March 6, 2023 /
Christina Hester

Garden Talk with Maddie

In celebration of Women’s History Month, we’re highlighting some of the amazing women that make up the Casey Trees team, starting with our resident horticulturist and landscape architect Maddie Hoagland – Hanson! Maddie works with our tree operations team to assist homeowners with garden services. This is a paid program (unlike our residential trees program) where we work to create custom ecological gardens that provide pollinators, wildlife, and aesthetic value to home landscapes. Watch the video or read the full interview below to learn more about our garden program!

Casey Trees (CT): Who are you and what do you do at Casey Trees?

Maddie Hoagland – Hanson (MHH): My name is Maddie and at Casey Trees, I’m the Horticulturist. I’ve just always had like, an innate interest in the natural world. And I’ve always been really drawn to plants, even though I grew up in the city. After college, you know, I went to work in the Conservation Corps. So, I got a lot of exposure to a lot of different environments and just fell in love with working outdoors and working closely with the land.

(CT): Tell us about the garden program.

(MHH): The garden program here, it’s a super new program. It’s only been around for about a year and a half. It’s mostly available to residential homeowners and its mission driven. So, we design and install what we call ecological gardens. That would be gardens that are composed of almost 100% native species that are really good for local wildlife, local pollinators, just a great like resource for homeowners, like an aesthetic resource of nature in the city and also an educational resource in a lot of ways, a way to learn about like local ecology.

(CT): What’s your favorite part of your job?

(MHH): I think my favorite part of the job is getting to work outside with the crew. Putting my hands on the plants that we’re installing and have a clear sense of accomplishment. Like when the project is over, it’s like, wow, like we put that in and that’s like a beautiful new addition to the world.

(CT): What about some challenges you face?

(MHH): I would say, one challenge that we face is a lack of understanding on the part of some people about the role that their gardens can play, with regard to the nonhuman world. People have concerns about the aesthetics of these things, which are definitely valid in a lot of ways, but we try to balance concerns about things looking maybe too wild, too unkempt, like feelings like that, with the ecological benefits of using almost exclusively native species.

(CT): Any advice to women who might be scared or nervous to join a “man’s industry”?

(MHH): I think that women have a lot to offer in obviously every field, but especially in fields where they’re underrepresented. I think at Casey Trees, like, I’m fortunate to work in an environment where I don’t feel that my gender is an obstacle in any way. My advice is to not count yourself out. If you’re interested in something and you feel that your heart is drawing you towards something, then there’s no reason why you can’t do it. And I feel like specifically, being a woman, working in a job that requires manual labor at times, I think women are as strong as men.