Business Professional Spotlight
Say “DNLA”, and you immediately think of the landscapers and nurseries that are part of this organization. But there is more. Aaron Jackson, of Support Your Trees, is a DNLA member and businessman who sells equipment that literally supports part of the industry: trees. Support Your Trees sells the Arborbrace system, a non-traditional tree anchor system that leaves lodge poles, wooden stakes, and wire-in-hose bracing in the past. The business has no physical location or store, just a website.
The Arborbrace system uses metal earth anchors, tension buckles, and propylene webbing to provide long-term, flexible support for newly planted trees. There are kits for tree, palms, and a jumbo anchor kit that is used to reset a partially blown-over tree. You’ll find Arborbrace kits on the Support Your Trees website and at industry trade shows like MANTS (Mid-Atlantic Nursery Trade Show).
Aaron is passionate about this system. “It’s a better way to support trees”, he explains. “The system goes in in half the time it takes to install wooden stakes and wire-in-hose supports, and it holds as long as needed. It can be adjusted at any time. That saves time and money.” The kits come ready to install, and need no special training or certifications to use.
Arborbrace first became available in 1998, and Aaron has been marketing the system since 2006. He spent the first two years raising awareness of the system. People were reluctant to make the change, so he hit on the idea of selling sample boxes containing the three components of the system. Then people could try out the system before investing in it. That made a difference. “It was a sleeping giant”, he says. He started going to trade shows to promote the system three years ago, and since then, business has been growing steadily. People all over the world use the system.
Support Your Trees’ market includes landscape installers and landscape maintenance businesses, but there is a wrinkle in that market. Installers of large landscape projects can only use equipment that is described in the design specifications. Aaron says it’s easy to sell the system to the people who actually plant the trees. They love the system. The challenge is to get the product in front of the business owners, landscape architects, and designers who specify the products to be used in an installation and convince them that Arborbrace is cost-effective over the long term. Fortunately, Aaron loves going to trade shows and meeting people. He gets energy from their interest.
Aaron and his brother Andy are the sole employees of Support Your Trees, and it’s a part-time job for Aaron. He and Andy do some landscape consulting and installation, as well, in the course of marketing and selling their product. They’ve been members of the DNLA for 15 years, and find that membership especially helpful in networking and staying connected with the green industry.
Aaron firmly believes that his passion for the product is what fuels sales. “You’ve got to have a passion for what you doing, and for doing it well”, he says, “You can share that, and it makes things easier.” He’s seeing the results, as case orders for kits come in, and interest in the product grows. Seasonal Growers may be a virtual business, but it is firmly rooted in the belief that they provide a better way to support trees and enhance the environment.
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