The one question at the forefront of most client’s minds is “how much is my tree service going to cost?”, which is a respectable and fair question. The hardest part to explain over the phone is that there are many variables, and that is why we do complimentary site walks and estimates prior to undertaking any tree removal or pruning project. The most basic explanation is that the total is determined by man hours, equipment costs, and disposal costs. Below we would like to help clarify what some of the variables are, and how they may affect the end result of your particular project’s cost.
Size: This is probably the most obvious, but the bigger the tree the more it will likely cost to remove or prune. This is due to time required to complete the necessary work and the likelihood of things being more complicated.
Proximity: Even a small tree can be a challenge if it is in close proximity to a structure, fence, power lines, or other “targets”. These trees require special care and techniques for safely removing the tree, or safely removing the material being pruned, so as not to cause damage. These techniques could include rigging, speed lining, or just needing to take much smaller cuts at a time. If you haven’t already read our article on rigging, I highly recommend you check it out for more details on this particular issue.
Health: A healthier tree needing a prune, or needing to be removed due to issues unrelated to the tree’s health, is safer for our arborist to work in and around. These trees are also more predictable in their behavior when being climbed and cut. This allows for more efficient work environments. Dead and/or diseased trees are more prone to breakout and having unpredictable responses to cuts. Which will require more time and care to be taken with every maneuver made.
Season: A less obvious variable is what season or time of year it is, so let me explain. Removing an elm or poplar when there are no leaves present is a much quicker process than when the limbs are full of foliage. This is due to overall weight of the limbs being removed being lighter, so more easily maneuvered, and also a much quicker cleanup process. Anyone who owns property with poplars understands how much foliage they like to drop everywhere. I’ll be honest and say they are one of the biggest pains to clean up after on a jobsite. This has less of an impact on pines etc. as they don’t lose their foliage. Pruning is also recommended during the dormant seasons like late fall through early spring.
Accessibility: You may have a small tree needing removed, but if it is at the back of your lot with a gate 3ft wide it is still not going to be cheap. Largely because of the time required to remove all of the debri from the yard. The closer we can get equipment to the tree being worked on the more efficient of a job can be completed, the less it will cost. So, moving your camp trailer or a child’s small play structure may seem like a big deal, but that simple effort could save you more than you’d think.
Special Equipment Requirements: Some projects require special equipment, like a mini-excavator, or at times even a crane to come in to assist with the removal. These special circumstances would all be discussed at the time of the consult and included in any estimate given. In the instance of needing a crane, we actually have to have the crane company come out to look. They then give us a quote based on distance from where they can set up and size of the tree. These variables determine how large of a crane is needed.
Stump Grinding: This is kind of a sub-category of the “special equipment” listed above, as it does require a specialized machine. The greater determining factor though is going to be the overall size of the stump and its proximity to other things. We also try to lump our stump grinds together so that we can provide a discount to our clients if they are a little flexible on the date for having the stump completed. Grouping stump grinds together allows us to split up the additional equipment cost between multiple clients, so it is cheaper for everyone.
So, when you call and simply ask “well how much will my tree service cost?” we can’t just give you a number out of the air and why we offer complimentary consultations. Every tree, on every property, has its own unique set of variables. So every tree will be approached in a unique way to make sure your tree service is completed safely.
It is not our job or responsibility to be the cheapest guy in town, so if you are simply looking for the least expensive company, I can be honest and tell you it isn’t us. But I can tell you with 100% integrity that we are priced fairly with our competitors for the level of customer service and quality of tree work we provide. We can be reached at 541-550-8001 to discuss your tree’s needs and schedule a complimentary consultation.