O’SULLIVAN’S TREE SERVICE AND KENWORTH T880 BRING IN NYSE’S CHRISTMAS TREE
From working out of a pickup truck with a $10 chainsaw to delivering the New York Stock Exchange’s (NYSE) Christmas tree, O’Sullivan’s Tree Care and Recycling has seen the payoff of hard work from humble beginnings.
For the past 29 years, O’Sullivan’s Tree Care and Recycling, which specializes in tree service and organic recycling, has been responsible for locating, cutting, transporting, erecting, and dismantling the NYSE Christmas tree. This year’s 78-ft pine was transported with a Kenworth T880 from Foxboro, Massachusetts—where the tree was cut—to the entrance of the New York Stock Exchange. A tree lighting, held November 29, represents the 95th year for the Stock Exchange tree.
For O’Sullivan, it’s vital to have reliable equipment since operating in Hudson Valley and Metropolitan New York is hard on the company’s equipment. The Kenworth T880 used to move the NYSE tree was purchased through Gabrielli Kenworth, headquartered in New York, and is one of five Kenworth T880s in O’Sullivan’s fleet. Overall the company operates 30 light- to heavy-duty trucks.
“With all of the stop-and-go traffic, potholes, and tight roads, our trucks are tested,” Jim O’Sullivan, owner of the company, says. “Our trucks, especially the T880s, have held up well for us. Our first Kenworths date back to 2005, and we’re still running them. Some of our trucks have a million miles on them, and those are hard-earned city miles. Kenworths have been great to us.”
CALL THE PROS
When it comes to a haul like the NYSE Christmas tree, many moving parts are required. O’Sullivan estimates around 50 people were involved throughout the entire process of planning, cutting, transporting, erecting, and decorating the tree once it arrived at the NYSE. The company relied on its crew and heavy-duty boom trucks to help direct the tree on and off the trailer, as well as erecting the tree at the NYSE.
“There’s a lot of planning that goes into making a haul like this happen,” O’Sullivan says. “It takes two to three days to prepare the tree to be cut, another day to cut the tree, not to mention all of the logistics of getting the tree to the Stock Exchange, which involves the use of flaggers to direct traffic while we erect the tree.”
According to O’Sullivan, after 20 years of being responsible for the NYSE tree, they have become very good at the job.
“Back in 1993, a tree decorator approached me about bringing in a tree and wanted it located by the Wall Street Bull,” O’Sullivan recalls. “It was a smaller tree than the one the Stock Exchange uses, but for a couple years, we were contracted to deliver a tree to that location. After a few years, we were approached by a contractor who oversaw the Stock Exchange tree, and we were given a contract to do theirs. The rest is history. We’ve been doing it ever since, and we continue to get better at it each year.”
ONLY THE BEST
For O’Sullivan, the toughest challenge the company faces is finding a tree that looks good and is large enough to present at the New York Stock Exchange.
“It takes months to find the right tree,” he says. “The best trees are those planted generations ago, and they are often found in residential areas. It’s difficult to find the ‘perfect’ tree and when you do, most aren’t willing to part ways. We’ve gone as far as California to find a tree suitable for the Stock Exchange. This year, we got lucky. When John Bolton, our senior arborist, was visiting family in Foxboro, he saw a beautiful pine tree that he remembered from his childhood days. John asked the family if he could take their tree and have it displayed at the Stock Exchange. They said yes. It’s just a beautiful tree.”
When the tree is to be taken down, the company will haul it away and grind it up so that it can be reused for material such as mulch or topsoil. Aside from hauling Christmas Trees, O’Sullivan’s Tree Care and Recycling provides services such as tree removal, pruning, stump grinding, emergency tree service, crane services, and the manufacturing and sale of mulch and topsoil—products that could be used to grow a future NYSE Christmas tree.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Kenworth Truck Company is the manufacturer of The World’s Best® heavy- and medium-duty trucks. Kenworth is a PACCAR company. Find out more, visit www.kenworth.com.
MODERN WORKTRUCK SOLUTIONS: MARCH 2019 ISSUE
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