Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Confession of a Salesman

This beautifully shaped young tree is in front of a business in downtown Seward. I must admit to not knowing its species or anything about it but certainly admire its shape and beauty. It is said that "confession is good for the soul";  so here is the rest of the story. In the mid '50's, my partner and I drew landscape plans, sold and planted nursery material for Nebraska Nurseries from Lincoln. The Nursery owner did his best to teach us about the various species, products and varieties. We had an opportunity to sell the Seward Cemetery a number of trees to line a street through a newly plated section. I talked with Corney about what may be appropriate, and he suggested "Redmond Linden". He said they were a very columnar, study tree that would be ideal for the site. I picked up Wilbur, the Cemetery manager; and we went out to the site early one morning before going to work. I told him all of the virtues of the Redmond Lindens that I had heard from Corney and he ordered 20 of the trees. We moved to Lincoln the next year and 4 years later to Washington, D.C.
The trees did well and this is how they look today. I was still a believer in Redmond Lindens when we bought our house here 30 years ago and planted one in our front yard. It is a dirty tree with drooping limbs. It's evident by the way these have had to be trimmed at the Cemetery to keep them "shaped up". It is only appropriate that I now have to "put up" with one after having sold them to people who trusted me. As near as I know, this is the worst mistake I ever made with nursery material. Fortunately, our burial site is not in this section. The lesson to be learned is to ask salespeople what they really know about the product they are selling. 

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