How To Start A Tree Trimming Business

By Nick Alford

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Do you prefer working outdoors?

Do you have a working knowledge of agriculture to promote tree health as well as homeowner safety and property beautification?

If so, you just may have what it takes to start your own tree trimming business.

You will also need the business savvy, capital and the perseverance to stick with it during the lean days until you can generate enough customers to declare it a viable and sustainable success.

People skills and an understanding of the extra touches that will leave your customers satisfied after a messy trim job will build your reputation. If this sounds like the job description for which you were born, starting a tree trimming service might be the right career move for you.

How Big Is The Tree Trimming Industry?

The tree trimming industry generates about $16 billion per year through the work of nearly 138,000 businesses and over 205,000 employees.

It has grown about three percent per year in the last five years and is expected to keep growing as the economy rebounds and drives construction activity and an increase in disposable income.

Why Starting A Tree Trimming Business Now Is A Good Idea

Trees always grow and there will always be those that need a little help growing in desirable directions or sizes for safety or aesthetic reasons. Busy home and business owners often do not have the time and skills to tackle a big tree job on their own. With rising disposable incomes, they are more able and willing to hire the job out to the experts. This creates an opportunity for lucrative returns for your services if you have the know-how to effectively tap the existing market.


Tree Trimming Business Facts

Here are some facts and figures about the tree trimming business you should consider:

Tree trimming business startup costs

$10,000 to $50,000

How much do tree trimmers make?

 According to, tree trimmer wages can range from $10.18 to $23.06 an hour or $21,250 to $49,737 per year.

How much do tree trimmers charge?

 Individual jobs can run from $75 to $1,400 depending on the complexity of the task requested and the degree of time and risk involved.

How do tree trimmers find customers?

 Explaining your services in simple terms until you are sure the customer understands and approves and cleaning up after your work, hauling away scraps the customer does not want and so on will build your reputation as a trustworthy tree service company and generate word of mouth referrals. Other advertising strategies include flier distribution as well as print, radio and TV ads in local publications. Other forms of promotion are Yellow Pages and online directory listings, a professional website and social media presence for community networking to generate leads on potential business.

What skills are required?

 Tree trimming competence and knowledge of healthy and safe agriculture practices; bookkeeping, accounting, payroll, accounts payable/receivable, estimation skills, people skills, attention to details.

What do I need to operate a tree trimming business?

Past work experience in the industry, competence, a business license, tax structure, ample liability and disability insurance, property, auto and equipment insurance, workers’ comp and umbrella insurance, a truck(s), ladders, safety gear, chainsaws, pruning shears, a wood chipper, wheelbarrow; computer, printer/scanner, printer paper and ink, phone/fax, scheduling and invoicing software, bookkeeping and accounting system, payroll system, estimate forms, business cards, brochures, a professional website and social media accounts,

Tree Trimming Business Ideas

Invest in a good quality wood chipper and truck for hauling to turn the remnants of your tree services into another stream of revenue.

Never start work without the presence and explicit permission of the property owner to avoid misunderstanding, dissatisfied customers and litigation. Put the health of the tree and safety of the property residents above a quick, easy and convenient slash and hack simply for the sake of complying with local regulations. If you need to make extensive cuts to limbs or the height of the tree for the sake of power lines or other safety concerns, always discuss it with the residents or property owner first. Leave the property neater than you found it.

Will you focus on personal lawn tree trimming?

Or will you focus on large public spaces? 

Struggling with what to name your tree trimming business, here are a few ideas:

West Coast Tree Trimmers                                                                               Natural Tree Care

(Name)’s Tree Service                                                                               Affordable Tree Service

Tree Care of (place)                                                                              Champion Tree Trimmers

Tree Doctors                                                                                                            Vista Tree Care

Evergreen Tree Consultants                                                                                         TreeScapes

Beaver Patrol                                                                                           Monarch Tree Trimmers

(Place) Tree Professionals                                                                         A Better Tree Trimmer

Top Flight Tree Trimmers                                                                  HealthSafe Tree Trimmers

Mark One Tree Trimmers                                                                     Blue Ribbon Tree Service

ArborCare Professionals                                                                                  TreeSafe Trimmers

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