Home » Michigan family takes over tree trimming business after deadly accident – WILX

Michigan family takes over tree trimming business after deadly accident – WILX

by Arifa Rana

GRAND LEDGE, Mich. (WILX) – Johanna Whickerham and her brother are taking over their dad’s tree trimming business after he died on the job.
Background: Ovid man suffers fatal fall working as tree trimmer
Mike Son, 60, died last month after falling out of a tree he was trimming in Oceana county in west Michigan.
“It’s my father’s legacy. It’s what he’s been working toward,” said James Son. “It’s always just been him, a chain saw and his truck.”
Those roots run deep.
“It’s been a family thing. My cousin owns a tree service down there. My uncle did it. Another uncle did it down there. Everybody up here did it. It was kind of like he was a magnet,” said James.
James and Johanna started working for Mike’s Tree Service when they were kids.
“It’s been an honor honestly, my dad gave me a really good foundation to build on when I was really young. He had me in trees when I was 10,” said James.
“If I wanted money, I needed to work with my dad,” said Johanna.
Johanna started working full-time for her dad about 10 years ago answering the phone when the business started picking up.
“The first time it was really hard to answer the first message. Especially when I went to text my dad. I wasn’t supposed to be texting my dad. I was supposed to be texting James,” said Johanna.
James is going up in the trees, knowing his dad will always be with him.
“While it did remind me of him, to my surprise, it was more of the good times. The fun he and I had climbing on certain projects together. And doing things,” said James.
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