“Adena and Matt implore homeowners to take the steps that give firefighters the best shot at saving your property and keeping your firefighters safe.”
Matt and Adena Shepayo are the owners of Preservation Tree Care. Trees and developing people are their passions and that shows in their educated, qualified staff. Having seven ISA Certified Arborists, four Tree Risk Assessment Qualified (TRAQ) Arborists and three Colorado Department of Agriculture Qualified Supervisors says a lot about the company’s educational program, professionalism and dedication.
Preservation Tree Care has over 100 years of combined experience in removals, fire mitigation, planting, structural pruning and plant health care. The company is invested in the beauty and health of your trees, maximizing your home value and making sure your property is safe. They pride themselves on their company culture and long-term relationships with their clients and employees. After 18 years of successfully running a tree care company in the Denver metro area, they know it’s all about integrity and relationships.
“You know when we service your property, we are providing the service we are all proud of. If we don’t know the answer, we will find it for you,” Matt said. Every winter, the company invests in educating their employees and the public on tree care, safety and fire mitigation.
Right after high school in Connecticut, Matt started learning tree care. Normally, getting to climb the trees takes about two years, but he was climbing after two months. “The fall colors were amazing. I climbed up into the canopy and looked around in awe. I thought, ‘this is it!’” he said. He embraced the physical and mental challenges of learning everything about trees and never looked back.
He moved to Colorado in 2000 and started PTC in 2003. “Everything we do is science-based. From structural pruning to withstand wind and snow, to protecting your trees from pests and disease,” he explained. “Our goal is preserving your trees’ health and well-being for life. Trees can increase property values up to 19 percent and provide beauty and health benefits to people and the environment.”
The Shepayos also know what tragedy looks like and how devastating the loss of life and property can be. After Hurricane Katrina, Matt took a crew to New Orleans to clear trees. “We arrived five days after the storm and stayed for six weeks. It was total devastation. It was the most technical storm work I had ever encountered. We removed 21 trees off of the first house alone. Trees had cut through structures like hot knives through butter. You could barely get down the streets,” he recalled. “I am proud to be able to serve others in times of need. You train to be able to pull something like this off.” One of Preservation Tree Care specialties is dealing with technical removals and storm damage.
Adena grew up in Northern California and, in her early 20s, was a firefighter out of Napa County for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. She learned first-hand the importance of proper fire mitigation. Having experienced many fires, she’s seen the devastation that happens when properties are not properly fire mitigated. “The loss of homes, possessions, memories and possibly lives cannot be fully quantified,” she said.
As a firefighter, she had the unique experience of lying in a fire shelter with a fire burning over her. “Even with a safety crew overseeing the event, it was mentally challenging. You do not want to be caught in the middle of a fire, trying to decide how to get out,” she said. “After that experience, I was humbled by the power of fire. The wind ripped at my shelter, the ground was noticeably trembling, the heat felt like I was being cooked alive and the air was toxic. My face was buried in a hole I had dug just to breathe. I was thankful for the experience. I volunteered for it so I would understand viscerally what I was up against daily.”
This exercise was part of the training after the Oakland Hills Fire. “So much destruction could have been prevented had people been educated on how to prepare for fire season. We want to make sure everyone in our community knows the importance of this,” she said. “Fire creates its own wind. An incline and trees add to the fire’s speed and intensity. Fire preheats as it comes uphill. Without mitigation, your property not only endangers everything you care about, but also the firefighters who come to rescue you. They count on you to have done the right thing.”
Matt and Adena donated and worked at The Big Chili Cook-off in support of local volunteer firefighters. “I cannot say enough about how wonderful they are. They protect the forests that we all enjoy and all those we love. We need to do our part to make sure they go home to their families,” said Adena.
Fire mitigation protects you, those you love, your home, community and our firefighters. Adena and Matt implore homeowners to take the steps that give firefighters the best shot at saving your property and keep them safe while doing it. Clean out your gutters, have water hoses attached to your home and clear brush, needles and trees from around your home. (See the article in the March 2021 issue, Are You Wildfire Ready?)
Make a go bag of all your important documents so you have what you need to rebuild. Practice an exit strategy with your neighborhood and local fire department. Make sure narrow streets and pullouts are clear. Don’t block fire hydrants.
“Ask your local fire department what you can do specifically for your property. Know your elderly neighbors and who may need your help. It takes a whole community to come together,” Adena added. “We have one incredible community, and we want everyone here to be safe.”
Matt and Adena feel responsible to educate the community where they live, work and play. With the alert that Evergreen could be the next Paradise (fire), it’s time to act and work together for the safety and well-being of all. “We are here to be of service to our neighbors and community.” Matt has worked with community grants for fire mitigation and with local neighbors.
Preservation Tree Care Inc. is your locally owned, nationally accredited tree care company. PTC handles residential, commercial, municipal and state contracts and provides pruning, planting, removal, plant health care and fire mitigation services using the most cutting edge and environmentally responsible techniques. Their incredible team of certified professionals is standing by to serve you and your property’s needs.
Visit PreservationTreeCare.net for a complete list of services, or call 303.761.1088 Mention this article and receive $100 OFF any service of $500 or more.
Photography by Kimberly Benfield Photography.