Hourly rate on chopping cedar trees

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by globalhog, Dec 4, 2003.

  1. globalhog

    globalhog LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    A golf course owner wants 99.9% of the cedar trees on his course cut down to the ground and thrown into a pile. He will then have his crew use some to make a split rail fences and the rest will be sent thru a chipper for mulch. Their goal is to have this accomplished in the next 3 years. He wants me to come up with 3 two man crews with chainsaws and he asked me what I would charge him as an hourly rate working 3 days a week. I am a former teacher fired up about the green industry and have no idea what to charge. Please help.....Thanks.
  2. gene gls

    gene gls LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,213

    Are they White Cedar or Red Cedar? Red Cedar is hard as a rock and will ruin your chain very fast. Better take a close look before you quote any price.

  3. mdvaden

    mdvaden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,944

    This certainly shows how important botanical names are.

    In our area, red cedar are western red cedar - Thuja plicata. The wood is very soft, but long-lasting. The source for cedar roof, fence and deck.

    Its interesting that a course would want so many cut down. But if it was a certain species, I could understand.

    Riverside and Columbia Edgewater Country Clubs in Portland started a program to remove all of the Port Orford cedars because it was 96% certain that the trees would get disease and die.

    Those were probably one of the worst trees ever planted in a horticultural band-wagon years before.

    The wood is soft in those also.

    And, when you say cedar, that could also mean true cedars to us - the genus Cedrus with deodar cedar, blue atlas cedar and cedar of lebanon.
  4. SWD

    SWD LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 989

    The trees global hog is referring to are juniperus spp of the eastern red cedar.
    These trees are hard to cut down. The wood is dense, somewhat fiberous in the middle and extremely heavy. In addition, the trees are not uniform in shape so you cannot drop in mass, you must section first. Really time consuming, really hard on the saws.
    Globalhog, make sure you have insurance for this type of work. The reason a golf course owner has contacted you vs a tree company is he wants to save money.
    How are you going to move the trees into a pile, by hand?
    Provided the trees have a canopy spread of less than ten feet, you might be able to move about eight a day/crew. If you have a tractor, you can move more.
    Also, are you being held liable for irrigation/ancilliary damage to the golf course? Most irrigation heads are over $100.00 each.
    You might want to call me and I will explain more on this & get more details from you.
    Steve, cell 830-305-0339
    don't worry, I am not interested in that work as I have enough of my own.
  5. mdvaden

    mdvaden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,944

    That's an interesting point that the superintendent may be trying to save money.

    On the other hand, exepererienced tree companies have so many tricks up their sleeve, they can usually beat the bid price and quality of cheaper services on projects where technique and know-how come into play.

    I recall one project up here where the cheaper service was doing pruning of a residential yard on the edge of a golf course for $1100 per year. That was two landscape maintenance men working for two days. That's less than $35 per hour per man.

    Our bid was $600, and I did the whole thing myself in 5.5 hours at near $100 per hour. And it was better. The other guys were regulating height, but did no thinning of interior crud. I reduced the price, provided more pruning, better control and offered higher insurance liability insurance coverage.

    As for hard woods on tree, that might be where a tree service pulls the carbide chainsaw chain out of the closet just for that kind of thing.

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