In the late 50’s, Walt Reder Sr. installed a few new lawns for some friends, planting the first seeds of Reder Landscaping.
Walt Sr. wasn’t your ordinary, run of the mill person. He was a very busy man with a full time job at Dow Chemical, a seat on the Bay City school board, and an 80 acre farm where he raised 1000 chickens a year for market just in time for Thanksgiving. His wife Lottie and he also canned vegetables from their garden, brewed their own beer, and crafted homemade sausage, cheese, and wine. Somehow Walt found time to install lawns in the spring and fall after planting and harvesting at the farm (Oh yes, and enjoying a little wine and beer!).
In the early 60’s, Walt Reder Jr. joined his father in the business. Together they grew it into a full time operation by 1965, focusing on lawn installation and sodding. Soon Bob Reder, Walt Sr.’s second son, joined the company after earning a horticulture degree from Michigan State University. In 1974 they purchased a retail location on Midland Road in Auburn, Michigan.
Walt Jr.’s three sons, Paul, Dave and Mike, also worked for the business in their early teens during the 70’s on the lawn crews and in the nursery. Quality was always a priority, and even in the early days of long hours, they never cut corners.
Walt and Bob’s approach was real simple – “complete every job like you are doing it for yourself” and “if it’s worth doing, its worth doing it right the first time”. And it worked! Installing over 200 lawns a year in the 70’s with demand continuing to grow, Walt and Bob purchased only the second hydro-seeder ever sold in Michigan at that time.
Intent on creating more opportunity for their 6-8 employees and the up and coming generation of Reders, the company grew to add a retail location, a pool franchise, as well as cut Christmas trees and holiday decorations. However, Walt Jr. still felt there was a missing ingredient to the company; landscaping and design. Paul Reder, Walt’s eldest son, took college courses in drafting, surveying, and architecture and soon started providing customers with landscape design and installation, further expanding the company.
When the recession of the early 80’s struck Michigan, Walt and Bob’s company almost became a mere memory and some tough decisions had to be made. Walt had to plant lawns on his own just to make a living. Bob took a different career path. Paul began mowing lawns and installing landscapes with his wife Joan by day, while designing and doing office work at night. Paul never wavered from what he loved to do, and as the economy turned around and business grew, his brothers Dave and Mike came on board to help manage the increase in business together with Walt.
The work ethic Walt instilled in his boys made the difference in those challenging times, and they carry on that tradition of quality to this day. As the landscape industry has evolved with consumers demanding more services, Reder Landscaping has evolved and grown to meet these demands. Today, we are a 40 person team offering comprehensive landscape design, installation, maintenance and irrigation. We are truly a one-stop landscape service provider.
The diversity, skill and talent of our team is exciting, and we look forward to serving you now and in the future.
Meet the Reder Brothers
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