We are proud to share that our very own Jake Popham has been featured in the Nebraska Arborists Association's newsletter in the Arborist Spotlight! You can read the article below.
"Jake wonderfully exemplifies what it means to be an Arbor Aesthetics employee by acting on our Core Values: Ownership, Courage, and Show up and Serve.”
By Alyssa Brodersen, NAA Executive Director
We asked for nominations, and membership delivered. This issue’s spotlight goes to Jake Popham of Omaha, NE!
Jake was nominated for the Arborist Spotlight by a team member at Arbor Aesthetics Tree Service. Jake has been with Arbor Aesthetics Tree Service since December of 2020 and became a Nebraska Arborist Association member in August 2021 and a Nebraska Certified Arborist in February 2022.
Jake began his career path working at a Menards Greenhouse where he learned the basics of plants through a retired nurseryman. He then pivoted by working at a family-owned wood shop manufacturing various products.
When Covid struck, Jake was forced to find a new job (like many during that time). Jake found his footing at a local nursery, Tree Shrubs and More, where he soon realized that he wanted to take care of larger trees, instead of potted nursery stock. After hearing more about tree work and what it was like to be in the industry from a salesman at Davey Tree, Jake began to research businesses in his area and joined the team at Arbor Aesthetics. During his time at Arbor Aesthetics, Jake has attended Arborist School, the 2022 Winter Conference and 2022 Field Day. Jake is now a crew leader and climber for the company.
When I asked the team at Arbor Aesthetics about Jake they said: “Jake is a fast and eager learner and is always excited to gain new skills - not just in the trees but also in our shop, taking on maintenance of our vehicles and small engines. Jake wonderfully exemplifies what it means to be an Arbor Aesthetics employee by acting on our Core Values: Ownership, Courage, and Show up and Serve.”
The co-worker that nominated Jake said: “Jake has been a great asset to the Arbor Aesthetics team. He is always willing to learn something new, take on ownership of tasks, and is overall a team player. He is one of our field trainers and takes pride in teaching new employees how to safely operate on a jobsite. Whether he is hauling brush, cleaning up the jobsite, demonstrating proper pruning cuts or climbing, he takes every opportunity he has to help others learn. He is also learning how to keep our equipment operational and running and has been a great asset in fixing any issue that may come up with our chippers to avoid breakdowns on the jobsite.”
Jake’s wife, Claudia, is a teacher in Omaha Public Schools where she teaches the Spanish side in the dual language program. She is an amazing woman who has supported Jake in his various career changes. Their daughter, Natalie, is now two years old and has taken a liking to grabbing tree leaves and fruit. Jake says that she is a future arborist in the making!
When I asked Jake why he choose Arboriculture he said: “I wanted to become the solution to the issues that I was causing because of nursery sales. We are selling poor nursery stock, bad species, and improperly planting them in the wrong spots. Instead of adding to our tree problems, I wanted to remedy these
issues by trimming and removing.”
When I asked Jake what he loved the most about his career he said: “There’s a feeling you get, climbing to the top of a massive tree and just looking at the world around you, hearing the birds and feeling the wind. Everything we do as arborists is so engaging and fun, I can’t find myself doing anything else as a career. I feel so alive doing what I do.”
Jake is a great example of the hard working, dedicated people that work in the arborist industry and have a true passion for trees and caring for them. If you know an arborist who is exceptional in the industry please nominate them by filling out the Arborist Spotlight form at https://www.nearborists.org/newsletters and sending it into the Nebraska Arborists Association office so that we can continue to showcase our members and all of the great work that they do.
Amy Grewe, Certified Arborist & Co-Owner