Farmlab Public Salon
Of Valley Crest
Friday, April 27 @ 12pm
ValleyCrest: A Landscape History
About Burt Sperber
Burton S. Sperber, FASLA, is the Founder & Chief Executive Officer, and Chairman of the Board of Directors of ValleyCrest Companies.
A pioneer in establishing the industry as a professional and respected entity, Sperber was instrumental in establishing regional and national landscape contracting associations. He was a founding member of the California Institute for Landscape Architecture and the American Institute for Landscape Architecture, organizations that are precursors to today's state and national associations. He is a Fellow in the American Society of Landscape Architects (FASLA), and has been recognized with awards and honors throughout his six decade career as a landscape architect, contractor and business executive. He is a Director of Los Angeles Beautiful, former President and Founder of the California Landscape and Irrigation Council, and former Director of the Landscape Architectural Foundation.
-- from www.valleycrest.com
"In 1949, we began as ValleyCrest Landscape Nurseries, a small neighborhood landscape retail nursery in North Hollywood, California, in the booming San Fernando Valley. Landscape work was primarily done in front and back yards. We became experts in building complete gardens including ponds, waterfalls, fence overhangs and concrete, and developed expertise in tree moving as well as selling nursery products retail.
"As we grew, schools and highways were being built, and the landscape work we did was in great demand. The tree growing demand developed along with us, and we thought up the idea of trees being grown in boxes which allowed us to plant 12 months out of the year. We separated the company and started Valley Crest Tree Co., mainly to grow trees for our jobs. Today, more than 90% of VCT's production is purchased by outside companies.
"The 1950s were the years of building a strong operational foundation, developing the tools in our company that are used throughout the industry in the United States today, including implements for tractors, hand tools and maintenance equipment. In the 50's we were the innovators in the landscape business. We honed our skills in tree moving. Today we use the same methods we used then for moving trees, only with much larger equipment.
"In the 1960s, we started expanding out of Los Angeles county to other cities and states, developing the branch system. We started our college scholarship programs and operated under the name ValleyCrest Company.
"In the early 70s, we decided to take our company public to help finance our unprecedented growth and developed a holding company named Environmental Industries, Inc. The word environmental was to be a word of the future. We created an independent landscape maintenance division and named it Environmental Care. We continued our growth in the 1980's. Our red trucks preceded us, and our reputation continued to grow. We bought back our public stock and became a private company again.
"By the 1990s, we were doing landmark projects around the United States. We started our golf division, which owned, built, managed and maintained golf courses. VC built and maintained almost 600 courses. Today, except for Glen Annie Golf Course in Santa Barbara, we no longer own or manage golf courses. And all of our golf course construction is done by ValleyCrest Landscape Development while our golf division successfully maintains some of the finest golf courses throughout the U.S.
"In 2002, we decided to rebrand our entire company under the ValleyCrest name. Our parent company is now named ValleyCrest Companies. Environmental Care has been renamed ValleyCrest Landscape Maintenance and Environmental Golf has been renamed ValleyCrest Golf Course Maintenance. Our landscape construction division is ValleyCrest Landscape Development. Valley Crest Tree Co. kept its same name."
-- Burt Sperber, from www.valleycrest.com