To achieve the highest quality arboriculture services and products to our clients, we as a company focus on five primary core values. These include safety, professionalism, exceptional client service, exceptional work environment, and innovation. These core values are what our team continually focuses on in order to continually improve our services and products to our clients.
Here we are going to focus on the core value of innovation. This involves being continually educated on new techniques, tools, and equipment as well as being open to new ideas from others to improve our overall performance.
We have been performing arboricultural services for over 45 years and my how times have changed. Todd Kramer, co-owner and son of founder Joe Kramer, started his full-time career at Kramer Tree back in the late ’80s and arborist tools and techniques were quite limited compared to present day. Chain saws and rope were about all we had.
Kramer Tree Specialists founder, Joe Kramer, was continually seeking ways to improve our knowledge and skills in the field of arboriculture. Joe was one of the first in Illinois to acquire the now foregone Illinois State Tree Expert credential. Yet, finding education for the field staff was very difficult and essentially did not exist at the time the company started out. Field staff simply learned from experience handed down from prior generations. In our trade, learning from experience is an essential technique, but it lacks structure and can take much longer than a structured and strategic approach.
One way we were able to find education and training early on at Kramer Tree (keep in mind, no internet) was to get involved in trade associations like the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) and the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA). These associations helped open the door to innovative equipment, tools, and techniques we had never been exposed to before. In 1989, we began attending the then named International Tree Climbers Jamboree, now called the International Tree Climbing Championship. This event was conveniently held at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle Il. There we began to learn that there was much more to our industry than we ever knew.
Besides the climbing competition, the event featured educational events, demonstrations, and a variety of vendors selling new and innovative products, most of which we have never been aware of. One of the most impactful innovations we came across was the equipment used during rigging demonstrations. Tools such as rescue pullies, arborist riggings blocks (heavy-duty pully designed for tree work) as well as friction control devices and mechanical advantage tools. These tools and techniques were also demonstrated in how and when to use them.
After that weekend, we walked out with greater knowledge and many new pieces of equipment that we purchased. These tools and techniques helped us perform safer, more productive, and resulted in us providing a higher quality service and product for our clients.
Since 1989, Kramer Tree has been represented at every International Tree Climbing Championship as well as every TCIA Expo, the largest tradeshow and conference in the world dedicated to commercial arboriculture. Our staff are strongly encouraged to partake in tree climbing competitions for fun and professional development. We are also involved with numerous professional associations to help us advance and innovate our staff’s knowledge and skills, and ultimately continually improve our services and products for our clients. We strongly encourage continued learning and professional development for all our staff and strive for an open and collaborative work environment encouraging innovative ideas for continual performance improvement. Innovation is a core value to our success and the key to continually raising the bar in the arboriculture industry and profession. Thank you for helping us raise the bar in the industry, whether you are a client, professional, or simply an individual interested in enhancing our urban forest to gain the benefits it can provide our communities!