View Full Version : Tree Service

Yard Elements
09-10-2011, 08:19 PM
Did my second tree job today. I have experience just haven't offered the service. Fell one tree. Limbed 7. The first job I fell from the tree about ten feet up. LOL Bahahah. Knocked the wind out of me. I was more careful this time. Only about 30 feet up today.

I bought an echo saw (brand new) and have had to adjust the carb twice. It's a very small light climbing saw with the Ring on it for climbing with a lanyard anyone have any experience with these saws or should I go to a tree care forum. :)

09-12-2011, 01:27 PM
The first job I fell from the tree about ten feet up.

Ouch! How did that happen?

What are you feeling now about offering tree service?

Yard Elements
09-12-2011, 11:05 PM
Properly Trained I can charge 120.00 Per Hr. instead of 60 :)

09-15-2011, 10:20 AM
What other steps do you feel you have to take to get to that point?

Yard Elements
09-16-2011, 07:35 PM
Today I took a Tree Climbing Seminar, There is a lot to learn i will start slow and low. I have felling experience already. I am going to get a basic rope climbing set and start climbing low and practice. I have a property i am going to fell some trees by climbing them this winter. Open field and home owners will be out of state. I manage this 10 acre estate. Lots of work ahead any advice besides don't fall. :)

09-16-2011, 11:06 PM
Make sure your insurance covers your new venture.

Mine allows tree cutting with the only stipulation being that I'm not permitted to be more than 20' up. Works for me, 'cuz I hates heights!

09-17-2011, 03:06 PM
Sounds like an investment in a safety rope/harness is in order

09-17-2011, 05:26 PM
Aside from a quality light saw, the best advice I can offer is taking a helper, one would be shocked at how you can climb a tree, go up 20 to 30 feet and tie a rope, have a helper on the ground at the end of a long rope, no matter what direction the tree might want to fall naturally, a helper can guide almost any tree within reason to any direction you want.

A mistake I have made a few times which has cost me a couple of saws is not ensuring the loop on the saw is latched when you put your saw back in the harness.

When falling big guys, I quite often lighten the load of the opposite side I want the tree to fall.

The times I got myself into trouble was after a crotch high up, watch these friggin things, I have been climbing up a limb after a crotch when the crotch started to let go.

Keep your boot spikes as sharp as possible, I touch them up after every job.

09-19-2011, 10:10 PM
The times I got myself into trouble was after a crotch high up, watch these friggin things, I have been climbing up a limb after a crotch when the crotch started to let go.

Was that because there was less strength to the tree at that point or was it another reason?

Yard Elements
10-10-2011, 04:11 PM
What is your checklist

11-12-2011, 08:32 AM
I just got a call last night to drop a 4 story high red cedar and clear it as well as several 1 story high fruit trees I am not set up to go high and have no interest in doing it anyway but I have a guy that does taller trees.

If there is a lot of room I will just drop it myself if not I am thinking of sub-contracting just the cedar out to to him to drop it (he is insured better than me) I can do the smaller ones myself.

I am curious what to charge for this service though...

T.j.'s landscaping 17
11-12-2011, 12:21 PM
Ive done many tree jobs and we climb with an echoe cs310

11-14-2011, 10:44 AM
I just got a call last night to drop a 4 story high red cedar and clear it as well as several 1 story high fruit trees

How long would it take you to remove the fruit trees? Could you then multiply it by your hourly wage and come up with a price for those?

For the larger tree removal you could do it multiple ways. Find someone you could sub-contract it to and ask them to bid on the job and then go with that price and write it up as a learning experience to see what the going rate is. Or as discussed in this blog article, this member charged $200 for removing tall trees that had to be climbed. Others on the forum might charge $125 an hour.

How much should I charge for a Tree Removal? (http://lawnchat.com/?p=159)

Let us know how this goes.

11-14-2011, 11:34 PM
Thanks for the link that is very good info...

11-15-2011, 04:50 PM
I've been thnking about this job and due to the close proximity of the houses/powerlines I decided to sub out falling the larger tree I'm loosing $200 - $300 by doing this but if anything went wrong it would cost me a lot more.

We'll be on the job this coming Thursday.

11-16-2011, 11:27 AM
I think it is better to be safe than sorry in such a situation and think this is a good call.

Do you think if you had to do it again, you would have bid it differently to take into account, sub-contracting it out? Was the problem that you didn't know how much they would charge to perform the job?

11-16-2011, 11:16 PM
Like I said only issue I had was the close proximity to the houses/power lines I felt it wasn't worth the risk so no I wouldn't at least for now have set it up any other way.

I told the faller last night on the phone that I was setting up a web site over the winter and asked if he would mind if I had it set up calling him our associate Tony will fall any tree and we will clean up after him.

He was more than happy to say yes = there is now a bonus happening I have everything arranged with Tony to meet me at the house tomorrow morning and in our conversation on the phone tonight he told me that he has a buddy in a townhouse complex that is looking for a grounds maintenance company to take over the grounds maintenance.

So I'll be getting the contact info from them from Tony in the morning.

I'm now starting to be concerned that I will only be working on complexes and not have time to make the real gravy monies on trimming/pruning/yard clean up etc etc... :D

11-17-2011, 10:57 AM
Would it be helpful to take some pictures of him up in the tree to put on your website too?

I'm now starting to be concerned that I will only be working on complexes and not have time to make the real gravy monies on trimming/pruning/yard clean up etc etc.

It will be interesting to see how you balance all this.

On the one side you have the bigger areas that take up a larger part of your work week and are consistent yet may pay less than the smaller jobs that may not be as consistent.

11-18-2011, 01:34 AM
Already have the pictures... :)

I'm thinking full time part time employees is the answer but only people that I know/trust and that I shouldn't over load myself with complex's until I am more etablished so I can make the bigger monies on the odd jobs like cleaning gutters.

I'm supposed to clean gutters on a house tomorrow after I do the quotes quoted with a 10% Seniors discount $250.00 it is a 3 year old house and th egutters are not that bad I should be done in 3 hours max.

There is a hold on it though it is snowing right now... :rolleyes:

11-18-2011, 01:42 PM
That is fantastic! How many feet are those gutters and what story are they on?

It seems those are good paying jobs!

11-19-2011, 08:03 AM
Thats the thing I can make $250.00 in 3 hours - $500.00 per day working by myself when I get the good jobs.

I have far more experiences with pressure washing than landscaping/tree removal/grass cutting/trimming so I know how long it will take me but I also learnt it has to do with the difficulty of the job.

I didn't estimate the footage of the gutters just looked at the difficulty and guesstimated the time it would take me the highest/longest gutter was 3 stories up I would have climbed 1/2 way up to it and just reached my extentention wand with the gutter attachments/jet up to the gutter and sprayed you get a bit wet doing it this way but it is way safer than climbing around on a roof.

Turns out that due to the snow the lady has decided to put off the cleaning until Feb = no gutter job for now but I picked up a new yard cleaning job that is as soon as the snow is gone which should be Monday or Tuesday.

11-19-2011, 08:45 AM
I have been using a 4'X8' utility trailer removing this red cedar and the 3 smaller trees took 3 trips to the green dump which wasted my time so I stopped by the local trailer sales yard yesterday.

I am now the proud owner of a used 6' X 12' single axle 3500lbs axle trailer had to change the lights and need to do the wheel bearings other than that it is good to go.

I need to design/build a tool box for the front, higher sides and possibly a high rack that I can put my ladders on but I can do that over the winter.

No more multiple trips to the green dump for me = I am going to start on these larger jobs to quote by the job not by the hour that way I can make the same but get in/out and onto the next job quicker.

11-21-2011, 12:01 PM
You are really hitting the ground running! This all sounds very exciting!

11-21-2011, 11:30 PM
If all of this comes together it will be good.

I even went and did a walk about with the strata council treasurer at a 110 townhouse/unit complex today that the faller told me about.

They used to have a live in grounds keeper but he couldn't keep up so they are now looking for a grounds maintenance company to do the work their budget is somewhere around $60,000 +.


Need to get my old neighbour over to help me quote.

11-22-2011, 03:31 PM
How fantastic! You are so keying in on important points. Utilizing your contacts to find more jobs! WOW.

I can't wait to hear how this next bid goes!

03-31-2015, 01:39 PM
Has anyone else experimented with offering tree trimming or removal services? If so, how did it work out for you?

10-16-2015, 03:29 AM
What an interesting start for a tree care service of yours! You are the sole proprietor of your services or you have a team Moki ?

10-17-2015, 12:11 AM
WOW does this thread take me back...

Has it been that long already?

I am the sole proprietor and I have a team.

Here is a bit of what I have been up to =

I won the 110 townhouse complex 12 month contract mentioned earlier in the thread I do all of the general grounds care work, clean gutters, wash the units every other year and do the sidewalks and patios the other year.

I do trees there every year this contract is my meat and potatoes contract basically it pays all the bills/wages they will never let me go because I do all the tree work inclusive to the contract hows this just this one complex I have removed over 70 trees and you wouldn't know where they were because there are still so many more.

They did bring in a couple other companies to quote this year the guys asked if the trees were included = they never submitted quotes or came back.

Up until this summer when the weather was so hot that the grass quit growing I worked 6 days a week every week from when I started the 110 unit complex contract Dec 2011.

I now have 3 trucks and 4 trailers I had 6 main townhouse/hospital contracts last year and 6 full time employees resulting in me having to waste appr 1 - 2 hours of my time every day dealing with the issues that these employees created.

Fired 4 one day cause I could not deal with their stupid anymore let 2 contracts go because they were micro managing me making me do exclusive to contract work as if it were inclusive.

I am more into tree work than anything else now I still do not climb them myself though.

Actually the timing of this thread being bumped is kind of weird because I just won a 6 month tree topping/trimming/removal contract at a 142 unit townhouse complex yesterday which means with my other contracts I will be working on trees 4 - 5 days a week all winter long.

I still do not climb I subcontract that out.

I work off of orchard ladders I have them in 9' - 12' - 14' and 16' lengths and this spring I started renting a Genie bucket lift wow does that speed up tree work not having to climb up and down the ladder straddle them around/over fences where I would trim five 20' - 30' cedar/fir trees in a day using ladders I was able to trim 20 in a day using the lift.

Rented it for 7 days but after 4 days I had to stop my arms/were going to fall off if I didn't.

I am a tool nut = I now have at least 8 Stihl 90 series Kombi powerheads and 2 130 powerheads and multiples of almost every attachment and knowing that the new contract could be in the works I just bought an 12.8' Stilh 131 extension chainsaw 7 backpack blower lawn mowers out the yin yang etc etc

Problem is I work so much I do not have time to service my own equipment so have to pay my local service center to do the tuneups for me.

10-19-2015, 10:32 PM
I am glad to hear you won that contract.

For all the newer members looking to take a jump into larger bids like that, do you have any advice on how to bid them and make the transition as smooth as possible so you (the owner) don't get overwhelmed?

10-20-2015, 07:26 AM
Bidding on townhouse complexes can be intimidating especially if there is a lot of competition in your area.

I read somewhere that to make it in this industry you need to invoice out $97.00/hr = to make it I need to make $700 - $800 per day to pay wages and cover costs and put a little into my bank account which I still don't have much of but I've been putting everything back into the company buying new equipment, trucks, trailers etc.

My new contract (we signed the papers yesterday) is for $750/day this includes green waste disposal but I don't pay for that and I drive right past the dump on my way home this also pays myself and 2 employees wages ah who am I kidding I don't pay myself... :o

So if it's going to take me 2 hours to do a complex I need to quote $200/visit.

If it takes 4 hours then I need to quote out $350 - $400/visit.

I am quoting on a 29 unit complex right now there is not much grass work but lots of trees/shrubs/gardens I asked $475/visit which was high they came back asking me to re-quote I will drop my quote to $400/visit if I go $350/visit I will cover my costs but not make any profit.

The idea behind complexes is to get in the door with a fair price then do exclusive to contract work example washing the buildings and cleaning gutter doing tree & shrub removal bark mulch/gravel work with laying out woven landscaper weed barrier cloth is another job worth quoting.

Here is an example of where I make money on exclusive to contract work = I invoiced out an extra $13,000.00 in one month for washing buildings and doing gutters that was with just myself 2 full time and 1 part time employee doing the work this was above what the normal contract pays.

Unfortunately this is a best case scenario my normal extras are closer to $1000 - $3000 per month.

Employees are my biggest issue it's tough to find reliable people that will show up on time and get the work done professionally.

Example I hired a local 18 year old this year he worked very hard when he showed up for work but in 2 1/2 weeks he had missed 6 days and wanted the next two days off = he was done I next hired an older fellow wow never saw anyone move so slow.

Told him "I got to get you to hussle" his response was "that's not going to work because I only have one speed" = he was done.

I don't pay the highest wages I keep the guys on a base pay but give bonuses when the company makes extra money example they can make a bonus of $50 - $100 per day just depends on how much extra the company makes in the day.

Anyway I have to run got to get organized finish the quote and send it in then meet 2 employees we are working on trees and mowing lawns at two complexes today.