1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Not to worry. Check out the archived thread of the Q&A with Ken Hutcheson, President of U.S. Lawns, and the LawnSite community in the Franchising forum .

    Dismiss Notice

Tree trimming price

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by packey, Feb 27, 2008.

  1. packey

    packey LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 556

    I have three locations that I need to trim trees on. the property management company wants to know how much per tree. This is interesting because all of us know their is not a stadard prune time on trees. It has been awhile since I timed my tree trimming ok I have never. the last sevral years I was paid by the hour overseeing grounds on a school so I am tring to figure out a reasonable price. Here is what I am thinking. I have 31 trees at 1 location smaller trees most are no taller than 25 ft with 6 inch trunk 45 per tree plus 300 for boom lift rental. Location 2 has 4 aspens fairly easy and 5 blue spruce again I am considering chargeing 45 per tree plus 150 equipment rental. The 3 location has 6 large cottonwoods about 25-30 foot and 8-10 inch trunk. these trees are the ones that are in real need of trimming. They are all located on the edge of a 10-12 ft bank so the northsde is another 10-12 foot from ground level. I was considering chargeing double far these trees or 90 per tree plus 150 on the equipment rental does this sound right or am I shooting my self in the foot and bidding low. I can tell you I will spend 20 plus man hours at location 1, 4 hours at location 2 and at leaste 8 hours at location 3. I normally charge 45 per hour for labor but much of this labor is going to be working off ladders or a boom lift so I was uping my hourly charge does this sound right
  2. tamadrummer

    tamadrummer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,102

    Im not a tree guy but it doesn't sound like you are charging enough for any part of the job.

    Just my opinion. I simply don't bid this kind of work, it is out of my league and best left to the pro's.

    If you have the skills to do the work, charge for it!!!
  3. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    You want one other fellow with you to move the bucket truck, so you are not going up and down. You need him to watch for your safety and to spell you on 10 hrs. of trimming.

    You can maximize the profit per person by minimizing the time of the machine. The type of trimming you are doing on job 1: Can 2 guys do it in a half an hour per tree?

    There is a tree guy here who is not 'lowballing', he and his partner are doing it in half the time. Time and cost efficiency are a big part of the bid. If Expenses are covered and you and a trusted, knowledgeable guy are each picking up $45/hr I would be willing to work for that and eat the cost of failure just to gain the experience. There is always the chance it will go more quickly than expected and you come out even better.

    Leave cleanup until the bucket is timed in and be sure to include this tedious task in your final numbers. - or - Tell them it will save them money to have you mulch the trimmings back into the earth. 31 trees that large I would think a mower blowing debri back under the canopy would be satisfactory.

    But everybody is different :)
  4. packey

    packey LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 556

    You must know me. I will be bringing a guy to give me a hand. on the larger property we are saving the bucket work till the last that way we don't need it their more than a day. The lift we use is controlled from the basket really cool. but I still will have a guy on the ground for pick up and spotting. I will be training as i go with the the guy I have. I got my isa cert 2 years ago and this is the first really big job I have done as a solo. We are kinda limited up here I am one of only to isa cert tree guys in this town the other will not touch the bigger stuff. the next closest is 50 miles away and I call him in if the job goes over my head like needing to limb some of the realy big old trees ober homes and power lines. I also have my on chipper a tow behind unit and a pickup bed trailer to chip into. small set up and kind of rough looking but then it is effective. Well I guess when guys see that I am into lawn maintainance and grounds keeping they just think mowing but I do a lot more. I have a true grounds company and it seems to be paying off up here. My only problem is their is way more work than I can afford to handle. I do this supposedly part time but I will be running a crew full time this year and checking up on their work when I am out of the office. I am also a preacher. my work day starts at 3:00pm and ends at 8:00 in the evening mondays,tuesdays and thursdays. friday and saturday I run from 7 am to 8 pm just to keep up. Maybe next year i will be able to afford another crew or so that is my plan.
  5. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    Cleaning up with a chipper is probably the best way to go about it. Not alot of people have those. I wish I did, only it would never pay for itself with what I do for money.

    I know how it is to have more work than can be handled. I however, never had the desire to run a crew. I usually sub the project out or if it is something that I don't want the responsibility for, I just recommend someone that I think the client will be pleased with.
    I can appreciate your situation in that you don't have time to to personally do everything that needs to be done. What is the isa certification?

Share This Page