We guarantee our plants to be true to name and in good health when they leave the nursery.  Planting instructions will arrive with your plants or you can read about proper planting of your trees on our website Japanese Maple Care.

If upon receiving your tree, it looks stressed or unhealthy, please notify us within two days. We will coach you in how to nurture your tree back to good health. Shipped maples sometimes just need some care and a little time to acclimate to their new environment.

If your tree fails to do well within 30 days, we will replace your same tree. If we are currently out of the plant, we will gladly offer a substitute or a replacement credit.

If you are in zone 5 or other areas that have very cold wet winters (or spring) we recommend Winterizing Your Trees or planting in spring rather than fall. Trees that are purchased dormant and die over the winter are not covered in the guarantee. This is because they most likely died from environmental conditions. For harsh cold areas (zones 4 and 5) we advise Spring planting. We cannot guarantee maples that are planted in the Fall for these areas.

It is extremely unusual that we have health issues with our trees and, if it occurs, it is typically with the smallest ones. If there is an issue with more than one tree in an order, we feel it is most likely due to factors outside our control and not the quality of the plants.  We will not replace more than one tree in this kind of situation.

Factors Outside Our Control:

Environment and Care

Our guarantee does not cover plants injured by any factor outside our control, such as unseasonable weather, pest or disease damage, or improper care. Some examples of improper care include but are not limited to: poor planting, poor placement such as high wind or excessive sun exposure, over/under watering, or planting at the wrong time of year.

Late Delivery

Our guarantee does not cover issues due to delays in shipping that are caused by but not limited to weather, flight delays, Covid-19, or other shipping carrier (UPS) situations that are beyond our control.

Damaged in Transit

We have been shipping trees for 20 years and after shipping over 10K plants, we have developed a technique in which your trees will be carefully packed to ensure that you receive a healthy undamaged tree.

However, if due to an atypical poor handling by UPS, your plant arrives damaged,  please contact us at Mendocino Maples Nursery immediately.   We will need photographs of the plant damage, your shipping label and the box.

Depending on the situation, (if the plant is severely damaged) we may or may not ask you to return the plant as a condition of receiving a replacement or refund. If a replacement is decided upon, you will be responsible for shipping charges.

Other options to make up for a damaged tree:

  • Keep damaged tree for a 15% discount of original price (this is a good option for trees with one or two small broken branches and what is otherwise a healthy, viable tree).
  • Credit you 20% towards another tree of your choice, (and you keep damaged tree).

We will not honor claims that are made more than 48 hours after receipt of a plant damaged by shipping.

If you Need to have a Tree Replaced:

If you need a tree replaced, in an attempt to better understand what might have caused a problem, we may request that a customer send us an explanation of how they cared for the plant and a photo of the plant. The cost of shipping a replacement tree is not covered in our guarantee.


Since trees are perishable, nursery stock cannot be returned without authorization. Once a tree has been removed from its original container, or has been planted, it cannot be returned.

Note: Once trees are approved for return, a 25% restocking fee will be charged. These trees must be returned in live condition within two weeks of receipt, and shipping charges are non-refundable.

Customer Responsibility:

It is your responsibility to research the plants you order, whether they will be hardy in your climate, and the optimum date for you to receive them. If you are uncertain how a plant will do in your climate, contact your County Extension Agency or a good local nursery, and see what they recommend.

If you are experiencing a heat spell, it would be wise to wait until conditions cool before you place your order. Please use the most appropriate method of shipping for your climate conditions – in hot weather you want to use the quickest shipping method.

Shipping Costs are Non-Refundable