Tag Archives: Business and Economy

Old or New Traditions for Christmas at Your House?

1-08-06 christmas tree 011

Image by takfoto via Flickr

Do you have a live tree? Does your family go to a Christmas Tree farm and cut one down? Do you go to the nearest corner lot and pick a tree from the selection they have? Do you shop your local box store for your tree?  Do you patronize your local garden center?   

I ask because there are many options out there for those that still choose to have a live Christmas tree.  Personally if I had a real tree, we’d either cut it down ourselves (we did this for years) or visit the garden center.  I’ve never been a fan of the pop up tents  that literally materialize over night, set up lights and sell trees for much less than the local store that is there for you all year. Just my opinion. I’m blogging, you get to hear it. 

oh christmas tree, oh christmas treeNow…if you choose to have an artificial tree, how often do you replace that tree?  I have a sister that must get a new one every couple of years, myself…mine is several years old.  I chose the artificial so that I don’t have to water it, I can leave it up for 8 weeks if I want to, it looks real and I’m not picking needles out of my carpet until July and mostly because Christmas trees just don’t smell any more!  I have no idea why…it’s too bad though.  Instead, I’ll use a pine scented candle or potpourri.    

   Let me know what your family does for a Christmas tree. I can suggest that if you go with the live trees, be sure to set them out in the yard after Christmas for the birds!  They love them and it’s good winter protection for them!

Have a blessed Christmas to you all!

 

English: A Christmas Tree at Home

Image via Wikipedia

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Cheap Trees Prices Won’t Last!

A tree nursery using gutters to decrease growi...

Image via Wikipedia

Why Tree Prices Will Increase –

This was posted by Bold Spring Nursery.  Very interesting information.

    Usually price increases are a sore topic. In our current economic climate, cost cutting has become a way of life as businesses fight to conserve cash and preserve margins. The unwelcome news of a price increase from a supplier is usually the last thing a buyer wants to hear. The ornamental tree business has been no different. Growers have suffered a crushing over-supply of trees which was, in fact, developing 6 -7 years ago, but was masked by the frenetic pace of construction through the middle part of the decade. When the bubble burst in 2007-2008 the demand for trees was reduced dramatically, beyond what few of us have ever witnessed. Since that time, growers, desperate to maintain a market share, have reacted by cutting prices for each of the last 3 years to the point where prices, on some items, have reached 30-year lows.

    Unlike many businesses, tree growers cannot simply downsize their company to a scale that matches their sales. Existing inventory requires upkeep and that costs money. Like everyone else, growers have aggressively cut costs to try to staunch the negative flow of cash. That is a tall order in a world where the costs of raw materials such as burlap, diesel, and plastic have only increased. So, in many cases, fertilizer, pesticides, pruning, and staking have gone by the board. The results of excessive cost cutting are evident in the marketplace this year and many growers are simply not capable of supplying trees of adequate quality.  For most growers, even the cost of culling bad trees is daunting when cash is tight and so the trees sit around, on display in the fields or, in the case of containers, growing increasingly pot-bound.

    The other major area of cost cutting has been a sharp decrease in tree-planting in nurseries. Many cash conscious growers have realized that if they cannot afford to maintain what they have, then there is little point in putting more trees in the ground. As a result, tree planting has declined 70-80% over this period. This reduction occurred progressively: first by about 20% in 2008-2009 and then an additional 30-40% in each of the two following years. This trend has only just begun to become evident, with many smaller-sized trees and evergreens becoming scarce this spring. Over the next two years the breadth of shortages will increase dramatically and progressively, as more gaps appear while the old inventory outgrows the market, becomes ruined from neglect, is sawed down to increase spacing, or grubbed out entirely to prepare fields for re-planting.

    Growers are watching carefully to see which items are selling out and they will raise prices whenever market conditions allow. This is not a matter of greed as much as survival. Most nurseries are just hanging on and absorbing losses, if they are even doing that. We are all watching while prominent nurseries fail, unable to continue in an economic meltdown that was nearly impossible to predict.

    The shock waves from the sub-prime melt-down will continue to be felt, but will soon be felt in different ways. The crash of demand will be followed by a crash in supply caused by a reduction in the number of nurseries that have been willing and able to continue to risk investment in the planting and maintenance of quality inventory these last three years. And just as the construction boom masked the over-supply of trees 5-6 years ago, the construction bust is masking the currently developing shortage. When we experience even a modest resumption in new construction, the shortages will be difficult to manage.

    It is important for businesses to educate their customers for what is coming. There is a special challenge for those who are bidding projects that are further out. There is a shocking gap between the desperate pricing of 2010-11, and the prices of, even, the over-supplied market of 2007. But when scarcities become prevalent, prices will return to their former levels, and eventually go higher still. That market of shortages may be much closer than you realize. Buyers should be prepared for price increases in fall 2011 and very large increases in 2012 and 2013.

Applicants, Friend or Foe?

     With the spring season comes the HELP WANTED signs and here come the applicants! We get large waves of unemployed coming in the door to fill out applications. Because we are a wholesale nursery and a retail garden center, we get  a wide variety of people coming in the door.

  Some are teenagers looking for work after school and weekends. Some are immigrants, some are the average Joe just out of work and looking for something to do. Some are just so over qualified, you don’t know how they could even be interested! Some are mom’s with extra time and want something “fun” to do. Some are seniors that would like to get out of the house. We get plant lovers, people with no knowledge that the “green side goes up”, ex-factory workers….you get the idea!

   Some funny things happen when people come in to apply. We get those that want to work RIGHT NOW and don’t understand that breathing isn’t the only requirement for the job. Interviews don’t seem to be these people’s forte for when called to come in for just that….they don’t show up at all.

  Then you have people that harass you…they come in everyday, want to talk to the person in charge, want to bully their way in…just so you know….this doesn’t work too well!

 Then the other day, we had this dear gentleman come in. We have on the application a place when they can put a person’s name to contact in case of emergency…he left this spot blank. Then where the line is for that person’s phone number would be he put in “911”.  We all got a chuckle out of that one.

  I think there should be a class offered (and maybe there is) on the right way to conduct yourself when applying for a position. What to wear (and what not to), what to say and communicate on the application, how to follow-up so you’re remembered and not feared…you know the basic stuff!

   Although we have many that apply…with the economy and that we are mostly seasonal…we have to work hard to “put the right people on the bus” and then after they are hired…get them in the right seats! That takes finesse! Wish us luck! The sign is down so we are now sorting through the candidates and we’ll see what happens!  Happy Spring everyone!

The beauty of Trees…

As a nurserywoman….I couldn’t help but share this with you.
 
TREES 
by JoyceKilmer  (1886-1918)
I think that I shall never see 
A poem lovely as a tree

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest 
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast; 
A tree that looks at God all day, 
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;   
A tree that may in Summer wear 
A nest of robins in her hair; 
Upon whose bosom snow has lain; 
Who intimately lives with rain.   
Poems are made by people like me, 
But only God can make a tree.