Milton Arborist Mark Law Plants Roots In Milton
Have Milton Arborist Mark Law share his life story and you will leave the conversation a happier person. His excitement about his career is addictive.
While his passions today lie in the greener things of life, to truly understand the man you have to go back to his home state of Arkansas some twenty years ago.
After two years of college at the local university, he ended up purchasing a local restaurant in Jonesboro. Known as “Munchies”, this deli shop served various types of sandwiches and the like. He had created a great relationship with the college and it’s students. “I always had college kids working for me almost 100% - really never had any problem,“ Law recently shared.
After about eleven years, an opportunity to sell the restaurant came about, but Mark debated. It took him another year before he eventually agreed to sell. “I felt like if I stayed there another year I'd never leave. I did like the restaurant business but I did not want to stay in Jonesboro the rest of my life.”
He was now ready for a change. Mark had always held an interest in landscaping and the outdoors. The unfettered development of Jonesboro also had an impact on him, With that spark, he decided to test the water and take two “You could not find a shade tree to park under at almost any restaurant; the malls and everything were just asphalt from front door to front door. No trees or anything.”With that spark, he decided to test the water and take two landscape classes. The following two years, he spent time looking at different horticulture programs all over the country and eventually ended up at Auburn University.
After graduating in 1996 with a degree in ornamental horticulture and landscape design, Law headed to Grayson, GA where he landed his first field related job with Buck Jones and Associates; a wholesale plant brokerage firm.
The year 2000 rolls around and an opening for an arborist came about through Fulton County. In 2006 when the City of Milton began its’ hiring process, Mark was ready once again.
Now, in his thirteenth year as a practicing arborist, Mr. Law harbors a wealth of knowledge regarding his trade and it is not just about soil content. “The therapy of the trees - The results of what have been proven about hospital stays being shortened, people’s recovery rates being much quicker with being in an environment of trees.” He also relayed that nursing home patients are more likely to be alert when sharing an environment with trees and got more involved with fellow roommates lives.
His expertise doesn’t stop there. According to Mark, psychologists have found that “the greener the environment, the better the grades. Teenage pregnancy decreases, drug usage decreasing, absence from school decreasing then you get the benefits of better grades, community involvement, more accountability.”
He also shares a lot of concern. “We are losing far too many trees to development and just not getting the trees back due to impervious areas such as concrete, buildings, parking lots and all that.”
Regarding access to your property, Mark does have the right. “I will usually go up and knock on the door.” Most of the time citizens are willing to tell him what they are doing. While some may disagree that they have to follow the city guidelines and save trees, it is his job to insure they do. Even though there have been a few choice words thrown at him over the years, the response is normally a non-event.
Another part of the job are the many misconceptions about tree disease. “The southern pine beetle is a problem but has not been as active here recently but home owners are afraid of that; especially if a tree is near their house. ‘Trees got pine beetles - I want to take it out’ It may just be woodpecker holes or something.” Due to this phobia, the city unfortunately has experienced many unnecessary removals. Thus, If you have any doubt about removing trees, don’t hesitate to give him a call.
While some citizens have shared support for the Crabapple Tree being the official tree of Milton, Mark’s jury is still out. However, he is a big fan of a tree that once graced much of middle America. “The one that I am working on getting established up here on Hwy 9 is the American Elm. The Princeton and Jefferson types are two particular ones that are more disease resistant.”
As we wrapped up our discussion, a final question was asked about any unique stories or information regarding being a Milton arborist. Mark had this to share - “My favorite tree in Milton is over off of Thompson Road; it is a Ginkgo tree. It is a vivid yellow during the fall foliage. The Ginkgo was (initially) found on a float trip up the Yancy River. This species dates back to prehistoric days.” An arborist and a historian? Aren’t we lucky!