Rooted in Science

AC Plant & Turf takes a tailored approach to tree, plant and turf care

Written by Kristen Hampshire | Photography by Grant L. Gursky

Plant-and-tree care is a science — one that’s rooted in nature’s variables like soil composition and environmental conditions. Lush, green grass, healthy tree canopies and vigorous plants are no accident. 

“Healthy soil equals healthy roots, and healthy roots equal healthy plants,” said Ritchie Thurman, president of AC Plant & Turf in Lewes, which he launched in 2014 and has since added a second location, in Selbyville. 

Thurman fell in love with the green industry while pursuing a marketing degree in college. He went to work for a general arbor-care company and discovered a passion for preserving trees’ health. But he realized most major tree companies do very little plant care, and “that side of the business doesn’t always get the attention it deserves. 

This is not the case at AC Plant & Turf, which includes lawn care on its service menu, so customers can make one call for all things green and growing on their properties. A custom approach is important when caring for the landscape, Thurman added, as is experience navigating the complex Eastern Shore conditions, which include sandy soils and humid, salty air.

“We pay a lot of attention to soil composition, and aside from pulling soil samples, we look deeper,” Thurman said. “And before we start a program, we amend the soil to develop healthy root structure.” 

Tailored lawn and tree care programs are prescribed by the AC Plant & Turf team, which consists of plant scientists, agronomists and ISA-certified arborists. “Our staff comes with field experience and education, with some holding eight- year degrees,” Thurman said, adding that homeowners’ associations across the Delmarva Peninsula depend on those specialists to maintain their large-scale properties. 

Beyond plant science, customer care is an integral aspect of maintaining healthy trees, turf and plants, Thurman pointed out. A dedicated customer relations team at AC Plant & Turf personally addresses phone calls and requests

AC Plant &Turf owner Ritchie Thurman first fell in love with the green industry while he was pursuing a marketing degree in college. His company now services the Delaware-Maryland coastal region.

“When people call in, they can talk to a person and ask questions,” he said. It’s not unusual for AC Plant & Turf to make a quick stop out to a client’s property to check-in. And with a new location close to Ocean City, this level of care is “right in your backyard,” Thurman added.

Serving the community is a priority for AC Plant & Turf, spanning from plant care to sharing knowledge. The company’s experts consult with homeowners to HOAs and offer education when opportunities arise. Thurman sees every property AC Plant & Turf maintains as a partnership. “We don’t just come to your property and spray,” Thurman said. “We diagnose, treat and care.” CS

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