The year was 1928 in Philadelphia, USA, when three brothers, Carl, Griffith and Lester started a company called Asplundh Tree Expert Co. (ATE) to provide tree trimming services to the new power utilities that were emerging.
From these early beginnings Asplundh has grown to become a world leader in vegetation management. Over the years, changes in technology and government regulations have created new and exciting opportunities, enabling the company to develop into what it is today. Asplundh is still family owned and controlled and now employs over 26,000 staff in operations throughout USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
Asplundh Australia was established in 1992 with the vision to provide cost effective, quality services that are sustainable and add value to our partners’ operations while benefiting the wider community. The key to achieving this is getting it right at ground level - on a day-to-day basis. Our people, our operating practices, services, facilities, equipment and partners are the foundation for ensuring the success of our vision.
Asplundh opened its doors in Glenside, PA on 28th August 1928 by three brothers Lester, Carl & Griffith Asplundh. They formed a new company committed to supporting the tree pruning needs of the growing electric and telephone utility companies. It was the brothers' intuitive decision to focus on utilities rather than private landscaping and nursery work that would carry them through the early years and into the next millennium.
In 1928 90% of U.S. city residents had electricity and it was only months away that the entire country would be connected via telephone lines. Nothing would slow the spread of electricity and telephone service except for trees. This was the start of utility companies requiring to control the ever growing vegetation that caused service disruption. Asplundh quickly proved itself to major telephone and utility companies.
The orange and black colour scheme of the Asplundh was chosen by Carl based on the colour scheme of his college football team. These strong colour's helped the Asplundh team stand out. Even today if someone cannot pronounce Asplundh, they still recognise those crews "in the orange trucks and shirts".
It was 1929 when Lester invented a hand cranked aerial platform and a larger circular saw mounted to a farm tractor and driven by its engine. This provided a more efficient and safer line clearance solution.
In 1932 after the stock market crash, thousands of companies folded, fortunately trees continued to grow as did Asplundh.
Mid 1930's was the start of Asplundh's growth. While the company was expanding geographically, it was also expanding it's service offering emergency storm restoration and clean-up services.
Many employees were sent off to serve in World War II. Asplundh's growth slowed at this stage and they found obtaining new equipment and fuel was impossible.
Mid 1940's was the time when the brothers wanted to look into alternatives for brush disposal. The current dangerous technique of manually "compacting" then dumping or burning the bush was becoming tedious and was terrible for the environment. By 1949, the first operating model of the Asplundh chipper was field tested - a solution that would change the tree service industry forever. Utility companies and competitors wanted the Asplundh chipper. In 1952, subsidiary called the Asplundh Chipper co. was established.
Asplundh introduced its first herbicide services in 1946. The demand for this service soared and once again the company rapidly grew.
By 1958, Asplundh introduced many important innovations - some that influenced the entire industry. One was the first Asplundh "Trimmer-Lift". By the early 1960s Asplundh was now fully mechanised and unstoppable.
1967 was the year that Asplundh began offering infrared inspection of overhead conductors to help utilities detect potential trouble spots they acquired their 2nd helicopter to support their growing aerial spray operations and airlifting services. This was also the time Asplundh's 2nd generation were elected onto the board of directors.
Asplundh began offering street light maintenance services in 1972 and in the same year formed and Environmental Services division.
The famous Whisper chipper was introduced in 1973 which was one of several models added onto the manufacturing line.
The year of 1975 Asplundh established the railroad division, the reclamation services division and the pipeline services division. Asplundh could now provide right of way clearance and other services to railroads, seeding and reforestation services to mining companies and vegetation control measure to ensure gas access pipelines were not blocked.
Asplundh celebrated its golden anniversary in 1978.
Asplundh was aggressive from the start of the 1980s, intent on finding ways to offer additional services, expand opportunities for employees and attract new customers. The Municipal Tree division and the Arborechem Products division were formed. Asplundh began working in Canada, British Columbus, US Virgin Islands and Hawaii. By 1988 Asplundh had 14,000 employees, this was the year of Asplundh's 60th Anniversary.
The 1900s was another time for rapid global growth. 1990 Asplundh acquired 5 tree service companies in France, 1992 was in United Kingdom, then New Zealand in 1995. By the end of the 1900s Asplundh had 22,000 employees and had formed the companies Asplundh Construction Corp, Compass Equipment Leasing Inc., Utility Meter Services Inc. and General Locating Services.
Asplundh Tree Expert (Australia) Pty Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of ATE. Established in 1992, Asplundh Australia is one of the country's premiere vegetation control companies. Asplundh Australia has completed contracts in Tasmania, South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia and its head office in Melbourne and current operations in New South Wales and Queensland, the company is well positioned to offer a complete management service for all our clients.
Asplundh Australia management is committed to the principles and practices of an Integrated Management System. Our policy and procedural manuals reflect this commitment to providing a healthy and safe place of work, and providing a quality service to our customers.
26,000 was the employee count by the early 2000s. Over recent years with the extreme weather and storms Asplundh formed the company Asplundh Environment Services. Asplundh is known as the only Company that can deliver the resources, expertise and speed to mobilise the number of crews required for storm damage.
Since 1928 Asplundh has helped thousands of utilities maintain reliable, uninterrupted service and this is the plan for the future.
At Asplundh we recognise that people are our biggest asset, and that having a skilled and dedicated workforce is essential to providing a quality service to our customers.
We have over 400 highly skilled and qualified staff across our Australian operations, and worldwide there are around 26,000 Asplundh employees.
As a company we are committed to investing in our people and this includes training, professional development and ensuring each team member has a structured career pathway and opportunities to up-skill themselves.
Our training programmes are designed to meet the needs of both the individual and the company and include internal training programmes developed from over 84 years in the business and external training providers.
It is our company policy to promote from within whenever possible. A majority of our staff have extensive knowledge of, and experience in many different areas of the company.
Asplundh's vision is to be the leading Australian provider of vegetation maintenance and support solutions to utilities, resource companies and government organisation's nationally.
When looking to enter into a partnership, Asplundh seeks partners who share similar values, priorities and strategic direction.
Asplundh is committed to building long-term relationships with our clients, suppliers and the local community. In recent times we have adopted a partnering approach to facilitate relationships with our clients in the supply of our services.
A partnership or alliance approach dictates that both Asplundh and our clients work together as a team to achieve common goals. The relationships that we build are based upon mutual trust and a clear understanding of expectations.
In addition, we work closely with our Asplundh New Zealand, American, Canadian counterparts to share learnings, knowledge and information.