OCAA News Nov-Dec 2011

I’m sitting at my wife Joan’s desk to write this article because mine has become a storage vessel for everything from books to golf balls. I glance up at the calendar and realize it is less than eight weeks to Christmas. Another work season is almost over and I don’t know where the time has gone. It’s been a tough year; the recession and wet spring and fall weather have had a major impact on our sales. Once again the arboriculture industry has been affected by circumstances beyond our control. 

Every day I note the weather on the top of the daily work schedule. We started the season on March 30th and as of today in our region, it has rained at least once a week in 22 of 31 weeks worked. This has made scheduling and organizing extra challenging. Both job sites and nurseries become saturated and it is difficult to impossible to manoeuvre equipment without causing considerable damage to property or getting stuck. Some of the tools we have purchased to mitigate this, such as a track skid steer, mini X, and most recently we outfitted a truck with flotation tires, have helped to extend the season and make working on wet sites possible. Although helpful, these purchases affect the bottom line. 

On a more positive note, I was looking back over quotes from seven years ago and was amazed at our loyal customer base. Our prices have remained the same, or in some circumstances been reduced, because it is difficult to raise costs to repeat customers. We have tried to keep the price of trees and services as reasonable as possible – though this too has affected our bottom line. 

Being an OCAA member has allowed our company to expand our clientele through referrals and word of mouth. I firmly believe both my membership with the organization and attending OCAA educational seminars have contributed to my success. The benefits of belonging to professional groups like OCAA, ISAO and others far outweigh the nominal annual fees. Consider joining a new organization in 2012. We invest in our future when we support industry affiliations.  
— Paul Hanousek, OCAA Director

Our mission is to enhance and promote the care and benefit of trees for present and future generations in Ontario through education, research and awareness.