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Tree Prices

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by theguynextdoor, May 1, 2008.

  1. theguynextdoor

    theguynextdoor LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 276

    I am planting a 1.5 inch tree for someone. It cost 170 at the nursery, i got it for 115 with my discount. I picked it up, paid for it, brought it to the house, and will be planting it. What should I charge for it. I am also going to give her a 1 year warranty. I was thinking at least twice the price of the tree for planting, delivery, warranty. It won't take long to dig the hole, fill it with some compost soil, and stake it.

    What do you guys charge for plant installs, including 1 year warranty? The nursery doesn't give warranties to landscapers, but I would like to have a 1 year on all plant installs.

  2. Surferbum21

    Surferbum21 LawnSite Senior Member
    from SW OKC
    Messages: 392

    I would only warranty if you go and water it for the first few weeks. that is the optimal time. In all honesty I wouldn't warranty the tree. If the dealer doesn't you shouldn't. I just put a bald cypress tree in my house that cost $250 (on liquidation and discout) and I would have charged at least that for delivery and installation. I would charge the original price and not the real price. You think it may take you not very long but you never know. Plus you'll pay an extra $20-25 in more top soil and stakes to put it in with.
  3. Lawnworks

    Lawnworks LawnSite Fanatic
    from usa
    Messages: 5,407

    The labor for planting just one tree is going to be a little high. There is no way to be efficient. I would charge $200-$250 to install.
  4. treedoc1

    treedoc1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 319

    double retail = $340
    that should cover your expenses for a single item planting and will work on anything in the future until you get into larger involved projects where labor rates and overhead issues become more of a concern.

    And in advance of the comments, yes doubling an expensive plant like a jap maple even though the hole is the same size as a cheaper plant is correct. more time to pick out, transport with care, site, and guarantee.

    Who else will plant a single tree...not most landscaping companies...so charge accordingly. Most people if they truly track their time will spend 3 hours on a plant pickup and delivery, going to the nursery, delivering and installing. That $340 less expenses of $115 and gas and amendments nets you $200. Anymore than 3 hours from starting your truck up at home to turning your truck of when you get back home, you are not going to be in business long.
  5. Isobel

    Isobel LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 548

    retail double doesn't just work for everything.
    Is the nursery a whole sale or retail operation.?

    If its retail and you just got a discount, I wouldn't go higher than the retail price they sell it at. B/c if you're too high, then the client could just complain about how they can get it for less if they bought it. Also something to keep in mind is how much the retail price is for a tree like that--you don't want to end up being $100 over the average retail price, b/c that looks bad.

    With a wholesale operation, the public usually aren't allowed in--at least around here they're not. So the client would never know how cheap you got this tree.

    Also, what kind of tree is it, and what size is the rootball--or is it in a container?
  6. escient

    escient LawnSite Member
    Messages: 105

    Definitely DON'T warranty the tree...

    You never know what they'll do to it...

    They might nail it with their trimmer... They might stack red mulch along the bark (which can kill some small freshly planted trees) They might never water it. Heck - you might not even plant it right!

    Too many possibilities for you to end up buying a planting a new tree...
  7. Isobel

    Isobel LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 548

    I always warranty the tree, even though my wholesaler doesn't.

    But there are certain limits to my warranty and they are spelled out when we sign the contract. The client has to agree to care for the tree in accordance to the care sheet that we give them. and we also spell out that we aren't responsible for large amount of die off due to insects or fungus.

    I'd warranty it. In my 8 years landscaping, after hundreds of clients, I've only had maybe 5 warranty claims.
  8. Merlin300

    Merlin300 LawnSite Member
    from Zone 5
    Messages: 156

    I would not buy from a nursery that does not warranty their plants. I give a limited one year warranty. I also give a life time warranty on plants I install, if they hire me every year to do bed maintenance. If they cancel the yearly maintenance agreement, the warranty is over. Great way to keep steady income.
  9. P.Services

    P.Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,319

    make sure to supply them with a tree gator.
  10. theguynextdoor

    theguynextdoor LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 276

    The place I got it is a nursery, and they do warranty their plants for regular customers, just not for wholesale landscapers, which is what I am. 115 was the wholesale price for landscaper accounts. I also spent 20 dollars on compost/topsoil, tree stakes, etc for the tree. The tree has a good size rootball. It took me and a friend, whos pretty big to move it on a dolly cart. It's heavy enough where you can't slilde it on the ground or anything.

    Thanks for the input.

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