Kerri & Jason ON AIR
Transcript of the May 5, 2017 Radio Show
LUCY: We’re Ann Arbor’s talk station 1290 WLBY. The Lucy Anne Lance show, we live stream at 1290wlby.com.
Pete Nowakowski it's time for around the home you're with the Builders Remodelers Association of Greater Ann Arbor.
PETE: Let's do it. Good morning.
By the way, I got to know yesterday did you see that the Washtenaw remodelers council changed its name to Remodelers Council of Greater Ann Arbor taking a cue from the Builders Remodelers Association of Greater Ann Arbor.
PETE: That's right yeah that's a group that is made up of volunteers of our membership.
LUCY: Right right well that's interesting to see and I like that play-off on your name as well. The season is upon us this is this is the time of year when your membership they’re loving this, right?
PETE: Oh yeah, people are real busy this time of year and we're getting a lot of calls in the office asking for referrals for various trades or building projects of all kinds of sizes sounds like there's a lot of activity for sure.
LUCY: Well the couple we're going to meet today they own J’s Tree Trimming & Removal, that’s the letter J apostrophe ‘s’, J's tree trimming and removal and this is a husband a wife who have been married what fifteen years now?
KERRI: Married twelve together for fifteen.
LUCY: But you met Kerri, you met your husband Jason in a driveway because he was doing a job?
KERRI: Yeah, yeah, he was swinging by doing a bid in Saline and he pulled into my driveway and it was over after that we were all done.
LUCY: Pretty good there Jason I like your style. So here you are fifteen years later two boys also and a great business that both of you co-own. How did you start this business, Jason?
JASON: My dad was an arborist for the City of Ann Arbor and I would go with him to work as summer help, and go and learn of the tree industry and have fun and it's been great.
LUCY: While being an arborist in tree town, imagine that you know. So you really learned from your dad?
JASON: For sure arborist for the city of Ann Arbor and spent a lot of time with him in my uncles on jobs. And going to different places and a lot of training in-house in out of house and just get our hands dirty and have fun along the way.
LUCY: We're talking with Jason Godfrey and his wife Kerri Godfrey owners of J’s Tree Trimming & Removal, and your dad's name?
JASON: Dave Godfrey
LUCY: OK And how long was he with the city?
JASON: Over thirty years.
LUCY: My goodness, it's a long career there. So when you first started out your business and how long have you had it now?
JASON: 2001. In ‘95 I started buying equipment for the company and climbing and been climbing ever since and running boom trucks and having fun.
LUCY: And the bulk of your business what are you doing?
JASON: We're doing a lot of skilled removals technical removals over home so we do a lot of proper pruning techniques with a lot of big trims. Oak trims in the winter time, we do because oak wilt disease but we get into a lot of boom work we have two big boom trucks and we have skilled climbers so we do a lot of technical stuff on property and with keeping everybody's property safe and just doing a great job.
KERRI: Yeah, we're about 85% residential and the other’s commercial work.
LUCY: It's amazing to see how many of these subdivisions you know when they first start the trees are planted how quickly they grow big you don't really envision what it's going to look like in those mature years. And there could be a lot of problems with overhead wires. So what are you looking for when you're pruning?
JASON: When you're printing a lot of branch unions, V-shaped are basically the branch unions you want to thin the trees out for the health of the trees but also a trimming a tree you want to keep the tree thin so the sunlight can get into the core of the tree not only sunlight but airflow is huge so by thinning it the wind load on the canopy goes through the tree not against the tree so trimming a tree there's a lot a lot of techniques to it and it should be done properly and we train our staff to do a great job and work with the customer make sure they're happy when we're done and take the time to put the right guys on the jobs and do great work.
LUCY: So when is the best time to trim and prune?
JASON: Oaks would be in the wintertime when they're dormant you want to do the oaks and basically any other species of trees we can tackle now some of the fir trees you want to wait a little bit on when the buds are off but basically definitely the oaks you wanna wait till they're dormant.
LUCY: What happens if you start cutting when the buds are there?
JASON: They are prone to oak wilt disease, the big oaks Yeah, so they're they're prone to the oak wilt that some areas are more prevalent than others but the best rule of thumb is to stay away from them until basically winter time so we schedule our team to do a lot of trims in the winter to keep our staff busy.
LUCY: Jason, what other tree diseases are out there?
JASON: Basically, you have diplodia tip blight for the pine trees. Yeah, that's brown, it'll go through the whole tree and relatively quickly so once you do see that it's good to get him out of there because it will jump to the next one.
LUCY: So when you say get out, get the whole tree out?
JASON: A lot of times you can have there been dead wood at first and try the baby steps along the way but it's good you know if there's too much eighty percent seventy percent there it's good to get them out of there and also grind the stump so that way we can start with a new species of conifer deciduous tree or whatever the homeowner chooses.
LUCY: What causes that to happen?
JASON: The oak wilt basically is caused by and several different ways but it can be basically through the root structure of the tree is where it goes on the oak wilt.
LUCY: And then on the evergreen trees?
JASON: Basically, that's the diplodia tip blight but that basically will go through the whole tree itself too, through the right structure.
LUCY: And you can’t save them?
JASON: By deadwooding it's baby steps it's good to deadwood as much as you can but then sometimes it becomes the homeowner’s decision to remove it.
LUCY: OK. You mentioned you have a climber.
JASON: Yeah we have several climbers and they do a great job and they're trained and we do a lot of training really once a week we have safety meetings but we do a lot of roping and rigging over a lot of homes so it's not just going up and cut things we get into actually skilled work where we're setting pulleys and trees and were roping and rigging limbs over top of homes so it's more than meets the eye of climbing a tree and cutting a limb so we use a lot of again pulleys, ropes, porta wraps on the bottoms again that's to lower limb safely so limbs aren't coming crashing to the ground so everything's lowered until Kerri buys the helicopter.
KERRI: It’s on the list. He’s asking for a lot of things.
LUCY: Training for your guy, obviously safety is of most importance but do you have a training program how do you approach that?
JASON: Yeah, we have to do a lot of training, Premier Aerial out of Brighton comes out and we train all our boom operators they are all certified. Basically, in-house we are members of TCIA. We go to training out of state a lot of times. Chainsaw safety in-house, chipper safety in-house chipper safety out of house. Vermeer, Bandit we attend those. Bartlett for climbing so a lot of in-house and out house a little bit of both.
LUCY: Jason Godfrey with us along with Kerri Godfrey they’re owners of J’s Tree Trimming & Removal. What are people asking for right now when you're getting those calls in the office?
JASON: When can you do it?
LUCY: How quickly can you respond to a call?
JASON: We're putting three crews out so roughly I'd say within two weeks and that's what our goal is and we're able to meet it when it rains like this we have to adapt and overcome but we go to Plan B and do a lot of groundwork and we have a lot of methods of the small many loaders on properties that are four pounds per square inch to carry material over drain fields and not hurt them and what not and get the job done safely?
LUCY: OK. When it's all said and done what can people expect to pay for something like this, how do you price out a particular job?
JASON: Every job is really so unique in itself. As far as numbers it's best to walk the project and trims are different from a big skilled removal, front yard versus backyard, our stump grinders fit into thirty-six inch gates so we have a really unique stump grinder track loaders are really unique, we have the many ones that fit and backyards we have the big caterpillar track machines that basically do big lot clearance.
LUCY: And this is all important because people obviously have put in a lot of money to their landscaping, the last thing they want is someone coming in and ruining all of that so you take great care.
JASON: We take all precautions and use the right guys and the right equipment on their property and we have great office staff and great guys in the field. Everybody works great as a team to make it happen.
LUCY: Do you handle storm drainage or anything revolving around that?
JASON: There are a lot of storm work itself yeah we do a lot of trees that you know tipped over due to shallow base root structure on conifers a lot of pines and spruces are shallower root base and basically they're tipping over due to the high winds so we did a lot of conifers a lot of the deciduous hardwoods are fanned out more so the root structure is a lot better. But again those do come over and so a drainage is a lot on those if you're getting a lot of puddling around your trees you want to make sure you have proper drainage to keep the water away it's good to have the water but you'll have too much water.
LUCY: Where is your business located, Kerri?
KERRI: We are at 7005 Jackson Road in Ann Arbor.
LUCY: OK, and you two are both Dexter originally you grew up in Dexter.
LUCY: Wonderful Well it's nice to see this business flourishing and doing so well. Are you, this comes up a lot with these kinds of businesses, are you finding workers out there?
JASON: They're out there, yeah, we have a great staff on now and we give a lot of credit and once a week we have safety meetings and we take care of them they take care of us and as a team it's great.
LUCY: So that hasn't been a problem for you getting people?
KERRI: No, we are so fortunate and some days we are, wow, they are just making it happen.
LUCY: I see here, hey Pete, particularly since we've been hearing from a lot of builders or remodelers you know they can't find workers.
PETE: Yeah we love you know a good low unemployment rate you know it's good that there are you know not as many people struggling to find work and everything but yes certainly the trades, trades have been fighting that battle and have been having problems in a lot of areas so you know we're encouraging young people to pursue the dream and look at that.
LUCY: Well J’s Tree Trimming & Removal, how can people get in touch with you if they would like to have a project bid?
JASON: The office 734-645-8375 or email@example.com and we would be happy to come out and assess your property and make it happen.
LUCY: OK give me THAT PHONE NUMBER ONE MORE TIME
KERRI: 734-645-8375 and our website is actually www.jstreetrimming.com
LUCY: jstreetrimming.com - You can check it out online as well jstreetrimming.com and you come out you give a quote?
JASON: Yep, a free quote will walk the property and get their opinion and then I'll give them mine and come up with a game plan and take care of them.
PETE: Hey Jason, I've got a question for people who live in the city, when you get the DTE people coming through and they come through trimming trees and all that because of things that are coming up on the lines, sometimes residents and homeowners aren't too happy with what is being done. Is it good to be proactive and do you guys go out and do a little trimming before that so DTE could say ‘hey you're fine’ that way the homeowner can take charge of it a little more.
JASON: Yeah. Number one they do a great job and give a lot of credit basically the primaries or the big boy wires I call them but they say you don't want to put your climbers northeast south and west by ten foot within that so DTE will trim within their right of way and keep those clear basically and then the residential guys can come in and help out at that point. They have to maintain the right away but yeah sure we come in and do the trimming and removals from that.
PETE: So you can kind of work together then. So not, so not do it before then?
JASON: No, there's a lot of times if it's close to the primaries but again we have guys that can work around those too so it just depends on how really close it is to the wires that's why I always tell my office staff to have me check that out first and then we'll make a decision at that point so to answer that sometimes it just depends on how close it is to the primaries. But I like to check it out first.
PETE: Happy I don't have overhead lines on my property anymore.
LUCY: Are you finding more wires are being buried?
JASON: A little hit and miss in the subdivisions but yeah with the roping in rigging to jump to that with the removals we tip tie and bring limbs down and then straight down into itself so that's how we work around like the 220 line I did encourage homeowners a lot with a 220 line and keep that clear even a ten foot buffer all the way around just with the high winds we get to make sure they keep their power so to maintain and keep an eye on that we do a lot of trimming around the two twenty lines.
LUCY: It's all about safety. J’s Tree Trimming & Removal the website again Kerri?
LUCY: jstreetrimming.com Check it out online and if you've got these kinds of issues in your yard make sure to contact them they're relatively new members of the Builders Remodelers Association of Greater Ann Arbor so, welcome to the party great group. And you can always go on bragannarbor.com because you've got all your members listed on there as well.
LUCY: All right Pete Nowakowski anything else happening with BRAG?
PETE: Well we are officially in a parade of home seasons coming up here so that's June twenty-third through twenty-fifth we have as of today I think fourteen new homes in the events.
LUCY: Oh, my goodness. Yeah well, that speaks to the fact that the housing market's been so low with houses for sale a lot of people are building. Thanks Pete, good seeing you and thanks very much to Jason and Kerri Godfrey from J’s Tree Trimming & Removal.