Home Stock Latest status icons for high net worth homeowners? Cup tree.

Latest status icons for high net worth homeowners? Cup tree.


For decades, Walter Acree ran a humble landscape business in Deerfield Beach, Fla. A rebel claims to be a rebel, he cuts the grass with his bare feet, his long hair hanging down to his shoulders. Then, a few years ago, he stumbled into a lucrative niche business: helping the super-rich in South Florida find the trophy trees – the newest status symbol for Americans. the most well-off.

“I am unique,” said Acree, now the owner of Green Integrity’s, a tree and landscape relocation company. “Not many people do what I do.”

Mr. Acree, 61, a tree broker, routinely takes his affluent clients around South Florida in search of the perfect tree for their garden, whether it’s giant kapok, tree Oak has giant canopy, baobab, birch or banyan trees. Together, they grow plants in other people’s gardens and outside of local businesses, then approach the owner with an unwanted offer.

After that, Acree’s mission was to find a way to transport the tree to his client’s property. Sometimes that involves using a long flat truck, a barge or even a 300-ton crane. Mr. Acree has also developed his own technique, which he calls “split pine,” to move the largest trees. It involves cutting the tree vertically into sections using a 6-foot saw with a special hard blade, transporting the individual pieces to the site, then reassembling the tree with steel plane cables, wire ratchet belts and bolts.

An expanded version of this article appears on WSJ.com

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