Ison’s Seriously Shorted Order

I placed a HUGE order with Ison’s and paid in August 2023.

I just unpacked it and I was seriously shorted and my order arrived with a note saying that most of the items on my order were “out of stock”, and to call them after I check my order to my invoice.

What the heck is that?

Now I cannot even try to replace the missing items this season and they had my money all this time. And I guess I have to call to request my refund?

How they handle it depends on the nursery. I have not had a nursery handle it this badly though. Stark Bros gave me store credit when I paid actual cash so I was not very happy about that one. Raintree tried to downgrade me to a smaller size since they had the smaller size but took some convincing to give me a discount. They also said that my 5 in 1 cherry tree was out of stock and I was supposed to get a refund and when I emailed them Rye the customer service manager emailed me stating I had canceled it the year before shipping but if it was canceled why did I get that email? I don’t know. With one Green World they emailed stating it was out of stock offering me a substitution of something left in store and I basically told them I just wanted to cancel my order and get cash. Generally it is poorly handled and makes the customer mad because they will have waited until 2 weeks to ship them out to you and in my area that is March or April so no one has any stock left making you wait a year often times. It also forces you to pay the next years prices which are always more anymore. It happens when they take more orders than what they have and to be is very controversial to me. If you order more than what you have but you don’t have it I should get interest since you sat on my money for a year but they are either only willing to give you cash for selling more than they have or worse credit or try to downgrade you and say you are getting a deal because they raised prices in that year timeframe they kept your money for something they did not deliver on.


They did give extra vines but I received zero of the Ponca and Kiowa, none of the kiwi’s, no elderberry bushes, no Neptune grapes, no strawberries and only one of the paw paws.

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i had same issue with gurneys and they refunded the amount to my credit card for the jujube tree that was out of stock

Call them and ask to speak to either Greg Ison or his sister Darlene. Don’t be angry, tell them what is wrong on your order. Ask how they can resolve the missing items. Greg has always been helpful and fair to me. He will do his best for you too.


Much of this happens because Nursery’s and the back offices are different worlds. Sometimes not even at the same place. It would be better with a more pro-active website inventory system though. It might head off some things.

Had good orders with Ison’s for many years. I’d be surprised if they did not make it right some how.


I alway wonder if plants are separated as sold early in the shipping season (or when orders are placed, if especially early as your was) or if items are just selected when shipped.

Id expect a better plant if ordering in November (but living in a colder zone) than if i ordered in March in a warmer zone already shipping.

But i get the sense that is not how things are actually done in the mail-order nursery business.

Is this a consideration among anyone else out there?

There were several posts of folks that ordered a month ago and have already received and planted those two on FB. I think TNHunter if im not mistaken got his Kiowa from them recently.

They spend alot of time on their FB page getting new business and customers but very little time on customers orders.

I am still waiting on my order from Oct 23… my guess is that they sold what i ordered to new customers and i will get a similar note if i get my order at all.

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Over the years I’ve ordered trees from many nurseries and what you describe is just about the worst customer service I’ve ever heard of. It sounds like it’s a small nursery so there probably was a personal crisis involved in the lack of sound business management. I have a small business and just getting a bad case of flu this winter set me back on my pruning commitments.

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I decided to start a new bed of blackberries at our new home site late this spring… and decided to try some Kiowa blackberries.

I had already finished planting several fruit trees that had been planned earlier.

I placed a order with Isons on April 2… and followed up that order with an email asking that they ship them ASAP because I had the planting bed ready and it was ideal time to plant them.

I got a reply from them stating it was taking around 2 weeks for them to get orders shipped out.

My Kiowa order arrived pretty quick though. Less than two weeks best I remember.
I even got a couple extras in the order.

Hate that you had such bad luck.
It was a pretty good experience for me.



As a former Parts Director over 6 locations and about 120 inventoried trucks; getting a decent inventory management system is not for the feint of heart.

Being much worse for small businesses that are limited to Windows OS.

You can find Enterprise Linux releases {modest subscription services} with outstanding inventory tracking allowing all the whistles and bells like pictures, diagrams, information, current inventory. Inventory allocated. Inventory on PO. Multi-locations. Live links. Open Office{Pdf and MS office operable} integration.

And most if not all let you fly before buy. People are just scared away from Linux by windows folks who usually want to sell you stuff that is free with Linux.

Virus? Registry fixers? PC Maintenance? None of that exists on Linux who’s active kernels provide those services.

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i suspect finding reliable, dedicated employee’s is a big factor nowadays. not many younger ones want to work in the nursery trade either. if you have a team of like mined folks that love what they are doing, its less likely you will have issues like this.


Sorry about the mess. After buying from multiple nurseries, these are the tree places I will ever buy anything except something they don’t carry.

Not in any particular order.

  1. Fourwinds
  2. Raintree
  3. Restoring Eden.

wow, i’m a linux user too man but how are you turning a nursery complaint post on a fruit growing forum into a windows vs linux debate?


please let us know how they handle it, the answer will decide whether or not I ever order from them in the future

Just a strong opinion where I do not like to pay for stuff that should be free.

Personally if the garden nursery are anything like my nursery I would not want to apply to work there either. Most of the workers at my local nurseries are seasonal employees. They pay minimum wage which is 12 dollars here. It would work as babies first job but most experienced workers are not going for a seasonal job at minimum wage.


It is best to know some espanola if you go to a lot of nurseries here.

I have noticed that too. I have tried to ask someone watering the plants where a plant is and I get the no hablo Enhlesh. It’s funny because my nurseries charge a crazy price but can’t hire people due to pay and seasonal. You can’t even get proper help because the workers are just there for a season and start their career or do not speak English

It is the same with AG operations. Our neighboring hay/blueberry/ and now Blackberry farm has 562 foreign workers in their dorm right now. Funny thing is you can not get them to work outside the operation. They do exactly the job on the Visa and nothing more or less.

Gheez even their new plants are loaded with berries now. But of course they use propriety cultivars extensively.