Born in South Georgia, Dana Dowling and his family relocated to Florida in 1962 when Dana was eight-years old. After coming to Florida, Dana’s father became ill and his mother went to work, becoming the family breadwinner with a job in a furniture upholstery store. Dana attributes a lot of his hard work ethics to helping out his mother on the weekends and after school. But at 12, Dana had his first experience with tree removal when his father encouraged him to remove Cypress trees from their property with a chain saw so the family could fence its property and build a barn. He continued to assist his mother in the upholstery business and removed trees for his father throughout high school.
When Dana was 24 years old, a large tree fell on his own property. He called a local tree surgeon to remove the tree and after watching the process, he felt like if they could do it, he could do it. That started the vision that later become a reality. Dowling Tree Service is one of the leading tree surgeons and tree removal companies in Gainesville.
But it wasn’t always that way. Dana started with a truck, a trailer, and a chain saw. He went door-to-door soliciting business for about a year before he realized he didn’t quite know enough about the business. So he decided to go to work for a local tree service to gain experience and did so for the next year and a half. After that time though, he still felt like if they can do it, he could do it. So he then took the knowledge and experience he had gained and started his own business again. He had a truck, a trailer, and a chain saw and this time, a dream.
Dowling Tree Service has now been in business for the better part of 23 years. In the last three years though, they have grown from a one crew business to now running four crews and anticipating having six by the end of the year. The one truck, one trailer, one chainsaw operation has grown to Chippers, Arial Bucket Trucks, Loader Trucks, Stump Grinders, Bobcats and more. Their service area includes all of Gainesville and most of Alachua County; however, they will discuss jobs that take them further away
Dowling Tree Service is truly a family owned and operated business. Dana is very much a family man, employing three of his five children. Diane, Dana’s wife runs the office together with one of their three daughters, Rebecca. Their two sons, Jason and Ben, are full time salesmen handling office calls and door-to-door solicitation. They run their operation fully insured with contractor’s liability and workers compensation insurance. This is a very important factor for people to consider when hiring tree surgeons or any type service for that matter. Predominately their customers are 80% residential, assisting homeowners with tree removal, tree trimming, education, curb appeal, and much more. The other 20% of their business is commercial. They work with developers and builders in site preparation, apartment complexes, property management, and real estate companies among others.
Education is Key. Educating homeowners on the differences between tree surgeons and tree removal, tree topping and tree trimming, etc. Dana says he will do anything the customer wants but would like them to know they have options. Dana always recommends his customers contact the City Arborist or the County Forester if they have any questions or concerns about his recommendations. If he feels a tree can be saved, he’d prefer to do just that and educate the homeowner, rather than removing it, but if it needs removing, he has the skills and knowledge to do so.
Dana, his family, office staff and crews pride themselves in their work ethics and professionalism. Customer satisfaction is very important to them. They are fully aware that customer satisfaction and education will bring about repeat customers and referrals for future growth.