Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Opportunities in Diversification

In my profile, you may have read that I currently work for an international design firm.  What this may not tell you is that I am a landscape architect.  My firm performs land planning and design work on a myriad of projects all over the world.  From time to time, this also includes farms and ranches (usually for wealthy land owners).  In fact, in my 3 years in the professional realm, I have worked on 2 cattle ranches, one in California and one in Uruguay.

The thought of designing the rural landscape absolutely intrigues me.  I hope to somehow find a niche market in the future to provide design services for production farmers and ranchers that would like to improve upon their grounds and make them more marketable for the general public to visit.  I envision a small design business as the perfect supplement to the angus cow-calf operation that I hope to join in the next couple of years with my in-laws. Because of this, I am actually very excited about the current local food trend and the Know Your Farmer program.  Hopefully this will catch on and I can begin my venture.

One interesting problem that we often have as landscape architects is finding mature trees for the most important nodes in our designs.  We call these specimen trees and these trees usually have a trunk diameter of of greater than 12 inches.  Many times we want certain aspects of our designs to have instant impact.  Planting large mature trees is one of the easiest ways to accomplish this.  Interestingly enough, landscape contractors are always in search of the larger trees and are willing to pay a premium for them.

So, if you are a rural land owner, the possibility of extra income from selling trees to landscape contractors may be a great idea.  New technology enables tree moving companies to move some significantly sized trees.  The installed cost of these monsters can sometimes reach $60,000 as one did on a urban park that we designed in Dallas.  Unfortunately, the actual sale cost of your trees will be much lower, but could easily top $5,000 for a nice straight trunked specimen tree. If you've got a nice wooded lot or some trees that are in the way, consider selling them for a significant profit to your operation.  There are definitely some costs and work involved with getting a tree ready for transplating off of your property, but it may be worth the effort of contacting a local landscape contractor.

Follow the link to see some examples of trees being relocated.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, I had no idea. Thanks for the heads up!