Tommy Aiello: 14 Things I Learned From Roy S. Rood

November 1, 2018

Landscape industry pioneer and one of FNGLA’s founding fathers, the late Roy S. Rood was honored in September by FNGLA’s Treasure Coast Chapter.

Rood, who also served as FNGLA's 1958-59 president, was the owner of Rood Landscaping based in South Florida. 

As part of the chapter celebration, Tommy Aiello, an FNGLA pas president himself shared some of the wisdom imparted to him by Rood during his tenure as a Rood Landscaping employee.


By Tommy Aiello, FNGLA Past President (1993-94)


  1. THE BLESSING- Be prepared to be called on by Roy to thank God for the meal.
  2. SHAVE TWICE A DAY- In the morning for clients, in the evening for the Mrs.
  3. ROOT PRUNING- Roy encouraged root pruning on all transplants, even Sabal Palms. It was the “pre-op before surgery.”
  4. AIR POCKETS - Spike, spike and re-spike. Roy could spot an air pocket in a Palm from 100 yards away. Work that spiking bar deep in the ground.
  5. PRUNING - Make sure you don’t prune too much off. ‘You can always cut it off, but you can’t put it back!’
  6. SMALL JOB LEADS TO A BIG JOB - The $125 hibiscus standard client may lead to a $40,000 renovation project down the road.
  7. HONOR YOUR WARRANTY - We once replaced an $8,500 Canary Island Date Palm six months after the warranty was up with a 110-ton crane at no charge.
  8. PAY YOUR BILLS ON TIME - Have a line of credit with your bank, paying his employees and suppliers timely was just as important to Roy as the checks coming in.
  9. QUALITY - Roy had one plaque on his wall, ‘The bitterness of poor quality is remembered long after the sweetness of low price has faded from memory.’
  10. APPRECIATE YOUR CUSTOMERS - Roy always thanked his customers for their support.
  11. WATER - When asked what he would need when signing the $3 million contract for The Gardens Mall, Roy replied, ‘Gentlemen, we will only need two things: water and money!’
  12. TAGGING TRIPS - In the 1980s, tagging trips were in Homestead, and Roy would pack the lunch (No McDonald’s visits). Be prepared to leave Jupiter by 6 a.m. and be ready to eat pimento cheese sandwiches and Roy’s special punch.
  13. APPRECIATE YOUR EMPLOYEES - The bonuses to labor employees are just as important as the bonuses to managers.
  14. TAG SPECIMENS - Roy S. Rood never saw a specimen Palm that he didn’t want to purchase -- even if he didn’t need it. ‘Tommy, tag that Palm over there, we may need it some day!’ Sometimes, one year later, our tag was still hanging there. No one messed with Rood Landscape tags in those days. •

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