Tree Green 'Story'
Since clients always seem to enjoy the story of our humble beginnings, we thought we’d share it with those of you who would like to better understand the company you are considering for the care of your valuable landscaping.
When Craig Casino, the owner of Tree Green was only 8 years old, he 'owned' the neighborhood lemonade stand. By the time he was 12, the business grew to include mowing lawns in the neighborhood. That was his first taste of working outdoors – and he loved it!
In 1970, as a junior at Wheaton Central High School, Craig worked for a distributing company during the summer. Though he appreciated the job, he realized he preferred working out doors. Late summer, a tornado ripped through Wheaton and Glen Ellyn causing severe tree damage. He saw another opportunity to make extra money working outdoors! The distribution company he was working for at the time happened to sell McCullough chainsaws. He told his boss that he was considering buying a saw to clean up the storm damage. But, chainsaws were expensive and it was a ‘dicey proposition’ as to whether homeowners would hire a high school kid for such an important job.
So, his boss offered him a company “demo” saw to use that weekend so he could 'test the waters'. He told Craig that a new McCullough model 710 chainsaw would be $155 and, if it seemed worthwhile after the weekend he’d get a saw ready for him to purchase Monday morning.
Craig left work that day at 1 o’clock in the afternoon, drove to Hill Avenue in Glen Ellyn and started knocking on doors. He was amazed at the overwhelming positive response. He offered a fair price to cut up and drag the downed limbs to the curb. By 6 p.m. that same day he had made $160, which was enough to buy a new saw and a gas can on Monday. And, there was enough storm damage to keep him working on weekends for months!
While going to college in 1972, he kept working with that chainsaw to help pay for his education. There he played baseball with Larry Lisching, whose summer job was climbing trees for Elmhurst’s Forestry Department. Larry taught him the art of tree climbing with ropes and a safety harness, and Craig was now “airborne,” expanding his opportunities!
In 1973, he met Susan and shortly after he was invited to spring training with the New York Mets in Florida. However, once he arrived in Florida, he realized he had a decision to make. Did he want to possibly spend 5 to 10 years in the minor leagues should he never get called up to the pro’s? It was a difficult decision to make, but the answer was no. He headed home, and he and Susan were married shortly after.
Craig needed a full time job and was hired by the Glen Ellyn Police Department, where he worked as a police officer from 1974 to 1988. During those years he kept expanding his tree business. He also continued studying trees; reading volumes of books, attending training seminars at the Morton Arboretum and studying topics from the Illinois Department of Agriculture and countless other arborist organizations.
In 1976, he expanded Tree Green to incorporate insect and disease control, and the business continued to grow. By 1988, he and Susan had 5 children and, although he loved the police department, the lure of running his own growing company and being home more with the family was too great. He decided it was time to leave the police department.
Whatever became of Larry Lisching who taught Craig to climb? Larry had been running his own landscaping company. In 1997 Larry sold his business and joined Tree Green. Currently he is our Naperville Operations Manager.
Craig’s oldest daughter Jenn, joined the company full time in 2004, and is now a full time fixture at Tree Green. She has fully computerized the company, studied and trained under Craig and the Illinois Department of Agriculture, and has earned the title of ‘Certified Arborist'. Attaining the title ‘Certified Arborist’ is a difficult title to earn and very few workers in the tree care industry achieve this certification.
Since 1988 Craig has continued to keep his passion for the outdoors and trees alive. Today, Craig is a Certified National Arborist, and the business and his passion continue to grow under his leadership!
If you are looking for a tree care company that loves what they do, has a work force you can trust when you are away from home, limits its work territory to supply the most personalized service and will be here for you for many years to come, we ask that you consider our company, Tree Green, Your Tree M.D