price for dropping two trees

trguitar

Feeling the Heat
Dec 2, 2011
265
Harvard, MA
I have two red maples that are a little close to the house, that I'm not comfortable taking down myself. One is about 12" diameter, and the other is about 16". The 16" had a second trunk that split off and fell winter a year ago, so it's split at the bottom. It's about 60' tall. The 12" is maybe 30' tall.

I just had a guy out to look at them. He quoted $400 to drop both of them. I said he only needs to drop them, and I'll cut them up. That seems pricey to me, but I don't know for sure. He said he would climb them, rope them, and drop them.

Is this a good price?

Thanks!
 

Jan Pijpelink

Minister of Fire
Jan 2, 2015
1,820
South Jersey
I have two red maples that are a little close to the house, that I'm not comfortable taking down myself. One is about 12" diameter, and the other is about 16". The 16" had a second trunk that split off and fell winter a year ago, so it's split at the bottom. It's about 60' tall. The 12" is maybe 30' tall.

I just had a guy out to look at them. He quoted $400 to drop both of them. I said he only needs to drop them, and I'll cut them up. That seems pricey to me, but I don't know for sure. He said he would climb them, rope them, and drop them.

Is this a good price?

Thanks!
Over here they ask up to $1500+++ to drop an 80 ft Oak and leave it in large rounds. $400 is cheap I think.
 
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Dataman

Minister of Fire
Sep 10, 2018
699
Newport, Wa
Too cheap. I would expect about 800 or more each tree. Last big one I had taken out (big pine) had to be taken out in pieces with each segment lifted out of fenced yard. He hauled away everything but big trunk and I burned that for heat.
 

redyute

Feeling the Heat
Dec 4, 2015
351
southern maryland
Sounds way to cheap if you ask me, is he climbing it or boom trucking it. Iwas quoted $1500 for this one in the pic below but dude did it for $550 cause he did three others around the back of the house the same day so he gave me a good deal. I still ended up verifying his insurance before he did anything
tree.jpg
 

Enplater

Member
Jun 6, 2017
127
NH
Not sure about pricing but I would just verify his insurance. I have a huge oak branch growing over my deck and I know I could drop it myself but I’m no expert and will have the peace of mind when someone with insurance takes it down.
 

Eureka

Burning Hunk
Feb 4, 2018
249
NW Wisconsin
That’s way cheap. Like the kind of price you get if your buddy is a tree guy and risks his life climbing your trees. Go for it if he’s legitimate.
 

trguitar

Feeling the Heat
Dec 2, 2011
265
Harvard, MA
Thanks guys!

It's interesting to compare this vs. buying cut/split wood. I can buy cut/split oak for $200/cord. But, these two trees together will be maybe 1 cord. So, I'm paying twice as much to have someone just drop the trees, while I cut them up, than it would be for me to just stack already bought wood dumped in my driveway.

On the other hand, if those trees ever fell on the house, it would be more. :)
 

Tar12

Minister of Fire
Dec 9, 2016
1,594
Indiana
Your trees are not that big...I think he is giving you a very fair price on them...
 
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TreePointer

Minister of Fire
Sep 22, 2010
3,089
PA
The big pain for a tree service is hauling out equipment (dump truck, trailering a tractor/skidsteer, chipper, stump grinder, fuel, etc.) and drivers for all them. In a removal there's also a lot of labor (loading all those pieces in the dump truck and chipping) and paying for a place to dump it. Stump grinding also involves the cost of maintaining the equipment after destructive wear on the teeth.

If you only need two trees dropped with no removal and no stump grinding, then you only need the climber and a groundie coming out in a pickup truck. With that being stated, you're definitely getting a fair price and possibly a very good price for your region.

They usually give a good price when you pay cash. ;)
 
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Beer Belly

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2011
2,184
Connecticut
I have two red maples that are a little close to the house, that I'm not comfortable taking down myself. One is about 12" diameter, and the other is about 16". The 16" had a second trunk that split off and fell winter a year ago, so it's split at the bottom. It's about 60' tall. The 12" is maybe 30' tall.

I just had a guy out to look at them. He quoted $400 to drop both of them. I said he only needs to drop them, and I'll cut them up. That seems pricey to me, but I don't know for sure. He said he would climb them, rope them, and drop them.

Is this a good price?

Thanks!
Will he travel to SW Connecticut ?......as long as he has proof of insurance, I'd jump on it.
 

Dataman

Minister of Fire
Sep 10, 2018
699
Newport, Wa
Not sure about pricing but I would just verify his insurance. I have a huge oak branch growing over my deck and I know I could drop it myself but I’m no expert and will have the peace of mind when someone with insurance takes it down.

The Insurance is almost worthless. It's Insurance Policy and to claim it you need to have Lawsuit. Insurance does like like to pay out. They will fight it. I went after contractor. Took almost 2 years and cost me $6k in Lawyer Fees to get 12k Insurance. They paid 13k on the 12k Policy and Contractor paid 3k for total of 16k.

I had my Deep Well Destroyed by Concrete.
Mail box Plowed over and Destroyed twice (2nd time in pieces)
Plowed in by Big Berm of snow
Over 13lb of Nails in Driveway (I quit weighting them at 13lb). To this day I can get nail or 2. He used scrap crap he had around. Lucky he did not use alum roofing tacks.

To this day I go out Armed with 45acp 911.

This guy did work for me for years. Trees, Driveway Plow, Rocks in driveway. When he built building had Inspector write him up. He claimed I "Made it Up". 2 Pages of writeups.

I sued him for 64k and settled for 16k. I wanted him to feel like he Won too. If it came down to one on one I would lose. He's retired Professional Boxer.

Been 6+ years no more problems. Have walked right past him twice.

Yes I checked Labor and Industries for his record of Business. Clean. He would just get new business number and clean record. Better check was Court System and see arrest record and such. He spent time in jail (knifed his wife).

On the Plus Side.

Got New Deep Well for 19 year old well and pump
Lots of Exercise walking our 1000ft driveway with magnets push bar
Next Door has tractor and cleared the berm out in few min. Best plow job we ever had that 200ft he plowed into big berm.
He paid for everything in the end. Even our Insurance Deductible on Well. I figured we came out on top money wise. We still owed 3k on building and never paid him. Cost 12k to fix building, 6k lawyer and 3k we saved. So money ahead.

But the Bond/Insurance is almost worthless. 12k is max bond in WA State. Like that covered big tree on your house damages. No
 

blades

Minister of Fire
Nov 23, 2008
3,459
WI, Leroy
an acquaintance is in litigation with ins co., modular home ( i think old mobile) new roof put on last year -peaked style- bituminous shingle , sidewall caved in from snow load I believe on roof. local building inspector ok'd project done commercially. Ins does not want to pay for repairs- after him paying ins bill on property for the past 30 years and no other claims. Typical

As a side note - IFRC most of those older mobile homes only had 2x2 for side walls. i know when i had mine (1980) and the park mangement wanted all the places to have peaked roofs , i checked with mfg of same- Engineer said no -not able to support said style roof- which was fine with me.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
4,114
Downeast Maine
Wow, those are some real nightmares. That might keep me up at night! Thankfully I don't have any neighbors, so I can just winch the trees away from the house with my tractor and a snatch block if any become suspect.

Totally off topic, but my wife works with someone who's house burned down due to a bad pellet stove. She and her husband were retired (wife is a nurse and went back to work after the fire) and lost everything. Their insurance paid out and they are moving into their new house soon. Sometimes they do come through.
 

CountryBoy19

Minister of Fire
Jul 29, 2010
962
Southern IN
IMHO, if he has to climb them and rope them down then yes, that's a good deal.

That being said, are they leaning over the house etc? In many cases, as long as they aren't rotten/dead, leaning heavily over a building, or there are obstructions in the falling path they can be dropped pretty easily from the stump.

I once had some friends (and their friends/neighbors as well) with trees in open areas that they wanted dropped, only 3 of the 9 were a risk to anything, 1 was a solid living hickory next to an animal hut, 1 was a dead, mostly rotten one next to animal fence, and 1 was a very large dead oak of questionable integrity that would have just touched the neighbors house with the tips of the top branches IF the hinge broke and it fell to the heavy side. I charged $25/tree and got a verbal ok from the neighbor (friend of my friends) that if the hinge broke on the oak the tree may brush their house coming down and possibly ding the spouting etc. They were more than ok with that. In the end, the only one that ended up being a problem was the small dead, rotten one near the fence. Hinge broke and it went the wrong way, thankfully it hung in another tree which saved the fence. I was able to cut it in a way that brought it down without damaging the fence and all was well. They were happy, I was happy... until I got home. It was one of those super hot, high-90's August days but I was busy and that was the only time I could get to them. I got home expecting to relax in some chilly AC and found out my AC quit working while I was gone... it SUCKED.

That being said, I say that to point out that it is SUPER easy to drop a tree from the stump. If there is any way to do it, whether it's you or a different tree service that thinks they're capable then that will be much cheaper than climbing and roping it down. But that is all dependent on the trees and w/o pics none of us can really make a call like that.
 

Dug8498

Feeling the Heat
Jun 20, 2018
259
Southern NH
That’s probably about par, or maybe even a bit cheaper, for a climber to come out and drop some trees around here. Any company bringing a truck/ crane/ crew would charge a lot more than that.




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Woody5506

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2017
770
Rochester NY
For some perspective, I got to know a local tree guy after scrounging wood from him a couple years back. As it turns out, we have mutual friends so we ended up becoming "kinda friends" but I've had him take down a total of 12 or so trees at my house on 3 separate occasions. Seems to me each job got cheaper and cheaper. One of the jobs was 5 good sized pines (maybe 16" diameter for the biggest and 60-70ft tall) and a Mulberry that was about 20" diameter at the trunk. All wood decent wood left on the ground for me and he chipped brush and hauled that away. Got it done in the dead of winter and was charged $800 total. Never was sure if that was a buddy deal, the slow season price, or what, but it seemed awfully cheap to me. Especially because the trees had power lines on one side, and my shed on the other. It wasn't a very simple job.
 

Zack R

Feeling the Heat
Sep 27, 2017
387
Sisters, OR
flic.kr
Check insurance, stop by the ATM and hire the guy already! Even if the actual work doesn't take all that long he still has to maintain a business, equipment, vehicle, employees, etc so it seems very reasonable.
 

trguitar

Feeling the Heat
Dec 2, 2011
265
Harvard, MA
20190415_172554.jpg

Here are some photos of the 16" that scare me a little. There was another trunk here that split off and fell winter a year ago. The house is behind me 30 ft or so.
 

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trguitar

Feeling the Heat
Dec 2, 2011
265
Harvard, MA
Update: two guys came this morning and dropped both trees in 45 minutes. I basically paid them each $200/hour. I still feel a little fleeced, but you guys seem to think it was a good deal. If that's what I have to pay, that's what I have to pay. I am glad the broken tree is down.

Now I have to cut them up, and split them!
 

Zack R

Feeling the Heat
Sep 27, 2017
387
Sisters, OR
flic.kr
Update: two guys came this morning and dropped both trees in 45 minutes. I basically paid them each $200/hour. I still feel a little fleeced, but you guys seem to think it was a good deal. If that's what I have to pay, that's what I have to pay. I am glad the broken tree is down.

Now I have to cut them up, and split them!
It's all a risk/reward calculation in the end. For a weekend lumberjack its not always worth the risk to tackle a tree felling project if its close to a house or is a questionable tree that could result in injury (falling limbs, barberchair, etc etc....)

To be honest I'd probably hire that one out as well since I'm not familiar with cutting the type of tree in question. I'd at least watch the process from a safe distance so I could learn.
 
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Dug8498

Feeling the Heat
Jun 20, 2018
259
Southern NH
Update: two guys came this morning and dropped both trees in 45 minutes. I basically paid them each $200/hour. I still feel a little fleeced, but you guys seem to think it was a good deal. If that's what I have to pay, that's what I have to pay. I am glad the broken tree is down.

Now I have to cut them up, and split them!
You really did get a fair deal with that


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