A Plant Guarantee Is Only As Good As The Landscape Contractor Behind It

dead arborvitaeWhy Do You Want A Plant Guarantee?

The answer is obvious – if a plant dies the company that installed it must replace it.

Of course that’s the main reason to want a guarantee.  But I don’t think we choose a product or service just because it has a guarantee.  Most of us want a “quality” product or service, and then if the product or service has a problem, it’s taken care of under guarantee.

But no matter how good a plant guarantee is, it’s still a hassle to go through the process.  Typically you call the company; they have to send someone out to look, schedule the replacements, make sure they have the right plants…you know how that goes.  Yes, eventually the plants are replaced (mmm, most of the time), but it’s still something we’d all rather avoid.

Now I have to say, there are landscape companies out there that respond very well to guarantee issues.  In fact, I know of some companies that check their more recent projects and spot plants needing replacement before the homeowner does.  Rare, yes, but they do exist.

A good landscape company confidently stands by and fulfills its plant guarantee obligations. How are they able to do this?  They control plant loss with:

  • Knowledge of plant types and planting design
  • Ability to find and identify quality plants
  • Knowledge of soil types, drainage and other influential conditions
  • Knowledge of installation practices for varying conditions & circumstances

A company that operates at this level can be confident that their plant losses will be minimal.

A poor landscape company will struggle with a plant guarantee because of constant plant losses.  The picture above tells a grim story.

Not one of these nine arborvitae survived.  Why?

The exposure is directly south.  The planting area is elevated behind a wall.  There’s an asphalt parking lot in front.  I’m feeling hot and thirsty just thinking about it!

The first thing that should come to mind in this situation is: “Brutal conditions.  What can I design to sustain in this environment?”

Yes arborvitae like sun, but they prefer moist conditions.  If they struggle with dryness and challenging conditions (like these) they are doomed to failure.  Even if they somehow survived they’d be stressed and predisposed to numerous ailments.

No Worries… There’s A Plant Guarantee!

Yes, I suppose there is.  Although these have been dead for awhile.  Let’s give the landscape company the benefit of the doubt.  They’re waiting for the “fall planting season” to replace them.  I wonder if they’re going to replace them with more arborvitae?

When I say a plant guarantee is only as good as the landscaper behind it, I don’t mean to imply quality of character.  It is very likely this landscaper had and will continue to have the best of intentions.

The lesson here is don’t get false hope just because there’s a guarantee.  Do your “due diligence” and make sure a good, knowledgeable company goes along with that plant guarantee.

There are many plant guarantee stories out there.  Have any good ones?  Let us know in the comments.

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    One Response to “A Plant Guarantee Is Only As Good As The Landscape Contractor Behind It”

    1. Tom Says:

      You are exactly right. Anybody that knows plants would not plant arborvitae in that situation. Taxus would make a good, low cost plant for that area. And it would not mind the heat and dryness.

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