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Comments regarding National Arbor Day Foundation

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Negative camiam
(1 review)
On Aug 10, 2017, camiam Milton, FL wrote:

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

Negative ninjamonkeymama
(1 review)
On May 26, 2017, ninjamonkeymama Burleson, TX wrote:

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

Negative dncampbell
(1 review)
On May 23, 2017, dncampbell Abingdon, VA wrote:

I have purchased membership with NADF for several years because I believe in their mission; however, I will not be renewing because the quality of the last few orders has been very poor.

They state that they guarantee delivery of healthy trees. My first order for 2016 was the 10 free trees and 8 redbuds are still alive. The second order included a variety of trees that I purchased: maple, magnolia, beech, sourwood, and aspen and 3/5 are still alive.

In 2017 I ordered another batch of 10 trees: oaks, viburnums, crabapple, tulip, hawthorn, spruce, viburnum, dogwood, and river birch. All of these were dead on arrival except one of the viburnums.

Finally I ordered hazelnuts in March and only one tree is alive.
All trees were planted correctly the day I received them.
Meanwhile they continue to solicit me with offers to order stock. I plan on writing them and asking them to remove me from their lists.

Negative bstnh1
(4 reviews)
On May 7, 2016, bstnh1 Barrington, NH (Zone 5a) wrote:

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

Negative Rpeazalea
(5 reviews)
On May 6, 2016, Rpeazalea Potomac, MD wrote:

I became a member and also purchased a dozen trees. They have not shipped the ten trees that come with membership yet, though they keep promising to. They just can't get order of a dozen trees right. They sent four, I complained. They sent one more. Every time they send all of these free trees (junk). Just send the trees I ordered and paid for. No need to send part orders or free junk trees. I would think counting trees would be an integral part of business. By the way, nothing has survived.

I would never waste my time again. For a few dollars more I can buy a one gallon tree locally, and they live.

Negative mettech
(2 reviews)
On Mar 6, 2016, mettech Luling, TX wrote:

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

Negative MamaFil
(1 review)
On Feb 16, 2016, MamaFil South Pittsburg, TN wrote:

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

Negative WonkaChad
(3 reviews)
On Dec 15, 2015, WonkaChad Lovettsville, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:

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

On December 15th, 2015, WonkaChad added the following:

My 10 free trees finally arrived on December 12th. They were reasonable well packed but it is clear that with the way they are packaged they need to go into the ground ASAP. They are tiny twigs but all did arrive alive. Hopefully they will still be alive next spring.
Negative arborist49002
(1 review)
On May 26, 2015, arborist49002 Portage, MI wrote:

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

Negative tdouble
(1 review)
On Apr 28, 2015, tdouble Eastford, CT wrote:

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

Negative PatYates
(3 reviews)
On Apr 19, 2015, PatYates Ogden, UT wrote:

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

Negative gsimcik
(2 reviews)
On Nov 24, 2014, gsimcik Huntington, NY wrote:

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

Negative devinevegan
(12 reviews)
On Jun 5, 2014, devinevegan Igo, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

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

On June 5th, 2014, devinevegan changed the rating from neutral to negative and added the following:

Update: Only one shrub out of 10 plants has grown leaves. The others never grew any leaves at all.
Negative itsmesue
(8 reviews)
On May 31, 2014, itsmesue Canton, IL (Zone 5b) wrote:

I would never have suspected a place that is supposed to be so very special about taking care of our planet and about trees to be so very very very *disappointing*.

Oh my gosh! I was excited about ordering trees from "The National Arbor Day Foundation". I had grown up hearing how wonderful this organization is. I even paid the extra money to not only order trees but to join it.

But what I got was shocking. I was shocked by how awful the items I got looked and I felt the quality was horrible. I feel as if all I did was waste money on stuff that looks as if any of it lives and/or grows, will be a miracle.

I am not talking about the trees they send when you join National Arbor Day, but the trees and shrubs you order from their tree nursery website. //

I am totally disgusted that a place I trusted sent what I got.

NEVER again will I trust them, NEVER again will I order anything from them.

And I strongly recommend no one else buy from them. I hope to save anyone else the experience I had with The National Arbor Day Foundation trees you order and pay for from their website.

Negative krasim
(1 review)
On May 15, 2014, krasim MOUTH OF WILSON, VA wrote:

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

Negative kal_el
(1 review)
On May 10, 2014, kal_el wrote:

I should have read the reviews first. If you are wiser and reading this review know the following:
1. Do not expect to receive plants from your order. You will receive twigs.
2. The 10 free plants are 10 twigs about 6 inches in length shipped as a bundle. These are not potted plants. They are shipped without any soil.
3. I expected that at least the tree saplings that are listed with longer lengths will be shipped with proper proportions and as living plants. No, they were twigs too, tied together in a bundle.

I don't know whether these will grow at all, I will try anyways.

Do not spend your money thinking you are spending it after a charitable cause. This company from all accounts and my own experience seems to be running a scam. If you feel charitable, donate money to a good charity organization. If you wish to help with reforestation, do it yourself. If you want to grow trees on your own property, find a good local nursery.

Negative Lianimals
(1 review)
On Apr 30, 2014, Lianimals Newberry Springs, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

I really hate to say it, but I can no longer in good faith support the Arbor Day Foundation based on the last two years of plant performance from this organization. The first year I became a member, I received my membership trees about a month later than is optimal for planting in my desert region. By the time the bare root 'sticks' arrived, daytime temps were approaching 90's which is pretty warm for a struggling little seedling. Although not one of those trees lived, I chalked it up to it being late in the season with soils just too dry to support early growth. On that occasion, I did not complain or request replacements.

So, this year, I contacted the ADF twice to request an earlier shipping date and they did in fact comply with my request, sending the free trees in mid-March which was perfect. I went to great lengths to plant these quickly and under perfect conditions but despite my experience with and care of these bare root plants, only 2 of the ten have leafed out. The rest are officially dead and I suspect were never viable to begin with. In attempting to request replacements, so far I have been getting the email run-around from the ADF and they are still suggesting elementary things like 'do a scratch test' despite my explaining two weeks ago in my initial inquiry that the cambium of all the remaining seedlings was dry and brown. What it comes down to is this: if the Arbor Day Foundation showcases its wonderfu contributions to conservation, then they'd better factor in the millions of gallons of precious water that people are pouring on dead seedlings.

Negative David1977
(1 review)
On Mar 2, 2014, David1977 Lexington, SC wrote:

I joined the foundation because I love plants. Even sent the foundation $20 dollars so that I could get the 'free' plants they were offering. What happened, nothing!! Did not get any plants but I did get the offer to send them more money. This foundation is BS!! Do not join! Do not send money!

Negative Wazimd
(1 review)
On Feb 14, 2014, Wazimd Lawrenceville, GA wrote:

About 6 years ago I joined, the Arbor Day Foundation. I was very excited and bought several trees including 2 Sweet Cherry Trees (Bing and Black Tartarian). After a few years they were 8 feet tall with a 4 feet spread, they gave flowers but did not give me any fruits for a few years. I decided to wait a few more years, got a few really tiny berries one year and then the same the year after that.

Never found out what kind of tree it was, but I know one thing it was not a Bing Cherry. So I cut them down and used them for fire wood. Sorry I had to wait so long to find out that this company was running a SCAM!!!

Negative clj422
(1 review)
On Dec 1, 2013, clj422 Parkersburg, WV wrote:

got my trees yesterday. of course ground is frozen and there is snow on the ground. shouldn't the arbor day foundation know this is not the time for planting trees?

Negative NotFree
(1 review)
On Aug 9, 2013, NotFree wrote:

I just received an offer from the Arbor Day Organization that promises me I will get "free" trees for completing a survey. After reading the offer more closely, I could see that I needed to make a donation of at least $10.00 in order to get the trees. They tried to disguise their offer by saying I could redeem "free vouchers". I would have been more likely to send them the money if they had just been honest about their offer. The trees can't be "free" when getting them requires a donation. Why couldn't they just say that they were giving me the opportunity to purchase some trees for a small price? I bet that the survey is a meaningless part of the offer and they aren't interested in my opinions about trees. They just want my money.

Negative BlackDogKurt
(26 reviews)
On May 29, 2013, BlackDogKurt Seymour, CT wrote:

I placed an order for several trees and also for a one-year membership last month. The price can't be beat but in reality, the chances of receiving viable trees is 50-50 at best. Several of the deciduous trees I received had no sign of any life (despite being mid May). The hemlocks I ordered were devoid of a single needle on any of their small branches and were obviously dead. Some of the other trees appeared to have some buds and may yet survive.

I had joined Arbor Day and paid for a one-year membership a few years ago too. At the time, I merely took advantage of the "10 free trees" that they always offer with membership. Of the 10 small twigs they sent back then, about half never showed any signs of life. A few others died almost immediately. Three actually survived. I didn't even bother ordering the 10 free trees offered with my membership this time, opting instead to order from their catalog instead. However, I don't think I will bother with them again though.

Negative Citro
(12 reviews)
On May 12, 2013, Citro Eden, MD wrote:

Sure wish I had read the reviews first! All ten free trees, dead. Both Apricot trees, dead. Both apple trees remain under 3 feet after 5 years. Forsythias so small that I ran over them with a push mower, never seeing them. All cedars, dead. Red maple, dead.
I thought I was helping a non profit so I placed a large order. Big mistake.

Negative Zafak
(6 reviews)
On May 10, 2013, Zafak Oakbrook, KY wrote:

I joined them last year and received a bag of 10 moldy sticks with some anaerobic mud at the bottom of the bag. I didn't care about that, I joined them to help their cause, not get free stuff. Once they got my address, they started sending me a ton of junk mail asking for more money. If they planted 10 trees in my name, they must have killed 15 others to get the paper to send me junk mail. It appears that they also gave my address to two other places that also want $10 donations for free junk. One was to save wolves, the other one was to save the rain forests.

Later, I joined their $20 hazelnut program and received three twigs, the tallest of which was 3 inches high. The nuts were still attached to the small twigs but were growing green mold. In fact, the whole inside of the bag was green mold with roots and three tiny sticks poking out. When I tried to lift the hazelnut twigs out of the bag, two of them just desentigrated. The third one has grown more mold and shown no signs of plant growth.

Negative unhappyarborday
(1 review)
On Apr 21, 2013, unhappyarborday Bristol, VA wrote:

I placed an order with Arbor Day. I called within 10 minutes after I placed the order because I was going to be out of town so I wanted to make sure I would be home when my plants arrived. I was told there was no way I would know when my plants arrived and I also would not receive any type of confirmation when my plants would be were shipped. Since I probably would not be home when my plants arrived, I cancel my order. My credit card has now been charged and it looks like it is going to be a REAL PROBLEM to get my refund (esp. the membership fee), which I never plan on using, or recommending Arbor Day to anyone. Since they won't work with their customer on when the plants arrive, I really wonder if they really care about the plants. It appears the only thing they care about is getting your money.

Negative BirdyNumNums
(1 review)
On Dec 27, 2012, BirdyNumNums Eagle, NE wrote:

I 100% know for a fact that the Arbor Day Foundation has its own employees write positive reviews on Dave's Garden. I was told by the employees themselves. The ADF is SHADY! Nature Explore and the ADF have questionable dealings. Nature Explore actually has a church writing checks to their contractors. The IRS needs to look into both orgs.

Negative mgkd
(1 review)
On Dec 26, 2012, mgkd Portland, OR wrote:

I just received an Arbor Day Foundation Tree Survey. I decided to look up that CEO's [Chief Executive's] salary: $380,164. The junk mail solicitation letter was "signed":
John Rosenow
Chief Executive

Negative shalomkjg
(2 reviews)
On Jul 7, 2012, shalomkjg Olympia, WA wrote:

I am sad to say I am also extremely displeased with this company, the service, and the hazelnut trees program. I am a novice gardener, but doing quite well overall, especially with my 4 other hazelnut trees bought locally. I am also successfully self propogating lilacs and mock orange, etc. Hazelnuts are somewhat hardy, tough trees, well usually. I live in the Pacific Northwest, hazelnut capital, so they tend to thrive here. However, Arbor day could not tell me when they shipped, just a general idea, but the three tree twigs were in the mail for at least 2 weeks from what I understood (I waited 6 months for them due to the ship date). I then received 8 inch thin, sickly twigs with white mold/fungicide/ or something on them. They were alive at the time so I planted them same day/time received and in a great location, well draining, not too deeply planted, not too shallow, etc. and they died (no green on the stem if rubbed) within a month, no leaves, etc. Customer service was polite but would not refund my money or send a replacement when I called to see what they intended to do, basically they said,"Thank you for the donation." They did not reply to my two emails as well with the questions, concerns, and complaint about the trees. I do not plan to purchase from Arbor Day Foundation again nor recommend them to others....

Negative a1spec
(1 review)
On May 31, 2012, a1spec Sutton, MA wrote:

I stupidly order trees from this org. several times. Fool me once.....The 1st batch of trees included "paper birch". I understand that the prices are low but if you sell yourself as people trying to introduce more trees into the world, and experts, shouldnt you know hat you are selling? They sold me 10 twigs which I nursed and fussed over and spent $$$ & time on and they are not paper birch. They are some variety of birch but they are nowhere near white. This is 5 years down the road, the twigs are now 12' tall with dark brown bark. of ~ 25 conifer I bought maybe 3 are alive. Lastly I bought 3 eastern Redbuds - I got twigs with NO ROOT BALL - NONE. 1 root like someone yanked it out of the ground and threw it in the box.

Their resolution is to send me more twigs - which I do not feel compensates me. I spent time & $$ and could have gone in other directions if they kept their end of the deal. I think they are all about a few people at the top lining their pockets while they, and I have no proof of this, probably get Agriculture students to work for nothing.

I would not buy anything from them. They cannot be trusted. The vast majority of thier trees are non viable.

Negative Everfreeflora
(1 review)
On May 5, 2012, Everfreeflora Blackfoot, ID wrote:

Im not sure this organization(company) truly cares for its cause. I donated last year and got the 10 free twigs, i wasent expencting anything amazing as it was just a donation, but none of them lived, i wasn't upset or anything since it was only $10 and i didnt have room for that many trees to begin with. However i recently placed an order for two japanese cherry trees with them since the National Cherry Blossom Festival had them listed as their prime source for people wanting to have their own... i received one of the two today, about 3 feet long with spinly hairs for "roots", now unfortunaly for me i don't forsee this taking off to a wonderful start with suck lackluster roots on a brance this size. I would completely recomend you use a more competent nursery for your tree needs, one wich will make sure their plants are well rooted before they send them to you, one that actually cares for their image and the fate of their plants.

Negative caterino1
(7 reviews)
On Apr 10, 2012, caterino1 Newburgh, NY wrote:

donated to this foundation and just received my ten free moldy, smelly trees. This is the last time I will have any kind of dealings with them. Last year I bought trees from them and all I have to show for it are a few sticks, they did nothing but sit there last year, no growth, just sticks, I have been a member for a few years now, but no more. To whoever reads this don't waste your time or money

Negative sideeous
(1 review)
On Mar 19, 2012, sideeous Claremore, OK wrote:

I bought a membership, for $10.00, then went head over heels and trusted the foundation, bought $800.00 in northern privets to make a hedge wall around my property, everyone of the 400 plants i bought were small and had very small roots, i planted them in early March, they said the hedges grew 3-6' per year, a year later they are the same size as when i planted them, about a third of them died, the other two thirds grow leaves but have not expanded at all, they are the same twigs sent to me when i planted them only they have some leaves on them. False advertising probable, and the size of some of these hedges are really a joke, they also shorted me around 30 of them had to have them send me the other 30 or so. They sent me some crepe myrtles to replace the third that died in December when i asked them to send them to me in the spring. I went ahead and planted them and they aren't doing anything 3 months later not even a bud. I would avoid these "foundations" they are only fronts for the super rich to hide their wealth in, and don't really care that i spent $800 dollars on them, they said after sending the crype mrytles that dont do anything it was all they could do. Sorry company "foundation" whatever.

Negative lazybear
(1 review)
On Aug 25, 2011, lazybear Redmond, WA wrote:

The Arbor Day Foundation is a nonprofit that sells retail seedlings by mail. The foundations only objective is to sell more trees and memberships. This company should be paying taxes like other for-profit retailers because the ADF is no charity. I'm going to request an inquiry from the Commerce Department in to their shady business.

I bought trees from the ADF and most of them lived. I'm really soured by the way the ADF has disrespected me as a customer with loads of junk mail, and sending membership renewal notices every other month after I purchased a year of membership in exchange for trees.

Don't give these dodgy people your address, unless you want a bunch of junk mail asking for money. The surplus nursery stock they liquidate is way overpriced, IMO. But worst, are their business practices, very unethical... After you order, The company continually tries to obtain revenue by deceiving their customers /"members". If you become a member of the "foundation" the company will send you repeated renewal notices by mail asking for more money. I understand they may even try to charge your credit card the membership fee after you don't respond before your membership runs out.

I don't want my money back, I just want this foundation shut down. Capitalism isn't evil, but companies like the National Arbor Day Foundation make it feel that way. -Devin

Negative Dogwood33
(4 reviews)
On Jun 19, 2011, Dogwood33 wrote:

I ordered one dogwood and one japanese red maple. They sent us two trees and both were planted. The Japanese maple died but the other tree prospered and grew and then we realized it was NOT a dogwood but a weeping willow. I didn't want to kill off the tree by removing it but I have to say there is a huge difference between a large water hungry tree like a WW and a dogwood. I called the Arbor Foundation and even emailed and sent pictures of the wrong tree they had sent. Not only did I not receive a response but then they didn't even bother to offer suggestions or even replace it. I would never ever order a tree from them again. They did send a Japanese red maple and its growing in a pot and will have to go out in the ground soon, but like I said I am not very happy with their service. Sending the wrong tree is not acceptable, especially if its in the ground and growing before you even know what it is you planted. I have little trust for them and they have lousy customer service.

Negative Thunderlilies
(3 reviews)
On May 6, 2011, Thunderlilies Battle Creek, MI wrote:

I hate to give a negative because I love what they stand for, but I have not had a good experience with these folks and will no longer be ordering from them.

I have purchased quite a few fruit trees and green giants from them over the last couple of years... and, at this time, all the fruit trees are struggling and not growing. Over half of the baby green giants have died...
Plants I have ordered from other nurseries have flourished in my garden.

When I contacted them about one of my fruit trees that had died I had to pay 1/2 of the cost of the original to get a new tree.

On the other hand, their prices are low, which is great, if you're willing to take that risk. And the free red maple they send with your order grows very well. So, if the rest of your order doesn't do so great, at least you have that red maple tree!

Negative Gwennie76
(1 review)
On May 2, 2011, Gwennie76 Taylor, TX wrote:

I ordered two almond trees from them. After a few years of growth, they are decidedly PEACH trees, not almond trees. Very unhappy.

Negative kathyl0u
(1 review)
On Dec 28, 2010, kathyl0u Corry, PA wrote:

When I sent my $10 "donation" to ADF with the promise of 10 free trees, plus lilac bushes, etc. I didn't expect much, but I did expect some common sense from a foundation that wants to grow healthy plants. Although I sent in late summer/ealry fall the shipment wasn't received till around mid Dec. By then we had 2-4 feet of snow in our yard. We live in the snowbelt. If ADF had done its homework they'd have known that. They claim they'll be shipped at the best time for planting in our area, but Dec. is rarely the best time to plant anything here! We never received the lilac bushes...just as well, I guess. The tiny twigs are still lying out in our back room; no chance to plant them. If ADF really cared about growing things, they wouldn't send the babies to their certain demise by shipping them to a snowy death! Such a shame.

Negative marybe
(1 review)
On Sep 8, 2010, marybe Portland, OR wrote:

I would Avoid this scam at all costs. They tell you the trees are free, but charge you 10 bucks to join...ok, so it turns out what you pay for what you get, a buck a plant, a buck a sick and and paltry plant that is. After 40 years I know what good stock is, and this is not it...and this is the first 100% negative review I've ever given.

Stunted stock that no self respecting nursury would sell. I also made the mistake of ordering a few extra plants...they came dead, and never recovered though they got immedicate and tender care. The few things that did survive were the smallest excuses for nursery stock I've seen in 40 years of mail orders!! Bare none.
And, to top it all off...if you don't watch them, they will renew your "$10 membership" each year without your permission, costing you even more.
To top it 0ff even more, they call themselves a "non-profit", as if they are doing us and the world a favor...well, if the world deserves to get ripped off, by folks selling garbage, and paying no taxes either, they I guess they are right on.
Personally, I stand by my assessment:
AVOID this company, it is dishonest and inept, and doesn't even attempt to approach the quality good gardeners have come to appreciate.

Negative Phrederica_VA
(6 reviews)
On Aug 29, 2010, Phrederica_VA Montpelier, VA wrote:

Sure, they send little twigs that may or may not survive. But the worst part is they always send them at the worst time of year. They claim it is "the best for your area", but June is a terrible time to plant in Virginia! It is not even in their range of when they are supposed to arrive. I read another complaint from someone way up north who got their trees long after the ground was frozen solid.

My theory is that they get the trees at the end of the season from cheap tree sellers at a huge discount. I find it hard to believe that they want people to grow trees when they are so uninterested in the success of their seedlings.

I made the mistake, after receiving half-dead sticks in the heat of June, to order some hazel nut trees. They were beautiful seedlings when they arrived in a timely manner in spring. They looked like they were greenhouse raised, not field raised, and normally I would have carefully hardened them off. But, the directions promised me that the best method was planting them immediately. The first mild frost blasted the bark right off of them.

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