Sargent’s Expert Feature – Jay Maier, General Manager

Upon hearing the name Jay Maier, many people’s minds in the Rochester area likely then think “tree care,” and rightfully so. For 17 years, Jay and tree care went together like bread and butter, fish and chips, peaches and cream, peanut butter and jelly, (or, like Nick Sargent and mulch!)

After moving to Rochester in 2000, Jay founded Maier Tree and Lawn, an arboriculture and urban forestry company. His passion of caring for both trees, customers, and notably, his team members, continued to lead him in the growth of his company until he sold it 17 years in. “I am passionate about the green industry and I love caring for the people who make up this industry,” Jay says. “Growth of a business, to me, means creation of opportunities for them.”

Shortly after selling his business, a new door opened for Jay to further his passion of leading a team. “I knew and respected the Sargent’s family from years of business in town and in 2019 I joined the company as the General Manager,” Jay says. “I love seeing team members get excited about where we are going together as a company. Recently, I was able to hear a number of people restate our Foundation, Mission and Values. This was thrilling to me, that they are bought in!”

Nick Sargent says of Jay, “I truly appreciate Jay’s professionalism and drive. He fits our company culture, ethics, morals, and philosophy very well. He has also been a great fit for me personally as my father has transitioned out of the business.”

Jay’s added talent and time investment with the team members deepens the level of service Sargent’s has been known to deliver through both the Garden Centers and Landscape Services staff. “I love seeing the feedback on the customer care cards after completion of a job when a customer mentions our team members by their names,” he says. “It’s great because that tells me our team has developed a relationship with the customer as compared to just being a “worker” on the job site.”

His love of trees has been a lifelong fascination. “As a child I climbed them, as a student, I studied them, (Jay earned a degree in Forestry from the University of Missouri, Columbia) and as a professional I care for them.”

As a self-described “tree guy,” the question of “What’s your favorite tree?” has to be asked! With great enthusiasm – “The burr oak, Quercus macrocarpa. It is the longest-living tree in this region. There are trees over 400 years-old within 30 miles of us. I have a tree on my property that is estimated to be 250 years old. They are often wider than they are tall and have a gnarly beauty that is unrivaled by other trees.”

When not talking about trees…he loves spending his time outdoors… amongst trees, working in the yard or on hikes with his wife of 27 years, Tara, and their five children. Being a native of Kansas City, his winter rec time is spent cheering on the Chiefs and playing guitar.

But with spring here and summer just around the corner, Jay closes by saying, “I love seeing trees grow. Over my 30 years in the industry, one of the most rewarding things is seeing the trees I planted and cared for over the decades thrive.”