Posts Tagged ‘East End Homeowners’

Money Grows on Trees

Friday, March 12th, 2010


I never planned to be a “tree man.”  I used to climb trees as a kid, but only looked at them as some kind of jungle gym; not a living, breathing, life supporting entity.  My first knowledge of destructive insects in trees came when my father found some tent caterpillars in our apple tree.  He took a stick, wrapped the end of it with a towel, soaked the towel with gasoline, lit it and the burned the crap out of those caterpillars… as well as many limbs on the trees.  No light went off in my head… no thoughts of this will be my profession someday.  Oh, by the way, the few nests that didn’t burn well, my father tore out of the tree and brought to the street.  There, he poured more gasoline on them and lit them up.  These poor tortured insects wriggled to their death.  It’s no wonder that I was to go through therapy in my twenties.

Now I make a living keeping destructive critters and diseases off client’s trees.  Of course 90% of it is done not by the torch, but be feeding soil microbes that, in turn, recycle nutrients to the roots of the trees and shrubs that we care for.  A well fed, happy tree will actually repel many of the insects and diseases that would seek to harm it.  I kind of fell into this trade because of my discontent of working inside a stuffy, pretentious, back stabbing, apparel showroom in NYC.  I took a 70% pay cut and started working for a nationally known tree service.  My brother-in-law gifted me a money clip (I’ve lost it) that had a tree with money growing on its branches… an omen.

These days, we are pretty darn good at what we do and charge accordingly.  We just did a bid for a billionaire’s property in the Hamptons that priced out over $100,000.  We care for properties of world renowned celebrities and other prominent people and institutions.  Our business is growing, the trees are growing and so is our knowledge… it’s fun.  Who would have thunk that I would end up in the trees viewing life and liberty from a totally unique perspective?  At least I’m saving some caterpillars from a remake of “Nightmare on Elm Street.”

Roger Feit

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