In 1956, Edward Cotton started his own Tree Service in the City of Northampton. At that time Dutch Elm Disease was killing most of the mature Elms and pesticide use was rampant. Ed loved to work outside, and tree work was a natural fit for him. He was a graduate of the Stockbridge School of Agriculture, became a Certified Arborist while continuing his profession into his mid eighties.
Jeremy Cotton always knew he wanted to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps. At the age of seven, having donned a pair of climbing spikes, Jeremy informed his grandfather he was ready to work with the tree crew. Ed quietly took this opportunity to explain that it was more important to plant trees instead of removing them. Ed then gave a hearty chuckle, informing his grandson that the tree spikes needed to be worn to the inside of the boots, not the outside. These conversations continued, during breakfasts, in the car and observing the Red Hawk migrations. Edward was talking, Jeremy was listening.
Jeremy Cotton learned many things from his grandfather in the coming years. Ed explained about how pesticides contaminate the environment by leeching into the ground water, poisoning our fish and eventually the birds. This lesson would later be revisited as Jeremy Cotton himself attended The Stockbridge School and read “Silent Spring” by Rachel Carlson. Edward taught his grandson how it was important to use dark bags when rescuing cats out of trees. “It makes them feel safe” he explained.
As time progressed, Ed explained to his grandson the importance of making sure the right trees were planted in the proper places. “Jeremy, look at the entire situation thoroughly before you plant trees. If you don’t, the tree won’t live a full life cycle, and this defeats the purpose of planting.”
There were many more lessons; excellent communication with customers, giving back to the community, recycling; all fundamental lessons to eventually own and operate a successful, healthy business.
In 2007, prior to his death, Edward helped his grandson purchase his first bucket truck. The words of wisdom were short. “Jer, you know what to do, now go do it.” With Edward Cotton’s passing, Jeremy Cotton is now the only Certified Arborist in the Cotton family. Having a degree in Urban Tree Forestry from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, an arborist certification and the help of a childhood friend, Larry Lashway of Williamsburg, LashCo Tree Service was formed.
In 2010, after developing a substantial customer base, and paying off the debt of a newly formed business, Jeremy Cotton took full ownership of LashCo Tree Service. This change allowed Larry to spend more time with his wife and two small children.
Today, LashCo performs all aspects of Shade Tree Care. Planting, pruning, cabling, fertilizing and hazardous removals are the backbone of what LashCo does. This is what Edward Cotton taught his grandson to do. We at LashCo, look forward to hearing from you.