View Full Version : Tree Prices

05-02-2008, 12:36 AM
I am planting a 1.5 inch tree for someone. It cost 170 at the nursery, i got it for 115 with my discount. I picked it up, paid for it, brought it to the house, and will be planting it. What should I charge for it. I am also going to give her a 1 year warranty. I was thinking at least twice the price of the tree for planting, delivery, warranty. It won't take long to dig the hole, fill it with some compost soil, and stake it.

What do you guys charge for plant installs, including 1 year warranty? The nursery doesn't give warranties to landscapers, but I would like to have a 1 year on all plant installs.


05-02-2008, 03:32 AM
I would only warranty if you go and water it for the first few weeks. that is the optimal time. In all honesty I wouldn't warranty the tree. If the dealer doesn't you shouldn't. I just put a bald cypress tree in my house that cost $250 (on liquidation and discout) and I would have charged at least that for delivery and installation. I would charge the original price and not the real price. You think it may take you not very long but you never know. Plus you'll pay an extra $20-25 in more top soil and stakes to put it in with.

05-02-2008, 07:48 AM
The labor for planting just one tree is going to be a little high. There is no way to be efficient. I would charge $200-$250 to install.

05-02-2008, 08:31 AM
double retail = $340
that should cover your expenses for a single item planting and will work on anything in the future until you get into larger involved projects where labor rates and overhead issues become more of a concern.

And in advance of the comments, yes doubling an expensive plant like a jap maple even though the hole is the same size as a cheaper plant is correct. more time to pick out, transport with care, site, and guarantee.

Who else will plant a single tree...not most landscaping companies...so charge accordingly. Most people if they truly track their time will spend 3 hours on a plant pickup and delivery, going to the nursery, delivering and installing. That $340 less expenses of $115 and gas and amendments nets you $200. Anymore than 3 hours from starting your truck up at home to turning your truck of when you get back home, you are not going to be in business long.

05-02-2008, 11:54 AM
retail double doesn't just work for everything.
Is the nursery a whole sale or retail operation.?

If its retail and you just got a discount, I wouldn't go higher than the retail price they sell it at. B/c if you're too high, then the client could just complain about how they can get it for less if they bought it. Also something to keep in mind is how much the retail price is for a tree like that--you don't want to end up being $100 over the average retail price, b/c that looks bad.

With a wholesale operation, the public usually aren't allowed in--at least around here they're not. So the client would never know how cheap you got this tree.

Also, what kind of tree is it, and what size is the rootball--or is it in a container?

05-02-2008, 01:51 PM
Definitely DON'T warranty the tree...

You never know what they'll do to it...

They might nail it with their trimmer... They might stack red mulch along the bark (which can kill some small freshly planted trees) They might never water it. Heck - you might not even plant it right!

Too many possibilities for you to end up buying a planting a new tree...

05-02-2008, 02:02 PM
I always warranty the tree, even though my wholesaler doesn't.

But there are certain limits to my warranty and they are spelled out when we sign the contract. The client has to agree to care for the tree in accordance to the care sheet that we give them. and we also spell out that we aren't responsible for large amount of die off due to insects or fungus.

I'd warranty it. In my 8 years landscaping, after hundreds of clients, I've only had maybe 5 warranty claims.

05-02-2008, 06:03 PM
I would not buy from a nursery that does not warranty their plants. I give a limited one year warranty. I also give a life time warranty on plants I install, if they hire me every year to do bed maintenance. If they cancel the yearly maintenance agreement, the warranty is over. Great way to keep steady income.

05-02-2008, 06:28 PM
make sure to supply them with a tree gator.

05-02-2008, 10:38 PM
The place I got it is a nursery, and they do warranty their plants for regular customers, just not for wholesale landscapers, which is what I am. 115 was the wholesale price for landscaper accounts. I also spent 20 dollars on compost/topsoil, tree stakes, etc for the tree. The tree has a good size rootball. It took me and a friend, whos pretty big to move it on a dolly cart. It's heavy enough where you can't slilde it on the ground or anything.

Thanks for the input.

05-02-2008, 11:32 PM
For plants purchased at wholesale:
2.25 x wholesale price = retail price
1.5 x retail price = installed price

We charge the installed price + travel time. If you educate the customer on watering there should be no problem with a warranty. I always tell them the plant is guaranteed unless it dies from neglect such as not watering. I usually mention that I will check on the tree when I am in the area to see if it is doing ok. I think that encourages them to take care of the tree.

Anytime you purchase a plant that has a warranty part of your purchase price is insurance (the warranty) that the plant won't die during the warranty period. A local retail nursery manager told me that he could reduce his plant prices by 30% if he didn't offer a warranty.

05-03-2008, 07:17 AM
Charge three times your material cost and give them a year warranty.

05-03-2008, 10:24 AM
2.5-3 times retail costs and a 3 year warranty. After the first year the plant has already started to recover from any stress and become acclimated to its environment, almost all will survive on their own. Since Ive been doing this I have only had 1 claim of 1 tree after 1 year and it was pure neglect, but the owner spent a ton of money with us so we did it for cost. We have a long list of care items, and warranty voiding conditions. I will check on the plants every week for a month or two, then at 1-2 month intervals, and after the first winter. In all my years I have had very few claims. All were caused by neglect or owner caused conditions, except for 1 batch of blue spruces that came in diseased. The wholesaler promised they would recover, some did, 2 had massive die off and they replaced the material. We lost on the labor, but thats why you cant plant for $25/hr.