I just got off the phone with a favorite old customer of mine. He’s one of those tree farmers who does everything right, and for whom failed tree plantings are unacceptable.
He needs to order some more tree tubes for this coming spring, and we were discussing prices and shipping costs. As I was doing what I always do – trying to drive every last penny out of the cost of any tree tube transaction – he said to me, “Chris, don’t worry about the price too much. When you take into account the cost of all of the site preparation, the planting, the weed control, the mowing between rows, the pruning, etc… the cost of the tree tubes gets lost.”
Now, that doesn’t mean he wants to pay more than he has to for tree tubes and stakes (paying as little as possible for the best products is, of course, why he’s working with me in the first place). It does mean, however, that he has a great understanding – the kind of understanding that comes only from years of trial and error (or from skipping the trial and error by copying the successful tree planters from the beginning) – of the true cost of successful tree planting, and how tree tubes are only a small component of that cost.