Feb. 22—FRANKLIN — For local arborist Mark Roberts, a lifelong passion for trees and Mother Nature easily transitioned into a meaningful and well- intentioned career.
" My mother has been pulling me out of trees ever since I was in diapers, at least, that's what she told me," said Roberts, owner of New View Tree Care LLC.
Roberts, who is the son of the late University of Connecticut English professor Thomas Roberts, began his business as a tree removal service at only 19 years old in 1985.
Decades later, he's still going strong, expanding his business to include several other services with a purpose of educating the public about trees and the environment around them.
" We're here to educate ( and) to help you have a better understanding of your tree and its relationship with you," Roberts said.
"I'm the son of a professor, I was born in an environment of education and I've taken on that role in the tree service as an educator."
New View Tree Care has a longstanding reputation in the Mansfield and Storrs communities and continues to serve all of Windham County and the majority of New London County and the surrounding areas.
Services include free safety assessments, tree trimming, tree and stump removal, stump grinding, tree installation/ planting, invasive species identification, additional consultation services and more, which can all be individualized to the customers' needs.
Now through March 15, Roberts is offering special winter deals for his services, which can save customers 15 to 20 percent, depending on the scope of work.
" If someone wanted to get ahead with the spring rush and the higher prices that come with spring, we still have the winter pricing special," Roberts said.
As part of his initial free safety assessments, which have proven to be essential due to the state's infestation of the invasive emerald ash borer beetle and gypsy Moth caterpillars, New View Tree Care professionals will do a full health and safety examination of each individual tree as well as the yard as a whole.
" Then we try to ask the right questions, like, ' Where do you want to be in the next 10 years with this yard?' We like to say to many of our customers, 'you tell us your destination and we'll be the vessel to get you there,'" Roberts said.
His knack for education began with his father, who taught at UConn for nearly 40 years.
" It was interesting when (my father) realized I was an educator like him but my classroom is a backyard, whereas his classroom was in a building," he explained.
Roberts strives to care for and keep live trees healthy, as they are important for the environment.
"I don't want the wrong tree taken down for the wrong reasons. I want the right trees cared for and kept and if a tree needs to go, we'll let you know," he said.
In the state of Connecticut, only a state-licensed arborist can legally work on a live tree and walk away leaving it alive, according to Roberts.
Removing dead trees, however, is also imperative, especially when dealing with naturally dry and brittle trees prone to infestation, such as the white ash tree, which is being decimated by emerald ash borers.
" That's keeping us quite busy right now. Ash trees that are inaccessible to equipment and need to be climbed need to be addressed as quickly as possible," Roberts said, noting these trees have a high risk for breaking and splitting, resulting in safety hazard.
Roberts said he's currently in the process of researching responsible and ethical practices for the application of organic pesticides, which he is considering offering as a future service.
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New View Tree Care LLC
Hours: Daily, 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Information: 860-377-6325, newviewtreecarellc.com