The FOREST CITY TREE PROTECTION COMPANY, was established in 1910 by William P. Lanphear, Jr.  Lanphear began his career as an arborist in 1902, while still a student at WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY, working on Euclid Ave., the city’s eastern suburbs, and GATES MILLS. He then went to New York where he worked with 75 other college men caring for trees in large estates along the Hudson, and in Long Island, and Pocantica Hills.

He returned to Cleveland and started Forest City Tree Protection Company in 1910. Cleveland was known as the “FOREST CITY” in the early 19th century, due to its abundance of trees alongside the village streets.   Forest City Tree Protection became the city arborist in 1914. In 1918, the company moved to its present (2019) operation location in South Green Rd., South Euclid.  Service as city arborists allowed Lanphear and his family to survive during the Great Depression.

In 1937, William Lanphear’s sons, John and William III became full-time partners in 1937. In the late 1950s, they created the Lanphear Supply Division which sells Stihl equipment to other professionals in the forestry business.   In 1958, the partnership dissolved and the company was incorporated with William Jr. as chairman.  Upon his death in 1966, his son John became board chairman and William III President. 

The firm’s long association with the city of Cleveland ended in 1968 when Cleveland created its own arbor department.    John retired in 1975 and sold his shares to William. William’s son, Lauren, became involved full-time in 1979. Also, in 1979, the company created a separate division, Chim Chim Cher-ee Chimney Sweeps, which provides chimney cleaning services to homeowners.   William retired in 1983 and Lauren became president in 1993 and continues in that office as of 2019. 

Gretchen Norton