Lucas Tree was founded in 1926 in Portland, Maine. With a truck, ladder, climbing ropes, and hand saw, John Lucas provided vital utility line clearance services for the expansion of electricity and telephone services in rural Maine.
When John Lucas died prematurely in 1931, the small but established company was purchased by W.H. Hinman, who expanded contracts with the utility companies, venturing into transmission line and underground conduit construction and right-of-way clearing for oil and gas pipelines.
During World War II, the company’s work expanded to include the laying of marine cables for military outpost installations on the Casco Bay Islands.
After the war, the industry went through revolutionary changes – power saws were introduced, tractors replaced horses in line construction, and chemical brush control programs were implemented along power line and pipeline right-of-ways.
In the late 50’s, aerial bucket trucks and brush chippers revolutionized the business again. The 1960’s saw Lucas Tree introduce bucket trucks and chippers to our utility customers to increase safety and productivity. Two-way radios were installed to improve communication to the crews.
In 1971, Lucas Tree moved from its cramped garage/office location on Munjoy Hill to a new facility on 22 acres on Riverside St. in Portland, Maine.
The 1980’s brought new ownership to Lucas Tree, the Batson family, who had managed the company since 1960, purchased the firm from the Hinman family. Along with new ownership came a series of corporate acquisitions of the following tree service companies – Goodall Tree, Abbott Tree, and Batchelder Tree, expanding the company’s footprint to the rest of New England and adding residential tree work to its numerous utility service offerings.
The company continued to expand in the 1990’s, crossing the border to the north to expand operations for utility customers in the Canadian Maritimes, Ontario and Alberta. While the growth of the company expanded up north, the change of a new century brought additional expansion in the southern states of the United States.
Throughout its long history, Lucas Tree has experienced many changes, from service equipment such as draft horse and hand-axes, and rope saddles for tree climbers to the new hybrid electric bucket trucks installed with global position satellite (GPS) devices. Yet the one constant has been our employees’ commitment to innovation and reliable service for our customers.