The Davey Tree Expert Co. of Kent, one of the largest shrub, tree and lawn-care businesses in the United States, is putting down more roots in southern United States. Davey, in the latest in a string of acquisitions, has acquired Aborguard Inc., which is based in Atlanta. The company also has operations in the greater Charlotte area. Customers of Arborguard include golf courses and resorts. The company has been providing tree and plant health care services to residential and commercial clients in the Southeast since 1981. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

As Davey employees, Aborguard employees can now become employee owners of Davey, the country’s 13th largest employee-owned firm. Since 2008, Davey has picked up more than two dozen tree, landscape and environmental service companies around the country.

About a year ago, Davey acquired the assets of Jones Bros. Tree & Landscape, a residential tree care company based near Memphis, Tenn.

That acquisition followed a Davey Tree subsidiary’s purchase of Total Tree Care in Connecticut earlier this year. The many acquisitions benefit Davey’s employee-ownership system. Acquired employees can buy company stock, with the larger shareholder pool balancing out employees and retirees who are redeeming their stock. The company set up its employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) in 1979 — nearly 100 years after the business was founded by John Davey.

Read more: Davey Tree of Kent puts down more roots in southern United States – Your Business – Ohio