Describe your business
Palm tree trimming and removal business.
How did you get started?
I started 7 years ago without any knowledge of working outside or real physical labor. Prior to that, in 2006, I was involved in real estate. I completed my first deal right after graduating high school and spent around 10 years doing white-collar work where I wore a suit every day. Selling everything under the sun. In 2006, my parents moved to a mountain house where they had palm trees. I stayed with them for a while and watched as the gardeners trimmed the small palm trees. I thought to myself that I could do the same. It was while I was smoking the reefer madness in my parents’ backyard that a lightbulb went off. I had a clear vision of what I was going to do next: bring my English and Spanish skills together to create a professional palm trimming company. Growing up, I had learned Spanish from my mother who is from Central America and my father who is from South America. I knew that the best physical labor workers were Mexicans. So I went to go get them. I began knocking on doors, networking, and getting jobs. I even worked as a banker at Wells Fargo for a year and a half while simultaneously building up my company, JP’s Palms. I chose the best people to help me and they respected my seriousness and commitment to the business. I am now working full-time at JP’s Palms, and I have two full-time and one part-time employee working with me. I feel blessed that I have been able to do jobs in various locations such as Palm Springs, LA, and of course every single city in The Bay, and more. Tracy is our home town !
Why did you choose this profession?
I started this business because when I looked around, I couldn’t find any professional companies offering palm tree trimming and removal services. Although there were many gardeners or tree experts, seven years ago, there were only a couple guys in the bay area doing what we do.
What drives you to do what you do? What motivates you?
To excel and provide top-notch services has always been my goal. I have always felt a strong desire to utilize my skills and offer my services to people. In my previous jobs, I felt like I couldn’t be my full self, and that’s when I decided to become my own boss. Being my own boss motivates me to work like I do and challenge myself to be better every day. Even though it’s a dangerous job, and people have lost their lives doing it, I am driven to be the best and accept every challenge that comes my way.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
Being outside and meeting people is a big part of my job. I consider myself more of an artist than just a palm trimmer. When you visit my website, you’ll get a sense of what I mean. It’s a passion of mine to turn palm tree trimming into an art form.
What was it like when you first started?
It was very difficult for me because I started working alone, and I had no prior experience in landscaping and gardening. Before starting this business, I worked as a white-collar worker, wearing a suit for ten years and working for various companies. However, I knew that this line of work paid well, and as an athlete in basketball, a leader, and I didn’t mind working hard. I also have solid skills, including the ability to speak Spanish and a doctrine in people. I kept pushing forward, and little by little, I made progress. Now, here I am with a successful palm tree trimming and removal business.
What are your long-term goals for your business, and how do you plan to achieve them?
I’ve always had a dream. One day, it would be amazing to sell JPs Palm to a big player in the industry for $10 million, you know what I’m saying? But it’s just a dream, and I put it out there. Impossible is nothing.
What are your greatest challenges?
Taxes and Mother Nature are the only two things that have a shot against me. Anything else I can handle without a big deal.
How does your pricing work?
My pricing is the most expensive, and I am transparent about it with everyone. The cost depends on various factors such as the type of palm tree, its height, the last time it was trimmed, the location, and what the customer wants to be done. I always make sure to understand what the customer wants and then provide an accurate estimate accordingly.
How many types of palm trees are there?
There are hundreds of different types of palm trees, and each requires a specific method of cutting. Cutting a palm tree the wrong way can result in its death. I have developed the JP Palm Cut, which I have mastered. Unfortunately, many have attempted to copy my technique over the past three years and are doing it incorrectly, leading to the death of many palm trees. In the last two years, I have noticed an increase in the number of dead palm trees, and improper cutting can result in them falling and injuring someone.
What are some challenges you have had marketing yourself?
Fortunately, I wouldn’t say that I have faced any significant challenges in marketing. I started when I was 28 by knocking on doors and asking around for business. Even if I only talked to five people or heard a “no,” it was still a successful day. Posting on Google has also helped me gain visibility and attract customers. Throughout my career, I have always maintained my ethical standards and have never been the type of person to cheat just to make a sale.
I have heard some customers say that JP Palms is the first company that appears on Google and can guarantee quality service. I obtained my licensing bond two years ago and have worked hard to establish a reputable and trustworthy company that knows what it’s doing. Unlike other companies who only offer general tree services, JP Palms specializes in palm trees. Regular gardeners may not have the necessary expertise to handle palm trees as it is not their area of expertise, and they may only be interested in making money. At JP Palms, we prioritize customer satisfaction and will always cut the palm trees according to their preferences.
What do you love about Mountain House and Tracy?
I grew up in the East Bay, specifically in Hayward, where I lived for 25 years. Later, I moved to Tracy. Although the Bay Area is beautiful, Tracy has become my home. I love the space and the quietness of this big yet peaceful city. It’s a blend of city and country, and it’s not as congested. People are generally kinder, and there are more opportunities for me. Now that I am grown, I no longer need the city life, and I prefer a more secluded environment where I can be alone and focus on my work.
What do you want to see improve the most in this neighborhood?
Mountain House is a pretty great place, but the taxes are ridiculously high, so it better be worth it. However, there needs to be more shops in the area. There’s a lot for kids, but there needs to be more for adults. Tracy does a pretty good job of keeping it nice, in a way. I think it’s doing well and growing well, maybe more housing, but everywhere needs more cities.
What do you think of the landscape of Tracy and MH
The landscape in Mountain House is immaculate, but the palm trees are horrific. In the past 7 years, I have only worked with 25 businesses in the area, as it is rare to find those who share my vision. However, many shops have palm trees, and I want to help them look nice and improve their overall appearance. I primarily focus on residential properties because homeowners tend to care about their houses and yards. Interestingly, there are more palm trees in Tracy than in Mountain House. Although palm tree removal is more expensive, I offer this service as well.