About

My name is Douglas Smith
and Seattle Tree Consulting is my company.
 

I have been an ISA Certified Arborist since 2006, and I have been assessing tree risk since 2009.

I have a Bachelor of Arts from the Evergreen State College, and a Masters in Fine Arts from Goddard College, specializing in creative writing.

I started Seattle Tree Consulting in 2016, mostly out of necessity. I had been working as a climbing arborist for nearly 15 years and was recovering from two separate arm surgeries. I was trying to figure out how I was going to be able to take care of myself and my kids for the next several decades, while simultaneously staying in the game. Becoming a consulting arborist was a natural progression, but I wasn't sure exactly what I was getting into.

I've always been academic, and I had a lot of experience already, but I wasn't quite sure what it meant to consult. On my way to my first appointment I remember being terrified about giving advice. I had no idea what I was going to say, so instead I just listened. It turns out that that was the right thing to do. Despite knowing a lot about trees, I really don't know anything about the specific situations that my customers are dealing with. The same way each tree is unique, each scenario is unique and requires a unique solution.

The boss at the previous tree company that I worked for told me, when I was promoted to bidder/estimator, that the primary mission of her company was to educate people about their trees. I had already been working there a long time, but I didn't exactly realize that that is what we were doing. Once I figured it out, I was all in. I think that this approach is very cool.

Seattle Tree Consulting has adopted that mission as well is several others. We are not on the side of trees or people. At Seattle Tree Consulting we prefer to find solutions in which everyone wins and we are trying to prove that it is possible.
 

Sometimes I feel like I'm working with a pretty big advantage. For a long time, trees have been my teachers. Trees are patient, wise, reliable; not to mention the oldest and largest living creatures amongst us. They hold their ground, persevere, and usually don't fight back. Tolkien rendered them well. Trees are true egalitarian organisms. If it's a hot day they would love a drink, and it doesn't matter who is pouring the water. Everyone is allowed to read a book in their shade, everyone is allowed to eat their fruit, and everyone is allowed to build with their wood.

I have planted a lot of trees and been to the top of plenty of old ones and there is no end in sight for me. I keep waking up honored to be able to spend my days with these quiet sentient beings. I have a tremendous amount of gratitude for what they have done for me.

I also have a lot of gratitude for the people who have helped me along the way. Some of these folks know who they are and some do not. The tree business is full of big personalities, but let's face it, no one is here for the money. Being an arborist means sacrificing the body to barely get by. They come home hungry and tired, with lots of laundry to do and things to sharpen. Maybe it's hard. It's definitely rewarding. I don't have a whole lot of colleagues retiring wealthy, but they do seem to be retiring happy. Assuming they get to retire at all. Being an arborist isn't something that you get to turn off. My previous bosses, and all of the friends that I've made working on crews, training, and eating lunch in the rain are very special people. They are brave, engaged, funny, hard-working, authentic, and often imperfect. Seattle Tree Consulting is a business. But it is not a business that competes with other arborists. Seattle Tree Consulting exists to help other tree companies every bit as much as it does to help our customers.

Let's talk about your tree

Ready for a consult? Send us an email!

doug@seattletreeconsulting.com

LET'S GO