Willem Avenant trained and worked in the UK for the 3 years. He studied at Caple Manor College, London, where he completed certification in Arboriculture. His qualifications are both NPTC and City and Guilds recognized, and affiliated with the ISA.
Willem started to work in the industry as a forester, and then quickly moved up the ladder of the tree world. He got a job at Wootton Estate, in Farley, Staffordshire, home of Sir Anthony Bamford, owner of the machinery and plant group JCB, one of the biggest privately owned companies in the UK. Soon Willem became in charge of the upkeep and maintenance of all the trees at Wootton and advised on trees of other JCB estates, making sure that the trees were safe and in good condition, to insure that all the foreign dignitaries and business men who visited these estates, for numerous reasons, found the aesthetic pleasing to the eye.
After that Willem wanted more industry intensive experience, and was accepted to work for Gristwood and Toms, the biggest tree company in the UK, and one of the biggest in Europe. There he was an industry climber, doing piece working, working on the streets of London, spending up to 8 hours a day in trees, and gaining invaluable experience in the field of Arboriculture, mostly working on council contracts.
When his time in the UK came to an end, he was urged to stay on at Gristwood and Toms, but decided to head back to South Africa, where he started to work on his own. He sub-contracted for local tree companies. After a year, his truck and all equipment got stolen, and he decided that he should move on.
Wanting to keep up to date with issues and techniques of arboriculture, he decided to move to Alaska. There he worked for Tall Tress, where he worked closely with the owner, managing a team of 5 international climbers, doing private and counsel work around Anchorage. There he met his wife, Julie, and they decided to come back to SA.
On their return, they travelled through Southern Africa for 6 months, during which Willem did tree work for private resorts in Malawi. Upon their return they decided to stay in SA, and so met Matthew Priestley. Willem was very impressed with Matthew’s operation and standard of work, and is very happy to be taking over the company from Matthew. Willem is committed to continuing the excellent standard of service and expertise that Matthew’s clients have come to expect.