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  • Getting into tree care

    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?
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  • #2
    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.
    Northern California

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    • #3
      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?
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      • #4
        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.
        Northern California

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        • #5
          Good Morning Brandon,
          I was just wondering if you rent equipment such as cherry-pickers and stump grinders or did you purchased them?
          Totally Green Lawn Care, LLC
          http://www.totallygreenlc.com

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          • #6
            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.
            Northern California

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            • #7
              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?
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              • #8
                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.
                Northern California

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                • #9
                  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

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                  • #10
                    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?
                    Northern California

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                    • #11
                      securing the ladder!

                      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

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                      • #12
                        What should you do to secure a ladder to a house?
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                        • #13
                          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.
                          Northern California

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                          • #14
                            securing the ladder

                            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

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                            • #15
                              How do you estimate jobs?

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