Need advice on tree trimming...

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Bassman, Oct 31, 2000.

  1. Bassman

    Bassman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 270

    My lawn biz has slowed considerably and I need to find something to create revenue as well as fill in all the spare time I have now. My commercial lawn center said time to turn to tree work. He is pushing the Echo aggressor tree trimmer. It reaches up to 14 ft. and cuts limbs up to 4.5", (has a 6" reciprocating blade). Price is around $349. I have also seen power pruners by Stihl with the chain saw on the business end but they are much more at around $549. I don't think I want to fool around with climbing a ladder 16ft. and trimming a palm tree with a regular chain saw or pruning saw, besides my current liability ins. policy would not cover anything where I was working over 6' off the ground. Has anyone any advice on the most efficient and economical tools for tree trimming? Does the agressor get the job done? I've worked with manual pruner saws with extensions, they are inexpensive but wear me out. Any comments appreciated. Thank you.
  2. cos

    cos LawnSite Addict
    Messages: 1,253

    My advice? Don't buy the power tree trimmer. Buy a quality pole pruner. How much pruning are you going to be doing? I don't think that it is worth it. I don't see any tree companies using these. They are just another piece of machinery that would be bought and barely used, and would be collecting dust in the garage.

    Just my .02......
  3. GrassMaster

    GrassMaster Senior Member
    Messages: 447

    Hello Bassman:

    Back in the old days the proper classification was Park Noc 9102, or something close to that.

    Lawn Maintainance covers a broad range of things, at least mine did. It cover me doing work up to 18" deep, we were covered cleaning off roofs, landscaping, we even did pressure washing, spraying chemicals, tree work, etc...

    Our Bread & Butter was Lawn Service. We just did the rest for our customers. Can't go & do major tree work only, but if you have a lawn service agreement you can get away with it.

    One of the biggest problems with Insurance & Workers Comp is not getting the right classification. Then not having enough Insurance.

    Insurance companies that don't specialize in the Green Industry Profession in most cases sign you up, even if the wrong classification. Because they did not take the time to find the proper classification! They don't care about nothing bit the All mighty Dollar!

    Example: At the moment I do not really have a company vehicle, but I would not have any vehicle in my family with out at least $500,000 liability & my house too. $100,000 lawsuit is nothing these days.

    The difference between $100,000 & $500,000 for 4 vehicles & a $250,000 home is, LOL $67.50 extra every 6 months. You pay out the yeng yang for first $100,000 & very little for more.

    Make sure you cover your Arse because if not, somebody else will take it away from you. I knows this kind of stuff, I've been sued twice since 1995, because I own a business & it's perceived that I'm rich. Both times the people that sued me made more money than I.

    People that have never been self employed do not know Shinola about the Business Man.

    I can get a easy job, making 3 times what I do, but I'm spoiled. If I want to set at home for the next 6 months like I have the past 6 months. I do it. Work smarter not harder.
  4. powerreel

    powerreel Banned
    Messages: 481

    I agree on getting a real nice pole pruner. Get one without a string though, mine has a "shotgun" pump and it is awesome. When it is tree trimming time I like to laugh at people with strings- getting that string caught,the string pulls the branch away they want to cut, etc. And NEVER, EVER, CHOP THE HEAD OFF A TREE (topping), if you don't know what I am refering to then don't touch any trees until you trim a few books first! Also never try to trim the power lines and watch out for windows.

    [Edited by powerreel on 11-01-2000 at 12:34 AM]
  5. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    Bassman, I purchased the Echo Power Pruner. It has a 17 ft. reach, and a 12" bar which is longer and larger than the Stihl. It's one of the handiest items you can purchase. What influenced me to make this buy? I borrowed my cousin's one weekend and made enough with that alone, while I was still doing my regular maintenance for my customers, to pay for it. It's incredible for lifting a tree up or for thinning smaller trees. Very fast and easy. It's great to give the customers the estimate first, with them knowing how much work is involved since alot of this work is a ways up, but then when you pull this thing out, and you're done in minutes, they're a little surprised. Anyway, it's just one of those things that kind of pays itself off quickly - much like an aerator.
  6. Premo Services

    Premo Services LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,516

    I agree with Runner the echo power pruner is the best tool I have purchased.
  7. cos

    cos LawnSite Addict
    Messages: 1,253

    Powereel is absolutely right. DO NOT top trees. It may be good money, But you are killing trees. And never lion tail a tree(leaving just the leaves at the end of all the branches).
    If you want to know the importance of not doing these two things e-mail me and I'll explain.
  8. Pauls Mowing

    Pauls Mowing LawnSite Member
    Messages: 207

    Just a side bar note on this topic, if any of you are interested, you can get a free subscription to Tree Care Industry, the publication of the Nat. Arborist Assoc. free of charge. The monthly mag covers many interesting topics from management to tree work. Lots of ads. Web site is:

  9. Eric E.

    Eric E. LawnSite Member
    Messages: 31

    First learn proper pruning techniques then decied what are the proper tools. Many tools on the market are not designed to make proper cuts, EI. anvil-style pruners. Get a copy of the ANSI A-300 pruning standards and "Pruning Guidelines". Both are available from the International Society of Arboriculture.
    In my opinion it is difficult to make a proper, clean cut using a pole pruner. That's why few Professional arborists have them.
  10. Premo Services

    Premo Services LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,516

    I have never topped a tree, but what are you talking about, lion tail?

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