Last week I wrote about our new trees. We bought them from Schmittel’s Nursery in Maryland Heights, and paid them to install the trees. The installation was complicated by the fact that two of the trees were 5-inch maples that are very large and very heavy. They could not use the normal wheelbarrow or hand truck to move these trees — they required heavy machinery, like a Bobcat, to get them into place — which meant that I had to take down a section of our fence to get the machine into our yard.
After one false start, when they postponed the install due to weather, they came out a week later to walk our yard and see if it was still too wet. At the time, I was impressed with their concern for our yard. The gentleman who came out said several times that they didn’t want to tear up our grass. He also said that they would use a piece of equipment that had tracks instead of wheels because it wouldn’t leave ruts in the yard. He decided to delay the install two more days just to be sure the ground was dry enough.
Well, that was a Monday, and I was at work when they showed up. As it turns out, they did not use the tracked vehicle. They used a plain old Bobcat instead, and it did, in fact, leave ruts. Everywhere. There were a number of places where the grass was completely torn up. They acknowledged the damage, and offered to make a followup visit to fill the holes with topsoil and grass seed, which they did. Prior to this, I called to tell them that the two big trees were starting to lean, so they staked them and put ropes on them to keep them from settling crooked while they were there.
The worst part of the install, however, was that they dumped a couple of yards of soil from the holes they dug over our fence onto the creek bank. This is not an unreasonable thing to do, however, out of the hundred or so feet of fence along the back of our yard, they chose the one and only gate as the place to dump the dirt. Yeah, the gate. You know, the one place where someone is likely to walk? What kind of moron does something like that? And it just so happens that I have constructed steps into the creek bank below that gate so it is easier to get up and down. So when I called, I complained about that too, and I asked them to clean up their mess. Somebody showed up that day and scraped a bit of the dirt around with a shovel, but most of it is still there, and my steps are completely buried.
Now the people at Schmittel’s that I talked to, either on the phone, or in person, were very nice, and seemed committed to customer satisfaction. The people who actually showed up to do the install, well, that’s another story. It is very disappointing, and for this reason I would not recommend Schmittel’s to anyone.