Meet the owners- Learn more about the guys behind DeVore’s Arbor Care LLC and why they chose to start a tree service business.
Craig is an avid outdoorsman and registered nurse turned arborist. Ever since he was a young boy, his mom would look out the window to find him sitting in the magnolia tree or climbing up the sweet gum beside his house. He has always been in his element while off the ground and began rock climbing during high school. As soon as he connected with some friends who were into climbing, he spent every minute possible enjoying the sport. Weekends were spent at Pilot Mountain and days after school were spent at the rock gym. Following his passion during college at West Virginia University, he spent almost every weekend at the New River Gorge.
Like most people in college, Craig decided he needed a little extra money. After a referral from one of his rock-climbing buddies, he approached a local arborist who offered him a job. From the start, Craig was hooked. He closely observed his boss in the tree and finally saved up enough money to buy tree climbing equipment of his own. Starting small, he quite literally learned the ropes and did his best to gain experience in art of climbing, pruning, and removing trees. Years spent as a rock climber led to quick progression in the tree, and Craig was extremely excited to transition his climbing knowledge into a marketable skill. Throughout all this, Craig continued his path in the school of nursing and eventually graduated WVU with his BSN.
He started working at the local hospital, Ruby Memorial, but decided to keep up with his tree jobs as well. The unique schedule of nursing provided him with the ability to work his second job as an arborist. The more time Craig spent in the hospital, the more he realized that his true passion involved being outdoors and working with his hands. Although he enjoyed providing care to all of his patients, he realized nursing was never going to excite him as much as arboriculture. He began thinking about his future and came to the realization that he should chase his passion for tree work by starting his own arborist company. His girlfriend’s promotion at the bank relocated them from Morgantown, WV to Greenville, SC. After hearing how backed up the tree services in the area were, he became even more excited to start his own company.
Connecting with a climbing partner who had expressed previous interest in the company idea, Craig cut back his hours at the hospital and poured all of his energy into the business. DeVore’s Arbor Care LLC was formed, and they began finding local jobs to complete. He and his partner purchased a chip truck and chipper and are currently self-promoting themselves around Greenville and the surrounding areas. Handing out flyers, building Facebook Ads, and approaching local companies, DeVore’s Arbor Care LLC is slowly gaining traction. Craig and his partner, Eric Fizer are excited to bring their tree services to Greenville. They both founded the company in order to pursue their passions and are extremely motivated to provide quality work. Wave if you see them around Greenville, driving around in the chip truck or nestled high in a tree canopy!
Like Craig, Eric is an avid outdoor mans who fell in love with climbing 11 years ago. He graduated from West Virginia University with his masters in Mechanical Engineering in 2009. From there he went to work for Westinghouse Electric Company to help design nuclear power plants. He worked hard in school acquiring a 3.5 GPA at the end of his Masters Program at WVU. He even worked as an intern for NASA at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. After six years of grueling schooling, and about $30,000 of student loan debt he felt hard pressed to consider transitioning jobs. Although, after meeting a variety of people in the climbing community he started to realize that making money wasn’t the only reason for choosing a line of work. He noticed that a lot of highly educated folks were taking time off from their hard earned jobs to try and find a true passion. “Lots of folks are forced into choosing an education path before they really know themselves at all,” said Eric. He is super thankful for the knowledge and work ethic he gained from his education, but would do things a little differently if he knew what he does now.
Eric loves to problem solve, and working for an engineering company does supply one with problems to solve, but “nothing like climbing and tree service work can provide,” says Eric. After 1.5 years of working for Westinghouse, Eric decided to start to put a majority of his income into savings and paying off student loans. After 2.5 years he had his loans payed off and a nice financial cushion in his account. It was now time for him to put in his three month notice to leave Westinghouse. He did just that. Over a two year period Eric traveled to 35 states within the US and various countries such as Thailand, Lao, Mexico, Canada, Chile, and Argentina. When his traveling episode was complete he decided to move back to Fayetteville, West Virginia to become a rock climbing instructor. He received his Single Pitch Instructor certifications from the American Mountain Guide Association and worked as an instructor for three years. He found enjoyment in this line of work. Eric said, “getting the opportunity to share your passion with others and work outside is amazing, but the work was repetitive with respect to problem solving.”
Fast-forward two years later where Eric was back home in Morgantown, West Virginia visiting his parents. This is where Eric met Craig Devore. Craig, a strong and motivated climber, long-distance runner, and mountain biker was finishing up his nursing degree at WVU. Eric met Craig at the student recreational center while surprise surprise climbing at the climbing wall. They both perform at about the same level, making them a good match for climbing partners. Craig made many trips to the New River Gorge in West Virginia visiting Eric at his recently purchased home. During these visits Craig talked about his side work, working for an arborist (also a climber) and about how well rock climbing translates into tree service work. From moving around in the tree to rope management while rigging down branches. Craig mentioned that they should start their own business in Morgantown, West Virginia. They both seriously looked into the idea, but the idea fizzled away as they both were engrossed in their own lives in different locations.
On one of the many trips down to the New River Gorge, Craig had some important news to tell everyone. This is where he announced that he would be moving down to Greenville, South Carolina with his girlfriend Mackenzie. Eric was shocked, and did what any good friend does and wished him luck. About four months later Craig sent Eric several messages about how much tree service work there is down south. Craig kept nudging Eric to start a tree service company in Greenville. After much persuasion to convince Eric that they would financially “make it,” Eric agreed and the process started. Eric purchased a few chainsaws and all the necessary arborist climbing equipment. He spent several months practicing on his 75 acre property in Fayetteville, West Virginia. Since his land only consisted of forest, he placed his own targets to hit and obstacles to avoid. After about 100 trees later, Eric was ready to hit the real arborist world, and the rest is history.