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November 25, 2019

Thankful for 35 Years

As we approach that best of American holidays – Thanksgiving – we take a moment to reflect on our company and our 35th Anniversary that we have celebrated and continue to celebrate in 2019. Time has so quickly passed during that time, with all of life’s joys, challenges, and sorrows.  Through good times and bad, times of national triumphs and tragedies, Downey Trees has pursued excellence in the Tree Care Industry as our associates have worked to build our company while fulfilling their individual hopes and dreams.

History defines us. Our story began in 1984, when Downey Poteat set out to begin his own tree care business. Following along with Downey was a coworker by the name of Paul Bagley, who at the time was a beginner in the tree care business. The two worked together well: in June of 1989 Paul and his wife, Angie bought the company, and on June 4, 1992, Downey Trees, Inc. became a corporation. Through the years, providing quality tree care services to individuals, institutions, and other companies has led to positive growth and expansion of both services provided and sites of operation. In addition to tree pruning, removal, and stump grinding, Downey Trees has added a variety of Tree & Plant Health Care services for those interested in conserving their trees and providing the best conditions in which to grow them. In 1997, a recycling initiative began with Christmas trees that has grown into a large business in its own right, taking not only the by-products of our own tree removal, but those of other companies as well and turning them into a variety of mulch and soil conditioning products. Other green waste from the landscape industry becomes alternative forms of energy. Recycling now takes place at two locations in the metro-Atlanta area and at the properties of numerous landscape companies and other commercial concerns. Other Downey Trees start-ups came in the form of stormwater pond management and vegetation management. A branch office was opened in the Destin, Florida area in 2009. As a result of Hurricane Matthew in 2016, Downey Trees acquired Evergreen Tree Service in Savannah, Georgia, and from there we service the Savannah, Hilton Head, and Charleston markets.

No company experiences this type of growth without a group of dedicated people to drive it. The team assembled by Downey Trees is second to none, with a breadth of experience, creativity, and heart that fuels our core values:

  • Professional
  • Trustworthy
  • Respected
  • Proficient
  • Innovative

The Downey Trees story for the past 35 years is undergirded by growth.

Growing a Company: the early growth of a company is always about “firsts”. In the tree care business, those might be the first pick-up truck, the first chipper, or the first grapple. In those early days, the firsts were also first customers, first jobs, first employees, and growing families on the home front. Interesting jobs kept things exciting. The man in the tree in the accompanying photo is Paul Bagley, installing a cable in a tree.

Growing Facilities and Services: positive growth of the company led to more and better equipment, and to growing pains as facilities became crowded. New services were added as Downey Trees became more diversified, creating an even greater need for specialized equipment to make those services both possible and efficient.

Growing People: state-of-the-art facilities and equipment are essential to the success of a company, but it is the people in a company that drive those resources toward excellence. We take a moment here to express our appreciation to anyone that has contributed to the success of Downey Trees. It is our sincere hope that any amount of time spent as a part of our team has resulted in both personal growth and professional success, that they have been encouraged to approach life with a positive attitude, to work hard, and to face life with a smile and a sense of humor. And in remembrance of those that have gone before us – to know that no one is promised tomorrow.

Growing Through Challenge: A company that has assembled the right equipment and facilities to get the job done and a team that can do it is likely to take on increasingly challenging work – perhaps even some jobs that others might not attempt. Through continually meeting such challenges, we have met 35 years of Wonderful Customers, and take this moment to express our thankfulness to them. Our “can-do” approach has been lauded by many of our great clients, and we are thus inspired to tackle seemingly impossible tree removals, bring down a tree gently in the midst of a fine garden, replace a fallen bird nest, or rescue a cat from a tree!

Growing by Giving Back: gratitude for the success a company achieves is best expressed by what is given in return. Downey Trees has shown such appreciation in many ways to schools, communities, civic and professional associations. The owners and associates of the company are steeped in community service as well, providing a variety of volunteer assistance to churches, schools, and worthwhile programs.

Growing through Safety and Professional Affiliation: weekly safety meetings are an ingrained part of the culture of Downey Trees. Driver safety, climbing safety, chain saw safety, work-site safety – all at the forefront of day to day operations. Even our annual Christmas Party is preceded by a half-day of aerial rescue training (see previous blogs). Downey Trees is one of less than 20 tree care companies nationwide to hold both Safety Accreditation and Utility Contractor Accreditation with the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA). Many current associates are also Certified Tree Care Professional (CTSP) with TCIA, and/or are Certified Arborists with the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA). Downey Tree maintains affiliations with these organizations, as well as the Georgia Arborist Association, Georgia Tree Council, Georgia Urban Ag Council, Business Owners and Managers Association, Atlanta Apartment Association, and the Georgia Golf Course Superintendents Association.

On the eve of Thanksgiving 2019, we at Downey Trees again wish to express our thanks to our customers, associates, suppliers, and anyone who has contributed to the success of our company over these 35 years. We are truly thankful for the past, and look to the future with anticipation and hope!

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 25, 2019