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  1. #1

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    Default Need Advice; Big Tree Removal

    Alright so, I have a mature Pin Oak in my back yard maybe 60-80ft tall with a 3-4ft thickness, and the wife wants it gone. I had a guy give me a estimate of $2,800 bucks for complete removal and clean up. I thought it seemed expensive but I really have no idea. Does this quote seem reasonable to you guys?
    Fyi the tree is easily accessible on a flat .50 acre lot about 20 feet from the utility wires.
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    Based on what a good arborist costs in Massachusetts that sounds perfectly reasonable to me.
    all the best,
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    Seems high to me! I live in WI,and last fall I had a 45/50ft maple tooken down for $600. Get another quote. Can't hurt.

  4. #4

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    Just don't tell your wife you will save money and do it yourself!

    In this case - let a pro do it and make sure he is bonded!

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  5. #5

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    I received a quote for $1000 for a similar sized tree. I'd call around a little bit.
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  6. #6

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    That may or may not include stump removal. Make sure that is spelled out in the agreement if you want the stump removed. I had a pine tree removed
    last year and stump removal was separate from tree removal. That price seems pretty high.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobsauto49 View Post
    Seems high to me! I live in WI,and last fall I had a 45/50ft maple tooken down for $600. Get another quote. Can't hurt.
    Yeah, I was thinking under a thousand here in central ohio. Apparently wishful thinking, I will get another quote for sure.
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    That is about average for a real legit company that's bonded, has lots of experience and good equipment and is removing the stump as well. Here in central where costs at also lower that estimate wouldn't surprise. However, we have lots of folks who need the work and will do it for considerably less. But they probably would-be bonded (bad idea) and that won't include stump removal. So shop around, but be careful who you use.

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    Whatever happen to comfortablycurt, I think he was in the tree removal business?
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    In November, I had a similar sized Maple tree dropped on my property, but it's on a pretty hefty slope. I had it done by a local, licensed/bonded/insured company, but they give me a cash price of $1100 flat to drop the tree, chip the brush, and split the biggest rounds. I then put an ad on Craigslist for the rounds and remaining wood, and a local firewood seasoner came and loaded it all in his truck, including cleaning up the hillside, and paid me cash for the wood.

    Here we are sitting on the remaining stump:

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  11. #11

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    ^^ I like the craigslist idea^^
    I have another tree guy coming; I thought $2800 seemed high, I shall see.
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  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by thsmith View Post
    Whatever happen to comfortablycurt, I think he was in the tree removal business?
    uh-oh... I hope gravity didn't rear its ugly head?! :-O
    all the best,
    mrh

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    Quote Originally Posted by zingo View Post
    Here we are sitting on the remaining stump:

    Attachment 84720
    That stump has some potentially incredible burl in it. The stump alone could easily be worth as much as you paid for the removal to a large scale burl harvester.
    Looking at good burl blocks in maple, $170 isn't unheard of for a chunk of root burl only 12x9x4 for a bowl turning block. And you could get a dozen or more that size from that stump.
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  14. #14

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    Just because tree trimmers are licensed/bonded & insured doesn't mean they are up to date on their premium.

    I always ask who their agent is and call them to make sure they are up to date on their policy.

    You just don't want to be surprised with liability in case of an accident.

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    I say give dynamite a try!

    Even if the tree doesn't come down, at least it'll be a hell of a show!

    It's hard to find entertainment that good!






    And actually, I have a Pin Oak in my backyard too. 110 feet tall or thereabout. I had it trimmed for about $450 cash last year and they quoted me about $1800 to take it down to a stump and have the stump removed too. I'm in NJ though so prices might be different here. They thought the tree was getting ready to die though because of all the dead branches but it's got a fresh crop of leaves and buds this year. I really don't want to take it down if I don't have to but if it decides to fall down, it's tall enough that if it goes towards my house, the very top will destroy my neighbor's car parked across the street. Any other way it's hitting any one of 6 neighbors houses.

    I'd say see if you can find a buyer for the log 'cause it could pay for itself but Pin Oak is pretty much firewood. It has all the characteristics of other oaks including the tight grain but it isn't as stable and tends to warp when dried I'm told which makes it bad for the uses that other oaks and ashes would see. So unless somebody wants it for decorative wood or pulp stock, it's not going to sell.
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  16. #16

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    I found the email from the forestry service about my pin oak.

    Here, this site has the best information on Pin Oaks:

    http://www.gardenguides.com/taxonomy...cus-palustris/

    Most of that is what the local arborist in the NJ Forestry Service told me about them.

    The 60-70 ft height that you see specified elsewhere is the average height. They apparently get stunted when iron content in the soil is low. But he said that in iron rich soils like what we have here in South Jersey, they have recorded pin oaks as tall as 122 ft.

    My tree is roughly 105-110 feet tall from what the tree guys told me. They needed 200 ft of rope to get the bucker up to where it needed trimming. The tree's trunk is about 3.75 feet in diameter too. Straight as an arrow too.

    He also said, and this was why I called him, that the heartwood can actually be dark brown, almost black, because of the tree's propensity to leech iron out of the soil. Also, the reason the wood tends to warp is that between growth rings, there are large duct structures that when they dry out, collapse in on themselves and they don't do it evenly hence the reason they warp. The wood is very dense though and was used often for building materials like pins in timber-frame buildings that held joints together. That's probably where the name came from.

    The one thing that worried me most is that he said they only live about 90 years or so and then they die. Since they don't have a tap root, they become unstable at that point. He also said you can tell how old it is by how much, if at all, it's seeding. Mine doesn't really seed from what I can tell anymore so it's likely 60-70 years old and may actually be getting ready to check out. I'm probably going to have to take it down in the next 5 years or so and that will be a sad day.

    But if your tree is similarly large and old, you're probably in my same predicament.
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  17. #17

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    Had two huge elms removed aprox 45-50 foot tall, the branches spaned out everywhere. Me and the wife could hold hands and barley hug the base's together. At the height of tree removal time, here in the midwest its April through June when we get hammered by thunderstorms.

    I had a quote in May a couple of years ago to take them down and grind the stumps out. This was after a major storm went through and toppled trees in the neighborhood. The peak time cost was $3900 for both of them. To make a long story short I waited the peak season out till October, the tree guys were looking for work and got them both done for $1750. If you can wait till a non peak time of the year you will get a better deal.

  18. #18

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    Just do it like that abomination of a TV show Ax Men. Get a 1/2 dozen friends over, have a couple of fist fights, scream and yell at each other, and then get the chain saws let that badboy fall where it may. Thrive on the danger as it were.

    Seriously, that seems to be a bit high. I think my dad paid about $1,500 to get rid of a tree that was precariously close to his fence. That was the good old boy network hard at work though, so YMMV.
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  19. #19

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    It also depends on how they have to take it down. If you have enough room to just chop it down it will be cheaper. If they have to go up in a bucket truck and take it down in 2-3 foot chunks it going to cost a lot more.
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    Seems like many think the price is a little high. If it is an easy job, clear path to drop that big thing in one piece, total clean up, and cutting the stump to ground level, I would agree. If you are close to power lines, other homes, out buildings, even ornimental trees/gardens, maybe not.

    If they are removing the stump, and I mean seeing roots, that will probably add $500 or so to the bill. So a lot depends on the situation. Keep one thing in mind while looking for a more reasonable price. In most areas, you are ultimately liable for property damage to others property. If for some reason their insurance lapses, they don't have it, or what ever, that tree is yours. If it drops on the neighbors house, you could be out a bunch of money.

    Your probably looking at half dozen people, about 8 hours work, and at least $500 to get the equipment on site, and your looking at a little under $50 per man hour. If you guess that's the case, seems reasonable.

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    It really depends on if the tree guy is doing it officially w/ ins or unofficially w/out ins. I had a few trees to take down that were not near any houses or telephone lines. I had three large trees, one a huge Oak taken down and cut into firewood size pieces for $300. That is a deal, they did a great job. Now I have had a couple large oaks taken down close to my house that required insurance and a climber. That cost me about 750. $2800 sounds really high to me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremymarcinko View Post
    60-80ft tall ... about 20 feet from the utility wires.
    So, when it comes down, it needs to be felled away from the wires. Is the house same side as the wires, or other side?

    I think the price may be a tad high, but it's not crazy. If you get another estimate or two, you'll sleep better, though.

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    Depending on how much free time you have, and how much risk you want to take you can do it yourself.

    I pulled down two old trees in my yard. A mountain laurel and an apricot tree. Both were over 60 years old and past their prime.

    I just climbed to the top and pulled up my chainsaw and started trimming until I had it back to the trunk. Then cut the trunk down about two feet at a time. Spent three weekends on it. Working no more than an hour at a time. A tired untrained tree trimmer is a disaster waiting to happen. And a local firewood yard hauled it all away for free.

  24. #24

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    Usually, when I consider jobs around 3k or so, I grab 3 estimates, sometimes 4. Not just for price comparison but also to get different opinions on the scope and amount of work that needs to be done. On some jobs, I've had wildly different quotes, and others have been nearly identical.

    I've also found that labor and jobs really vary according to area. In the Maryland-DC area, I've found that contractors can be much more expensive than other areas of the country.
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    Had a 70ft Giant Sequoia removed two summers ago for $1100 including stump griding. The original owner in the late 70's planted it just 8ft from the house, IDIOT! What a waste of a perfectly shaped tree. The only thing was that I had to give the cut wood away myself on Craigslist.
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  26. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpf65 View Post
    Your probably looking at half dozen people, about 8 hours work, and at least $500 to get the equipment on site, and your looking at a little under $50 per man hour. If you guess that's the case, seems reasonable.
    This is just simply absurd! Any tree service with a given amount of experience would not take anywhere near this amount of time! My 50ft maple took 3 guys 2 hrs flat! Cleaned up and done! He charged me $550 cash,and I gave him a $50 tip for the excellent service! They were insured/bonded,the whole 9 yards!
    This all being said,find a company that the owners do the work themselves! They will care about the job,and there name!
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    I got an off the wall idea.

    Hire that babe in the other thread whose hooters bend trees. Betcha with a little shift of her weight she could knock that tree down for a hundie flat.

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    ^^I like the way you think^^

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