The Future of CLC

Celebrating 25 Years LogoCLC Tree Services came into being way back in 1988. You’ve heard the story of how Curt McCallum started the company as a second job to help pay the bills and know how the company has grown and changed since then. We are far from a one-man operation now and our services cover much more than simple stump grinding.

One thing that hasn’t changed much though is our focus. CLC Tree Services was started as a small, family-run business. Curt, his sons Luke and Calvin (whom the company was named after—CLC) are all active members of the team. Anna Marie also got involved with the company several years ago, which means that family dinners now often drift back to business talk whether they like it or not. And just because they are business partners, doesn’t mean that there aren’t growing pains or family squabbles which occasionally arise. But the dedication to the company, its dreams and aspirations, brings everyone together when it comes to ensuring the success of CLC Tree Services.


Another day on the job for Calvin McCallum

Calvin McCallum might be the youngest member of the CLC family, but his input is one of the largest. He works on average six days a week, which sometimes stretches into seven. His mind is constantly on upcoming jobs, employee performance and satisfaction, training, the maintenance, purchase and replacement of equipment, networking, client interactions, and how best to get the word out about everything that CLC is and does. A day off is rare, as there is always something to be taken into consideration, but Calvin considers that part of the job.

It’s been almost 30 years since his father started the business and Curt has been dreaming of retirement for the last few. That puts Calvin squarely at the helm of one of London’s premier tree service companies, and he aims to keep that status intact.

So what does the future of CLC Tree Services look like?

“I want to focus on the quality service and family atmosphere of CLC. Our employees are just as important as our clients when it comes to running a small, family business. We support about 40 people when you count in all of the families behind everyone who works for us. That means everyone’s safety is important, so I’ll keep pushing our workers to work smarter and safer, within a team mentality. Plus, the ‘shop local’ idea that’s in London, Ontario is a great push for our business too, so we’ll continue to look at ways to work within that. But ultimately, we want to stay the small business with quality service that London has come to know and trust over the last 25+ years.”


A few faces in the CLC Tree Services family

The integrity and honest drive behind that statement should ensure CLC Tree Services is around for a long time to come. And if Calvin has anything to say about it, we’re sure it will. With him at the helm, you can look forward to fresh ideas and an honest dedication which he proudly brings to the job. Keep up the good work Cal!

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Running a Small Business


Small Businesses are run by people who have learned how to do it all, like Calvin McCallum

Running a small business can be a challenging job. Not only do you have to be an expert in your chosen field, but you have to wear many other hats. At CLC Tree Services, our main role is to provide tree services to the Forest city and areas around London, Ontario, but there is so much more to it than that.


Calvin might lead the CLC crew, but he’s just as hard-working as any of them

For starters, we are an employer. While Curt McCallum started the business almost 30 years ago, the crew has grown extensively since then (and we could still use a few more able-bodied arborists to join us, if you are looking for work!). Our crew needs to be trained and have their certifications maintained and upgraded over time. Schedules need to be made for them and they like regular paychecks to be delivered as well. Plus, we have meetings to touch base with the crew and discuss any issues that arise over the course of the week. We can only be as strong a company as we are, with the help of the hard workers who make up our team.

That being said, our employees are only as valuable as the equipment they use. Aside from personal items, like their uniforms and safety gear (check out the new helmets on the guys above!), there are chainsaws, climbing ropes, carabiners, rakes, and an endless number of other items we need to make sure are available and in good working order.


Large equipment are an essential part of ensuring CLC Tree Services can provide the services we do

Small equipment can be replaced or repaired in quick order, but larger equipment is a different matter. Maintaining the chippers, bucket trucks, pickups and other larger equipment requires the help of outside companies. It can be costly, but is a part of doing business. Without these items, we wouldn’t get far. And that doesn’t even begin to factor in when we need to call in outside help for more extensive jobs.

Once you get away from what the crew actually does on a daily basis, there is the behind the scenes jobs that need to be taken care of. Phones need to be answered. When our Office Manager doesn’t get to the phone, a personalized answering service steps in and answers your calls (rarely will you get a machine—we know you prefer talking to real live people). Estimates need to be written. Supplies need to be ordered. Bills need to be paid. Invoices need to be collected. And all that accounting needs to be calculated to make sure money coming in covers money going out.


Social Media should be a part of any small business plan

Other items which many small businesses need to take into consideration are websites, advertising, networking, memberships, and even where to spend money or time on donations and other goodwill efforts (like our participation in OCAA Days of Service). Don’t forget about online sociability too. Having a presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest or wherever else might fill your need takes time and effort too. And if you don’t think they are important, you are missing out on huge markets to network, find new clients, show your expertise in your field, and interact with existing clients. That is almost a full-time job in and of itself! You need to be a writer/photographer/PR person/tech savvy/researcher savant almost.

So while one person may have started CLC Tree Services, today it takes a team to keep it running, flourishing and expanding. We know we can’t do it alone. And without our clients, it wouldn’t happen at all. We tip our hats to Curt for starting the business, Calvin for growing and running it so successfully now, our employees, the people who spread the good word about us in person and online, and everyone who helps to keep a small business afloat. We do our best and try to make everyone proud of our efforts.

And the best thing you could do for us is to spread the good word. We know word of mouth is the best friend of any small business. So tell your friends. Vote in the LFP Best of London contest. Write a review. Like us on Google+, Facebook or Twitter and share the content we put out there. Every little bit helps. Plus, you can feel good knowing that your support betters our whole community. And we appreciate it.

Thank you!

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10 Ways to Recycle Your Christmas Tree

Did you miss the Christmas tree recycling depot? Are you wondering what to do with the evergreen now sitting in your yard, looking forlorn minus its festive Christmas decor? Don’t despair, as there are plenty of things you can do with your old Christmas tree. Think green and recycle it!

Christmas Tree Recycling

  1. Christmas trees makes for good firewood

    Christmas trees makes for good firewood

    Burn it! – Real Christmas trees make for good firewood. After the ornaments, lights and tinsel are removed, use the branches and needles for fire starter. Cut the trunk into logs to be used to stoke the fire, once the wood is dry.

  2. Give it to the birds – Cut trees make for a great shelter for birds and other small animals looking to escape the chill of winter. Prop it in the corner of your yard and get your camera ready to snap some amazing avian shots.
  3. Mulch it – Many municipalities collect Christmas trees to turn into mulch for the city. Do your part to find a green solution.
  4. Use it for erosion control – There are some municipalities which collect Christmas trees to help stabilize lakes and riverbanks. Fish like to hide from prey in their branches too.
  5. Decorate outdoor planters and urns – Cut off some of the evergreen boughs to add to your outdoor decor. Winter landscapes can be dreary at the best of times, so spruce up your planters til spring arrives.
  6. Wreath made from Christmas tree slabs

    Design a wreath – Those wooden slabs can be used to fashion a new wreath for your front door. Rustic chic at its finest.

  7. Make coasters – Cut the trunk into slabs. Voila, Coasters! If you want to get fancy, wood burn an image onto them, paint them, or just shellac them as is.
  8. Carve candle holders – Whether you carve out multiple appropriate size holes on a log for tea lights or candle sticks, or fashion individual candle stick holders, your Christmas tree needn’t die in vain.
  9. Pathway made from slabs of wood

    Lay a path – Wood slabs can also be used to make a path through your garden. Collect your neighbour’s tree too and lay a path to their door!

  10. Create art – Whether the slight bend in the tree’s trunk reminds you of a sailboat or a bump is reminiscent of the toad who resides in your yard, why not try your hand at woodcarving and create a piece of art from your old Christmas tree.


For those of you who had a real Christmas tree this year, what did YOU do with your old Christmas tree?

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