Should I be looking to expand into tree removal services?

There are plenty of services you can experiment with as a lawn care business owner. Some of them are easier to get into and offer than others. Some have a low financial barrier of entry while others have a higher one. Some have a low technical skill requirement while others require years of training. Which you choose to offer is up to you but as we will see in this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, some services will make better sense to you than others.

One lawn care business owner wrote “I am so excited because I did my second tree removal job. I actually fell out of the first tree I tried to trim. I was 10 feet up in the tree when I fell out of it and it knocked the wind out of me. I was more careful this time because I was about 30 feet up.

I bought a very small light climbing chain saw with the ring on it for climbing with a lanyard. Properly trained I figure I can charge $120.00 per hour instead of the $60 I am currently charging.

Today I attended a tree climbing seminar. Going to it really opened my eyes that there is a lot to learn and I need to start slow and low. I am going to get a basic rope climbing set and start climbing low and practice. I have access to some property I practice felling some trees by climbing them. I am thinking there will be lots of work ahead as I improve my skills.”

A second lawn care business owner said “you really need to get some training before you start climbing trees. This is no joke. Falling 10 feet out of a tree should be a wake up call that you don’t know what you are doing.

Yes there is money to be made in tree care, but I’d suggest you only prune from ground until you have enough practice that you feel you can climb a tree safely.

For those who have the proper training in tree climbing, to improve your service, I’d suggest having a quality light saw. It is also very important to take a helper on tree jobs. One would be shocked at how you can climb a tree, go up 20 to 30 feet and tie a rope, have a helper on the ground at the end of a long rope, no matter what direction the tree might want to fall naturally, a helper can guide almost any tree, within reason, to any direction you want.

A mistake I have made a few times which has cost me a couple of saws is not ensuring the loop on the saw is latched when you put your saw back in the harness.

When falling big trees, I quite often lighten the load of the opposite side I want the tree to fall.

The times I have gotten myself into trouble in the past was after climbing past a crotch high up. You need to watch these things. I have been climbing up a limb after a crotch and have the crotch start to let go.

Lastly keep your boot spikes as sharp as possible, I touch them up after every job.”

A third added “I just got a call last night to drop a 4 story high red cedar and clear it as well as several 1 story high fruit trees. I am not set up to go high and have no interest in doing it, but I have a guy I call to handle taller trees for me.

If there is a lot of room I can just drop a tree myself. If not, I use a sub-contracting to drop it. He is better trained and better insured than me. You may want to follow this method as well. Don’t get yourself hurt, or injure someone else by offering a service you can’t safely perform.

Though I do some small tree work here and there, when I sat down to figure out my numbers, I realized I I lose $200 - $300 a day by doing performing this service when I could be offering other services I am better at doing. There is also the risk of a job costing me a lot more if something went wrong.

I can make $250.00 in 3 hours - $500.00 per day working by myself when I get good power washing jobs. I have far more experiences with pressure washing than I do trying to perform landscaping or tree removal. I am much better at estimating lawn care, power washing, or gutter cleaning jobs and make more money performing them because of it.

When you find yourself working outside of your comfort zone, jobs have a greater potential to get messy. You have a greater tendency to inaccurately bid the job. You also have a greater chance to perform the job poorly. So there really no benefit to it.

To answer your question, should you expand into tree removal service? Yes if you know what you are doing and  no if you don’t. Why put yourself at risk climbing up into a tree when you can make consistent, less risky money, mowing lawns?”

Read more about Lawn Care Business Bidding Tips, Upsells, And Disasters To Avoid. Learn how to improve your bidding process and be prepared before hand by knowing what you should be looking out for before a problem occurs.

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