may take longer than a single day for us to respond to emails this time of year. I hope your trees will flourish with time and maybe someday you will order from us again. "

Negative MzBubbly8621
(3 reviews)
On Oct 24, 2008, MzBubbly8621 Las Vegas, NV wrote:

I called Oikos earlier today during their business hours. Nobody picked up so I left a message asking questions regarding care of Dwarf Korean Chestnut trees or paw paw trees for Las Vegas, Nv (I forget which because at the last minute I placed another order since you have to spend at least $25 in products in order to ship). So, I waited an hour or two before deciding just to purchase since I did a research on the company and almost everyone seems happy. Not very smart of me to have waited for their response before placing an order, but I really was excited to get these plants/trees. I called many times after that (still business hours) and still no one answered. Left an e-mail message to their company just to add another paw paw tree since I found out in order for the tree to fruit you have to have atleast two trees. Waited some more and still no response... Communication definitely sucks with the company. Not sure about their products, but I decided to cancel them since they do not have good communication with their customers it seems... at least with me. Hope they got my cancelation notice.

On Oct 24, 2008, OIKOS Tree Crops responded with:

"On Dec 27, 2009 1:31 PM, OIKOS Tree Crops responded with:

It may take longer than 24 hours to respond to emails. During the busy season it may take longer than one day to return calls. We are trying to improve the ability for customers to get a hold of us in the spring via phone. I know it is not easy at times. Order confirmations are done immediately and a paper confirmation is sent in the mail. We do this especially if its going to be a few weeks or months before you get your order. If you are new to us, we will send a paper catalog too. Your credit card is run just prior to shipping. You have to buy 25 dollars worth of plants. This is our minimum order. "

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