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Arborist Business Idea

Have you ever wondered how to start an arborist business? If you have firsthand knowledge and experience working with trees, an arborist business may be right for you. Arborists are employed by city, county, and state governments, corporations, residential customers, and others who need an expert to manage individual trees, vines, or shrubs.

An arborist’s work typically involves ensuring and maintaining tree health, marking dead or dying trees for removal, and pruning trees and other woody plants to keep them healthy and increase their growth.

Essentially a conservationist, the arborist is a critical part of balancing the needs of urban areas and the necessity of having a green cover. If a tree is not growing well, the arborist will try to identify and combat the problem instead of ordering the immediate removal of the tree.

How to Start An Arborist Business

Most states require that arborists are certified, so check with your state government to find out how to obtain certification. Learning how to start an arborist business is as important as knowing your craft. If you do not have the necessary education or skills, obtain more training.

In addition to knowledge about trees, arborists need to learn and understand about power lines and how to safely work around them. Part of the certification process will likely involve a test of your knowledge of electrical lines.

An arborist’s job is physically demanding. Climbing trees and pruning them in all types of weather requires strength and stamina. You must be physically able to handle the work day after day.

After you have obtained your certification, obtain the required business licenses and permits and begin getting your equipment in order. Equipment may include:

  • Chain saw
  • Pruners
  • Shears
  • Paint and brushes for marking
  • Ladders
  • Safety goggles and belts
  • Reliable vehicle
  • Gloves

If you are planning to go into business as a certified arborist, you need to find your place in the current local market. If you love the idea of keeping urban spaces alive, consider working with the local city or county government offices. Working with businesses and private organizations is another option.

Overseeing the treatment of trees in commercial properties and ensuring that they are protected during construction or maintenance work, controlling storm damage, and planning green areas could all be part of an arborist’s duties.

Residential properties are another possible market. Creating common green spaces, overlooking landscaping work, or providing an expert opinion in environmental disputes are all potential services you could provide.

Your market niche will require some research and soul-searching. Research your competitors and find out what arborist services they are currently providing. Try to find an under-served area where your skills will fit in.

Becoming a Success and Expanding

If possible, do some free work for friends and family to obtain testimonials. Take pictures and build a portfolio of your work. Join the local Chamber of Commerce and trade associations to network and find sales leads.

Meet with city or corporate officials to let them know of your services. Keep up with the latest industry news. Continue your training and take refresher courses when needed. As word of your expertise gets out, more customers will call.

Expanding your services can mean adding staff and taking more work or it can mean branching out into related services. Moving from learning how to start an arborist business to expanding your services is a journey that can bring great rewards.

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