New Hartford's Richard Zalewski (r.) and Mount Markham's Brett Bosch care about trees. It's their job. But it's also a labor of love. We saw them work their magic recently on a difficult project at our house.

Their most common work involves Tree Removals and Prunings. And although orders for the former outnumber the latter by about 10-1, they wish it were the other way around. They actually talk customers into pruning a tree instead of removing it, even though they earn less for a pruning. It gives them a good feeling when they can save a tree and make it look better.

They recently pruned the troublesome oak in our front yard. It had some unhealthy limbs, some of which were hanging so low, it was virtually impossible to mow that section of lawn. Too bad we don't have a "Before" picture, but suffice to say we could not see blue sky as you can in this picture after their work was completed:

Credit: Dave Coombs/TSM

Zalewski was a hockey player, just like his brothers, Steven and Mike (the former Utica Comet), who'll play together this season for a pro team in Germany. Richard says he grew weary of pro hockey about the same time a 6'7" goon picked a fight with him on the ice for no good reason.

He started off with the tree service just on the weekends, but the business just kept growing and growing. Bosch's dad was the principal at Mount Markham High School for 27 years. He joined Zalewski, they both branched off from their original roots, and have flourished in an industry they love.

Zalewski Tree Service offers expertise in everything from Tree Risk Assessment to Disease Management. And their website is a treasure trove of information about trees.

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