He’s high atop his profession
Lyndeborough: Arborist Richard Herfurth receives national honor for his work
Richard Herfurth talks about safety procedures with a group of college students. Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »
Richard Herfurth, center, focuses on safety training in his job with Bartlett Tree Experts. Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »
Arborist Richard Herfurth signals as the top of a 100-foot tree is removed from a cemetery in Wilton. Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »
Richard Herfurth of Lyndeborough was recently honored as a “True Professional of Arboriculture” by the International Society of Arboriculture. Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »
Richard Herfurth with his daughter Annie, left, and Natalie, at the Hillsborough County Fair on Saturday. Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »
LYNDEBOROUGH — Even when perched above the tree line, safety is the top priority for Richard Herfurth.
The 62-year-old Lyndeborough man is an arborist and safety and training coordinator for Bartlett Tree Experts, based out of the company’s Hooksett office. Traveling to sites throughout New England, Herfurth preaches the importance of safety to company workers who prune and cut down trees.
“It’s a dangerous occupation,” Herfurth said last week by phone from Vermont, where he was working on the campus of the University of Vermont. “It involves intense training and safety is a number one concern. Bartlett employs people like myself to concentrate on keeping everyone safe.”
In August, Herfurth was recognized as a “True Professional of Arboriculture” by the International Society of Arboriculture. The True Professional program honors arborists and tree-care professionals for their positive impact on the industry.
“Richard Herfurth is selfless in his approach to everything he does, often giving of his personal time in support of industry and community events,” said ISA President Terrence Flanagan at the ceremony in Toronto. “He’s an excellent mentor and teacher of arborists, especially in safety techniques through his work with Bartlett Tree Experts.”
Herfurth, who grew up in Deerfield, Mass., said he chose arboriculture as a career path early on, because it was a way to make a living while spending his time outdoors. After serving in the Marines during the Vietnam era, he earned an associate’s degree from the Stockbridge School of Agriculture and a bachelor’s degree in arboriculture from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. Then he went to work.
“I took a job in New Hampshire and never looked back,” Herfurth said. “I came here as an intern, then worked for Collins Tree Service in Hooksett for about five years, Then I went to work for Bartlett.”
As an arborist, Herfurth said, he spends much of his time caring for trees, not necessarily cutting them down.
One recent project involved transplanting a Camperdown elm tree that was 36 inches in diameter.
“To transplant something this large is unusual,”Herfurth said. “We only had to move it 100 feet, but first had to remove soil using air tools to reduce the weight so we could pick it up. It took us four days of preparation and four more days to put the 61,000 pound tree back in the ground. It was like intensive care.”
Herfurth has also been active in fighting the spread of the Asian longhorned beetle. One of his recent projects involved trunk injection of more than 200,000 trees in Worcester, Mass.
Herfurth, his wife Karen Grybko, and their children Natalie and Annie live on 32 acres in Lyndeborough known as Maple Lane Farm.
“I call it a little gentleman’s farm,” he said. “We raise a variety of animals. My daughters are in 4H.”
Last weekend, Herfurth spent his time at the Hillsborough County Fair in New Boston, where Annie was showing her Hereford calf while Herfurth served as the beef superintendent for the cattle competition.
Herbfurth, who was one of just five people named as a True Professional said he was pleasantly surprised by the honor.
“Apparently I excelled enough in someone’s eyes,” he said.
Dave Anderson can be reached at 924-7172, ext. 233 or email@example.com. He’s on Twitter at @DaveAndersonMLT.