Photos by Gina Turner
Leaning Tree Land Management is a family-owned and operated local business dedicated to giving customers the “view” of their dreams. Whether it’s clearing a path from your front porch to a beautiful pond, letting in a morning sunrise or an afternoon sunset, or simply clearing underbrush at a deer lease or to find the best spot for a new home, Charlie, Dena, and Wayne Pollis are ready to make it happen!
Charlie is a long time Huntsville resident. He grew up on Rosenwall Road near the Wynne Unit, where his parents, Wayne and Melissa, still live today. He and Dena were childhood friends. In fact, they were neighbors, and used to play together around Hadley Creek. After graduating from Huntsville High School in 1994, Charlie joined the Marine Corps, where he served as an electronics and optics technician while he was stationed at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. During his time in the military, his position did not require that he leave the U.S. After completing his four-year term, he returned to Huntsville, Texas, and has been here ever since.
Like Charlie, Dena also grew up in the Huntsville area, until her freshman year in high school, when she and her family moved away. She was married for almost 20 years, and had her son Chaston. He was about 15-years-old when she got a divorce and decided to return to Huntsville. “That was about 5 years ago,” said Dena. It was in 2015 at a benefit concert held at the fairgrounds that she happened to run into Charlie again, after several years. After they re-connected, they began dating and got married only last year. Then, in the summer of 2018, they decided to start their own business.
According to Charlie, he and Dena both love the outdoors and really enjoy making places look their best. Leaning Tree Land Management serves mostly Walker County and the surrounding areas, and will do anything from land clearing, under-brushing, and dirt work, to building driveways, “we’re in the business of creating views,” said Dena. No job is too big or too small. When new property owners want to build a house, “our job is to clear a path to help them have a better view and be able to decide the best location to start building their new home.”
There is no doubt that trees play an important role in our environment. In East Texas, there are various types of trees: White and Red Oak, Cedar, Hickory, Maple, as well as small seedling Pine and Yaupons, which are the most prolific in this area, “as well as the biggest headaches,” added Wayne. For the most part, they do their best to preserve hardwood trees, such as the Live Oak and Cedars. These make great shade trees, so they generally try to clear around them. Occasionally however, there is a need to eliminate these trees whether its due to allergens, or bad location within a particular property. Elm trees in these parts are pretty much useless, except for providing shade. “If you burn them in a fireplace, they crackle and pop,” said Wayne.
Charlie’s parents, Wayne and Melissa, are very knowledgeable about the different varieties of trees in East Texas, and have become a valuable resource when determining how to approach specific types of trees. Besides Charlie, they also have an older son David and a younger daughter Susan. She and her husband live here, but their son recently moved to Alvin, Texas.
Clearing a large piece of land can be a very expensive project. Not everyone can afford to spend anywhere from $11K and up at one time, said Dena. “We’ve been there, and we understand that these projects have to be done a little at a time.” Leaning Tree Land Management takes that into consideration, and tries to work with customers to make these types of projects more feasible and affordable. We offer the opportunity to work hourly, bid a whole project at once, or by the acre, and we don’t charge for estimates. If the distance is reasonably close, we do not charge travel time either. “Pricing depends on what the customer needs. Ordinarily, they like to meet with customers first to find out what type of work they are needing. Some customers can’t afford to clear their whole property at one time, so they try to work with their customers to make it more affordable and possible. Ultimately, said Charlie, “our goal is to help our customers get started with these large projects that many times are postponed because of the cost.”
Charlie, Dena, and Wayne affectionately refer to the machine they use to carry out these jobs as “The Beast.” It is a Kubota SVL 95. This piece of equipment can cut a pine up to 8 inches in diameter in less than a minute and a half. It has a 51/2” diameter disk that is an inch and quarter thick, solid steel, and has teeth around the outside edge, and it can rotate at over 1,000 rpm. “When you disengage it, said Wayne, “it takes about 10 minutes for the wheel to stop moving.” When they are clearing ground, for safety reasons, it is recommended standing at least 100 feet away to avoid flying debris. Depending on the type of tree, cutting it has to be approached differently. The machine has interchangeable parts that can be used for bulldozing, grappling, etc., and can be easily exchanged by simply removing the hydraulic hoses. The machine basically connects and disconnects by itself.
At home, Charlie and Dena, enjoy working together on home projects. “Charlie has always been one to work with his hands,” said Wayne. He’s very handy and has built many things. One recent project is Dena’s “She Shed,” which she uses as her home office, since she works a lot from home. Charlie of course, has his own “Man Cave” which is basically his garage, and the place where creative projects begin. He also likes working with metal. All in all, Charlie and Dena have been together for about 3 1/2 years. They enjoy the outdoors and spending time with their two dogs, Motley and Crew.
For Charlie and Dena, Huntsville is their home. They are part of the community, and look forward to serving their neighbors in Walker County and surrounding areas. They invite prospective customers to visit them on Facebook at leaningtreelandmanagement, to learn about their most newly completed jobs. They also encourage anyone needing mulching, brush clearing, or land improvement to give them a call at (936) 439-3919 for a free estimate.