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ARCHIVED  September 24, 1999

Tree taxi caters only to leafy customers

LONGMONT –Tree Taxi owner Greg Jordan often gives a tongue-in-cheek reply when people call his company for a ride: “I only pick up knot-heads.”

That’s because Jordan’s only passengers are trees, and they ride on the back of a 50-inch tree spade.

Jordan and his wife, Marie, started their Longmont-based tree-hauling business in November 1997. Eco-Cycle, a Boulder-based recycling company, lists Tree Taxi in its resource book as a company that recycles trees. But Jordan goes one step farther 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 said. “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 who knows city streets, Greg Jordan knows the individual trees along many Longmont roads.

“He likes trees,” Marie said. “He is as close as you will get to Johnny Appleseed.”

Jordan uses his encyclopedic knowledge of trees to help people select those best-suited for the Front Range climate and advise them on how to plant 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 said. “We didn’t want to start out with a smaller tree.”

Heltemes and her husband described the type of tree they wanted and discussed possibilities with Jordan. Together they decided to purchase an ash tree five inches in diameter. Jordan selected the tree from a nursery and brought it to their home.

“Greg did everything for me,” Helmetes said. “He planted it and told us how to care for it. And his prices were a lot better than other places.”

Jordan says that 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 they are planted too closely to a house or another tree. But he also has learned that some people won’t leave their trees behind, especially when the tree has sentimental value, such as those planted in memory of a loved one.

In one unusual case, Jordan moved trees so that a house could be moved onto a lot, and then he returned the trees back to their original positions.

Jordan charges between $100 and $150 to move a tree to a new location. Typically, 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 said, 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. Most of the small trees — the English oak, willow, cottonwood and Canada red cherry — will be available for sale in two to three years, he said.

For now, Jordan buys trees from nurseries. It is the bigger trees — two-inch trunk size and up — that most people can’t handle.

Jordan also prunes trees, chain saws some 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 said. “It looks really pretty in the yard.”

LONGMONT –Tree Taxi owner Greg Jordan often gives a tongue-in-cheek reply when people call his company for a ride: “I only pick up knot-heads.”

That’s because Jordan’s only passengers are trees, and they ride on the back of a 50-inch tree spade.

Jordan and his wife, Marie, started their Longmont-based tree-hauling business in November 1997. Eco-Cycle, a Boulder-based recycling company, lists Tree Taxi in its resource book as a company that recycles trees. But Jordan goes one step farther 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…

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