Meet Our Team of Tree Care Specialists

Mike Fallis

Mike Fallis
Owner

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Mike Fallis
Owner

ISA Certified Arborist #PN 0982A
ISA Tree Risk Assessment Certified

Mike began working in the tree care industry in 1995, and later opened Limbwalker Tree Service in Vermont in 1999. Throughout his education and early work history, Mike developed a true love and appreciation for arboriculture. Although a Vermont native, Mike spent time in Oregon, where he worked for a Portland tree service. There, he immersed himself in trees – reading books, joining a volunteer planting group, becoming a certified arborist, even spending his weekends climbing the region’s big Douglas Firs, Western Hemlocks and Sitka Spruce.

Today, Mike continues to learn and explore the world of trees. From the climbing gear and rigging needed to prune and remove trees, to understanding how tree systems share nutrients and work as a team, Mike’s knowledge of the tree care industry is always expanding. He especially enjoys sharing what he’s learned, meeting new people, and working with clients to help them both appreciate trees and see their potential. When he’s not limb walking, Mike continues to enjoy the outdoors – hiking, swimming, fishing and spending time with his wife Amy, their 3 children and his 2 dogs.

Courtney Ley

Courtney Ley
Arborist Crew Leader

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Courtney Ley
Arborist Crew Leader

Courtney grew up in a house surrounded by a forest. Her childhood was spent in the woods where she began to appreciate trees and the natural world at a very young age. After a decade of working in the environmental consulting field, Courtney got the opportunity to head back into the woods, to learn about and work with trees.

Courtney really enjoys the days she’s able to work high in trees near Lake Champlain with views of the Adirondacks. She was also a big bird watcher when she was growing up, so it’s fun to be in a position where she can have close encounters with birds and the occasional flying squirrel! It’s about having that connection with nature.

Courtney’s favorite part about her job at Limbwalker Tree Service is being high in a tree, enjoying both the physical work and the mental aspect involved in moving through the tree safely and efficiently.

David Cole

David Cole
Arborist Crew Leader

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David Cole
Arborist Crew Leader

How did you get started in this business?
I studied Botany and Environmental Science at Miami University where my dendrology and plant taxonomy courses first introduced me to my love and passion for trees. Working as an intern for the Urban Forestry department I got to see firsthand the groundwork of tree upkeep with pull saws and regular scheduled prunings for tree health and avoiding human created obstacles. It wasn’t until I started working at the Department of Agriculture that I had the pleasure of viewing tree climbers inspect damage in trees and always wanted to eventually climb. This led me to Limbwalker Tree Service where I was able to finally pursue this dream and couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

What is your favorite part about your current job?
I would say among being able to climb trees and be with like-minded individuals is the ability to be able to work outside all day and see the changing of the seasons.

How do you see people’s needs, desires, and preferences related to trees and landscaping changing?
When you work for the customer you do need to pay attention to their needs and vision for the space they have and give them the guidance and education you have with what can work in a particular space. There are always alternatives to removing a tree just because it is large and looming over a house whether that be reducing limbs or removing sections but keeping the overall health of the tree in mind and balancing that with the safety of the customers property.

How does a usual job play out?
Ideally everything goes smooth and as efficiently as possible which is typically what happens so long as everybody is on the same page about the overall objective and the steps that need to be taken in order to achieve that. Hiccups arise from time to time whether that be weather-related, mechanical issues with equipment or etc. and you attempt to mitigate those as best as you can.

Do you have a typical customer? Describe.
I feel like most of our customers that we work with share the mutual respect for trees that we do and want to preserve trees for as long as possible within reason. Trees are typically only removed if they are dead, diseased or dying and a lot of the work we do is deadwooding of trees or pruning of alarming/potential hazard branches over structures. It’s all about preventative maintenance and balancing the customers and trees needs.

What is your favorite type of project? Why?
Over the past few months I’ve gone through a transition where my favorite work was removing deadwood from trees as it was very satisfying to see the before and after look of the tree. I believe my favorite project now is structural pruning of trees in order to allow appropriately spaced branch structure and improve the longevity and life of trees in general.

When you are out and about during your personal time, do you observe people’s trees? If so, what is your thinking “ooooh, they ought to look into______?”
Absolutely. I find myself looking at particular species and whether they need to be deadwooded, pruned or removed in general. I find myself doing this while driving, running around the neighborhood or even adjacent properties we are working at at the moment.

Have you always been comfortable with heights? Please describe how you’ve developed your current level of comfort working at the heights you do.
Heights are always something I’ve had to work with from a young age but I’ve always felt comfortable in trees. Even when I was young, I would love jumping in a tree and now that I can do it safely in a harness it feels a bit better. The only thing that nerved me a bit was using the aerial lift initially during my employment while it’s very windy out and being seventy feet up. I’m more used to it now but it can be nerve-wrecking when the bucket is moving around quite a bit.

How do you ensure crew safety?
Everybody being on the same page is key to work efficiency and safety. I attempt to work as hard as I can but always try to think ahead and constantly envision potential disaster/what if scenarios and eliminate those at all costs. Setting yourself up well and being in control of what will happen with a rigged piece of wood or anything in general and making sure everybody is aware of this definitely helps with overall safety and cost efficiency on the job. Communication is a must between everybody, making eye contact and having pre-determined hand signals can help achieve overall safety on a large crew site.

Is there a certain aspect to how Limbwalker operates that distinguishes you from other companies? If so, please share and describe how it’s a good fit for you.
I really enjoy that Limbwalker isn’t just a removal or logging operation like a lot of other tree companies. Mike balances the health and longevity of trees with the safety of humans and their home. Trees will be removed if they are dead, dying, diseased or pose an extreme potential risk to a customer’s home. In the Spring, we plant dozens and dozens of trees for many customers to replace a tree that may have been removed previously or to landscape a yard effectively. I appreciate that we perform all aspects of tree health from planting to pruning/structural pruning in the younger to middle years and eventual removal if need be in particular circumstances.

Are there any unforgettable projects that you can share the details of?
There are many beautiful projects that I have had the pleasure of being part of the crew for but one of my favorites so far was a property in Burlington where we were deadwooding many tall White Pines and an American Larch (Larix laricina). That was the first Larch tree I had ever climbed and I ‘speedlined’ the branches down which is always a lot of fun. Seeing the finishing results of those trees and how well we cleaned them up is some of the more gratifying work that we do.

Are there things you wish more people knew about tree care? If so, please share.
I wish more people knew their options when it comes to tree pruning as there are a multitude of options depending on their long-term plans for the tree.

Steve Lahovich

Steve Lahovich
Arborist Crew Leader

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Steve Lahovich
Arborist Crew Leader

How did you get started in this business?
I began my arboriculture career in a local municipality’s urban forestry program, after several years in the landscape industry. I have always enjoyed new challenges and was drawn to the level of precision, knowledge and physical ability needed for the work.

What is your favorite part about your current job?
My favorite part of my current job is the collaboration with my fellow arborists on the job. Talking ideas and perspectives on trees with one another is enlightening and enjoyable.

How do you see people’s needs, desires, and preferences related to trees and landscaping changing?
I tend to find that the average customer is much more invested in their landscape. The knowledge, or desire of knowledge, the customers have about their trees and landscaping is much more common.

How does a usual job play out?
We usually begin our jobs with a greeting and introduction of our team that is on site for the day with the customer. Then we do a walk around with the customer and discuss the details of what we will be doing, and address any questions or concerns. After, we get to work collaboratively completing the tasks. Finally, we check back in with the customer at the day’s end or completion of the job to ensure satisfaction.

Do you have a typical customer? Describe.
Our typical customer at Limbwalker Tree Service is very friendly and engaging. They often appreciate the communication and time we spend talking with them about their trees and landscape.

What is your favorite type of project? Why?
I would have to say my favorite type of project may also be my least favorite at times. Difficult, challenging or unusual jobs while at times are not enjoyable, the feeling, skill, and knowledge gained from them are the most rewarding.

When you are out and about during your personal time, do you observe people’s trees? If so, what is your thinking ” ooooh, they ought to look into______?”
When I first started doing tree work I would constantly be looking “up” at every tree and inspecting it. But there are a lot of trees to critique and it becomes tiring. So now I enjoy looking at trees that catch my eye because of their beauty in the landscape.

Have you always been comfortable with heights? Please describe how you’ve developed your current level of comfort working at the heights you do.
I would have to say I am not comfortable with heights, maybe just less afraid than others. You become comfortable by doing it over and over again. There are small margins for error, therefore you can eliminate risk level by increasing your knowledge, ultimately making it much more safe.

How do you ensure crew safety?
I believe safety starts with good communication. Understanding the job, where and what work is being performed. As well as educating and demonstrating safe work practices to all crew members.

Is there a certain aspect to how Limbwalker operates that distinguishes you from other companies? If so, please share and describe how it’s a good fit for you.
I believe the goal that Limbwalker has for the care of trees differs vastly from many companies. Focusing on proper, specific cuts, gradual care and results lead to a much healthier tree.

Are there any unforgettable projects that you can share the details of?
I would have to say any project that involved climbing to the top of a large pine tree, then being greeted with a view of the lake and Adirondack Mountains.

Are there things you wish more people knew about tree care? If so, please share.
I wish everyone knew the proper installation and maintenance of a tree. It is such a crucial time for maintaining the tree to ensure proper structure and healthy growth. Especially in urban forestry, where the tree’s life is shorter to begin with. I enjoy seeing new trees planted, but please give them a shot to be healthy trees.

Sara Stark

Sara Stark
Business Manager

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Sara Stark
Business Manager

How did you get started in this business?
About 13 years ago, I was picking up one of my children from preschool and introduced myself to another parent, named Mike. Our families have been friends ever since. Over the years, I would hear about his business, Limbwalker Tree Service. When Mike was looking to hire someone part-time for clerical work, I offered to help, in the evenings, and continued working as a special educator during the day. Once the pandemic hit, I left the teaching profession altogether and began working full-time for Limbwalker Tree Service.

What is your favorite part about your current job?
My favorite parts of my job are; connecting with customers- even though it’s over the phone! It’s always nice to speak with our returning customers year-after-year; working with a super smart crew of people who take pride in their work, care for the environment and the people they interact with.

How do you see people’s needs, desires, and preferences related to trees and landscaping changing?
The focus tends to be tree work or treatments focused on keeping their trees healthy and making sure the work is good for the environment too.

Do you have a typical customer? Describe.
Clients will call requesting an assessment of a tree they love and are concerned about. They’re hopeful it can be saved.

When you are out and about during your personal time, do you observe people’s trees? If so, what is your thinking ” ooooh, they ought to look into______?”
The artist in me is always observing the landscape and taking note of what I see. For some homeowners with big, beautiful trees gracing their yards, I always hope they appreciate what they have and realize how lucky they are. However, I also take note of those big, old, decaying trees, looming over a structure, and wonder if they’ve thought about the damage a strong wind could do.

Is there a certain aspect to how Limbwalker operates that distinguishes you from other companies? If so, please share and describe how it’s a good fit for you.
We are a customer-focused and environmentally conscious business- with the expectation for a positive customer experience/relationship throughout. There’s also the importance to maintain a healthy life-work balance. In my free time, I enjoy home renovation projects, skiing, hiking, and spending time with my husband, three children and two dogs.

Ed Krasnicki

Ed Krasnicki
Arborist Crew Leader

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Ed Krasnicki
Arborist Crew Leader

How did you get started in this business?
I started working for a small tree company in my hometown, I became familiar with the chipper and probably stood around too much studying the climber in the tree.

What is your favorite part about your current job?
I enjoy pruning, especially structural pruning. Taking early steps to make sure a tree grows big and healthy.

How do you see people’s needs, desires, and preferences related to trees and landscaping changing?
Trees are long lasting landmarks and are important for capturing carbon dioxide, regulating temperature, preventing erosion, and creating habitat for wildlife. I hope to see less fields of grass and more wooded forests.

How does a usual job play out?
We prepare for the day at our humble headquarters by loading up all of the necessary tools and equipment for the day ahead. Travel to the worksite. Introduce ourselves to the client, and do a brief walk through of the task on the work order. Collaborate with the team and client to develop an efficient and safe work plan. After we are finished we follow up with clients to ensure we have exceeded their expectations.

Do you have a typical customer? Describe.
Our typical customer is someone who really values their trees. They share our joy of learning the best practice for long-term care of not only trees but their environment.

What is your favorite type of project? Why?
I always enjoy the tricky jobs that require elaborate rigging generally in a difficult place to access. They seem almost impossible and involve puzzle solving and careful planning to get done safely and efficiently. It makes you proud.

When you are out and about during your personal time, do you observe people’s trees? If so, what is your thinking ” ooooh, they ought to look into______?”
OMG. This is all I do. I always observe the architecture of the tree, decide what limbs I don’t like, develop a 10 year plan to isolate a strong central leader, and figure out where I would make the pruning cut to maximize my goals. And someone passing by thinks I am looking for squirrels.

Have you always been comfortable with heights? Please describe how you’ve developed your current level of comfort working at the heights you do.
As a kid I always enjoyed climbing trees, my dad never cared for heights, so anything on a ladder he would have me do, gutters, powerwashing, and painting. I eventually moved out to Colorado and got involved with the rock climbing community there. I became humbled by how dangerous the sport can be and I really started to develop safe practices and procedures to mitigate the risks.

How do you ensure crew safety?
Through thorough training, constant communication, and continual education.

Is there a certain aspect to how Limbwalker operates that distinguishes you from other companies? If so, please share and describe how it’s a good fit for you.
Very few tree companies care about the environment, they are generally driven by the bottom line. At Limbwalker we believe it is better with a tree than without.

Are there any unforgettable projects that you can share the details of?
Last summer we pruned for deadwooded around 12 giant oak trees and removed several ash trees that were on fairly steep rock ledges. All very high and difficult climbs- it took us almost 2 weeks. The area was so difficult to access we had to hike our gear in, over a wooden bridge and up a steep gravel road, each day. Each oak felt like its own mountain, it seemed like it would never end. And to add on to it, we were hiking up one of the days, and were unable to pass over the bridge because a tree had split in half and landed on the bridge. We had to cut our way into the jobsite. It was pretty unforgettable.

Are there things you wish more people knew about tree care? If so, please share.
Trees and grass compete for the same resources. If you care about your tree, feed its roots, and mulch around its perimeter.

Limbwalker Tree Service