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Lawnguy2005
02-17-2004, 10:31 PM
I have a tree that needs to come down and I'm not really sure how much to charge so i was wondering if someone could give me a little help. The tree is about 16 to 20 feet tall and it probably wouldn't take that long to cut and take off. Should I charge by the hour or by the size of the tree. How much?

D Felix
02-17-2004, 10:38 PM
Don't take this the wrong way, but if you don't know how much to charge, you probably shouldn't be running the chainsaw to cut it down...

Find an arborist or qualified tree service. Get a quote from them. If you are worried about losing the client to them, use them as a sub and mark their price up ~10%. You stay safe that way.

There is NO way I would tell you how much to charge to cut down the tree. Unfortunately, there are others here who probably will. There are too many factors involved with it.

Even if you did end up cutting down the tree, are you insured to do it?


Dan

Lawnguy2005
02-17-2004, 10:51 PM
Thanks for your help Dan I'm going to take your advice one this one and call a tree service and us them as a sub it would probably be the easier thing to do in this case.

Olylawnboy
02-18-2004, 12:57 AM
So what kind of trees do you guys have there in Georgia? 16- 20'er, call an arborist? That's just a baby around here in the NW, not more than 4" or so at the butt for our largest here. Do you have something different there?
D Felix, I'm curious, could a 20' tree fall and hurt anything in your area? Much less in Georgia, that being insured would really be an isue?, I really don't know!
But as to the question, charge by the hour and add dump fees. Seems it's going to take more to get rid of it than it's going to be to cut it down, you know, like twenty seconds. Cut it up and haul it off. But than again, I must be missing something here right? Oly

Coffeecraver
02-18-2004, 06:56 AM
D Felix;Quote
"There is NO way I would tell you how much to charge to cut down the tree.
Unfortunately, there are others here who probably will. There are too many
factors involved with it.
Even if you did end up cutting down the tree, are you insured to do it?"

I agree One accident could cost a yearly maintenance contract.
That size tree is most likely not worth 100.00 turn key.
There may be hazards involved that could cost much more. Get someone else to cut it down.

Olylawnboy: Quote

"I'm curious, could a 20' tree fall and hurt anything in your area?
Much less in Georgia, that being insured would really be an isue?,
I really don't know!

When The question was asked , the ability is in question.


But as to the question, charge by the hour and add dump fees.
Seems it's going to take more to get rid of it than it's going
to be to cut it down, you know, like twenty seconds. Cut it up
and haul it off."

The one hour rate and dump fees should cover it.
In an open field,or away from all hazards.

D Felix
02-18-2004, 08:56 AM
Could a 20' tree around here hurt something? YES! If one is not careful it could damage a lot of bones.

What happens if you park your truck 5' away (I wouldn't) and it falls the wrong way? Hmmmm, you've got a damaged truck.

Personally, I would not have a problem cutting a 20' tree. I've cut down lots that were a LOT bigger than that. No where near the 200'+ spruces you have out there in the PNW, but I've still cut down more in the 50'+ range than in the 20' range...

BUT, like Norm pointed out, if the question is asked, you have to question ability. He's doing himself a favor by calling someone who does this type of thing on a daily basis. Much safer to pick up the phone than it is to start a chainsaw....


Dan

polecat63
02-19-2004, 06:13 PM
A 20' tall tree would crush a man if it fell on him. People that don't understand the danger of felling a tree need to sell their chainsaws on ebay. Two old timers (professional arborists) were killed here last year taking out trees.
To answer how much to charge..it depends on the size of the canopy, and the proximity of obstacles. If it's in a field and can't hit anything then charge labor and disposal. If it's next to the house and you don't know what you're doing then sub it out.

Olylawnboy
02-19-2004, 11:20 PM
Hey guys, I hope I didn't sound like a rearend. That was not my intent. So really, what kind of trees are you guys talking about? I really have no clue! And as polcat now says, a 20'er could crush a man, just boggles my mind. Could you help me out a little here? Names of trees that I could look up? Pics, links? I've lived here in the NW all my life and havn't got out much :) Well never! Anyway thanks for puttin up with me, we're here to learn right :) oly

Coffeecraver
02-20-2004, 05:55 AM
This site should help you out some.

http://www.oplin.lib.oh.us/products/tree/index.html

Never cut a tree alone!
Please read and follow this link on safety.
http://www.ext.nodak.edu/extpubs/ageng/safety/ae1025w.htm

The tree does not have to be large to injure you.

If the tree was decayed and/or hollow,and you cut it , it could
shatter and fall on you,before you finished your cut. Or it could fall in the oppisite direction that you intended.

Step-by-Step

1. Check the surrounding area for obstacles that may be in the way; another tree, a fence, overhead wires, the pride and joy perennial garden, cars, etc.

Establish an escape route

2.Stand back and observe the way the tree is naturally leaning. The best fall would be its natural angle of growth. Check the tree itself for safety hazards such as dead or hanging branches. Check the trunk of the tree for open wounds as wounds could indicate that the centre of the tree is hollow or rotten. Felling a rotten or hollow tree at the stump height is best left to professionals as you may not be able to control the direction of the fall or the tree may fall prematurely, endangering you and others around you.

3. Establish two escape routes that can be used while tree if falling, one on each side of the tree leading away from the expected fall line.
Step-by-Step

A proper undercut is essential to safely removing larger trees

1. Undercut : Serves as the guide or aim slot for the tree. It is a V-shaped notch cut into the side of the tree in the direction you want it to fall. The best V-shape is a 90 degree cut rather than the typical 45 degree cut. The 90 degree cut allows the tree additional room to fall before the top and bottom of the undercut comes together. The undercut should be about one-fourth of the tree's diameter in depth. Although trees up to 6 inches diameter can be cut clear through, I do not recommend it as the tree may fall upon itself and not move. To try to push it by hand may not guarantee that the tree will fall where you want it to.

2. Backcut : The backcut is made about 2 inches higher than the hinge part of undercut and on the opposite side. This backcut releases the stresses on the back of the tree allowing the tree to fall. NEVER make the backcut lower than the undercut. That reverses the role of the two cuts. NEVER cut through the undercut because you will lose all control of the tree at that point. The direction a tree falls can be closely controller with properly made undercuts and backcuts. At this point I would like to note that coniferous trees such as spruce, balsam, etc. are very sinewy and sappy and can bind up your chain saw and cause kick back, resulting in personal injury.

3. Once the tree starts to fall, shut off your chain saw and move down your chosen escape path. Do not stand at the base and admire your handiwork. Falling trees can bounce backward over the stump.

We are now assuming that your tree has fallen where you wanted it to and that it is laying solidly on the ground.

4. The next step is called "Limbing". Start removing branches at the bottom of the tree, working your way to the top, removing branches on the opposite side of the tree from you as you go. This gives you the protection of being on the opposite side of the tree from the chainsaw. Never stand on the downside of the fallen tree if you are on a slope . You could cut a branch that's holding the tree log and it could roll and trap you. Also at this point, check to ensure that you have not trapped an adjoining smaller tree creating what is called a "springpole".

There is a tremendous amount of stored energy in these springpoles and they present one of the greatest hazards encountered during the limbing process. To release the springpoles, locate the apex of the springpole and cut it with the chainsaw or with a hand saw.

You are now left with the bare log. If you are going to use the log as firewood, cut it into appropriate lengths, usually about 24 inches. Avoid running the chainsaw into the earth by cutting halfway through the log and then rolling the log to finish the cut.

Good Luck
Norm
Va.Certified Horticulturist
ISA Certified Arborist
:)

Lawnguy2005
02-20-2004, 10:37 AM
Norm thanks a lot for your help this should help me out in the future. I would like to know how to become certified in tree removal if anyone could help me or tell me what i need to do it would be helpful.

D Felix
02-20-2004, 11:23 AM
There is no removal "certification". The best you can do is become a certified arborist, but even that doesn't say much as far as ability any more...

ISA's site is http:www.isa-arbor.com


Dan

D Felix
02-20-2004, 12:10 PM
Had to run out before I could get everything in that last post...

Also check on http://www.arboristsite.com. It's setup in the same manner as this site. There is a LOT of information on that site, and much more is added every day.

You will probably see references on that site from time to time about Douglas Dent's book, I believe the title is something like Professional Timber Felling, or some variation thereof. I don't have the book, but it'll probably be on my next Christmas list, it's supposed to be a good one.

If you are wanting to climb trees, The Tree Climber's Companion (TCC) by Jeff Jepson is a MUST have. It's in it's second edition, it's available many places for ~$15. ISA sells it, as well as Sherrill's (www.wtsherrill.com).

If you can find a copy at your local Oregon saw chain dealer, the Oregon saw chain maintenance book is a good read. Gives you a better understanding as to how the saw chain works, as well as the proper chain terminology. Carlton has a similar book, don't know about Stihl. Carlton's book may be harder to find, I don't think they have as many dealers as Oregon/Stihl.

HTH. Be safe... Proper PPE is a must!


Dan