Landscaper Breaks Ground in New York’s Concrete Jungle

Published on December 13, 2023

Sibling-run Sagona Landscape Contracting has taken a special approach to landscaping in New York City.

With congestion and cramped quarters on every New York City block, landscaping takes a special touch around the Five Boroughs.  

But the sibling-run Sagona Landscape Contracting has never met a tight space it couldn’t transform. 

“A lot of times I’ll only have 42 inches of room to work with,” says owner, Kevin Sagona. “Out here, things are a little tighter than normal.” 

His Bobcat® MT100 mini track loader, E10 compact excavator and E20 compact excavator help him tackle jobs other construction companies wouldn’t touch with a 10-foot pole (not that it’d fit anyway). 

“We’re bringing in 50 or 60 yards of soil to get it to the proper grade,” says Kevin. “Then my E10 goes in and digs about 15 or 20 tree pits. Then our MT100 plops in all the trees so we don’t have to do it by hand. What would’ve taken three days only takes me one day.” 

A Family Business Built by Quick Work 

A fast, efficient approach were just two things Kevin learned from his father, Tom Sr., who started his own landscaping business in 1978.  

“Back then everything was just so quick and fast – especially being in the city,” says Kevin. “Everybody is so fast paced here, so watching my father run around like an absolute maniac and just learning how to do jobs from him was amazing.” 

In 1999, Kevin gained an up-close look into his father’s work ethic while joining the family business. After honing his craft under his dad for a decade, he started his own company, Sagona Landscape Contracting, with his brother Tom Jr. in 2010.  

He can’t imagine going into business with anybody else.  

“You can have partners, but when it’s your brother you can express a little bit more how you feel,” says Kevin. “If I need somebody to fall back on or he needs somebody to fall back on, we’re here for each other. You can trust each other. That’s the biggest thing.” 

The days are long in any contracting business. But when your business is taking big bites out of the Big Apple’s landscaping market, long days are the norm. 

“Me and my brother usually look at the projects a few days before to figure out what machinery is needed,” says Kevin. “It can take a few hours and we might be talking or texting until 10 or 11 at night.” 

At 7 a.m. the next morning, the brothers’ plan comes together. “I have everything set up in the company yard – gravels, soils and pavers,” says Kevin. “It makes it easier to get out of here in the morning.” Kevin and Tom set up two to three jobs a day, determining which team will do landscaping or hardscaping jobs. And that all happens before most folks pour their first coffee at work. 

“It’s a bit wild and crazy but by 8:30, everybody knows where they have to be,” says Kevin. 

Bobcat Machines Break Ground in Tight Spaces 

The Sagona brothers’ Bobcat machines help them keep pace with New York City’s no-time-to-waste lifestyle. “Before I had the MT100, I’d have to leave 10 guys on a site for days,” says Kevin. “Now I can send four or five guys somewhere else. And I know the machines will show up every day.” 

We do projects other people can’t do. Or won’t do.

Kevin Sagona

Owner of Sagona Landscape Contracting

For as big as the city can feel, Sagona’s service area is relatively small. “I don’t go any further than 20 miles a day,” he says. 

After all, when your company’s reputation is built taking on projects other companies walk away from, word gets around fast. “We do projects other people can’t do. Or won’t do,” says Kevin. “I have a lot of people ask, ‘How did you get into that area?’” 

From backyards to back alleys to bustling business districts, doing big jobs in small spaces is child’s play for Sagona. Speaking of children, one recent project at a NYC high school particularly stands out to Kevin — one only a Bobcat E10 compact excavator could handle.  

“To dig out a big concrete platform, we had to drive the E10 through a 31-inch gate,” recalls Kevin. “I had to drive it through the school’s doors, hallways and down ramps.”  

A Bobcat compact excavator hauling thousands of pounds of concrete through the narrow hallways and tight corners of the school was a sight to behold. “The students were laughing when we came in,” says Kevin. “But when you see the machine in action you realize how unbelievable it was.”  

Landscape contracting is no work for the weak — especially in and around tight spaces in the country’s most crowded city. Fortunately, Sagona’s compact Bobcat machines have helped the company corner the landscaping market. 

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