No worries Brian!! You were right about just starting out. I’m getting into the game late though. Really stinks that my state won’t let me legally do tree work without ISA cert I can’t get an ISA cert without 3 years documented work experience under ISA certified arborist and passing a test. I debate quitting plumbing to work in the arborist field. It would be hard to swing that supporting a family though. We’ll see how it plays out.
I’m open shop. Upper $30’s an hour with awesome 401k, better and cheaper insurance than most, 4 weeks vacation, 40hr work weeks, take home truck, and very little on call. I have it very good. The thing is that I like what I do now but I LOVE the tree work. Not a bad dilemma to be in but a dilemma none the less.
I’m looking into how to get legitimate with the tree work. There is a willingness on my part to take a pay cut to become an arborist but I don’t feel comfortable asking my wife and kids to make that sacrifice. Can you just form a tree service in Illinois without accreditation? They don’t care as long as you pay taxes kinda thing?
I misspoke in one of the above statements. Maryland requires a Licensed Tree Expert license, not ISA cert. It’s a state exam. Still requires 3 years field experience or 2 years college (arborist related) and 1 year field. Even if I got an associates degree, there’s still the year of field experience under a LTE.
This isn't plumbing, this is tree work. I filed a dba, bought insurance, and started my business. Have you been climbing/cutting for years, or did you just start getting into it? Have you ever had to spend a full day climbing yet? If you notice, there's a bunch of fat, old, and happy plumbers, not so much on the tree guy front. Especially starting in your 40s, it's a young man's game, which is actually an equipment game. Why don't you try to get a job doing part time tree work working for another company? That'll show you what it's really like. I know union fitters here that took a withdrawal card to cut trees full time, but they don't climb at all. Lift or nothing, mini and dump trailer and headed towards cdl trucks, big grinders, etc. It's honestly mechanical warfare, the less you grunt the more you make.
Unfortunately I can’t do part time work because of my work schedule, my wife’s work schedule, and our 3 kids. Trust me, been thinking of how to pull that off since this tree thing started. Knowledge would be so much easier to attain working directly for someone with lots of experience. If I work for a tree service, it will be equipment oriented. I’m not moving oak rounds by hand. Longest I’ve been in a tree is 6 hours thus far. It will be a challenge to pull 8-10 hours 5-6 days a week but my body will adapt - I’m in good shape.
I put up a hummingbird feeder on Monday outside the window of my new home office. I've been watching for five days and finally saw the first hummer this afternoon.
Picture is not too good. Cell phone at max zoom through the window.
I just brought mine in! :^D I'd look at it and think, "I need to bring that in", and then not do it. Time to get it cleaned up and ready for the season. Not sure exactly when they come, but it's in May some time.
We kept a female wild tree frog in the kitchen over winter a couple years ago in a terrarium. Fed her crickets and mealworms. They have amazingly sticky feet! Wouldn’t it be cool to just crawl up a tree?!