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Dissapointing experience with Burnt Ridge Nursery

Dissapointing experience with Burnt Ridge Nursery

I ordered a nice, hefty set of plants from Burnt Ridge Nursery last Spring. I've ordered from them many times before, so I am a return customer.

When one of the pawpaws died at the graft within a week of planting, I figured, no big deal. But this Spring, when a Morus Nigra "Black Beauty" wilted for no reason (no gophers, plenty of water) I decided it was time to give them a call. I think I reached the owner, who simply told me he can't replace the plants. Well, I doubt I will be doing business with them anytime soon.

Anybody else have a bad experience with them? I am very disappointed, I was very fond of Burnt Ridge Nursery, this is no way to treat a repeat customer.


The following thread was started by Axel on May 08, 2007 at 4:51 pm PST

And to the guy with a popular website?

I would think they might want to contact you and correct their mistake.

The above followup was added by Gregory in Palo Alto on May 08, 2007 at 5:40 pm PST.

Compare to Raintree

Raintree guarantees their plants for a full year, and they are not the only ones.

It's really lame for someone to be that cheap. Seems one unhappy customer is much worse than spending a few nickels to ensure customers are happy. With the internet, the word gets around.


The above followup was added by Axel on May 09, 2007 at 9:18 am PST.

Axel, interesting you mention, me too, most of this years order has died

The moonglow pear seems ok, same with the King Fig, but all 4 for of the Yellowhorns failed right from the start, never came out, just died. My paw paw came out ok, and in just the last week, it's leaves have wilted and turn black.

The Chilean nut trees came in looking alike, when I went to plant them. One of the Chilean Nut trees had almost totally root rot, it came loose from the soil, almost fell from the soil, but it had restarted new root growth, though 95 % of the roots were gone. I planted both of them in the same hole. The one with ok roots has started to grow, but not sure how it will like summer. I had two of them a few years ago. One died from warm temp root rot, while in pot. The other didn't mind the warmer temps, but I never got it planted and it died after a year. This time I planted them right off, thinking either it is going to like my native soil or it is not, I know they are picky alone this line.

I have ordered from them most years over the last 5 and never had a problem before.

I have also seen a lot of damage bare-root and potted plants at Home Depot, which have done the same things as these, and I have noticed that many or much of their fruit trees also come from Washington State.

Disease or just the cold bad winter this year.

I reported the dead yellow horns to Burnt Ridge and asked if any one has has problems, and they said NO.

I was really disappointed to see the Paw paw croak. I had ordered 3, but when it came time to ship, they said 2 of them was not available do to something. Then when I used their website, every one I tried to replace them with, was now no longer in stock. But they never took them off of the availability list on their site, thought that was a bit odd.


My order this year:


1-CAMPBELL'S PAW PAW Asimina triloba

2- CHILEAN NUT (Genuina avellana)

4-YELLOWHORN (Xanthoceras sorbif

1- DESERT KING FIG (Ficus carica)

The above followup was added by DavidLJ48, Waterford CA, zone9 on May 09, 2007 at 9:40 am PST.

Followup, on Burnt Ridge Nursery

I checked the Nursery Watch Dog site, they listed:

46 positives
2 neutrals
1 negative

The one negative was in 2006, the guy made a order and then they could not compete the order, so he demanded his money bad. No mention of dieing plants.

When I mentioned my Yellow horns dieing this year, never really coming out, he just said, sorry we are out now for the season, if you want to get more, you will have to wait until next season, not mention of a guarantee, and added that I might have better luck planting them directly into the ground next year. I had ordered two last year, and they lived ok, one in a pot and one in the ground. I got more this year to share with CRFG members in our Local CRFG Chapter and maybe sell at our Earth Day booth in Modesto's Graceada park.

My original paw paws from Burnt Ridge Nursery, they are not doing nearly as well as my one Taylor from Dave Wilson Nursery. But I have talked to Ed Laivo and he has said, Taylor is also his most aggressive grower, so maybe that is all it is.

So I guess it pays to pay a little more, for the guarantee.


The above followup was added by DavidLJ48, Waterford CA, zone9 on May 09, 2007 at 9:56 am PST.


This is a difficult issue for any business person. Obviously you should be accountable for quality issues that are under your control. The plants should leave your facility well established, in good condition, properly identified and free of pests. Once they leave your hands, where does the grower's accountability end? If the plants were stressed during shipping, is that the grower's fault? What about when the plants are received in good condition but later fail? Unfortunately this world is full of unscrupulous people who take advantage of those who offer a satisfaction guarantee by acting in bad faith. How does a grower know the difference between a competent customer who provided proper care, and a mailorder deadbeat?

It's true that there are large growers like Raintree that will warranty their plants after they leave the grounds, but the cost of doing so is amortized into the cost of the plants in the first place. If you have a big operation, the markup may not be that much. If you are a small business owner, that kind of policy might put you out of business.
I think it's fine for people to report their experiences with different mail order companies , but I wonder if we would be so magnanimous if the shoe were on the other foot and we were the growers. The question for me is what the grower reasonably could have known about the plant in question and what the grower could have done differently. If he shipped a plant that appeared perfectly healthy at the time, can you fault him for not placing the plant in front of his crystal ball and seeing that it was predestined to fail in the future?

One should also be wary of the different pace of the seasons in different parts of the country. CA gardeners are accustomed to getting plants from local nurseries and just plopping them in the ground. That often doesn't work for mail-order. It's almost summer in central California, but it's still mid-spring in northern Washington. A plant that was shipped from the PNW at this time of the year would need gradual hardening off and "catching up" acclimatization before planting out. Most nurseries seem to have the best reputations from customers that live in the same general climate as the nurseries themselves. I've had bad luck with some good nurseries in the past. That's all it is...bad luck. Don't burn your bridges with a good supplier for one tough luck experience unless you can pinpoint something within their scope of accountability that they should have done differently.

The above followup was added by Steve in Brookings on May 09, 2007 at 11:08 am PST.

hesitate to post

I almost hesitate to post this,

I ordered 5-plants from BRN early this year, 3-hardy kiwi, Wilson and Wells paw paws. They arrived bareroot and were planted while still dormant. So far (knock on skull) they are flourishing despite some feline and snail damage to one of the paw paws (almost had to make some fur lined gloves out of cat hide).

I would like to order from them in the future so I hope this in not a omen of things to come. It is a tough situation to be in from both perspectives. I would consider Axel and David quality gardeners but as Steve points out the cost of warranties could be exorbitant for a business. Especially when you consider some of the dirtbags in this world.

I hope your situation gets resolved positively,


The above followup was added by Ethan-Bakersfield CA9b on May 09, 2007 at 11:50 am PST.

I order somethings from One Green World too, and my Chinese Haw was never came out right.

The whole grafted on growth around 20 inches is dead. But I just noticed that it is sending up suckers at or near ground level. I pulled the rootstock sucker off, but I noticed one shoot , coming off just 1/2 inch above the graft line, so I guess it will be ok.

I just have to wonder if of the deciduous plants were damaged by this winters cold up in the northwest.


The above followup was added by DavidLJ48, Waterford CA, zone9 on May 13, 2007 at 1:25 am PST.

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