These are some of the critters that Daniels Wood Land, headquartered in Paso Robles, Calif., can produce.
Creativity Makes Daniels Wood Land a Tree Topper
Paso Robles, Calif.—Most children have a wonderful creativity and an unlimited supply of ideas. Usually, most turn out to be a dud and fall apart. However, when the creativity and idea turn into something workable, viable and profitable, it is safe to say they hit a home run. At Daniels Wood Land, located here, the creativity and idea have certainly become one, and they have hit the ball out of the park or tree for that matter.
Brothers Johnny and Ron Daniels head up the company, which specializes in tree houses. These are not the ordinary tree houses with a few 2x4’s, some leftover shingles and a fence board or two. These are elaborate playhouses that have to be seen to believe.
Ron grew up, with his twin brother, Johnny and their older brother on a ranch. They were a real life Tom Sawyer-like bunch of country boys. After the chores were done, they had free playtime, as long as they used it wisely. Their John Wayne-like dad could always find more chores if they looked bored. They were always up to something creative, and the forts they built were incredible. As Johnny started carving in the early 1990's, Ron headed off to college.
Pictured are a carved bear and deer that Daniels Wood Land made.
The beginning of Daniels Wood Land can be traced all the way back to when Johnny was in grade school- drawing pictures instead of listening to his teacher.
“During high school, Johnny started carving small faces and made a little money when he sold them,” Ron said. “A short time later he tried carving with a chainsaw- he was a natural right from the beginning. He's been carving ever since then. In 1997 Johnny decided to build a special tree house from his bear characters and the rest is history.”
Today, Ron is president and coordinates the general business activities with his brother. These two are very creative and a little crazy.
There are seven or eight standard tree house packages, which are built in two main pieces: the playhouse and the log. It is a tree house that comes with its own tree. Playhouses are made from Redwood siding.
“The logs are real, old fallen trees that we hollow out using a chainsaw,” Ron said. “To get into the playhouse, simply enter the door in the hollow log, climb up the ladder in the center of the log and pull yourself through the trap door in the floor of the playhouse. Kids or no kids, our tree houses are incredible additions to any landscape. With tree houses like these, it's hard to say who's the most excited—the kids or the parents.”
Custom tree house packages are up to the customer’s imagination.
This tree house is one of the company’s best sellers.
“Many of the designs we produce for clients are entirely custom,” Ron said. “If they want Robin Hood, Tiki Huts, Old West, a giant Pirate Ship, or anything they can think of, we can build and deliver a truly unique piece.”
The company also manufactures characters out of large pieces of wood.
“We specialize in bears, but always enjoy a custom order. We capture very natural, realistic positions in each carving,” Johnny said. “The process is amazing to watch, and the results are incredible. After the carving is complete, the final character is sanded, painted and detailed. The result is a highly detailed, one of a kind sculpture.”
All this takes place in a rented yard and a large building in an industrial park at the edge of town.
“When we moved into this place, it was like--what are we going to do with all this space?-- and just a little while later we've started to outgrow it,” Ron said.
The custom production mostly happens inside the building, while the tree house production mostly happens in the yard.
“We don't build things until people order them, so we have stacks of raw materials ready to go including lumber, logs, recycled roof shingles, wine barrel staves, etc., “ Ron said. “There are a lot of tree houses in various stages of production.”
Daniels Wood Land specializes in tree houses, including this Deluxe Scallywag Sloop pirate ship.
The company purchases about 400,000 board feet of Douglas Fir, Western Red Cedar and Redwood lumber annually, along with plywood. Most of the lumber is purchased from mills in the Pacific Northwest and northern California.
“We use almost 100 percent Softwoods,” Ron said. “There are various types of chainsaws that we use to hollow out those logs and carve. We also have a crane, few fork lifts, couple of trucks, scissor lift, nail guns and general construction tools.”
Daniels Wood Land has over 40 employees and ships most of their products via truck. Sometimes a step deck truck is needed and often times numerous vehicles are used to transport the tree houses.
“We've shipped tree houses all over the world, including Hong Kong, Japan, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Mexico, Spain and more,” Ron said. “Our clients include celebrities such as Clint Eastwood, Vanessa Williams, professional athletes including NBA star Jason Kidd, and MLB star Roy Halladay. We're grateful to all of our customers and fans for their support.”
The city of Paso Robles, a community of 29,500 nestled in the coastal mountain range of central California, is where the values and riches of the past are interwoven with the future. Located close to mountains, beaches, and deserts, it is home to one of the United States’ greatest wine growing areas and a growing number of hot springs resorts. The City has a long history with both wine and healing waters. Situated midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, it is also a gateway to thriving metropolitan areas north, south and east.
At the rate Daniels Wood Land is going, the city may become known for its tree houses.
This tree house is themed Monkey Mansion Storybook.
It is amazing to see how the creativity and ideas of a few guys can become the American dream.
"We're always excited to build new things that no one has ever seen before. We're constantly innovating and to a certain extent, no two tree houses are the same,” Ron said.
As long as Daniels Wood Land keeps that mindset, they should be around “buildin', carvin' and creatin',” according to Johnny Daniels.
For more information about Daniels Wood Land, call 805-239-2832.