Starting Your Own Tree Care Service Company - Vermeer Tree Views - Vermeer Tree Views
Starting Your Own Tree Care Service Company

Starting Your Own Tree Care Service Company

You’ve already worked hard for other tree care companies in an occupation that that is part of a difficult and demanding profession. You now recognize the financial potential of owning your own business. It’s a big step — even for individuals with considerable experience in tree care — and starting a new tree care service company can be a risky and challenging, although rewarding endeavor.

With proper planning, diligent research and strong work ethic, owning your own business is certainly attainable but here are several factors to consider before jumping in.

First, evaluate the market to get a realistic indication of the competitive landscape and determine need. This involves identifying all companies that provide services similar to those you would like to offer.

If possible, seek insights from experienced tree care professionals in non-competing markets to help identify unanticipated and threatening challenges, and recognize opportunities.

The startup phase of launching a commercial tree service involves intense planning, preparation and analysis. You should already have practical knowledge of the tree care business, and determined with as much confidence as possible given current economic climates and market trends that there’s indeed a place in the geography for another service provider — next comes a formal business plan.

A comprehensive business plan is a must for any emerging small business, but especially for commercial tree care service providers and similar companies in this extremely competitive industry. What’s more, a thorough business plan will likely be required if you are seeking to establish relationships with lenders.

Among the most important of several fundamental components, a formal business plan should include an in-depth competitive analysis that goes well beyond simply identifying competing companies. This analysis should delve into competing market share, customer lists, trade territory, market positioning, years in the business and possible competitive vulnerabilities. Understand this will be valuable in assisting you in developing effective positioning strategies designed to differentiate your new company from competitors in an already established and crowded marketplace.

Since a well-written business plan is also likely to be required by potential lenders, it should also contain realistic first-year and long-range sales and profit projections. The plan should also outline anticipated staffing, equipment and office space needs. Specific to equipment, Vermeer has a vast global network of dealers uniquely qualified to assist in identifying both immediate and potential future equipment needs based on your current service offering and long-range planning objectives.

Starting a tree care company. “We take a great deal of pride in our ability to help customers match equipment needs to services and identify future needs based on projections and opportunities,” says Tyler Foster, environmental equipment solutions specialist with Vermeer North Atlantic, based in Lumberton, N.J. “We have considerable experience in many facets of tree care, and can provide recommendations for specific equipment that are both objective and realistic. This knowledge helps our customers avoid many of the most common missteps that startup tree service companies may overlook. It’s important to secure the right equipment that is reliable and get the job done efficiently, but not overextend companies financially.”

Your local Small Business Administration (SBA) office is a great resource for assisting new companies in developing a thorough, objective and realistic business plan.

Startup company checklist

  • Thoroughly analyze the market to identify competition, opportunities, challenges
  • Prepare a business plan
    • Description of the business and services
    • Estimates of income and expenses
    • Competitive analysis
    • Equipment, office and staffing needs
    • Marketing strategy and mission statement
    • Long-range objectives and financial projections
  • Secure relationships with lenders
  • Register with appropriate local, county, state and federal agencies
  • Get tax identification number from the Internal Revenue Service
  • Secure operating permits, licenses and insurance
  • Become an accredited tree service company through the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) to establish credibility
  • Promote your new company

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There are 42 comments.

  1. shane says:

    Aerial arborist is a new tree service in pinconning mi. I don’t have any heavy equipment. I’m a professional climber. I have a fleet of saws, ropes, and rigging gear. I work in a town that chips the brush for me. I really could use a hand, advertising, creating more work, and obtaining a chipper. I’m working to become an arborist, and learned all my skills from other arborists.

    • Vermeer says:

      Hi Shane! Thanks for reading our blog and leaving a comment. We have another article on here that gives you some advice on hiring a marketing professional – That might help you decided if another employee would help grow your business and create more work. As for obtaining a chipper, there are a lot of great companies out there that could set you up with one! Although we would love for you to purchase a Vermeer chipper. Please free free to contact your local dealer and learn more about our chippers and how else we could help. You can find the dealer closest to you by visiting and inputting your location information. Thanks again!

    • Patrick rowan says:

      Hi Shane. Just wondering where about you are located?

    • Patrick rowan says:

      Hi Shane. Just wondering where about you are located?

  2. Dave says:

    I am now starting a business plan for a tree service and any insight from anyone with sucessful exp please contact me.. Located in Southern NJ. Thank you.

  3. michael says:

    i have been in the tree care business for ten years in mississippi for ten years looking to expand into chipping waste wood & mulch , waste

    • Admin says:

      Hi Michael! Thanks for reading our blog and leaving a comment. We have another article on here that gives you some advice on expanding your business, Please free free to contact your local dealer and learn more about our chippers and how else we could help. You can find the dealer closest to you by visiting and inputting your location information. Thanks again!

  4. Jamie says:

    Hi! I’ve been in the tree industry for 13yrs. I have 2yrs with residential and 11yrs in line clearance vegetation management. I’ve always wanted to start my own tree business. I don’t know where to start. Can anyone help me get started? I know I need a dump/chip box and chipper! I was also needing help on how to bid n get jobs too. Thanks JS
    davenport ia

  5. Earl says:

    Awesome site! Very informative. Here’s my question… I had a part time tree service that blew up over night. It was simply started as a supplemental income. 3 1/2 years later, I was working 3 states and had radio commercials. I’m about to exit the Navy and move back to my home area and restart my business to run full time. I still have a customer base in that area that has gone out of their way to tell me they’re awaiting the restart of my business. I will be again starting from ground zero. Any advice as to what might be the best startup procedures for going full blown with the business? Thank you!

    • Katherine Webb says:

      I can help you. I am an ISA Certified Arborist and tree service business consultant.

      I can help you market your business and get the phone ringing as well as help with insurance and liability issues.

  6. Ricky Turner says:

    I have started my own business with my cousin as a partner and also need a chipper and box truck. Where can I locate one of these for the lowest price possible. Any help is greatly appreciated. I’m also out of Oklahoma state. Any further advice on advertising and getting my name out there would be great. Thank you.

    Ricky Turner

  7. Bobby says:

    I just started my own business and it’s not going so well its about to get blown apart it’s just not getting a lot of calls or enough jobs need help don’t know what to do.

  8. Bobby says:

    Really want to know is there someone out there that can help me get my business off the ground I got 10 years of experience but just can’t get it off the ground.

  9. Colton says:

    Im thinking on starting my own company. I have logged and done tree service. other then that I have worked in the oil industry for the last 6 years. just wondering what would i need to get to start my own tree service company. I have a few chain saws and the know how to do all the work. I just need to know what else I should get to start this thanks

  10. Chris Rohrback says:

    Veteran Tree Care in Indianapolis is a new tree care company. We are doing really well and we were looking for better ways to promote our business and advertise. Any suggestions would be extremely helpful.

  11. Jason Littleton says:

    Hello , this question is for anyone out there that can help me with the step by step process on starting my own tree business …. im looking for some type of professional help on the know how of the business side of things….I’ve got over 15 years of experience and am a very good climber and very well educated on the different types of tree work , even the bidding side of the job. I know what tools I need to get and already have a good reputation for my work and get jobs when I’m not even trying to.,I just need help with managing a plan on getting some startup equip. as well as the insurance process and getting “legal” .with it all…..all help would be appreciated, plz email me at [email protected]….I will pay the right person to help me get set up.

  12. Dan Jansen says:

    What is the best structure for a logging and tree service business?

  13. Brandi says:

    Is licensing a requirement for starting an arborist business?

  14. Britney says:

    Hi. My dad has owned and operated a tree service for 20 years without much help. He now needs help from another arborist, but has not had any luck finding a capable employee. Are there tips and tricks for posting arborist job opportunities? Thanks in advance! I’ve learned a lot from the blog.

  15. Kyle says:

    The best tree service companies provide every aspect of the business – tree removal, tree trimming, tree pruning, tree shaping, stump grinding – but also do it in an ethical and environmentally friendly way. So many people get into this business and just shred up landscapes. The guys in McMinnville, Oregon ( are a good reference point if you’re looking to create an efficiently effective business that satisfies its customers.

  16. Carlos Torres says:

    I’m a 17 year old teen trying to learn how to become a Tree Service Boss , My dad was a Tree Service Boss once but he never had a license and was caught so he never tried being one again , now my dad is a worker for a tree service company and I believe he can be a good help . I want to recieve a license so I can create my company . Any advices ?

  17. Ted Traver says:

    I’ve climbed & dropped trees for 10+ years in Pittsburgh and just moved to the Virginia/DC area. I want to work for one of the local companies as a climber, should I spend the $$ for my own insurance “before” finding a company to work for? or will they prefer to cover me under their own insurance? I found a company through Nationwide that’ll charge me approx. $1000 a year for my own insurance. I paid about $750 in Pittsburgh.

  18. Alex says:

    Any advice as to what might be the best startup procedures for going full blown with the business? Thank you!

    • Vermeer says:

      Hey Alex,
      Thanks for reaching out! Check out our “Building your business” category, and “Tips and Trends” for valuable information from the pros on starting your own Tree Care business.
      Also, check out the blog tomorrow morning for a new post on how to put together a business plan!

  19. angelina says:

    so I am in the process of starting a tree service company, I am new to this and I’m trying to turn a dream into a reality . But as I am new to this I have no idea where to begin. if you could possibly help with where to start I would greatly appreciate it.

  20. Steve Hans says:

    We are starting a company also a tree service copany. We are a professional tree service who is here to help everyone to get to the simplicity that you deserve. here’s our website

  21. Steve Hans says:

    Thanks for reaching!! Check out our lindaletree care company. It is so much valuable information from the pros on starting your own Tree Care business.

  22. James Vaure says:

    Great article here! I also started my own tree care service company and glad that i’ve got many customers in my area here in tx, if you need help or assistance. you could check my blog!

  23. Romeo says:

    Need help on how to get more work please

  24. Romeo says:

    Need help on how to get more work please

  25. Charles says:

    Completing all your tools and equipment is a must in starting a tree service company. Invest a good quality tools in order to gain more clients.

  26. James Frazer says:

    Very good article and it will definitely help someone who wants to start a company. What I would also add and it will help tremendously, do a competition research – check out who you are going to compete with, what kind of services do they offer, what are the prices, how is their customer service, are they booked for few weeks or months in advance (good sign, they have a lot of business) etc.

    You can get so much informations just calling competition or sending them an email with quote request :)

    Thank you,
    James Frazer

  27. says:

    Thanks for helping out, fantastic information.

  28. I.Chandrakanth Reddy says:

    Hi, I’m studying PhD Agricultural Economics. I would like to start tree transplanting business in Andhrapradesh (India). Will u please tell me the approximate investment and scope of this businness?

  29. AJ says:

    Do i need to be a certified arborist inorder to start my own small individual tree company?

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