By 1997, Mauk was in his early 20s and ready to enter the tree care industry. He had operated a small trash-hauling company with his brother during college, but he said he was looking to establish his professional career.
“I already had gotten my start dealing with clients, and I wanted something more,” Mauk said. “I had just graduated from the University of Houston at the time, and I wanted a job that I could see being the rest of my working career.”
Since then, the certified arborist has owned and operated Jones Road Tree Service on a piece of property his family has owned for 100 years. The comprehensive tree care business offers pruning, tree removal, stump grinding, planting, preservation and emergency services.
While healthy trees are an asset to a homeowner’s property value, Mauk said they are not always treated as such. Calls about dead trees are common at Jones Road Tree Service, but Mauk said he encourages preserving trees before resorting to removing them.
“We’re driven to help the client, we’re driven to teach the client and we’re driven to help that client manage their part of the urban forest,” he said. “It is [about] being proactive instead of reactive.”
Spring is a prime time to be proactive, Mauk said. Crews from the company can identify problem spots in a yard and diagnose sick trees that could benefit from fertilization, he said.
Since launching more than 20 years ago, Mauk said his proudest achievement is having his business accredited by the Tree Care Industry Association in 2017 “for adherence to ethical business practices and provision of quality services,” according to the plaque that hangs in his office.
Mauk—who is also a certified tree care safety professional through the TCIA—said he hopes Jones Road Tree Service can be a legacy he leaves for his children to take over 20 years from now.
“The public should know the importance of trees for the environment—what they do, how they affect us,” Mauk said. “Besides cleaning the air—which here in the Houston area, as we all know, is important—the value of trees for [a homeowner’s] property is a very important feature in their yard.”