Tree Care Maintenance Lesson #1 (Marketing Language, Buyer Beware)

Here I am again during a short month in New York, preparing myself for the springtime explosion of growth and business. I am going to begin with what your trees, gardens and landscapes truly need to stay healthy, happy and full of beneficial elements to sustain themselves. Plant With Me promotes education. Through knowledge, good decisions can be made. The following promotional information was taken from a well know New York tree care companies’ website. I will address all my concerns within the promo (in black). Then following, demonstrate my ideas.

To grow properly, trees need care every season of the year (false). They need regular feeding (false), pruning (not always), thinning (promoting excessive business) and maintenance (wrong word). They need protection from insects and disease (true). Their growth and beauty is not something a property owner should take for granted (Are homeowners idiots?). The cost of professional tree care the Company Name way is very economical (ALMOST NEVER), especially when compared to the cost of removing dead or dying trees and planting new ones (Over what time frame?). Company Name offers a complete range of year-round, professional tree care services to conserve and protect one of the most valuable investments you have….your trees (like so many other companies).

Ok, let me begin by saying all marketing specialist can be proud of the manipulating language this company engaged in.

1st   Trees do not need our care every season of the year to grow properly. Anyone who believes this companies first statement should leave their lights on all the time and have all their windows open through winter, with the heat on. Just give your hard earned money away. There are some benefits to us being active participants, but the world will not end if we sit back, breath in the scents of each season and enjoy life.

2nd   Trees do not need a regular feeding. Even when planted in man made environments, trees will eventually acclimate and develop based on their surroundings. When the proper trees, endogenous to the area or planting zone, are planted, they should be just fine. The first couple of years trees need to be observed and after that, simply monitored. Under certain landscape and garden design management conditions, maintenance needs to be more regulated. Much of the time soil conditions dictate these needs.

3rd   Pruning is based on a tree by tree inspection. Unless a tree is next to or over a structure, highly ornamental, maintained to stay away from a driveway, walkway or other garden element, pruning is to be done based on a value scale. This scale is put into place and developed by the professional (Plant With Me), as relationships are established with the homeowner and their property. Through asking questions and listening to needs, garden and landscaping  goals can be addressed.

4th   Tree or plant thinning is extremely subjective and again needs to be assessed based on asking questions, determining tree species and landscape design expectations. It is extremely rare to have, “it has to be done or else.” Hazardous conditions, created by environmental factors, are the exception.

5th   The word maintenance in this marketing piece is the wrong word for the tree industry. Maintenance is assuming a certain amount of work needs to be performed annually. Language is extremely important. I like the idea of having a consulting observer. Plant With Me promotes this consumer opportunity. Your Consulting Observer, hopefully a certified arborist or master gardener, visits the property every year. Based on this individuals’ knowledge of your demonstrated needs, maintenance options are presented. There are many times, the best professionals in a given field will recommend nothing and will visit again the following month. After a few years of working with a homeowner and their property, certain general goals can be in place. A calendar of scheduled maintenance should be established and adjusted the beginning of every year (March 1st).

Final important consideration: “Professional Tree Care” is almost never economical. It is necessary, and an important element, to the continued development and maintained value of your trees and gardens. Please remember that nothing is free. Not doing anything will eventually cost you. Neglect can be the worst thing any homeowner can do to the value of their properties trees, landscapes, and gardens. Whatever YOU choose to do, know that it is your choice and ignorance is not an excuse. Be proactive. It shouldn’t cost you anything to learn the benefits of maintaining your homes natural surroundings.

This may not have the been the most exciting article you ever read but it puts you in a position of knowing. You now can go with confidence, that there are needs that have to be met to maintain the value and beauty of your properties. No one needs to tell you. You needs to make some choices.

Good Luck and enjoy the snow melting. It is time for some warmth.

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