Untrimmed trees

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by rustyb265, Jul 26, 2006.

  1. rustyb265

    rustyb265 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 67

    I just have a question for all the professionals out there. THis is my first year in the business and I only do it part time. (About 10 lawns) I have a separate full time job. I cut the lawn at a house that is right on the water. THe whole back yard it full of trees, (oakes, maples, pines) and they have not been trimmed in what looks like 50 years. All of the lower branches are hanging on the ground. I am just currious how you guys handle this. At first I took the time to make sure I got the mower under all of them, but I am now getting tired of getting scratches and cuts on my arms and also potentially damaging my equipment. SO the last two cuts I have just gone around them. THe owner is rarely around and I have actually never talked to him. I just send him a bill and he pays it. I am just currious how you guys handle this with branches hanging withing 3 feet of the ground. I think I will just continue to go around them and if he complains tell him he needs ot have them trimmed before I will cut under them. THanks for any advice.
  2. Brendan Smith

    Brendan Smith LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,195

    how large are they and how much of a pita is disposal? if they are lopper size and it'll only take a few minutes and disposal isn't a problem, just do it. you have the perfect customer there (never around and pays on time). if it's too much, if you're capable of doing it, give him an estimate and the reasons for doing it (maybe throw in some bs to make it beneficial for him too).
  3. Mrk'sLawn

    Mrk'sLawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 133

    Take em down and get them out of the way. It will look better and make it easier to mow the property in the future. Usually, if I run into that, I'll just recommend to the owner that they should be removed and they almost always agree...
  4. dcondon

    dcondon LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,246

    If it's a pain to mower under I would just go around them. I have talked some people this year into trimming the trees up. I did one that I could leave the branches there and did not charge anything. The reason being because it saved me a lot of time trimming around them or mowing.
  5. 29 Palms Property Management

    29 Palms Property Management LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 347

    I'm guessing they are not lopper size! But sure, I would definitely draw up an estimate, if you feel you can and want to do this job, and present it to the customer. If the customer accepts, it's a good paying gig and it'll help you out mowing every time you visit. If declined, keep going around them. Nothing lost. Worth a try.
  6. martinfan06

    martinfan06 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 631

    If its something that wont be a big job just cut whats in your way and haul off the limbs. I wouldn't charge a good paying client for something thats really only benefiting me.

    Now that said if its something thats going to take more than like an hour I wouldnt do that for free.
  7. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    Do NOT by any means cut ANYTHING until you get a confirmation from the owner, and don't do it at no charge, either. Here's what we do...
    Draw up an estimate like this. Because it is costing more work and time, the charge of $x.xx will have to be charged - especially considering the injury/safety factor. However, enclosed is a proposal for the proper trimming and lift of these trees to not only help the health of the trees, the enhance the appearance of the property, but also ease the maintenance of the surrounding areas.
    Now, what you do, is you make sure the price for the future maintenance is good incentive for them to pay for the price of the trimming. In other words, pric the future maintenance costs igh enough that it is worthwhile for them to just have the trees done right. When they give the approval, do the work immediately (as soon as possible). Every week that goes by and the limbs aren't trimmed, this is costing you money in tome doing around them.
  8. martinfan06

    martinfan06 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 631

    NO OFFENSE what so ever runner I respect your post as a seasoned professional in this industry. If Im the client and ive been a good 1 and my LCO sends me a letter stating that this FEE MUST BE APPLIED thats not going to go over well with me. 1st thing I would say is "those trees were there when you bid this property thats something you should have considered". 2nd I dont HAVE TO DO ANYTHING. Now maybe if it is going to be a JOB approach me in the way of "hey by any chance can we work something out with the low hanging limbs in back of the property". Maybe if he couldnt pay all at once work out some payments. What Im trying to say is take care of the people that take care of you. Now thats going off info of I send him a bill and he pays without complaint thats a good client. ONCE AGAIN JMO.
  9. lawnmaniac883

    lawnmaniac883 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,613

    If I were in your shoes, I would send the owner a letter or drop in mailbox that strongly recommends he have his trees professionally trimmed. If you have used a tree service in your area then recommend them and give their name/number in your letter. Be kind yet forward and to the point. If these trees are not trimmed make it clear that you are no longer responsible for mowing under or trimming around the trees. The owner is neglecting his property and you need to let him know that.

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