web 2.0


 by Bill Gipp, ArtisTree Account Executive

The scene was pretty bad. Just a week before the big blast, Mr. and Mrs. Jamieson (not their real names) had been standing in their front yard admiring their lush landscape which had taken nearly four years to fill in. The shrubs and vibrant flowers never looked more beautiful. So when freezing temperatures were forecast for Sarasota, the worried couple bought large rolls of plastic drop cloth and covered their plants with care.
Next morning the weatherman forecast a second night of freezing temps, so the Jamiesons left the plastic on. When they removed the plastic on the third day, they were shocked to see their annuals withered to the ground and their shrubs and perennials dark and shriveled. The leaves on the crotons that had added such dazzling color next to their driveway looked like burnt pita chips.

One of the biggest mistakes homeowners make is covering their plants with plastic during a freeze. Plastic conducts cold, so unfortunately, your plants are damaged even more than not having been covered at all. Instead, purchase frost cloth at any major hardware store, or use old sheets. Both of these materials are lightweight and able to breathe, plus they’re a much better choice than heavy tarps that can crush your plants.
Also be sure to remove your frost cloths and sheets first thing in the morning after an overnight cold snap. If you don’t, condensation can build up and freeze again under the covering.
If that happens, you'll have your own chilling tale to tell!


Frost Protection


 by Mike Casper, ArtisTree Irrigation Manager

 As ArtisTree's Irrigation Service Supervisor,  Leonel Gomez responds to every tough challenge with four words that have become his trademark:  "Let me try something.”

Take the hot summer morning when Leonel and ArtisTree’s irrigation crew were out in a small Sarasota community. The well pump was down, and the homeowner association president was clearly agitated, fearing that his neighborhood would be on the hook for a $3,000 replacement cost.

ArtisTree's crew peered down inside the six-inch-wide pipe. Sure enough, no water, but the pipe was vibrating. That was good; at least the motor was running. But a quick diagnosis revealed that the wires had twisted around the pipe and had become pinched. The men pulled the wires up. No motor, no pump. Both had dropped 80 feet down.

Most landscape maintenance companies would throw in the towel and quote a replacement cost. But Leonel stood up, wiped the sweat off his brow and said, "Let me try something.”

He then fashioned a nearly 80-foot-long rod of half-inch pipe and used duct tape to attach soil staples that would act as hooks to dislodge the pump and motor.

Eight hours later, after twisting and turning Leonel’s invention (and two near successes where they almost had the motor and pump pulled to the top before it dropped), the ArtisTree crew finally accomplished what it set out to do: lift the 200-pound assembly up through 80 feet of six-inch pipe in the dead heat of the summer -- a nearly impossible feat.

The HOA president was so delighted that he kissed a crew member standing nearby and then turned to Leonel to kiss him as well. Leonel took three steps back before the kiss ever landed. Still, he was glad to have helped saved the community a significant amount of money.  For  another day, he went home tired but happy to have a job that let him flex his skills, support his family -- and make a difference in someone else’s life. 


Leonel Gomez, ArtisTree Irrigation Service Supervisor