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Archive for June, 2009

Jun 27 2009

Critter Encounters in our Orlando Tree Service!

As we’ve carried out tree trimming Orlando and tree removal Orlando, we’ve encountered quite a few not-so-happy representatives from the wild animal contingent in the Orlando area. Here are some of our too-close-for-comfort encounters:

Last week while serving a Chinese immigrant family in Apopka, our tree trimming took several unexpected turns. In tree service, its best to expect the unexpected. This family had a laurel oak overhanging the roof in the backyard that was so rotten, it had repeatedly dropped several large branches that had damaged the roof. When the climber on the Tree Work Now crew that was assigned to this job climbed up into the tree, he discovered large rotten areas that were not visible from the ground. As they carried out their work ever more cautiously given the increased danger, a swarm of bees tore out of one of the rotten areas and repeatedly stung our climber and his tree trimming assistant! They swatted their heads and arms, adding self-inflicted bruises to their bee sting injuries, which were many (approximately a dozen each!). After medical attention and a little rest, they are thankfully back in action.

And then today, we tackled a job for a stock broker (foreign currency trader, to be exact) who had recently purchased a 77 acre hunting tract in Pierson (about an hour north of Orlando). This was to be a unique tree trimming and tree removal situation. We were charged with creating a path for four wheelers around the fenced perimeter of the property. Using some hustling tree workers, one of our top grade wood chippers, and our T300 Bobcat, we got an amazing amount of tree work done in six hours.  Much of the property is under water! A gator swung its tail around just a few feet from us, one of my tree workers was attacked on both legs by fire ants, and more peacefully, they saw deer. The water was more treacherous than the wildlife this time, threatening to bog down both workers and machinery. But with some smart decisions and good team work, my Orlando tree service employees made good, safe progress. Along with all the water and mud came perhaps the most treacherous wildlife encounters of the day: mosquitos. Never a dull moment in the tree service industry. We would have provided good footage today had “Dirty Jobs” sent out its film crews!

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Jun 13 2009

Orlando Tree Service milestones for Tree Work Now in its 3rd Year

Back in May of our third year in the Orlando tree service business, Tree Work Now made some small milestones. I hired my first tree removal Orlando salesman and a second crew chief. Neither of these appointments lasted more than a year, but the step itself was important to the growth of our Orlando tree trimming business.

Tom St. John was my first salesman. Correction: i did all of our sales the three years prior. Now I had someone else to do sales in the outlying areas and free me up to build the business. Experts say that successful entrepreneurs work “on” their business, not “in” their business. I continued to do sales in the DeLand area (where Tree Work Now was born), and had Tom do our tree service estimates in: Orlando, Longwood, Lake Mary, Winter Park, Winter Springs, Heathrow, Altamonte Springs, Markham Woods, Sanford, Ocoee, Apopka, Mt Dora, Casselberry, Port Orange, Ormond Beach, DeBary and Orange City. During his six month tenure before moving back to New York for family reasons, Tom was prompt in giving estimates and excelled at customer service. He did a good job of learning the multitudinous factors that go into making an accurate tree service estimate in Orlando. His conversion ratio was not what I had hoped, however, and he was great at compiling major accounts databases, but didn’t convert many of them into actual sales. He was an amiable guy who made a positive impression on our customers, and most of all cracked the door open for future expansion in terms of personnel and territory in our Orlando tree trimming and tree removal business.

In that same month, I also hired David Turner to be a second crew chief for our Orlando tree service. He took some pressure off of Geoffrey Gill, our tree removal Orlando crew chief, and they truly enjoyed working together. Its not a position that Dave remained in very long, but it certainly showed how having multiple tree trimming crews was the best way to turn a profit in the tree removal business in the Orlando area. Since I’ve worked so hard to develop systems that create overjoyed customers, it only makes sense to apply them to a wider audience by expanding my workforce and fleet of equipment, both of which have subsequently proved to be expensive and headache-producing, but definitely the right moves to make in growing our Orlando tree service.

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Jun 10 2009

Looking back at our Orlando tree service history: May of year 3

Orlando tree removal is done safely and with minimal ground wear when the Orlando tree service that is hired works with the right equipment.  As we continue to recount the history of Orlando’s leading tree service, May of year 3 marked the month we paid off our first piece of equipment, a Ford F350 which was retired a year later as a tired old girl who definitely put in her time halling tree trimmings from many Orlando area homes. Sporting a sixteen foot dump bed, she creaked and groaned but performed valiantly. She’s a far cry from the semi-truck sized dump trucks we now use which are all wheel drive vehicles that are much likely to get stuck in Orlando tree service customer backyards! We now use International 4800 and 4900′s which have vastly better suited suspensions and engine power for the massive weight of the oak logs and wood chips we haul from Orlando tree removal and tree trimming jobs. In any case, the nameless F550 which helped company owner Evan Keller get his fledgling business off the ground is finishing out her final days in a much lighter duty capacity hauling light equipment for On Site Services, the company which took off her heavy dump bed, extended it, and put it on the 50,000 GVW International that took the place of the 19,000 pound GVW F550. The massive weight of wood (75 pounds per cubic foot for live oak logs) accounts for part of the high cost of tree service given that it takes industrial grade equipment to remove it from customer property safely and with minimal property damage.

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Jun 08 2009

Tropical Depression A Reminder to Orlando Residents that Preventative Tree Service can Save them Money

Tree service is something Orlando area residents have been putting off as long as possible during this economic downturn. The tropical depression that has dumped so much rain on Orlando this week has reminded homeowners that tree trimming and tree removal is a money-saving preventative measure to protect their greatest investment. Unfortunately, many trees have fallen on homes. Some which we removed from Orlando area roofs had danger signs which should have been caught earlier. Obviously, emergency removal and roof replacement is costlier than taking care of such Orlando tree removal and tree trimming ahead of time. So, what are the danger signs to look for? There are several, including rotting or splitting trunks, trees that lean over a roof or are growing too close to the home. Look in the crotch of a multi-trunked tree to see if there is excessive moisture, rotting or splitting. Some fungi and mushrooms are deadly to trees and some are benign. Other diseases and insects can be identified for you by our estimators and/or certified arborist. Feel free to call 407-416-2704 for a free estimate. Or submit a request on our website.

By far the most frequent need is not to remove a tree but to trim it from over the roof. We trim trees according to arborist standards so that it grows healthier, safer and more beautifly. Limbs naturally extend over roofs because there are no trees where a house is standing to compete for the sunlight! So they grow towards the open sunlight in your home’s airspace. Yearly pruning helps trees to grow in their characteristic shape without taking too much canopy off at once (compare cutting your hair to amputating!). This will take weight off your roof annually since hurricane season is also an annual affair. Furthermore, since the trees must grow laterally to reach the sunlight above your home, many of those branches are not structurally sound. Ponder the physics of it with me. You can imagine that more vertally extending branches are better supported by the trunk. You can follow the weight line and see that a branch extending horizontally is much more difficult for the trunk to support. To illustrate it for you, imagine holding a heavy wooden baseball bat with one hand. Do you think you could hold it longer if you extended the weight-bearing arm straight up over your head or if you held it straight out parallel to the ground? I think the answer is obvious and is analagous to the horizontally  extended tree branches over your Orlando home. That’s why its important to lighten the weight on them each year and remove some that are not structurally sound.

Tree service in Orlando is like many things: pay some now or pay a lot more later. Not only will it save you money, but it will add value, beauty, and health to your trees. So protect your home and your family by making sure your heavy trees are ready for the storms.

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Jun 08 2009

Hurricane Prep for Orlando Tree Service Customers

If you are considering hiring an Orlando tree service, it will generally cost you less to do so before the peak of hurricane season arrives. At Tree Work Now, we try to keep our prices steady throughout the year, only charging at a higher rate for emergency tree trimming and tree removal which usually occurs in the middle of the night or during heavy wind/rain. Removing trees from Orlando roofs is the most common emergency operation we conduct and the pricing reflects the heightened danger that such circumstances bring.

Supply and demand drives prices up and down. Most Orlando tree services are slammed in July through September. As Heather, our customer satisfaction specialist, has been calling previous customers to schedule their pre-hurricane season checkups, most have said “Call back in July”. Unfortunately, Orlando homeowners don’t feel the need to address their tree service needs until tree services in Orlando are already overly busy and some may even be out of state doing storm work. We at Tree Work Now always have at least one crew operating here in Central Florida, but greater demand makes it difficult to provide tree trimming and tree removal services at our ordinarily speedy response time. With an abundance of high quality equipment and numerous highly skilled tree workers, we will certainly be able to service all of our Orlando area customers, but such work will be schedule a week or two out instead of being completed within a week of coming to an agreement on the tree pruning that is necessary from Oviedo to Winter Springs, from Winter Park to Longwood, from Lake Mary to Heathrow, from Orlando to Daytona, from Port Orange to Ormond Beach, from DeBary to Sanford. In a rare case, it is possible that a storm could strike and do much property damage before the day of the scheduled job arrives. As always, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. So, if Orlando homeowners would consider getting their trees storm-ready a month or two before the peak of hurricane season, they’d get faster service and slightly better prices. It would help Orlando area tree services keep steadier work weeks for their employees which translates into a more even income stream for their families in a business that is very cyclical – feast or famine.

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Jun 08 2009

Company History of our Orlando Tree Service: Tree Work Now

Years ago, company founder and owner Evan Keller went with a local church on a mission trip to do out of state storm clean up. This team from the Orlando area ended up primarily doing tree removal and tree trimming for residents and churches. Evan was working as a non-profit manager and relished the opportunity to get outside and get dirty. Helping people and getting a workout was also an enjoyable part of the tree work. He’d be the last one to put down his saw and the mission team was constantly snapping pictures of him totally drenched with sweat and covered head to toe with sawdust! After the trip, he settled back into his family and the job he loved and had no thought of starting a business, much less a tree business. But two months later, his wife Karen was at a point of desperation in her battle with chronic fatigue syndrome. She needed alternative treatments not covered by insurance and not afforded by Evan’s non-profit salary. So a couple of days later while praying for her, he felt he should man up and start a tree business to take care of his wife. So he did. Four days later he had a partner (who turned out to be an absolute disaster), a business name, and his first job taking down two tall trees for a friend. It was a $400 job he did for $200 with a borrowed truck and two borrowed chainsaws. After studying tree felling techniques online, the trees were felled safely, but both saws broke down and the truck got stuck in the mud! It’s hard to believe that from such humble beginnings emerged Orlando’s preferred tree service staffed by some of the most skilled and experienced tree trimmers in Central Florida who operate the finest fleet of tree equipment we have seen. To learn more about their professional grade expertise and equipment, call Jim for an estimate at 407-416-2704 or request an estimate online at www.treeworknow.com/estimate

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Jun 06 2009

An Orlando tree service turns doing well into doing good

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To continue recounting the history of Orlando’s leading tree service, Tree Work Now, we turn to a story of partnership, where an Orlando tree removal company, its tree trimming experts, and a customer all work together to help those stuck in chronic poverty.  Here is the story as told by Evan Keller, company owner: Rajesh, an immigrant from India resides with his beautiful family in Lake Helen and works as a software designer. I had been looking for an opportunity to use my tree service Orlando business (www.TreeWorkNow.com) to further benefit mission work in Haiti, a country which has captured my heart. As I presented my estimate to Rajesh for the day’s worth of tree work his property needed, I realized this was my moment. He showed considerable interest in the page at the end of my presentation booklet (displaying our tree service equipment, tree removal crew and Orlando insurance certificates) which describes the mission work supported by my business. So in order to earn his business and involve this customer in a good cause, I offered him a tax write-off and an opportunity to do some good. My crew would perform his Orlando tree pruning and tree removal at no cost to him and he would write a check to Christ Community Church for $2000 that would go towards drilling a well in a waterless Haitian village. Sensing God’s smile, this creative forging of relationships and use of resources has brought me incredible joy! While my Orlando tree service received not a single dime for an entire day’s use of my heavy equipment and large crew’s labor, it was perhaps our best day yet. As my employees sweated that day, they knew their tree trimming efforts were serving fellow humans trapped in chronic poverty in the poorest country in our hemisphere, perhaps sparking a hunger to continue doing so. They were somewhat confounded that I was paying them while not being paid myself. It was great to see people of faith and otherwise doing good together. Rajesh was happy with our work on his property and happy to get a tax break for his charitable contribution. Most importantly, his investment in Haiti engaged his heart and mind as he and his wife have shown steady interest in our work there. They are surely asking themselves “Why would someone do this?”. I hope for more opportunities for me and others to use our God-given creativity to combine time, talents, relationships, and resources into demonstrations of how this world will ultimately be re-shaped. If you are interested in a similar partnership with our Orlando tree service, please call us for an estimate and we’ll see how we can combine tree trimming with making a difference!

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Jun 04 2009

History of our Orlando Tree Service 2006

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Finding the right employees is a difficult challenge for any business. But in Orlando tree service, the work force is particularly rough. Most tree trimming and tree removal experts in Orlando have at least one of the following problems: suspended driver’s license, drug use, unreliability, arrogant attitude, dishonesty, criminal record, lack of reliable transportation and/or telephone. As a result of this, I went through 36 employees in one year just to build a single five man tree trimming crew that had the right skills and that I could trust to represent my Orlando tree removal business in a professional manner. One particular standout employee deserves recognition here. In Fall of 2006, I met Geoffrey Gill. He was recommended as a potential employee by a friend Matthew Overholser. Geoff is a handsome Irishman of few words which come out in a heavy accent. A Christian man with way above board ethics, he was and is the hardest worker I’ve ever met! The first day he climbed for me, we both worked in the driving rain without missing a beat. He quickly earned my trust and became the backbone of my crew, serving as a crew chief for most of his tenure. He really took my business to the next level by being someone who I could trust to get the jobs done right, freeing me up to focus on selling and building the business. Oh for 25 more Geoffrey Gills! Thankfully our Orlando tree service crews are arguably the most skilled in the area at tree removal and tree trimming.

I weeded through 35 employees in 2006!

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Jun 01 2009

Continued History of our Orlando Tree Service

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It took some guts to pull up in my beat up old truck and knock on doors EVERY weekday afternoon and all day Saturday. But it worked! Enough people trusted me to become their preferred source for Orlando area tree removal and tree trimming. At this point in my Orlando tree service’s infancy, I was doing every aspect of the work myself: selling the tree jobs, doing the marketing, climbing trees to prune them, running the saws and chippers, doing the bookkeeping, maintaining the equipment, and planning the future. After subbing out some of the most technical work for a while, I slowly accrued quality equipment and employees.

I slowly made headway in establishing my business: established banking relationships, found an accountant, got general liability and workers’ compensation insurance, directed the process of web development, refined my branding. Looking back, I’m not sure how I survived that stretch, but I was definitely in survival mode working every angle to make it through. Thankfully I have a lot of energy and an intuitive sense of what to do next; the sheer volume of hours upon hours upon hours is what was the hard part. As I built one of Orlando’s most impressive team of tree trimming and tree removal experts, I weeded through so many to find workers with a similar work ethic that won’t quit until the job is done right and our Orlando tree service customers are extremely happy.

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