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How to Start a Tree Service Business

Trade Service Pro / Blog / How to Start a Tree Service Business

A step-by-step guide to success.

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Starting a tree service business can be daunting, but it's a great way to become your own boss and make a positive impact on the environment. Starting a business requires careful planning and execution, so where do you start?

Step 1. Develop a Business Plan

Before diving into action, it's crucial to create a comprehensive business plan. Identify your target market (who your customers are), define what services you'll offer, research local competition, and establish your pricing. Consider your startup costs, equipment needs, marketing strategies, and set realistic financial goals.

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Step 2. Obtain Necessary Licenses and Permits

You'll likely need some permits and licenses to operate your tree service business. Research and comply with local, state, and federal guidelines related to being a tree care professional, business registration, insurance, and any other required certifications and qualifications. Consult with local authorities or industry associations to ensure you have all the necessary paperwork and authorizations to run your business.

Step 3. Invest in Professional Equipment

Investing in high-quality equipment is essential for providing safe and efficient tree care services. Depending on your services, you may need equipment such as chainsaws, chippers, stump grinders, safety gear, ropes, and climbing equipment. Consider buying or leasing equipment based on your budget and projected workload.

Step 4. Create a Strong Brand Identity

Establishing a strong brand identity will set your tree service business apart from the competition. Design a professional logo, create a visually appealing website, and develop marketing materials such as business cards, yard signs, and flyers. Maintaining your brand message by keeping your logo, colors, and ads consistent allows your customers and potential customers to recognize you and remember your business.

Step 5. Set Up Your Business Management Systems

Putting systems into place to manage your business will not only keep you organized, but also save you time. By using a field service management software such as Trade Service Pro, you can schedule appointments, create contacts for your customers, generate invoices, accept credit card payments, and more. This will ensure you have everything you need in one place, and you don’t miss any important details. Not only is this helpful for you, but it’s great for your customers too. It allows them to receive professional invoices to their email inbox and they can pay you faster. Using Trade Service Pro will save you hours of administrative work and will keep your business on track!

Step 6. Market Your Services

Effective marketing is crucial for attracting new customers and growing your client base. Utilize various marketing strategies, including online advertising, search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, and even flyers and yard signs. Connect with local homeowner associations, landscapers, and property management companies to build valuable partnerships and generate referrals. The best way to get customers is to put yourself out there.

Step 7. Build a Strong Network

Networking is key in the tree service industry. Establish relationships with local arborists, landscapers, tree nurseries, and other relevant professionals. Attend industry events, join trade associations, and participate in community activities to expand your network and gain insights into industry trends. Networking can lead to valuable partnerships and referral opportunities.

Step 8. Focus on Safety and Training

Safety should be a top priority in the tree service industry. Ensure you and your entire team receives proper safety training and certifications to handle equipment and perform tree-related tasks. Stay updated on industry best practices and invest in ongoing training for your team to provide exceptional service while adhering to safety standards. In order to run a successful business, you need to be able to safely and effectively do the job.

Step 9. Deliver Excellent Customer Service

Providing excellent customer service is crucial for building a strong reputation and fostering customer loyalty. Respond promptly to inquiries, provide transparent and detailed estimates, and communicate effectively throughout the project. Aim for customer satisfaction and encourage reviews and referrals to enhance your business's reputation throughout your community.

Step 10. Generate Online Reviews

Marketing your services and building a strong network will help to get customers. Another great way to get customers is to get your past customers to leave online reviews. Potential customers will feel more confident in hiring you if they have positive reviews to read. It can be hard to get customers to write reviews, but a quick follow up with a direct link to where you'd like your customer to leave a review can be beneficial in building your online reviews.


Starting a tree service business requires careful planning, necessary certifications, quality equipment, effective marketing, and a commitment to safety and customer service. By following these steps and staying dedicated to continuous improvement, you can establish a successful and thriving tree service business. Remember, success in this industry comes with experience, knowledge, and a passion for arboriculture. Good luck on your entrepreneurial journey!

Please note, this article should not be taken as legal advice. When starting a new business be sure to contact a legal professional.