How to Start a Tree Service Business in 9 Steps

Are you an arborist planning to start your own tree service business or just curious to learn how to start one? First, let’s tell you there is a huge opportunity in this tree service industry because the homeowners and corporate companies with trees need your help.

Whether installing, removing, trimming, or pruning the trees, the tree service businesses act alike for both households and businesses. 

You will help the property owners with weekly, monthly, and annual maintenance and also help during emergencies.

But being a skilled arborist alone isn’t adequate to start your tree service business. You need to understand the working of multiple elements to start the business, manage it, and scale up. After all, starting a new business in any domain isn’t a piece of cake, right?

So, we are here with a detailed step-by-step guide on how to start a tree service business. Read it carefully, gather all the important points, do your research and start your tree care business. 

9 Steps to Start a Tree Service Business

Step 1: Know the basics of tree care business

These are the basic things you need to know before starting a tree service business –

  • How much money does it require to start a tree service company?

    Starting a tree service company may cost between $10,000 and $50,000. You can only determine the exact amount after analyzing the tree care services you have planned to offer. 

  • How much revenue can a tree care business generate?

    The small start-up business could earn approximately $100,000 to $200,000 a year. When the local businesses start expanding, they could expect $540,000 to $1,150,000 in gross annual earnings and a healthy profit. 

    As a business owner, you can expect to get 10% of your total revenue in your hand as a profit. It means your profit comes to around $50,000 after deducting business expenses.

  • Do tree care companies need to be licensed?

    If you want to start your career as an arborist, you don’t need to have a tree service license. As an expert, if you want to start your own tree service company, you can start your journey after you get a business license to operate it legally.  

    These are the basics for establishing any successful business; there is no exception for tree service companies.

Step 2: Analyze the market of tree service providers

After understanding the basics, start knowing the industry from scratch. Check out the leading companies; learn about their services, follow how they market their business, how they expand, and their economic analysis. 

In this stage, you’ll know the channels; where you can get the potential customers, assume the level of competition, and the possible threats and challenges, you may face in operating a tree service business. 

Step 3: Define your service offerings

Suppose you’re seeking professional help for garden and lawn maintenance; whom will you contact? A board-certified master arborist or a professional tree care company! Isn’t it? 

Similarly, the construction or road contractors will contact a tree cutting company to carry forward the ongoing construction project by cutting down the obstructed trees. 

The tree services companies offer services for everyone, from your neighbor to the government’s contractors. renowned tree services companies offer various services, like – tree removal, planting, pruning, bracing, storm damage repairing, parasites treatments, risk assessments, and tree consulting services.

Different services require different equipment and manpower involvement. As a start-up, you should define the profitable niche or services you want to focus on according to your investment. Start with a few services based on your skills and experience. 

Step 4: Define the need for manpower and equipment

The need for staffing and equipment depends on the services you plan to offer. Here’s a list of tools that the tree service companies generally need-

Necessary Equipment:

  • Chain, Logging, Climbing, and Pole saw
  • Ladders
  • Climbing boots
  • Climbing ropes
  • Helmets
  • Bull ropes
  • Eye guards
  • Ear protector
  • Mini skid steers
  • Block trailers
  • Bush hogs
  • pruning shears
  • Stump grinder
  • Bucket truck
  • Brush chippers
  • Clips
  • Saddle
  • Oil can
  • Wedges
  • Orange cones

As a beginner, you must first book a job and buy only the equipment you need for the project to enhance your profit margin.

5. Price your services for profit

According to US labor statistics, the hourly wage of tree trimmers and pruners is $22.81 

However, in this stage, don’t rely on the market data. Set your pricing strategy by considering the skills and experience of your manpower, types of projects, required services, involved labor, and necessary equipment. Don’t forget to consider competitors’ prices for the services. 

On top of that, you must evaluate the project and market price thoroughly before sending the estimated cost or quote to the clients. 

6. Choose a name and logo for your tree trimming business

Maybe now you’re about to start, but your brand name and logo will exist only in the future, even after you die. And the most critical part is you can’t change your company name and logo. 

It’s your company; of course, you can change the name and logo, but it would negatively affect your business. You may lose the repeat customers, brand value, and brand trust; that you can’t afford. Right?

So, choose a unique but practical and professional name. Then, hire a professional graphic designer to design an attractive and related logo. Remember, the name and logo will be on your business card, website, quotation paper, and bills.  

7. Legitimize your business with all licensing requirements

Running a business isn’t rocket science, but isn’t easy either. You may know that legal issues could shut down your company. You may become arrested or lose the right to run a business in the future. 

Having all documents, necessary permits, and licenses in order is the thing; that can give you peace of mind. So, you can focus on boosting the profit margin or expanding your business. 

Address these legal requirements to avoid legal issues –

  • Choose the most cost-effective tax-filing business structure

    The LLC (Limited Liability Company) business structure would be a safer choice for most start-ups and small companies, as the company owners will have limited liability; if something worse happens or if any client takes legal action against them.

    If you expand your business in the future by collaborating with other companies or including partnerships, you have to upgrade the business structure to a corporation from single-member LLCs. 

  • Get the TIN and EIN

    Without a TIN (Tax Identification Number) or EIN (Employer Identification Number); you can’t apply for business licenses and other legal permits, open a business bank account and file your tax returns. You can apply to obtain this nine-digit EIN or TIN online from the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) portal.

  • Register Your Business

    The local municipality and local business development center will help you get the necessary permits and business licenses. 

  • Open a business bank account

    Your personal and business expenses and credits should be separate, so you must open a business account for business transactions. It will not only help you maintain professionalism but also will be helpful for tax filing. 

  • Obtain a business and general liability insurance

    Like an effective business plan, getting the most efficient insurance plan; that covers property damage plus liability claims is also important to running a successful business.

8. Market your tree cutting business

You should be more creative than other tree care companies, as you’ve just started your journey. You should take care of your online presence and have a good branding and tree service marketing strategy

Create your website, consult with a search engine optimization (SEO) expert or seek professional help from an SEO or digital marketing agency to get a better reach to the website. 

9. Think about an expansion

People will see your brand and how you portray your business. If you want to go beyond the city, you have to create a corporate identity by investing a good amount in the promotion and advertisement of your brand. You have to step into digital media besides the print media to boost your brand awareness. 

So, once you establish your company with a satisfying customer conversion rate and revenue generation, don’t restrict your growth as a start-up for the rest of your life. 

Develop advanced marketing strategies; invest in the latest tree care service software to achieve the place of leading brands whose inspirations help you start a tree removal business

​​How Much Capital is Needed to Start a Tree Service Business?

It would be best if you start your journey by keeping $10,000 to $50,000 in hand to get your business going, though it isn’t an approximate value. You can only determine the exact amount by analyzing the tree care services you want to offer and the workforce plus the equipment you may need to run the business. 

However, the estimated amount covers the business license, business insurance, warehouse, auto insurance, worker’s compensation, and other costs. 

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Yes, tree service is a good business to start as it is profitable, reliable, and enjoyable too. In nearly every region in the US, the demand for tree care services is high. So, you can start your own tree service business, be your own boss, set good standards, form a team, and achieve your goals.

You can start a tree-climbing business by following the below-given steps.

  • Competitive analysis to learn the in and out of tree service business
  • Curate a reliable business plan
  • Price your services correctly
  • Choose a business name and logo
  • Register and insure your business (other legal requirements)
  • Determine your equipment and staffing needs
  • Market your tree climbing business

Follow this quick step-by-step guide to cut down a tree.

Step 1: Cut a notch on the tree in the felling direction

Step 2: Cut toward the notch from the tree’s other side. The tree will fall after this cut. 

Step 3: Now, you can start sawing from the bottom.

Yes, the tree service business is a profitable one. The individual service providers are estimated to earn between $21,000 and $49,000 per year. A tree service business makes a bigger revenue. They earn around $100,000 to $200,000 in annual gross income. After deducting expenses, they get an annual profit of around $50,000. So, overall, looking at these stats, the tree business is profitable.
Most mature trees must be trimmed every 3 to 5 years, depending upon the tree’s growth. At the same time, the younger trees need it every 2 to 3 years. A fruit tree needs to be pruned yearly, while some evergreen trees don’t require pruning.
The average cost for tree trimming service varies between $100 to $1800 depending on the height of the tree, the location of the worksite, accessibility, and how complex the job is.


Are you ready to start your own tree service business now? Then apply the step-by-step guide mentioned in this article. When you follow each step and do your own set of research, you will succeed in your tree service business. 

However, you must be careful when curating your tree service business plan, licenses, and other essential things needed in your tree business. 

To ease various tree business tasks, you can adopt field software management software like FieldCamp. This software with a proper business management plan can help you manage all tasks without hassle. It helps you track all the tasks from scheduling work, collecting invoices, and tracking your employees. 

This software solution helps automate your tree service business operations and enhances your business productivity. Also, do you want to expand your tree service business online? This software can help you out.

Author Bio

Gaurang Bhatt

Gaurang Bhatt is a techie in himself with an ability to solve problems technically and present solutions in the form of a product. He is one of the pioneers to curate FieldCamp with his 15+ years of knowledge and expertise in providing solutions to home service industries. Gaurang aims to overcome challenges faced by service business owners through software solutions and blogs.