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Need tree removal advice

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by chazcarr, Sep 30, 2013.

  1. chazcarr

    chazcarr Feeling the Heat

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    My FIL has a large 3 story dead elm on his property. Trunk is about 4-5 feet radius that goes up about 10 feet before splitting into three directions. It is not within range of anything important.

    He is retired, and on a tight budget. Stubborn as can be as well. He called two tree services to have it dropped. He knows I will come collect everything from there so he won't have them clean up. Tree is dead so mostly just trunk at this point and not many limbs.

    He was quoted $900 and $1000 to drop the tree.

    With that in mind, is that a good price for this work in CT? Reason I ask is that he is currently looking to rent a chainsaw and take it down himself. I don't want him hurting himself (or worse asking me for help and putting me in a weird spot).

    Second, if he cannot find anyone for a decent (in his mind) price, is there a good resource for tree cutting out there that I can direct him to?

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  2. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    Not sure about local prices, but $1K for what amounts to a chop and drop sounds high to me. If they don't need to take it down in pieces by climbing or using a bucket truck, and there's nothing in the vicinity to hit, it should be pretty straightforward job.
  3. Jon1270

    Jon1270 Minister of Fire

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    I'm guessing this is a misstatement. if the trunk were actually 8-10 feet in diameter then I'd expect it to be rather expensive to take down...
    Joful likes this.
  4. red oak

    red oak Minister of Fire

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    I don't know about the price, but if he is not really experienced at taking down trees I would do all in my power to try to steer him away from that. Is there someone you know who IS experienced who can come at least look at the tree and give pointers?

    Also, be very aware, as you say the tree is dead, of dead limbs or branches that could fall while cutting. From what you describe, that would be my biggest concern. They don't call them "widowmakers" for nothing!
    Fifelaker, Thistle and Beer Belly like this.
  5. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    I would venture to say that price is ridiculous. Most times those that are in groups of 3 are some very easy cutting. The stopper is that it is 10' up if you want to cut the three down separately and that is right. For someone who knows what they are doing, this is a very simple job. I've done that using just a front end loader on a tractor. Quick and easy. When it is done, you'll have some fine firewood.

    I hope these elm have the bark fallen off. If so, that makes the wood much, much easier to handle and split. Might have to sharpen the chain a bit more often but it is worth it.
    Thistle likes this.
  6. chazcarr

    chazcarr Feeling the Heat

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    Yup, diameter. I hate math.

    Also, yes most of the bark is off.

    I was trying to see if I could get him to rent a lift instead to get the three splits individually. He is a newish grandfather now and his concern is the dead limbs falling on the grand-kids.
  7. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Just be sure that the dead limbs don't fall on the grandfather . . .

    My experience with Connecticut is that things seem to be a bit more expensive there . . . but that said . . . as others have said . . . the prices seem a bit high for an easy drop from your description.
  8. Beer Belly

    Beer Belly Minister of Fire

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    That does seem a little steep, especially just to drop, with nothing in the way....I had what started out as two Ash dropped with obstructions for $1200...ending up taking two Maples the Ash got caught up in also....so I'm thinking it's a little high, but not ridiculous
  9. jeffesonm

    jeffesonm Feeling the Heat

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    Keep looking around... I'm down in central NJ where prices are comparable. My neighbor was getting similar quotes to drop a few standing dead trees in his yard and ended up finding a guy who dropped them for $400... guy was experienced, but works alone... all he does is drop trees, it's up to you to clean them up.
    chazcarr likes this.
  10. notenuff

    notenuff Member

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    In North Jersey here you can't get a "real" (insured!) tree service to cut anything for under a grand. So i imagine those prices are, if not reasonable, the going rate for CT. I have a guy as well that works in the 400 -500 dollar range but he is just a solo act and does it on the side (works for a large tree removal service full time) and ive known him and his regular employer long enough to trust him on my property but i don't know if I would keep looking around and have someone off the street come in and do treework for that price.
    chazcarr likes this.
  11. Applesister

    Applesister Minister of Fire

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    I paid $450.00 to have an Elm dropped and bucked by a tree guy. I called all the local companies and they were all in that ballpark. The tree was literally growing on the side of a metal building. Over 50% of the tree was hanging over the roof.
    The guy used a pickup truck, a rope and a Forester Stihl saw.
    Something on a building is the reason I went with someone with Insurance. Get a certificate of Insurance from whoever you get.
  12. TreeCo

    TreeCo Member

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    That would make a good training video on YouTube! LOL.
    Backwoods Savage and chazcarr like this.
  13. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    $1k sounds like a tree service that's estimated coming in with heavy equipment - crane / branch chippers / stump grinder.

    I paid $900 to have 3 huge pines taken down - adding 4 more trees a half mile down the street was no additional cost as he had to truck all the equipment and pay the guys for a whole day anyway.
    ( all the trees had to be taken down in pieces by a climber - something I couldn't do as they couldn't be dropped whole )


    Were these sight un seen estimates ?
    Because that's what they sound like.
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2013
  14. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    I got tired of reading replies half way down, so forgive me if this has already been stated. It seems most are saying $1000 is high, without even having seen the situation. I'll take the opposite view, in that you/he received TWO prices from TWO independent companies, and both were the same (within 10%). Obviously there's more to this job, than those on this forum have assumed, without ever seeing the tree.
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2013
    AnalogKid likes this.
  15. chazcarr

    chazcarr Feeling the Heat

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    Yes, I should try to get pictures. I will see when I can get over there again.
  16. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    An excellent reason for getting them down. Also an excellent reason to be aware when cutting those trees! Dead limbs can kill people. Cutting a dead tree also makes a lot of vibration all the way up those trees. That could indeed cause some dead limbs to break. So these are good reasons to get the trees down. How you do that is up to you.
  17. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Dennis, you would remember better than me, but wasn't there a member pretty much paralyzed by a limb coming out of a tree he was cutting? Seems to me it was right around the time I joined here.
  18. chazcarr

    chazcarr Feeling the Heat

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    Yes, I read those threads. I don't really want him to cut it down himself, but he will. He is that type of person, and if he does, I will be there to make sure it is as safe as possible.

    I am coming up with a new plan where I drop the three splits and leave the trunk. That should make him happy. Ten feet up isn't too far for me. I just have to plan the best attack so it wont tag me on the way down. I am thinking roping it to a nearby tree so it can't swing back at me.
  19. Newwave

    Newwave Member

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  20. Newwave

    Newwave Member

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    To state the obvious; it seems like a lot of potential downside (injury and pain) to save a few hundred bucks. Best option may be find a pro who is insured and pay the man and be done with it.
  21. tomahawk

    tomahawk Member

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    I must be missing something here. Do you want to take it down or just take some limbs off. If all you are doing is falling the tree then $1000 seems high without actually seeing it. If someone has to climb up and start taking things down bit by bit then I can see where that bill would come from. My advise - if it's dead and can be fell without hitting anything then stay on the ground and cut it down. Someone who doesn't have a lot of experience felling a tree before should probably not take on a large, dead elm yet without some help.
  22. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    That would be gooserider. I saw him a couple years ago at Woodstock. He'll be in the wheelchair but fortunately he was doing much better. To be honest, I have not heard much about him lately. If you PM BrotherBart or Craig I'm sure they could answer more questions about Goose.
    Joful likes this.
  23. AnalogKid

    AnalogKid Burning Hunk

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    A grand is basically a starting point for any moderate tree work in CT done by a licensed, legitimate tree service. If you wanted it bucked and limbs chipped the price probably wouldn't even go up that much. They are almost always busy so turning down work to them is a non-issue. Of course there are exceptions, but those quotes seem accurate w/o even seeing the tree.

    That said, what town in CT is this tree? I may be able to help point you in the right direction.
  24. chazcarr

    chazcarr Feeling the Heat

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    He lives in Waterbury.
  25. tsquini

    tsquini Minister of Fire

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    So there is something around it? That thing may not be important to you, but could it be important to your neighbor? If it is just open space. I don't think it would cost that much.

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