A completed checklist plants the seed for a fast-blooming tree care business

Burkett Arbor Care

Husband and wife team, Tyler and Amy Burkett of Burkett Arbor Care, lead a successful tree care company of 16 employees. Together, they recently shared how working with the Vermeer Texas-Louisiana store in Selma (San Antonio area) has contributed to that success.

Tyler started the business in San Antonio in 2006 with a focus on horticulture. Having worked in the industry for his entire career, he experienced some success. However, in 2014 he decided to focus solely on tree care and asked his wife, Amy, to join him in handling operations. Amy had been shadowing Tyler for years, and she also enjoyed an upward-moving career at a large financial and insurance institution. Reluctant to leave her full-time position, Amy gave Tyler a list of things that she wanted accomplished in the business first. In due time, Tyler completed every single one of them, and in 2015, Amy left her job and joined Tyler as co-owner of Burkett Arbor Care.

The Burkett’s current fleet includes a plethora of new and pre-owned Vermeer brush chippers, a Vermeer SC362 stump cutter (tree grinder) and a Vermeer CTX100 mini skid steer. Tyler remarked, “90 percent of my fleet is Vermeer. I was just used to Vermeer from renting chippers from them.”

When asked how the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has affected their current operations, Tyler said, “Our guys take temperatures each day upon reporting to work and wear masks.” Amy offered, “We typically shut down for a day for training, but COVID has stopped that. And we are trying to keep small crews of three with social distancing.”

Burkett Arbor Care saw a reduction in business in early spring; however, they continued to work diligently and with many people spending more time a home the company saw “the floodgates open up” in May. “The residential clients really pulled us through this year, wanting their yards right since they were at home more,” Amy explained.

Having the right equipment has been key in continuing their operations and keeping up with demand. Tyler noted, “Now we have six brush chippers. They are efficient. We find ourselves getting jobs done faster.” Amy added, “It’s good for work/life balance.” “There’s no day we’re not using Vermeer equipment. It drives efficiencies,” Tyler concluded.

Not only has Vermeer helped maintain operations and efficiencies, but Vermeer has also helped improved the Burkett’s brand. “Overall, the look of my equipment, trucks and company has up-ticked. I want to have an image of success, and having Vermeer equipment gives us that look,” Tyler explained.

He expounded, “Tree work is not going to become easy. But if you can make it easier by having specific pieces of equipment, it makes the team happy, extends careers and reduces workman’s comp claims.”

The relationship with their team and with the Vermeer team in Selma has also proved beneficial. “We’ve worked with Fernando (sales rep), John (sales rep) and Brady (regional manager). We just love all of them. They’re family to us,” said Tyler. He continued, “John’s been great. He’s really saved me. And I could never leave Vermeer because of my relationship with Fernando.”

Burkett Arbor Care - Vermeer BC1200 brush chipper

Burkett Arbor Care and Vermeer B1200 Brush Chipper

Burkett Arbor Care training with Sales Rep, John Carver

Burkett Arbor Care training with Vermeer Sales Rep, John Carver

When the Burketts have major issues with their equipment, they bring it in to the shop and have an equally positive relationship with Selma’s certified technicians. “I call the shop managers, and issues get resolved quickly,” Amy remarked. They have also had Vermeer technicians at the Round Rock office help them when they are working closer to the Austin area, which is a benefit of being part of the national Vermeer dealer network.

As any entrepreneur knows, managing a business keeps you busy, but the Burketts also find time to give back. They are both very involved in the tree care, landscape and equipment industry. They actively participate in the San Antonio Arborists Association, where they’ve both served on the board, the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) and the International Society of Arboriculture Texas Chapter (ISAT). Most recently, Amy was chosen to serve on the TCIA Board of Directors. We, at Vermeer Texas-Louisiana, are happy to have them as outspoken proponents of the Vermeer brand.


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