Question about tree trimming prices

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by richardlewis, Oct 23, 2004.

  1. richardlewis

    richardlewis LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    Can you tell me what a good price to charge for trimming a tree is. I have a customer that wants a quote but since this is the first year I'm doing it as my own business I'm not sure what would be a fair price. I know she's been getting other bids too. What are some guidelines for pricing.

  2. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Former Moderator
    Messages: 6,073

    Here is a good site to ask this question.
    It has the same format as Lawnsite.
  3. dishboy

    dishboy LawnSite Fanatic
    from zone 6
    Messages: 6,042

    hours x hourly rate. Around here large trees pay 60+ a hour. [these are outdated numbers I am sure] If it is a large tree and you don't have the experiance to estimate the time it takes to trim it you probably have no business being in it.
  4. mdvaden

    mdvaden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,946

    Pruning should be bid by the job.

    You may not even need advice.

    Estimate the time - be sparing the first time or two - and multiply by what you think you are worth per hour.

    Then just do it and see how it came out.

    Pruning estimates are taught best by doing the work and learning how long projects take as you go.

    A hint - flowering plum and blue spruce are deceptive regarding how much debris you will end up with if you ever run across those.
  5. Coffeecraver

    Coffeecraver LawnSite Senior Member
    from VA.
    Messages: 793

    Prune the tree correctly

  6. mcclureandson

    mcclureandson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 242

    Couldn't agree more...estimate your time and apply whatever hourly rate you have set as a base. Over time, you will gain experience and learn to better judge how long a job will take. It's been my philosophy to risk leaving a small amount of money on the table to ensure I get the job/experience (starting out). It's also possible to set labor/job rates based on how full your own schedule is at the moment. When I am very busy and pressed for time, I charge accordingly.
  7. bottlefed89

    bottlefed89 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 243

    A few things that suprisingly haven't been mentioned yet..... Are you sure you are insured for tree work. If you didn't specifically mention it when you got your general liability ins. then you probably aren't.
    Secondly, you must charge according to your experience and overhead. That is why a pro-lawncare company can get away with charging more than the kid up the street.
    $60 would be a little on the low side for MOST projects I would do, but I am bringing a million dollar liability policy, several thouand dollars worth of equipment, years of knowledge, and training in proper tree care. If you are just begining, should you be charging the same rates??
    A lot of people on here would suggest you sub the first few tree jobs out, and watch and learn from them. Not a bad idea.
    Tree trimming is a good way to make some decent money, but when you don't know what you're doing its also a quick way to get yourself into a world of trouble.
    be careful
  8. richardlewis

    richardlewis LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    Maybe some of you haven't completely read my post. I DO have experience trimming trees and in other fields of landscaping. I worked at a nursery and did many jobs there. I have Commercial insurance and have explained everything I'm doing to my insurance company. The only question I had was what was a reasonable amount to charge and if there is a price structure you guys follow. I'm sorry if this sounds like I'm being rude, but everyone assumes because I asked a business question I don't know what I'm doing. Don't you guys remember what it was like when you first started your own business. Well I'm in that boat.
  9. Coffeecraver

    Coffeecraver LawnSite Senior Member
    from VA.
    Messages: 793

    "Can you tell me what a good price to charge for trimming a tree is."
    "What are some guidelines for pricing."

    These two questions can be answered when enough information is given.
    They do not imply that you have experience trimming trees.

    What is the reason for pruning?
    You did not state the type of pruning that you are doing?
    Are you chipping the brush or hauling it.?
    Are you using a pole saw or a chain saw?
    Will you be using help or will you do it alone?
    How much time do you think it will take?

    These questions must be considered in the pricing stage.
  10. bottlefed89

    bottlefed89 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 243

    Or maybe you haven't completely typed your post......

    Give us something to work with, and maybe one of us can help you.
    Nursery pruning and commercial tree trimming are two very different jobs.

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