Meet Winchester’s All-Electric Landscapers
By Rachel Whitehouse
If you are like many people, the sound of a gas-powered leaf blower sets your teeth on edge and can drive you to distraction. But what happens if the landscaper is using electric lawn tools instead?
“My neighbor’s landscaper went all electric this year, and it’s been amazing,” says Mt. Pleasant St. resident Kerry Bartlett. “They are so quiet, I honestly can’t even tell where they are when they are right next door doing the lawn. It’s awesome!”
Winchester is now lucky enough to have two all-electric landscapers, and each made the choice to go all-electric for different reasons.
Pat Lewis owns Clean Air Lawn Care. His Chelmsford-based company was “born electric” three years ago, meaning his first tools were electric, and he’s never looked back. And for residents concerned about climate change, Lewis offers solar-powered lawn services with low emissions. This is because not only does Lewis use battery powered tools, but he also charges the batteries for these tools using solar power.
Lewis says it’s not always easy to work with the newest technology. “My solar system is currently operating next to my workshop, because the summer heat causes issues when we have it on-board our truck. My system overheats easily, so we’re working on new plans to overcome this problem. For example, we have new commercial electric mowers that require no charging in the field. They will run a full eight plus hours on a single charge.”
It’s this can do-attitude that makes Clean Air Lawn Care a fast-growing landscaper in Winchester. As Pat says at the end of each email, “Ever Greener!”
Winchester’s other all-electric landscaping firm is Organic Soil Solutions, owned by James Murray. Based in Woburn and working in Winchester for more than 20 years, Murray and his team have more than 700 clients across dozens of towns inside Route 495. These clients all have in common a desire for a completely organic approach to plant and soil care on their property. As Murray says, “Healthy living soil means healthy living trees, shrubs and lawns. To preserve your investment in your landscape, your soil must come first.”
With this mindset, it was natural for Murray to start converting his firm to electric equipment as early as possible. And in 2023, they went all electric. “Everyone should realize this is where the landscaping industry is going,” Murray says. “We’re excited about it and took early steps to learn about it so we could adopt best practices and bring them to our clients.”
Just like Lewis, Murray says it’s not always easy to use the newest technology. “The homeowner has to embrace that it might take a little longer to do their lawn using battery equipment, because the battery charges do not last that long and batteries need to be switched,” he says. “But it’s enjoyable for the homeowner and their neighbors, and it’s better for the environment.”
With a blog about lawn and soil health, and an education center on his web site with topics like “The World Beneath our Feet” and “The Soil Food Web,” it’s no surprise that Murray’s clients also appreciate the health benefits of electric lawn care equipment, and are excited about the changes he’s made. "We've been clients for many years," said Resident Laura Turenne. "They actually care about the environment and have the same values I do."
Rachel Whitehouse is a member of Quiet Clean Winchester, a citizens’ advocacy group working to reduce the use of gas-powered leaf blowers in the interest of public health.