Far from Falmouth roots, Lucas Tree Experts expands with North Carolina acquisition

Far from Falmouth roots, Lucas Tree Experts expands with North Carolina acquisition

Falmouth-based Lucas Tree Experts has grown another limb with the acquisition of a Mount Airy, N.C., company, Carter Utility Tree Services.

The purchase was completed last week, spokeswoman Lauren Healy said, but would not disclose terms. The deal adds 55 former Carter employees to the Lucas workforce, bringing the total to over 550.

Lucas also acquired 100 pieces of equipment in the transaction, and now has over 1,000, according to Healy.

Carter, like Lucas, provides tree pruning and vegetation management for electric utilities, clearing growth along power line rights-of-way.

Lucas sold its residential lawn and tree service last year to focus on utility business, and now works for clients along much of the East Coast and in maritime Canada. In Maine, Lucas handles tree clearing and other work for the two largest electric utilities, Central Maine Power Co. and Versant Power.

In June 2021, Lucas acquired New England Tree Experts, of Hardwick, Vt., to expand Lucas’ utility business in that state.

The company has been serving clients in North Carolina since 2012, according to the news release, and with the newest acquisition now employs over 100 people there.

“Growth of our electric utility vegetation management portfolio is a core growth strategy for us,” said the company’s president and CEO, Art Batson III.

“We will now be able to expand our service area into western North Carolina, and we’re now better positioned to compete and grow our business in Tennessee, West Virginia and parts of Virginia. As we expand in other parts of the country, it allows us to grow here in Maine — by adding new employees at our Falmouth headquarters and becoming an even more engaged corporate citizen in our area.”

Lucas Tree is considering additional acquisitions, probably in the Midwest and the South, according to Healy.

The family-owned business, founded in 1926, currently has 250 Maine employees and expects to increase that number, Batson noted. Across its U.S. territory, the company has hired over 30 people in the last month.

“We selected Lucas Tree Experts because of their approach to safety and people management. We knew they would treat our people well,” said Dwayne Carter, owner of Carter Utility Tree Services.