This week has been a busy one for VJ Hurley, owner of Glendora-based Kind Kuts Landscape and Lawn Service.
Hurley, whose company specializes in the A to Z of landscaping, said he’s received 40 calls and emails from property owners in South Jersey who need trees removed following Hurricane Sandy, which rocked the Northeast Monday and Tuesday.
High winds, plus South Jersey’s naturally sandy soil made trees easy targets in the hurricane, said Hurley. His company has been fielding calls and emails all week, and removed trees from all over the area including in Mullica Hill and Shamong.
“While some companies may be taking advantage of the urgency of tree removal requests, we continue to honor fair pricing and prompt response,” Hurley said. “When I am on the job, every client should believe they are my only client.”
Prices to remove single trees can range from $150 to $2,200, depending on the size of the tree. When Kind Kuts gets a call or an email about a fallen tree, Hurley responds as quickly as possible, even on weekends. Customers can email photos of the tree and get a quick, free estimate or Hurley can send a member of his 14-person tree team out to assess the damage.
Following the wrath of Sandy, however, many property owners are skipping the estimate process and asking for immediate removal. Kind Kuts will secure the roof of damaged structures, cut the tree, remove all limbs and then remove the stump, if the customer desires.
Hurley opened Kind Kuts in June 2005. Tree removal is just one piece of his business; he also specializes in landscape design, hardscaping, lawn maintenance, irrigation, mulching, and snow removal, as well as fencing through his other company, Kind Fencing and Railing Solutions.
Hurley is a lifelong entrepreneur. He started his first business, VJ the DJ, when he was 11, and then at 17 began working in landscaping and gradually worked his way up, learning the profession and earning certifications in landscape, hardscape, and other related fields.
Kind Kuts maintains about 250 lawns a year and has 350 landscapes. His company will travel out of the area and out of state for any job. And despite a tough economy, Hurley has seen his business grow each year.
“Homeowners are realizing they aren’t moving and take the time to update and beautify their homes for potential buyers in the future,” Hurley said.
And as winter looms, Hurley recommends homeowners take a look around their yards to ready their property for colder temperatures and what may be a stormy season.
To prevent damage from tree limbs, Hurley says to look up and examine trees for dead limbs and remove those limbs. Even in a normal rain storm, dead limbs are more likely to fall and potentially damage structures.
To protect trees from falling down in strong storms, Hurley suggests staking certain trees like maples, plums and pines that have shallow and surface roots. Also, certain types of plants will survive the winter better if they are shielded or wrapped in burlap. Kind Kuts can help determine which plants would benefit from further protection.
Hurley says that all irrigation systems should be turned off for the winter months and homeowners should turn off outside spigots. If there is a deep freeze, outside spigots can freeze, crack and sometimes lead to water leaking into a home.
Kind Kuts has managed jobs small and big, including a $42,000 job in Medford that included a "four seasons" flowering garden and complicated color schemes.
But no matter how big the job, the best part, says Hurley, is taking the time to give customers what they want.
“I love helping people improve their property,” said Hurley.
Kind Kuts will host its 9th annual Food and Toy Drive this November. Donations may be dropped off at the Kind Kuts office at 410 Black Horse Pike, Suite 1, in Glendora. All donations will be delivered to Camden Bible Tabernacle Church in Camden.