I'm posting this here because I'm at a loss for answer like a noob... Later last fall (mid-oct or so, before leaves fell) I was asked to prune a crepe myrtle. The customer always wants this thing selectively trimmed but it was way overgrown by the house and I took them way back (way back, about a foot above ground). And, they did not survive. Proper pruning methods aside, I just read up on this article after article, about the only thing where we disagree is once we get into arboristic methods, and if the customer were to pay me as an arborist that might be ok... Otherwise, selective pruning is for the birds and those who have no problem paying for it, because it takes a lot longer and I don't selectively prune with no dang hedge trimmers. First, I'm out the $100 fee for doing it and it was a whole trailer load hauled to boot, as the customer never paid because we agreed that was the best way. Now, come late spring, the customer is asking what am I going to do about replacing it? Please don't tell me the quick answer because I would've shot that one off already, I'm not in the mood to lose another customer yet at the same rate I am at a crossroads where I must make a choice of that or else, I can not afford to replace the plants (2) on top of free pruning. I am wondering if there's a way to resolve this dilemma without further confrontation or do I just have to say 'I am sorry but there was no charge for the pruning and beyond that I can not go.' , they've been with me since day 1 and unfortunately still expect a lot for nothing, I've tried to explain things have changed but that is always such a waste of time. I guess it might boil down to doing the math and seeing which would be cheaper but I am certain the loss of the customer would be, still I don't feel like losing another one hence again why I ask.