Talking Trees with Davey Tree

What do Trees and Sports Have in Common?

October 06, 2022 The Davey Tree Expert Company Season 2 Episode 38
Talking Trees with Davey Tree
What do Trees and Sports Have in Common?
Show Notes Transcript

Sandee Reid, vice president of corporate communications and strategic planning, talks about NBA and MLB partnerships Davey is involved with to increase the canopy cover in Northeast Ohio, as well as what employee ownership means to her while we celebrate Employee Ownership Month through the month of October. 

To celebrate Employee Ownership Month, stay tuned to the end of each episode throughout the month of October to hear what each Davey guest enjoys about employee ownership at Davey. 

In this episode we cover:  

  • Sports programs Davey is involved with to plant trees (0:36)
  • How these programs started (1:05)
  • Cleveland Cavaliers Trees for Threes program: How many trees? (1:46)
    • Where will the trees be planted? (2:10)
    • What species will be planted? (5:28)
  • Benefits of planting native trees (3:28)
  • Selecting the planting spot (4:48)
  • Cleveland Guardians Swing for the Trees program (6:14)
    • Tree distribution (7:25)
    • Scoreboard tree facts (8:07)
  • Sandee's favorite trees (8:46)
  • Tree questions (9:48)
  • How Sandee joined Davey and what she enjoys about her job (10:31)
  • Why employee ownership makes Davey special (11:46)
  • Long-term results for both programs (12:20)
  • Pittsburgh Penguins (13:03)

To find your local Davey office, check out our find a local office page to search by zip code.  

To learn more about Davey's Trees for Threes partnership with the Cleveland Cavaliers, read the press release, Cavs and Davey Tree Team Up to Plant Trees in Northeast Ohio.
To learn more about Davey's Swing for the Trees partnership with the Cleveland Guardians, read the press release, Cleveland Guardians and Davey Tree Team Up to Plant Trees in Northeast Ohio.
To learn more about the benefits of planting native trees, read our blog, Benefits of Planting Trees Native to Your Region.
To learn more about selecting the right spot to plant your tree, read our blog, Commercial Landscaping Rule #1: Right Plant, Right Place

Connect with Davey Tree on social media:
Twitter: @DaveyTree
Facebook: @DaveyTree
Instagram: @daveytree
YouTube: The Davey Tree Expert Company
LinkedIn: The Davey Tree Expert Company

Have topics you'd like us to cover on the podcast? Email us at We want to hear from you!    


Doug: Welcome to the Davey Tree Expert Company's Podcast, Talking Trees. I'm your host, Doug Oster. Each week, our expert arborists, share advice on seasonal tree care, how to make your trees thrive, arborists favorite trees, and much, much more. Tune in every Thursday to learn more, because here at The Talking Trees Podcast, we know trees are the answer. We have a very special episode today. I'm joined by Sandee Reid. She's the Vice President of Corporate Communication and Strategic Planning for the Davey Tree Expert Company based in Kent, Ohio.

There's a very innovative program that Davey has where they've teamed up with sports teams to help the environment. Talk a little bit about that, Sandee, and welcome to the show.

Sandee: It's great to be here, Doug. Always great to spend time with you and talk trees. We have two programs in place in Northeast Ohio. The first is our Trees for Threes program with the Cleveland Cavaliers, and the second program is Swing for the Trees with the Cleveland Guardians.

Doug: Talk a little bit about the genesis of this. How did you think about this to team up with the Calves and the Guardians?

Sandee: The Cavaliers has had a program for a number of years, Trees for Threes and we got involved as the tree planting sponsor supporting another organization. The program was paused for a couple years, and when it came back, the Cavaliers came to Davey and said, "Would you like to work with us on this?" We'd love the program. We liked the fact that it was giving back to Northeast Ohio, specifically greater Cleveland by planting trees and increasing the canopy cover in Cleveland. That's how we signed on.

Doug: Let's start with the calves. How many three-pointers are we talking about here? At every three-pointer, you plant a tree, is that right?

Sandee: As in this first inaugural year, we agreed to plant a tree for every three-point shot at every home and away game. That was 953 trees that will be planted for that first year.

Doug: How do you decide where the trees are going to go, or how do you know where the trees should go and is it all in Cleveland proper?

Sandee: Great question. The way we approach this is we have three tiers. The first tier is a symbolic or ceremonial tree planting events, an event that'll have a larger tree, a little more pomp and circumstance, some Cavalier representatives, Davey representatives, and also involve a local school group. There's a number of trees that are planted in that category. One of the things we're really excited about that we are introducing this year is that next week, 21 organizations have applied for trees that will be distributed through this Davey-Cavaliers partnership with Trees for Threes.

Those 21 organizations submitted a grant request to receive trees next week. They'll actually pick those trees up and those trees will be planted in projects throughout Greater Cleveland. The third category is educational. It's very important for us to teach people at a young age the importance of trees. We have trees that'll be distributed through educational events, most likely through Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, maybe Boys and Girls Club. We haven't finalized that yet.

Doug: Let's talk a little bit about the benefits of adding, that's a lot of trees to add and all the positives besides what you just talked about.

Sandee: Sure. Great Cleveland area had a decrease in canopy cover like many of our cities. The importance of getting additional trees planted is never been more important. One of the greatest gifts anyone can do is plant trees for future generations. That's part of the Davey commitment with this program. With the 953 trees that are going to be planted through this year's results, some of the aspects that we were looking at were that we wanted to plant native trees. We wanted to plant trees that are in line with Dr. Dan Herms' recommendations for climate change and trees that'll survive as a result of that emerging change in climate.

Then also trees that are in alignment with the Greater Cleveland Tree Plan which the Cleveland Tree Coalition work to put together. Davey Resource Group, our consulting arm was involved in that. There's recommendations for the appropriate species to be planted in the Cleveland area through that plan. Those really are the three factors that are resolving in what type of trees we planted.

Doug: Sandee, let's talk a little bit about when these trees get planted. How do we know it's in the right spot and what else needs to be done?

Sandee: I think it's really important to consider the location, making sure the location can accept a tree and help it survive. It's important to pick the right space, make sure the soil is properly prepared, make sure the hole is the proper size and then also consider how the species will grow. Then making sure that there's the proper aftercare and watering so that the tree survives.

Doug: What kind of stuff is getting planted? Again, we always talk about this, it has to be right tree, right place, and we've discussed that a little bit, but must be an interesting variety of trees because you've got all these different spots that have to go in.

Sandee: Absolutely. Diversity is very, very important because you don't want to have-- I know a monoculture certainly. For the planting distribution event next week, the trees that are being distributed are red maple, yellow bbuckeye, Allegheny serviceberry, American hornbeam, Eastern redbud, swamp white oak amongst some of the other species that are being distributed.

Doug: Oh, good stuff. Anybody that gets a redbud they're going to be so excited when spring comes around. Let's switch to the Guardians. Was the Cavaliers thing first and then the Guardians come into it?

Sandee: Yes. We certainly have talked with both organizations for a number of years and we actually have been providing tree care services at Progressive Field for the Guardians for the trees that are in the outfield for a number of years. We kept looking at that space and saying, "We'd love to see the Guardians do something." We're happy to work with them this year on launching Swing for the Trees and for every Guardian's home run, we are planting a tree. That program for this year and the inaugural year will also include home and away games, and I believe the guardians are right around 124 right now and rising.

Doug: If it goes into the playoffs-- They made the playoffs, right?

Sandee: Yes. Central Division Champions.

Doug: Wow.

Sandee: The program doesn't officially go into the playoffs, but we want to certainly cheer on our Guardians to continue swinging for the trees. I think we'll probably make a deal to go through the World Series.

Doug: [laughs] Hopefully, right?

Sandee: Right on.

Doug: Same thing as far as where the trees are distributed or is it done differently?

Sandee: Slight twist on this program. We've only announced one location for this program, and that location is Clark Field which will soon be home of Jose Ramirez Field. 30 trees will go there. The other trees will be determined after this season is over once we see how many. Likely candidates will be Cleveland recreation and park sites that also have baseball fields that have been provided and renovated by the Guardians. One of the nice aspects of our Guardians program is that we have scoreboard mentioned before every game that contains tree facts that are pertinent to Northeast Ohio.

They're either tips that have come from the Cleveland Tree Plan or they're information about caring for your trees and landscape. That's been something that's been popular that I've had a number of people when they've been attending the Guardians' game say, "Geez, I didn't know that or, it was nice to see the Davey logo or I learned something new about trees." It was unanticipated perhaps outcome of attending athletic event and also taking home something that you can use in your home landscape.

Doug: Tell me a couple of your favorite trees. When I talk to the arborists, I always like to know, from their point of view, trees that they love to put in. From your point of view, what is something that you just love to see when you go out and walking about there in Kent, Ohio?

Sandee: I love all trees. My favorite tree is a tree that was planted yesterday anywhere because it's great to see-- trees are the answers. It's great to see more trees planted. Personally, I have some favorite trees for sure. I love the Angel Oak down in outside of South Carolina. I have my own little arboretum that is on our property and constantly taking advice from our Davey arborist about having four seasons of color features that are within that. I'm a big Oak fan though too, there's always a lot of-- it's the great time of year for Oak fans for sure as the colors start changing.

Doug: You're the second most popular person at the party. First the doctor gets asked questions. Then when they find out that you're the tree lady, "Hey, what's wrong with my oak? What's wrong with my crab aple? What should I plant?

Sandee: The good news is that I have a lot of good friends in the Davey Institute and an arborist all across North America. It's always awesome to be able to tap somebody in to answer someone's question. Multiple times a week, I'll look at my phone and see somebody saying, "Hey, I've got some sort of problem with my tree. Can you send someone out?" They're asking for the zip code and tapping them into their local arborist, always works out well, for sure.

Doug: I always ask the arborist this, "How did you get hooked up with Davey, and what do you get out of your job?"

Sandee: I have the best job in North America, really. I grew up in Kent and did not really intend to be at the Davey Company. There was nothing against the Davey Company, but I thought I wanted to live someplace else. I think it was really fate that I am here. I played a tree in the Environmental Play, the one probably in elementary school. Ironically, that took place at the elementary school that was across from Davey's corporate headquarters.

I worked at the golf course that used to be across the street and went to high school on the other side. It was fate that I ended up at Davey. I love talking with Davey people, love the history of the company, love employee ownership, love programs that give back to our community. Swing for the Trees and Trees for Threes are two examples of things that combine my passion for sports with the economic benefits that trees provide to our landscapes. That's a great win-win for us.

Doug: Well, you led me to the next question which is about employee ownership. Why is that something that makes Davey special?

Sandee: Employee ownership I think is core to our culture. Any Davey employee, once you reach the outreach, the eligibility, can become a Davey owner. That's a cool thing for somebody to be able to say. I've been fortunate to have entered the organization after our employee ownership pioneers set forth the employee ownership structure. You can be an owner of a company, and that's a fun thing to be able to say.

Doug: With both of these programs, with the Cavaliers and the Guardians, what do you hope for the long-term results of planting all these trees?

Sandee: I think that the root of these programs is to encourage awareness. Certainly, we will make a little bit of an impact to the canopy cover by the trees that are being planted through these programs and other ones like them. The important piece is that homeowners, residents, businesses, all can understand that by everyone planting trees, we can all take care of this canopy cover deficit together, and that can provide for future generations and give us a better world all to live in. It's an awareness thing.

Doug: Well, Sandee, before I let you go, I happen to know that even though you live in Northeast Ohio, you are a big Pittsburgh Penguins fan. How does that happen when you're from Kent, Ohio?

Sandee: I come at it naturally, Doug. I was born in Pittsburgh. My parents moved to Ohio when my dad was teaching at Kent Roosevelt High School. Always have maintained strong Pittsburgh roots. Still have family there and love the pengs, love the Pirates, love the Steelers, love our Northeast Ohio teams too. Certainly, black and gold is definitely in my DNA.

Doug: Well, this Ohio boy still has to watch his browns Cavaliers and Guardians. Even though we live a couple hours apart, I understand exactly what you're saying. Sandee, I want to thank you so much for your time. This is just a wonderful program. Great stuff. Thanks again for spending some time on the show with us.

Sandee: It's always great to spend time with you, Doug and, thanks for helping us spread the word of Talking Trees and appreciate being able to have some opportunity to share Trees for Threes and Swing for Trees. Go Calves, go Guardians.

Doug: Thanks again. That is an absolutely wonderful collaboration to help the tree canopy around the city. Tune in every Thursday to the Talking Trees Podcast from the Davey Tree Expert Company. I'm your host, Doug Oster. Next week, it's Love Your Leaves, all the uses for leaves. Don't send them to the landfill. They can help you in the landscape. Do me a favor, subscribe to the podcast so you'll never miss an episode. As always, we like to remind you on The Talking Trees Podcast, trees are the answer.


[00:14:59] [END OF AUDIO]