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price to remove a small red maple

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by dmolaver15, May 8, 2012.

  1. dmolaver15

    dmolaver15 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 29

    a guy that i just did a spring cleanup and mulch/trimming job for wants me to remove a small red maple he has planted in the front yard. it is only about a 3" trunk at most, and about 8ft tall. he does not want me to transplant it somewhere he just wants to get rid of it.

    my question is how much to charge this guy for the job. i'd be doing it with a shovel/hand tools. if its possible, i'd also like to transplant it into my own yard. how big of a root ball should i be digging and where is a good price to start with this job?
  2. jrs.landscaping

    jrs.landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    from Maine
    Posts: 2,717

    If you go by the "spread" of the tree it wil generally tell you how large the roots are. As for pricing you have to feel out the customer but with hand tools I would say at least 3-4 hours at your hourly rate.
  3. Get Some...

    Get Some... LawnSite Senior Member
    from Kansas
    Posts: 651

    Root ball on a tree like that weighs a couple of hundred pounds.......
  4. appalachianoutdoors

    appalachianoutdoors LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 354

    Dig about 6" below soil level, cut the tree off, fill in with a little dirt. Buy yourself a nice little red maple at your local nursery and probably get a 1 year replacement warranty with it. Digging out a 300 lb root ball will leave a big hole in the yard that will cause problems for a year or two with sinking and such if not filled properly. If the tree is somewhere mowed regularly, it will get trimmed if it sprouts and will die after a few times, if not, spray something selective to kill it. Better yet, spray the spray, let it go systemic, then follow the above steps in about 3 weeks after spraying. :usflag:
  5. jrs.landscaping

    jrs.landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    from Maine
    Posts: 2,717

    Never thought of that. Better bring some help to load and unload it, or a chainsaw to make it easy on yourself.
  6. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    You are getting paid to remove a tree... dig a circle about 2.5 feet in diameter... dig under the roots along that perimeter... tilt the tree in various directions to remove all soil and cut every root directly under the tree... most of your dirt will be gone but your roots should be fine...

    So far you've got 1/2 hour in it... carry you tree to the truck, cover the roots, smoothen off the clients lawn and get off his clock... Charge your minimum and call it a day...

    take your maple home to a pre-dug hole and soak it in good... it is early enough that you should expect success...
  7. Northern Woodsman

    Northern Woodsman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 22

    I did three similar jobs this season. None of which to be transplanted though. I did three trees and removed all the roots in less than 4 hours. The last one was a bear and took almost as long as the previous two.

    I used a chainsaw, shovel, 8' digging bar and large pruners to remove the roots.

    Your tree only has a 3" trunk so it shouldn't be bad at all. He doesn't want it transplanted so should you charge him for the added labor of digging up the root ball to save it? I wouldn't. To play it safe I would charge 2.5 hrs of labor and the bonus is you get a nice tree to put somewhere else.
  8. Get Some...

    Get Some... LawnSite Senior Member
    from Kansas
    Posts: 651

    What if the metal was left on the root ball?
  9. Coffeecraver

    Coffeecraver LawnSite Senior Member
    from VA.
    Posts: 793

    That is the first thing to check for
    If it does not have a wire basket
    I would consider getting a small stump grinder and grind it out
    If it does have a basket I would dig enough to cut it underground

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