I have purchased Japanese Maples from John Herter for several years. I currently have one "fluffy" maple that I love; two in pots that should be small; one next to my house that needs transplanting (too large for spot). Also, I sent one to a friend in memory of his mother. That Japanese maple is now next to his mom's grave. Beautiful. Each time that I have purchased from, or communicated with John I was especially pleased. The shipments were always carefully packed and arrived without incident. I love the selections of Herter's Nursery. If something is out of stock, I compliment them that they have done well with an exceptional species.
Ncnativefan Charlotte, NC (3 reviews) November 10, 2014
It takes a lot for me to post negative comments. I waited an entire year to see if I was still upset and I am. Last year I ordered 10-12 maples. The only reason I ordered from them was they had 2 rare varieties I wanted. Shipping and communication was a nightmare. When I finally got the plants after they were "missing" for several weeks I discovered the tree tags and labels were written in magic marker on paper which got wet and ran everywhere so it was not legible. WHAT IRRITATED ME THE MOST WAS THE TWO MAPLES I WANTED, WHICH WAS THE SOLE REASON I ORDERED FROM THEM, THEY WERE OUT OF AND THEY SUPPOSEDLY SUBBED "OLDER AND LARGER TREES" IN PLACE OF THE TWO RARE TREES I ORDERED. THESE WERE NOT REPLACEMENT TREES, THEY SIMPLY JIPPED ME TWO TREES AND SAID THEY GAVE ME LARGER TREES ON TWO OF THE VARIETIES I ORDERED. THEY DID NOT WARN ME OF THIS, I FIGURED THIS OUT ON MY OWN AS I IDENTIFIED THE TREES THAT WERE LABELED IN INK THAT RAN. I have ordered from many nurseries and have never dealt with such amateurism or been blatantly ripped off. All they seemed to care about was this Christmas tree farm they gave excuses as to why the Japanese maples were late etc. Company representative comment on November 15, 2014: On Nov 15, 2014 8:25 PM, Herter Nursery responded with:
I am very sorry about this issue, and had thought we had been resolved, as this was over a year ago, and i had not heard anything else. We are a small family owned nursery and do our best to not sell a maple we do not have. However, sometimes when we pull the maples to ship, they may not look A+, so we prefer to refund, or send a replacement. I am sorry you were not happy. Please contact me and i will take care of it.
On another note, we have sold tens of thousands of japanese maples, and do our own grafting and growing. My wife and I have processed thousands of orders. FOR ONLY THE NEGATIVE FEW TO BE LISTED ON THIS SITE IS NOT FAIR AT ALL. FOLKS SEEM TO ONLY TAKE TIME TO LEAVE A NEGATIVE REVIEW AND NOT THE 1000'S OF POSITIVE TRANSACTIONS. FOR THAT I HAVE NO USE FOR THIS SITE.
houndsman Kings Mountain, NC (1 review) June 12, 2013
I recently purchased 12 pink pampas grass plants from the Herter Nursery listing on e-bay. The plants arrived in great condition and within three days of payment. They are now planted and doing very well. The plants looked exactly like the pictures in the listing on e-bay. The communication was timely and concise regarding the shipment. I plan to continue to do business with this company.
LTMark West Brattleboro, VT (1 review) August 5, 2012
I ordered a tree 7/12/2012 over the internet from Herter Nursery.
7/16 Herter processed my debit card for $70.
7/19 I called asking when it was shipped and was told it was shipped 7/17 or 7/18 (when it should have been shipped on the day the debit card was processed or earlier!) They said it was shipped USPO Priority (2-3 days).
7/20 I e-mailed them asking when it had gone out. Did not get an answer. After a follow up e-mail, I was told there were delays "because of the heat" and that they were going on vacation.
7/21 -- they went on vacation for a week. After several more e-mails pressing them to give me a date when it would be shipped, John Herter said it would be Monday 7/30.
8/2 -- the tree finally arrived.
I consider it an unethical business practice to take payment without shipping. Also, I was not given truthful or accurate information when I followed up. I will not order from them again.
Marchela Long Island, NY (1 review) September 22, 2011
I finally decided to write my own review. I purchased many 1yr graft. Japanese maples from this company thru e-bay a couple of years ago. I was bidding for 2 weeks and finished purchasing in mid October. The trees were not shipped until the end of November, and when I contacted the owner, the excuse was that he was busy with preparing the Christmas trees. My JM trees arrived dormant, but in very good condition, and I was happy until the Spring. When the leaves appeared I realized that almost 30% of the trees I purchased (5 trees) were clearly mislabelled and of course these were the most expensive and rare varieties. Twice I sent an email to the company and didn't get any reply. Never purchase dormant trees from them!
CurtF Palm Bay, FL (Zone 9b) (2 reviews) June 25, 2008
I made my first order to this company about a week ago. I received the tree today in excellent condition. The container the tree was in was bent in the center and I was dreading what I'd find when I opened it, but the tree was secured inside well enough that it hadn't moved and was perfectly fine. I'll do business with them again.
I have ordered many grafted Japanese maples and wisteria from John over the past 10 years. When they came, they were nice form, but rather small (but what did I expect for under $15 each). You should see every one of them now. They are all beautiful trees.
I just sold one of the trees he sent me for $9.99 for $150 only because I am moving and won't have room for it. And they lady who got it is thrilled. I probably should have charged more.
He has also been quite helpful to me over the years with my plethera of questions.
I would not hesitate to order from Herter's Nursery. As a matter of fact, I am looking forward to it.
I purchased 3 seedlings of variety "Acer Palmatum Atropurpurea."
Good communication with John Herter about delivery via email. My new JM trees are very healthy and look great. I will consider making additional purchases from this mail order company. Overall, good experience with Herter Nursery!
I received a tree in deplorable shape. The bark was scared from top to bottom. There were few leaves which quickly burnt off in only morning sun.
I was not informed of the condition of his trees before it arrived, I was not given an option to reject the tree for another. However, under my care it has grown new leaves, albeit a lost of at least a year or more growth will be lost. I have this tree in nothing less then a veritable ICU with IV and oxygen. My wife called it my Charlie Brown Christmas tree and it looked worst then that. Herter need to slow down or get his act together and care about his product and customers.
Meredith79 Southeastern, NH (Zone 5b) (8 reviews) May 10, 2006
I ordered 2 butterfly bushes from Herter nursery. They had a rare bi color available that I have only seen available on one other website. They arrived promptly but looked like a couple of 3" tall single stem dead sticks. My husband made fun of me for ordering them. They included a letter saying they are shipped dormant, so I hoped for the best. I know butterfly bushes are late to brake dormancy but these just seem dead. My two bushes (sticks) only cost $15 with shipping, so I'm not even going to bother complaining. I saw butterfly bushes in home depot a week ago and for $10 you get a 3 gal. pot with a good size bush starting to grow out from the past seasons growth. So I'm using this as an indicator that if I have no signs of life yet, I'm probably not going to.
Valentina_S West Bend, WI (Zone 5a) (8 reviews) August 28, 2005
Trouble-free purchase, fast delivery, good packing material, healthy plant.
Davidsan Springfield, IL (Zone 6a) (17 reviews) July 22, 2005
I bought three three year trees all come express mail in two days in great shap some dirt removed wrapped in plastic as I was told they'd be. From payment to shipping 2 days fantastic. Quick response rate to my questions and all questions answered accuratly. Resonable shipping tree cost and quality merchandise. The boxes were a bit flimsy but adequate and more importantly the trees were in perfect condition ... a great source for a wide variey of JM's... David Myers On November 27th, 2006, myersphcf added the following:
I have continued to buy trees from john and have continued to be satisfied. I do agree he is a bit stretched to thin at times and you have to be patient with his email responses but the product I have recieved as been excellent ( japanese maples named cultivars only) and priced reasonably and cheap and fast shipping . Leaf loss as stated by another post here is NOT unusual with semi bare root Jm's especially after may it has ahppened to me with potted JM's...if tree is put immediatly in sun . You CERTAINLY DON'T loose a years growth!!...the leaves just grow back period. I do NOT find this statement paticularly alarming but rather typical cause I have learned to harden a tree for a couple of weeks in the shade especially that time of year and into the summer...It is more difficult with semi bare root the John ships because you have to temp. pot it...or plant in a afternoon shaded area or just live with leaf loss . I would say I have had maybe ten trees do this and do just fine with the second leafing but NONE from John so I don't think it is a valid gripe.