John G. Georges introduced the Tree T-Pee product in 2015, under GSI Supply, Inc. Johnny grew up in Winter Haven, Florida. He worked with his father for 20 years, learning about irrigation, wells, pumps, and motors and their basic engineering methods. His father, Rick Georges, invented micro-sprinklers back in 1970, which revolutionized the irrigation industry.
The idea of Tree T-Pee came to Johnny and his father when they were banking trees for a night when a frost was expected. Banking trees is a method in which dirt is packed around young trees to keep them warm in cold conditions. It is also used to protect them against frost.
The next day, the packed dirt would be removed so the sun could warm the tree again. The process was tedious and would be repeated until the temperature was not below freezing.
Johnny commented that there must be an alternative to packing dirt around trees daily.This was followed by Rick making a small cone and placing it around a tree. It worked in the same way as the packed dirt.
However, the cones needed to be placed every night around the trees and removed in the morning. But Johnny noticed that the cones also provided a means for water conservation, as the cones reduced the water need for young trees by giving them a cover, in warm southern climates.
Tree T-Pee is a cone-shaped, water containment system. It is specifically designed to provide protection to trees that are 1-5 years old.
It can be wrapped around the base of a tree. The cone has pre-drilled holes in it, through which the irrigation tubing can pass through. They are fastened with the help of zip ties or buttons. Once the cone is in place, it can be secured by packing a little dirt around the base to keep the Tree T-Pee stable.
Frost is an environmental risk for citrus trees. In chilly environments, thousands of citrus trees can die, which can be a big loss for a farmer. Currently, thousands of Tree T-Pees are being used, especially for citrus trees. Since the ever-growing need for water conservation keeps increasing, there is bound to be more use of these cones in the future.
Initially, Johnny used to make the Tree T-Pees himself, but then he started using a recycled plastic-plant in Winter Haven to manufacture them.
After his pitch on Shark Tank, Johnny received a great amount of mentorship and guidance from JP. He moved Tree T-Pee into Home Depot stores, where they could be accessed by homeowners too, and not just farmers. The pair wanted the product to be sold internationally. This will be beneficial for the business as well as a useful tool in drought-ridden areas of the world.
In 2022, the cost of one unit of Tree T-Pee has increased to $9.95 from its initial price of $4.50. The company is going strong and generates a $5 million revenue per annum.
How Did the Shark Tank Pitch Go?
Johnny came to the Sharks seeking for an investment of $150,000 with a 20% equity.
He started his pitch by stating that Tree T-Pee is a water conservation and frost protection product. Instead of using 25,000 gallons per tree per year, only 800 gallons of water is being used on a tree annually after using the cones.
Johnny then demonstrated how the cones work and the economic aspects of his sales.
Mark asked him if he has contracted any distributers, to which Johnny replied that he has only sold the product to people he knows. Till then, he had sold about 127,000 units. His product has been claimed to last for 20 years.
Mark inquired why Johnny doesn’t sell the cones at a higher price. Johnny replied that farmers cannot afford a high price. In response to this, Kevin backed out.
JP DeJoria then announced that he would give Johnny the $150,000 for 20% equity, the exact amount that he has been asking for. He believes that Johnny deserves the amount and that what he is doing is right, and he likes everything that Johnny stands for. JP said that he would like to be his partner.
Our Review of Tree T-Pee
The cones are a great way to reduce the water supply for trees and plants since the farmers only have to focus on the roots instead of the weeds and dirt around them. The same goes for herbicides and fertilizers.
Once a Tree T-Pee is secured around the base of a plant or tree, the water and fertilizers provided to it can be contained within the area where they are needed, and the nutrients are directed to the roots. The ground which is covered by the cone is kept moist and therefore the growth of the plant is increased.
Pros of Tree T-Pee
- The benefits of Tree T-Pee include water conservation and frost protection, root growth, and fuel and fertilizer reduction.
- They help save farmers’ fertilizer, water, and herbicides.
- Farmers save time by spending less hours on watering plants and trees.
- It also helps in increasing the growth of a plant.
- Tree T-Pee also provides a greenhouse effect for the young trees, as it doesn’t let moisture and heat escape from the roots.
Cons of Tree T-Pee
- It takes a lot of time for the installation of the cones, since every tree requires a cone to be secured around its base manually.
- After the price hike, an individual cone has become too expensive for a common farmer.
Who is Tree T-Pee for?
Tree T-Pees can be used by farmers and homeowners. It can be used for citrus trees and date trees. It has a variety of uses when it comes to frost protection and water conservation.
The need for water conservation is getting more serious every passing year, and those farmers who want to go environmentally friendly are incorporating Tree T-Pees in their daily routines.
Our Final Thoughts:
After the investment from DeJoria, Tree T-Pee received a tremendous increase in its sales. Tens of thousands of Tree T-Pees are being used throughout the USA and other countries, and if one cone can help save so much water, it is only wondrous to imagine what impact all the Tree T-Pees around the world can bring.