This is another post suggestion from one of our customers who asked to remain nameless :) A common problem we encounter in the industry is general product quality. Contractors NEED work. To sell the work, especially in the commercial and public sector, they MUST be price competitive. In order to be price competitive - contractors have to use the cheapest supplier. Depending on the scope a contractor picks up on a project, the cost of their plant material will represent 30 to 50% of their overall proposal!
This ties in directly with my very first post. The product specifications are typically so vague, it leaves the contractors' supply options just too wide open. For example a legend might read something like this:
(A) Bald Cypress 3" Cal. 8-10' Height, 3-4' Spread, Container Grown
Well, a quality contractor would know and bid a tree that meets the below specs:
(B) Bald Cypress 3.5" Cal. 12' Height, 5' Spread, 45 Gallon
Tree A would be a rootbound 30 gallon tree that meets the bare minimum spec... barely. Tree B would be a quality 45 gallon tree. The problem is tree A will cost somewhere between $75 and $120. Tree B costs between $190 and $225. An average difference of $110. If there are (20) of these trees the cost difference is $2,200. More, including installation. These discrepancies will cost the quality contractors the job. The owner ends up with an unqualified contractor, a terrible end-product, the contractor loses an untold amount of money replacing products and redoing work and EVERYONE spends way more time on the project. This all could have been avoided had they started with quality specs and had been able to hire the quality contractor in the first place.
Architects: Be precise and accurate in your specifications. Use the site! Leverage the easy and free information with which we provide you. Don't give ranges of specifications... Contractors are forced to bid the lower end of the spectrum. If you're unsure of how to spec a tree... call us! Ask us questions... we will answer personally! Call the vendors and brokers listed on our site, they would love to help as well. The goal of this site is to improve the industry before anything else! We are here to help!