Beautifying the landscape

Jason Johnson

Photo by jason cassidy

Third-generation Chicoan Jason Johnson is the proud new owner of Chico Landscape Management, a commercial landscaping company that was established by Ernie Cox in 1987. Born and raised in Chico, Johnson went to Chico High School and graduated early with a math scholarship. He attended Chico State at the age of 15, earning a “useless” degree in philosophy, and now he says he “mows lawns.” Johnson, who moved to Paradise in 2008 just before his daughter Nova was born, started landscaping 15 years ago, but began working with Cox in 2015. After three years of working together, they struck a deal and Johnson bought the company. Call him at 715-9323.

Why buy Chico Landscape Management?

It’s a well-known company with a great reputation. I’m just trying to keep the level of excellence the same, which is hard because most landscapers aren’t like that, they just try to get it done as fast as they can and leave. We don’t do that; we do the best that we can.

Will you be making any changes?

One thing I do different is I’m very scientific. I take soil samples and I fertilize for every plant. I’m more customized. I know plants and I know soil; I bring that to the table.

What do you like most about the landscape business?

I like working with plants, I’m a plant guy. I grew up on a farm, I know a lot about it. I also love working outside. I have to work outside with my job.

What do you say to people who complain about the noise of the leaf blower?

We’re just trying to get our job done, it’s about beautification. If we didn’t do it, eventually it will build up so there’s nothing but dirt and weeds. It also reduces the risk of fire by getting the dry brush out. The noise is why I want to move to electric.

What’s the range of services you offer?

We do trimming and shaping, irrigation, rock walls, patios, outdoor lighting and design—I would actually love to do more design. We also do drought-tolerant landscaping, we use a lot of native species for that.

Are you involved in the community?

I used to do a lot of trail work for the city of Chico, Bidwell Park, all kinds of stuff. I laid the Vita Course [Trail] out—it was a long time ago, I volunteered for that forever, but not for a while. With my life now, running a business and being a single dad, that’s everything, that’s all I got.

Plans for the future?

In the spring I’m going to go all electric and get my second truck. I think that’ll be good for the Chico community. People are pretty conscious of the environment and they don’t like noise and pollution.