Ben Richards is manager of ATE’s Plant Health Care Division, an ISA Certified Arborist, Certified Tree Care Safety Professional and a Certified Pesticide Applicator. He graduated in 2007 with an associate’s degree in urban forestry from Mid-State Technical College in Wisconsin Rapids.
What is your role/title at ATE? I manage plant health care operations and meet with customers to discuss their tree care needs. In the winter, I spend more time on the job as a tree crew foreman.
What do you love about your job? Many people might not know this, but there is a lot of detective work involved with tree diagnosis. I find the investigations incredibly challenging and rewarding, especially when it all comes together.
What is the most unusual experience you’ve had while working as an arborist? My most interesting encounters have occurred with raccoons and squirrels.
What do you do in your spare time? I love to hunt and fish and enjoy all kinds of outdoor activities.
What is your favorite tree and why? I’m a big fan of the shagbark hickory. This tree requires little to no pruning and is more resistant to insect and disease problems. It produces an edible, sweet tasting hickory nut that is a favorite of people and squirrels.