We want to welcome you to our website and thank you for considering us to help you with your tree needs.
Hello, My name is Ken Hawley. I want to thank you for coming to my website and considering us to help you with your tree issues.
46 years in the tree industry
I have been doing tree work professionally for 46 years. My Dad started doing tree work in 1961. At one point he had a tree service that employed 11 full time workers.
I started climbing trees full time at 16 years old
I’m a little embarrassed to say, but I really didn’t care much for school when I was younger. My attention and interest always seemed to wonder outside of the classroom. I was more interested in working with my hands and doing things outside . Sitting at a class room all day and reading books was just not my idea of a good time. I wanted to get outside and start working in the trees. As a side note, it wasn’t until a few years later after having left school that I developed a strong love for learning.
I left the school of books and entered the school of hard knocks
So in 1973 at age 16 I left school and went to work climbing trees full time.
For the first three months we worked 12 hours per day seven days per week. My beginning pay was only room and board. I found out later that my Dad was trying to work me so much that I would realize that school wasn’t such a bad idea after all. But me being a slow learner, his plan didn’t work. I loved doing tree work!! I loved the out doors. I loved NOT being in school. I felt free and really happy with my new life.
After boot camp
After my ” boot camp” period was over, and my Dad realized that school was not going to be “my path” and that tree work was going to be my new life. So after three months boot camp ended I got a rase from “room and board” to $4.00 per hour. By that time we had settled into 40 hours per week, plus we worked one or two Saturdays per month. I was raking in the big bucks now. $160.00 per week after just working 40 hours! (Smile).
Journeyman tree trimmer running a crew
Three years later by 1976 I was a journeyman level tree climber and running a crew for my Father. By this time I was making $10.00 per hour. I still loved doing tree work but I wanted to expand my horizons.
Power line tree trimming
So I put in for a job doing line clearance tree trimming for the power companies. I got the job with a raise to $13.85 per hour. I was a journeyman line clearance tree trimmer, working on what they called non accessible tree work. Non accessible means that you couldn’t get any equipment into the job, like lift trucks, chippers etc. So all the trees had to be climbed manually. I did that for 12 years.
We had to do every tree (could not pick and choose)
When doing the cross-country distribution power lines (500,000 volts), they would go on for miles and miles. We would usually need to trim both sides of the right of way. So we had to climb all trees. Dead trees rotten trees healthy trees. Every tree, tree after tree after tree. We never could pick and choose which tree we would do and which tree we would not do. We had to do every tree that needed it. The dangerous ones, the easy ones, all of them. So after just a few years of that, one would gain experience in pretty much any situation that you could imagine. So after that experience and 15 years in the trees, there was no tree situation that we couldn’t do.
My job was to do the trees that no other crew in our company could do
I ended up working for a company that had 13 crews. I was the person that was assigned to do all the danger trees that none of the other 12 crews could do. So I spent much of the time over the years being sent to all of the most dangerous and precarious trees.
Back to residential tree work
After line clearance tree work I went back into residential tree climbing. I did that for another 7 years or so.
After 22 years of tree work I broke off and did a few other things here and there
After that I did a few things away from the tree industry, off and on for a period of about 12 years. But even then I would still do a little tree work from time to time.
Back to trees full time
But tree work was in my blood. It was what I was good at and it was what I knew the most about. So I ended up going back into tree work full time. Doing residential and light commercial tree work in Grays harbor county for about 12 years until I just got too old to keep climbing trees. So I trained Bruce spear everything that I learned over the years and passed the torch to him. Bruce was my number one climber and worked with me for several years before he took over.
Gaining the ability to visualize what a tree would look like after trimming
It is very interesting that after many years of doing tree work that when you look at a tree your eyes can visualize what the tree would look like after trimming. Or looking at a tree and seeing at a glance the steps that you need to take in order to remove it safely.
Meditative poetry in motion
After enough years it get’s to a point that while doing the work you don’t need to think about what you are doing or even how to do it. It’s kind of an odd situation because you are up in the tree swinging around and working using your gear and not needing to really think about it. It’s as if your body just knows what to do. One person described it as meditative poetry in motion.
Training tree climbers
Starting in 1976 I started training people that were interested in the tree service profession. I have trained many people that went on and started their own successful businesses and made a career out of it.
Still training climbers
To this day we are still taking on people that are interested in learning the tree service industry.
Thank you again for stopping by and taking a look at what we have to offer.
We look forward to working for you and adding you to our many satisfied customers.
OUR GOAL IS TO HELP YOU WITH YOUR TREE NEEDS
Our goal is to help you with whatever tree problems that you have. We want to make you another satisfied customer. Satisfied customers are our best source of advertising. Thank you from me, Ken Hawley, and from all of us at Tree Pros Of Grays Harbor County