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$800+ to fell one oak... what about the others?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by SnapCracklePop, Nov 11, 2010.

  1. SnapCracklePop

    SnapCracklePop Feeling the Heat

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    Hi, Granny is back, and she's confused...

    A tree guy with cherry-picker, wood chipper, paid help, etc., quoted me something north of $800 to remove a forked oak that leans toward my house. My electric line passes by about 4 feet away. The $800 includes cutting wood into rounds (but now that I have a little chainsaw, I can do some of that myself). I gotta have this done sometime or risk getting squished in my sleep. Don't have the funds at the moment, but this sounds like money that will be well spent. Before I commit, though, I plan to get a couple more quotes.

    So, that's one tree.

    There are 10 other oaks on my property that I want to have brought down, and (sorry, guys & gals) I won't attempt this myself. Four are dead; several fork in a way that looks dangerous; one humongous, handsome fellow has a problem that killed all five of his bottom branches, and I'd say he's doomed. All 10 are potential widow-makers.

    My choices for these trees are (1) tree guy with his cherry-picker, etc., and a hefty fee or (2) someone yet to be determined who will, more economically, simply drop the trees.

    With tree guy, I know what I'm getting. If I hire Darrel and his other brother Darrel from Craig's List, then I wonder about little things like safety and homeowner's insurance...

    Crikey, is there a question in here? Yes. Several, in fact...

    (1) Does it make sense to cut down the 10 trees for firewood?

    (2) If so, which way makes more sense?

    (3) What am I overlooking?

    Thanks in advance. You guys rock.

    Nancy

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  2. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    If you need the firewood and can handle it after its drop I would think someone with insurance would drop 10 at one time for around 400-700 bucks.
  3. daveswoodhauler

    daveswoodhauler Minister of Fire

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    Most times there is a cost involved for the Tree Company to just come out to your lot....gas, equipment, labor for the helpers, etc...
    I had a company come out to drop a problem tree, and they did some other work on the property for a tiny amount more.
    I'm guessing that if the tree company knows that they are going to be out your place for a day of work, you will probably get a better price to have all the work done....last chat I had with my tree guy is that he didn't like jobs where all they bwere doing is dropping one tree....get another quote, and call the original company back and ask if they can give you a better price if you have all the work taken care of.
    Good luck
  4. blades

    blades Minister of Fire

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    That 800 buck or so is well spent considering all the clean up after it is down, grinding out stump and leveling and reseeding the area.
  5. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    Around here, I have never had a tree company at the house for less than $800. The price is probably about right. I agree that additional work will be cheaper if added to the first job rather than having them back another time.
  6. SnapCracklePop

    SnapCracklePop Feeling the Heat

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    Great feedback (but of course!).

    By the way, the $800 quote does NOT include stump grinding, reseeding, etc.

    Nancy
  7. CountryBoy19

    CountryBoy19 Minister of Fire

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    This^^^^

    A good chunk of that cost is transporting gear and crew to your place etc. Just like anything, you'll get a discount for more quantity just because it's more economical. You'll also get a lower quote if they have less work to do. Let them drop the trees and just chip the small stuff and it'll be quite a bit cheaper. Chipping the small stuff may put it north of $1k to do all the trees though.
  8. Shari

    Shari Minister of Fire

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    Nancy,

    Call the first guy back and tell him about all the trees you want down. Tell him you want stumps ground, debris removed and trunks/larger branches cut to what ever size your stove uses. Get a quote on all of this. You might be surprised at the price break he will give you for the whole kaboodle.

    Shari
  9. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

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    Nancy, I don't have answers for you, but I do enjoy reading your posts. :coolsmile:
  10. RNLA

    RNLA Minister of Fire

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    Hey there, I can give a professional opinion. I am fully licensed, bonded, & insured. I have 15 yrs. experience. I would say that is a good ball park figure. My crew and I are worth 150/ hr. I usually get that price. When you consider the overhead and the skill, it does cost a lot and is worth the price for a true pro with a lift. Just do your home work to make sure the contractor is fully insured and current with his requirements for industrial insurance
  11. bboulier

    bboulier Feeling the Heat

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    The advice offered by others regarding the additional trees seems very good. In Northern Virginia, we just had a "HUGE' maple cut down and cut into rounds 18'' to 22" in size (some as large as 24" by 36" in diameter) from someone who had done other very good tree work for us and our neighbors before. We also kept the ground mulch from the small branches. Cost = $800. Grinding the stump and removing some tree roots from the yard = $250. Now, it's time to extend my fall exercise program! (Have to say the Fiskar's Super Splitter is a big help.)
  12. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    I am not sure of what price you should expect to pay, but I'd suggest having all the larger wood cut to length. I think that is a normal part of the work, so shouldn't cost too much more, and it will be a big pain for you. Your 'little chainsaw' will do fine for smaller branches, but you'll spend forever cutting up the large diameter wood. If you have seen professionals tear through big logs with their professional saws, don't think it will work out as well for you.
  13. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Sad to say that the $800 is not overpriced, or at least it seems that way. Realize we are not there to see what it is like. I've done some tree trimming years ago and did it without cherry picker. That would certainly have been nice but we just made do. It took longer and we never had an accident nor caused a homeowner any heartaches. However, if I were to do that today, I would have the cherry picker and probably more help. I would charge that probably as a minimum.

    I can also just look a mile down the road from us where a neighbor had 3 huge white pines....all leaning towards the house. He finally decided to get them down although both of us felt we could handle the job. It did cost him $800.....per tree to have them removed. This only involved felling the trees and cutting them into 20' lengths. All cleanup was for the homeowner. Stump grinding was not even considered. He still feels good that the trees are down even though it was costly.

    On the other hand, another neighbor had a problem tree in the back yard. Yes, it was close to power lines. I removed the tree by myself and also cleaned up but no stump grinding. She offered me a lot; I smiled and thanked her for the firewood.

    Which got the better deal? What if something had gone wrong? Unanswered questions indeed.

    Oh yes, many did think this old man had no business up in that tree taking it down piece by piece. However, I did have good safety equipment but no close calls. Had fun actually.
  14. eujamfh

    eujamfh Member

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    We had one good size oak taken down that was dying next to the house and pool. Had to be climbed and taken in pieces. Also had a couple pines on the property that were dead and eventually would have taken out the cable/telephone line. Cable company essentially said not their problem - guess its cheaper to repair lines downed. Since I was heading overseas fora year, I wanted the stuff done so the wife would not have to deal with it while I was gone.

    We had a couple quotes, and they ranged from high end companies to the local CL yocal...I ended up calling the one licensed company in the middle who quoted $1200. Told him they could leave all the wood, just take the branches and chip in place (limiting their hauling). IN the end, they came down to $900 when I told them they could get to it whenever they wanted - use it to fill a day when they were lacking other jobs or were already in the area. Being flexible, and offering to help limit their hauling sealed the deal.

    At least where we are, you can negotiate a little if you can be flexible. Definitely take all the work you need in one shot - price break is huge if they are already there. Also echo the advice to buck to length...its nothing for them, and will save a lot of time and chain wear for you.
  15. SnapCracklePop

    SnapCracklePop Feeling the Heat

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    Yeah, getting them all done in one fell swoop (no pun intended, honest) makes the most sense. I am looking at having them done in the spring, before the leaves come out. Need some time between now and then to plug the hole in the cash-flow bucket. You probably know how that goes...

    I'm going to be getting so much exercise I won't know what to do with myself. Maybe it'll be like my own solo version of "The Biggest Loser." One can only hope...
  16. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Good luck Nancy, I hope this all works out well for you. Sorry I can't be there to help.
  17. Oldmainer

    Oldmainer Member

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    Hi Nancy...I would look for a serious amateur that burns wood...with helper...and a four wheel drive tractor of reasonable size... and have them remove your trees for you for the wood and a case of Bud. Unless the tree near the house is a serious leaner it can be made to go just where you want it to go with the tractor. Worth lookin' into. Oldmainer
  18. SnapCracklePop

    SnapCracklePop Feeling the Heat

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    Okay, in the interest of brevity, I omitted the fact that the oak by the house has been doctored with a steel cable and screws to hold the two tines of the fork together. This was done about 20 years ago by a different tree guy. Seems to me this is all the more reason to bring in the guy with the bucket, because he will take off all the branches first, then start whittling it down from the top. I know his routine; he's done several other trees for me.

    Yeah, there are several guys I could approach about the 10 out back. Only thing is, I want some of the wood for firewood, so it might take two cases of Bud...
  19. cptoneleg

    cptoneleg Minister of Fire

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    In Northern Virginia my brotherinlaw paid a tree co. $600.00 to drop 2 huge oak trees that had died around his house. They just safely took them down for this price left the mess. It was $1200.00 for cleanup and they wanted all the wood for that price. The tree guy sells firewood and made the statement he would of liked to hadthat good seasoned wood to sell. One tree was not completly dead had some leaves the other a couple of months.

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