Tree Work - Snapped Willow

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by Darryl G, Apr 24, 2011.

  1. Darryl G

    Darryl G Inactive
    Messages: 9,500

    I went to check on a property I do the mowing and spring/fall cleanups on to find that a relatively small Willow had snapped off and was laying in the lawn. This is a summer home for my customer so they were unaware of it. We exchanged voice mails and I was given the go-ahead to clean it up.

    They're the type of people that never ask the price of anything and I'm always fair with them. Usually I just bill on a time & materials basis. The thing is that I really don't do much of this type of work, but I did used to work as a groundman for a tree service so it's well within my ability.

    What I'm really wondering is whether you guys charge more for tree work since there is a bit more skill and danger involved than most other types of maintenance work. I also know that you're not going to get a tree service out to do anything in my area for under $500.

    Here's some what's this job worth...cut up, cleaned up and hauled away/disposed of. I've got about 3 hours into it including travel time and dump time. I'm thinking $225 labor and $75 for hauling/dispo so $300. I really don't think they'd find anyone to do it for less than that. Fair?

    BTW, I used a wheelbarrow to wheel the wood right up onto my dump trailer...I thought that was pretty clever/efficient. And I didn't do that plow damage to the lawn...the neighbor's plow guy did.

    Dupont Willow 001.jpg

    Dupont Willow 002.jpg

    Dupont Willow 004.jpg

    Dupont Willow 005.jpg

    Dupont Willow 007.jpg
  2. Dr.NewEarth

    Dr.NewEarth LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,476

    I think you're fair and have done a good job. That appears to be a pretty bad break.

    Your clients will appreciate your pictures in their e-mail.

    I believe they should have their trees looked at by a professional arborist.
    Although there are no direct targets, there appears to be potential for future problems with disease.

    If you get them to agree to a large scale pruning project by a sub-contractor,
    you can add say 10% for your administrative time. Just an idea.
  3. Darryl G

    Darryl G Inactive
    Messages: 9,500

    Yeah, snapped pretty bad...all rotted inside. I'd like to start with the shrubs against the house really...pretty overgrown.

    Dupont Willow 003.jpg
  4. Lefet

    Lefet LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,887

    Sounds fair to me also and very good photo documentation. We have a few properties we maintain where the clients are always away too, do the same thing. Would love to have more like them. Never ask price, always trust in your judgement and skill. GREAT clients!!
  5. Dr.NewEarth

    Dr.NewEarth LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,476

    Wow, that's some serious decay.

    Past poor pruning techniques can cause internal decay.
    Usually a tree compartmentalizes decay in four different directions.
    That could have been caused by many things.

    You can check the other trees for internal decay if you tap them with a hard mallet.

    Was that tree hit by an excavator or ride-on before, or has the ground water changed from construction? I wonder what caused such a problem?

    If any-one wants information on proper pruning techniques, and pretty much any-thing to do with tree care, health and "Alex Shigo" and you can also go to the ISA Website.

    I'm glad that didn't do any damage.
  6. Darryl G

    Darryl G Inactive
    Messages: 9,500

    According to the next door neighbor, the tree had fallen over years ago and was uprighted again...about all I know. I think it uprooted but maybe it cracked as well.

    These customers are elderly...I don't just mean senior citizens...I mean the wife is in her mid to late 80s and the husband well into his 90s. They seem to want to do the minimum required to keep the place presentable, so I don't think preventive care of trees would be on the list. It's been 2 years since the beds were even weeded and at least 3 years since any of the shurbs were purned. Very nice people though and easy to work for. They did have me repair drought damage to the lawn in the fall.

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