Friday, February 5, 2016

A conversation

I was discussing the Perth Street Tree planting, watering and maintenance service this morning with a Parks manager who admitted he was probably losing 80% of his trees and was interested in trying a different approach.

I thought part of our conversation was worth sharing...

ME:  "We'll give you a detailed proposal but you can use $400 / tree / year as a rule of thumb for watering and maintenance."

MANAGER (after some quick mental arithmetic):  "Wow, that much?"

ME:  "It's costing you more than that now."

MANAGER:  "How so?"

ME:  "Because you're losing most of your trees. Sure, you don't see that cost in the current year's expenditure sheet, but you're still paying it. Maybe it's spread over several years and hidden amongst different cost codes, but you're paying it every time you go out and replace another dead tree -  every time you water, fertilise and re-stake a tree that is destined to die! You can't escape the $400 per tree per year. You will pay it one way or the other. The benefit of paying it up front and getting 100% success* is that you enhance your Council's brand instead of damaging it."

* Excluding vandalism and storm damage

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