Updated May 15, 2019
The Tree Center Grade: C+
Overall rating: 79.0
Location: Davidsonville, MD
Why do we list location? This is so you can know, in most cases, where the evergreen shrubs you buy are coming from.
Breakdown of scores from each of the 10 factors we evaluate. You can read details on what each category means and how we score it here.
|Years site Active||6.5|
|Range of sizes||9|
The Tree Center Review:
The Tree Center make the biggest jump, increasing 3 1/2 points. That nudged their grade up to a C+. The Tree Center would probably be on of our top 5 online nurseries if they weren't so new relative to the others we monitor and rank.
We finally placed an order with The Tree Center and it helped answer a few questions. You can view pictures of The Tree Center un-boxing and read our full review here.
One of our biggest questions was whether they shipped plants from their own field(s). They seem to try to keep their location private. The address in their promotional emails & other communications lists a P.O. box as their address. We even tried to contact them once via email with no response.
We ordered 2 bushes and 2 evergreen ground covers (Bowles Periwinkle). All 4 plants came from the same address in Maryland. In fact, they all came in one box. They were impressively packed, which we show & describe in our review. From searching the address on the shipping label, they do have their own field.
We even traded a few emails with someone in customer service at The Tree Center after we took delivery, Their replies were prompt and they were very supportive.
Our opinion of The Tree Center has increased since we received good quality plants delivered in a timely manner from their own field. They seem to be a reputable company and we have become fans.
It looks like The Tree Center made a few site upgrades within the past week. Their logo has been updated and they have a new slogan; "Lowest Prices Online Guaranteed! Show us a lower price and we'll match it!" As a marketing person, the new slogan is awesome, but you really need to read all the details. They essentially limit price matching to 5 other online nurseries. You qualify for a $50 gift card if they can't match a price. It's also totally their discretion if there's any question on comparable sizes being price matched. You can read all about it here: https://www.thetreecenter.com/guaranteed-lowest-prices/
Their 'Arrive Alive' guaranty is spelled out in pretty simple language. Their Terms of Service, however, is still a beast. One of the longest we have seen for an online nursery.
The Tree Center seems to have a lot of inventory at decent prices. There are still quite a few discrepancies. For example; the evergreen trees category page says there are 14 Arborvitae trees. When you go to that category page there are 10 Arborvitae's listed and 6 of them are shrubs, nor arborvitae trees. There's a few things like this that just makes you pause; and that's never a good thing for any online store.
Last month there were 18 review on Google for The Tree Center with a 2.4 average rating. We can't find them anymore. We spent a good amount of time using a lot of different search terms. Gone. It's kind of impressive that they were able to get them to not show anymore.
What were the red flags?
- As we mentioned, using a PO Box as your primary business address is questionable.
- The increasingly popular 'extended warranty' at an extra cost provides a store credit only. And the warranty has to be filed within 30 days. AND, you have to supply pictures.
- Their Terms of Service is a beast! One of the longest we've found.
- They offer a phone number to call in BUT the last time we looked it's available for just 4 hours a day Mon-Fri and only for new orders only. You have to use their contact form for any existing order. They may be great at promptly responding to customer service inquiries, it's just been our experience that you really need to speak to someone, not just trading emails.
Despite some real concerns, mostly around their obvious desire to remain anonymous, they do carry a good selection at decent prices. We were impressed with our order and the process.
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