How To Start A Tree Service Business?

So you are thinking about how to start a tree service business? Well, that’s excellent!

Whether you are clueless or have some idea about this business, we have made sure our guide helps you regardless. But first, let’s answer what is a tree service anyway?

Tree service is in demand all year round, and it includes planting, removing, pruning, trimming, and monthly maintenance of trees, among many other things.

And according to IBISWorld, Revenue for the Tree service industry is estimated to increase at a CAGR of 8.5% to $37.1 billion over the five years to 2023. So getting into this field is going to be lucrative for you.

You can either choose to do one or a combination of these services, create a package or offer it all to your clients.

These services can be offered weekly, monthly, or yearly, depending on your client’s needs. And you can take up commercial or residential projects, whatever fits right for you.

Sounds interesting, right? Let us get started and see how you can be a tree service business owner yourself and earn good money from it!


What Are You required to Do As a Tree Service Provider?

As a Tree Service professional, you are required to secure and maintain relations with your local county and state agency in order to obtain permits and licenses.

As a business owner, you are required to do a competitive analysis of your business to sustain in the competition. Along with this, you are also required to hire and train your employees. Your employees need to be insured and skilled and should have a good understanding of your business.

Then as a service provider, you will have to involve in a number of activities such as cutting, pruning, installation and removal, emergency tree removal service, and more.

How To Start A Tree Service Business?

Let us have a look at a step-by-step process of starting your own tree service business.

1. Business Research

Tree service Business Research

Before starting any business, you need to do your initial research so that you know what you are getting yourself into and be ready for it.

While doing your initial research, you should consider asking the following questions:

  • What is the initial investment required to start a tree service business?
  • What are the ongoing expenses of a tree service?
  • How lucrative is the tree service business?
  • How should I price my tree service?

Well, lucky for you, we have answered all these essential questions for you below!

What is the Initial Investment Required to Start a Tree Service Business?

Now the initial investment amount depends on a lot of factors, such as what services are you going to offer? The number of people you are going to employ?

You will also need to calculate the cost of insurance, create a website, advertisement, and cost of equipment such as trucks, ladders, safety gear, chainsaws, a wood chipper, etc.

The cost can be more or less depending on whether you choose to buy these items second-hand or new.

To give you a heads up, you will need anywhere between $10,000-$50,000 of investment to get this business started.

What are the Ongoing Expenses of a Tree Service Business?

Considering the initial cost of investment is not enough, you also need to take into account the ongoing expenses after starting your business.

You will need to pay your technician $10-$25 an hour; you will need to pay for gas, any additional equipment, etc. Apart from this, a lot of money would also go into promotion and advertising.

How Lucrative is the Tree Service Business?

If you are an individual tree service provider, then you can make $21,000-$50,000 annually. And a tree service business owner can make $1,00,000-$2,00,000 in revenue annually.

So after deducting all the expenses, it comes down to approximately $50,000 of profit that you get to keep.

How Should I Price My Tree Service?

A tree service professional can charge anywhere between $75-$1400 per job depending on the type of service, complexity of the job, etc.

You can even charge more or less depending on the risk involved in doing a certain task.

2. Choose A Business Name & Logo

Business Name & Logo

Once you have done your research and made up your mind to start your business, it is finally time to name your business.

You should choose a name that’s short but unique and something that is easy to remember.

You will also need to create a logo- this you can do by yourself using apps like Canva or hire a graphic designer.

Once you have chosen your business name, we can now move on to the next step.

Read: 15 Methods To Get Tree Removal Leads 

Also Read: What Is The Tree Service Business Insurance Cost?

3. Securing A Tax Identification Number (TIN)

Tax Identification Number

A Tax Identification Number (TIN) or an employer identification number (EIN) is a nine-digit number that acts as social security for your business.

Without this number, you cannot apply for any license or insurance, or file your tax returns, etc.

So make sure to obtain a TIN number from IRS & the best part is you can even do this online very easily.

4. Register Your Business


To register your business, you will need to form a legal entity. You can do so by registering your business as a sole proprietorship, limited liability company (LLC), Partnership, or Corporation- which are all common types of business structure.

The kind of business structure you choose will affect your tax filings and legal limitations. For e.g., If you choose a partnership structure, then you alone wouldn’t have to bear any risks or expenses (depending on the type of partnership chosen), and if you choose an LLC, then it will protect you from personally being held responsible in case of risks.

We suggest you check the laws pertaining to your state once and then register your business accordingly.

5. Know Your Taxes

Know Your Taxes

The TIN number that we mentioned above is necessary for filing taxes. Before you officially start your business, you should know everything about tax filing and its implications.

For this, we suggest you to hire or talk to a CA/CS who will be able to give you all the necessary tax-related information pertaining to your business.

6. Open A Business Bank Account

Business Bank Account

Yes, open a business bank account, and do not make the mistake of managing your finances using your personal account to avoid confusion later.

Opening a business account can:

  • Help you with tax filing.
  • Manage your finances better.
  • Make accounting easier.

7. Secure Licenses & Insurance

Secure Licenses & Insurance

Different businesses require different licenses and permits, and this may vary from state to state.

You can visit your local governing authority to check what all permits you require to operate in your state or area to avoid any legal complications later.

The tree service business comes with risks. You need to protect your employee’s from potential risks and yourself from any incident that may happen at your client’s property.

The common types of Insurance that you should get are:

  • General Liability Insurance
  • Business Insurance
  • Workers’ Compensation Insurance
  • Policies for Protecting Property
  • WSIB insurance and more

8. Market Your Business


Without this last step, it is almost impossible to get clients & generate revenue.

If you are low on the budget, then you can distribute flyers and brochures or create a page on social media or even do social media marketing to advertise your tree service business.

And if you have a good marketing budget, then you can get your own business website; you can hire an SEO or digital marketing agency for this. You can even get your business registered on Google my business, yelp, etc.

Advertisement is extremely important to attract potential clients, and if you do your marketing the right way, then you will never get out of work and make handsome revenue in no time.

Also Read: How To Price Your Tree Service Business Services?

Reddit Users Answer the Most Commonly Asked Questions

Questions about starting a arborist/ tree service business!
by u/Sursus in sfwtrees

What Skills Are Useful in Building a Succesfull Tree Service Business?

On the administrative level, you will need to master the basics of tree care in order to be a successful Tree Service business owner.

On a technical level, you need experience with knot creation, tree rescue, tree felling, pressure cutting, tree trimming, wood disposal, equipment maintenance, etc.

And on an administrative level, you need to be able to find leads for your tree service business.

5 Tips on Starting a Tree Service Business

Wrap Up

We hope this step-by-step guide on how to start a Tree Service Business helps you in starting your business.

Remember this is just a guide and you will need to do your homework, do your research and know your target audience to make good amount of profit out of it.


What all tools will I need for offering Tree Service?

You will need the following tools for offering your tree service:

  • Chain saw, Climbing saw
  • Brush chippers
  • Block trailers
  • Pole saw
  • Bucket truck
  • Ladders
  • Mini skid steers
  • Bush hogs
  • Logging saw
  • Stump grinder
  • Eye guards
  • Helmets
  • Bull ropes
  • Climbing boots, and more

Who should I target for my Tree Service business?

You will get both residential and commercial clients for your service.

However, commercial clients require tree service more frequently and are more lucrative. So you can choose to cater to any of them or both.

How to make more profit as a Tree Service provider?

You need to be consitent and good at your work, build your network, offer referral bonus, and jump to commercial properties, you will be able to make good amount of profit if you take care of these things.

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