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Starting a part-time business as an Arborist

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by wldm09, Apr 28, 2009.

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  1. wldm09

    wldm09 New Member

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    Northwoods, WI
    I am thinking of starting a small business as an arborist. Does anyone have any experience with this? I see many benefits (free wood, tax write-offs, etc) but need a headset on what the pitfalls could be. I realize that extensive training is required, but I am ok with that. Thanks!

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  2. Bobbin

    Bobbin Minister of Fire

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    So. Me.
    Not personally.

    But we use a terrific guy for a variety of "sichyashuns" that are beyond our capabilities and confidence level. The guy we hire is really good at assessing the pruning needs of trees and he climbs as though he was born in the canopy! He is capable of selective pruning in very tight areas and knows how to manage the limbs he takes so that surrounding shrubbery/underplantings are not obliterated by falling wood. Whenever we need something big taken down in "tight quarters" he's the guy we call. He's worth his weight in gold and we know the money spent on his services is money well spent.

    From the perspective of a homeowner and an avid gardener I'd urge you to master the techniques that permit a "surgical strike". There is a ton of work out there for someone willing to take the time to do it carefully and NEATLY. And don't be afraid to charge for it! My husband works in the nursery business and I work in a skilled trade; we do not expect the work of a skilled professional to be cheap. We have also put together a comprehensive "plan" to deal with surrounding trees and schedule work in the winter, often working along side him dealing with the brush and schlepping rounds to the splitting area. Make sure you have the proper tools for the jobs... his array of chainsaws, handsaws, ropes, carabeeners (sp?), etc. is unbelievable! so his safety equipment. KEY.

    Another thing to consider, learn how to prune shrubs properly. Too many homeowners are afraid to do this sort of thing themselves (it's ridiculously easy) and it's good money.
  3. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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  4. johnn

    johnn New Member

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    Do you currently have a selection of web sites you frequent? If not I have acquired a few which deal with DRT and SRT climbing techniques, rigging formulas, ascending and descending tools, flip lines, redirects, friction hitches, split tails,closed eyes, lanyards, self tending friction hitches, rope specs and applications, loopie slings, whoopie slings, harnesses, gaffs and so much more. What all pertains to the schooling involved in being an certified arborists, is extensive.. So be careful when you use that word on the forums,,,for they become quite defensive.

    As a personel note: An old oak of mine died a couple years back. Being 82" from the cornr of house and 182"from neighbors, above ground pool, cedar fence row, and storage shed, all in the way, led to a 5,000 bid on job. Figured I could buy equipment get on line and learn a little and tackle it myself. 24" dimeter oak has quite a large canopy, and all had to be sectioned and lowered to the ground by rope. Got this baby down to about a 25 ft. standing trunk,,,one section from being able to fell it when things went wrong. Bad rigging decision (inexperienced) led to 4 breaks between knee and ankle (2 tibia,,2 fibia)..Luckily I was able to lower myself with my "Blakes Hitch" and wait on EMT.Been healing since Dec. 13.

    It can get rather hairy relying on new techiques as you try them for the first time. Best done at low altitudes until confident in your techniue. Would highly recommend joining these tree climbing groups (recreational) to build the confidence and skill level required to effeciently manuever. I`m just over 50 yrs. and wish I had found recreational tree climbing years ago, for I find it exhilerating, and may not be able to pursue it once healed. I second all thats said above,,paricularly proper pruining techniques and the cost effeciency involved. I`d be happy to help with any questions I might have the knowledge of. (limited)
  5. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Wow what a story! thank god iam afraid of height's hope you heal soon
  6. johnn

    johnn New Member

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    so.Ill
    Thanks Smokinj: I`ll Be Back!! First Winer I can remember,,,where a snow shovel never hit my hand :)
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