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“I’ve always been fascinated by trees”

As an Arborist Representative and Local Manager for the Bartlett Tree Experts, Deborah Green’s day stats pretty early. Every day, she and her team start with a safety meeting and from there she visits the job site with her crew. Afterwards, she spends the day doing property inspections and meeting with potential clients to discuss prospective work.

Green has worked with Bartlett form more than 20 years, and recently opened a one of their new office in Buffalo, New York; however, he relationship with trees began when she was a child. Growing up on a dairy farm in upstate New York, Green said she was fortunate to be surrounded by massive sugar maple trees.

“I’ve always been fascinated by trees,” Green said. “I remember this one tree in particular that had been filled with concrete. At the time I didn’t know anything about trees, so I was always curious about why someone did that. Of course, now I know that wasn’t a good thing.”

Green’s curiosity led to her attending numerous schools throughout the country seeking to enhance her knowledge base and experience.

“I never had a focused track,” she said. “I’ve always been kind of free flowing with my education and sought to learn different aspect about not only arboriculture, but other fields as well such as business to make myself a better employee.”

Furthermore, Green earned her first tree climbing job through an unusual interview process. While rock climbing in Colorado she was intrigued by a job opportunity to be a tree climber.

“My interview was up this massive crab apple tree where the gentleman interviewing me said, ‘Come on up here and talk to me.’ The tree was over 30 feet tall, and I just climbed up to him not thinking about and sat down to him on a branch. He then looked at me and said, “Well the fact you just came up here without any hesitation means your hired.’”

Although she doesn’t have a formal degree from a university, she is a dedicated lifelong learner.

“I’ve had the good fortune to read some amazing books, retaining that information and apply it right away,” Green said. “That field application combined with the reading has really allowed me to explore this industry without anyone stopping me, and I think, being a woman in the 1970 and 80s there was a lot more support for women coming into male dominated industries, and I was always welcomed with open arms. “

Today, Green holds the Tree Risk Assessment Qualification and she is an ISA Board Certified Master Arborist® (BCMA). Green decided to earn her BCMA shortly after it was introduced. She recalls packing up a suitcase of books and flying to Pittsburgh. She then spent the next few days before the test in her hotel room reviewing material, she didn’t focus on daily in her job.

“Working for Bartlett gave me a really well rounded experience, so when I took the exam I and passed I was really proud of becoming one of the first BCMA for the company,” she said.

Green said what drives her is seeking professional recognition and the desire to present herself well to the client.

“It’s part of my self-taught mantra,” she said. “Never stop learning. Keep reading, learning, doing and experiencing.”

Check out the other Women in Arboriculture profiles.