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Shrub Pruning Estimate

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by 74baja, Mar 12, 2010.

  1. 74baja

    74baja LawnSite Member
    Messages: 16

    I have to give an estimate for pruning some shrubs and small trees. How do you usually quote a price for this? Hourly? By plant?
  2. dave50kate

    dave50kate LawnSite Member
    Messages: 27

    I count the plants by size, then estimate the time it'll take me to prune and clean up debris for a plant that size. Multiply them together, along with your labor rate, and add in debris dumping time and cost. Make sure your labor rate reflects your overhead expenses.
  3. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    Sometimes I charge by the houre + hauling fees, and sometimes a flat rate.

    Just depends on the situation.
  4. JeffNY

    JeffNY LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 257

    I charge by the hour, includes trimming cleanup, and dumping the trimmings.
  5. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,403

    By the hour here. I'm sure it leaves money on the table since I by habit work pretty fast, but it avoids those "you didn't take enough off/you left a few shrub leaves in the beds" kind of situations where you're then asked to come back and spend more time, since hey, it's a fixed cost. Charging by the hour, they amazingly always seem to find the job acceptable even if you didn't manage to get all the fragments up or turn their poorly shaped and long neglected shrubs into a topiary masterpiece. At $1/min they start to see the diminishing returns of trying to acheive perfection. At $xxx for the entire job they start finding flaws in your work.

    I charge a discounted rate in the winter to encourage them to have major shaping done when it's cool and I have the time/energy for it. Touch ups only in the mowing season. So you're talking jobs that are so quick the price really isn't relevant.

    So far in 19 years nobody has said anything about it being too expensive or that they're surprised at the price. But then I only do it for established customers and usually my price works out less than they expected.
    But I don't do "shrub city" type landscapes where the time adds up and my labor price might be higher than others.

    I'm not "artistic" and I'm sure others do it better. But so far zero complaints, ever, so I'm not going to start pricing jobs for perfection to cover the few people who seem to care about it. Jobs I can do well and quickly for $60 I might easily charge double on if I thought I'd be on the hook for any flaws and subject to come-backs to deal with their feedback.

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