The Davey Tree Expert Co. of Kent continues to expand through acquisition, disclosing that it now owns Cortese Tree Specialists of Knoxville, Tenn.

Cortese Tree Specialists has about 15 to 20 employees and about 1,000 clients.

Davey, an employee-owned tree, shrub and lawn care company, has acquired more than 17 businesses, big and small, in the past several years. With the acquisition of Cortese, Davey said it increases its presence in the Knoxville area, where its Wolf Tree subsidiary operates.

Pat Covey, Davey’s chief operating officer for U.S. operations, said in a statement that Davey is committed to growth — internally and through acquisitions.

In January, Davey acquired Maier Forest and Tree in Rochester, Minn., and Superior NW Tree & Shrub Care Inc. in Seattle.

The Minnesota and Seattle companies have a combined total employment of roughly 35.

Davey has more than 7,000 employees throughout North America, including about 500 in Northeast Ohio. Last fall, the National Center for Employee Ownership ranked Davey as the fifth-largest 100 percent employee-owned company in the United States.