Large tree to remove

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Abita Bill, Apr 6, 2004.

  1. Abita Bill

    Abita Bill LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    Help guys! I just got a sub contract from a pool company to do landscaping on thier current project. But before any work can start, I must remove a 30 foot, 3 foot around, pin oak in the back yard. This is going to be handled by itself, apart from the landscaping job. How much should I charge for this job? I will also be removing the tree once its down. Thanks!
  2. bottlefed89

    bottlefed89 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 243

    As everyone will reply, leave tree work to an arborist or tree crew, especially near any buildings, park equip, power lines, etc...... We'd also need to know how you plan to get rid of all the debris. Truck/trailer, chipper?? Doing it alone, or with help?? What kind of equipment will you use?? Biggest argument many will have: Does your insurance company cover you for tree work?? Most do not unless you specify that you do trees, and it adds a lot. Mine is 3 times what my liability is for mowing/landscaping....
    If I could take a chipper to it, I'd think me and a helper could be done and gone in less than 2 hours. My price for that would be around $700, although that could change with different conditions. Without knowing some more exact details it's hard to say. Also, that would be without me touching the stump.. Stump grinding would obviously be more. I can't afford a grinder, so I usually wait until I have 10+ to do, then rent one. Other than the stump, I'd leave no evidence of being there. Also, add for mileage if far, any dump fee's etc.. You know all your expense better than me. Not trying to dissuade(sp?) you from doing it, just some things to think about. Also, that's just a ballpark, I'd really have to see the tree, take a pic and I could give you a detailed billing list for where I'd be. Let me know if you need any advice on it.
  3. BW4486

    BW4486 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 243

    Yea I agree w/ bottlefed a 30 ft oak near a pool should be left to a tree guy. just have a tree service come cut it down and you do the clean up work. That way you can still make a little off of it.
  4. Abita Bill

    Abita Bill LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    Thanks for the replies. Your right, I should have added more info. The tree stands in a spot where the hole will be dug for the pool. So, the stump will be removed by the backhoe. I will haul the tree myself via 10,000lb trailer. I plan to split the tree into firewood. I'm set up for this at my shop. I figure it will be added profit in about a year's time. I'll have one helper and plan to rent a lift so I can tie off the sections as I cut. Slow and easy. I have safety gear and lots of time.
  5. bottlefed89

    bottlefed89 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 243

    well then, if you feel you can do it safely, just figure your cost and devise a time estimate and bill from there. I think it would be cheaper to buy a pair of spurs and climb it rather than rent a lift, but do what you feel is safest and you're most comfortable with. I also sell a lot of the wood I can save from removals. won't make you rich, but it something to do.
  6. mdscaper

    mdscaper LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    Call someone with a tree service, have them come out and give an estimate, and pay them a few bucks for their time. That way you won't underbid. I have a tendency to underprice things I don't do too often or have never done. Always takes longer than I think.
  7. bottlefed89

    bottlefed89 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 243

    Good call, I've trimmed thousands of trees, so now I am pretty sure about my abilities. I remember when I first started doing it though, there were a few folks in my neighborhood who got a SWEET deal on some tree removals. Make sure you don't undercut yourself.
  8. Abita Bill

    Abita Bill LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    Thanks guys! Just to answer a question, I'm renting a lift due to how close the tree is to the house itself. Its not real close, but close enough that I need the lift. I know for a fact that guys who remove trees in my area use lifts and/or booms. Thanks again guys!
  9. bottlefed89

    bottlefed89 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 243

    Of courses a lot of guys use buckets/booms, I was just saying from a cost stand point spurs would be better. Plus then you own something, as opposed to renting. There are a lot of guys who use booms, it's faster where they're practical. But there's also a lot of tree guys around here that RELY on their trucks. For me, most residential take-downs are in places inaccessable to a truck, and are just as easy to climb, plus if it's a take down spurs are acceptable.
  10. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,898

    It sound to me as if there is a limb or a chunk of spar that is going to be going through the roof of the house on this one...

    Abita Bill, don't take this the wrong way, but LISTEN TO ME!!! You have ABSOLUTELY NO, I MEAN NO business doing this tree removal based on what you have said. I've said it before, and I'll say it again. If you have to ask what to charge, I have to question your ability to do the work in a safe manner. Tree work is dangerous, not only for the climber, but more for the ground crew. Not to mention the potential for hitting houses and cars and other immovable objects...

    You will use a lift because that is what everyone else uses.... That is wrong on so many levels. It's close enough to that house that you want to use the lift........... Ok, you are smart enough to realize it's too close to just drop it, why not take the extra step and decide its out of your league and call and experienced tree service and have them remove it? Work a deal with them that you run the lines and learn a few things. Start on the ground, then work your way up, literally.

    I have a little bit of experience in trees. Not a lot, mind you. But the little that I've had, I would be nervous as H*LL taking this one down.

    Are you familiar with ANSI Z133???? OSHA regulations? Your insurance agent? Anything goes wrong on this, and most likely you will not be able to get insurance ever again. Are you even insured for it?

    I will give you the same advice I've given several others here that have been thinking about doing this type of work and really shouldn't. Go to and once you are inside the site, click the "find and arborist" link. START calling! For some heavy reading on the subject, vist and make sure to read the injuries and fatalities forum, in addition to the commercial climbing forum.

    Can you tie a bowline? Tautline? Blakes? Anchor hitch? Timber hitch? Do you own a climbing saddle? Do you know what a safe working load is? Do you know what the minimum strength requirement is for ANY piece of life supporting equipment, according to ANSI? If you answered no to ANY of these questions, you are far from qualified.

    Bottlefed- why start out trying to deter him, then tell him what you would charge? $700 is cheap, BTW, and how can you expect to have a tree that size down and hauled away in 2 hours? Depending on the type of tree, it could take that long just to limb and buck it, let alone clean up!

    It's not worth talking prices here, we all live in COMPLETELY different markets...

    This is my $1.02 worth, take it for what it cost you...


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