My Experience with Tree Service Company

Professional gardener pruning a tree
Well, the first time I ever tried my hand with tree service was back when I was just a boy of about 17 years old. I was over at a friend’s house and his father came in, the guy’s name was Bill, and he recruited us to do a little tree service out in the back yard. It seemed that a tree branch had grown into the power lines that ran along his back fence and the city had ordered Bill to have it trimmed back.

“I’ll pay you guys $30 for the tree service,” said Bill as he sipped a scotch on the rocks. He went back inside the house to watch some golf on the television and left my friend and I with a saw.

Now my friend was a rather lazy fellow and also was one of those guys who always had a little money on him, so the $30 wasn’t enough to get him to climb a tree and do a little tree service. But me, I was one of those guys who was always broke and could use a little extra spending cash, so I jumped at the opportunity to do a little tree service.

Looking back, I kind of feel like Bill got off pretty cheap, having gotten some legit tree service for only $30. But at the time, I was as happy as a clam to get that money.

Without even using a ladder, I remember I simply climbed up onto the fence that ran along the back of Bill’s property, stood up on it and pulled myself into the tree with the saw somehow clipped from my belt. My friend stood below watching me, giving such helpful hints as, “Be careful,” and “Don’t fall!” The whole tree service operation was pretty unsafe. But I was hungry for that $30.

As it happened, I managed to go out on a limb for Bill and give him the full tree service required that day and I sawed that protruding branch right off. The powerlines were once again free to exist in space with no branches running into them. I think I may have gotten a bit of sawdust in the eye, but was otherwise no worse for wear.  No free discount but safety is that value they need!

After we dragged the branch that I had sawed off on my little tree service escapade to the curb, my buddy had the nerve to ask for a cut of the $30 fee I was getting for the tree service. You’d better believe I told him to stick that nonsense right up his butt because all he did was stand around in the shade while I was doing all the work and braving all the danger and violating all the local codes regarding landscape contracting and tree service.

I’ve learned a thing or two about tree service since those days, but the most important lesson I’ve learned since then was to not undersell myself or do crazy things for a little cash. The next most important thing would probably be safety.

There are a lot of safety considerations for tree service workers, but that’s a story for another day.

This company was located in Sterling Heights btw

Tree Service Company Background

Before running this website full time I used to own a tree service company with my friend from last post.

What do you think about when you think about trees? Well I think about fire wood. I used to work for this guy that had a tree service. We would have jobs that would consume of cutting trees that have fallen through house and trees that’s people just didn’t want in there yard. Well, we would cut in up in pieces and load it up on the trailer. After, that we would grind the stump out until there was nothing there.
This is the funny part of this story. After we cleared all the small limbs, we would head back to has house. This where it gets funny at. This guy had a big wood cutter. We would cut these logs into perfect pieces of firewood. Then have us deliver it to places that had already had orders in, and some were people at there houses. Here’s the punch line. I was only on the clock for cutting the tree down and cutting in up then putting it on the trailer. So, I never got paid for the firewood. He said that wasn’t in the treeservice company time. Man, I couldn’t do nothing but laugh, because I didn’t want to go to jail.
So the next day we went and did another job and he tried to do the same thing , by having us cut it up in firewood. I told him I was off the clock. Lol. That was when I became part owner of the tree service and selling firewood. I own 45% of the tree service and 50% of selling the firewood.
From there we were getting jobs all over Warner, GA. It so big that I had to hire more people and open more locations. We had locations all the way to Huntsville Alabama. I owned 95% each location I opened by my self.
As time goes on I get so big I bought him out and I owned 100% of the company.
One thing you have to remember about starting a tree service business is the seasonality of the work. Early spring and late fall are the times for pruning and thinning trees. Work concerned with trees damaged by strong winds is likely to be in the winter time. While there may be quite a bit of work clearing away trees knocked down by winter storms, the weather itself will make it difficult for you to operate your business. Also bear in mind that you may have to travel in the course of your work. The greater the geographical area you can cover, the greater your chance of getting work.
Tree cutting businesses provide a variety of services, including tree branch trimming and tree cutting and stump removal. Knowledge of common types of trees in your area and common tree problems helps increase your business and remain competitive with other local tree cutting services. Attract commercial and residential customers by providing quality customer service. Referrals from satisfied customers encourages others to choose your services. Depending on where you live, tree cutting services may be needed any time during the year.
I started out with just a pickup truck and a couple of saws and little knowledge of climbing and the proper way to prune trees. I almost killed myself a couple of times because of it. I strongly discourage anyone from following the path I did, even though I consider my business very successful today (20 years later). The ISA and TCIA have many videos and books on how to prune and you could easily spend your $5000 on those alone. A good tree saddle, gaffs (for removals only), ropes, rigging gear, pole saws and pruners, handsaws, pulleys, loop runners, carabiners etc. will easily eat up all of your start up money. You also need to carry insurance. Just one piece of my rigging gear, the GRCS, cost $2500. This is not a business that you can properly equip for $5000. I would strongly suggest you work for a good tree company for at least 3 months to get an idea of what this is all about. You will be able to make a better decision on whether you really want to get in the tree business and if so, what equipment or gear to buy.
The firewood business is better than ever. The high cost of fuel oil and heating gas has created high demand for firewood. Every state will have firewood customers. People in southern states like to have a warm toasty fire to watch and heat their homes as much as those in northern climates.