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Tree Service with Lawncare Service

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by zero_turn_mowers, Nov 20, 2005.

  1. zero_turn_mowers

    zero_turn_mowers LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 410

    Any guys here run or have thought about running a tree service with lawncare, using bucket trucks, chippers ect. or would that be to many service to offer on top of offering Full Services in Lawncare, that would big investment to get it started but there alot of money to be made in trees and in my area there is only 1 Tree Service in town. What got me thinking about tree service is anyone can buy a mower and cut grass whether it is a $1000.00 Murray from Wal-Mart or a $10,000 Commerical Mower a new comer can still cut grass and will do it cheaper to get started and over the years this happening year after year and sometime several new guys a year come in they have finally taken the value out of grass cutting around here, here is a example in 1997-2001 I had a account that started at $100.00 each mow and by 2001 I had that account paying $175.00 each mow well in 2002 I got out bidded and over the years since I lost it that account has went down to $50.00 each mow of course it looks like crap but they get it done so with that in mind I just thought the trees biz would set us in a catogery aside from the other LCO in our area, Any advise on this pos. or neg. would be greatful.

  2. K.Carothers

    K.Carothers LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,124

    The tree business is a specialized business in itself. Good article in this months Lanscape mag. I made a friend who does tree's and we team up on accounts that I get when the job is larger than I can handle. I takes talent to drop a tree right.

  3. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    I looked into it Tim about 10 years ago since my landlord at my equipment yard is a big tree specialist. The numbers look nice until you see what the insurance will run ya (on top of) your equipment investment. And like KC mentioned, it takes some real art to drop a tree where you want to.

    I prefer to be on the ground which is one reason I stopped pursuing it and the same reason why we don't clean gutters.
  4. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Messages: 8,745

    I have to agree 100% with ya Rod.

    I know one guy here that has been doing strictly tree service for about 39 years, and it is awesome to see. He is fast, quality work, and follows everything by the book. He had a conversation with me about a year ago about how almost 90% of the people in my area that are doing tree service are not doing it correctly
  5. Byron Hanna

    Byron Hanna LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    tree business is good extra income. I started off purchasing a stump grinder and following tree companies.I learned a lot by watching or even helping, asking questions the along the way. My best experience was by trail and error. I cut alot more trees in the winter time when the lawn maintenance is slow. Again its great extra income.
  6. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,995

    if I want to do any tree work other than light pruning, my GL insurance goes from about $1500 annually to just over $6000. That is $500 a month just in insurance or like $375 extra a month. Not to mention comp insurance and that I am having some difficulty keeping guys who can cut grass, much less finding and keeping good tree guys. I found a good sub and make 5-10% for making a phone call. Really good profit % and no extra work.
  7. METRO 36

    METRO 36 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 324

    i do a lot of tree work but remember not every thing can be done from a bucket truck. you have to hire guy's that know whats going on or train them to do stuff like ropeing and lowering limbs wood,climbing,operting bucket,running your chipper's safely,grappel truck, stumper,chainsaws, how to prune, how to rig pulley's, notch trunks, use wedges etc. but the most important thing is there knots can they tie a bowlan,running bowlan,square knot, prusskie knot for there life line,how to rig there life line.can they repel can they climb. etc its not like hireing for a lawn service dont get me wrong the qualties are the same but almost every male has ran a mower and a whip and thats the basic's for lawn service the rest comes with time and practice.most saything's in tree service people have never done and a lot of it isnt just something you can here this is how you do it go do it. doesnt work that way. I would suggest start small and se if you like it and if you do expand but hire yourself a good foreman and have him run the crew in the summer. or just keep it small . boy oh boy is that money good. I say go for it just dont let the logs hit ya where the good lord split ya

    but the insurace can be high
  8. Grass Cake

    Grass Cake LawnSite Senior Member
    from Zone C
    Messages: 303

    My prior neighbor (and good friend) has been heavily in the tree bus. for over 16 yrs.
    He wants out!
    Over that time period his men have had a few accidents.His workmans comp rate is now at 40%!

    He did make money.......but....there is a ton of overhead with all that equipment.

    He now has a dozer and prefers grading.

    Grass Cake
  9. meets1

    meets1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,855

    I also looked into the biz. My company is full service lawn/landscape. But eh last two years, there have been 2 new start ups (with dad's money) cuz the boys don't working factory so papa got them into it. Anyway - they are chasing out the old timer who has the truck's dumps, chippers, grinders, ect cuz there doing the job for 1/2 the cost. That is what scared me away. I then decided maybe I could look into specilized grinding with a small walk behind unit - but 95% of yards in my area are accessible for a larger grinder. So I teamed up with the old timer cuz he doesn't clean out the chips from grinding - I do! I haul in black dirt, rake, level, and seed. Then I get all his hard wood, ash, walnut, and we cut them down during the winter or rainy day, let it dry, split all that wood the following year and therefore sell firewood! So is this an ends to the means?
  10. zero_turn_mowers

    zero_turn_mowers LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 410

    I very much agree it does take talent to drop a tree, we have been doing light tree work for 10 years or so trees say 50ft or less maybe up to 20 in dia. we will drop if it is total safe and away from any structure or high line wires and trim all we can reach with a pole saw, my idea of having a tree service on the side of mowing is trees less than 60ft tall, my intentions are not to go big but be able to offer a service that other LCO's cant offer.


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