Starting a Tree Service: A Comprehensive Guide

Men cutting down trees.

Main Sections In This Post
Steps To Starting A Tree Service
Points to Consider
Knowledge Is Power
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This article provides a comprehensive summary of what it entails to operate a tree service, including an in-depth, step-by-step rundown.

Furthermore, we have assembled a selection of resources designed to assist you during the inception of your tree service, as well as when your operation is up and ready to serve customers.

The content is quite extensive. It might be beneficial to save this page for future reference, and if you like it consider sharing it!

Let’s get started with the steps.


Steps to Starting a Tree Service

1. Gaining an Overview of What You’re Getting Into

In this section, we will provide you with valuable insights to help you make well-informed decisions for your tree service business.

It is highly recommended that you take the necessary time to carefully consider these key points before starting your business. By doing so, you will establish a strong foundation for the success of your venture.

Is Starting a Tree Service the Right Step for You?

There is a crucial factor to succeeding in the tree service industry, and that factor is you!

Understanding how you feel about owning and running a tree service is important.

Passion is a vital element for success in your own tree service business. Passion is the driving force you need. When you’re passionate about tree care and maintenance, challenges arise, and you seek solutions. Conversely, without it, you’ll seek an exit.

How passionate are you about owning your own tree service?

Let’s explore an intriguing perspective:

Imagine having the freedom to do anything you want without any restrictions and having enough resources to sustain you for the rest of your life. That means money plays no role in how you’ll spend the rest of your life.

Now, a crucial question arises.

In this scenario, would you choose to start a tree service?

If your answer is yes, it indicates that you possess a genuine passion for owning and operating a tree service, and you’re heading in the right direction.

However, if your answer is no, it prompts another question:

What would you prefer to do instead? Perhaps, you should pursue that alternative path.

In summary, it is essential to have a strong passion for the tree service business you are starting.

For More, See How Passion Affects Your Business. Also, see, Considerations Before You Start Your Business to identify key points for a new business owner.

2. An Overview of Owning a Tree Service

Next, let’s spend some time on key issues to give you an overview of what to expect from owning and running your business.

a.) An Overview of a Tree Service

Operating a Tree Service:

Running a tree service business is a demanding yet rewarding endeavor. Your typical day may include tree pruning, removal of fallen trees, or stump grinding.

You will be expected to work in various weather conditions and ensure safety precautions for both your employees and clients.

It’s crucial to be familiar with different tree species, as each may require unique care techniques.

Points to Succeed: There are several crucial factors for the success of a tree service business:

    • Business Management: Running a tree service isn’t just about trees. You need good business acumen. This includes understanding marketing, sales, and customer service to attract and retain clients. It’s also about building a great team, keeping them trained and motivated.
    • Cash Flow Management: This is the lifeblood of any business. Monitor your income and expenses closely, make sure your invoices are paid on time, and always keep an eye on the future. Seasonal fluctuations can significantly impact your cash flow, so it’s essential to plan and save during busy months for quieter periods.
    • Equipment Maintenance: Your tools and equipment are your key assets. Regular maintenance and upgrades are necessary to provide efficient and reliable service.


Running a tree service business comes with its own unique challenges. It is a physically demanding job with inherent safety risks.

Ensuring that all safety standards and precautions are strictly followed is paramount. Weather conditions can also impact your work schedule significantly.

Also, it’s a competitive market, so distinguishing your services from competitors is critical for success.

Customer Expectations:

Customers expect timely, reliable, and professional service. They value clear communication about the process and costs involved.

Furthermore, they expect the job to be completed with minimal disruption to their property, and a thorough cleanup after the job is done.

b.) Pros and Cons of Owning a Tree Service


  • Rewarding Work: You are often solving problems for your customers and making their homes safer.
  • Outdoor Environment: If you enjoy working outdoors, this is a perfect fit.
  • Flexibility: As a business owner, you control your work schedule.
  • Profit Potential: With good management, tree service businesses can be quite profitable.


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  • Physically Demanding: The work is hard and can be tough on the body.
  • Weather Dependent: Bad weather can halt operations, impacting revenue.
  • Safety Risks: Working with trees can be dangerous, and accidents, though preventable, do happen.
  • Seasonality: Demand for services can fluctuate with the seasons, affecting consistent income.

c.) Tree Service Models

A few types of tree service setups and their business models:

Independent Operators:

These are usually one-person operations. The owner is the one providing all the services, from tree trimming to stump grinding.

The business model here is straightforward – income is generated from the services rendered, and expenses typically involve tools, equipment, and marketing.

Small Tree Service Companies:

This setup includes a small team of workers. These companies offer a broader range of services and can take on larger projects.

Revenue is generated from the services they offer, which can be more diverse, and expenses include payroll, equipment maintenance, insurance, and advertising.

Large Tree Service Companies:

These are large-scale operations with a significant number of employees.

They can handle large commercial projects, emergency services, and have the resources for more specialized work, like arboriculture consulting.

The business model involves generating income from a wide range of services while managing increased operational costs including payroll, larger-scale equipment, multiple vehicles, larger insurance policies, and administrative overheads.

Franchise Operations:

Buying a tree service franchise allows you to operate under a well-known brand.

The business model here involves paying an initial franchise fee and ongoing royalties in exchange for using the franchise’s name and receiving ongoing support. T

his setup can provide a head start due to the established brand name, but franchise costs can be quite high.


Some businesses operate by subcontracting their services to larger companies. The subcontractor performs the work but doesn’t have to worry about finding clients.

Instead, they focus on delivering excellent service. Revenue comes from the contracted work, and expenses often include equipment, insurance, and the subcontractor’s payroll.

Each of these business models has its pros and cons, and the best one for you will depend on your resources, goals, and the level of responsibility you’re prepared to take on.

d.) Making Your Tree Service Stand Out

Provide Exceptional Customer Service:

Great customer service is the key to standing out in any industry. Be responsive, reliable, and always follow through on your commitments.


Arrive on time, be respectful of customers’ properties, and clean up after every job. A professional appearance can also set you apart; consider uniforms for your team.

Training and Certifications:

Invest in ongoing training for you and your team. Acquiring professional certifications, like from the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), can distinguish you from competitors.

Active Online Presence:

Make sure you have a user-friendly website and engage with customers through social media. Positive online reviews can significantly boost your reputation.

Community Involvement:

Participate in local community events or sponsor local teams. This not only builds your brand but also demonstrates your commitment to the community.

e.) Add-On Ideas for a Tree Service

Emergency Services:

Offering 24/7 emergency tree services can be a valuable add-on. Storms or accidents can cause urgent tree-related problems, and being available to handle these situations can be a significant selling point.

Landscaping Services:

Consider adding landscaping services such as planting, lawn care, or landscape design.

Consultation Services:

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You can offer consulting services to property owners about tree care, species selection, disease prevention, and more.

Firewood Sales:

After tree removal, consider offering chopped firewood as an additional service.

Mulch Sales:

The wood from tree removal and trimming can be turned into mulch. This can be sold to customers or even local gardening centers.

Remember, the key to any successful add-on service is ensuring that you have the skills and resources to deliver it professionally and efficiently.

Always consider the potential return on investment before expanding your offering

f.) Questions You Need to Consider for Your Tree Service

Before launching your tree service business, it’s important to carefully consider your goals, resources, and operational strategy.

Below are some key questions to guide your planning:

  • What type of tree service model are you considering? Are you planning on being an independent operator, starting a small company, running a larger operation, becoming a subcontractor, or purchasing a franchise?
  • Will you personally handle all the work, or will you hire employees? Your answer will affect the size and type of jobs you can handle, as well as your startup costs and ongoing expenses.
  • Do you intend to manage your tree service, or are you considering hiring a manager? If you’re planning to focus on the tree work itself, you might need someone to handle the administrative and management tasks.
  • Are you interested in seeking partners or investors? Partners can bring additional skills and resources to the table, while investors can provide the financial backing needed for growth.
  • Do you plan to start a home-based tree service, or are you planning on operating from a commercial location? Home-based operations can save on costs, but a commercial location may provide more space for equipment storage and may appear more professional.

These questions are not exhaustive, but they offer a good starting point for planning your business.

Remember, the answers will directly influence your business plan, so take the time to think them through carefully. It might even be helpful to discuss them with a business advisor or mentor for added perspective.

3. Research

Tree Service Research

Before taking any further steps, it is crucial to conduct thorough research for the tree service business you intend to open.

Having quality information will provide you with a clear understanding of what you’re getting into. Otherwise, you might find yourself in unexpected situations.

One effective way to gather the best information is by seeking advice from experienced individuals in the tree service industry. They possess the expertise to offer reliable insights.

Spending time with these knowledgeable individuals can be invaluable, providing you with an opportunity to gain insights from their years of experience and accumulated knowledge.

I have written an article that provides ideas on how to find the right people to contact and approach them in a respectful and non-threatening manner.

While the details of these steps go beyond the scope of this post, I highly recommend reading the article from the link below to gain a comprehensive understanding of what you’re getting into.

See An Inside Look Into the Business You Want To Start for all the details.

Target Audience

Understanding your target audience has numerous benefits. When you know your target market, you can tailor your offers to appeal directly to potential customers of a tree service.

This enables you to provide products and services that specifically interest them, increasing the chances of attracting and retaining customers.

By understanding your target audience, you can develop effective marketing strategies, enhance customer satisfaction, and optimize your business operations.

It allows you to deliver customized solutions, address their specific needs, and build long-term relationships.

Ultimately, understanding your target audience empowers you to make informed decisions that positively impact the success of your tree service business.

Potential target audience for a tree service:

  • Homeowners with large properties or gardens
  • Property management companies
  • Real estate developers
  • Municipalities and local government bodies
  • Landscaping and gardening enthusiasts
  • Commercial property owners and businesses
  • Arborists and tree care professionals
  • Homeowners affected by storm damage or tree emergencies
  • Environmental conservation organizations
  • Parks and recreational facilities.

For more, see How To Understand Your Target Market.

4. Looking at Financials:

This section will provide an overview of startup costs, recurring expenses, potential revenues, and profits for a tree service business.

Startup Cost:

To ensure a smooth and successful launch of your tree service, it’s crucial to accurately estimate your startup costs. Underestimating could lead to a shortage of funds, potentially stalling your launch. Conversely, overestimating could make your venture appear too risky.

Your initial costs will depend on factors such as the scale of your operation, your chosen location, whether you plan to hire employees, and the condition of your equipment (new or used). Also, consider whether you’ll need to rent or lease a place to store your equipment.

To create an estimate, make a list of everything you need and then research prices. This process will likely bring up other considerations that you can include in your estimate.

For more detailed information, refer to my article on Estimating Startup Costs.

Sales and Profit:

Your sales will largely depend on factors such as:

  • The popularity and necessity of your tree services in your chosen area.
  • The overall demand for tree services.
  • Your marketing strategy, specifically its effectiveness in reaching potential customers.


Profitability extends beyond just the profit earned per service. It requires a careful analysis of various expenses, including equipment maintenance, payroll, insurance, and any rent or leasing costs.

To ensure the success of your tree service business, you need to generate enough sales to cover these monthly expenses and provide your salary.

This careful financial planning and management will position your tree service business for long-term success and growth.

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For More, See Estimating Profitability and Revenue

Sample Financial Lists As a Starting Point

Sample Start-Up Costs:

  • Business Registration and Licenses: $500
  • Business Insurance: $1,200
  • Purchase of Tree Service Equipment (Chainsaws, Wood Chippers, Stump Grinders, Safety Gear, etc.): $15,000
  • Marketing and Advertising for Launch (Website, Flyers, Social Media): $2,000
  • Vehicle (Used Truck for Transporting Equipment): $20,000
  • Office Setup (Home Office): $1,000

Total Startup Cost: $39,700

Sample Monthly Expenses:

  • Fuel and Vehicle Maintenance: $500
  • Equipment Maintenance: $200
  • Insurance: $100
  • Advertising and Marketing: $300
  • Utilities (Phone, Internet): $100
  • Salaries (For employees if any): $3,000
  • Miscellaneous Costs: $300

Total Monthly Expenses: $4,500

Profit and Sales Example:

Let’s assume you charge an average of $500 per job. If you’re able to service one job per day for 20 days in a month, your gross revenue would be $10,000.

Subtracting your monthly expenses ($4,500) from your gross revenue ($10,000) leaves you with a monthly profit of $5,500.

Monthly Gross Revenue: $10,000

Monthly Profit: $5,500

You can use the above samples for ideas and as a starting point. Every situation is different, and many factors come into play.

Remember, these are just examples. Your figures will be different. Starting a business involves careful planning and consideration.

Consider getting professional advice when calculating your business’s startup costs, expenses, and potential revenues and profits. A detailed understanding of your financial situation can provide you with a clearer path to success.

5. Choosing The Right Business Location

Selecting the right location for your tree service business is a critical decision that can determine its success or failure.

Establishing your business in an area with no demand for tree services will likely lead to failure even before you launch.

On the other hand, opening in an area saturated with competitors can make it challenging to secure a share of the market.

Ideally, you want to choose a location that offers both demand for tree services and a manageable level of competition.

Affordability is another crucial consideration. Operating in a densely populated area can provide greater visibility, but you must ensure that the increased expenses will still allow your business to be profitable.

Conversely, opting for a low-cost location may seem attractive, but it’s essential to assess whether it will generate sufficient sales.

For certain business models, operating from home is a viable option, particularly for online-based or minimally customer-interfacing businesses.

Starting from home can be a stepping stone, and as your business expands, you can transition to a commercial location.

Choosing the right location is a pivotal factor in achieving success. Conduct thorough research to make an informed decision.

For more about business locations, see Choosing The Best Location for Your Business.

6. Choose a Business Name

When selecting a name for your tree service business, it’s crucial to aim for something catchy and suitable. You want a name that is both easy to pronounce and memorable.

Keep in mind that business names tend to remain unchanged, so the name you choose now will likely stay with you for as long as you own the company.

Furthermore, it’s essential to secure a matching domain name for your online presence. It’s crucial to ensure that the desired name is not already registered by another business.

To inspire your creativity and assist in developing an original business name, here is a list of ideas for tree service names:

  • Evergreen Arborists
  • TreeTech Solutions
  • Leaf and Limb Services
  • TreeWise Experts
  • Branch Out Tree Care
  • Timberline Tree Services
  • Arbor Allies
  • Forest Guardians
  • Tree Masters
  • Root and Branch Professionals
  • Canopy Care Specialists
  • TruGrowth Tree Service
  • Green Thumb Tree Experts
  • TreeTop Treecare
  • Leafy Lane Landscaping
  • Tall Timber Tree Care
  • Woodland Warriors
  • Arbor Essence
  • Limber Lumberjacks
  • Tree Surgeons
  • Nature’s Nurturers
  • Skyline Arbor Care
  • Timber Troopers
  • Tree Harmony
  • Arboreal Solutions
  • Grove Guardians
  • Forest Flair Tree Services
  • Pristine Pines Tree Care
  • Sturdy Stems Arborists
  • Nature’s Canopy

Use these suggestions as a starting point to ignite your creativity and develop a distinctive and original name for your tree service business.

For more, see the following articles:

7. Register Your Company

Ensuring your tree service business is legal is a critical step in the process of setting up your enterprise. It’s all about guaranteeing you have the right registrations, permits, and licenses.

This ensures you’re operating within the boundaries of the law, helping you avoid any potential issues down the line.

Given the complexities of local, state, and federal laws, it’s advisable to consult with a professional, such as a business attorney or accountant.

They can provide guidance to ensure your business is legally compliant and help you choose the best setup for tax benefits and potential liabilities.

Common types of business registrations for a tree service typically include:

  • Registering your business name
  • Obtaining an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS
  • Registering your business with your state’s Secretary of State
  • Setting up the appropriate business structure (LLC, corporation, etc.)

Permits and licenses for a tree service might include:

  • Local business permit: Required to legally operate within your city or county.
  • State contracting license: Some states require a special license for tree services.
  • Arborist certification: While not always required, it adds credibility.
  • Sales tax permit: If your state requires sales tax on the services you provide.
  • Insurance: While not a license or permit, having adequate insurance coverage is vital for protecting your business from potential lawsuits or accidents.

For more, see the following articles:

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Business Structures:


8. Create Your Corporate Identity

A Corporate ID, also known as Corporate Identity, refers to the visual representation of your tree service business.

A Corporate ID consists of various components such as your logo, business cards, website, stationary, business sign, promotional items, etc.

Maintaining a consistent and professional design across these elements is crucial to making a lasting impression on both new and existing customers. It demonstrates your commitment to professionalism and instills trust in your business.

By ensuring a cohesive and well-executed Corporate ID, you can establish a strong brand presence, enhance brand recognition, and differentiate your tree service business from competitors.

A consistent design will help create a memorable and reputable image in the minds of your target audience.

See A Complete Introduction to Corporate Identity Packages for more.

9. Writing a Business Plan

A business plan is a vital document for your tree service venture. Not only is it used for acquiring funding or attracting investors, but it also serves as a roadmap to guide you through the startup phase and the day-to-day operations of your tree service.

Crafting a business plan requires time, effort, and deep consideration, as you’re essentially projecting a detailed vision of your tree service business.

It will involve planning and articulating a wide range of details, from the specific services you’ll provide to the equipment you’ll need and the marketing strategies you’ll deploy.

While the process might be intensive, it will be worth it in the end. A well-crafted business plan will provide clarity on how to get started and how to manage your operations efficiently.

It can serve as a valuable reference point as you navigate your way through the tree service industry.

When it comes to creating your tree service business plan, you have a few options. You can choose to write it from scratch, hire a professional business plan writer, use a template, or even utilize business plan software.

Regardless of the method you choose, it’s critical that you remain actively involved in the process. This is especially important if you opt to hire a professional; you want your business plan to effectively convey the unique aspects of your tree service and your vision for managing it.

Remember, a business plan is not a static document. It can be adjusted and fine-tuned as you gain experience in the industry.

Regularly reviewing your business plan and making necessary updates based on your business’s performance and the evolving landscape of the tree service sector is a wise practice.

This way, your business plan remains a relevant and useful tool for guiding your business toward success.
Executive Summary

Company Name: GreenLeaf Tree Service, LLC Location: Anytown, USA Owners: John and Jane Doe

GreenLeaf Tree Service, LLC, is a professional tree service company based in Anytown, USA, providing high-quality tree care services to residential and commercial clients. We will offer tree removal, tree trimming, stump grinding, emergency tree care, and consultation services.

Our mission is to deliver professional tree care services with utmost respect for customer property and safety. Our commitment is to preserve the health and beauty of our local urban forests while meeting our clients’ needs.

Company Description

GreenLeaf Tree Service, LLC, is a family-owned business managed by John and Jane Doe, who both have several years of experience in the tree service industry. Our team of skilled arborists is committed to providing superior service while adhering to the highest industry standards.

Market Analysis

Our target market is homeowners, property managers, and commercial enterprises within Anytown and its surrounding areas. According to our research, there is a significant demand for professional tree services in our area due to the high density of mature trees and the increasing rate of new constructions.

Organization and Management

John Doe will oversee the operations and customer service, while Jane Doe will handle the business administration, marketing, and accounting. We plan to hire two full-time tree service professionals within the first year of operation.


Our services include tree removal, tree trimming, stump grinding, emergency tree care, and consultation services. We will ensure that all services are delivered promptly, safely, and to the satisfaction of our clients.

Marketing and Sales Strategy

Our marketing strategy includes building a professional website, utilizing social media for brand awareness, and leveraging local SEO practices to reach local customers. We will also distribute flyers and business cards in our target areas.

In terms of sales, we will focus on building strong relationships with our customers to encourage repeat business and referrals.

Funding Request

We are seeking a $50,000 loan to cover startup costs, including equipment purchases, initial marketing, and operating expenses for the first six months.

Financial Projections

We anticipate generating $150,000 in revenue in our first year with a profit margin of 20%. We forecast steady growth in subsequent years as we expand our client base and service offerings.

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Exit Strategy

In the event of a sale, we will work to find a buyer who aligns with our business values and will maintain the level of service our customers have come to expect.


GreenLeaf Tree Service, LLC, is well-positioned to fill the demand for professional tree services in Anytown. With our experienced team, commitment to safety, and customer satisfaction, we anticipate a successful launch and steady growth over the coming years.

For information on creating your business plan, see, How to Write a Business Plan.

10. Banking Considerations

It’s worth considering selecting a nearby bank that specifically caters to business owners for your tree service.

Having a separate business account allows you to effectively segregate your business expenses from personal spending.

This separation simplifies expense tracking and bookkeeping, making it easier to manage your financial records. Additionally, in the event of a tax audit, a separate business account provides tangible proof of your business transactions.

Building a professional relationship with your banker is beneficial as well. They can offer valuable advice and financial services, while also streamlining various application processes.

Furthermore, it’s important to explore the option of applying for a merchant account or utilizing platforms like Square, PayPal, and similar services.

These solutions enable you to accept credit and debit card payments, expanding the convenience and flexibility for your customers.

For more, see, How to Open a Business Bank Account. You may also want to look at, What Is a Merchant Account and How to Get One.

11. Getting the Funds for Your Operation

Securing funding for your tree service business is a crucial step in getting it off the ground and ensuring its smooth operation. If you require a loan to start your business, here are some helpful tips:

Determine your funding needs:

Calculate the amount required to cover startup costs, equipment, supplies, marketing, and working capital.

Explore funding options:

Consider traditional lenders such as banks, credit unions, or Small Business Administration (SBA) loans. Private loans, investors, or selling assets can also be viable options.

Understand collateral and loan terms:

Some lenders may require collateral, such as property or equipment, to secure the loan. Familiarize yourself with the terms, interest rates, repayment period, and any additional fees.

Prepare for the loan application process:

When meeting with a loan officer, be prepared by considering the following:

    • Provide a detailed business plan outlining your tree service operations, target market, competition analysis, and financial projections.
    • Prepare financial statements, including balance sheets, income statements, and cash flow projections.
    • Gather personal and business credit history, tax returns, and legal documents.
    • Prepare a list of references and professional contacts who can vouch for your business expertise and credibility.

Remember to consult with a financial advisor or accountant to ensure you make informed decisions and navigate the funding process successfully.

See, Getting a Small Business Loan for more.

12. Software Setup

Software Considerations for a Tree Service

Choosing the right software for your tree service business is crucial as it can help streamline operations, increase efficiency, and improve customer service.

It’s easier to implement a program from scratch than switch to a new system after your data is already in another program.

To make an informed decision, take advantage of demos, if available, to get a feel for the software’s interface and functionality.

Don’t forget to check out reviews and online forums to understand what others have experienced with the software.

You’ll also need software for tracking expenses, invoicing customers, and preparing financial documents to file taxes. Consulting with your bookkeeper or accountant can guide you in choosing the right accounting software.

Software Considerations for a Tree Service:

  1. Job Management Software: Software like Jobber or Arbor Gold helps manage job scheduling, dispatching, and tracking.
  2. Accounting Software: QuickBooks or Xero can help track income, expenses, and prepare financial documents for tax filing.
  3. CRM Software: Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software like Salesforce or Zoho CRM helps manage customer data and interactions.
  4. Inventory Management Software: To keep track of your equipment and supplies.
  5. GPS Tracking Software: For tracking your service vehicles and improve routing efficiency.
  6. Marketing Software: Tools like Mailchimp for email marketing, or Hootsuite for social media management can boost your marketing efforts.
  7. Project Estimation Software: Software like Go iLawn or PlanSwift can help with job estimating and proposal creation.

Choosing the right software can make running your tree service business easier and more efficient. Take the time to research and select the best tools for your specific needs.

Check out Google’s latest search results for software packages for a tree service.

13. Get The Right Business Insurance

Obtaining the appropriate insurance coverage is essential for your tree service business, as incidents can occur at any time. Consider the following concerns when seeking insurance:

Comprehensive coverage:

Look for insurance that provides comprehensive protection, including coverage for customers, employees, yourself, anyone on the premises, and your property.

This ensures that all potential liabilities are adequately addressed.

Professional liability insurance:

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Consider acquiring professional liability insurance, also known as errors and omissions insurance, to safeguard against potential lawsuits resulting from errors or negligence in your tree service operations.

Home-based business considerations:

If you plan to operate or manage your tree service business from your home, inform your home insurance agent.

Operating a business from home may require additional coverage, as it could potentially nullify your existing home insurance policy.

Competent insurance broker:

Engage the services of a competent insurance broker who specializes in commercial insurance for tree service businesses.

They can provide expert guidance and assist you in identifying the specific coverage needs for your industry, ensuring that you have sufficient protection in place.

By addressing these concerns and working with an experienced insurance professional, you can secure the appropriate insurance coverage to mitigate risks and protect your tree service business in various scenarios.

For more, see What to Know About Business Insurance. You can also browse the latest Google search results for tree service insurance.

For More See, How To Choose a Supplier.

14. Physical Setup


A tree service’s physical setup or layout encompasses the arrangement of operational elements within the business premises.

This includes designated areas for equipment storage, vehicle parking, workstations, and potentially a nursery or tree care facility, ensuring a functional and efficient workflow.


Apart from installing the main business sign, it is essential to strategically place signage throughout the tree service premises.

This includes signs at parking lots, exits, and specific areas.

Well-designed signs not only provide directions but also convey professionalism, enhancing the overall operation’s image and guiding customers and employees effectively.

Office Setup:

Managing your tree service business efficiently requires a well-organized office setup. An organized office contributes to increased productivity.

Ensure your office is equipped with the necessary tools and resources, such as computers, software, filing systems, communication devices, and office supplies, to effectively manage your business operations and administrative tasks.

A functional and fully equipped office enables you to handle day-to-day responsibilities smoothly and supports effective decision-making and customer communication.

See, Here are Considerations for The Setup of Your Office, for tips and ideas to make your office work for you. Also, have a look at our article About Company Signs.

15. Creating a Website

Having a website for your tree service offers numerous benefits. It serves as a virtual storefront, enabling potential customers to find and learn about your business.

A website provides credibility and showcases your services, expertise, and customer testimonials.

It also allows for convenient communication, online inquiries, and appointment bookings, expanding your reach and attracting new clients.

For more, see How to Build a Website for Your Business.

16. Create an External Support Team

Building an external support team of professionals is essential for your tree service business. These individuals provide valuable advice and services while not being on your payroll.

Ideally, you can engage their services on a per-use, contractual, or hourly basis.

While you may already work with certain individuals, considering them as part of your team helps recognize their significance and allows for the addition of new members.

It’s not necessary to have the entire team in place from the start, as it takes time to establish professional relationships and find dependable individuals. However, it is an ongoing process worth investing in.

A strong team can provide assistance when needed. Your support group may include an accountant, a lawyer, a financial advisor, a marketing specialist, technical advisors, consultants, and more.

Collaborating with these professionals ensures you have access to expertise in various areas, enhancing your tree service business’s efficiency and success.

For more, see, Building a Team of Professional Advisors for Your Business.

17. Hiring Employees

In the early stages of your tree service business, it can be feasible to operate on your own without hiring employees. This approach helps control expenses, particularly payroll, during the initial phase.

However, as your business expands, managing and operating it single-handedly may become overwhelming. Hiring employees becomes essential, as it greatly enhances productivity when you find the right individuals for the job.

The following are job positions or outsourced services you may want to consider as your tree service grows and becomes successful:

  • Tree Climbers/Arborists: Skilled professionals who perform tree pruning, trimming, and removals.
  • Ground Crew: Assist the arborists by handling equipment, ensuring job site safety, and cleaning up debris.
  • Sales and Marketing Specialist: Develop strategies to attract new clients and promote your services.
  • Administrative Assistant: Provide office support, handle inquiries, and assist with scheduling.
  • Equipment Operators: Operate heavy machinery such as cranes, chippers, and stump grinders.
  • Certified Arborist: A professional with specialized knowledge and certifications to offer expert advice and consulting services.
  • Customer Service Representative: Manage client interactions, address inquiries, and provide exceptional customer service.
  • Accountant/Bookkeeper: Handle financial records, payroll, and tax filings.
  • Human Resources Manager: Oversee hiring, employee benefits, training, and compliance.
  • IT Support: Ensure the smooth functioning of computer systems, website maintenance, and data management.
  • Safety Specialist: Develop and enforce safety protocols and ensure compliance with industry regulations.

Remember, the specific positions needed will depend on the size and scope of your tree service business. As your business grows, carefully evaluate your operational needs and consider hiring or outsourcing services to support its success.

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For more, see, How and When to Hire a New Employee.


Points To Consider

Hours of Operation:

The hours of operation for a tree service may vary depending on various factors such as customer demand, availability of staff, and specific service offerings. Here are some hours of operation to consider for a tree service:

  • Regular Business Hours:
    • Monday to Friday: 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
    • Saturday: 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM
  • Extended Business Hours:
    • Monday to Friday: 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM
    • Saturday: 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM
  • 24/7 Emergency Services:
    • Available round-the-clock for emergency tree removal, storm damage, or hazardous situations.
  • Seasonal Adjustments:
    • During peak seasons or times of high demand (e.g., spring and fall), consider extending hours or offering weekend services.
  • Flexibility for Appointments:
    • Offer flexible scheduling options for customers, such as early morning or evening appointments, to accommodate their availability.

Remember to evaluate your market, customer preferences, and operational capabilities when determining the most suitable hours of operation for your tree service.

Flexibility and responsiveness to customer needs are key factors to consider.


A List of Equipment and Supplies to Consider for a Tree Service:

Starting a tree service business requires a range of equipment to handle different tasks safely and efficiently. Below is a detailed list of equipment you might need:

Safety Equipment:

  • Helmets with face shields: For head protection and to prevent debris from getting into the eyes.
  • Safety glasses: To protect your eyes from flying debris.
  • Ear protection: To guard against the high noise levels produced by chainsaws and other equipment.
  • Gloves: To protect your hands from sharp objects and harsh weather conditions.
  • Safety harnesses: Crucial for climbing and working at heights.
  • Protective chaps and work boots: To protect against accidental contact with chainsaws.
  • First aid kits: Necessary for minor injuries on the job.

Tree Service Equipment:

  • Chainsaws: Necessary for cutting branches and trees.
  • Pole saws: For cutting branches in high places.
  • Hedge trimmers: To shape and trim hedges.
  • Pruning shears: For smaller branches and precision work.
  • Stump grinders: For removing tree stumps.
  • Wood chippers: To reduce branches and other tree parts into wood chips.
  • Log splitters: For splitting logs into firewood.

Climbing and Rigging Equipment:

  • Climbing ropes: Essential for climbing trees.
  • Harnesses: For safety when working at height.
  • Pulleys and blocks: Useful for maneuvering heavy tree parts safely to the ground.
  • Carabiners: For secure attachment of ropes and harnesses.

Transportation and Miscellaneous Equipment:

  • Trucks: For transporting equipment, workers, and debris.
  • Trailers: For hauling larger equipment and materials.
  • Rakes, shovels, and brooms: For clean-up after tree services.
  • Ladders: Useful for reaching low-height branches.
  • Fuel cans: For refueling equipment on-site.
  • Toolboxes: For storing and transporting smaller tools.

This list is a good starting point, but the exact equipment you’ll need depends on the specific services your tree service business will offer.

Marketing Considerations

For a tree service to thrive as a legitimate business, attracting customers is essential. Initially, it can be challenging as your operation is new and lacks awareness among people.

However, as you establish a good reputation over time, attracting customers becomes easier. Along the way, you gain valuable marketing experience.

Marketing your tree service is an ongoing endeavor. The more you invest in effective marketing techniques, the greater your revenue potential.

While engaging a marketing agency or expert is an option, it’s not always necessary.

Simplify your marketing process by considering it as an opportunity to raise awareness about your business. Whenever an opportunity arises, take the initiative to promote your services and create awareness among potential customers.

Remember, consistent marketing efforts, along with a strong reputation and quality services, will help you attract and retain customers, contributing to the long-term success of your tree service business.

See our article How To Get Customers Through the Door and our marketing section for articles that will provide ideas to bring awareness to your tree service.

Skill Set:

Focusing on your skill set and evaluating whether you possess the necessary abilities to run a tree service is crucial. It ensures you have the competence required for the various aspects of the business.

If you lack a vital skill, remember that you have the option to learn it or hire someone with the expertise needed.

Focusing on your skill set and evaluating whether you possess the necessary abilities to run a tree service is crucial. It ensures you have the competence required for the various aspects of the business. If you lack a vital skill, remember that you have the option to learn it or hire someone with the expertise needed.

Essential skills for a tree service owner:

Tree Care Expertise:

Knowledge of tree species, pruning techniques, disease, and pest management, and safe tree removal practices.

Business Management:

Skills in planning, organizing, and overseeing operations, including financial management, scheduling, and resource allocation.

Customer Service:

The ability to communicate effectively, understand customer needs, and provide excellent service, ensuring client satisfaction and positive relationships.


The capacity to lead and motivate a team, delegate tasks, and make informed decisions for the growth and success of the business.

Problem Solving:

The aptitude to analyze complex situations, identify issues, and devise practical solutions for challenges that arise in tree care and business operations.

Safety and Risk Management:

Knowledge of safety protocols, adherence to industry standards, and the ability to prioritize safety in all aspects of the job to protect both employees and customers.

Equipment Proficiency:

Familiarity with tree service equipment, including chainsaws, wood chippers, cranes, and rigging tools, ensuring proper operation and maintenance.

Sales and Marketing:

Understanding marketing strategies, lead generation, and sales techniques to promote services, attract customers, and expand the client base.

Time Management:

Efficiently managing tasks, appointments, and projects to maximize productivity and meet deadlines in a fast-paced tree service environment.

Continuous Learning:

A commitment to ongoing education and staying updated with industry trends, best practices, and advancements in arboriculture to provide high-quality service and remain competitive in the market.

Remember, possessing or developing these essential skills will significantly contribute to your effectiveness and success as a tree service owner.

Expert Tips

Examining expert tips is beneficial for both experienced individuals and novices, as it aids in enhancing skill sets.

Experts may discover more efficient methods or gain new perspectives on techniques.

Novices, on the other hand, can glean numerous tips to improve their skills and expand their knowledge base.

See the latest search results for expert tree service tips to gain tips and insights.



In this section, you will find valuable resources that provide up-to-date and popular information relevant to the tree service industry.

These resources are useful both during the startup phase and when your business is fully operational.

By utilizing these resources, you can gain a deeper understanding of the industry and access valuable tips to enhance your tree service business.

They serve as valuable references to stay informed about industry trends, best practices, and strategies for improving your operations.

Industry Trends and Statistics

Examining industry trends and statistics for a tree service offers numerous benefits. It helps you stay informed about market demands, customer preferences, and emerging practices.

By staying up-to-date, you can make informed decisions, identify growth opportunities, and adapt your strategies to stay competitive in the industry.

See the latest search results for trends and statistics related to the tree service industry.

Tree Service Associations

Trade associations provide valuable benefits, such as keeping you updated on industry news and offering networking opportunities.

These advantages become even more apparent when associations organize events, allowing you to connect with industry professionals and gain insights from informative sessions and discussions.

See the search results related to tree service associations.

Top Tree Service

Examining established tree services can inspire new ideas and uncover areas of improvement in the industry.

It allows you to identify gaps that can be addressed in your own business or discover overlooked aspects that can be enhanced for better success.

See the latest search results for the top tree services.

The Future of the Tree Service Industry

Researching the future of the tree service industry offers significant advantages for aspiring business owners.

It provides insights into emerging trends, technologies, and customer demands. By understanding the industry’s future direction, you can better position your tree service business for long-term success and growth.

See the search results for the future of the tree service industry.


Researching industry prices when starting a tree service offers valuable benefits. It helps you understand the market rates, pricing structures, and competitive landscape.

This knowledge allows you to set appropriate and competitive pricing for your services, ensuring profitability and attracting potential customers.

See the latest tree service prices.

Tree Services for Sale

Buying an existing tree service business that is already in operation has both advantages and disadvantages.

The benefits of acquiring an established tree service compared to starting from scratch include:

  • Immediate Revenue: You start earning revenue from the day you take over the business.
  • Bypassing the Startup Phase: You skip the initial phase of setting up a business and can focus on operations right away.
  • Proven Business Model: You know that the business is viable and has a track record of success.
  • Financial Insight: You have access to information on revenue, profit, and expenses, providing a clearer understanding of the financial aspects.
  • Existing Customer Base: The business already has a customer base, providing a head start in generating income.
  • Established Reputation: The business has built a reputation over time, which can contribute to attracting and retaining customers.

However, there are also disadvantages to consider:

  • Higher Cost: The purchase price is often higher due to the goodwill associated with an established customer base.
  • Potential Customer Loss: Making changes to the business’s operations may result in losing some customers, posing a challenge to retain the existing client base.
  • Inherited Reputation: When you acquire a business, you also inherit its reputation, both positive and negative aspects.

It’s crucial to weigh these pros and cons carefully and consider your specific circumstances and objectives when deciding whether to buy an existing tree service business or start from scratch.

Conduct thorough due diligence and seek professional advice to make an informed decision.

See the latest search results related to tree service – businesses for sale to browse the latest listings.

Tree Service Franchise Opportunities

Exploring the option of buying a tree service franchise is worth considering before starting a business from scratch.

It offers both pros and cons and considering these opportunities may unveil aspects related to tree service that you hadn’t previously considered.


  • Proven Business Model: You can simply follow the established plan created by the corporate office, which increases the chances of success.
  • Established Reputation and Marketing: Benefit from the existing reputation and marketing efforts of the franchise, helping attract customers.
  • In-depth Business Knowledge: Gain comprehensive knowledge about the business before starting, minimizing uncertainties.
  • Corporate Support: Receive support and guidance from the corporate office, providing valuable resources and expertise.


  • High Cost: Buying a franchise can be expensive, requiring significant financial investment.
  • Limited Autonomy: Major changes to the business require approval from the corporate office, reducing flexibility.
  • Product and Service Restrictions: You can only offer approved products and services, limiting your business offerings.
  • Operating Constraints: Must adhere to the terms and conditions set in the franchise agreement, restricting operational freedom.
  • Ongoing Franchise Fees: Regular payments of franchise fees are required as part of the ongoing obligations.

Carefully evaluate these pros and cons while considering your goals, resources, and preferences to make an informed decision about buying a tree service franchise.

Thoroughly review the franchise agreement and seek professional advice to ensure it aligns with your long-term business vision.

See the latest search results related to tree service franchise opportunities to browse the latest listings.


Knowledge Is Power if You Use It!

Harness the power of knowledge and put it to use for your tree service business!

The internet offers a wealth of information about the industry.

Utilize the provided links in the following sections to access valuable resources during the research, startup, and operational phases of your business.

These resources will equip you with valuable insights and information to help you succeed in the tree service industry.

A Day in the Life

“A Day in the Life of a tree service owner” provides valuable tips and insights from industry professionals.

It offers an overview of what to expect, helping individuals gain a better understanding of the experiences and responsibilities associated with running a tree service business.

See the search results related to a day in the life of tree service owners.

Tree Service Owners Interviews

Interviews with business owners in the tree service industry provide valuable information and insights.

Taking the time to explore this section offers a chance to gain diverse perspectives and valuable insights, providing a better understanding of the industry and what to expect.

See the search results related to interviews of tree service owners.


Publications serve as an excellent resource to stay updated with the latest information about the tree service industry.

They provide valuable insights, industry trends, and best practices, keeping you informed and equipped with relevant knowledge to thrive in the field.

See the search results for publications related to tree service.


Engaging in tree service forums enables you to participate in relevant discussions and build connections within the industry.

It offers a platform to understand customer perspectives and gain invaluable information, fostering relationships and expanding your knowledge base in the process.

See the latest search results related to tree service forums.


Enrolling in courses related to the tree service industry is an excellent way to learn and enhance your skillset while staying up-to-date with industry developments.

These courses offer valuable knowledge and resources to help you improve and succeed in the field.

See the latest courses related to running a tree service.

Tree Service Blogs

Subscribing to tree service blogs offers a valuable way to gather ideas and stay updated with industry trends.

By subscribing to multiple blogs and curating your collection, you can ensure a steady stream of valuable information.

Unsubscribing from inactive or less relevant blogs helps maintain a collection that provides significant value.

Look at the latest search results for tree service blogs to follow.


Keeping up with the news is an excellent way to stay informed about the tree service industry. Setting up alerts allows you to receive timely notifications whenever new developments are covered by the media.

See what’s in the news related to tree services.



Videos about the tree service industry provide valuable tips and insights.

Additionally, exploring related videos recommended by YouTube can uncover topics and perspectives that you may not have considered before.

Check out the links below for informative YouTube videos.