Trimming Blue Spruce

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by eskals, Jun 14, 2001.

  1. eskals

    eskals LawnSite Member
    Posts: 210

    I was working yesterday and was approached by a guy who wanted me to trim two blue spruce trees. After telling him that it is a bad idea to trim evergreens I said that I would take a look anyway. His landscape has been in about 6 years, and the one tree is growing into the neighbors driveway. Whoever put this tree in put it in a bad location. It is right next to the house, and right next to the neighbors driveway. They must have put in a good size tree initially and now it is just getting too big.

    I think I am going to turn this job down. I don't want to be the hack that cuts 3-4 feet off the top of an evergreen and then reshapes the sides.

  2. paul

    paul Lawnsite Addict
    Posts: 1,625

    Can the tree be moved? You might want to find out if it can, you might look like a hero to the H.O.
  3. BRL

    BRL LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,211

    And you can charge more\make more profit on a transplant vs. a trimming ;)
  4. eskals

    eskals LawnSite Member
    Posts: 210

    I like the transplant idea. The tree is very nice looking,, its just in the wrong spot. It belongs more in the backyard where it has room. BTW, he has another blue spruce next to his driveway that is going to be causing trouble soon.

    How should I go about transplanting something like this? The tree is probably 15-18 feet tall. Tree spade? If so, can you give me a ballpark idea on how much something like this will cost? I know there are alot of variables, I just want to have a very rough idea on price so that I can give the HO an idea.


  5. kris

    kris LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nowhere
    Posts: 1,579

    Is there access to the back yard for the tree spade?
    A real rough idea what rates are in your area...probably $400
  6. eskals

    eskals LawnSite Member
    Posts: 210

    Oh yea, forgot to mention the access thing. Yep, there is good access.

    So, $400 per tree? Thats about what I was thinking. I just want to get an idea before I spend time getting a true estimate (which I will do!).


  7. lawnboykb

    lawnboykb LawnSite Member
    Posts: 51

    I have two big spruces in my yard and I trim them all the time.
    This is how to do it and it takes a few years.....
    first trim off the bottom row of limbs all the way around.
    Why think of it this way a tree will grow (x) amount every year. To keep the lower branches alive it must grow (X) amount out and the rest up. If you trim off the lower branches then the upper branches will drop down over the year and this "pulls" the tree in.
    The next year take a hand prunner and cut back the branches.
    After that every year I use a trimmer....yes a trimmer I just walk around the tree and trim it up and down. Just don't go nuts just charge him a little and space it out over time.
    My 2 spruces look great they are nice and slender but look natural....
  8. Lanelle

    Lanelle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,361

    The safest way to price a transplant is to call a company with a tree spade and have them go out to the site with you to look at the tree and give you a price. Mark up that price so you cover your time and bother, maybe 15%.
  9. eskals

    eskals LawnSite Member
    Posts: 210

    I talked briefly today with the HO. I mentioned the possibility of transplanting. He doesn't think they will survive. I am going to talk with a tree spade and go from there.

    The trimming idea is still an option, but its a tall tree (again 15-18 feet) and I am concerned about appearence. The HO says his wife is very concerned with the look of the tree.

  10. paul

    paul Lawnsite Addict
    Posts: 1,625

    20' is not a hard move for a 80" spade, spruce are easy to move

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