Damage - How do Lawn Services stay in their "league" ?

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by mdvaden, Dec 7, 2006.

  1. Prestige-Lawncare

    Prestige-Lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 753

    Not much for me to say here, as this should be directed towards the individual or individuals who did the damage ... not as a general question to lawn care providers.

    My question would be to ask if your state requires "experience" to be one of the "qualifications" to receive a state license to do this type of work? In my opinion it should. There are to many things in life where people are "qualified" to do things only because they have been taught the steps and procedures to do the job ... but do not have the actual hands on experience to do it correctly. We wouldn't want a doctor to do surgery on us if they had only been schooled in the how-to procedures.

    It seems to me that for the most part, the reasons for this thread on this forum was to point fingers at LCO's as if to say "what makes you think you are smart enough to do this work?"

    I notice your website says that you do not mow lawns ... so why is it you come here to question those who do? I don't believe the person or persons who did this damage post on this forum ... and they are the ones who really need to be questioned. I don't feel my intelligence, or most peoples intelligence on this site needs to be questioned because of someone else's practices.

    Have a GREAT day.

  2. Grits

    Grits LawnSite Silver Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 2,994

    AMEN Brother Prestige!!!!! This guy likes to stroke his own ego. This isn't the first time he has posted something like this. Hey Vaden, you are very educated and smart...I wish I lived by you so you could be my mentor and teach this ignorant lawn guy how to properly cut a branch. I don't know and better yet, don't care, who hacked at that tree...but I would be willing to bet it was not a legit lco. It was probaly some drunk with a pushmower from TG&Y (ya'll remember that store???....that I would go a little old school with the cheap ass store reference) It would be greatly appreciated not to lump me or any other legit lco, that doesn't have their head up their a$s, in with this fly-by-nighter. You have posted similar before...why? Let me guess (the truth) you are upset that guys with what you think is little education (most on this board are highly educated...and don't need their egos stroked) and "just a lawn mower", are doing better than yourself. You are no better than the pita customers that call their lawn care provider "just a lawn boy". There are plenty of other places you can go to make yourself feel good about yourself.....don't do it here. You my friend are a punk b!tch....yes, I resorted to name calling....but that would be expected from an ignorant lawn guy.
  3. mcclureandson

    mcclureandson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 242

    I've noticed a bit of prejudice in some posts lately. My company provides some maintenance services...my wife's best friend is married to an 'arborist'. He never graduated high-school. He has been addicted to alcohol and drugs - in/out of rehab. He won't ever be able to get it together for more than a week or two at a time. I have seven employees. I have a degree. My company generates as much revenue (and profit) in a week as his does all summer.

    All lawn care owners/employees are not under-educated and should not learn to stay in their league. All arborists are not more-educated and competent.

    I understand the point he's trying to make...but the implication is there is an outbreak of poor-pruning/tree practices being conducted by ignorant lawn-care companies. I don't deny that might be true...but I've seen PLENTY of guys with chainsaws stuck in the backseat of an old truck calling themselves certified 'arborists'. One sector of the green industry isn't more likely to have its share of nimbwits.
  4. mdvaden

    mdvaden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,946

    I'll answer your question - at you and not for you, but for others.

    If you went to my website, you either did, or did not read all the relevant pages.

    The website indicates from the testimonials, resume and services, that I'm dedicated to the entire gamet of "horticulture". And because the website is set-up to divert lawn mowing, it doesn't mean that I never mow lawns and provide basic lawn care.

    Before starting business, I was a greens keeper, golf course superintendent, commercial landscape maintenance crew leader, and assistant foreman at a university landscape maintenance crew.

    My lawn services also include not just mechanical aeration, but chemical aeration. There is overseeding, drainage and installation. Occassionally, I'm hired to evaluate the lawn service which people are recieving from other companies.

    Next you can read for yourself about licensing here, and experience at: http://www.lcb.state.or.us

    That should be the link. And the basic answer is yes.
  5. mdvaden

    mdvaden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,946


    Nice to see someone who is really asking a question, unlike, say, Grits / Shields, trying to stroke his ego.

    To simplify this, I'm going to have to brush aside the category of companies that only mow lawns - no herbicides, no pruning - only cut the grass. So let's look at tree and pruning services, and landscape maintenance companies which offer lawn, shrub and some tree care.

    No company should advertise more than "lawn mowing" if they are not trained in a wide variety of horticulture: whether they learned right on the job, from books or from classes.

    In the pruning department, hedges, shearing and topiary are the easiest to learn, and require the least amount of training time. It's dot-to-dot pruning, no matter how intricate the shape - box, ball or animal.

    The more-complex pruning, is retaining some kind of natural form; a thinning, directing and control of growth. I'll refer to that as "ornamental pruning". Nobody - nobody - should LEARN on a customers plants, unless the customer is fully aware, and grants permission. Another option, is a competent crew leader, giving step by step directions to a learner, on a property under contract for yard care.

    Typically, everybody - tree service or yard care - should both learn about pruning and PRACTICE pruning before they perform the work for a customer on their own, unsupervised. People need to practice - in their yards, friends yards, volunteer work, etc..

    As a bare bones minimum, I'd say that about 16 hours of classroom instruction, and 50 hours of pruning practice - or practice and coaching combined - would be a minimum benchmark before someone starts cutting on shrubs and small trees for their own customers. Again, exclude hedges. I think that 1 hour of class, and 1 hour of training can lay the foundation for hedge work.

    Due to the value of larger trees and the damage that bad work can cause, the experience and education levels should escalate dramatically as someone approaches medium sizes trees, and likewise on more stage for large trees.

    Grits / Shields probably would benefit from some coaching.

    In fact, here's a quote regarding an article that I submitted for arborists to gain CEUs lately:

    Now I'll stroke my ego a bit with that.
  6. Grits

    Grits LawnSite Silver Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 2,994

    AAHHH, the opportunity finally presented itself for you to post a quote about an article you wrote. Perfect! Congratulations! You ARE superior to lco's!!!!:clapping:
  7. mdvaden

    mdvaden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,946

    You were the opportunity.

    In your reply, you commented on being mentored.

    Who knows, you may even be the Golden Opportunity.

    Just what areas of horticulture would you say you need assistance in?

    I've got a class lined up for January 2007, but you seem to be in Florida, so that won't work. I was in Savannah, GA, about 8 years ago. Too bad I didn't offer a class in that area then. You probably could have taken it.
  8. mcclureandson

    mcclureandson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 242

    Vaden - I've read many of your previous posts with interest. You are no doubt an experienced and qualified business-owner. However...lately the CONTENT of your message has become lost in the MANNER in which you present. Are you purposefully trying to seem arogant and condescending? I'm not personally offended by anything you have to say...I have sufficient experience and knowledge to look you in the eye on every possible level...but you must be aware the tone of your post(s) are inflammatory. If you possibly hope to educate others and work toward improvements in our industry you have much to learn yourself...IMO. Perhaps you are more experienced in some aspects of our industry than others here...but a teacher must have respect for his students as well. I would never take a class from you for that simple reason.
  9. mdvaden

    mdvaden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,946

    First, do a check up. Read the title of this thread. It does not say anybody at all is out of their league. It asks for people to supply thier policies and techniques for how they know their limits. Obviously, I know lawn services that do stay in their league. So where are you drawing the confusion from? Or were you omitting this thread entirely?

    Read the first few replies. Note how quite a few forum users gave positive feed back. They had no trouble understanding. Then, notice the nature of some of the replies that came later on, with name calling, accusing, assumptions. You see, the friction in the thread did not start with me.

    Now do you get it.

    You said "experience and knowledge to look you in the eye on every possible level".

    Not that that matters much, but why are you denoting or connoting that you have over 25 years of experience and college education?

    Now, if your 25 years of experience and college can let you see at what point in a thread that accusations start popping in, then it's even more useful. We all need to determine why is it that any thread goes fairly smoothly until a certain reply enters the picture, in an accusing fashion.

    But in this case, it was going smoothly to begin with. So take your attention, and focus-in on the replies that altered the direction. I suggest starting with one where the user even draws attention to the name calling.

    Almost forgot...

    Was the thread about biolubricants / veggie oil bad in some way?

    Ideas about flyer inserts?

  10. Cornwell

    Cornwell LawnSite Member
    Messages: 48

    You guys might have a hard time in this part of the world doing business. The whole state might have a single aborist per county. Home owners have usually no idea what an aborist even is much less pay them to cut on trees. At $80 per hour you would get laughed out of business. Unlike my business, at least %99 of the tree and lawn business's around here don't even have licenses or are even insured. Its a shame people do work without knowing what they're doing but we all have to put up with that stuff everywhere. Good Luck man dont stress it!!!

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