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How much to charge for tree planting

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  • How much to charge for tree planting

    I dont do a ton of plantings. I just got a call today asking me to plant 6 to 7 arborvitae. Should I go strictly hourly on this job? How do you guys price these jobs. I have my hourly rate for mowing but dont really have one set for just manual labor..Planting, etc.

  • #2
    $40/$50 per tree (to dig/plant + cost of tree/delivery) sound somewhere in the ballpark to anyone else out there?

    I haven't really done enough of that work to say for sure. The size of the tree will also be a factor. A "six foot arborvitae" doesn't sound very big, but with the root ball, it's "clunky", heavy, and takes up a lot of room in a truck/trailer.
    Depending on your setup/proximity to nursery, sometimes it's less hassle to pay them to deliver to the jobsite for you.

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    • #3
      I would just do it hourly so theres no under/over charge. The rate should be the same as your mowing, unless you bring a helper. Then add a delivery fee. A local nursery wanted to charge one of my clients $40 for 8 azaleas. So I would think $75 for delivery is fair.

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      • #4
        generally nursery will charge a flat charge of 50.00 per a 25 gallon tree charge by the gallons of the plants a tree can be 12 ft high but be i a 15 gallon bucket i charge by the gallons of the roots and i will charge twice as gallons lets say if a plant that is 5 gallons i will charge $ 10.00 when i plant is 30 gallon tree i will charge $ 50.00 and that is a huge root ball most like those arborvitaes will be in a 15 to 20 gallons bucket so u talking about 30.00 to 40.00 but is better if u can do 50.00 don t forget to loose up 1/4 around the root has always work for me.

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        • #5
          I struggled with this one for a while starting out, but the best standard I can find is to charge 2.5 to 3 times the cost of the tree to cover delivery and planting. This works well because bigger trees cost more and are going to involve more work planting and carrying etc.

          Now if the customer is supplying the trees/shrubs it can get tricky. If you are simply digging a hole and they aren't that big....I'll sometimes charge an hourly labor fee....I'll sometimes go that route if its like an elderly client or someone I'm just planting something simple for, but usually only in a "favor" type situation.......You know "Hey my daughter got me this for my birthday and its dying in the house can you plant it".....$20. Done.

          The secret as with anything is to be able to support a higher fee. Customers are willing to pay more when you show up with a bag of peat moss to mix with their clay soil, some fertilizer and you take the time to water all the trees. As with anything professional service is worth a professional fee.

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          • #6
            The secret as with anything is to be able to support a higher fee. Customers are willing to pay more when you show up with a bag of peat moss to mix with their clay soil, some fertilizer and you take the time to water all the trees. As with anything professional service is worth a professional fee.
            I think a lot of newer businesses struggle with this. Can you give us some example of how you would charge for these additional services?
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