Born in Sumter, Will Jenkinson moved to Summerton when he was still in school. He worked for his grandfather’s tree service business, Jenkinson Tree Service, starting at the age of 15. After high school, he worked with EMS in Sumter and Clarendon Counties for over three years before going back to tree work with Ricky’s Tree Service.
Jenkinson met and married Renee in 2015. When Summerton flooded in 2015, their house was flooded. In need of a change, the couple moved to Arkansas with their infant son, Beau, to be near her family. But his heart was still in Summerton. When Renee was offered a position with Seacoast church as the children’s ministry leader, they knew it was time to come home.
The Jenkinsons moved back to Summerton in 2016, and Jenkinson went to work for Carolina Tree Care. Jenkinson’s grandfather had closed Jenkinson Tree Service in 2015, after 53 years in business, and Jenkinson had a longing to reopen the family business. He purchased a truck and went back to EMS work part time while getting Jenkinson Tree Service off the ground again. He also purchased his grandfather’s old bucket truck back from Ricky’s Tree Service.
As the birth of his second child approached, Jenkinson knew he had to commit full-time to Jenkinson Tree Service. He and his wife made the decision for his last day with EMS to be the day his second child was born.
“This is his skill. This is his trade he learned growing up,” said Renee. “He just loved it, and I said, ‘Well, let’s do it.’”
Johnny was born on April 28, 2017, which was Arbor Day, marking the date Jenkinson Tree Service once again became a full-time business. He now employs his cousin part time, and his father pitches in to help during the summer months.
“I just kind of learned from everybody,” Jenkinson said. He is glad he worked for the other tree service companies, as he feels he learned from some of the best companies possible.
Renee left Seacoast after Johnny’s birth, although she hasn’t quit working. She runs the office for Jenkinson Tree Service. She learned to run a business from her stepmother, who had inherited her family’s trucking company.
Devoted to the community, the Jenkinsons shop locally both for the business and in their home as much as possible. All of their company shirts, hats and promotional materials are locally made, and they purchase produce and consumables from local sources as often as they can.
Today, Jenkinson Tree Service, LLC, covers all of Clarendon and Sumter Counties and will go as far as an hour away from Summerton. They offer Tree trimming and removal as well as pressure washing. They encourage people to be aware of the health of their trees to avoid costly repairs to their homes. To obtain a free estimate, call 803-847-8014.
Outside of work, Jenkinson plays lead guitar in the church band. Prior to leaving South Carolina for Arkansas, Jenkinson had played 90s cover music and southern rock at several local venues and had played at Art in the Park, Porches of Sumter, a benefit on Shaw Air Force Base in 2015 and a Habitat for Humanity benefit in Arkansas in 2016.
Renee participates in community outreach as well. While Jenkinson played on a stage, Renee manned a Jenkinson Tree Service booth at Art in the Park, where she helped children create pinecone birdfeeders for a donation. All proceeds went to Harmony Church in Sumter. Currently she is coordinating a summer program for children up to age five in conjunction with Harvest Community School. As the business grows, they will continue to reach out through community events and functions.
An avid hunter, Jenkinson hunts “everything that’s got a season.” The family often plays card games together, and they enjoy time spent on the lake on the weekends.
“I feel like we fall under the umbrella of the American dream. I grew up and married a small-town boy, and he started his own business,” said Renee. “It was a joyous occasion when we hit that one-year mark, and I thought, ‘We made it.’”