One of the sad facts of my job selling tree tubes is that I rarely talk to anyone the first time they plant trees. Usually what happens is that they plant and fail once or twice (or more) and then finally stumble upon tree tubes on the web, sportsman’s discussion board or in seeking the advice of a forester. I always wonder how many folks simply get frustrated before finding out about tree tubes and just give up. (Someday maybe I’ll be able to afford a commercial during the Super Bowl, and then it won’t be so hard to learn about tree tubes!)
The great thing about my job is that the minute a customer talks to me, the cycle of failure stops. That’s because I sell tested, proven products that overcome many of the obstacles to successful tree establishment – deer, rabbits, rodents, weeds, drought, wind. And it’s because I have spoken to tens of thousands of tree planters over the years, learning what works and what doesn’t, and love nothing more than to pass that information along to tree planting “newbies” so that they can stop the trial and error and skip right to the success.
I have had thousands of variants of the “I planted trees for years without success before I discovered tree tubes” discussion over the years, but the one I had yesterday blew my mind because of the eloquent way my customer worded it.
This gentleman had planted and failed several times before learning about tree tubes last spring. He lamented the fact that, “I wasted a whole bunch of trees before I found out about tree tubes.”
Wasted trees. The idea hit me like a ton of bricks. I have always focused on the wasted time, effort and money of planting trees only to see them eaten by the locust-like horde of deer roaming the land these days, swarmed under by weeds you can’t control without killing the seedlings, or scorched by drought.
But I have never really given a great deal of thought to the trees themselves, and what a waste it is for a nurseryman somewhere to put his or her heart and soul into producing the best quality planting stock only for those trees to die.
We literally owe it to the trees themselves – and to the folks who produced them – to give each and every one of them the best chance for survival.
And, like so many customers I have spoken to over the years, this gentleman will never again plant trees without trees tubes… which turns every spring into an extended “old home week,” as repeat customers call or email with their new orders and we catch up on how their tree planting projects are progressing. Often I feel like I know their trees by name: “Chris, you know that Chinese chestnut that I planted back in 2010? It’s fixin’ to bear nuts this year!”
Spring is my busy time, and this spring is shaping up to be a doozy.