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Estimate for woods cleanup

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by TomberLawn, Apr 26, 2008.

  1. TomberLawn

    TomberLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,299

    I know this is the mowing forum, but this isn't exactly mowing. One of my customers has a house in the woods and he wants all the dead trees that are standing cut down, the dead trees on the ground removed, and basically clearing out all around the house. I'm guessing there is about 1 to 1.3 acres to work on, and a large part of it is a steep slope. I think my Husqvarna HUV will climb the hill, but I have a feeling I'll have to drag some of the stuff up with my own strength. I'll probably charge per 1000 sq. ft. I met with the customer today, but I'll go back one day this week to measure off how much land there is and try to get a price from there. What would be a good price per 1000 sq. ft.? It would be impossible to count every tree, shrub, log, and everything else. Keep in mind 1000' is roughly a 32'x32' square.

    The customer is prepared to pay a lot. He asked me how much college I had left and said this might pay for my junior and senior years :cool2: Dad's paying for what the scholarship didn't cover, so that means a ton of money for me (after I pay my debt for my equipment to my dad--he gets money out of it anyway).
  2. columbiaplower

    columbiaplower LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 462

    where are you dumping the debris? How much are you paying to dump it?
  3. Paulup

    Paulup LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 270

    It all depends bud. When I was in high school, i used to do some tree removal stuff on the side. I got anywhere from 100-500 bucks a tree. If its in bulk, and the stuff is already down, i'd charge 100 bucks per tree(cut it up and remove it) and once its all done, rent a stump grinder and go to town on it. Anything that you have to cut that is close enough to hit the house, charge appropriately, that goes for big money. If you had to do it by the 1000sqft, I would go through one 32x32 area and count the trees, then estimate on the rest of it. Cut him a deal because you're working in bulk, save all of the hardwood and sell it for firewood next year. I'd tell you a whole deal price, but its going to vary so much from location to location, any chance you have some pics?
  4. DuallyVette

    DuallyVette LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,162

    Maybe a tractor, and or a winch (it its steep) Manually dragging stuff would get bad real quick.
  5. TomberLawn

    TomberLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,299

    Thanks for the replies. The trees that I will be cutting are pretty small, probably no more than 30 ft tall, and I don't think grinding the stumps will be necessary since they are in the woods and dead already. The firewood idea is pretty good, since natural gas and everything is going through the roof. I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do about disposal, yet. I think I'll call the landfill tomorrow and see what it costs to dump wood debris. They mulch it and give it away. My brother is in the local fire department, so I might see if they can use some in a practice burn.
  6. DFLS

    DFLS LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 354

    You have to be licensed and insured for tree work or you may get into hot water if someone gets hurt or a tree branch falls into a window or dents the house/gutter.
  7. DiyDave

    DiyDave LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,695

    Its called local zoning/environmental wackoism. If the land being cleared is within a certain distance of a waterway, even an intermitent dry wash, you can run afoul of local laws. Here in the peoples republic of MD, you need a permit to take down even a dead tree within 1000 feet of a waterway. This can amount to thousands of dollars in fines that you, the contractor can be held liable for. Be sure to check and see if stupid laws have migrated southward yet!:waving:
  8. TomberLawn

    TomberLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,299

    What ballpark figure would you use for hauling out the fallen trees? I think I will see if I can cut them up for firewood. Some will probably be too rotten for that. Also, would anybody recommend renting a chipper to mulch the little stuff that is too small for firewood and use it for garden compost? A lot of the dead stuff I'll have to cut is really no more than bushes, but there are a couple of trees.
  9. OhioBobcat125

    OhioBobcat125 LawnSite Member
    from Ohio
    Posts: 28

    If you are in the woods already couldnt you just chip everything up and let it lay on the ground where it is to save the time/effort/expense of hauling everything out?
  10. TomberLawn

    TomberLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,299

    That's a good point, OhioBobcat125. My mom has been wanting some compost for the garden, but I can bring her some leaves during the fall. I'll check with the landowner and see if it would be okay with him to leave the mulch in the woods. The Husqvarna would be very handy to get the chipper in and out of the woods.

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