Clyde Heard, a distinguished horticulture professor from Idaho, founded Heard Landscape Services. Clyde, known for the motto “the right plant in the right place,” first ran the nursery and landscaping business from his home on Hickman Road in Des Moines, where he sold bare-root trees and shrubs. His specialties were flowering crabapples and lilacs. After developing a portfolio of landscape projects, including numerous accounts in Beaverdale and the Iowa State Capitol grounds, Clyde moved the business to Beaver Avenue so it could spread its roots on five acres of land.
John L. Wright began working in the residential tree care business with National Tree Company. When they went out of business during the Great Depression, John took a part time job as a mail carrier and continued doing tree work in his spare time.