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 September 1, 1999

Tree Taxi’s passengers typically knotheads’

LONGMONT — When people call Tree Taxi for a ride, owner Greg Jordan often gives a tongue-in-cheek reply: “I only pick up knotheads.”

That’s because Jordan’s only passengers are trees, and they ride on the back of a 50-inch tree spade. He and his wife, Marie, started the Longmont-based tree-hauling business in November 1997.

Jordan’s business isn’t just removing trees. Ecocycle, a Boulder-based recycling company, lists Tree Taxi in its resource book as a company that recycles trees. But Jordan goes one step further than Ecocycle and closes the loop by reusing the trees he picks up.

“You don’t take a tree and turn it into mulch and grow another tree,” he says. “You move the tree.”

Though there are other tree-hauling companies that service Boulder County, Marie Jordan says her husband’s tree expertise is unusual. Like a taxi-driver that knows city streets, Greg Jordan knows the individual trees along many Longmont roads.

“He likes trees,” Marie Jordan says. “He is as close as you will get to Johnny Appleseed.” Jordan uses his intimate knowledge of trees to help people select the ones best suited for the Front Range climate or give advice on planting unusual varieties.

Jordan helped Luann and Matt Heltemes select a tree for their home in a new Longmont subdivision. “We wanted a tree for shade,” Luann Heltemes says. “We didn’t want to start out with a smaller tree.”

Luann Heltemes says she and her husband described the type of tree they wanted and discussed possibilities with Greg Jordan. Together they decided to purchase an ash tree 5 inches in diameter. Jordan selected the tree from a nursery and brought it to their home. “Greg did everything for me,” says Heltemes. “He planted it and told us how to care for it. And his prices were a lot better than other places.”

Jordan says people move trees because they get in the way. Often homeowners want to build an addition to their homes, or the trees grow and block views or are planted too closely to a house or another tree. But he also says some people won’t leave their trees behind, especially when the tree has a sentimental value, such as those planted in memory of a loved one. In one unusual case, Jordan moved trees so a house could be moved onto a lot, and then he returned the trees back to their original positions.

Jordan charges $100-$150 to move a tree to a new location.

He says usually the client arranges the tree’s destination. But occasionally Jordan will take the tree in exchange for moving it and will sell it to another client.

“But it’s going to have to be a pretty good tree,” Jordan says, adding that buyers only want top-notch trees.

Recently, Jordan and his wife planted 800 trees on their Longmont property, an unusual farm “island” in the middle of Longmont. He says that most of the small trees — English oak, willow, cottonwood and Canada red cherry — will be available in two to three years.

But for now Jordan buys trees from nurseries. He says it is the bigger trees — 2«-inch trunk size and up — that most people can’t handle.

Jordan also prunes trees, chain saws unwanted trees and sprays lawns for weeds. He will also spray trees less than 15 feet tall.

At the Heltemes’ home, the leaves on the dormant tree planted in March are now preparing to change color. “The tree is doing great,” Luann Heltemes says. “It looks really pretty in the yard.”

Tree Taxi can be reached at (303) 682-1907.

LONGMONT — When people call Tree Taxi for a ride, owner Greg Jordan often gives a tongue-in-cheek reply: “I only pick up knotheads.”

That’s because Jordan’s only passengers are trees, and they ride on the back of a 50-inch tree spade. He and his wife, Marie, started the Longmont-based tree-hauling business in November 1997.

Jordan’s business isn’t just removing trees. Ecocycle, a Boulder-based recycling company, lists Tree Taxi in its resource book as a company that recycles trees. But Jordan goes one step further than Ecocycle and closes the loop by reusing…

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