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To the pros ,what is your opinion?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by tonym, May 4, 2005.

  1. tonym

    tonym LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Posts: 86

    Homeowner here, would like to hear your opinions on who is right or wrong.
    I had 10 6' Douglas Firs planted 4 years ago by a landscape company. They had a one year warranty. Two of them died in less then the year and the others looked bad as well but did not die. The landscaper replaced the two dead trees and said if the others dont make it he would replace them as well. Well three more years later these other trees continue to look worse and are actually smaller then when they were planted. The year after they were planted I had a person from local agriculture dept (I forget the name of the place) look at the trees to see if it was a disease or what was wrong, he advised they were planted too deep . I let the landscaper know this , and he said he did have bad help that year , and if there is problems he would replace them.
    So now back to the year 2005. I let the landscape company know in March ,5 of the remaining 7 trees need to be replaced , I even told him I would pay for the trees if he installed them at no charge. He agreed, then when I asked him for the price he was charging $240/tree, the same tree at the landscape place down the road retail is $119. I took this as rediculios and told him so. I bought the trees from the other company and panted them myself. That was problem number 1.
    Here is number two, another tree planted last summer from the same company a 12' Japanese pine $499 + 200 to plant, died within two weeks. SO he said he would replace 1st thing is spring, because fall is not a good time to plant long needle pines??? SO I agree , what ever is best. This is last fall, I asked to be first on his list in spring to have this tree replaced, he agreed. It is now May and this tree is still not relaced. AM I crazy or is this company wrong in there treatment to its customers? I have used them for 10 years , probably spent about $30,000 with them.
    Obviously I am done using them now.
    What would you guys do for your customers in these situations?Am I expecting too much?
  2. dvmcmrhp52

    dvmcmrhp52 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Pa.
    Posts: 4,205

    Two things.............
    Stop using him.
    Start taking better care of your landscape investments.

    I don't care if trees were planted too deep, they've lasted four years, which means you didn't do your part either.

    A good landscaper would have explained the necessary care and would have made sure it happened, no one wants to give away free planting stock....................

    Just my opinion.............
  3. northwest lawn

    northwest lawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 196

    if trees were planted to deep they puked from to much water there for its the landscape companys fault not the homeowner. what kind of soil were the trees planted in?
  4. dvmcmrhp52

    dvmcmrhp52 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Pa.
    Posts: 4,205

    Not after four years is isn't................. :cool:
  5. northwest lawn

    northwest lawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 196

    when trees are planted to deep they slowly die. trust me we just covered it in arboriculture says so right in the book
  6. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,112

    The landscaper is in the wrong here and there is no doubt in my mind.
    Two tree's dieing the first year out of ten is a BIG RED FLAG to me.It takes several years for a tree to die from being planted too deep.
    Regardless the landscaper made a verbal agreement to make it right.Then he made money on fixing his own screw-up too.
    Why you agreed to pay for the tree's is beyond me. ;) Maybe you did not water properly?Does not matter,you are not asking for anything that was not promised to you.The guy should have paid for the replacements AND planted them all for NoCharge. :angry:
    Another BIG RED FLAG is the fact that he charged the client $499.00 for a 12'Jap pine and another $200.00 to plant it.That is outrageous charging in my opinion.
    By my calculations and the price of the same size Jap Pine here that should have cost the client no more than $350.00 to $400.00 for tree AND planting put together.NOT $700.00
    so this guys a rip off.This is my professional opinion ........SheShovel
  7. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Posts: 4,900

    Title of thread
    "To the pros ,what is your opinion"
    It did not ask what you read about in school today :realmad:
    After 4 yrs its not the landscapers fault. there are many possabilitys that could have caused it to slowly die. We have heard your side of the story and I would love to here the landscapers version of it. Obviously you must like there work to have spent that much $$$ and I'm sure they would not walk away from a good paying customer with out reason. Something does not add up!
  8. nocutting

    nocutting LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 530

    Sure this landscaper is outa line in his planting procedures and his warranty.But my comment is regarding your thoughts on the cost of the stock and planting charges? How can you be so condesending when you dont have all the facts[ lets just hang the guy since he doesnt back his warranty]...In my area all the nurseries are different, obviously the homeowner went to a retail establishment......Was he lookin at containerized stock or B&B, How was this stock measured for height?ect,ect,ect, About the planting cost, again your givein a stock answer on how you may charge. Isnt there a possible reason his prices were higher than yours?...Maybe he included pick-up & delivery in his price'in,Maybe he also included soil amendments / starter fertilzer in his quote as well?....And how about the actual planting of the tree? We all have a standard for priceing, wheather you mark the item up 3-times or you double-it and charge labour?...On a "Cake walk" I go with the 3-X's the wholesale cost, but if its not easy I go with 2x's + labour [ almost like T & M], maybe this homeowers soil is like concrete, & "Blasting caps are needed to open up a hole", or to get to the plant site its all up hill?....Sheshovel I think you are way outa line here, in my area a 12 ft pine would cost about $225 x 3 is $675 on the most basic install, now add in the varibles?....I luv when people bash a guy who isnt around to defend himself.....of course these are just my thoughts? :)
  9. northwest lawn

    northwest lawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 196

    what makes someone a pro is what they have learned not from how many **** ups they have made. i have never had a tree die in the four years i have been doing it.
  10. tonym

    tonym LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Posts: 86

    The trees were well taken care of, they were watered the way he always told me to water the trees. Like I said I have used this landscaper in the past for all my landscape , and yes I loved his work, it was always large healthy trees and bushes and great design, and I never lost a tree. But then this last group of trees 4 feays ago, and another tree forgot about a pin oak, was dead when he lapnted it, thta one he replaced right away. These trees were watered once to twice/week , with slow trickle from hose for 15 mins each for the first year, that is how he recomends trees be watered. My soil is fast draining soil , shale. As far as my ground and the way the trees were taken care of , all my other trees do great. The reason I offered to pay for the trees if he payed the labor was because I like this guy and his work. But not any more. I think the problem the trees were planted too deep was because he had another company use a backhoe to dig the holes, I think the holes were just too big, and when they planted them they just put them in the hole and back filled. I was always happpy to pay pros to do the work and do it right . I rented a little backhoe to dig the 5 sickly pines out, and planted the new trees. The backhoe cost me $290, the trees cost me 125 each delivered, took me two hours to dig them out, and 3 hours to plant the new ones. He wanted to charge me $1200 to replace the trees and he considred that the cost of the trees only without labor.
    Thats really not the part that has me :angry: , because I have already dealt with that. The thing that has me :realmad: , is about the jap pine, bought last summer, died right away, and now we in May and it is still not replaced. I have talked to him 3 times now. He says its been too wet ????
    It has rained like one day a week here. $700 for a tree planted and I got to look at it alive 1 week, now almost a year later and just a hole (they did come out and remove the dead tree last year).
    BTW, the trees were all B&B.
    The trees I dug out still had the wires baskets around the root ball, the roots never grew out of the rootball after 4 years.

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