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A Long History In Disaster Services

Redefining ‘family business’.

Road Trip Leads to Lifelong Endeavor

3 Generations of ULMsIn 1999, 900 miles away from home, MLU Services Inc is born. William Ulm, Sr., (who is always called Billy by everyone who knows him), drives straight from Georgia to  Southeastern Oklahoma. There he labors alongside a handful of men he brought along with him to respond to a massive ice storm.

Faced with miles of ice-felled trees and blocked roads, the team used a single pickup truck, a small flatbed trailer with makeshift wooden sides, and residential-grade chainsaws, to cut, load and remove the massive storm debris.

Not surprisingly, Billy’s team worked faster and better than many of the other subcontractors; meaning they stayed on the project longest, and even went home with some change in their pocket. Billy’s instinct to work safe, smart, and efficiently didn’t go unnoticed, and that first disaster response mission grew into the Ulm family business. He and his wife, Marcia, launched MLU Services in 1999 with 2 goals in mind:

  1. Figure out the safest and fastest way to get the job done right
  2. Treat people right

Marcia put her entrepreneurial skills to work growing and shaping the business while Billy set out to make much-needed changes in the disaster response industry.

Through the years those goals turned into a steadfast philosophy that has endured; and the Ulm family has changed the disaster response specialty contracting and logistics industry for the better.

For more than two decades, Billy and Marcia have worked together to turn that first mission into a thriving business that employees hundreds and offers a full spectrum of disaster response services covering everything from FEMA-provided temporary housing and tree service — to workforce housing, catering, traffic control, and more.

The Ulm family has never strayed from the basic tenets of their business. They renew their promise every day to work safe, work smart, and treat people right.

Our History

Historic Oklahoma Ice Storms

1999-2000: Billy Ulm sets out for Oklahoma for what would become the first disaster response effort, clearing ice damaged trees, for a budding MLU Services, Inc.

Tree Service Growth
MLU Services History

2001-2002: MLU Services Inc responds to an ice storm in Raleigh, NC. The company grows to more than three dozen employees including half-a-dozen certified arborists and officially enters the tree care industry by winning a bid to trim and remove damaged and hazardous trees from the city’s parks.

During this storm, MLU introduced specialized climbers to cut thousands of hangers and leaners while picking up debris. This event sets the stage for the larger tree projects to come.

West Coast Expansion

2003-2005: MLU Services travels to the State of California to Lake Arrowhead to cut Bark Beetle Infested Trees for Southern California Edison.

During this time, loggers were used heavily in operations of clearing these diseased trees. Billy Ulm realized that the specialized climbers he used during his earlier ice storm missions would improve efficiency. His idea of using these climbers was dismissed by the loggers, but Billy persisted.

As a result of his ingenuity, MLU Services outlasted the other subcontractors on that mountain and specialized climbers have become an integral part of vegetation management in the state.

Citrus Canker Outbreak in Florida
Brothers Ulm Citrus Canker Outbreak

2004: Four Hurricanes hit the State of Florida and contribute to the Citrus Canker Outbreak spreading from 10 to 25 counties. MLU Services and its growing workforce labor to eradicate the canker infestation and assist in debris removal caused by Hurricanes Dennis.

Truly a family business, young brothers Joseph and William Ulm join the effort.

Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina Response

2005-2008: Responding to Hurricane Katrina was a pivotal event for MLU and marks the first of many partnerships with FEMA. Through housing assistance program, MLU installs and maintains an extraordinary number, 47,000, FEMA-provided Mobile Home Units (MHUs) that house survivors who are displaced by the historic storm.

MLU also provides humanitarian assistance by delivering truckloads of water and other necessities to struggling communities.

Tornado Debris Removal in Alabama
Residential Debris Removal

2011-2012: MLU Services experience in debris removal leads to a mammoth response to tornados that strike Alabama by removing millions of cubic feet of waste from roadways and destroyed properties, securing MLU as a trusted leader in emergency storm cleanup.

California Wildfires
Wildfire Response

2017- 2018: MLU Services returns to California to remove dead and dying bark beetle infested trees in Northern California for Pacific Gas & Electric and seamlessly expands into wildfire response efforts.

MLU undertakes the removing hazardous trees charred by the  Detwiler Fire, Sonoma Fire, Tubbs Fire, Nuns Fire, Glass Fire, Carr Fire, and Camp Fire and clearing power lines of flame enticing vegetation.

Traffic Control Moves East
North Georgia Traffic Control

2020: Originally based in California to self-protect our own tree service crews, MLU joins 12 year project to provide temporary traffic control for directional and drilling boring crews improving Southern Company power lines in Northeast Georgia.