ArboristSite.com Sponsors
www.harvesterbars.com


Opening a tree service business

KeithKoharski

KeithKoharski

ArboristSite Lurker
Joined
Jul 28, 2019
Messages
14
Location
Gone away
Hey guys.. I have decided to open my own tree service company. I have so many questions as to how and what are the best ways to start it.Here is a little bit about myself.. Im located in New Jersey. This will be my second (side) job at first and hopefully it can grow into a full time business. My full time job is an aviation maintenance tech. I work the night shift so i will be doing this during the days or my weekends at first. I am a combat veteran so I have access to the GI bill and other great financial support, however, I would like to do it without taking massive loans. I bought my house 3 years ago and I decided to cut down all the trees (50+ and massive oak trees) myself and since then I fell in love with tree work. I climbed them (with all of the PROFESSIONAL gear), felled them and then saved the logs for my fireplace and then even sold dozens of cords on the side. This past summer I picked up part time work with a friends tree business and I saw how much opportunity and money there is in the area. I have about $10K to invest into the company. I know it isnt much but it can get me some used equipment if I keep searching and am willing to travel. Here are a few questions just to get things going. I hope I can get some good opinions. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

What pieces of equipment are the most important a new company should have?
Should I spend 10-12k on a used stump grinder?
Should I start off small with a helper, diesel pick up truck and dump trailer and back break hauling away logs etc.?
How should I attempt to get side jobs in the beginning?
- I live in a very rural area (each house has 1-2+acres and heavily wooded). Should I attempt to go door to door and introduce myself as a neighbor and point out their tree work I see and give them a low price that theyd never get from a pro company? I would think any business and word of mouth for myself is good at first?
Should I wait until the busy season to start looking for side jobs?
Id like to avoid leaving logs behind to "Reduce the price" I think its unprofessional and just leaves another thing for the homeowner to worry about.

I am going to create a business plan, business name license and insured and get all of the certifications from ISA. I want to do this the correct way from the beginning.
again, any advice is greatly appreciated. thank you in advance.
 
lone wolf

lone wolf

MS 200T King
Joined
Oct 5, 2009
Messages
57,916
Location
Prowling The Pine Barrens
Hey guys.. I have decided to open my own tree service company. I have so many questions as to how and what are the best ways to start it.Here is a little bit about myself.. Im located in New Jersey. This will be my second (side) job at first and hopefully it can grow into a full time business. My full time job is an aviation maintenance tech. I work the night shift so i will be doing this during the days or my weekends at first. I am a combat veteran so I have access to the GI bill and other great financial support, however, I would like to do it without taking massive loans. I bought my house 3 years ago and I decided to cut down all the trees (50+ and massive oak trees) myself and since then I fell in love with tree work. I climbed them (with all of the PROFESSIONAL gear), felled them and then saved the logs for my fireplace and then even sold dozens of cords on the side. This past summer I picked up part time work with a friends tree business and I saw how much opportunity and money there is in the area. I have about $10K to invest into the company. I know it isnt much but it can get me some used equipment if I keep searching and am willing to travel. Here are a few questions just to get things going. I hope I can get some good opinions. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

What pieces of equipment are the most important a new company should have?
Should I spend 10-12k on a used stump grinder?
Should I start off small with a helper, diesel pick up truck and dump trailer and back break hauling away logs etc.?
How should I attempt to get side jobs in the beginning?
- I live in a very rural area (each house has 1-2+acres and heavily wooded). Should I attempt to go door to door and introduce myself as a neighbor and point out their tree work I see and give them a low price that theyd never get from a pro company? I would think any business and word of mouth for myself is good at first?
Should I wait until the busy season to start looking for side jobs?
Id like to avoid leaving logs behind to "Reduce the price" I think its unprofessional and just leaves another thing for the homeowner to worry about.

I am going to create a business plan, business name license and insured and get all of the certifications from ISA. I want to do this the correct way from the beginning.
again, any advice is greatly appreciated. thank you in advance.
NJ law now requires you to be licensed with the State .
 
DannytreeLLC

DannytreeLLC

ArboristSite Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2020
Messages
76
Location
Independence
We don’t need another fly by night guy so if that’s your intention I will have to have your account deactivated. $10k won’t even buy a dump trailer... You need to continue to save money up and do this right bro.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ATH
KeithKoharski

KeithKoharski

ArboristSite Lurker
Joined
Jul 28, 2019
Messages
14
Location
Gone away
No, “fly by night guy” whatever that means isn’t my intention. I have a great full time career and it would be dumb for me to walk away and start a tree business with nothing. Like I said, I have professional climbing equipment & saws. I’m not afraid to be up in a tree (not everyone can say that). I’m sure there’s owners out there that won’t climb and they run the other day to day side of the business and that’s fine. I know opportunity when I see it.

I’m also sure there’s companies out there that started with bare minimum equipment and slowly grew over time. Id hope to build it into a full time business so I CAN leave my full time job. I’m not implying I that I know everything. There is a lot to learn and I fully know I’m capable of it all. I can easily get loans because of my 800+ credit score and my combat Veteran status. But I want to start small rather then start off in a massive debt hole.
I’m still very early in the thought process of it all.
 
KeithKoharski

KeithKoharski

ArboristSite Lurker
Joined
Jul 28, 2019
Messages
14
Location
Gone away
I’m also considering just working part time with my buddies tree business and learning more. Then I don’t have to worry about employees, acquiring jobs, managing equip, damage from jobs gone wrong. I can learn more. And possibly just become a “contract climber” one day and do it on my own schedule as needed by companies in the area.

99% of the laborers in my area are Mexicans (probably illegal). Unlike them I speak English, have drivers license, hard work ethic & am clean cut presentable appearance.
 
mckeetree

mckeetree

Addicted to ArboristSite
Joined
May 4, 2007
Messages
6,196
Location
Dallas, Texas
Why do you say that?
Very few individuals are really willing to invest the time and money it takes to make it in the tree service business in 2020. Back in the 80's it wasn't so hard to break out...now it's damn near impossible if you don't have a very strong financial backup to depend on. Most guys want to see way more money than this deal will ever produce for working 60 hours a week and sinking $100,000 of their own money and borrowing another $100,000 just to get started. I've been doing this for over 40 years...34 of it for me. Knowing what I know would I get into it again if I could go back in time? Hell no. Hell no.
 
Jed1124

Jed1124

Addicted to ArboristSite
Joined
Dec 2, 2009
Messages
4,183
Location
NW,CT
NJ law now requires you to be licensed with the State .


ISA - License by Reciprocity

The Board of Tree Experts voted at its June 20, 2017 meeting that the ISA Certified Arborist (CA) is equivalent to the Licensed Tree Care Operator (LTCO). Use the License by Reciprocity Application (fill-in version) or License by Reciprocity Application (static version) to apply for the LTCO and include a copy of your current CA certificate or CA card as evidence. Remember to include the application fee too.

Is the Jersey license required for removals?
In CT our license is required for any work done to improve the condition of a tree.
Removals do not require licensing.
 
KeithKoharski

KeithKoharski

ArboristSite Lurker
Joined
Jul 28, 2019
Messages
14
Location
Gone away
Very few individuals are really willing to invest the time and money it takes to make it in the tree service business in 2020. Back in the 80's it wasn't so hard to break out...now it's damn near impossible if you don't have a very strong financial backup to depend on. Most guys want to see way more money than this deal will ever produce for working 60 hours a week and sinking $100,000 of their own money and borrowing another $100,000 just to get started. I've been doing this for over 40 years...34 of it for me. Knowing what I know would I get into it again if I could go back in time? Hell no. Hell no.

That’s very good advice. Thank you. I’ll take that into consideration. After all debts, taxes, employees other misc fees paid. What do you think the average take home is?
 
DannytreeLLC

DannytreeLLC

ArboristSite Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2020
Messages
76
Location
Independence
Not a smart thing to say. Anyhow. Back to the point. $10,000 is not enough to start a tree business. Have you considered any other business? Such as lawn mowing, doing landscape jobs, or house vacuuming? Until you can save up enough coin to start a proper tree service. These ventures would be easier to start with a small amount of capital.
 
lone wolf

lone wolf

MS 200T King
Joined
Oct 5, 2009
Messages
57,916
Location
Prowling The Pine Barrens
ISA - License by Reciprocity

The Board of Tree Experts voted at its June 20, 2017 meeting that the ISA Certified Arborist (CA) is equivalent to the Licensed Tree Care Operator (LTCO). Use the License by Reciprocity Application (fill-in version) or License by Reciprocity Application (static version) to apply for the LTCO and include a copy of your current CA certificate or CA card as evidence. Remember to include the application fee too.

Is the Jersey license required for removals?
In CT our license is required for any work done to improve the condition of a tree.
Removals do not require licensing.
Yes it is if your are climbing or using an Aeriallift the onky time you are able to get around it is if you drop them whole without a rope.
 
lone wolf

lone wolf

MS 200T King
Joined
Oct 5, 2009
Messages
57,916
Location
Prowling The Pine Barrens
That’s what I was thinking minimum or best equip to have is. Bucket truck with dump and maybe chipper. It’ll still suck when you get to the big logs that the chip won’t take.
Wait till you price all that stuff. don't buy inferior equipment just because the price seems low get the best you possibly can.
 
Top