"Back then I was a one-man band working from six in the morning to 11 at night and I knew I needed to surround myself with good people"
In 2005 Chris Walsh was doing some tree work for Ashton Wheelans Partner Mark Tynan at the Tynan’s home. "Back then I was a one-man band working from six in the morning to 11 at night and I knew I needed to surround myself with good people. I enjoyed talking with Mark – we had similar attitudes to business and to life – and it’s really just rolled from there.”
Now Treetech has more than 100 staff in Christchurch and Wellington, with further growth ambitions. A constant throughout has been Ashton Wheelans.
“Mark gave me the confidence and capability. He’s been my counsel, helping make things happen and is a great sounding board,” Chris says.
“Ashton Wheelans understands that looking after trees is bit like managing any relationship. Tend them carefully and they’ll reward you many times over – neglect them and they can be incredibly hard to sort out.”
Chris says the growth has been built on a business model developed with Mark that’s enabled the business to diversify relatively easily geographically and into associated service areas like landscaping, maintenance and traffic management.
Treetech is now a national leader in the arboriculture industry. The service capabilities range from tree consultancy to utility arboriculture, large tree transplantation, urban forest management, landscaping, land clearing, land remediation, pruning, stump grinding, shelterbelt trimming and tree removals.
The business model is also enabling the business to go up the ‘value chain’. For example, the company has developed its own asset management software, GUS, which is used for a number of contracts with councils. This software has been designed to allow the capture of tree assets, apply maintenance and create relevant reports. GUS’s interface allows data to be shared and integrated into clients’ IT systems in real time to ensure their tree assets are maintained accurately.
Mark Tynan says key to Treetech’s success has been Chris’s willingness to learn and grow.
“Chris has embraced what we’ve been able to offer the business. It’s this approach – his drive, passion and desire to learn – that’s seen him be rewarded globally by appointment to the Board of the International Society of Arboriculture. Another great Kiwi sharing his skills with the world!”