In 2018, when Cumberland Valley Tree Service – Landscaping was in the process of opening its fourth branch, George Pogue Jr. realized that his role in the company was changing. It was a tough realization to come to terms with because the jovial salesman who spent decades building relationships with clients would have to spend more time in the office.
To be clear: he was worried about how he would handle the transition. He knew that his customers would be in good – if not better – hands.
CVTS-L’s internal operations emphasize mentorship and service, which ensures that every contact with the company is professional, competent and consistent. When a customer encounters a crew from CVTS-L, they are talking to arborists who are backed by more than 40 years of knowledge and experience in Tree Care, Landscaping, Plant Health Care and Stump Grinding.
Our collaborative approach distributes knowledge throughout the company – from Carlisle to Hagerstown, from the highest tree crew to the lowest landscaper (elevation-wise, of course), from George Pogue to the newest hire – and how that benefits our customers.
Here’s how our collaborative approach makes us – and keeps us – an authority in Tree Care, Landscaping and Plant Health Care.
1. Our collaborative approach ensures that managers regularly confer with each other.
CVTS-L’s management team meets monthly to confer with each other on the issues facing the company as well as the issues affecting the industry. This cross-pollinating collaborative atmospher ensures that our arborists in the field make decisions and suggestions that are informed by the best and latest information. Our tree care decisions are guided by insight from our Plant Health Care and Landscaping divisions. Our landscapers consider recommendations from our Tree Care and Plant Health Care divisions when designing a project. And so on.
No single arborist, landscaper, spray technician – or even branch or division – can be aware of every issue every year. New problems in the form of invasive species, diseases and product shortages are best met by sharing information such as the latest equipment, designs and techniques freely throughout the company. And, of course, they are all advised and trained by our Safety Director.
Wisdom trains youth.
We are very proud of the experience level of our management team. Most of them have more than a decade of experience, and the company is structured to ensure that even our newest arborists are backed by their knowledge. In fact, the arrival of new crew members encourages senior-level managers and crew leaders to recommit to their own educations. Training a new staff member on new procedures is an opportunity for them to recommit to their own educations because a lesson is only fully absorbed when you can train somebody else how to do it.
As Fred Schrom, manager of our Carlisle branch, said of trusting newer crew members to perform tree work that he had sold (which would have formerly been performed by him): “They step up. They do it, and everybody grows…You hire good and get good, competent people, and they’ll take care of you.”
3. Youth inspires wisdom.
Every year at the end of CVTS-L’s “Yearly Gathering,” George Pogue encourages the staff of nearly 100 people to make suggestions that they think will improve the company. In an industry as ever-changing as tree care, he has to remain open to new ideas, and he understands that the next big idea is likely to come from the crews on the ground (and in the trees). They will be the ones who first encounter problems, and they will be in the best position to recommend solutions.
While we like to boast about the decades of experience held by our senior-level management team, we are also very proud of our youngest manager – Evan Brumfield who oversees our Hagerstown branch. He is excited to see where his generation (and subsequent generations) will drive the industry. “My generation is coming into this industry starting from where we are now, and we’re just going to go forward from there.” He might be the youngest at the manager meetings, but at the time of this writing, Brumfield is also the only staff member to become a Board Certified Master Arborist (an accomplishment that is achieved by fewer than two percent of ISA Certified Arborists).
4. Work smarter, not harder.
George Pogue Jr. brought the first wave of innovations in 1990 when he became general manager after (literally) growing up in the company. Having spent years earning a degree in Forestry, becoming an ISA Certified Arborist and attending industry conferences, Pogue understood that newer, better equipment and techniques would always be emerging. If they would help him satisfy his customers, he wanted to know about them.
Jobs that, when Pogue had started out, were accomplished through brute force, large crews and lots of hours can now be performed safer, more efficiently and with minimal disruption to the homeowner’s property through advanced techniques and technology. Today, our Safety Director contributes articles and videos about advanced climbing techniques to industry publications, and our crews use spider lifts, skid loaders and cranes to get complex jobs done right. Tree care is one of the most difficult and dangerous professions so even the smallest advancements can make a big difference.
Our collaborative approach makes sure that our clients are always part of the equation.
The driving force behind this collaborative approach, of course, is to better serve our clients, so we listen to them to make sure that the quality of service is maintained across the company. Feedback is regularly reviewed and shared throughout the company to identify areas where we can improve. Praise is collected and passed on to its intended recipient.
Start the conversation by contacting us about your Tree Care, Landscaping, Plant Health Care or Stump Grinding project.