Bruce Allentuck, Allentuck Landscaping

By Lindsey Getz

NALP MEMBER BRUCE ALLENTUCK says he was young and naive when he started mowing lawns as a kid. He had no idea there was a whole industry out there representing landscape maintenance. He just knew he enjoyed being outside and doing a good, honest day’s work.

Having grown up with a father who had always been in business for himself, Allentuck knew the entrepreneurial spirit ran in his blood. It had always been his intention to start a business. When he realized that business could be landscap- ing, he says it was the perfect fit. “I’ve always been an outdoorsy person,” Allentuck says. “I’ve always loved camping, hiking and just being outside. On top of that, I’ve always enjoyed building and creating things. So when we started the company, we started with design/build and grew it from there.” Today, Allentuck’s business, Allentuck Landscaping, Clarksburg, Maryland,

which he launched in 1986, is an equal mix of maintenance and design/build work for residential customers. He’s proud to see the company growing. NALP recently caught up with Allentuck to find out more.

I got into the industry the way most of us got here. My best friend and I were too young to get jobs. As a result, we started mowing lawns. We built a nice company out of it and sold it when we went to college. We’re still best friends, but he pursued a career with computers, and I carried on within the green industry and got a landscaping degree.

Connect with Allentuck



allentucklandscaping, Instagram. com/rightplantz

My biggest challenge today is probably the same as everyone else’s: finding enough good people to work at our company. While we have many long-term key employees, the crew member level is the level that turns over the most. But it’s also arguably the most vital. You can’t get the work done without crew members. Getting them in the door is hard enough but making sure they come back for the fourth and fifth days is the real key. So, we’re working really hard on engagement and making people feel appreciated. We want this to be a place they want to stay. We’ve developed a whole engagement and onboarding plan that we’re tweaking to be most effective. The fact is, while we used to try

out employees, now they’re trying out the companies. The times have changed.

On Monday mornings I look forward to high fiving the employees and getting the week off to a good start. I even have secret handshakes with some employees, and I think they get a kick out of it. We also have our safety talks on Monday mornings. It’s the one day that everyone is gathered in one place. We count how many days we are accident free—we’re in the 200s right now. We make announcements including birthday and anniversary wishes. It just makes it something to look forward to.

I try to work out around 4:30 a.m. daily. To quote a

For more on Allentuck, visit his story at 38 The Landscape Professional // May/June 2019

famous athlete, “If you can destroy your body first thing, it makes the rest of the day a lot easier.” For me, if I can spend an hour or two working out really hard, the rest of the day is easy. When you wait until the end of the day to work out, you’re tired and the excuses build up. As a result, it just doesn’t get done.

I can’t imagine there are other organizations that are as energized and caring about their members as the National Association of Landscape Professionals. You can call on anyone there and they will help you with whatever you need. I think that’s a rarity today. We have such truly genuine people in the lawn and landscape industry. TLP


Favorite business book: “Scaling Up” by Verne Harnish – “a real pragmatic guide to developing an engaged company.”

Business focus: “Grow people and improve our efficiencies.”

Business mentors: “My dad … and Mike Bogan, CEO of LandCare—one of the smartest industry people I know.”

Latest project:—”a website I started with my daughter that brings landscape professionals and homeowners together.”

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