Operating a tree service business in an arid environment where trees grow at a glacial pace is sort of like being a barber in a town of nearly bald people. There's not a lot of margin for error, because you never know when or if the trees (or hair) will grow back.
That's the challenge confronting Snedeker Enterprises Tree Service in Silver City, N.M. In an area that averages only 17 inches of rain a year, it takes a long time to grow a tree - so it's critical to take good care of the ones you have.
John Snedeker started the business in 1979 and his son, Chad, joined him as a partner in 2000. Along with one employee, they do some lawn and landscape work, but focus primarily on providing tree services to a three-county area in southwest New Mexico.
Snedeker Enterprises takes the time to educate its customers about how slowly trees grow in the high desert climate, and the importance of maintaining what they have. Ironically, says Snedeker, it often seems like newcomers to the area have a greater appreciation of this reality. We're getting a heavy migration into this area of people from other parts of the country who are very tuned-in to tree maintenance. Obviously, tree care companies in other areas of the country are getting the word out that maintenance is the name of the game when it comes to trees - when you take care of what you've got, you reduce your storm damage, you reduce disease and you just have overall better trees.
Nowhere is that more important than in Silver City, where what grows above ground today is even more valuable than the precious metal they used to mine out of the ground.