History of R&W Tree Experts
A third generation family business
Al Sr. (Charles Allen Willever) was born in Paterson and raised in West Paterson (now Woodland Park). A natural entrepreneur and mechanic, he made a tractor out of a Model T with 2 transmissions and ran a blade off of the drive shaft. During the Depression, he would use this to cut wood and deliver cords of wood to sell.
After World War ll broke out, Al partnered with Bob Rafus in 1947 to establish R & W tree Experts ( Rafus & Willever, hence the name R & W). After several years, Al assumed full control of R&W.
Al’s son, Al Jr. (Charles Allen Willever, named for his father) was born in Paterson and raised in Wayne. Being the tallest of three boys and perfect at climbing trees, he started working for his Dad at the age of 16. Father and son worked very well together.
Later on, Al Jr.’s son Jim as a teenager in 1978, was taken under the wing of his grandfather, Al Sr., and came on to work full-time in 1980. Both the senior and junior Als were excellent teachers, teaching Jim how to climb safely and efficiently. Jim has a tremendous amount of respect for his father and grandfather. He describes his grandfather as the toughest man he’s even known, both mentally and physically. Jim says, “As tough as my grandfather was, I never met a man as trustworthy and fair with his workers and customers. To him, the customer was always right.”
With over 60 years of experience and tradition, R & W has experienced many changes and innovations in the arborist industry. In 1947, trees were all topped and done with hand saws. Eventually smaller and lighter chain saws were used. In the late 1950’s and early 60’s, they did land clearing using chain saws and fire to clear the land. They would knock down trees and transport branches on flat bed trucks, and use bulldozers on the land being cleared. In 1967, they purchased their first wood chipper and in 1969, they purchased their first dump truck. R &W has never believed in using spikes to climb when trimming the trees as it is not good for them. They strive to always do what is best all around.
Jim proudly continues the tradition set by his father and grandfather in giving 110 % on every job while inspiring the trust of his customers.