Boo for Raintree nursery

I just wanted to put this out there, as I told the customer service rep that I would. I bought a Surefire cherry on Gisela 5 rootstock in the winter of 2018-19 and planted it promptly (still dormant) that spring along with an Evans Bali also from Raintree and a Juliet cherry from a different vendor. They all grew as well as could be expected for the first leaf following planting, but Surefire 100% winter killed last winter and the other two suffered zero dieback. The trees were not given any fertilizer during the growing season and all 3 were hardened-off and went into dormancy normally. About mid winter during inspections I had my suspicions that something was up with the surefire. Come spring when everyone else broke bud in the spring and Surefire didn’t I started to document with pictures. The rootstock grew back but the scion was dead to the graft with no sign of insect damage( I cut through the tree at multiple locations including the graft looking for signs of foul play) or anything else other than plain old winter kill.
So I called Raintree to see to get the warranty process started and the guy informed me that it’s only good for some worthless number like 3 months or something and they wouldn’t do anything for me. I know Raintree changed ownership at some point not too many years ago, but this is crap. They used to have great customer service and would replace plants that didn’t work or give you credit with very little hassle, but you had to pay shipping. So, I informed the guy that I would take this into consideration next time I want to order plant material and likely take my business elsewhere, and I that I would share my experience with the gardening forums I frequent. He was totally fine with that…so there ya go! Boo for Raintree, they used to be such a good company and were the first place I looked and usually who I bought from.
A point of interest though, there is one review for Surefire on their website and it is from a fellow Coloradan who has had the tree for 6 years and it has stood up great to our weather for her. Makes me wonder if I got a mislabeled cherry variety in the first place. My plan all along was to bring all three to fruiting and keep the two I like best, not the two that survived. Spoiled my well laid plan. Man, I really wanted to try that cherry. :frowning:

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That is very disheartening to hear. Raintree was my first supplier and I only ordered trees from them and Arboreum. Shame on them. Business is about excellent customer service.

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That’s too bad indeed. Several of my trees were from Raintree. I was checking its catalog a day or two ago for new trees.

Nurseries like Cummins, Burntridge, now Raintree, which we used to like for their good products and services seem to have more complaints recently.

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Personally as a small business owner I feel this has all been an attack on my business to hand it over to Jeff Bezos or whatever other monster is going to be your one of the same 3 options available. If you treat your employees good it is pretty hard to move forward right now. Everything sucks right now but it will be good to remember what prices used to be with competition when you all go to buy things next year.

I can definitely get you a scion of it its very healthy

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I have noticed over the last few years, that many nurseries are shortening their warranty periods. I cant say as i blame them, as once the tree leaves their establishment, they have no control over what happens to it. As disheartening as it is to lose a tree, there are risks involved in agriculture, whether its a fruit tree, animals, or row crops.
Im glad you posted your expierence with them, it may or may not change the dollars spent with them. Not saying that it should or not, as I have never ordered from them, and probably never will.

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I think if these nurseries clearly state their new policy, I am OK with it. What not OK is when they send mislabeled trees.

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I just got word from Raintree that they’re replacing my mislabeled plum tree, so that’s a positive. It was sent out in 2017. I was expecting it to be a bigger hassle but they just wanted a picture and confirmed my address.

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I’m at the point where I only buy potted plants from anyone. Roots like to spread out in a field. When they harvest them all the roots are chopped off and it takes forever to recover or they die. Isons and a couple others are the only ones left worth buying from.

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Hey thanks, very generous! I will have to get your info in a PM. Is yours fruiting size?

I have purchased plants from two local nurseries. They used to grow their own stuff now it’s nearly 100% brought in. However they as of 2019 still stood behind plants that died.

Agreed. It’s always good to get feedback from customers…both positive and negative. My experience with Raintree was about 4-5 years ago under different ownership. Ordered a bunch of Contender peach trees…most of which are still living. The trees were fairly large with good root systems. My only complaint at the time was that many of the trees had nicks and scrapes on the trunks…looks like they had been manhandled when they were harvested or packed. This is a big bugaboo for me with growing peach trees here in Maine as the more pristine and undamaged the trunk is…the better chance they have at longevity. Surprisingly most of them have healed rather than forming canker which had happened to many prior trees.

On a different note…I’d like to give a shoutout to Adams County Nursery. I ordered a bunch of Red Haven and Contender peach trees from them last season and they were very nice trees overall. Great customer service as well addressing my concern of the trees sitting in the shippers warehouse for almost a week before I received them.

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I agree with @cousinfloyd on this one. It’s always disappointing when trees die, but I feel like it’s just part of the hobby. For me, if a tree arrives healthy, and if it leafs out and grows fine for a few months, then the seller’s kept up their side of the deal and whatever happens after that is beyond their control. Of course, if they sent you the wrong tree and it died because it couldn’t handle your zone, that would be their fault. But there’s no reasonable way to figure that out at this point.

Anyway, sorry to hear about your tree. I just don’t think it’s fair to blame Raintree at this point.

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Really,that is a very broad statement . At one point in my orchard I had 40 trees all bare root, and the roots themselves were strong. Only a few were ever hacked back. They all survived

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I put up like 6 reviews of different nurseries this year. If you look at the postings of everyone I think you will find those days are over. There is a growing dissatisfaction of current products from vendors that once had good reputations.

I bought some Hewes Crabapple trees from Raintree on EMLA 106 rootstock that had great bear root systems and grew like crazy. And even though they are still in pots again this year, they are still growing great. Trouble is, I am in Montana and read now that EMLA 106 is not cold hardy–and not likely to survive tong term. (I kept the pots indoors last winter.) So, since I intend to replace them, I grafted other varieties on them in hopes I would see fruit from them more quickly then my new B-118 and Antonovka rootstocks.

I am figuring it is my own dumb mistake for ordering trees on the wrong rootstocks, and I cannot blame Raintree for not knowing of my ignorance…and that EMLA 106 is not suitable for the Montana climate. It is a bummer though, and watching how quickly these Hewes Crabs are growing gives me hope they will survive long enough at least to see some fruit.

One thing that DID REALLY PISS ME OFF about Raintree, was when I ordered a Australian lime tree this year, paid for it, and then three entire weeks later I got an email saying they were out of stock and I would not be getting it (from their supplier). They should not be taking orders for plants they cannot sell, or they should not take three weeks to tell you they are sold out. By that time, they were sold out everywhere, and I was unable to find one. Yeah, that made me angry, and I have sworn off buying from Raintree for that reason–unless I change my mind. Lol

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Yeah buddy i really love the G5/Surefire combo. I trim it to around 6’ each spring and it gets just a bit taller than that. Very easy to work and its a nice little tree. Very astringent and sour. I will hit you up around february-early march after our cold hits and get you some scions if you are interested.

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I have 60 varieties going. Hewe’s is, hands down, showing the best growth and I’ve had great success grafting it. On M111, it flowered after 4 years, but I plucked them to get better wood growth for the future. I’m not sure I’ll have the will power to do that again!

Cummins: For what it’s worth, I have nothing but positive things to say about them… ~330 trees in and all are alive. I’m ignoring the 80some graftlings I lost to vols. Maybe 15 bare root trees from Cummins. They’re All doing fine, save for one pear tree that simply doesn’t grow new wood.

St. Lawrence has been good for trees.

Bought 1 “Franklin” from Stark Bros… the tree was underwhelming for the price, but it’s growing.

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One of my three Hewes on EMLA 106 flowered this year, and when I bought it last year it was only a feathered whip about 4’ height. I pruned them down to about 36", put in large pots, and they all grew to about 6’ or 7’. This year, I grafted 12 scions on them and 10 survived. The scions all grew 2’ to 3’, except those that deer chewed and had to start again. Sort of wished I’d not pruned off the flowers on the one, but thought it might not get cross-pollinated unless I put it near my big trees in the other yard, and I wasn’t sure about putting it there.:thinking:

I bought twenty B-118 rootstocks from Cummins this year and I am happy with them. Good sizes and root systems. (The scions I grafted onto the Cummins B-118 are growing much better than the scions I grafted onto Antonovka from Fedco.) Last year, however, tried some G-210 from Cummins that were too big and hard for whip and tongue grafting. By hard, I mean the wood was darn hard to cut, and I ended up slicing my thumb pretty bad. And by too big, I mean they were all a lot bigger than 3/8" pencil size, more like 5/8’ thumb size. And me being a novice, it was a learning experience/opportunity to try different grafts besides W&T. (I was able to do some W&T, but many if not most had cambium matched only to one side.) Indeed, 19 of 20 were successful at first, but then other problems caused death of all but seven.

I bought two Franklins from Stark Bros. late in the summer last year on B-118 (smaller whips), and both are growing fine. One of them, though, is no longer a Franklin because I acquired some hard to find Reine des Reinettes scions and wanted to put one on the 1 y/o B-118 whip. (It took well, and it is only 2 or 3 inches shorter than the Franklin, both about 5 or 5 1/2 feet tall.)

Haven’t tried St. Lawrence yet, but bought my Antonovka rootstocks because that is what they use and recommend for cold hardy, northern climates.

Bought a couple scraggly William’s Pride whips from Burnt Ridge this year and not sure I’d buy from them again. Both were long (only about 42 to 45 inches) and skinny and wimpy looking. One was a leaner that needed to be kept staked, and still is, the other had two whips coming from 2" above the original graft at base. Pathetic. Had to cut it so there was only one whip.

Exactly, and that is the whole point. They listed the tree as being hardy to a zone a full point lower mine, the rootstock survived but the scion didn’t after establishing good growth. Sounds quite a bit like a zone mismatch for the scion. Burpee refunds value of a plant in this exact scenario and Raintree used to. Basically it stinks because I the whole time it wasn’t coming back this spring and early summer I felt assured that it was no big deal, I was just out a little time. It also didn’t help matters that the customer rep came off as not really giving a rip either way. Honestly, there was probably a few different ways the conversation could have gone to make me feel that they are justified in no longer honoring that type of refund. And, as a matter of fact I fully expected some sort-of Covid hardship story, which I would have been very receptive to.

I order from Grandpas Orchard. Loved the 3 Plum and 1 Peach I got from them this past spring. The trees were very large and stocky compared to the same height trees Ive gotten from others in the past. Its only been this summer, but they are all growing very well. I might add, they came bare root and had rather massive root systems on the.

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