Meet Jeff, He Speaks for the Trees

Celebrating Dr. Seuss and the Lorax

Today is March 2.  It is Dr. Seuss’ birthday.  Everyone loves Dr. Seuss’ silly rhymes and illustrations that are uniquely well… Seussian.  But, landscapers and arborists tend to connect with the Lorax in particular.  You can tell that Dr. Seuss found inspiration for his whimsical trees from real life versions.

From the magical tale of the Lorax, we learn that the Lorax speaks for the trees.  Here at Signature Landscapes, we have Jeff and he too is humbled and honored to speak for the trees.The Lorax Book

Jeff discovered his affinity for trees around the third grade.   The neighbor across his street had a few big brittle cottonwood trees that he used to climb with his friends.

“I remember him yelling at us to ‘get down!’” recalls Jeff.  “Liability didn’t mean much when we were kids and having fun outside, climbing trees did.”

As Jeff grew, so did his love for trees.  He was pleasantly surprised to hear you could get paid for climbing trees.  “Why didn’t they mention this kind of work during career day in high school?” he pondered.

It must have been fate, because a few years later, after working as a dishwasher and janitor, Jeff’s dream job was going to become a reality.

One day while doing some yard work for a neighbor (not the one with cottonwood trees), Jeff was approached by the owner of a tree service start-up company.   Jeff ended up working for him for over 10 years learning all he could.  Jeff started as a ground man, progressed into a climber and ended up as a manager.   It was the perfect gig for a tree guy.

Jeff loves simply daydreaming and looking at trees.  Sure everyone is reminded to stop and smell the roses, but don’t forget to take a minute and get lost in a tree.

“They are amazing. There’s an endless variety in the shapes of the canopies and leaves, textures of the bark and growth patterns of the branches.” said Jeff.

Weeping Sequoia Trees

Weeping Sequoias line the entrance to the Signature Landscapes parking lot.

Trees can be very symbolic and inspirational as Dr. Seuss discovered.  Jeff shared some of his favorite trees that look like you can find them in the pages of a Dr. Seuss book.  He likes the coconut palm tree, the way it hangs and flows in the breeze.  The image seems like a world away at the moment (don’t worry it’ll warm up).  Another Seuss-looking tree is the weeping sequoia.  It twirls and twists and has a small frill at its crown.  More mature ones seem to sprout arms and lean toward each other as if they are talking about Brown Bar-ba-loots or perhaps Humming-Fish.

If you’re like Jeff and the Lorax and you admire and appreciate trees, take good care of them.   If you want to do more to make sure the earth is not at risk for losing real-life versions of Truffula Trees, you can participate in The Lorax Project.  The project is an initiative to raise awareness of environmental issues and inspire earth-friendly action by tree enthusiasts of all ages so we can all continue to enjoy trees.

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better.  It’s not.”  – The Lorax

Trees make us happy and they are important.  If you are looking for someone who truly cares about trees and will take good care of your trees, you’re looking for Jeff—he speaks for the trees.


Jeff Richardson is an International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Certified Arborist and Manager of the Tree Division of Signature Landscapes.

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