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Gudtimes
12-20-2011, 06:29 PM
A condo complex I maintain has asked me to quote on removing 57 of their crepe myrtles. They were planted in the median areas between the driveways which is only about 3 feet wide and the homeowners are complaining about them blocking their parking area and dropping the flowers. I don't really get into too much tree work, but now that it is winter here, any supplemental income is good.

The trees are roughly 4 inches max in diammeter and 14 feet tall. They are looking to have them just cut off at the base. Again, there are 57 of them! My thought is to rent a chipper and just shoot the debris into the back of my dump truck.

Any ideas on pricing? Thanks in advance!

CALandscapes
12-20-2011, 06:48 PM
If you cut them at the base, they will grow back.

You need to either cut and grind (which will be somewhat difficult in that narrow space with concrete on both sides) or remove the trees completely. I'd suggest renting an excavator and pulling/ digging the trees out.

Not sure what type of truck you have, but you may be better off to rent a dumpster or to try to find a local tree company who will pick up, chip, and haul away the debris for you.

Good luck!

knox gsl
12-20-2011, 06:51 PM
Cutting them off at the base only slows them down. Removing will include getting all the roots out.

KrayzKajun
12-20-2011, 06:52 PM
If you cut them at the base, they will grow back.

Good luck!

Right on the Money Chase. There will be suckers sprouting from the bases in a week! Maybe better off subbing the job out and making a lil profit.
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Gudtimes
12-20-2011, 07:03 PM
I have already discussed the possibility of the sucker growth with the homeowners association and they have expressed that they are not trying to have the stumps ground down or the trees completely removed with the thought of possibly doing damage to the driveways. They would rather pay to have the suckers cut off weekly instead of other property damage.

KrayzKajun
12-20-2011, 07:25 PM
Well in that case, it sounds like money in the bank for you. Just rent a tow behind chipper for yur dump truck.
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Gudtimes
12-20-2011, 07:31 PM
Right, that's the plan. I'm just looking for pricing suggestions.

JNyz
12-20-2011, 08:47 PM
Your hourly rate x the number of total hours it will take you (include your drivetime) plus your materials x 1.30 markup. That's your price.

Mowingman
12-20-2011, 08:55 PM
Put a chain or cable around the bese and pull them out. The roots are very shallow on those and they will pull out easly. Then just feed the them into the chipper, root end first and you are done. no regrowth to fool with, no pavement damage, and no unsightly stumps left. I might charge about $20.00 or $30.00 each, plus the rental cost of the chipper, and any dump fees for the chips.

Gudtimes
12-20-2011, 09:23 PM
Yeah, I had thought about chaining them and ripping them out with my kubota, but I'm also thinking the trunks a too smooth and the chain with just slip.

Mowingman
12-20-2011, 09:54 PM
Use a pick to dig a little dirt out around the trunk base and under a couple of the roots. Then tuck the chain in kind of under the base and maybe under one or two of the lateral roots. Make it like a choker chain, so it will tighten up as you pull. This should do the trick.


Yeah, I had thought about chaining them and ripping them out with my kubota, but I'm also thinking the trunks a too smooth and the chain with just slip.

DuallyVette
12-20-2011, 10:34 PM
Put a chain or cable around the bese and pull them out. The roots are very shallow on those and they will pull out easly. Then just feed the them into the chipper, root end first and you are done. no regrowth to fool with, no pavement damage, and no unsightly stumps left. I might charge about $20.00 or $30.00 each, plus the rental cost of the chipper, and any dump fees for the chips.

I believe that the Crape Myrtles will have more roots than you expect. I have a chipper & a backhoe. I would be very wary of digging those roots out. digging even a foot deep right beside the concrete will compromise the base of the concrete.

The biggest time consideration will be the time it takes to move the truck & chipper. I'd probably put a driver in the truck, while I cut and stuff them in the chipper. 57 trees...1 hour +....$10 each= $500.00 Then I'd probably spray the new growth with triple dose Gly..(Round-up). or stump grinder.

FoghornLeghorn
12-20-2011, 11:13 PM
You have enough room in those medians to get a small stump grinder in there. No problem. Those stumps will take you no time at all to do each one. So my pricing would look something like this. $250 chipper, $260 for stump grinder, $285 for stump grinding, and $150 for dump fees. $945 total, plus any soil and mulch you have to bring in to get the ground level again.

Now, these numbers may be completely useless to you. My market and expenses may be different from yours.

ralph02813
12-21-2011, 07:12 AM
Your hourly rate x the number of total hours it will take you (include your drivetime) plus your materials x 1.30 markup. That's your price.

This is perfect, it give you a 23% profit margin. and it is nice and clean.

stephen424
12-21-2011, 08:35 AM
i'd sub it out to someone who knows that they're doing. just to be on the safe side.
you don't want to get in there and damage the concrete or something else...and have a bigger problem than you anticipated.

ralph02813
12-21-2011, 08:43 AM
i'd sub it out to someone who knows that they're doing. just to be on the safe side.
you don't want to get in there and damage the concrete or something else...and have a bigger problem than you anticipated.

No, I would just do what they are asking, and then when they call you back to cut them down again, it should be a smaller job, it might even be something that you hit twice a season until they want the stumps dealt with then rebid the project.

BeeCreekLawns
12-21-2011, 11:25 PM
Without chipping, how many trailer loads of brush do yall think that would be? I seem to think I could fit that on 2 (6 1/2 x 14).

knox gsl
12-22-2011, 01:33 AM
Without chipping, how many trailer loads of brush do yall think that would be? I seem to think I could fit that on 2 (6 1/2 x 14).
Most likely.
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Snapper12
12-22-2011, 06:07 PM
I would go through and cut them all off at the ground with a small chain saw, then come back around with a truck/chipper. 3 hour job, 2 guys to take them all down, chip them, blow off/clean up any debris and collect your check.

Snapper12
12-22-2011, 06:10 PM
Then let them grow out until next fall and keep them trimmed down to small bushes.

Don't spray gly as it is not systemic and you're only wasting your time, money, product.
If you want to keep them from coming back spray Tordon RTU (only if your licensed)

Kevin16
12-22-2011, 06:15 PM
You guys do know how much of a mess you will make when you rip them out with a chain plus tear up the irrigation and the other shrubs around these trees. Remove them down to the ground and treat the stumps with round up and you should be all set nothing is growing on the east coast right now you should be fine. I would think with 57 of them you should be able to cut, chip and clean up in one day with three guys. Looks like an easy job to me.

Snapper12
12-22-2011, 06:17 PM
kevin... please tell me why roundup?

Turf Dawg
12-22-2011, 06:31 PM
Just cut them down, then you could drill a large hole in the top of the stump and fill it up with straight 2-4-D. The full strengh 2-4-D will soak in and kill the roots so they will not regrow or send up suckers from the root system. Round Up [gly] is not going to do much, if anything.

Snapper12
12-22-2011, 06:33 PM
Just cut them down, then you could drill a large hole in the top of the stump and fill it up with straight 2-4-D. The full strengh 2-4-D will soak in and kill the roots so they will not regrow or send up suckers from the root system. Round Up [gly] is not going to do much, if anything.

Wow... where on a 2-4-D label does it say that you can do that?

DuallyVette
12-22-2011, 08:46 PM
I would go through and cut them all off at the ground with a small chain saw, then come back around with a truck/chipper. 3 hour job, 2 guys to take them all down, chip them, blow off/clean up any debris and collect your check.

cutting and piling them is a super waste of time. Even when cutting large trees, I dispose the limbs as they are cut. Handling the limbs twice, and untangling limbs as you load your chipper or trailer would be a P.I.A..

Then let them grow out until next fall and keep them trimmed down to small bushes.

Don't spray gly as it is not systemic and you're only wasting your time, money, product.
If you want to keep them from coming back spray Tordon RTU (only if your licensed)

Gly is Round-up which IS systemic. At triple stregnth it will kill woody plants, but multiple apps may be needed.

Turf Dawg
12-22-2011, 09:41 PM
Wow... where on a 2-4-D label does it say that you can do that?

I am on my phone so I will write more later (Christmas shopping). It will not say that on the label, but since you are into labels, why would you say to use Tordon RTU when everyone knows you cannot use that on residential sites? And that is on the label.
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StihlMechanic
12-22-2011, 11:56 PM
Use a non running chainsaw with a dull chain and work it like a hand saw. Then, once cut down, use a plastic spork and dig the roots out. And lastly, use a toothbrush to clean the area of debris. Now how hard was that?

greendoctor
12-23-2011, 01:19 AM
2,4-D can be used as a cut stump or tree injection treatments with no specified restrictions on site of use. It is permitted for usage in lawns and general non crop areas. I know that Garlon is the same way as well. The pesticides division will get extremely excited about someone using Tordon in commercial or residential landscapes. It is strictly for industrial and pasture. Not to mention, does anyone know how long Tordon stays in the soil and what it does while it is translocating through the roots of a targeted tree? Tordon can stay active in soil for up to 5 years, especially in non tropical locations. It also has a tendency to exude from the roots of a treated tree poisoning anything those roots are near. Only grass is tolerant. Everything else is toast.

Turf Dawg
12-23-2011, 12:57 PM
2,4-D can be used as a cut stump or tree injection treatments with no specified restrictions on site of use. It is permitted for usage in lawns and general non crop areas. I know that Garlon is the same way as well. The pesticides division will get extremely excited about someone using Tordon in commercial or residential landscapes. It is strictly for industrial and pasture. Not to mention, does anyone know how long Tordon stays in the soil and what it does while it is translocating through the roots of a targeted tree? Tordon can stay active in soil for up to 5 years, especially in non tropical locations. It also has a tendency to exude from the roots of a treated tree poisoning anything those roots are near. Only grass is tolerant. Everything else is toast.

Thank you, you saved me some typing.
Now back to the WEEDS and I call them that because they are now a plant growing where it is not wanted. Trust me when I tell you this, if you just cut them down or yank them out they will try and regrow. A Crape Myrtle is one of the large shrubs/small trees that need killed before removal or stump treated right after cutting. The easiest way I have found, and also taught to me by the Texas Agri-Life Extension, is after cutting either use a foam brush to paint on 2-4-D or [takes more time but does better] drill a 3/8 -5/8 hole in the stump about a inch deep and fill the hole with 2-4-D. Just be sure and not go all the way through because you want it to hold the chemical. And BTW these holes do not hold very much so it is not like you are pouring a pint of straight 2-4-D on every stump, more like a couple of CC's.

greendoctor
12-23-2011, 02:14 PM
The best 2,4-D for a cut stump application is the ester formulation. That gets diluted so there is about 2 oz of the concentrate per gallon of diesel. Amine 2,4-D has to be protected from water after it is applied. Pathfinder is a ready to use basal bark and cut stump formulation of Garlon. Crossbow is 2,4-D ester + Triclopyr(Garlon), that is another good product with minimal restrictions on usage.

andyslawncare
12-30-2011, 06:08 PM
The ornamental grass should be removed also. Surely any car entering the middle garage is scraping against it each time. I can think of much more attractive plants to put in those areas.

I also agree with removal of the crapes either by chain or excavator. You won't solve any problem by cutting at the base, may as well do the job right the first time. The stumps will be harder to remove if they decide later to eliminate the plants.

chips17
12-30-2011, 07:33 PM
Customer asked for you to cut them down. Do that. Make a suggestion that you will probably have the same problem in the future and talk to them about a more permanent solution. For your price do your hourly charge plus rentals and markup.

ReddensLawnCare
01-01-2012, 01:43 AM
Just get one of these..haha http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UkU5692xefY&feature=related

appalachianoutdoors
01-01-2012, 07:46 AM
I would lean toward cuting the crepe myrtle and the ornamental grass and loading or chipping at each drive so no customer comes home and finds debris in their drive until you or someone gets back around in 30 minutes or so to get it up. I would get someone with a small self propelled chipped to drive along behind me and grind each stump unless you are comfortable working one in a small defined space. I would be nervous of ripping up the tree due to concerns over concrete damage ($$$ risk), just poor appearance of using a truck and chain in limited residential space. As for pricing, i would be in the $30 range per tree for everything, profit will vary depending on how you dispose and if you work with a good grinding person. :usflag:

douglee25
01-06-2012, 02:52 PM
They probably could be easily dug out with shovels, no?

Hire a 10 man crew. Two men per tree. 5 trees completed at max every 30 minutes. That's 10 trees per hour. That should take you roughly 6-8 hours to dig them out and back fill the holes. Then about 2 hours to chip them up. So 10 hours using 10 men is 100 man hours. I would charge roughly $45-$65 per hour plus rentals and materials.

Doug

PlantscapeSolutions
01-07-2012, 01:20 AM
You can rip through those Crepe Myrtles with a decent small saw like a Stihl 200T in about 60 seconds. The Stihn chains are much better then the after market Oregon chains.

With the chipper get the big Diesel powered 12" model. They used to rent for $350 years ago. Tell the rental place you expect the chipper blades to be serviced and sharp. I rented one years ago from Sunbelt and had problems.

I started feeding debris into the chipper and nothing was coming out of the chute. The damn thing was clogged solid. I got the thing unclogged only to have the chipper start stripping the wood instead of chipping it because it was dull.

Anyway, a 12" chipper will suck in the Crepe Myrtle debris and blow it into your truck as fast as your guys can load it. If you go with a 6" chipper or something similar your guys will be getting paid to stand around while the chipper slowly digest the debris.

You may be able to cut and chip a Crepe Myrtle every ten minutes or less. With insurance on the rental and fuel you may spend $500 on the chipper. If work is slow and you want to make sure you get the work I would bid about $40 per tree. If it were summer and you were busy I'd bid $50 - $60. Plus in summer your going to be cleaning up a lot of leaves.

Dealing with a bunch of HOA folks can be like talking to a brick wall sometimes. Every person in the complex puts in their two cents. Trying to get them to do anything with the stumps may not work for now.

But if those Crepes were healthy come spring the explosion of growth coming from the stumps will be impressive. In no time at all new growth will shoot out at a 45 degree angle in all directions and be rubbing on everyone's cars.

You should mention grinding as an upgrade and mention that the Crepe will grow back with a vengeance. In my area we have a guy who everyone subs out stump grinding work to and if you in a decent market it will likely be the same way. Here the wholesale rate is $3 per inch and retails for $4 an inch. Because of the amount of grinding you may get an even better deal.

A skilled grinder operator with a $20,000 - $35,000 machine can take out a stump in about 60 seconds. If you sell the grinding upgrade don't even try to do it yourself because the rental grinders are small worthless units.

You can do this job with two guys in less then a day as long as people keep their cars out of your way which may not happen.

Do not even try using a redneck chain because the Crepes have a decent size root network of strong roots and you'll just waste a lot of time or end up damaging something. Your too close to the driveways to use any mini excavators as well. You never be able to shear off the roots close to the driveway. I have hand dug some Crepes out before and it was a total beech so don't even ponder that method.

Plan on still having a bunch of root suckers that will pop up come spring. Crepe Myrtles are very drought tolerant so they do not uptake systemic herbicides like RoundUp at all. I would use Finale in the highest allowed dose which is probably about 4 oz per gallon. I use Finale at the 3 oz's per gallon for normal use.

DuallyVette
01-07-2012, 09:33 AM
They probably could be easily dug out with shovels, no?

Hire a 10 man crew. Two men per tree. 5 trees completed at max every 30 minutes. That's 10 trees per hour. That should take you roughly 6-8 hours to dig them out and back fill the holes. Then about 2 hours to chip them up. So 10 hours using 10 men is 100 man hours. I would charge roughly $45-$65 per hour plus rentals and materials.

Doug

Sorry...but that's the worst , most expensive, won't work, idea i've heard. I can't leave this thread without making sure no one reading this, try's this.

douglee25
01-07-2012, 01:08 PM
Sorry...but that's the worst , most expensive, won't work, idea i've heard. I can't leave this thread without making sure no one reading this, try's this.

Explain to me why? Everyone's idea is bring an excavator in and dig it out or use a chain and pull it out. You call that sound advice near 3-4" concrete? Don't think for one second that the builder didn't skimp out on the pour thickness either. One broken concrete pad and you're going to be spending a lot more time than one day coming back to cut out the slab, reforming it, pouring the pad, coming back to remove the forms and regrading. So my advice was put a crew on the job and remove them by hand. If roots go under the slab, they can be cut or axed out with little effort. The concrete is preserved and the risk to cause unnecessary damage is removed. If you're talking about removing crepe myrtle in the middle of a yard, sure by all means take the easiest way and remove them with a machine.

Doug
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PlantscapeSolutions
01-07-2012, 06:17 PM
A commercial stump grinder has a joystick that controls the grinding head. There no reason to spend a fortune on labor when a grinder can do the work in a fraction of the time. I'm sure you have good intentions with your advice.

I know in PA there are no Crepe Myrtles so you likely have never had the experience of digging out one of the SOB's. They have a lot of roots and many of the roots are down under the root ball making it a total beech to dig and pry bar out the root balls. Brains over brawn is really the way to go.

Plus the more guys you get on a job site the less efficient things become and the greater the chance someone is going to damage something.

DuallyVette
01-08-2012, 12:34 AM
They probably could be easily dug out with shovels, no?

Hire a 10 man crew. Two men per tree. 5 trees completed at max every 30 minutes. That's 10 trees per hour. That should take you roughly 6-8 hours to dig them out and back fill the holes. Then about 2 hours to chip them up. So 10 hours using 10 men is 100 man hours. I would charge roughly $45-$65 per hour plus rentals and materials.

Doug

"hire a 10 man crew" Where do you get 10 men for one day? Sears? homeless shelter? Manpower ( they get them from the homeless shelter)? or do you live with your 14 uncles and cousins from mexico, in a 3 bedroom apartment? Crape myrtles vs shovel= crape myrtle wins. Before you haul 10 workers over there , take a shovel over there and try to dig one out and see what you're up against.

I have a backhoe, but I wouldn't use it on those crape myrtles.(post 12)
The OP said that the HOA just wanted the trees cut down. If the HOA decided to remove the stumps, the best method would be to acquire a stump grinder ( I'd subcontract it out) and then we would do the clean up.

Explain to me why? Everyone's idea is bring an excavator in and dig it out or use a chain and pull it out. You call that sound advice near 3-4" concrete? Don't think for one second that the builder didn't skimp out on the pour thickness either. One broken concrete pad and you're going to be spending a lot more time than one day coming back to cut out the slab, reforming it, pouring the pad, coming back to remove the forms and regrading. So my advice was put a crew on the job and remove them by hand. If roots go under the slab, they can be cut or axed out with little effort. The concrete is preserved and the risk to cause unnecessary damage is removed. If you're talking about removing crepe myrtle in the middle of a yard, sure by all means take the easiest way and remove them with a machine.

Doug
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douglee25
01-08-2012, 08:56 AM
I dug out two crepe myrtles by my pool last summer by myself. They didn't give me issues although they may have been about 12 feet tall. I did it by hand due to the close proximity to underground piping and the concrete pool deck. I didn't have issues. As odd as the sounds, there are key 'leaders' to a ton of great workers local to me. I call them up and tell him I need 10 guys tomorrow and next morning 10 guys show up. There is no reason to get bent out of shape just because I would do a job differently than you. There is more than one way to skin a cat. People dug out and axed out trees for years before stump grinders and excavators were ever invented. There's no reason why the same wouldn't work today.

Doug
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Brett's Lawn Care
01-17-2012, 09:18 PM
Put a chain or cable around the bese and pull them out. The roots are very shallow on those and they will pull out easly. Then just feed the them into the chipper, root end first and you are done. no regrowth to fool with, no pavement damage, and no unsightly stumps left. I might charge about $20.00 or $30.00 each, plus the rental cost of the chipper, and any dump fees for the chips.

Speaking from experience in the south anyway, crape myrtles have extremely deep taproots and are practically impossible to pull up. Maybe different where you are from, just my experience
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integrityman
01-17-2012, 09:23 PM
Put a chain or cable around the bese and pull them out. The roots are very shallow on those and they will pull out easly. Then just feed the them into the chipper, root end first and you are done. no regrowth to fool with, no pavement damage, and no unsightly stumps left. I might charge about $20.00 or $30.00 each, plus the rental cost of the chipper, and any dump fees for the chips.

ABSOLUTELY!!!

Or use a good stout cable with a choker hook. You wont go wrong. Use your dump truck lots of power and it'l go fast.