How did you get involved with the company?
After graduating from Colorado State University in 1994, I started my own tree company called Arborworks Tree Care. In 2005, that company in Fort Collins was acquired by Swingle Tree and Landscape. From there I ventured to the Western Slope of Colorado to work with a small but long-established company called Aspen Tree Service. Eventually with the help of a highly capable team, we grew the company considerably, and in 2008, Sopris Tree & Landscape Supply was created as a subsidiary business to Aspen Tree Service.
What are the key services you provide?
Our business has three distinct aspects. First, we are a natural mulch producer with wood materials sourced exclusively from the tree waste created by Aspen Tree Service. This makes our mulch high in organic matter. We sell it in bulk for wholesale and in bags for retail. The second part of our business is a wholesale nursery that provides, installs and transplants large-specimen, quality trees. We routinely handle 20 to 30-foot tall trees and use specialized equipment including a 94-inch tree spade and a large crane. Our third business focus is distributing a variety of soil improvement and plant health products that include granular and liquid fertilizers, micronutrients and biological control agents.
What areas do you serve?
Our primary market focus is mountain resort towns, specifically Aspen and Telluride. But we cover the entire Western Slope of Colorado for specialized tree-related projects. We also own and operate a retail garden center in Ridgway.
How have your customers changed over the years?
Probably the biggest change is that our customers are far more knowledgeable and aware now than they used to be. With a wealth of information via the internet at their disposal and the high priority they place on environmental issues, our clients have very high expectations and are less tolerant of poor workmanship. We’ve been able to capitalize on this trend because of our highly qualified staff, many of whom have relevant college degrees and industry certifications. As a result, we’re able to build trust and confidence with our clients, which creates valuable customer loyalty. They also appreciate our holistic approach since we provide a comprehensive range of services that can solve numerous problems at once.
Are you facing any labor shortages?
Yes. Right now, demand is extremely high for our services. Finding enough qualified, educated workers who are willing to work hard is a constant challenge. There are simply not enough qualified arborists to meet this demand. But, we do work closely with CSU and with all of the professional organizations to find the best people we can. And when we do, those new hires join an employee-centric company. Our mission is to be the best tree-care employer in Colorado.
Why is it important for you be a CNGA member?
With CNGA programs and ProGreen, we can accelerate our learning and knowledge. We can share our experiences with our peers and many times help them find new solutions to their business and personnel challenges. Most of all, we value the opportunity CNGA provides us to build relationships and be part of a very strong community of professionals.
Note: Sopris Tree and Landscape Supply will host a CNGA Member BBQ on September 18. Please come and get to know their staff and enjoy fellowship with other members. For more information and to register, click here.