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TC3

Headache !
Joined
Aug 12, 2006
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Location
Michigan
I do some landscape installation. Mostly, I observe what other companies install. It's kinda crap. Really.

My question is :
Is it not worth it to instsall / plant properly than to "plug-n-play" and play the game of PR (Public Relations) ???
The numbers will tell you that it's worth it to just plug-in. The warantee will run out before the tree/ shrub dies.
It just seems like if plants were properly installed, it'd be a lot less hassle ???

Do you take the time to install PROPERLY ???
 

No_Bivy

Treehouser
Joined
Sep 2, 2006
Messages
6,002
I mostly un-install stuff......cept for my Bonsai...then I take the time.

I would agree though, most "landscrapers" round here are slack,...plug and play as you say.
 

brendonv

Tree Hugger
Joined
Mar 6, 2005
Messages
7,156
Location
Oxford, Connecticut
I do it right, but I've done them wrong when they aren't my jobs, and the boss didn't care what I thought. Funny thing is, one of the trees I spoke up about, they are trying like hell to keep it alive.
 
F

Frans

Guest
A big part if 'installing properly' is to examine the stock from the nursery. Pull the tree out of the container, if the root ball is not good, reject it.
nursery's hate this.
 

Paul B

I dig hammocks.
Joined
Mar 6, 2005
Messages
12,712
Location
Burnaby BC
I do it right. to the chagrin of some clients that dont realize it is right, not the way too many 'professionals' seem to do it.
 

NickfromWI

King of Splices
Joined
Mar 30, 2005
Messages
4,996
Location
Snowless California
My day job involves teaching people how to plant their own trees, and how to take care of them. I get to see hundreds of trees get planted on a monthly basis. I never hesitate to pull a tree back out of the ground to make sure it gets done right...even if it isn't noticed until a month or a year later. One sorta big move now can make a HUGE impact on the life of that tree.

When people are skeptical about what I encouraging them to do to their tree, I send them to treesaregood.org, and if they want more, I tell them to google "ed gilman." That is usually enough to help them see the error of their gardner's ways.

love
nick
 
T

top hopper

Guest
I take the time to do it right.

I hand pick every plant myself, and do everything possible to ensure proper depth.

I still warrant them, and have at this point to my knowledge only lost 1 of around 100 (or so) in the last 8 years.

To be honest, Im so confident with my installations Ive considered offering a 2 year warranty vs. the norm 1 year, but am hesitant because there are just too many unforeseen variables which could contribute to loss.
 

NickfromWI

King of Splices
Joined
Mar 30, 2005
Messages
4,996
Location
Snowless California
I wouldn't want to warranty a tree unless people are paying me to take care of it...and that would be expensive.

I think the tree owner should be the warranty. If I work with them to get soil samples, select a proper species for the location and their desires, and then go to the nursery and pick out as perfect of a tree as possible, then make sure that tree gets planted properly...everything else is up to the tree care...and good ol' mother nature.

love
nick
 

Paul B

I dig hammocks.
Joined
Mar 6, 2005
Messages
12,712
Location
Burnaby BC
I dont warantee any plant, I consider it if there is an automatic water system in place but otherwise, nuh uh, if I dont get to guarantee the care, I dont guarantee the survival. sorry.
 

Old Monkey

Treehouser
Joined
Mar 9, 2005
Messages
8,771
We had an interesting lecture at this year's botanical expo called "From Bare Roots to Bare Roots." An arborist in the Seattle area has been taking trees out of the burlap, soaking the root ball all night in a tub and then using hand tools and brushes to remove all the dirt. He then plants the tree in exclusively native soil. The hole he digs is wide and shallow corresponding to the distance from the root flair to the bottom of the roots. To test his method out he helped get funding for a Professor at the University to test it out. She didn't think that landscapers would soak root balls over night so she washed off the soil with a pressure sprayer on some and dropped others from about ten feet in the air to break up the root ball. Two years into the study and she hasn't lost any trees from this method.
 

Burnham

Woods walker
Joined
Mar 7, 2005
Messages
18,581
Location
Western Oregon
Assuming "native soil" has not been compromised into unproductivity, it does to me too. I think the the trick is making sure that no air pockets escape as the newly bare roots are backfilled...care needed there.
 
T

top hopper

Guest
I dont warantee any plant, I consider it if there is an automatic water system in place but otherwise, nuh uh, if I dont get to guarantee the care, I dont guarantee the survival. sorry.


Why not warrant it?

Truthfully, you could about plant it upside down and it'll live the first year.
 

okietreedude

Treehouser
Joined
Jan 1, 2008
Messages
412
Location
enid, ok
Truthfully, you could about plant it upside down and it'll live the first year.
Thats BS if ive ever heard it. I planted some trees last yr and 2 of them were dead by the end of the season. both were planted in beds close to the house that were serviced daily by the sprinkler system. No drainage and they were drowned.

One of the holes had water in the bottom when we dug it out.

I offer NO warrantee. If they over water it and its a $300 tree, why should I replace it? Its not my fault they killed it. BTW, I dont sell the tree. they go buy it and I plant it.
 
T

top hopper

Guest
Ya think?

Yeah well any hack landscaper who can dig a hole and toss in a root ball seems to make profit from doing it. They all offer warranties, and just dig the hole drop in the tree and go. Why? Cuz 9 times outta 10 it'll live past the warranty date anyway.

Im curious as to peoples pricing structure for planting.

I charge 3X wholesale cost. with installation and one year replacement warranty, and mulch ring.
 

Paul B

I dig hammocks.
Joined
Mar 6, 2005
Messages
12,712
Location
Burnaby BC
I price each job seperately factoring in delivery, plant price and site access. It may work out close to a formula price at some point but I havent gone back to analyze it to be honest.

As for living for a year regardless of planting method and care, I dunno, a lot of stuff would die within a few weeks here if left unwatered or overwatered, I buy health stock and plant it right, the care it gets after I leave is not under my control so I dont feel the need to replace plants people dont take care of properly.

I think perhaps being in the retail nursery industry for so long has jaded me, I have heard about all the stories and lies about how well people took care of plants and watered them 'enough', when they bring them back stone ass dead three months later and want the nursery to replace them as if they were sold a faulty product.
If you buy a new vehicle and drive it in to a post would that be considered under warrantee to replace the engine, brakes and bumper? nope. User error, not covered.

As a business strategy you could of course play the odds and accept some losses in the long run, thats your call of course, no harm in it to me. :)
 

TC3

Headache !
Joined
Aug 12, 2006
Messages
1,505
Location
Michigan
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #19
Truthfully, you could about plant it upside down and it'll live the first year.
That is / was exactly what prompted me to start this thread.
Most trees will live a year, regardless of how they're planted. Unless you really screw it up bad, it'll live.
They came out of the nursery half-dead.
Part of it is a "numbers game" >>> If you plant 30 Arbs, I would bet $100 that 4 of them will die. Just a mortality thing, IMO.

I have been approached by landscape installers to be a paid babysitter. I turned it down because I insist that things are done properly to begin with. Don't ask me to stand vigil over a lost cause & run PR for you !!!
Even if / when the warantee runs out, people are still calling & asking, "WTF ??? I saw this tree browning out the DAY you installed it ?!?" Not to mention, it's time to give them the REAL bad news >>> Replacement is guaranteed. Labor is still gonna cost you.
It's worth it for installers to shrug, postpone, & delay. But if you want repeat biz & the reputation to match, INSTALL IT PROPERLY !!!
 

stehansen

Climbing Up
Joined
Aug 25, 2005
Messages
9,187
Location
Ceres, CA
I haven't planted since I got in the tree biz, until tomorrow. I"m planting a half a dozen california pepper trees. What do I need to look for? When I farmed all of the trees were apricot, apple, or walnut and all were bare root and you could see everything in there. Make me an expert by tomorrow please.
 

stehansen

Climbing Up
Joined
Aug 25, 2005
Messages
9,187
Location
Ceres, CA
Thanks I'm printing it out. I have planted approximatley 12,000 trees when I farmed but none containerized.
 

treelooker

Treehouser
Joined
Jul 24, 2005
Messages
1,013
Location
NC
An arborist in the Seattle area has been taking trees out of the burlap, soaking the root ball all night in a tub and then using hand tools and brushes to remove all the dirt. ...she washed off the soil with a pressure sprayer on some and dropped others from about ten feet in the air to break up the root ball. Two years into the study and she hasn't lost any trees from this method.
Jim Flott--from tacoma actually--and rita hummel of wsu. both doing excellent work.

steve dont forget the treesaregood planting thingy; great info; find the flare!
 
F

Frans

Guest
schinus molle, one of my favorite trees!

Plant 'em tall and proud (top of root ball at grade) mulch and for your area make sure your drip irrigation hose circles the root ball JUST OUTSIDE of the root ball. Install a minimum of four emitters.

What size container?

Either way those pepper trees will do fine.
 

stehansen

Climbing Up
Joined
Aug 25, 2005
Messages
9,187
Location
Ceres, CA
I think they have sprinklers where we are planting them. 4 16" and 2 20" containers. We had one of these trees in my parents back yard planted in 1953. The first time my parents left me home alone for any extended time in 1969 and the tree dropped a huge branch into the swimming pool. I had two a day football practices and had to cut up this limb inbetween practices. The tree was planted into this super rich soil and was growing like mad.
 
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