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Comments regarding Cold Stream Farm

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53 positives
7 neutrals
9 negatives


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Positive gnu2222
(3 reviews)
On May 11, 2009, gnu2222 Lester, WV (Zone 6a) wrote:

Ordered 35 evergreens on 4/4/09. Was apprehensive when my credit card was processed in about 10 days but the order had not shipped. I emailed twice to determine shipping date and response was somewhat slow with no specific dates. However, I did receive the order on 4/27. All the trees looked healthy with good roots. Some were smaller than advertized but I was sent an extra Scotch Pine. Overall I am pleased with my order and will assume that the weather was responsible for the time between placing & receiving the order. Generally, credit cards are not charged until an order ships. Perhaps this should be company policy.

Neutral snewell
(1 review)
On Apr 30, 2009, snewell Ann Arbor, MI wrote:

bought 100's of trees from this company spring 2008 and fall 2008 with mixed results. first, make sure to count bundles as i have been considerably shorted more than once (on larger bundles of 25). second, size is almost always smaller than promised. for example, 3' -4' cedars are going to be mostly three feet with maybe one branch reaching close to four. in some trees, as the aforementioned cedar, there is MUCH size variation, and whoever is pulling them is doing a hack job on the roots. do not expect the full thick cedars from the garden centers. same goes for hemlocks with regard to size and thickness.
this company is positively responsive regarding replacements. i recieved about a hundred hemlock that were no good (sat in bags too long) and they replaced them with very healthy plants that were a size larger and i was happy.
all white pines, red pines, oaks, chestnut, white spruce, black spruce , balsam fir i ordered were good size and shape but shorted on some larger count bundles. avoid 25 count bundles and ask for bundles of 5 for everything and pay the extra stock fee for this.
this company is weather dependent so make sure to be flexible regarding arrival time of trees. spring 2008 was very late and so was available stock but that's not the company'ss fault.
overall, the stock is good, prices good, but there was always a count problem and unsatisfactory size variation with cedars and hemlock of larger size. i'm trying to find alternative sources but would buy again from them.

Positive dirthound
(19 reviews)
On Apr 25, 2009, dirthound Cohocton, NY wrote:

Received bareroot trees/native shrubs today. All had excellent root systems, buds just starting to break. All packed in peat mix ,good and moist. Would not hesitate to order again, Thanks Cold Stream

Positive ndps99
(9 reviews)
On Mar 27, 2009, ndps99 Holyoke, MA wrote:

My first and thus-far only experience with Cold Stream was last Autumn. I ordered several trees with specific shipping dates. Their communication was excellent, the packing was very careful and all items arrived safely and dormant, though obviously with green wood and nice root systems. As this is Central New England, buds aren't showing yet even on long-established early trees so they haven't woken up yet, but the ordering, communicating, shipping and receiving experience has been excellent!

On May 15th, 2009, ndps99 added the following:

Time for an update. My rating remains extremely positive.

Unfortunately, a couple of plantings did not survive a winter that was extremely intense at times, despite what appeared to be very healthy dormant specimens and my best efforts. Therefore, I did not deem the death of a couple of plantings to be anyone's "fault."

However, I did want to replace these plants as they are part of an overall plan that has taken close to a decade to develop. Dealing with other companies of lesser repute, I have found that asking for replacements becomes an expensive and time-consuming feat that can end up being more trouble than it's worth. Often, warranty replacements drop to the bottom of the priority list and can take eons to come through. With the comparably quite short growing season of central New England, a replacement shipment can easily put one a year back in terms of seasonal growth. In this case anyway, as already mentioned, I didn't consider the dead plants to be Cold Stream's fault. These aren't stones, they are living organisms and things happen. So be it.

What I did was simply place an order for one each of the dead plants and a second Dawn Redwood, the first of which is flourishing. I was so pleased with the survivors that I sent along a complementary e-mail with the order and mentioned the dead plants. Guess what they did? They eliminated the cost of the two replacements and treated the entire shipment as a new one, without delay.

I had to travel for a bit of time so I asked for a shipping time of May 25, 2009. That is, of course, Memorial Day. For some reason, I missed that. Former Army man, that's unusual and I am embarrassed. But I was made aware of that fact via a personal call from Craig at Cold Stream who left me an extensive, detailed message offering me options and alternatives for shipping dates and methods. At the same time he offered alternative methods, i.e., expedited, he discouraged using them because of the disproportionately high cost charged by the carrier.

When I returned his call the next day, a very pleasant woman answered on the second ring and immediately transferred me to Craig's office who answered live and in person within seconds. Craig is very pleasant, accommodating and articulate. How refreshing!

This all proves that an UNFORTUNATE experience such as the death of plantings, does not have to be a NEGATIVE experience at all.

The plants that survived are a pair of Paper Birch, a European Mountain Ash and a Dawn Redwood. All four of these are picture-perfect excellent specimens. I loved the Dawn Redwood so much, I've ordered another. The leafing-out of the Euro Mountain Ash was exciting to watch as it is quite unique. The two Paper Birch are so perfect, they look like their full-grown parents in miniature. I need to start making a photographic log.

I highly recommend Cold Stream Farms for every positive reason you can glean from my above comments.
Positive lender
(2 reviews)
On Jan 7, 2009, lender Saint Paul, MN wrote:

I'm a newbie to gardening and especially to planting bare-root saplings. On Sept. 21st '08 I ordered small (1.5 to 3 ft.) bare-root Washington hawthorn, red mulberry, Sargent crabapple, shadbush serviceberry, tulip tree, and American sycamore for a total of $26.27. The Cold Stream Web site said that fall shipping would be some time after Oct. 15th. Shipping costs seemed a bit high, so I economized with UPS Ground, knowing that the plants would spend more time in transit. My credit card was charged on Oct. 29th and my plants arrived on Nov. 5th. They were well-packed with small plastic bags around moist roots, larger than expected, and with apparent healthy buds. I planted them all 4 days later and chicken wire-caged all but the sycamore and hawthorn, since they were the largest. Bad move. Starting in December it got real cold here (classic St. Paul, Minnesota) and the squirrels/rabbits marauded more than usual. The sycamore and hawthorn were eaten to the ground -- nobody's fault but mine -- but the others look fine. Cold Stream Farm did exactly what they said and delivered what appear to be healthy stock. I'll report in about 5 months if it seems otherwise. Meanwhile I look forward to ordering replacment sycamore, hathworn, and more trees for the spring...

Positive jglaze
(4 reviews)
On Jul 3, 2008, jglaze Hillsboro, OH wrote:

Very fast service. I bought Oregon Grape (Mahonia Aquifolium). They were out of the larger size I'd ordered and emailed me asking if OK to substitute the smaller plants. Plants were packed nicely and traveled well. They were partially dormant but starting to grow. I put them right in the ground and am waiting for some action. I would buy from them again.

Positive hookjb
(5 reviews)
On Jun 13, 2008, hookjb Columbia, MO wrote:

I found Cold Stream Farm on this website and was very happy with my order. They shipped it around my vacation schedule and the plants (25 elderberries) arrived in great shape and health. Quality plants at a great price.

Positive jrgoflo
(1 review)
On May 30, 2008, jrgoflo West Lafayette, IN wrote:

I have ordered from Cold Stream Farm 4 or 5 times now, all with positive results.
Had to cancell an order once, also with no problems.
I like this nursery because of the large amount of natives they carry and the friendly "mom & pop" service.
The only negative thing I can say is that they are one of the few nurseries that still sell the highly invasive (once highly regarded) Autumn Olive shrub which has slowly & quietly taken over our wildlands in Southern Michigan. (at least they provide a warning).

Positive greenthumb86
(1 review)
On Apr 5, 2008, greenthumb86 Gays, IL wrote:

After looking all over the web, this website offered the cheapest trees. That is what initially drew me to them. I got my trees on April 2nd, which is perfect for my area, and they were packaged in a way to keep the roots moist. All in all, this is the best tree sapling company on the web. I will buy from them again next year.

Positive TimH
(3 reviews)
On Dec 29, 2007, TimH Wake Forest, NC wrote:

I ordered several trees. The shipping was a little later than expected. When I sat down to e-mail them, I realized that they had already e-mailed me to explain that shipping would be slightly delayed. Due to warmer than normal weather, the plants had not gone dormant in time for shipping and would be sent as soon as possible. Imagine that, customer service contacting me to tell me they have a problem. The plants arrived well packaged and in good condition.

Positive mariacavoto
(2 reviews)
On Jun 9, 2007, mariacavoto Byers, CO wrote:

Ordered 56 Lilacs and 26 White Pine. All arrived in GREAT shape. Got everything planted and the lilacs are doing great. I have lost quite a few of the pine trees, but since I ordered the larger ones, I knew that was a risk I was taking as they donít guarantee the larger Pine trees. After first order, I ended up needing 5 more lilacs to finish my hedge, they arrived within a week after I had placed the order already having started to leaf out. I have now placed an additional order for 26 poplars, and plan on trying a smaller pine tree next year. I will defiantly continue to order from this company and recommend them to those who ask.

Neutral xenya
(9 reviews)
On May 28, 2007, xenya North East, MD wrote:

In the fall I ordered evergreens, dogwood, serviceberry, hazelnut, coral berry, oak, snow berry, bear berry and bittersweet. Most of the evergreens are recovering and the serviceberry, oak and one hazelnut leafed out. The coralberry, snowberry, bearberry, and bittersweet died. One of the hazelnuts and and the dogwood never grew leaves. i contacted customer service and they said they would send out replacements. I recieved a large box with a small bag with the bearberry in it. I contacted them again and they said everything should have been in the box and I told them it was not. Then they sent out a second box which contained the bittersweet, coral berry and snowberry. There was no packing in the box and the coral berry was broken. From the position of the bag, it looked like they had a piece of cardboard stapled over the top of the plants (the thinnest part). I wrote to them again and sent them pictures. They then sent out a coral berry dogwood, and hazelnut. These were secured with two strips of cardboard across the lower part of the plants and arrived safely.
They have good prices and a good selection, but seem to be having shipping problems. Their customer service did respond and send replacements, so I am giving them a neutral rather than a negative. It is a shame because I would have liked to order other plants, but I fear what condition they'll arrive in.

Positive Joan
(32 reviews)
On May 17, 2007, Joan Belfield, ND (Zone 4a) wrote:

I ordered 6 grape vines and they arrived right on schedule, and in great shape. They were just starting to break dormancy and not a branch was broken.

I will definitely order from this company again.

Positive screenbuilder
(5 reviews)
On Dec 1, 2006, screenbuilder Leesburg, VA wrote:

Plants arrived as scheduled. An email was sent to me with the UPS tracking info on ship day, so it was easy to keep track of the shipment. I found the company easy to communicate with via phone or email. All of the various trees I ordered were well rooted and in decent condition. They were healthier and more robust than stock I had received from another online company that charged more than Cold Stream. The one negative might be that though the trees were packed and wrapped securely, I wish they could find a way to secure the trees within the box. They were not secured inside the box and I believe this led to a couple of broken limbs. Overall, a positive buying experience.

Negative Redwhiteblue
(3 reviews)
On Nov 15, 2006, Redwhiteblue Headrick, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Placed an order back in October.
E-mailed to find out when my order would be shipped.
Their answer was "sometime this month" (November).
E-mailed them twice since then about cancelling my order and they would not acknowledge me.
Had to notify my credit card company to not accept any charges from them.

On November 16th, 2006, Redwhiteblue added the following:

It's funny how you answer my e-mails after you see the negative rating here.

Serious lack of communication.
On Nov 15, 2006, Cold Stream Farm responded with:


On Nov 16, 2006 7:26 AM, Cold Stream Farm added:

Unless a specific target date is given for shipment, orders are shipped as soon as the bare-root plant material is safe to harvest, which is weather dependant.

Any ship date can be scheduled for a customer. If material is not safe to harvest, the customer is then contacted and asked how to proceed.

Any order can be cancelled at any time prior to shipment, with no penalty."

Neutral tdoyon
(1 review)
On Oct 29, 2006, tdoyon Cornelius, NC wrote:

I ordered 5 trees. The box had been torn open (probably UPS's fault), but the trees arrived with moist but brittle roots and brown leaves. The trees were smaller than I anticipated, but perhaps I didn't read their website carefully enough. I contacted the company about the leaves and they claim that this is normal for winter-time. I'm going to place another order with a website I have more experience with.

Positive aglasha
(3 reviews)
On Apr 24, 2006, aglasha Macomb, MI wrote:

My experience with this company very positive. I ordered 7 trees from them by mail and they send me invoice confirmation through e-mail as soon as they received it.
I was very pleased to receive my trees on Friday so that I can plant them over weekend. May be it is just a coinsidence but I like to believe it is planed.
I would only make one suggestion: It would be nice If I have been notified about approximate shipping date.
The trees little bit small but I hope they will grow well.
Thank you for a good work!

Positive tchamp
(1 review)
On Apr 21, 2006, tchamp Wayne, NJ wrote:

My experience overall was positive. Buyers should be prepared when ordering....when they say 3-4 ft lilacs, for example, they mean a 4-foot-long stem and nothing else. Yes, there are many nice buds, but one shouldn't expect to receive a leafy, plant in a 3-gallon plant like those found in a garden center. I think this type of supplier is perfect for those who need to do a large amount of planting without a lot of digging. It will take time for the plants to grow in, so don't expect miracles in just one season. The quality of these bareroot plants was excellent. Sizes were a bit smaller than those promised.

Positive jbrockettm
(8 reviews)
On Apr 16, 2006, jbrockettm Fort Plain, NY wrote:

Great stock. I ordered about 100 trees and shrubs this spring and they are all doing well.
Beautifully rooted. Even on the smaller plants the root systems are very well developed.
In addition, the woman who picked up the phone was pleasant and helpful when I called.
I understand some people's frustration about having to reply to the confirmation email but they do it to avoid hassles in case of a need for a replacement or something out of stock. The woman I spoke with explained that sometimes things go out of stock very quickly and they can't keep the site up to date that fast.

Positive ScbNymph
(7 reviews)
On Apr 14, 2006, ScbNymph Clifton Park, NY (Zone 5a) wrote:


I have to honestly say that it was a pleasure to do business with these guys! I ordered two Serviceberry tree's/shrubs back in January after "discovering" the Farm here. My order was immediately confirmed via email with the attached invoice. You MUST confirm the invoice or your order WILL NOT go through, however all is explained on their website

Communication with these guys was great, my emails were ALWAYS replied to within 48hrs which I find more than acceptable for a business

My tree's arrived VERY well packaged in a sturdy box, well taped together. The plants were shipped bare-root in a heavy duty plastic bag, roots were nice and moist and appeared to have only been dug out the ground a couple of days previously, the stems were taped together around a bamboo cane to prevent breakage. The stems already had buds on them and I look forward to watching them open over the coming days and weeks

AAA++++++++++++ for an outstanding experience, will definitely buy from them again

Positive dozz
(3 reviews)
On May 23, 2005, dozz New Ringgold, PA wrote:

Superb company to buy from. All the trees and shrubs I bought from Craig were fresh, uniform, healthy and superbly packed and moist upon arrival to my door. Once in the ground they took off with fresh growth. They will have all my business in the future.

Neutral MomSear
(2 reviews)
On May 17, 2005, MomSear Lowell, MI wrote:

Mixed review on company. Email ordering caused a problem - they do NOT note in return email that if you don't reply to them they will not send your order. We waited weeks, finally called them, found out our order hadn't been processed. Too late/no time to plant 100 redbuds by then. I did order American bittersweet. Was asked when I wanted it to arrive - and it came as promised. Only one broken whip out of a dozen. Some sprouting, will see how they do this summer. Delayed planting after arrival for two days to avoid a late frost. Husband was very upset by communication problem, which they acknowledged had been an ongoing issue for other customers. The CS guy said they hoped to rework the site/form to be more specific about replies for processing. Seems like an added hassle, but their prices may make it worthwhile.

Positive Scottybill
(1 review)
On May 14, 2005, Scottybill Eaton Rapids, MI wrote:

I just received my merchandise from Cold Stream. I ordered in April, and they got my hawthorn and lilac hedges to me just after the last freeze. Pretty good service what with the crazy spring in Michigan. Everything's alive, healthy looking and in good shape. Most of the bareroot shrubs seem to be larger than the advertised sizes. Very good experience, I'll buy from them again.

Positive chickenman
(19 reviews)
On Apr 14, 2005, chickenman Somerset, PA wrote:

I ordered 5 hazelnut trees from Cold Stream Farm. Because of the low prices, I wasn't really expecting much. Well, I received my order today and was really impressed. The trees were as nice or nicer than anything I've ever purchased from a seed company at 5 times the price! They are in the ground now and I'm sure that they'll thrive.
I will definately be ordering from this company again.

On June 25th, 2005, chickenman added the following:

Just wanted to add that I placed a second order with this company. I ordered ten highbush cranberry viburnum for 50% off and I recieved 15 extra! Thanks Cold Stream Farm!
Positive treeguy_NY
(14 reviews)
On Apr 7, 2005, treeguy_NY West Seneca, NY (Zone 6a) wrote:

I ordered 19 trees from this company (9 species ranging in height from 6" to 2'). They arrived at an appropriate time for planting in my area and are of the utmost quality. All trees have great root systems and the 18-24" giant sequoia I ordered is beautiful with full branches and a calliper almost greater than my thumb. I will deffinately order from this company again. They have a great selection of species at various sizes and offer high quality stock for very low prices.

Positive lodgeinthepines
(1 review)
On Nov 11, 2004, lodgeinthepines East Peoria, IL wrote:

I purchased a small quantity of White Spruce for reforestation purposes. My order was shipped to me in a matter of days. Best of all, they offered the best price that I could find anywhere online.

Positive frecklesC
(1 review)
On May 1, 2004, frecklesC wrote:

I order giant sequoia, bald cypress, and dawn redwood. All arrived in good order in time for spring planting. The company included some extra trees at no cost. Cold Streams offers unique species at very rasonable prices. I am interested to see whether the ginat sequoia will servive here at in south western Michigan

Positive nicholasblon
(1 review)
On Jul 1, 2002, nicholasblon wrote:

I received 25 snowberry shrubs, 1 American mountain ash, 2 buttonbushes and 1 juneberry seedling from them this spring for only $30. EVERYTHING survived and is doing great, except for the juneberry (due to rabbits, not the company's fault). This fall I am definitely going to order from them again. Prices are more than reasonable, and the plants I received were in excellent condition. The juneberry was a little smaller than listed, but all the other plants were just as listed on their website and had wonderful root systems.

Positive tamaramorrissey
(1 review)
On Apr 1, 2000, tamaramorrissey wrote:

I've planted over 700 bare-root trees in my back yard in the past few years. I tried quite a few different companies and Cold Stream Farm has THE BEST quality. They offer over 90 varieties. They offer larger sizes and still give you the option to buy just a single tree or quantities at a discount.

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