Report: #1499686

Complaint Review: Valley View Landscaping - Austin Texas

  • Submitted:
  • Updated:
  • Reported By: Mike — Austin TX United States
  • Valley View Landscaping 1801 LAVACA ST., STE. 108 Austin, Texas United States

Valley View Landscaping Robbie Castille Damaged my new plantings Austin Texas

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I'll let you decide if you want this to happen to you too.  I posted a photo (tagged "INAPPROPRIATE PRUNING") of how they manhandled the tree in front of my home. Here's what my neighbor had to say about it:

"Your redbud is not ruined, but it is disfigured.  The "arborist" used an inappropriate pruning method called "fox tailing" where all the interior foliage is removed leaving foliage only on the branch tips.  This pruning method makes the tree structurally weak until it recovers; all the weight is at the branch ends.  It is similar to holding weight with your arm fully extended as opposed to holding the weight closer to your body.  It also appears that at least one crossing branched remains.  Additionally, "branch stubs" and some "flush cuts"  were left instead of of removing branches at the "branch collar" site.  "Heading back" or "crown thinning" techniques should have been used.  These methods retain the tree's natural form while either reducing its size or decreasing the density of the canopy, respectively.  The good news is that with your watering and fertilizing, the tree should recover in one or two growing seasons.

I taught horticulture at Ohio State for 32 years and served on the ISA Certification Committee for six years.  Sorry for using the technical language, but there is a science to proper pruning; pruning should not be left to the untrained. Poor pruning practices really set me off.


***UPDATE:  My response to their response below.
I am apprehensive about getting into a he said / she said with a company that still will be providing a weekly service to my yard, as I will always think there's animosity against me for posting this review, but I feel the need to respond to their response, since my review wasn't thorough and didn't really tell a story.  

- The response by the landscaping company suggests I'm not a customer.  How am I not a customer, if I pay my HOA fees and that includes landscaping of the yard, bushes and trees by my home?  My money is directly paying for their service, and I also have the right to vote to keep this service or have us find a different landscaper.

- I never disagreed that the tree needed to be trimmed to conform with city codes, which were all facts shared with me AFTER all this happened, but that's a whole different story.  

- What I am disagreeing on, is the way this tree was trimmed to almost nothing.  Looking at the tree in person, it's obvious even to a non-tree expert that plenty of branches could have been left, and the tree would have passed any city inspection, while having left it in better "shape".  

- When looked at closely, most of the cuts left branch stubs and look horrible, and those are not work from the prior landscaper.  From a distance, you can clearly see that the tree branches that are left, form a V in the middle of the tree, and this is far from "symmetrical", a word they used below.   Even their own staff that came to pick up the braches agreed with me when I asked them for their opinion. I spent close to an hour researching how to trim a redbud, and not one website suggested this as a result, or that it should be cut back this drastically in one session, or that this should take place in the middle of August, instead of early spring after it blooms.

- It is erroneous to say that they weren't done, because the only thing done to the tree after I took that photo, was to simply spray the cuts with some sort of protectant, and even that wasn't done 100%, as the person who did it only reached up as high and far as standing on the bed of his truck would allow.  I watched this take place.

- To suggest that my neighbor didn't actually see the tree in person, chat with me, and confirm his initial opinion he got from my photo is speculation.  I can only guess that they take notes from reading our community FB group page which they shouldn't even be on, since it's intended to be a private page for homeowners, and not 3rd party service companies.  

- There are numerous trees touching homes throughout the community.  There are also numerous redbuds that haven't had this type of trimming ever.  I will assume those will be the next to get this "Bonsai" trim for health reasons, however, I am not an expert.

- Finally, in the response below they claim they reached out "to see if there was anything we could do for him".  This couldn't be farther from the truth.  Nowhere in the email is there any question on what they can do.  The email thanks me for calling and for my Yelp review.  It goes on to state the city codes (they reference below) that they needed to tend to, and then they asked me to consider changing this review from the 1 star I gave them, which I will not do.

The reason for the tree trimming is fine and I agree with that; the result of their approach to the tree trimming was not good and that is what I am rating.  I do hope they can look past this, move on, and spend their energy earning back my respect by doing good work.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/09/2020 06:08 PM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/report/valley-view-landscaping/austin-texas-robbie-castille-1499686. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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