tree removal help with price

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by 1999frontier, Jul 21, 2006.

  1. 1999frontier

    1999frontier LawnSite Senior Member
    from NC
    Messages: 562

    This lady calls me the other day and wants me to give her a price quote on removing 3 trees. I asked her how big they were and she said they are probably about 5ft tall. I haven't looked at the job yet but I was wondering how you would price something like that? Just a ballpark figure. Can anyone help me out?:confused:
  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,652

    Well first you need to go out and take a look, come back and tell us what these trees are like, then we can help.

    Somehow I can't see someone asking a commercial outfit for help with 5-foot saplings, but that's just me.
    And no you don't ballpark this stuff, what if you do and then you go out there with all your equipment and it turns out to be three 20-foot tall firs? What if they're 50 feet tall and you done told the lady some ridiculously low price based on 5-foot things?
    You know what happens?
    NO, you can't just raise your price because she won't go for that so at that point you're done either way you look at it:
    1) You might can get another 10-20 percent out of her if you're willing to pull teeth, then you can work for free so that you can cover the cost of your truck and equipment for going out there like a blind fool (been there, just recently too LOL).
    2) You can leave, and eat the cost of the truck and equipment (it costs me 15 dollars to make a stop somewhere, so this bites too).
    That puts you between a rock and a hard place, customers love to see that, ohhhh yes.

    Forget that, you ALWAYS need to look at the job before you discuss prices, either drive past there enroute between jobs in your truck, or use your car.
  3. 1999frontier

    1999frontier LawnSite Senior Member
    from NC
    Messages: 562

    I'm going to go look at it on Monday. I would never give her or anybody else a price without looking at the job first. I was just getting an idea what to charge based on what I was told. If it is taller than she says I won't give her a price that day anyway.
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,652

    Ok that's cool, sorry but it's the 'starting in business' forum and I'm afraid of what to advise because:

    If they're really only 5 feet tall, that's just three tiny saplings, you could likely snip them with lopers but even with the chain saw it shouldn't take all of 5 minutes to clip and haul them to your trailer... You probably can almost load them in the back of the pickup but anyway, I'd still charge the minimum $35 (but I was afraid you'd quote her this before you went out to look heheh)...

    Now if she wants them uprooted, watch out... It likely will take you 30-45 minutes to uproot each and every one of them, even if they look freshly planted, I've had my tail kicked by those little root systems before: 150 for uprooting (but again you got to go look first). On this part, you can tell her it may be less if it doesn't take as long, but it has a lot to do with how long ago they were planted and don't let fresh looking soil fool you, I honestly would say in this case you can not give a lower price until after you are done because you can not see what is under the surface. You might be pleasantly surprised if you can pull them out in one piece single-handed, but like I said, I've spent 45 minutes with a little 6-footer before and the soil looked like it had been recently dug around.

    And go from there, yeah I still suspect something is fishy... Just odd, but you never know, it really could be just 3 really tiny trees you can snip + haul in no time flat, if that is the case you could even do it for $30 and still be ok.

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,534

    5' tall?? grab by the trunk and pull, throw them in the garbage can and tell her $200.00. :laugh: :laugh:

    I can not see 5 foot trees being that hard. Now if they are a bush, could be a lot of work, Check the drip line. that matters.
  6. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,858

    Well if they are 5' elm or mullberry trees... there's likely to be 5' to 10' of ROOTS under them! Clipping them off and leaving them is pointless as in 3 weeks they are 3' tall again. Clip them off and hit them with a little shot of Tordon. Stuff does work wonders, no need to remove the root then.

Share This Page