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DRService
02-24-2009, 10:13 PM
I am a tree climber that worked for lawn services for a couple of years before we had a couple of tornadoes and I went back to what I love best, climbing! So any way getting a lawn service going will basically be a steady cash flow deal since trees are either feast or famine.
I am looking forward to learning alot from everyone here, great site from what I have seen!

Steve
02-24-2009, 11:17 PM
Welcome to our forum!

Will your new business be offering tree climbing services?

For the newer lawn care business owners, can you tell us a little how they can get started in learning how to offer these services? Maybe share with us how you got your start?

DRService
03-02-2009, 01:10 PM
During high school I worked on various landscape, lawn and tree care companies during the summers. One company asked if I would be interested in climbing and I eagerly answered yes. This was how I learned the "ropes" as they say.
Many years later, I was out of college and needed work so I worked for a local lawn service. That spring two tornadoes came through the centrall Illinois area and ravished our community. I went to the owner of the lawn service and asked him if he would be open for me to provide this service for his company. I would do it on the weekend with his trucks, trailer and employees. I would be in charge of estimating, scheduling and choosing my employees. We worked out a deal on the money and went from there. Within a couple of months I had more tree work than I could do on the weekends so I asked for more time and equipment. He didn't want to do that so I left and started my own tree service company.
I ran that company for a year and a half full time and was very successful. I eventually had to slow down do to "slower" seasons and my wifes' health. She couldn't work for 3 months and my jobs were not coming in. So I went and got a full time job. For the last two years I have worked full time while cutting trees on the weekend.
I figured this year that I would go back at it full time but needed another service to help support the tree service. I know lawn care and landscaping so I figured that lawn service would be a great cash flow creator.
Learning to climb, cut and remove trees is not that hard. The main thing to remember is that it is one of the top 5 most dangerous on-land occupations. If you are out of your league let someone else do it. Simple prunning of fruit trees and decorative dwarf trees is very simple to do and can be done from the ground with the proper equipment. Notice that I didn't say from a ladder!
You can find some great resources through the International Society of Arboriculture's website: www.isa-arbor.com. You can also find alot of articles on the internet on proper pruning techiques.
Insurance is another thing, $1mil in gen liability will be sufficient, and you should already have that! But when you get into climbing, rigging, bucket trucks and chippers, you are going to be nailed with workmans comp. the job code for this is EXTREMELY EXPENSIVE! So if your starting out stay on the ground, get a pole pruner or power pruner and learn about ornamentals, fruit trees and proper pruning techniques.
I know this is lengthy but I will be happy to answer detailed questions on trees and bushes. My goal is to become a certified Arborist this year and a master gardener next year...
I look forward to talking with you all!

Steve
03-02-2009, 06:21 PM
Oh that is great advice!

Can you give us a couple of example on how one should size up a tree and create an estimate for removal?