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Re: Plant disaster/ups versus usps

Well, David, an 8" pot is large by mailorder standards - about a 2
gal, right?   Have you thought of removing pot and excess soil to
lighten the weight or won't your plants stand that?   Seems like the
cost must be associated with weight as 20" isn't all that tall.

Totally agree that the primary concern is making sure the plant is
absolutely rigid in the box.  There are some creative ways I've seen
this done tho' I basically use plastic peanuts, which I find kind to
foliage as well as light weight, when I send plants to people.  I
have poked a hole in the box and run wire twist-tie through, around
the rootball and back out to be twisted and taped to the box for
heavy rootballs to make sure they don't go anywhere.  I've gotten
plants that have been contained with specially inserted cardboard
bits made so the pot fit in a cutout and can't move and Lazy S'S'
sent theirs with 1/4" wood dowels - 1 each corner of the pot  (square
pots), the exact length of the direction the plants were placed in
the box and secured to an empty pot opposite- all taped to the box so
they wouldn't move...and they didn't.  Most ingenious, I thought.

Fedex did do a job to crush not only the box but the pot...some
driver must have stayed up late to figure that out or set a safe on
your box!   Isn't it nice they found your box and let you
know...sheesh!  I do not blame you for not using them again; I
wouldn't either.  At this rate, their ground service will destroy the
good reputation their express service has for on time, safe delivery!
  What was RPL?  Interesting as I did find out that Fedex ground and
express are two totally different businesses.  We've had a Fedex
express account for 25 years or more - for the business - but I had
to apply for a ground account - I mean they have absolutely nothing
to do with each other in any way, shape or form.

Marge Talt, zone 7 Maryland
Editor:  Gardening in Shade
Current Article: Battling Bambi
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> From: David Franzman <dfranzma@pacbell.net>
> Marge, interesting!  I ship with the pot which is 8" and the plants
> 20" tall.  I believe that I have found a good way to ship them
> damage assuming I don't use Fed Ex.  More about that in a minute. 
I do
> charge for materials as boxes are unbelievably expensive however,
being a
> one man band I don't charge for my time though I suppose you can
make a case
> for doing so.  I do send an email asking whether the plant arrived
in good
> shape or not and I'm on a pretty good streak with my new method. 
With this
> size plant the cost of 2nd or 3rd day is astronomical.
> FedEx ground is what used to be RPL and it is truly awful.  I began
> FedEx ground and some of the boxes showed up absolutely crushed
with the 8"
> pot itself broken.  That took some talent.  The final straw was
when I
> received a phone call at 4am one morning telling me they had found
> package in Idaho when it was supposed to be in Colorado.  Since
then I have
> shipped UPS and I have only had one problem with them since.
> Marge, I get shipped plants from all around the country in pots and
> have had few problems.  The key as I've finally found out is to
make sure
> there isn't any wiggle room in the box at all.  If you can keep the
> from moving and Igor doesn't sit on it it should arrive in good
> I also ship the plant laying down and pack it that way.

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