Pruning small trees

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by stvnbc, Mar 5, 2008.

  1. stvnbc

    stvnbc LawnSite Member
    from NC
    Posts: 13

    I usually stay away from trees, but I have a good customer that wants me to prune his crepe myrtles. They are only about 10-12 ft high and should not be a problem for me to do...I have always done my own crepe myrtles so I do know how.... My problem is what price to charge. This customer is a typical, mow, trim, blow for the past 2 years

    There are 6 of them and they average 10-12 ft high..any help would be appreciated
     
  2. jsw2008

    jsw2008 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 513

    I just charge my regular hourly rate for my time. Are you just pruning the suckers around the bottom of the trunk? Please tell me you're not going to chop of the tops of all of them.
     
  3. stvnbc

    stvnbc LawnSite Member
    from NC
    Posts: 13

    He wanted them chopped...but, I talked him into light pruning and removing suckers, dead limbs.

    It amazes me that everybody...and I mean 99% of everybody around here gets them "chopped" at the stalk. I told him that it was too late in the season to do it that way...he drove past my house and like the way mine looked so he is gonna give my way a try and see how they look.
     
  4. jsw2008

    jsw2008 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 513

    Same around here. I hate the way they look chopped that way. There is a bank here in my town that has beautiful crepe myrtles that have been pruned the right way for years. When I get somebody that wants me to hack the tops off of theirs, I ask them if they like the trees at the bank. They always say yes and I tell them to let me prune it correctly. It works every time.
    People seem to think the have to hack crepe myrtles up.
     
  5. TScapes

    TScapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 453

    If you prune them correctly, and keep them at say 8-10', then you should be able to prune these in 2-3hrs. This is by hand pruning with loppers and hand pruners (Felco's). So whatever your hourly charge is, this is a guideline to use to estimate your time.
     
  6. stvnbc

    stvnbc LawnSite Member
    from NC
    Posts: 13


    Thanks, I was wondering bout how long it would take.
     
  7. TScapes

    TScapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 453

    We usually figure (2) 8-12' crepes per hour, but when they get 15'+ then it goes to about an hour for each one.

    Also, just a suggestion.... my guys came up with an easy thing to help with clean up. Instead of using a tarp to throw your branches on, lay out a rope about 5-6'+ and lay your branches that you cut perpendicular to the rope. Also, make a loop at one end. Then when you are done pruning the crepe, you can "cinch" up the branches in the rope and carry it like a bale of straw. Just an idea.
     
  8. PHS

    PHS LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 724

    I agree that works well.
     
  9. New2TheGreenIndustry

    New2TheGreenIndustry LawnSite Senior Member
    from GA
    Posts: 872

    Too late in the season? It is my understanding that Feb/March is the time to do it.
     
  10. grassman177

    grassman177 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,795

    yeah, 3hrs is a good time est for that, depends on how picky you are, i tend to drag on getting too picky lol!!!! but whatever you hourly rate is times about 3 and then a dumpcharge if applicable or tie them up for his trach, dumping is better for me
     

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