The Davey Tree Expert Company is currently working on expanding its corporate headquarters to include a specialized training and research facility on a 170+ acre property, as well as a third wing addition to its existing corporate building. Both are located in Kent, Ohio, where Davey was established in 1880.
The Davey Tree SEED (Science, Employee Education, and Development) Campus, the 170+ acre property that formerly housed the Oak Knolls golf course and Franklin Elementary School on State Route 43 in Kent, Ohio, will be the new home to specialized training and research facilities for The Davey Tree Expert Company. The science and learning campus is being designed to ensure that Davey continues to attract and retain the most qualified, well-trained and engaged employees possible. Planned facilities include a 25,000-square-foot training center and associated offices, a 10,700-square-foot indoor climbing center, 18 spans of non-energized utility right-of-way, laboratories and greenhouses, a container nursery, and multiple research plots and fields.
“For over 140 years, Davey has shown an uncompromising commitment to the training and education of our employees and to giving back to the industry through the support and sponsoring of scientific research that enhances our collective safety, techniques and results as arborists and environmentalists. Our investment in the SEED Campus elevates this commitment to a new level, cements our standing as the thought leader in the green industry and creates a facility that our employees, shareholders and community will all benefit from.”
- Pat Covey, chairman, president, and CEO
The training center classrooms will be more than double the size of the current classrooms at the Davey Institute across the street at Davey Tree’s corporate headquarters. The classrooms are used to teach many of Davey’s educational and training programs, including the Davey Institute of Tree Sciences (D.I.T.S.) classes, which is Davey’s flagship training program in biological sciences, safety, tree and plant care and management techniques. The anticipated completion of the SEED Campus is 2026. Research and training have started taking place on the property, including tree and shrub plantings on research plots and utility and safety training.
Training and research facilities on the SEED Campus may also include:
“The Davey Tree SEED Campus will be the green industry’s premier research and training facility. It will be used to generate science-based knowledge that will be applied by highly trained professionals across Davey throughout our industry. Sustainability is emphasized as the SEED Campus is home to wonderful natural areas, including nearly one mile of Cuyahoga River frontage, a bog and other wetlands, and many mature trees that provide long-term research opportunities. Everything that we do as a company will be reflected in this property in some way.”
- Dan Herms, vice president of research and development, Davey Institute
“Our vision for the SEED Campus is to be a state-of-the-art research and education center for use by not only our employees, but also to include client interaction, community involvement and educational opportunities for regional institutions and our peers in the green industry. This will be a special place to gather and experience all that Davey has to offer. It will be something we can be proud of for many generations to come.”
- Dan Joy, executive vice president and assistant to the president
“Another interesting piece of this project is that Davey is making space for archives and building a museum for Davey's historical items. The SEED Campus property is located just down the street from the historic Standing Rock Cemetery where our founder John Davey began his career in arboriculture in the late 1800s, so this is the perfect place to shine a spotlight on Davey’s 140-year history and display some of our equipment, documents and artifacts. And as part of this emphasis on history, the barn that was on the property previously will be reconstructed and have a special location on the campus.”
- Sandee Reid, vice president of corporate communications and strategic planning
The third wing being built at the corporate headquarters is a 38,400-square-foot addition to the already existing corporate building. Construction started in April 2020, and is expected to be completed in the fall of 2022. The third wing will house office spaces for various corporate service lines and support functions. After its completion, the combined building, consisting of the new wing and completely renovated existing space, will be 80,000 square feet. The addition of the third wing will bring 70 new jobs to Kent, Ohio, and will be a visible symbol of Davey's commitment to Kent, and to the remarkable growth that Davey has seen over the last 40 years.
Employees had the opportunity to sign their names to the "Davey" steel beam, painted Davey green, in the fall of 2021, before the beam was lifted into place by construction crews.
Construction on the corporate office, located at 1500 N. Mantua St. in Kent, Ohio, started in July 1984, when Davey had approximately 3,000 employees nationwide and a revenue of $118.9 million. Employees moved into the original 41,000-square-foot building in June 1985, which was designed in a way that a third wing could be attached to accommodate future growth. In addition to the main corporate office opening in 1985, the Company also unveiled the Davey Institute, a separate 10,000-square-foot building consisting of classrooms, a laboratory and a greenhouse, to serve Davey’s science and training needs. Since 1984, the company has grown to over 11,000 employees nationwide and revenue of $1.38 billion in 2021, making it necessary to expand and update the home office.
The Davey Tree Expert Company Established in 1880 and headquartered in Kent, Ohio, provides research-driven tree services, grounds maintenance, and environmental consulting for residential, utility, commercial, and environmental partners in the U.S. and Canada. With 11,000 employees, Davey Tree is the eighth largest employee-owned company in the U.S.