Make it Muscatine: Howard Forest & Prairie

MUSCATINE, Iowa–For Bart Howard, owner of Howard Forest & Prairie, running his own business felt completely natural. “I always planned on having my own business,” he reflected. “I was born entrepreneurially minded.”

When Howard started as assistant coach for the Muscatine High School track team in 2015, he knew he wanted work with flexible hours so he could easily attend practices and meets. He decided to found his own tree trimming service because he saw a real need for one in the community. “I was doing tree care before I started my business because people said they couldn’t find someone to do the work,” he shared. In April 2015, he officially incorporated Howard Forest & Prairie and started professionally offering his service to Muscatine and areas within about 10 miles of town, including Fruitland, Grandview, Wilton, and parts of rural Muscatine County.

A full service tree care service, Howard Forest & Prairie can help homeowners maintain their yards by removing dead trees, grinding stumps, and carefully trimming branches to keep trees looking beautiful while also keeping them away from roofs and powerlines.

To help customers on small lots or with trees in difficult spaces, Howard purchased a new compact aerial lift in March. Designed to have the lowest possible impact on the ground underneath it, this precision lift can extend up to 80 feet, removing overhanging branches or dead trees from even the tightest spaces. “We can go into people’s backyards and do jobs other companies can’t in an efficient and safe manner,” emphasized Howard.

Bart Howard and the other employees at Howard Forest & Prairie removing a tree after the 2020 durecho.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Howard Forest & Prairie also has services specifically designed to benefit large landowners. They offer timber stand improvement for those with wooded lots as well as prescribed burns for those with prairie strips or restorations on their land.

Regardless of the size or type of job, everyone at Howard Forest & Prairie takes pride in their work and values the opportunity to help people get their outdoor spaces looking great. Howard stressed that all employees, “Strive to do the best we can, providing quality work to our customers.” He added, “It’s very satisfying at the end of the day to see the transformation and how much better it looks.”

As a locally owned small business, Howard Forest & Prairie relies heavily on word of mouth and customer recommendations to get the word out about their services. “I really appreciate how much the community has gotten behind us,” stated Howard.

To help more people learn about their services and to take advantage of everything they have to offer, Howard Forest & Prairie also joined the Greater Muscatine Chamber of Commerce and Industry this year. Howard explained, “I chose to join because of what they’re doing, and they have a good energy going and I wanted to be part of it.”

When people look up and realize that their trees could use a little work, Howard encourages them to reach out to Howard Forest & Prairie by calling or texting him at (563)-299-4847 or by emailing [email protected].