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cleanup w/ tree trimming...price?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Expert Lawns, Oct 7, 2002.

  1. Expert Lawns

    Expert Lawns LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,660

    to make this short and sweet...

    one time fall clean up: 2 hours, solo = $145.00

    customer wants 4 trees trimmed. they are 20 ft high. he wants 8ft taken off the top, and then rounded off or shaped. i will be purchasing one of those pruners with the long pole and a string on it (name?). i've never done this before, i've helped with other LCO's that i've worked for in the past. how do i price this? it will be done same time as the cleanup. thanks guys

    ps. good price for the cleanup? i've only done one other one time cleanup

    MATTHEW LawnSite Senior Member
    from NE OHIO
    Posts: 665

    You didn't mention what type of tree it was, but my guess is that you will take much more than 2 hours (for everything) without experience.

    You should just price it by the hour unless you are sure how long it will take. Then you have your dumping fees to consider.

    Good luck.
  3. Darryl G

    Darryl G LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,033

    I believe you're talking about a pole pruner. Without info on what type of trees we're talking about, I doubt that anyone here is going to be able to be able to help you. Topping trees is generally not recommended.

    As far as the clean-up price, it looks fine if you can live with $72.50/hr.
  4. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,496

    You better be careful on the customers request of tree trimming and know exactly what they want. I don't know, I just don't like the sound of this "8 ft. taken off the top" thing. Whatever kind of tree it is. Just remember one thing in tree trimming. Disposal. There is a simple rule of thumb when it comes to tree trimming. What ever you are going to cut off, is TWICE as much material when it hits the ground. It's aMAZing how these branches grow on their way down to the ground.:blob4:
  5. Art Stubbs handy 58

    Art Stubbs handy 58 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 132

    If you are going to use a manual pole prunner, try around 6-8 hrs to top and shape plus clean up and disposal. I dont think i could that with my powered prunner in that time, not sure what type of trees but like runner said, double the amount that you think when your looking up at it from the ground, sounds like more around $500-$700 job.. Call your local Rental shop and ask if they have a powered prunner for rent , that would save you a lot of time and back ache... Good Luck with your bid
  6. AielLandscaping

    AielLandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 302

    i'm not an expert on trees and when i get a job like this, i tell the customer up front that i'm not an arborist and i don't know nearly as much about pruning as they would. but i can cut a tree down, or take it back really far to the point where everything starts to branch out. i'm sure that you could kill a tree doing this, but i haven't killed one yet. i've tried just cutting off the highest stuff with a pole pruner and from my experience it always takes twice as long as i thought it would. another thing you want to consider is can you leave the limbs in the street for the city to pick up? or do you have to haul it? if you have to haul it, this in my opinion is the fastest (maybe not the smartest, or safest) way to get the limbs to a dump site. first cut build up the sides of your trailer, and/or truck bed. second cut off as big of branches as you can. get as big of pieces into the trailer or truck as you can. you'll have pieces sticking out all over the place. when you think you can't possibly fit anymore in, and wish that you'd cut it up first, jump in with limbs and use your chainsaw and cut 3 or 4 times across the bed from side to side, then once or twice down the middle. be careful not to cut too deep so you don't cut the bed. then jump up and down on the pile. repeat. you'll be surprised how much you can fit and how fast it goes. if you can leave it in the street, but it has to be in 6' length or something like that, pile everything up, then cut the piles all the way through every 6'. but i'd figure 2 hours per tree without having seen them.
  7. Expert Lawns

    Expert Lawns LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,660

    thanks for all the info. i have a lot to think about. as for the kind of trees they are. i'm not sure, all i know is none of the limbs are too thick. a the most, 2.5-3 inches. i know clean up can be a PITA. i will definetly price accordingly, including disposal fees.

    hey runner, where do you dump in flint? i usually dump off of court street, across from Consumers Power. know where that is? pretty cheap. they charge by the yard, so your idea is goood......chop em up and smash em down.

    again, thanks for all the imput

    AVRECON LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 290

    I'm experienced in this. Just do it fast and get it done right. It's a tree not a pansey. It will not die (in most cases) this time of the year. And you will be fine. Always figure a few more hrs more than you would expect on a job like this because it ALWAYS takes longer than you would expect it to.
  9. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,496

    Occasionally I will dump over there, if it's more deamable to do that, rather than drive back up here. If it's just one load though, I bring it home, and dump it in back. Anymore, I burn once or twice a year. (large property) As far as cutting it up alot to save on dumping fees, it depends on two factors. First, what can you hold? If it's really necessary to crosscut it for capacity, then by all means. I guess it's what you're hauling it with that can also determine that. If your vehicle dumps, than it doesn't really matter, but if it doesn't, don't cut it up anymore than you really have to, especially to save at the dump, because the extra time it will take you to unload may outweigh the extra cost of a bit more bulk. Also, if you do cross cut it, (I do several times while loading, and I can haul aLOT of material then,) try not to cut the very bottom branches, and make sure you have some good 3-4 inchers under there. This will allow you to just lift up on the front (after you get some off the top) and just flip the whole load out. BIG time saver!;)
  10. soccer coach

    soccer coach LawnSite Member
    from midwest
    Posts: 104

    Expert, Don't take this the wrong way but you need to call an expert and stick to what you know. 2-3" branches with a pole saw? Don't know what kind of tree? You could damage the tree to the point of death. A good mature tree will cost you thousands to replace when they sue you. :( Do yourself and the professionals a favor and pass on this one. If you insist do you have all the equipment OHSA requires? MOst tree companies don't get out of bed for less than a grand to keep it in mind.

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