Small business profile: We B Trees has 23 years in Tulsa
BY PHIL MULKINS World Action Line Editor
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
6/12/12 at 3:40 AM
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Tim and Barbara Nall have owned We B Trees for 23 years. Tim Nall said he has never met a tree he "can't take out." Armed with a degree in forestry, he started the firm after realizing "running a refrigeration plant in a basement under an ice rink could not compete with working outside."
What type of equipment is required for this work?
"We don't have a crane. I haven't used one in two years, and I've taken down every tree I've come across," Nall said. "It takes a little bit longer, using bucket trucks, but a crane is expensive. What we have is 55-foot bucket trucks and guys who climb doing the 'rope and saddle' technique to cut almost everything down. If I encountered a tree that I thought needed a crane, I'd rent a crane."
It's dangerous work - what's keeping you in it?
"Now I have the best of both worlds," Nall said. "I'm in a business where I can work with trees and talk to people and do a little bit of everything. Whereas, when I was working with a city crew I was basically stuck with the crew. Now I can decide when to go do bids and when to go help my crews or to go and pick up tools for them - it's more at my leisure.
"I'm not a salesman, never have been, never want to be. I don't consider myself a good salesman but I do know how to take care of people's trees, and when they call and talk to me about trees I think they enjoy that - someone coming and talking to them about their trees and not trying to gig them for every little thing."
How is this economy treating you, and what is your business range?
"We get a lot of business in the Tulsa area, mainly in mid-Tulsa and south Tulsa," he said. "We get calls from all over, but we can only travel so far. If I can keep my crews busy in Tulsa, it doesn't do me a lot of good to go out of town. We have gone to Owasso, Broken Arrow, Sapulpa, etc. If work is slow here, we'll go farther out - but rarely have to."
What does the typical residential tree cost to remove?
"The typical residential tree, depending on how much of it overhangs roofs or power lines, is going to cost you $500 to $800 in the 50-foot range," Nall said.
We B Trees Inc.
Owners: Tim and Barbara Nall
Date established: The firm opened for business in Tulsa in 1989 and was incorporated in Oklahoma in June 1995.
Address: 3755 S. Tacoma Drive
Description: Company diagnoses tree diseases and seeks preservation; does planting, pruning, tree removal, stump grinding, cabling and bracing for limb support, deep-root fertilization, planning and tree selection, land clearing and hauling, and firewood sale.
Original Print Headline: 'Best of both worlds'
Phil Mulkins 918-699-8888
Camerino James cuts dead limbs from a tree near 36th Street at the River Parks. James has worked for We B Trees for more than eight years. KT KING / Tulsa World
Camerino James is hoisted toward the top of the tree to trim limbs in danger of falling onto Riverside Drive. James works for We B Trees, a small business that opened in Tulsa in 1989.