Arvada arborist branches out Email
Written by Colorado Green Now   
Tuesday, September 12, 2023 12:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

A tree climber first and foremost, Forrest Bullard, owner and operator of Bullard Tree and Garden in Arvada, developed his skills as an arborist working for the U.S. Forest Service in Oregon and Swingle Lawn, Tree & Landscape Care in Fort Collins.  

 At Swingle (now SavATree), Bullard realized arborist services were in high demand, and he took on extra jobs on weekends. He earned his arborist certification in 2013, and he left Swingle to found Bullard Tree and Garden in 2015. He worked with other arborists until 2018, when he fully transitioned to being in business on his own.  

Initially, we were installing tree rings by removing grass around trees and putting in mulch. This progressed to making recommendations on replacing turf near fence lines,” he says. Soon Bullard and his two-person crew were replacing grass with water-wise plants as they learned more about landscape installation and xeriscape principles. He uses Procreate to help clients visualize simple design projects. 

Irrigation and conservation 

When planting trees, it’s not uncommon to damage irrigation systems, Bullard says. “I learned how to fix breaks in irrigation systems out of necessity.”  

He recently participated in ALCC’s Irrigation Boot Camp and received Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper (QWEL) certification.  

Water is just one resource Bullard doesn’t want to waste. His company seeks to reduce its use of all materials and minimize the environmental impact of its work. “We sell what works best for the customer,” he says. We measure accurately, minimize material waste and don’t lay siege to the property.”  

Bullard enjoys networking, collaborating and learning from people at other companies. In time, he hopes to broaden his company’s offerings—but that’s a bit tricky. “Right now, about two-thirds of our income is from tree care,” he says. “It’s a balancing act because we want to add professional services but not dilute the base. Tree care is my primary skill set.”  

He wants to keep the work honest. I won’t take on projects that we can’t do,he says.  

Expanding the business will require hiring someone with skills he doesn’t have, which likely won’t happen until at least next spring.  

“Right now, I still want to keep it simple. I’ll continue to learn more skills, but I don’t want to bite off more than I can chew.” 

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