November 22, 2015


The hard work and entrepreneurial spirit of founder Steve Sylvester started with his upbringing in South St. Paul, MN. With his mind for business, Steve began S&S Tree and Horticultural Specialists in 1976.

At that time, the only services provided were gravel installation, landscaping, and tree care. In the late 1970’s, S&S began to grow as the demand for tree removal became overwhelming due to the devastating effects of Dutch Elm Disease in the area.

Over the next twenty years, S&S continued to grow and expanded its service offerings to include plant health and lawn care services.

In 2004, S&S expanded again to begin processing wood debris into mulch. Mulch was a fairly new industry back in 2004 and Steve had to work to create a market. Gino Pitera, co-owner of Gertens Wholesale Garden Centers, was one of the first businesses that Steve worked with to develop colored mulch and offer it to area landscape designers and the general public. Over the course of fifteen years, Gino & Steve formed a personal friendship along with their trust of each other in business. Together through many experiments, they developed one of the most constant sized mulches in the industry. Steve has been interviewed by many national publications with regards to his expertise in the mulch industry and has traveled throughout the U.S. helping new mulch businesses become successful.

In 2012, Steve & family sold S&S to the Ohio-based Davey Tree Expert Company. For the next two years, Steve & his wife Debbie attempted to sit back & farm their 525 acres of crop land in the Luck, WI area. In January of 2015, Steve’s old friend Gino inquired as to whether they would be interested in going back into the mulch business as he was not happy with his current mulch provider. After several months of considering this new opportunity, Steve & Debbie started Sylvester Custom Grinding, Inc. and purchased a 2015 RotoChopper B66T 765hp grinder/colorizer.

One of the first things Steve & Debbie did was to go out and find the BEST employee to operate and run their business in the field. With extensive training provided directly through the manufacturer, they feel very blessed to have Adam Pinault as their Operations Manager.