Love for trees was as much in blood as it was his last name. Whether dispensing advice on heat stress signals in the middle of a brutal summer...
"If it loses all of its leaves and goes totally brown, it's done," he said.
Or bracing you for a heavy blanket of snow in the winter.
"If you haven't done anything to your tree in 10 years, don't go outside," he laughed.
His smile could make you forget how dangerous his profession was, a danger which not even a man named Mike Forest could charm.
"The back of the bucket got caught on a limb and he didn't notice it, and when it dislodged itself, it flung him out of the bucket and he fell and landed on his head.," said friend and associate Dave Nosak.
A 27 foot fall that changed everything.
"I have been doing really good with my emotions," said Maggie Forest, keeping the tears at bay as best she can as she tries to pick up where Mike left off.
"Any time I think I'm going to fall apart I think there's not an option, I'm going to succeed, I don't have an option, I have kids," she said.
9 month old Talon, and Daddy's girl, Farrah.
"Every night she grabs his picture and she kisses it and it makes it hard," she said.
A scenario Dave dreads to imagine.
"I have 3 children of my own," he said.
He's stepped in to help Maggie navigate this new reality.
"Yeah it's a work in progress trying to keep financially stable to where there's money coming in and with Maggie his wife now being a single mother and the owner of a tree care, it's a little difficult at times," he said.
Which is a big reason why this story is being done. For a guy who helped us out every time we came calling about trees, his family wanted to know if we could help get out the word to his customers and anyone else...
"To let them know that Mike has passed on, but we are still there to be their tree care need," said Dave.
Climbing onward and upward, something Mike would appreciate with a name like Forest.
"He wasn't someone you would forget, if you met him," said Maggie.
Trees By The Forest can be reached at 918-744-5758.
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