Wells tree service business kept in the family

Published 9:24 am Thursday, March 26, 2015

WELLS — Peterson Tree Service has been in business for almost 42 years, and it’s not going away anytime soon.

Milton Peterson started the business in 1973 by taking different jobs, and made it a full-time business in 1976. He still plays an active role in the business today, including the refuse and demo services that were added to the tree removal and servicing business about five years ago. He said his son, Cory, has been running most aspects of the business for the past four or five years.

Peterson said the business mainly started out on farms and through the years has expanded. He said the Wells-based business started branching out into the Albert Lea area sometime in the early ’80s. Since then, Peterson said the business has worked jobs as far away as Blue Earth to east of Austin, and has also worked jobs down in Iowa. He did say that their main areas of business are in the Albert Lea and Austin areas.

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For the business, at 355 Third St. SE in Wells, the busiest times of year are in the spring and summer, according to Peterson, but there is also steady business year round. He said that business can get especially busy — as well as backed up — when major storms happen in the area.

Emergencies take precedent over scheduled jobs, said Peterson. He recalled there being two or three storms over his experience that severely backed up the business, one of which was a 1991 ice storm in Albert Lea. He said there was steady work with helping to repair and cleanup the damage from the storm for at least three months. It was during that time that Cory’s twin daughters were born prematurely as well, he said. In Peterson’s words, the work being done following that ice storm felt like “26 hours a day.”

He also remembered at least a solid week of work following a 2010 tornado’s damage in Glenville, even with the National Guard in the area at the time.

Peterson said he’s grateful that those communities called on his business to assist them.

“I like helping people,” he said. “I like working with people.”

About Colleen Harrison

Colleen Harrison is the photo editor at the Albert Lea Tribune. She does photography and writes general-assignment stories.

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