Tree cutting help...estimates, height calculation

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by jester77_00, Jun 17, 2008.

  1. jester77_00

    jester77_00 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    Can anyone help me on figuring out what to charge for cutting down some trees, and, if it's not too much to ask, give me some advice as where to start the cutting?

    Should I cut all the limbs off first and then start cutting 3 ft. sections from the top to about the halfway point, and then fell the rest?

    I've researched tree felling and the three different notch cuts, the Open-Faced, the Conventional and the Humbolt, but I'm not really sure where to start on taller trees that don't have a perfectly clear path around them so that I can fell the whole tree.

    There are four trees that they're asking me to bid on, and they're asking me for two seperate bids. One bid is for the three pretty tall trees together. They're not asking for complete bucking or haul-away, they just want it down on the ground. The second bid is for the first tree and the medium-sized cedar together, with limbing, bucking and haul-away of the cedar only.

    Common sense tells me I should cut this first one down until I reach the major curve at about the halfway point, but should I use rope(s), should I cut it part of the way and then pull it in the direction I want it to go in until it breaks off the rest of the way? Do you guys/girls have any advice on this?

    As you can see in the pictures, this job is in a cemetery, and the trees are in very close proximity to the headstones, etc., so I have to be careful not to drop any big sections down on the headstones and break them, or I'll be giving away the money I just made!

    Also, I'm not really all that sure of how tall the 3 taller trees are, but I was thinking of renting a 50 ft. man-lift to do this job with. Will that get me high enough? Is there something else that would work better, and that won't increase my bid too much?

    I priced the man-lift at a local rental company and they charge $175-4 hr. and $270-24hr. I estimate it shouldn't take any more than 4 hours/tree for the 3 tall trees and maybe 1-2 hours for the smaller cedar. Is this a good ballpark estimate? How much to charge for man-hours? Are two people enough?

    Obviously, safety is the first and foremost priority on this job. Please give your thoughts and opinions guys and girls! All your advice is greatly appreciated!!

    Cheers! :drinkup:

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  2. jester77_00

    jester77_00 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    By the way, the 1st tree has a 2' dia., the 2nd has a 3' dia., the 3rd has a 2.5' dia. and the smaller cedar is about 20" in dia. if that makes a difference.

    Thanks again guys and girls!!
  3. KGR landscapeing

    KGR landscapeing LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,544

    call a tree company and let them do it. if you have to ask you dont have the know how to do it and probably dont have the insurance. the last one i would just drop up in the the yard the first one i would top then drop straight where your standing. the other one would need theshoot cut off or its gonna roll no matter what you do. the other one probably needs toppd too cause it could get alittle crazy ok i mixd those up alittle. i should of numberd but call a tree company
  4. k911lowe

    k911lowe LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 526

    same as always time and materials except double on time because of the danger.
  5. JimmyStew

    JimmyStew LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 367

    Why are people so afraid to say "I'm sorry but we don't offer that particular service"?

    If you have to ask that many questions about felling a few trees, you are in no way qualified to do that work. I mean really, I wouldn't have even wasted my time going out to look at that job. I would have told them over the phone that they need to call a licensed arborist to do the work.

    And by, the way, if they called you and not an tree company, its probably because they want it done cheap, and there's a reason that tree companies don't work cheap. Coincidentally, its the same reason why you shouldn't be doing this job!
  6. LawnVet

    LawnVet LawnSite Member
    from SE MI
    Messages: 220

    At first I was going to offer the same advice as the rest. I really could only stomach the first few lines then skim the rest. I was really hoping you were going to show pics of the trees out in the middle of a field or know, where people with half a brain get their first experience in this type of field.
    Now I have to admitt that I have never worked for a tree-only company and that most of my experience is from 18 years on a farm, a B.S. in Forestry and 6 years doing tree climbing/felling, etc. I would climb those trees (with proper equipment = well over $1k) and take my jolly good time tying everything off. Even if you find a lift you sure as heck aren't going to know how to safely tie off and ease these (much heavier than you are thinking) limbs to the ground.

    I won't offer the same advice as the I've stated. Instead I will tell you this...If you even consider doing this job for a second after reading this you are an absolute moron and will likely die or be maimed or do so to someone else. How is that different? I can't be as polite.

    Find a good tree only company and start having them bid your work to you - sub it out...just make sure their insured and good at what they do- that is the only way you should be making a buck off of trees.
  7. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,341

    I have cut trees all my life, I dont have the equipment to do this job and wouldnt touch it. The big dead tree already has the bark slipping and what looks like woodpecker holes allover it. I wouldnt even consider trying to climb it. This is a widow maker waiting to happen. A bucket truck is the best way to handle that tree. Let someone that does this type of tree removeal for a living take them down and live another day.
  8. PerfectEarth

    PerfectEarth LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,734

    Exactly. Sorry, but some people are just not that bright.... and you wonder why our industry gets a bad rap. This is like "Mr. Fix-It Sink Repair LLC" bidding on building a nuclear reactor.
  9. DBL

    DBL LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,219

    if youve never done tree work before that surely isnt the right tree to start took us many trees and classes to learn what we know and there are still trees i say no to. have a professional come in and the best thing you can do is watch
  10. grandview (2006)

    grandview (2006) LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,465

    I said before get a tree service to do the work and add30% to the bill.Your not covered for tree cutting anyway.Break one of those gravestones and it will cost you more then what you'll make on it. As others said it's ok to say no to it,but I have a company that handles this type of work.

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