This summer, urban forestry senior Lana Welford completed a 10-week internship with SavATree in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. SavATree, a tree, shrub and lawn care company with 25 offices across the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Mid-West, relies on the expertise of certified arborists to ensure the best possible tree health and client satisfaction. Learn how Welford utilized knowledge garnered at SFA to make independent decisions in the field while also mastering new skills.
What where your duties as an intern?
I served on the ground crew, which included dragging brush, running lines, lowering branches and logs, bucking up brush, operating the wood chipper and refueling chainsaws. I also climbed trees to prune or remove deadwood, completed ornamental shaping, conducted plant health care fertilizer and pesticide applications, participated in lawn care ride-alongs and job consultations, and drove and operated the chip truck, bucket truck and stump grinder.
Do you feel that this experience has been beneficial to your undergraduate career?
I got to truly experience what my future career will be like and practice or obtain needed skills. It really helped assure me that this is what I want to do after graduation, and I'm really hoping to go back to the company once I finish school.
What was your favorite part about the internship?
Once my coworkers felt that I knew what I was doing they provided me the autonomy to make my own tree care management decisions. They would assign me a tree to climb, and I would complete the work order and make the decisions as to how I wanted to proceed. They were still available to give advice and input so I could continue to learn the skills I needed. I also really enjoyed bonding with everyone at the Cape Cod office. It feels like a really big family, and they really brought me into their group. This was a wonderful experience, and I truly loved this last summer. It was hard work - like, really hard - but so incredibly worth it.