@muddywater: The cost of the kind of stuff I'm planting doesn't vary much by pot size. EvI'm growing the stuff. Some things will be 20% over becuase the liners were more expensive. Some things under because they really haven't grown into that potsize yet. But a 10 foot swedish aspen = 10 foot birch = 8 foot spruce = 9 foot pine = 10 foot weeping willow. All come in a #10 grow bag. All cost $90. All cost $90 to plant. It makes it easy for the people who come out to look. "See that bag? $90. Everywhere. You think it too small? Buy somewhere else. Want a lot of them? We'll talk. " Another $90 gets it installed.
Actual installations vary too much. How far is it? How many loads? Can I combine loads? What's the soil like? Is there water on site. Faster to highball the estimate to cover the crap, and make money when it's not as bad as it could be.
Mind you my planting includes 2 year warranty, 2 years fertilizer, weed barrier, and mulch.
I deliberately bid high my planting because I'm running a farm. I grow trees. I only plant trees for clients in order to sell trees, and that only when I'm not busy. I'm not really set up for planting. No bobcat. Only a groundhog auger. And the planting cost = material cost, when I'm providing the material makes it easy.
Just got a call for a guy who wants a privacy screen on his back fence. 10 foot birch alternating with aspen. It's fall. Everyone else he's talked to is talking 300-400 bucks per tree. I quoted 225/tree installed, minimum 6 trees. Or 110 per tree delivered. Or 90/tree he picks up. I also told him if he takes option 2, and has a hole ready, I'll help him plant one to show him how it's done.
Am I out to lunch?