I love spring. There are so many – an ever increasing number – of guys (and gals) that call me every spring to order tree tubes. (I always say I have two kinds of customers: Repeat customers and customers who will become repeat customers.)
I live my love of growing trees vicariously through my customers. So it’s a real treat every spring to hear from customers I have been working with for years, getting updated on how those Chinese chestnuts they tried last year worked out or if those hybrid oaks were cold hardy for their location. I have a selective memory: I can’t remember where I parked my car at the mall or what I was supposed to pick up at the grocery store, but I can remember exactly what trees my customer in Garnett, KS planted last year and how they grew.
Repeat business tells me two very cool things:
1) First and foremost, it tells me that my customers are having great results and that they are – just as importantly and not coincidentally – enjoying growing trees. Many think they are just going to plant trees for a season or two, but have so much fun and feel such a sense of satisfaction that they keep planting year after year.
2) That people are following one of my main pieces of advice to new tree planters: Don’t try to plant too many trees at once. Plant only as many as you can protect and maintain until they are successfully established, and only then plant some more.
Increasingly, I am seeing customer who place the same order every year: Fifty 4ft tree tubes, or five hundred 2ft tree tubes.
I am still waiting for one thing. My dream is for a customer to call and place his order simply by saying, “I’ll have the usual.” With every repeat order that day gets closer and closer!