The best tree service equipment

November 28, 2021

Money might not grow on trees, but there are fortunes to be made in tree removal! We asked our tree service readers to give us the rundown on the best tree pruning and removal equipment for tree service startups.

For entrepreneurs who love to own their time while spending their hours outdoors, a tree service business is a fine prospect. Running a tree service business means you get to create your own schedule and work when and as often as you want to.

To run a proper tree service business, you’ll need plenty of startup equipment. From chainsaws and woodchippers to safety-enhancing climbing equipment, having the right tools will allow you to work safely and effectively. We polled a group of seasoned arborists and tree service professionals to discover what the essential tree service tools were. Here are their top picks.

If you lean strongly toward any of the equipment in the article or want to vote for a favorite we didn’t mention, be sure to tell us in the survey!

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Chainsaw

The chainsaw is the bread-and-butter tool for running a tree service business. Look for a reliable gas-powered chainsaw. Though there are quality electric models on the market, dealing with extension cords on the jobsite can be a nuisance at best and safety issue at worst. Stihl is one of the oldest and most rusted companies when it comes to powered saws.

Readers’ pick: Stihl MS 170 16 in. 30.1 CC Gas Chainsaw – $189.95

Felling wedges

Falling trees can create tremendous hazards, both for human safety and property. As a professional, you want to be in control of exactly where your trees will hit the ground. Enter the felling wedge. These simple tools will help you guide trees toward your desired felling spot. Since you’ll often use these in conjunction with a chainsaw, always go for plastic wedges.

Readers’ pick: Timber Savage 5.5 Inch Felling Wedge Set of 4 – $22.50

Wood chipper

Pruning and removing trees means creating lots of debris, and guess what? It’s going to be your job to haul it away from your clients’ properties. Wood chippers make this process easier, eating branches and trunk segments and turning them into manageable wood mulch. Depending on the job, you might need a brush chipper or a whole-tree chipper.

Readers’ pick (brush): Great Circle USA SuperHandy 3-in-1 Wood Chipper/Mulcher – $699.99
Readers’ pick (whole-tree): Bandit 3590 XL Whole-Tree Chipper – Price Unavailable

Climbing harness

You and your crews’ safety is paramount on any job. Using a well-made and functional climbing harness or saddle every time you go up a tree is standard operating procedure for any professional tree service. You want something that is comfortable, durable and safe.

Readers’ pick: Buckingham Ergo Pro Saddle – $633.15

Climbing spikes

Climbing spikes are essential for getting your footing when working with taller trees. However, spikes should only be used on a tree if you plan on removing it, since the spikes will permanently damage the tree. Like tree harnesses, you should look for a climbing spikes brand that will allow you to work for extended periods without discomfort or pain. Buckingham is one of the most trusted manufacturers, and our readers’ pick reflects that.

Readers’ pick: Buckingham Steel Spurs & T Pads – $220

Pole pruner

For pruning high spots in trees, sometimes it’s best to work from the ground. That’s where pole pruners enter the picture. Most pole pruners extend from 6 to 14 or more feet, allowing you to do a surprising amount of work without going up into the tree itself. There are manual pruners and electric pruners. We’ll list our pick for each.

Readers’ pick (manual): Corona TP 6870 Max RazorTooth – $95.09
Readers’ pick (electric): Worx WG309 8 Amp Electric Pole Saw – $85.49

Hand shears

Sometimes the branch you need to cut through is well within arms reach. In those instances, all you need is a well-made set of hand shears or pruners to make the cut and get on with the job. It’s a small investment that will come in handy time after time.

Readers’ pick: Fiskar PowerGear 2 Pruner – $24.99

Rigging and climbing ropes

Since you’ll likely be using multiple rigging ropes on the job, make sure to get at least two ropes that are completely different colors. This let’s your crew know which rope is attached to a worker and which is attached to tree limbs.

Readers’ pick: Double Braid Arborist Bull Rope – $59.99

Branch out with insurance

There’s no getting around it: the tree service business is dangerous. There are ample risks for both bodily injury and property damage when your business involves pruning and cutting down trees—especially on residential property. Operating with a safety-first mindset goes a long way, but unexpected accidents can still happen.

With Tree Service Insurance, you can protect your business from some pretty serious financial risks should things go awry. It includes coverage for non-employee bodily injury and third-party property damage, so you don’t have to worry about a single accident felling your entire operation.

We covered all the essential items you need to get started as a tree service professional. Did we miss anything? Let us know your thoughts!

  1. What’s your opinion?

    • Chainsaw
    • Felling wedges
    • Wood chipper
    • Climbing harness
    • Climbing spikes
    • Pole pruner
    • Rigging and climbing ropes
    • Insurance
    • Other
    • Vote

Written on November 28, 2021

Our editorial content is intended for informational purposes only and is not written by a licensed insurance agent. Terms and conditions for rate and coverage may vary by class of business and state.

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