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trimming Central Florida palm trees

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by mowjoeman, May 10, 2004.

  1. mowjoeman

    mowjoeman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 61

    Could someone from the central west coast of Florida respond to this question please, and tell me the going rate for trimming the really big palms they might be wastonians ? any how there between 25 and 35 ft tall ! with about a 20 ft of dead fronds just hanging that look like skirts ! and there are quite a few? i have to rent a boom bucket for about a buck seventy 170.00 for 24 hr and i'm afraid of heights to boot! Is a small climbing saw (chain saw)the way to go? and is there a special way to trim them, i see alot of these with just the few new fronds sticking straight up? unless of coarse the customer prefers them to look a certain way? is there any particular way that they should look, or is it a matter of preference? Thanks Mowjoeman
  2. BW4486

    BW4486 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 244

    OK Im from Florida but Im a couple hundred miles NorthEast of you.

    First Does your Insurance cover this?

    Second (if it does) I think your refering to a Washington palm, aka Washintonia Palm (WASHINTONIA ROBUSTA).

    Third if you dont want to do it sub it out and add your mark up.

    Fourth if you do it with the boom bucket it would be easier to use a pole saw, but a reg. climbing saw should reach

    Fifth How much you trim off is personal as well as customer preferance, (but remember the more you take off now the Later you can wait before doing it again)

    Good Luck
  3. mowjoeman

    mowjoeman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 61

    Thankyou for the information, however i'm still not sure of a price to charge? there's going to be alot of debris, in the way of dead fronds that are hanging , not to mention the new ones that i trim? this is a regular residential property that i just closed. a monthly if you will. so i want to do the right thing based on what the going rate is i than could better determine a price for him. The property has been on the market for quite sometime over a year and never kept up, so you see what i'm up against. i told the customer that it would be cheaper for me to do this. instead of calling in a tree service since i will have the responsibility from now on i should make the money on the clean up right? this is for a year only and i have a feeling i will do all the work rehabing this property while he's out n the boat or at the hockey game and after all my hard work, let me go and take it over or find somebody to do it cheaper you no how that goes i'm sure if your in the business, happens to us all and it's his decision ultimately so i don't want to lower my price to much either, but i do want to be fair on a price? as for insurance, i would like to think enough so that in the event i'm on the job and a tree falls or lightening hits, my two teenagers can still attend college? Thanks for replying - mowjoeman
  4. BW4486

    BW4486 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 244

    Well, add the rental cost for the boom bucket for the amount of time needed + ( your hourly rate x time needed to trim & clean up ) + dump fees & equipment pick up & delivery.

    Your hourly rate is up to you.
  5. sprout

    sprout LawnSite Member
    Posts: 94

    :D Whenever I do palms, with a pole pruner, I get $25 per palm.
    From what you have described I would charge $60 per palm plus the $170 for the bucket lift. If you can't make money on the job don't do it. You will get a ton of debris from those things.
  6. BW4486

    BW4486 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 244

    oh yeah watch out cuz they bite
  7. mowjoeman

    mowjoeman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 61

    thanks for the imput, yea i've been biten and it is the one job from now on that i will wear gloves begining to end!- i'm going to make the money on this account in the long run as well, it's a monthly my girl friend would rather i refer to it as a yearly? But you guys no what i'm sayin , and thats what matters - debris from these things are endless i worked with a local tree guy running his chipper and i found that out first hand ! thanks again! - joe
  8. mowjoeman

    mowjoeman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 61

    sprout - thanks first for takin time, i bought the pole pruner to do exsactly what you said you do! advice from another guy who lives locally and made a decent buck. i'm with you when you said if you can't make money than pass. i bought the stilh 101 and haven't even used it yet, and along comes this account rite across the street ! so i have alot going that ordinarirly we wouldn't. another question ? The doctor who owned this place before put in alot of these palms and they were doubles two palms together and he said he bought them because he got a great deal on em' 5 bills a pcs ? i cut down the three i had and if i'm going to have to clean up after them that i own i can think of alot better ones to have planted. but to each his own right? thanks - Joe
  9. ProMo

    ProMo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,468

    take off as little as possible, cutting green fronds stunts growth, invites disease and reduces the palms natural resililience to high winds, also harsh pruning takes away food and shelter from wildlife

  10. BW4486

    BW4486 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 244

    Promo you are right, The less you take off the easier it is on the tree but I haven't killed on yet or seen any negative effects from taking an extra ring off. And I dont think there's much wildlife sittin under mine. The biggest problem when pruning hard is the plant uses the nutrients from the dying fronds.

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