Mentoring Plays a Huge Role in Coastal Tree Care’s Success
Mentoring Plays a Huge Role in Coastal Tree Care’s Success
September 12, 2019
By Patricia Chaudoin
Sometimes it takes a village – or at least a group of like-minded tree care
professionals willing to guide others who are new to this industry. That’s what
Joseph Eves, CTSP, owner of Coastal Tree Care, discovered when he first started
his business in 2012. He had owned his
San Diego, California-based tree care company just three years when he joined TCIA
and started actively networking with other members, starting with TCIA’s
“It was Peter Sortwell (CEO of Arborwell, Haywood, California) who first
said I should get more involved in TCIA, attend EXPO and go to Winter
Management, which I’ve done the past three years,” says Eves. “That’s where I
met a few of my mentors and closest friends, who’ve also been instrumental in
the mentoring process, including Tad Jacobs (Treemasters, San Raphael,
California), Josh Morin (Taddiken Tree, Boulder, Colorado), Jeff Grewe (Arbor
Aesthetics, Omaha, Nebraska), George Bofinger (Bofinger’s Tree Service, Baton
Rouge, Louisiana) and Billy Davis (Arborscapes, LLC, Richmond, Virginia). We’ve
visited each other’s operations and have even done some cross-training, and
what I’ve discovered is that we all do a lot of things very similarly, but we
each have our own style of doing them. Their stewardship and guidance have been
invaluable to the growth of our organization.” According to Eves, it was his
love of climbing and working outside that got him started in tree care, after a
foray into the Los Angeles music industry. “I did not like LA, so I moved to
San Diego and worked for a small tree care company and got trained as a
climber,” he notes. “I’m very passionate about the outdoors and taking care of the
At the beginning, when I went out on my own, it was just myself and a pickup truck. Then in 2012, I hired my first three employees, who are all still with us. I also bought my first dump truck and chipper. I had no idea what I was doing. I bought an old gravel dump truck and built it into a tree truck. It’s still in operation today!” In the last year alone, Eves says his company has experienced 50% growth and now has nine full-time employees. “We have two CTSPs, all our climbers are ISA Certified Arborists and our sales arborists are certified and carry the Tree Risk Assessment Qualification (TRAQ),” he notes. “We invest a lot of time in training and safety. We have ‘daily huddles,’ weekly safety meetings and quarterly trainings where we cover things like aerial rescue, first aid/CPR, chipper operations and basic chain saw safety.” According to Eves, his team members also start each day with stretching exercises. “What we do is not easy work; just the way athletes require physical training and preparation, what we do is very physical and requires the same approach. As we do our stretches each morning, team members take turns reading off our 10 Coastal Tree Care Safety Rules“:
Each of you is responsible for your safety, your team members’ safety and the entire company’s safety.
COMMUNICATION: Use this tool for reminding one another of visible or potential hazards and condition of equipment.
Use CTC safe work systems, safe work practices and common sense.
Work smart, not rushed. DO NOT TAKE SHORTCUTS!
Work as a team. Always have at least two team members on every project whenever possible.
Stay focused on the task you are performing while being aware of your surroundings and co-workers.
Always feel free to ask a question if you are unsure how to perform a task. Never perform a task you are not capable of doing.
Use power equipment the way you have been trained. Always stay clear of a team member using power equipment and power tools.
Use cones and safety signs to create a safe workplace on the roadway.
Each of you is responsible for wearing the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) at all times.
Eves maintains that his company’s niche market is high-end residential
tree care services, including pruning, tree removal, consulting and plant
health care (PHC). The company’s business market is 85% residential and 15%
commercial, which includes HOAs, school districts, private clubs and local
resorts. Additionally, Eves says he and his employees are very community minded
and involved in local school partnerships, Saluting Branches and various other
“We have a lot of competition here, and our community involvement is
one of the things that sets us apart from others. I’m involved in Entrepreneurs’
Organization (EO), and we also are a community partner with Darnall Charter
School. We work with their Sustainability Club and have donated water bottles,
built planter beds for them to start a garden and planted trees on campus. When
we planted the trees, we did an instructional presentation for the kids
teaching them correct planting techniques. It was great! Everyone wanted to
grab a shovel and be part of it.”
Becoming TCIA accredited was an easy decision, according to Eves. “All
my mentors’ companies are accredited, and they all emphasized the importance of
Accreditation,” he says. “So that was our 2018 goal, which we finished in
November. My operations manager, Missy Betts, and I worked on the process
together – but when it came to the administrative side, Missy owned it!”
As part of the process, Eves notes that, “We created processes that
were not in place before, which has really helped tighten things up for us as a
team. Now everyone is on the same page as far as policies and procedures. It’s
also helped our employees trust that their safety is important to us. We have
proactive maintenance that’s required to maintain compliance, and we now
document that our safety procedures are being completed. It’s become a regular
process for us.
“We’re still kind of a young company, so not everything we did was
documented yet or entered in our handbook correctly. We had many things already
in place, they just needed to be refined. That was probably the most tedious
Eves notes that becoming accredited was a very eye-opening and
rewarding process overall. “Something I’ve noticed just this year is that
Accreditation has boosted morale among our team members, knowing this means
we’re doing things better than we were doing before,” he continues. “And
customers really appreciate what it took for us to become accredited –
especially when I explain that we now have to maintain that level of
Coastal Tree recently put a lot of time and eff ort into updating its
“All the images are original and very artsy,” says Eves. “We feel this
new site really captures our culture and overall personality. And it felt
really good to be able to finally add the TCIA Accreditation logo to our
website. Every time we see that logo, we’re reminded of our commitment to our
industry and to safety, as well as the team eff ort required during the
Accreditation process. It’s a credential we’re very proud of!”
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Residential and commercial tree services in San Diego, Ca including pruning, removal, stump grinding, pest and disease control, annual maintenance programs and consultations. Our tree service area includes La Jolla, Del Mar, Rancho Santa Fe, Encinitas, Point Loma, Ocean Beach, Pacific Beach, Bay Ho, Bay Park, Solana Beach, Mission Beach, Mission Hills, Hillcrest.
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