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Branching Out

imageJon Roy prepares a tree for the chipper.

Just three years after Jon Roy ’95 graduated from the University of New Hampshire’s (UNH) Forest Technology program at the Thompson School of Applied Science, he started his own business. Now a thriving company, Orion Tree Service provides the communities of Barrington, Durham, Lee, Madbury, Newmarket, Stratham, and surrounding areas with highly skilled tree removal, tree pruning, stump grinding, and storm damage emergency services.

Some of Roy’s employees are also Thompson School Forest Technology graduates, including Aaron Brooks ’06. Brooks notes that courses in Dendrology, which enabled him to quickly identify various plants and trees, and Forest Harvesting Systems have been most useful in his career. “Don Quigley taught me how to properly use a chainsaw, fell trees, and sharpen saws,” says Brooks of the Thompson School’s esteemed Professor of Forest Technology.

imageAaron Brooks clears brush from a felled tree.

As a business owner, Roy appreciates the level of proficiency Thompson School graduates have upon entering the workforce. “I know that my own education was crucial to my business in assessing plant health and managing the unmanicured forest at the edge of suburban properties,” says Roy, who worked for arborist Bruce Anderson as part of his summer Work Experience program in college. After graduation Roy continued to learn from other foresters in the industry and has developed his leadership skills while managing the Orion team for safety and success.

A unit within UNH’s College of Life Sciences and Agriculture, the Thompson School’s Forest Technology program enables students to integrate all aspects of forest management as they complete projects on more than 3,000 acres of University land. Forest Technology majors contribute to the sustainable management of UNH lands while using the school’s sawmill and harvesting equipment. Like Roy, Forest Technology students have ample opportunity in the classroom and in the forest to develop their skills and techniques that are critical to the future ecological and economic health and management of the natural resources in the state and region.

- Victoria Forester Courtland