If you’re looking to start your own business, a tree service company may be an excellent option. Tree service businesses are in high demand, and this industry has a lot of growth potential. But starting a tree service business isn’t easy – it takes hard work, dedication, and knowledge.
Below, we’ve outlined seven steps you need to take to start a successful tree service business. We’ll cover everything from how to start a tree service business to which tools and equipment you need to succeed. We will also provide some helpful tips on marketing your new business so you can attract new customers right from the start.

Step 1. Decide on a Name for Your Tree Service Company

The first step for business owners wondering how to start a tree service business is to decide on a name. This is especially important for a tree service company, as your name will be one of the first things potential customers see. Try to choose a name that is catchy and easy to remember. Your name will play a big part in your overall marketing strategy, so make sure you spend some time brainstorming before making a final decision.

Once you have a name, you can start to envision what the branding for your company will look like. Branding includes:

  • Your company tagline: Other than your business name, this short and memorable phrase encapsulates what your company does.
  • Your company logo: This will be used on all of your marketing materials, from business cards to your own website banner ads.
  • Lawn signs: These are a great way to get your name out there and attract attention from potential customers.
  • Vehicle decals: If you have a work truck or van, put your company name and logo on it. This moving billboard can generate a lot of word-of-mouth marketing for your business.

For help with branding your company, RealGreen offers custom printing services for all of your marketing needs.

custom printing

Step 2. Get a Business License and General Liability Insurance

To form a tree service company, you must choose between a limited liability company (LLC), corporation, sole proprietorship, or partnership. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks, so be sure to do your research before making a final decision.

Getting Business Insurance

You will need business insurance to protect yourself and your employees. This will help cover any damages or injuries that may occur while on the job. Be sure to talk to an insurance agent to determine what coverage is right for your business.

Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that benefits employees who are injured or become ill due to their job. It is mandatory in most states, so include it in your business insurance policy.

Step 3. Set up a Business Bank Account

Once you have your tree service business license and insurance, you can set up a business bank account. This will make it easier to keep track of your finances and stay organized. Plus, it will help you build credibility with potential customers.

Remember to keep your personal and business finances separate to avoid any legal issues down the road. Some problems you can prevent by doing this are:

  • Personal liability: If you commingle your personal and business finances, you could be held personally liable for the debts of your business.
  • Complications with taxes: It will be easier to file your taxes if you have a separate business bank account.
  • Difficulty obtaining loans: Lenders will be more likely to give you a loan if they see that you have a different account for your business expenses.

Step 4. Purchase Equipment and Hire a Team

The most crucial step for those wondering how to start a tree service business is often purchasing the necessary equipment. It’s essential not to skimp on quality here, as your equipment will be tested daily.

Equipment needed may include:

  • Pruning shears
  • Loppers
  • Hedge trimmers
  • Safety equipment
  • Chainsaws
  • Pole saws
  • Bucket trucks
  • Chippers
  • Stump grinders

In addition to purchasing equipment, you will also need to hire a team of employees. Be sure to carefully screen all candidates and only hire those with the necessary skills and experience. You may also want to consider offering training to your employees to learn how to use the equipment properly. Some tips for hiring the best tree service employees include:

  • Visiting trade school or vocational programs
  • Checking with professional associations
  • Asking for referrals from other businesses in the industry

Step 5. Establish a Digital Marketing Plan for Your Tree Trimming Business

Now that everything you’ve done the first four steps for how to start a tree service business, it’s time to start marketing your business. With the rise of the internet, digital marketing is one of the most effective ways to reach potential customers. This is because it allows you to reach many people with minimal effort. Plus, it will enable you to target your marketing to those most likely to use your services and collect data so you can see what’s working and what isn’t.

  • Creating a website: Make sure your website is professional and informative. Include photos of your team in action and list the services you offer.
  • Setting up social media accounts: Use social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to reach out to potential customers. Be sure to post interesting content that will engage your audience.
  • Engaging in local SEO: Optimize your website for local search terms such as “tree service [your city].” This will help potential customers find you when searching for tree services online.
  • Running ads: Invest in some online advertising to reach a wider audience. Google AdWords is an excellent option for this.
  • Being a part of the community: Attend local events and get involved in the community. This is a great way to network and meet potential customers.

If you aren’t very tech-savvy or don’t have the time to invest in digital marketing, don’t fret, many digital marketing services can help you. These businesses will create and manage your digital marketing for you to focus on running your business.

Step 6. Promote Your Tree Care Business Through Direct Mail

Direct mail is a great way to reach potential customers in your area. This method can send out postcards, flyers, or even coupons. Include your company name, logo, and contact information in your marketing materials.

You can also use direct mail to stay in touch with your current customers. Send them updates on specials or new services you’re offering. This will help keep them loyal to your business. For help creating direct mail campaigns, check out RealGreen’s mail service here.

marketing tools

Step 7. Get Tree Service Software to Help Manage Your Business

As your business grows, you’ll need to find ways to make it run more efficiently. Tree service software can help you do just that. This software can help you manage scheduling, billing, and employee performance.

While many different options are available, choose user-friendly software that will meet your business’s specific needs.

RealGreen’s arbor care software is an excellent option for tree service businesses. It offers all the features you need to manage your business, including:

  • Tree service scheduling: A system to schedule your jobs is essential for keeping your business organized. RealGreens software makes it easy to schedule appointments and track employee availability.
  • Billing and invoicing: Keep track of what you’re owed with RealGreens invoicing software. You can quickly generate invoices and accept payments online.
  • Routing and GPS: Never miss a job with RealGreens GPS routing. This feature will help you plan the most efficient route for your employees.
  • Property estimates: Win more jobs with RealGreen’s estimating software. This feature allows you to create estimates for potential customers quickly.


Starting a tree service business can be a great way to become your own boss and make a good living. However, it’s essential to remember that this is a business, and there are specific steps you need to take to succeed.

By following the tips outlined in this article for those wondering how to start a tree service business, you’ll be well on your way to creating a tree-cutting business that will thrive for years to come. For companies who want to take their operations and marketing to the next level, RealGreen offers a variety of software that can help tree service companies. Schedule a free demo today to see how RealGreen can help your business grow.

Schedule a free demo today to see how Real Green
can help you grow your lawn care business!