View Full Version : Pricing Trees

Green Acres
12-21-2005, 08:20 PM
I have a project that I was going to bid on. It if for a company that is building a new church. The project consist of planting 35 trees ranging in size from 1.5"-2". I was wondering how other people price things like this. They will have to be staked and mulched. Also there are 7 burning bushes that will need to be planted (3 gal. size). Thanks

The Cowboy
12-22-2005, 12:24 AM
The finished product should cost them at least 3 times what you paid for it, including labor. This is the chicagoland non-scrub rate. A 100 dollar tree would be 300 installed. This is a general guideline for alot of landscaping around here. I would probably do a discount for the church though, unless they have deep pockets.

12-22-2005, 12:38 AM
Yeah, if the church has deep pockets, charge them more...:dizzy: ..that makes sense. Just like the delusions of grandure people have about charging the wealthy and affluent more, just because they should be able to afford it. RIGHT...

Green Acres, charge what you need to make a profit. Only you really know what you need to make to turn a profit...how much profit is up to you. It also depends on the site access and what equipment you'll be using to install the trees. Using a auger on a mini ex or bocat is a lot different than digging each hole by hand..just price accordingly. Don't forget to add the costs of 35 anchor systems and necessary soil amendments if needed.

The Cowboy
12-22-2005, 01:09 AM
[QUOTE=impactlandscaping]Yeah, if the church has deep pockets, charge them more...:dizzy: ..that makes sense. Just like the delusions of grandure people have about charging the wealthy and affluent more, just because they should be able to afford it. RIGHT...]

:nono: Hey, that is not at all what I meant. I have a set rate I go by as a standard, I use my discretion to determine if a discount is necessary. Same way I don't charge full prices to some of the single moms I work for. If they are in finacial difficulty I chop a bit off. Doesn't mean I am unethical about charging the rest a full price.:mad: You are right about those rich people though, most times they are the ones asking for the discount.:drinkup:

12-22-2005, 02:30 AM
Yeah, I give all my single mom customers a discount too... But not cause I feel bad for them, if you know what I mean...

Just kidding

My services are just as valuable to a bum on the street as they are to Bill Gates. I would charge each the same to plant a tree whether it be next to your box or next to your mansion.

Are these trees really 1.5"-2" or could that be feet?

Green Acres
12-22-2005, 10:37 AM
The trees are 1.5"-2" in caliber. I have a bocat so I will use it to auger the holes with. That is the only way to dig trees I feel. My only thought is with pricing that certain trees cost more per tree but you are doing the same amount of labor to plant it. Like on a $200 tree if you charge 3x the price you would make $400 dollars off of it. Then a $100 tree at 3x the cost you would make $200 for the same amount of work. I was thinking of just charging a flat rate per tree like $150 or something.

12-22-2005, 10:50 AM
We always give a person more of a deal if we are planting numerous trees for them (like 5,10,15, etc) then 1 or 2. Last year the tree we planted most was 12-15' white pines, which retail at $165, our cost is $117, and we installed for $250 each including fertilizer spikes and mulch around the base. We plant them with a rented Toro Dingo and either a 24" auger or 30" depending on the size and the cherry picker for it. In a 7 hour day, we did one job of 15 trees and in a 8-9 hour day we did 21 of those trees for 2 guys. anytime you can average over $200/hr gross, that seems more than fair to me. Maples, other pines, clump birch, etc all came in around the same price, roughly $100-150 per tree installed

12-24-2005, 11:52 AM
don't forget replacement cost. is that on you or them?

12-25-2005, 03:21 AM
Tree roots do not just go streight down ,the most important roots spread and grow within the top 3 or 4 inches of soil,the other roots put down support the tree and store food .That is why if you auger in tree's it is important to loosen the soil around the hole in at least a 2' or 3' radius about a spade deep.= as well as augering in the hole.Fertilizer is not nessecesary and can even be detrimental to the roots of a young tree.
Also if you auger in a tree,make sure you are not just creating a "sump" that water will sit in and not drain..rotting the roots and killing the tree

12-25-2005, 03:30 AM
We never offer discounts to anyone. Years ago, when we first started, I felt it necessary to give Sr's and clergy discounts to obtain their service. What I quickly found out, is if you discount your prices, the client sees it as "extra off the top", and will not value your service. If you do not value the service you are selling, the client won't either....period. Everyone pays the same, regardless if they are rich, poor, white, purple, etc...If they don't wan't to pay, we don't play..simple. If I can't get the numbers I want on the bottom line when running a quote, we won't take the job..period. Man , this eggnog is good...

Merry Christmas everyone!!

12-25-2005, 10:54 PM
for non-scrubrush, quality plantstock - we second post 2, and raise it at least another $75 at least if customer wants a 12 month replacement guarantee, with our additionally billable labor/material hourly rate added for the planting labor and mulch cost recoups.

Always Plant with Super Thrive!

Green Acres
12-27-2005, 09:35 AM
I figured my prices today and for 28 trees and 7 bushes my cost comes in at around $2800 for trees and bushes only. I still have to fiqure in mulch and stakes. How much mulch do you guys fiqure per tree? I was thinking around a 1/2 yd or so. I was thinking of charging around a $100 or so per tree and bush to plant. That would leave me with $3500 and the total would be around $6300. If I'm doing something wrong please let me know. Thanks

zim bob the landscaper
12-27-2005, 11:02 AM
well we did price dwarfs spruce and we added a dollar to make more money.

12-27-2005, 03:09 PM
1/2 a yard sounds like alot per tree. Can you get the trees delivered? You should be able to get everything done in less than 2 days.

Green Acres
12-27-2005, 04:09 PM
Yes I should be able to get everything delivered for around $300.00. If 1/2 a yard is a little to much I would be better off estimating about 1/4 of a yard per tree. What type of staking systems do you guys usually use? Thanks

12-27-2005, 06:51 PM
1/4 sounds better... you could figure the amount exactly if you could calculate how many square feet per tree. Sometimes having too much mulch is a pain. I have used nylon staking material w/ good luck... little pricey, but that is what the tree farms around here use. I would use three 2' stakes per tree. I would even consider charging them a "rental fee" for your bobcat even if you own it... but you may have that already figured into your numbers.

12-27-2005, 08:22 PM
Another way to look at it is that there will be a lot of people very close to your work when the church opens. If they like what they see and find out that it was priced right, it could mean more business for you.

12-27-2005, 08:56 PM
Yeah maybe a little sign... installed by: Green Acres.

12-27-2005, 10:35 PM
$6300.00 to plant 35 1.5" - 2" trees will never make out of the committee meeting. IMO

Green Acres
12-28-2005, 11:31 AM
The work isn't actually though the church. It is a new church being built. I have to submit my bid to the gerneral contractor. The landscaping pretty much is in the islands in the parking lot and hiding an air conditioning unit. The church has nothing to do with it the general is taking bids and probably will go with the lowest. I'm trying to get in with them because they build alot of stuff around my area.

12-28-2005, 05:33 PM
It seems onething is for certain when it comes to planting trees as of lately. there is no certain set price two companies can agree on for the same tree. Some will charge 3x cost, others charge retail plus hourly labor, while others will charge a set charge depending on the sixe. Personally, I use a combination of all three and discount for multiple trees. Another thing is that planting has gone to scrub prices lately and abobe all else, you need to do what is best for you, not someone else who may be looking at just enough money for next weeks payroll. Believe me, it happens much more in the winter months

12-29-2005, 10:05 AM
You are going in the right direction then. Push quality stock to back up your price. Just remember though, that contractor will always "bid" out those types of jobs. His main objective is price, not a friendship.
Hope you get this job and take some before-n-after photos if you can.

Good Luck:)

Green Acres
12-29-2005, 01:13 PM
I have been messing with the numbers a little bit. I think I can do the job for around $5100 including labor. I fiqure I would have about $1200 left for me and to pay taxes and some misc. cost. Does this sound about right I don't want to be too low.

01-01-2006, 11:41 AM
Sounds like a good price. I was estimating $5200.00