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6 Steps to Starting a Tree Trimming Service

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 Starting a tree trimming service – Want to start a tree trimming business?  If you’ve been working for a trimming company for a few years and would like a new challenge, consider it. Tree felling is a skill that will always be needed.

When you drive down any street, look to the left and to the right, and what do you see?  You will see trees!   Eventually, 100% of those trees will need pruning, or cut down, because of wear and tear or weather damage.

If you have done tree work for about three or more years for a reputable tree care service and are:

  • An A-1 climber
  • Well versed in knots
  • Tree rescue techniques
  • Working with hazardous trees
  • Understand pressure cutting
  • Chainsaw usage and maintenance and,
  • How to properly dispose of wood and brush

WHY NOT consider going from a tree climber to starting your own business?

Starting Tree Trimming Service – Use Existing Skills

A tree trimming service will entail everything from trimming limbs, taking down trees, removing tree stumps to planting trees. If you ever worked for another tree company or have been a climber, it might be something worth considering. You have taken down trees, pruned and dead-wooded trees for years.

You have worked hard, risked your neck for other tree companies, and you realized the financial potential if you could get your own tree work. Now you are thinking about starting your own small business.

Granted, it is a big step from working on a tree crew and starting your own tree care service, so let’s look at the steps that need to be taken.

Your Business Plan

When you come up with a small business idea, you will want to draw up a business plan as this will be the road map instructions on how to write a business plan.  Before starting a small service, it will be advised to receive small business consulting help from the SBA/Small Business Association.

The SBA can help you will all aspect of starting a new business and their site has video training that is very helpful. Take time to determine how you want to start your tree trimming business and where you want it to go.

Trademarking your Business Name

Another good idea is to do a Federal Trademark Search to be certain the name you arrive at hasn’t been trademarked. Trademarking is a good idea later if you are going to build on the name or sell franchises.  A 50 state Federal Trademark is available.

It’s best to hire an attorney to interface with the US Patent and Trademark Attorney because they won’t guide you through the process if you make a mistake. Cost is around $2,500 to file through an attorney for a “50 states knock out” which keeps others from legally using your name in all 50 states. This is the same protection all the big-name businesses sought prior to expansion. So, start small but think about the big picture.

Registering your Tree Care Service

With your county: Make sure to register your business name with your state. This does not take much time and is pretty inexpensive.

With your state: A business license gives you the legal right to work in your state. Many people will ask if you are a licensed tree care service when they are looking to hire you for work.

With the Government: Go online or call the IRS to get an Employee Identification Number. You will use this number as your business identification number and will use it to open a business account at your local banking institution. You can register by phone and within a week to ten days, you will receive your certification in the mail.

Tree Climbing Equipment

  • Safety Equipment
  • Cutting Equipment
  • Climbing Rope
  • Helmet
  • Logging Saw
  • Clips
  • Bull Rope
  • Eye Guard
  • Climbing Saw
  • Wedges
  • Climbing Boots
  • Ear Protection
  • Pole Saw
  • Oil Can
  • Saddle
  • Orange Cones
  • Wedges
  • Ladder

Insuring your Tree Trimming Business

Purchase insurance: Insurance will be necessary to protect you from liability in case of damage to yourself, workers, and the client’s property. The minimum insurance will cover you for about $1 million in damages. You can also purchase insurance against you or your workers get injured.

While you can get away with working without insurance, you will get more jobs when homeowners know you are insured. Your tree trimming business will gain a good reputation and the word will spread that you are professional.  Also, consider signing up with a Local Arborist Society.

Promote your Business

alt="insuring your tree business"Advertise your small business:  If you have been doing tree trimming work on the side, you probably have some clients already.

  • Invest in professional business cards and printing out flyers to pass out.
  • You can also advertise your tree care services in your neighborhood penny saver for about $25.
  • Once the word gets out word of mouth will begin to spread through the community that you are available for tree work. Make sure that you have professional-looking business cards to hand out to contacts when you meet.
  • Get your tree trimming business listed at Google Local Business Center, for free. There you can write a blurb about your company, create coupons and provide direction to your business.

Finding your Tree Trimming Crew

Hiring employees. Independent contractor: A skilled and highly trained tree crew, will keep your tee trimming business running smoothly, with little or no incidence of accidents.

If you have been doing tree work for a while, you will probably have friends in the business who are looking for extra work. I have found placing an ad in the “general labor” section of Craigslist, very effective in finding people to do tree work.

Screen them and place them in the areas of their strength. Keep the workers that you work well with and are good hard workers. Eventually, as you get enough work you will be able to employ your tree crew full time.

Getting Business Leads

Lead Service:  There are services that provide leads for your tree care company for a small fee. Service Magic is one of the companies that provide this service.  They also provide a profile of your business that prospective clients can view. So if you don’t have a lot of contacts this may be a consideration for a while. Service Magic will bill you at the end of each week.

When you have a small tree care business, it is important to always be networking with other people in the business. You can get tree referrals from lawn care professionals and when you find someone who needs lawn work, you can refer them. Twenty-five percent of this business is referrals.

You can also ask friends and family if they or someone they know needs tree work.  They can be your first positive referrals when you do a good job.

Selling Wood

During the busy months of tree work, you may not think much about piling up wood, but during the winter months, selling wood can be a great way of making extra money at $150 a truckload of wood with stacking and cutting.

It is always good to keep a tally of clients who have fireplaces and may consider buying a half or a whole truckload of wood for you. If you don’t have a wood splitter, consider partnering with someone who does and split the profits.

Tree Removal – How Much Does it Cost?

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Pricing a Tree Removal Job – Tree removal can be very expensive. If you have trees on your property, sooner or later, you will need to call someone to care for your trees.  If you want to know whether a tree company is overcharging, it can help a little if you have an idea of how to price a tree job!

Tree work is extremely dangerous and challenging to both mind and body. It takes a lot of experience and skill to do it well.  Many people do not understand why tree trimming cost is so expensive. It takes several years to gain the skill of a tree expert. If it were really that easy, you would do it yourself.

Taking down a tree or stump removal is not always a cut and dry matter. When deciding if you are getting a fair bid to remove a tree, there are many things you have to consider such as are their electrical wires, fences that need to be moved or hazardous situations These things may make the job more expensive.

This article will help you to determine if the price your tree removal service is charging a fair price. This is not an exact science but will give you an idea of what you can expect to pay.

Tree Trimming Prices (How we Calculate)

Small trees:  A small tree would be 25 feet and up and 5 inches in diameter. Cost: $8 – 10 a foot plus a removal fee. A tree of this size should only take a few hours.

Medium Trees:  A large tree would be considered anywhere from 25 to 50 feet tall and two feet in diameter. Expect to pay at least $10 – 12 a foot. Cost: $500 to take down a 50-foot tree, plus a dumping fee. ($40-$50 a truckload.)

Large Trees: A large tree would be considered anything from 50 ft and up. If you have at a 70-foot tree you can expect to pay about $700 plus a dumping fee. If the tree to be removed has several huge sized boughs it will cost more as each addition sized bough is the size or a regular small to medium tree.  So add an extra $150 to $200 to a multi-boughed tree.

Dangerous Trees can Be More Expensive

A dangerous tree is a tree that is dangerous to the tree care provider or your property.   If is different than cutting a tree from the ground or a healthy tree with no threats.  Keep in mind, dealing with a hazardous tree will take more skill and care to remove and will cost you more.  Also, make sure the tree trimming service has insurance which protects you both.  The last thing you want is for someone to get hurt or your property damages with no legal protection.

What would be Considered a Hazardous Tree Job?

Dead trees:  A dead or rotten tree is unstable and unpredictable, it takes skill to make sure the tree is removed in such a way, to prevent it from breaking unexpectedly and possibly falling on your property.

Insects:  It is best to have an exterminator to remove or destroy any insect colonies. This way you won’t have to worry about your tree man getting stung or worse. Remember he, not an exterminator.

Electrical wires:  When scheduling a tree job where a tree is next to telephone wires, the wires must be taken down and put back up by the tree service. If the tree is next to a live wire, the tree company must schedule a disconnect from the electrical company and then make sure that the service it turned on again after the job is finished. Check out OSHA rules for tree care.

Tree on a steep hill:  A tree that is on a steep hill can be extra dangerous and can fall in the wrong direction. There are times when branches have to be manually roped down to avoid damage to property or from rolling down the hill.

Trees covered in ivy:  Trees covered with ivy are slippery, dangerous, and always have insects like biting ants. The tree man has to manually pull the ivy off the tree to assure a true grip.

A tree hung up in another tree:  A tree that is hung up in another tree is unpredictable and takes extra skill to remove to avoid damage to property, himself or worker.

All these things will increase the price of the tree job.

Saving Money on the Job

Saving money:  One way to save money on the job is to agree to keep the wood, cut it up and move it yourself. If you have a fireplace burn it in the winter.   If you do not have a fireplace, place an ad in the paper or Craigslist, offering free wood.

Remember, many smaller tree removal companies will work with you concerning the price. You won’t know if you can get the job done cheaper if you don’t ask. So ask!