PDA

View Full Version : Getting into tree care


Steve
08-14-2008, 10:17 PM
I just edited this forum to include tree care as well.

I know Brandon has a vast knowledge on tree care and I am hoping we can all learn from him.

Brandon,

What are your suggestions as to what a lawn care business owner needs when they are interested in getting started in offering tree care?

What kind of equipment is necessary?

Little's
08-15-2008, 12:31 AM
When I first started working with trees, I found it necessary to have the basic tree trimming tools. Such as a small chainsaw (top handle preferred 12" to 14" max), pole saw/pruner (manual type), and later on the gas powered type when you can afford it. It is also necessary to have a good extension ladder until you learn how to safely and effectively climb trees.

I have found that I rarely use my larger chainsaw (24" bar) unless I am removing large trees. So only buy one when you decide that you are going to offer these types of services. the other thing I have found is to save yourself a lot of blood, sweat, and tears by buying a brand new chainsaw. I have purchaesd many used chainsaws at yard sales, flea markets and such, but found that every one ended up being either too much trouble to fix, or wore out. I do keep one cheap $20 saw for that job where I need to ruin a saw by driving it into the dirt or something.

Later on you can start buying your climbing equip. if you decide to start offering more advanced services.

Steve
08-15-2008, 06:06 AM
Brandon,

You mentioned a ladder. Can or should you do tree work from a ladder? How should one utilize a ladder when doing tree work?

What is ok and what isnt?

Little's
08-15-2008, 09:03 AM
Ladders are ok, but only in certain tree services. Trees that arent too tall are often pruned using ladders, especially fruit trees, since you dont want to be climbing around on them for the potential to break them is high. Then there is the dead limbs here and there that need to be removed. They dont always require climbing.

One point I should make (which I forgot to mention in the previous post) is the importance of safety lanyards. When climbing a tree it is very important to be attached at all times, but just as important when you are cutting from a ladder. I will tie in to the tree with a lanyard if possible, or tie the ladder to the tree.

Remember only do what feels safe to you, and if you are uncomfortable in any situation, then you need to take a step back and rethink your game plan.

Totally Green
08-15-2008, 09:18 AM
Good Morning Brandon,
I was just wondering if you rent equipment such as cherry-pickers and stump grinders or did you purchased them?

Little's
08-15-2008, 02:55 PM
I dont rent cherry pickers because I usually just climb the trees. As far as stump grinders, I have a guy who does all my sub work for the stumps. His prices are great, and he has a nice grinder, so it really wouldnt pay for me to buy one.

Steve
08-15-2008, 05:12 PM
Brandon,

When you first got into this, did someone teach you the ins and outs of all this or did you read it or how did you learn?

Little's
08-17-2008, 04:38 PM
Sorry for the delayed response. This was opening day of deer season, and spent the weekeend out of town.
I did a lot of reading and talking to people. I picked up a book title, The Tree Climbers Companion. It is full of the most important climbing info you need. As far as the actual tree work, I learned a lot by trial and error, and never turned down a job, so it almost forced me to learn things real quick.

justin_time
08-17-2008, 08:13 PM
I dont rent cherry pickers because I usually just climb the trees. As far as stump grinders, I have a guy who does all my sub work for the stumps. His prices are great, and he has a nice grinder, so it really wouldnt pay for me to buy one.

My dad is an electrician so a cherry picker would be appropriate for both of us.

I could use it to trim trees and he could use it to install hydro poles and all that hardware. I think it would be a good investement haha

Little's
08-17-2008, 10:21 PM
Now thats thinking. You can find them used at the PG&E auctions. They sell their used stuff all the time. Maybe you could split the cost?

Lukacs Property Maintenance
08-18-2008, 11:03 AM
hey guys,

Just wanted to add an importent tip. Learned the hard way myself.

ALWAYS, i repeat ALWAYS secure your ladder to someting, weather your in a tree or your up on a roof cleaning out gutters, which is what i was doing, because the ladder can seem to be stable but someone (punk kids) can remove the ladder as a not so funny joke. Or the wind can blow the ladder over. Then you have to figure out how to get down off a two story house roof.

Mike

Steve
08-18-2008, 03:30 PM
What should you do to secure a ladder to a house?

Little's
08-18-2008, 10:06 PM
What should you do to secure a ladder to a house?

I am not sure the correct way to secure a ladder to the house. Can it be done? I secure my ladder to tree (when I use it, not very often) with safety lanyards.

Lukacs Property Maintenance
08-21-2008, 05:15 PM
When im up on the roof i don't want to loose the only way down. I have used a rubber bungy strap to secure the ladder the the edge of the roof and or to the gutter it self. I think a good strong rope would do the same thing.

Mike:)

Dzielak51
08-31-2008, 08:19 PM
How do you estimate jobs?

Steve
08-31-2008, 11:08 PM
There is a post in the lawnchat.com blog that might help or others could join in here to if they want.

http://lawnchat.com/?p=214

Little's
08-31-2008, 11:38 PM
Hey everyone. I wanted to post a link to a thread I started a little while back at an Arborist forum. It has some pictures of a job I did and some information about the reason for me posting it. I was asking for some 3rd party help on the value of a job I did. There was some debate AFTER the job was finished. It is quite interesting what different people around the USA will price a job at.

Take a look, and read all of the responses. Its worth your time.
http://www.arboristsite.com/showthread.php?t=70198

Steve
09-01-2008, 12:15 AM
The initial job was quoted at $600? What would you have quoted it at now with all you know after that discussion?

Little's
09-01-2008, 12:34 AM
The initial job was quoted at $600? What would you have quoted it at now with all you know after that discussion?
$600. And I didnt quote the job, but I was told to just do it and send them the bill. You see, I wasn't questioning what the job was worth for my peace of mind, I was using the thread and all the price quotes for defense. I used the responses I received and printed them out and sent them to the home owner to show that the price I charged (the property management co.) was more than good (which I new going into it). I was giving the great, cheap price to the P.M.C. because they are so faithful in sending me work. It was kind of a thank-you-price.

See, I knew the price was great, thats why I was astonished when the owner freaked out about the cost. Then I realized that it wasnt the price, it was the guy. He is the type of guy that would argue and have a problem if I had charged him a $100. The type of guy who who has to try to save $5 just to feel like he pulled a fast one on you.

Well once the P.M.C. saw the work I did, they were behind me 100%, they just had to explain it to the owner, that the price was more than fair.

It all worked out ok, and I still do a lot of work for the P.M.C.

LawnMoore
07-29-2010, 05:44 AM
How long did this job take you?

Do you have an hourly rate per dead and hazardous trees?

Do you have an hourly rate per live and out in the open trees?


E/ i see you posted this info in the thread, took you 6 hours for 600 dollars so you gross 100 an hour on that job. Not bad, i just hope you atleast made 400 NET on that job, you need to get payed very well for this line of work!!

I average 50-200 an hour sometimes more ;)