Business at The Davey Tree Expert Company is as strong as an oak. The company's roots extend back to 1880 when John Davey founded the horticultural services firm, which branched into residential, commercial, utility, and other natural resource management services. With offices in the US and Canada, Davey's services include treatment, planting, and removal of trees, shrubs, and other plants; landscaping; tree surgery; and the application of fertilizers, herbicides, and insecticides. It also provides line clearing for public utilities, forestry research and development, and environmental planning. Pacific Gas and Electric accounts for about 10% of sales. Davey has been employee-owned since 1979.
Acquisitions play a big part in Davey's growth strategy -- the company has purchased more than 30 companies since 2003. Davey improved its position in the Northeast in 2010 by obtaining Hartney Greymont, a residential tree care firm based near Boston. The company obtained Ohio-based Monteleone Landscaping in 2009 to bolster its commercial landscape unit. A year earlier, Davey acquired Tennessee-based utility tree trimming firm Wolf Tree Experts and The Care of Trees, an Illinois-based firm specializing in preserving trees in land developments.
With the economic recession, the company's business may suffer as many residential and commercial customers cut back on landscaping expenses. But Davey's executives say the downturn won't affect the company's plans to continue picking up competitors that expand its services and geographic footprint.