The Story and People behind LeedsTreeCare
LeedsTreeCare was conceived out of an acknowledgement that working with our hands in the outdoors was an essential component to contentment within each of us. All of us have had a variety of vocations but essentially have been drawn out of our comfort zones to pursue something that we are all passionate about – namely, good tree care. In addition to this, operating in manner which is contrary to the status quo, employing the use of traditional tools and making best use of the resource we work with in order to minimize our impact on the environment. We believe that to provide good tree care and happy customers does not require the latest expensive machinery, unsustainable or wasteful methods nor are we driven by the need for continued growth or profit.
James Shaw – is married and a father of three. He has a passion for all things physical (generally the first one up the rope). He, as we all do at LeedsTreeCare, comes alive in the outdoors and enjoys the more adventurous pursuits life has to offer. He is a strong believer, in the need for a physical aspect to work, as well as the cerebral challenges. He has a degree in mechanical & electrical engineering, and has worked as an educator and practitioner in the field of computer networks for several years. His love of trees & their care, sustainable methods and the need for a physical dimension to his work have gradually turned the nature of his employment – from that of a network engineer, to a fully qualified NPTC/Lantra tree surgeon and private woodland manager. Over the last 15 years two real passions have emerged; one is for a more sustainable approach to his work as an arborist and woodland manager (and life in general) and the other is working with disengaged young men in instilling self belief and engaging them with their innate skills and passions. He has a desire to marry these passions together using the arboreal and forestry industry as a place to do this. James believes that nature is one of our better teachers and is the key reason why LeedsTreeCare is committed to a sustainable method of work and for the community based work that we offer beyond our regular services. He also loves old tools (especially axes!) and can’t find enough time to satisfy his thirst for bushcraft and traditional woodland crafts.
Chris Swan, is passionate about all things horticultural. After an absence from tree work for a few years, Chris has come back to doing what he loves; using his hands in the management of trees. Chris, like James, has served at both ends of the rope, both as a “groundie” and as a climber and is experienced in both aspects. He is skilled in the art of tree grafting and has applied this to good use in taking cuttings from customers trees that have blown down to ensure their legacy. He is experienced in many aspects of landscape management, has considerable flora and fauna knowledge and is a most valuable member of the team. He, like James, is committed to minimizing his impact on this planet, living and working as sustainably as possible; growing his own food, and instrumental in setting up an allotment project connecting people, to the land through growing their own produce.
Tom Coxhead is a tree surgeon and musician. Over the past 7 years he has gained experience in both arboriculture and woodland management, working for a number of firms. The transition to working outdoors came whilst working at an estate in North Yorkshire, looking after 95 acres of predominantly wooded land near Kettlewell. Managing this estate incorporated everything from building and maintenance tasks to woodland management, conservation work, tree planting and gardening. Alongside his current work with Leeds Tree Care, Tom is both an active member within the local woodland management co-operative, Leeds Coppice Workers and a founding member of Yorkshire Community Woodland Society. He is also close to completing a part time MSC in Arboriculture and Urban Forestry. One of his specialisms within Leeds Tree Care is the production of tree surveys and reports. Living and working in a woodland environment has helped to gain an understanding of the importance that each single tree and plant has within an ecosystem, be it urban or rural, and the role that we can have in maintaining a stable, diverse and healthy ecosystem. Tom’s other interests include rock climbing, wine making and Frank Zappa!