Frequently asked questions
Frequently asked questions
Future Forests has been supplying plants by mail order for over thirty years. Our dedicated gathering and packing teams take great pride in their work so you can be sure you will receive the best plants possible and that they will arrive in good condition.
Placing an order
Packing and shipping
Placing an order
Where do you send to and how much does it cost?
We ship to Ireland and Northern Ireland only. Packing and delivery for most orders will be €15 per order. However, larger plants and quantities will incur higher delivery charges (as much as €65 for pallet delivery). Delivery charges are calculated and added to your order at the checkout stage.
All plants that incur higher delivery charges are marked as 'Collection/oversize delivery'. To avoid higher delivery charges simply collect your order yourself from our nursery for free (use code collect at checkout) or select smaller variants while shopping on our store.
The best part about plants is that they grow! We find it far more exciting to order smaller plants, pay less for shipping (and help the planet at the same time), and then watch them grow big in their permanent home.
How tall are the plants?
Most of our plants are measured by pot size, not by height. Plants are alive, variable, and constantly growing, so unfortunately we cannot measure them all by height. We will do our best to give you an estimate of the height of a certain plant, but this cannot be guaranteed.
We do occasionally list information about size, shape, etc. in the variant title (e.g. 3L Pot | Bushy 1-2ft. These description are as accurate as possible, but please keep in mind that these are still only estimates and that the plants can change very quickly from when we write the description.
Can you send me a photo of the plants before I order them?
While we understand that you would like to see the exact plant you are getting, we unfortunately do not have the resources to fulfill all of these requests. Rest assured that our gathering team are constantly looking over the plants in our nursery and removing any that we deem unacceptable to be sent to customers.
We pride ourselves on sending you only the best plants that we possibly can.
If you must see the plant before ordering it then we suggest that you come and visit our nursery so that you can be certain you are getting exactly the plant you want.
In certain instances where you are ordering larger quantities of plants, and cannot visit the nursery, we may be able to send photos of the plants to ensure you will be happy with them.
What can I order?
- Water/Pond Plants
- Planting accessories
- Plant Feeds and Soil Conditioners
- Natural and Organic Pest Control
Can I order bareroot plants?
Bareroot plants are available from around November to early-April, depending on the weather. Read more information about ordering bareroot plants.
Can I/do I need to pre-order bareroot plants?
We do not accept pre-payment for bareroot orders unless we deem it necessary (sometimes we will collect pre-payment for larger orders).
We can, however, take a draft order and then contact you to collect payment once we have the stock in. Please note that a draft order does not guarantee availability, size, or price, as those are not determined until we actually get the stock in through our gate each year.
What plants can I order throughout the rest of the year?
You can order container grown (potted) plants in pot sizes ranging from 9cm to 10L all year. Generally speaking, you can plant potted plants at any time of year so long as you keep them appropriately watered, mulched, and sheltered from the weather!
Can I add to my existing order?
To ensure the fastest delivery without any hiccups, we request that you please do not place multiple orders in a row and ask us to add them to one shipment.
We do understand that sometimes plants come back into stock right after you placed your order. If necessary, you can place a second order and use the code addition at checkout to remove the cost of shipping and then email us to inform us that you'd like your orders shipped together.
Please keep in mind that we cannot add to your order if it has already shipped, and would have to cancel your second order or collect payment for shipping to send it to you. If the second order required a higher amount of shipping then this amount must be paid before we send either of the orders.
We reserve the right to cancel any order that uses this code incorrectly.
Can I cancel my order/an item on my order?
Why does my order say 'fulfilled' but I haven't received a shipping notification?
The way our website currently works, your order will appear in your account as 'fulfilled' as soon as we have begun processing it. Rest assured, you will receive an email from us once your order ships (make sure to check your junk/spam folder).
Why is everything out of stock/season?
We leave our product pages available to view, even when products are out of stock or out of season, so that you can always have access to the information you need to successfully research and grow a beautiful garden.
Plants are unlike any other item sold on the internet. They are living, they can be available one year and then gone the next, and they have seasons when they are available and unavailable. The times when each section of plants are generally available are listed at the top of every section page (e.g. bulbs or water plants).
We are continuing to find ways to make our web experience better, so if you have any suggestions feel free to send them along and we will log them for future updates.
Can you contact me when a product is back in stock?
To be notified when a product comes back into stock, there is an email restock notification on every product page just beneath the add to cart button (shows as a dull green 'Out of stock or season' button).
Put your email in to this field and press the 'Notify me' button. When the product comes back into stock you will receive an automated email from us.
This is the only way that you can be notified when products come back into stock. Unfortunately, because we are a small company, we have no other way to track this information or contact you.
Packing and shipping
Can I collect my order from the nursery?
Yes, you can place an order online and collect your plants from the nursery by simply entering the discount code collect at checkout. Orders must be collected within two weeks of placing the order.
How do you pack the plants and will they really arrive in good condition?
We have been sending plants by mail order for over thirty years and have the most experienced packing team in the business. All of our plants are carefully packed into boxes and thermal tree bags to keep plants safe and the roots cool. We also use bamboo canes, straw, and cardboard to protect them on their journey.
We are trying very hard to completely remove our use of plastic in our packaging, but we are unfortunately not there yet. We apologize that we sometimes have to send you plastic, but please know that we are constantly working our way toward plastic-free, home-compostable packaging.
How quickly can you deliver my order?
Our current delivery times can be found in the checkout process, as well as on every product page beneath the photos and add to cart area. During our peak months (November to April) delivery times may be longer, but we regularly update our website so that you know how long your order will take before you place it.
How do you dispatch the plants?
For large/bulky deliveries, we use a pallet delivery company, Prompto. We will let you know in advance if your order is being delivered by pallet.
Can you deliver on a particular day and time?
We cannot guarantee a delivery day or time. We currently pack and ship orders from Monday to Wednesday each week. That means that if your order is placed on a Wednesday, it likely will not be gathered, packed, and shipped until the following week.
Once the package has left our nursery, the delivery is often on the next day, but occasionally it will take two or three days for the parcels to arrive to their destination. We pack all of our plants in such a way that they will still arrive in perfect condition after several days in transit.
If we are due any dry, hot weather, we sometimes shut down deliveries all together so that we do not sacrifice any plants. We are dedicated to getting the healthiest plants to our customers in the best condition possible.
What if I am not at home to receive my delivery?
Deliveries need to be signed for but if you contact the courier directly you may be able to give them permission to leave your parcel(s) in a safe place. Our couriers provide track and trace numbers and we can give you the details and your local depot's phone number on request for you to get in contact with them.
Occasionally a customer requests to collect their order from the courier depot, which most of our couriers are willing to arrange.
If the courier cannot find your address or contact you they will take the parcels back to the depot and try again the following day.
What do I do when my plants arrive?
Your plants will likely be packed in special thermal bags to keep temperatures even and ensure the roots don't dry out. You should open the parcel as soon as it arrives to let some air in.
Unwrap the plastic and carefully untie any cardboard and string or unpack the boxes. Check that the contents are all there. Please pay close attention at this point as we frequently package plants within other plants in order to keep them safe on their journey! There will be a label on each plant or bundle of plants so that you can identify them.
Dip the roots of bareroot plants in a bucket of water and then put them back in the bag and tie it (don't leave them sitting in water). As long as the roots are damp, the plants will hold fine in the bags for a few days until you can put them in their permanent home. Store them upright in a shed or another cool place.
If you can't plant them right away, you should trench bare root plants into any spare piece of ground until you can move them to their permanent spot.
Potted plants can be unpacked and kept outside in a sunny but sheltered place. Make sure to keep potted plants well watered as they dry out quickly! They should be fine in their pots for several weeks before planting them out.
If it is going to be longer than that, it may be a good idea to repot them or temporarily plant them out in the garden, then move them again within the dormant season (November to March).
Do you provide a planting service?
As much as we love to get our hands dirty, we do not provide any design or planting services. We have chosen to focus on what we do best, which is sourcing, growing, and selling the highest quality plants we can, and delivering them direct to your door.
We are happy to provide advice and information about the plants themselves (e.g. soil, sun, and water requirements) and the sites that they are suitable for, however, garden design and landscaping are very different professions to selling and growing plants, so we suggest finding local garden designers and landscapers if you're looking for someone to do more of the research, design, and planting for you.
If you happen to live around west Cork then we have some suggestions for you.
Can you come and lay out the plants in the correct places/spacings for me?
We specialize in getting the best plants possible straight to your door, but we cannot lay them out for you. If you would like someone else to do the planting for you then we suggest hiring a local, trusted landscaper, as they will know exactly what to plant where.
Can you create a planting plan for me?
As much as we love to get our hands dirty, we do not provide any design or planting services. More above on that.
I want to plant an orchard/woodland, can you tell me what to plant and where to plant it?
We are always happy to help as much as we can. However, we specialize in finding, growing, and selling the highest quality plants we can, rather than designing, planning, or planting, so we always suggest finding someone who is an expert in their field then hiring them to do a site visit and provide you with a design (if you would prefer not to do the work yourself).
An orchard, a woodland, or any other large planting is a complex ecosystem that requires a lot of knowledge and experience to design, plant, and maintain. So hiring someone with that specific expertise is always your best choice for success.
Once you have a planting plan/layout for your orchard/woodland, and a sense of what types of trees/species you would like planted in it, then we are very happy to help you select and source varieties that will suit your desires, climate, and soil conditions.
How can I contact you?
If you have any questions or order inquiries you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our phone lines are open Monday to Saturday from 10:00-16:00. You can reach us at 00353 (0)27 66176.
If you would like to return an order please see our returns policy.