Have chainsaws, will travel: Coastline Tree Service

Staff Writer
The Destin Log
Aubrey Santucci with Guy holding the power shovel that runs on a drill motor

Coastline Tree Service and Landscaping of Destin Inc. has been around since the devastation of Opal opened the door for a guy who knew how to handle a chain saw. 

Guy Santucci was running a wave runner business when Opal hit. Afterwards, so many people, friends and family needed help, so Guy bought a chain saw and went to work. Before he knew it, he became Destin’s sole tree service. Today the tree service is located in downtown Destin where the business has been since 2006.  

I drop by for an interview and can’t find Guy anywhere. I wander out back and find Christopher and Johnnie hard at work under the hood of a truck with oil running everywhere. 

Further back in the yard Jay Griffin and Barney Shirah are operating the powered-up log splitter making stacks of firewood. Still no Guy. A huge wood chip truck is parked on the far left with a pair of legs sticking out from under the front bumper. 

I wander over and peek down at the guy who is covered waist to forehead with dirt, woodchips, grease and oil.  Ah ha, at last I have found Guy, owner of the company. He is working like a demon to get his trucks and crew ready to hit the road. 

“We can’t wait for days or even hours to have something fixed, so I have become the master mechanic for all the equipment,” he says.

Aubrey, his wife, tells me, “Monday is the worst as there is always maintenance that has to be done. All of our equipment has got to be safe and running properly. Time is money and money is time, thankfully, Guy can fix anything.”

The tree service is so dependent on so many different, operational parts, Guy says, “If one of anything breaks, it throws a monkey wrench into things.”  As Guy finally walks into the office, he is changing shirts for the third time that morning.

You know they say that behind every good man there is a good woman and that is true with Aubrey, who shares ownership, runs the office, is an ISA Certified Arborist, plans and draws out the landscape designs, keeps the time sheets, plans the budget, makes the payroll and finds time to nurture son Guyver, age two and a half.

Bill Willis is their Senior Crew Leader and they are quick to tell me that they depend on him to ensure safety on the job, the quality of work that is done, and oversee all field work.

“He has been with the company since 1999 and we would find it difficult to operate without him,” I’m told. “With Bill, we handle things one time. We can’t afford to fight traffic and go back to handle a job again. We get it right the first time.” 

Aubrey tells me, “With all the wood we handle, we make every piece count. We did the boardwalk at HarborWalk and when we do landscaping projects for homeowners. We try to preserve and protect as much as possible. We recycle the chips and use them in the Seafood Festival parking lots. We work with builders as it’s the cheapest material you can put down for parking. Oak, hickory and pecan is cut up, stacked for firewood, used for barbecues or campfire.”

Guy’s mind seems to always be working. If a tool is not available, he invents it. He has developed an electric power shovel that is jury-rigged with a drill motor for its power source. Need a tree to fall exactly where you want it but it must not hit the ground? Guy showed me the equipment he invented and patented for the job. 

Both Guy and Aubrey are as busy as an ant bed turned over. They are a young couple that has their act together and with their hard work and obvious determination, I see continued success in their future. If you have a large job or small job they are happy to have a look at it and give you an estimate.

I think you will appreciate the good professional job their well-seasoned crew performs. Give Guy a call a 850-259-1176 or Aubrey at 865-8733. They are licensed and insured and offer 24-hour emergency response.

Laura Hall is a longtime Destin resident.  She explores area gardens and other local topics with her cavalier spaniel Annie.  If you would like to show off your garden or be profiled in a future column, contact Laura at llhall4386@gmail.com.