Company History

“Stay Ahead of the Pack” – John Swingle, 1947

Swingle’s History

In 1947, John Swingle founded the Swingle Tree Surgery Company in central Denver. John pruned the trees, while his wife stacked branches and limbs in their Jeep. Over the years, with John’s extensive knowledge of arboriculture, dedication to his customers’ needs, and business savvy, our Company grew.


John established quality work as the Company standard and his motto became, “Stay Ahead of the Pack.” This motto applied to all areas of creating a successful service company – management, product innovation, customer service, and community involvement.

Today, after decades of growth, Swingle remains firmly committed to traditional values, legendary service, loyalty to our customers, and respect for our employees. We are innovative, environmentally conscious, and unequaled in quality and safety.

Having joined Swingle in 1987, in the fall of 1997, Tom Tolkacz became a partner in Swingle. In late 1998, Tom purchased the Company. Tom continues to lead Swingle into the future by focusing on our past philosophies while embracing new and current techniques.

As our society becomes more complex, we believe it is paramount to continually invest in training and the information needs of all our employees. We continually set the standard for knowledge, experience and professionalism within our industry. Through our continued growth, the sum of our team’s unique talents allows us to provide an unequaled level of personalized service and expertise to our customers.

We strive to do the best job possible and, if that is not achieved, we will return to do so. This is satisfying to us and to our customers, reinforcing trust and fostering the long-term relationships for which we are known.

Because of our beliefs, commitment, ethics, investment in education and team, our service and work quality will always exceed that of the competition.

Swingle is a Colorado company. Since our founding in Colorado in 1947 by John Swingle, Swingle has committed itself to beautifying Colorado by supporting the charitable and nonprofit organizations that make our state so unique and enjoyable.

On an ongoing basis, Swingle:

  • Supports the Denver Botanic Gardens Plant Sale and provides nationally-recognized Christmas lighting displays.
  • Provides a Board Member and fundraising efforts for Families First, an organization dedicated to ending child abuse in Colorado.
  • Sponsors Garden Tours and outdoor events in Denver, Fort Collins, Littleton, Parker, Loveland and Greeley.
  • Funds the Swingle-Tolkacz Family Scholarship for undergraduate horticulture students and the Swingle – Sinnamon Scholarship for undergraduates working toward a degree in the College of Agricultural Sciences at Colorado State University.
  • Participates actively in Colorado Bike to Work Day.
  • Cycles to raise funds for Colorado’s urban forests in the annual Tour des Poudre.
  • Underwrites Realities for Children, a Fort Collins charity helping abused and neglected children in Larimer County.

Swingle supports Colorado through membership in green industry organizations, including:

  • Colorado Association of Lawn Care Professionals. Mr. Tolkacz and Gibson have each served as President of this esteemed organization, which provides education and services to the general public and serves as liaison between regulatory groups and the industry. For CALCP’s Annual Day of Service, Swingle maintains and beautifies a historical outdoor Colorado landmark.
  • Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado. Swingle Owner & CEO Tom Tolkacz is a Bob Cannon (lifetime achievement) award winner for this prestigious organization, which provides useful information to homeowners, property managers, urban/suburban dwellers, rural landowners and passionate gardeners statewide.
  • Professional Landcare Network (PLANET). PLANET has recognized Swingle Owner & CEO Tom Tolkacz and President John Gibson with Lifetime Achievement Awards.
  • Tree Care Industry of America. Each year, Swingle participates in TCIA’s Legislative Day on the Hill, raising awareness of the lawn, tree and landscape care opportunities and challenges facing homeowners and businesses in Colorado’s unique climate.