At Your Service By Scott Krady, Photo by Dan Epstein As Seen In the Summer 2010 issue of Suburban Essex
When Justin Shaw launched Trees Unlimited, LLC, in 2005, Wall Street’s loss became the environment’s gain. In starting a tree service business, Shaw left the world of high finance to move closer to his true calling, echoed by the company’s slogan: “A passion for tree care.” Trees Unlimited is equal parts environmental protector and exterior designer.
With both residential and commercial clients in Essex, Passaic, Morris and Bergen counties, the company works alongside builders and landscapers to provide services such as pruning, removal and other tree care.
Trees Unlimited often remedies homeowners’ issues, such as increasing the amount of sunlight a home receives, or eliminating the threat of a sick tree falling on the house. The company treats ailing trees, cares for healthy ones and—only rarely—removes them. Other work involves incorporating trees into landscaping upgrades, such as pool additions.
Shaw’s fascination with trees began during high school, when he worked for a tree service company. He later turned down a football scholarship, and earned his bachelor’s in urban tree management.
After three years of working for a tree company, however, he returned to school—this time to satisfy his curiosity about the financial world. Degrees in finance and economics in hand, he landed a job with a wealth management team. But for Shaw, the green of finance couldn’t compete with the green of trees. So bidding Wall Street goodbye, he launched Trees Unlimited, LLC.
The company uses trees to improve the allure—and value— of both home and business properties. Shaw begins by surveying what the customer wants to achieve, and then figuring out how trees fi t into the plan.
Removing a tree is always a last resort, no matter how challenging the work to preserve it. “We explain that removing a tree is not only costly, but also reduces property value,” says Shaw, who estimates that keeping trees can, in some cases, boost that value by as much as 25 percent.
Shaw wants people to understand how best to balance financial, environmental, and aesthetic concerns. For example, he notes, “Pruning trees regularly is cheaper than waiting for years and having someone fi x or remove a tree that is beyond repair.” What makes Trees Unlimited special is its employees’ deep understanding of the science of trees, says Shaw. “They go beyond field knowledge and use proper techniques when pruning and cutting,” he explains. “We understand the anatomy of a tree and what it can and can’t tolerate.”
The company also prides itself in leaving a property as pristine as when staff arrived. “Customers shouldn’t have to clean up after we leave,” says Shaw, who also shares his knowledge of trees with interested clients. “Our goal is to provide customers with options in caring for their trees.”
With its abundance of greenery, New Jersey is an ideal place for Shaw’s business—and calling. After all, he says, “Many neighborhoods are attractive in large part because of trees.