Knicely Done: 78-year-old Papillion man restarts tree-trimming business

Peter Brewer was 70 years old when he restarted his tree-trimming business, and has no trouble finding work.
Published: Oct. 1, 2020 at 7:37 PM CDT
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PAPILLION, Neb. (WOWT) - Peter Brewer suits up early in the day for another tough job. A hard hat and harness are part of his daily attire.

On-site, the tools of his trade include a scissor lift, a small bobcat, and a truck with a lift arm.

“Seven or eight years ago, I started up a one-man tree business,” arborist Peter Brewer said.

Brewer was 70 years old when he started that business — not that it was anything new. Back in his early 20s, he had a thriving tree-trimming business with a large crew, and his company had government contracts around the Midwest.

“When I was 40 or so, we phased that out, and my wife and I went back to college and each got two Master’s degrees in seminary," he said, “and so we came to Omaha in ’88 as pastors and psychotherapists.”

Peter and his wife, Cheryl, have been married 58 years. They still have a counseling ministry, but he needed a way to supplement the expenses.

So at age 78, you’ll find him in precarious situations, 70 feet in the air.

“You can’t make many mistakes. One wrong thing is a lot of damage, definitely,” he said.

This local arborist has been working up in the air for many years. John Knicely introduces you to Peter, the 78-year-old tree trimmer.

He operates a one-man-band and thoroughly enjoys the work.

“I have amazing health for my age," Peter said. "A friend of mine, we take a 20-mile bike ride on Saturday mornings. I don’t know what age feels like — I get started doing this and all of a sudden, I become ageless, so I don’t know what old age would feel like.”

Peter said he has so much work, he’s asking people not to call — he’s already fully booked by just word-of-mouth.

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