I need some tree service done to a property. Two black olive trees need
pruning/trimming/cleaning, one mango tree and oak tree was severly damaged
by hurricane Wilma to the point they are beyond recovery need to be cut down
and removed. A bottle brush that toppled need to be removed also.
I looked up three companies in the yellow pages and asked them to provide a
Clean/prune black olive tree: $450 per tree
Cut down damaged oak: $350
Cut down mango: $350
Cut down bottle brush: $200
Haul & disposal: $800
Mango cut and haul: $850
Oak cut and haul: $150
Black olives trim: $750 each
Bottle brush cut and haul: $150
Quoted me a lump sum of $1000 to do everything include hauling away.
Company 1 and 2 have pretty close bottom line. But look at the trim fee for
the black olives, $450 vs $850 each, why such drastic difference?
and company 3? So much cheaper?
How do I make comparisons? I have no knowledge of any of these companies?
Don't know if they are reputable or not.
Any advise on questions to ask them?
MC - location in Miami, FL zone 10
First, I would ask friends and neighbors for recommendations.
Second, I would ask them why such a big difference in prices.
Third, are they bonded/insured?
Fourth, how many people would be there to handle the job and
what kind of equipment?
I don't have a whole lot of experience with this. Had to have
one tree removed (a week before it was to be sold!!!), have
seen my father have trees trimmed and my nephew does some of
it himself. The company that removed our tree did it very
cheaply, brought in five or six people and a small bobcat kinda
machine to carry the big chunks and the fallen tree was removed
and they were gone in under an hour. My father had three trees
trimmed by two guys and it took them all day between the actual
trimming and the disposal/removal. My nephew does occasional
removal services and does it fairly cheaply because he then
cuts up the wood and either burns it himself or sells it. :P
The only reason to do this is to get the stump out of the way. If it
looks ugly to you, or if you might trip over it (or the hole it leaves
as it rots), grind it. If it is inconspicuous and out of the way,
Call your local Better Business Bureau and ask if anyone else has
reported problems with them. Also ask if they have references.
I live in SW Louisiana, recently hit by Hurricane Rita and the tree
surgeons made a fortune but as far as I know most were honest. I've used
the same company for fifteen years now (we have one tree left out of
twelve we started with). Ask if they are bonded, licensed, have worker's
compensation insurance also. Very important if someone gets hurt on your
property while they're working there.
Questions to ask an arborist: http://home.ccil.org/~treeman/quiz.html
To ask an so-called expert: http://home.ccil.org/~treeman/quiz-ma100.html
Would you go to a doctor who flunked anatomy?
John A. Keslick, Jr.
Beware of so-called TREE EXPERTS who do not understand TREE BIOLOGY!
Storms, fires, floods, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions keep reminding us
that we are not the boss.
Some people will buy products they do not understand and not buy books that
will give them understanding.
Arborists typically bid a pruning job based on the smallest dead
branches to be removed. A tree that has large, unsafe dead wood might
be pruned to a 2" standard (remove all dead branches at least 2"
diameter) fairly cheaply. A tree that is being pruned to look
absolutely perfect might be quoted at 1/2" diam. or even 1/4" diam.
A good arborist rarely removes interior growth, but might spend time
at the ends of branches reducing weight. It is much faster and easier
to strip out the interior, but is quite bad for the tree.
Some companies employ experienced climbers, possibly with ISA
certification (Certified Arborist or Certified Tree Worker). Others
hire day laborers or whomever they can get to show up for minimum
wage. Guess which costs more? Guess which tends to produce better
--What is the smallest branch you will prune?
--What material will be removed, and why?
--Who will do the work, and what are their qualifications?
--Are you insured? Can I see a certificate to prove it? (Make sure
the insurance states that the company is insured for tree work--your
yard man's liability insurance probably does not cover workers who
leave the ground).
--Can I have a list of references? (Call to ask how they liked the
work; go look at the trees if possible, to confirm that they have not
been stripped out, topped, or otherwise overpruned.)
But first, visit www.treesaregood.com to educate yourself about what
constitues good tree work. Then you will be in a better position to
ask questions and evaluate the answers.
ISA Certified Arborist #TX-0236AT
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.