About Tree Wise Guys- Our Roots

Serving Manatee and East Hillsborough Counties

The founder:

Hello, I am John Behling, founder of Tree Wise Guys. I have always loved trees. As a boy I made it a point to climb every tree in our yard, as high as I could go- much to my mother’s worry and chagrin. I have always appreciated each tree’s uniqueness, how much they improve the landscape, and living here in Florida- the shade they provide. Some years ago I was blessed with the opportunity to buy a dozen acres or so out in the country. If you haven’t already guessed it, the property is covered in beautiful trees of many different varieties. Before we were even done unpacking, I was running all over the place, identifying and inventorying all of the diverse species of trees on the property. This was untouched woodlands, not landscaped- and the natural variety was, and still is, astounding. But one day that I will never forget was a day that my son had just gotten into the car with his mother, parked under the sprawling branches of an ancient Live Oak that shaded the driveway. After they left, I hung around outside, enjoying the shade, the quiet, when BOOM! A huge limb from that Live Oak tree broke off and fell to the ground in about the time it took you to read “BOOM”. There was no warning, no creaking or cracking sounds-it happened so quickly that the limb was on the ground before I realized what had just happened. Had it been 15 minutes earlier, when my son was standing in that exact spot, he would have no doubt been killed, and his mother badly injured, at best. I’ve seen limbs that size cut a car in half. Needless to say, I was both thankful that he had escaped harm, and determined to eliminate the rest of that tree that I then realized posed a serious threat to my family’s safety. I took to learning everything I could about tree structure, weakness, causes of rot and decay, and how to identify risks in trees- which is not always easy, since we cannot see inside the tree. My interest branched out, you might say, from simply enjoying trees, to also wanting to coexist with them safely by doing what I could to help them be healthy and strong. This duality led to the inspiration and passion that is now Tree Wise Guys. There is a lot to know about trees, and nobody knows it all. Like life itself, the more you know, the more you realize how much you don’t know. This is why I stress continuing education and study, for myself especially but also for my employees. I am an ISA (International Society of Arboriculture) member arborist, hold Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, and I dedicate time each week to studying the latest scientific research and knowledge related to the tree care industry. My property with its various trees has become my company’s training facility. We train and practice new techniques on my personal trees before we ever try something new on yours.

My son sitting on the limb that could have killed him
My son sits on top of the Live Oak limb that nearly hit him.

It is my hope that you will choose Tree Wise Guys for your next tree service, but I realize that one size does not fit all. I would rather see you choose another company, if they are a better fit for your needs, but it is my sincerest hope that you choose wisely. To that end, there are a series of articles on this site that I hope you find to be helpful and useful. I believe in empowering my customers and potential customers with knowledge. In addition to empowerment, I have found that a knowledgeable customer is easier to work with- we understand each other better, and more easily agree on the correct course of action. Together we can work out your short-term as well as long-term goals for your trees, considering immediate costs as well as future costs, and what is best for the health of your tree and its place in the overall landscape. For example, I may point out something that is not an issue now, but will be in ten years- such as large-sized trees such as oaks planted too closely together. By planning ahead, we can save you money by developing a sound strategy early, before the problem hits critical. Most importantly, I don’t want you to get stuck with a company that does not follow ANSI guidelines, and causes more harm than good to your trees out of a lack of knowledge. ANSI guidelines are based on decades of knowledge gleaned by research scientists around the world, as well as practicing arborists and foresters in the field. Following ANSI guidelines ensures that not only are we performing the correct service for your tree, and in the best manner, but that also you are getting a better long-term value out of your tree service. Sadly, I see examples every day of poor quality tree service that can lead to weakness and eventual death of those trees. To help you determine if the company you are considering for your next tree project is a good fit, I invite you to read “How to Choose the Best Tree Service Company for You”, and other articles related to your tree project. My wish for you is that you find yourself empowered with new information that will help you choose a good tree service for your project. I hope you find the information here helpful. This website is a continual work in progress; if you have a specific tree question, or a suggestion for a topic that is not covered on this site, please let me know. I’d love to hear what interests you, even if you are not in our immediate service area. Thank you for stopping by!

If you’d prefer to call, you may call me directly at 863-864-9396. Please leave a message if I do not answer; sometimes I am unable to answer due to being up in a tree, or running loud equipment- but I will call you back as soon as I can. Thank you!

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