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On June 6, we wished John Davey, founder of The Davey Tree Expert Company, a happy 167th birthday.

A Tribute to Our Founding Father

June 14, 2013

When it comes to mechanics, home improvements, yard enhancements or scholarly advice, fathers often know best.

For John Davey, founding father of The Davey Tree Expert Company, a bit of fatherly advice he received at merely four years old helped him establish the strong work ethic on which he built the foundation of a successful tree care company.

During one summer afternoon, John was watching his father plant potatoes and asked if he might plant one, too. His father cut a potato in half and asked the youngster to fetch a large iron spoon. When John returned, his father approached him and said, "Listen to me carefully. Do it right or not at all." Then he showed John how to plant the two pieces of potato and how to use the spoon to properly cover them with dirt.

As the summer wore on, young John carefully tended his potato plants, learning all of the basics of proper plant care from his father.

When John moved from Somersetshire, England, to Ohio in 1873, the country was in a severe depression. But John's skills with plants quickly became well-known, and he was never short of work. One of his earliest challenges was to transform the landscape at Standing Rock Cemetery in Kent, Ohio.

The cemetery, which had existed for more than 20 years at that time, was overgrown with plants suffering from a lack of care and poor planning. John went to work, and soon local and faraway visitors marveled and admired the cemetery, which John had transformed from a dilapidated graveyard to a beautiful memorial park.

John had become dedicated to tree care and conservation. During his time at Standing Rock, he developed many mechanical and scientific principles that have become basic in the practice of tree care today.

In 1880, John founded The Davey Tree Expert Company on the basis that trees could be saved and made to flourish with proper attention - a perspective he began to develop as a young boy who often witnessed his father's mindful plant care and maintenance techniques. In fact, John frequently referred to his father's words as he grew The Davey Tree Expert Company to motivate employees and to inspire creative solutions for clients.

This Father's Day, we hope you enjoy the time you have to spend with your dad, uncle or grandpa. If you're reminiscing over stories at dinner, tuning into the next pitch at the ballpark or even tending to the flower beds that need a bit of mending, remember to appreciate even the slightest bits of fatherly advice you've received over the years.

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