Price for cutting down trees

tiger_andy(z6 NJ)February 4, 2009

I asked 3 contractors who gave me estimates on cutting down 3 medium size trees. Two are maple tree about 50 feet tall with 1.5 foot diameter trunk, the other is a Zelcova about the same height with 2 foot diameter trunk, but more massive. The cost estimates I received range from $1600 to $800. All say that they have insurance.

I am interested in the lowerest bidder, $800 job, which will include grinding down the two maple stump, but not the Zelcova because he said Zelcova will not sucker. So is $800 a good price?

I am also a little concerned about leaving the dead roots behind after cutting down the trees for fear of inviting termite. The trees are about 20 feet from the house. Is it a legitimate concern?

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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

There's really no way for us to give you a better estimate than a professional who's been to the site and looked at the job first hand. Just too many variables.

You might use the middle priced guy's quote to judge which of the other quotes is more reasonable.

I wouldn't worry much about stumps 20' from the house causing termite problems.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2009 at 3:50PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

have them PROVE THEY HAVE INSURANCE.. MOST CARRY A DOCUMENT IN THE GLOVE BOX ... do NOT let them start without it ...

grinding a stump.. will do nothing for the roots anyway ... if we presume the tree is as big above as below .. taking out that little pieces of stump isnt really accomplishing anything..

i dont understand this part: because he said Zelcova will not sucker ...

all trees MIGHT resprout from the stump or the trunk ... either grind it .. or simply apply a stump killer to it.. after an application or 3 .. the plant will get the idea .. and die ...

i NEVER pay for stump removal ... but i have 5 acres... and space is not precious ... i prefer to watch the rotting process.. and the attendent growth of fungi [mushrooms] over the years.. do it for free .. or all that is just justification for not spending the money .. lol

frankly .. if he is insured ... and simply destroying a tree ... i dont see why you need to pay more ...

if we were talking tree surgeon to 'fix' the tree ... i might pay for a more highly qualified contractor.. just like i might shop the best doctor ...

if you have any need for wood chips.. ask to keep them .. and keep the firewood if you have a fireplace ... ask that the GOOD wood be cut to appropriate length for your fire place.. and let him chip up all the crumby wood.. including all notches etc ... you will have a nice pile of wood ...

if you can deal with the trunk cut at ground level... you might even negotiate another 50 or $100 savings .... they make nice pedestals for urns or lawn ornaments.. etc ....

good luck


    Bookmark   February 4, 2009 at 4:21PM
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Ask them what method of removal theyÂre going to use: free-fall, blocking it down in sections, etc... There are many very good tree removal videos on that will help you be a better judge of who to choose. If you want some links to see how professional scope out and take trees down, IÂll be happy to provide some links. You don't want someone with or without insurance dropping a tree that could still hit your home, a large tree hitting a house can cause damage that can never be adequately repaired.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2009 at 9:56AM
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Zelkova definitely will send up stump sprouts.


    Bookmark   February 7, 2009 at 5:19PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

How unfortunate to find it necessary to remove a 2' diameter zelkova. Tree services advertising ISA membership may be more likely to be reliable. Get more estimates to see what the fair market value is for the job, after about 6 you should start to see prices in a middle range being quoted repeatedly. These are the people to choose from.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2009 at 8:42PM
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Here's a great site to post your question:

    Bookmark   February 7, 2009 at 9:03PM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

First off, I'm a skeptic, I never assume even Fortune 500 companies are on the up and up (and I get proved right time and time again).

If you feel like being really thorough look at that insurance card, then CALL the insurance company yourself to confirm coverage.

I might have knowledge of a couple past delivery drivers who get insurance for just long enough to have a card to provide to their companies. Also some ppl just get insurance for a few weeks around renewing their plates then stop paying the premiums but still have the cards.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2009 at 10:58PM
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Lots of usful info here.
Tiger Andy- The price of $800.00, is that per tree or for all 3 trees? I was under the impression that it is about $1,000.00 per tree.

I have to get some estimates myself for about 4 tall, thin trees and thanks to the above posts, I will now make sure I ask for and see an insurance card. I may even call as one post suggest.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 2:13PM
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tiger_andy(z6 NJ)

$800 is for cutting down all 3 trees including grinding 2 stumps. Another guy asked for $900, and don't including grinding any stumps. They are medium size tree, not gigantic, that looks like the biggest tree in the back of the picture link, and they are about 20 feet from the house so working around them is not too difficult.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   February 13, 2009 at 8:19AM
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Well, I got a few estimates on my tree removal. To remove 6 trees, (one is not that big) and (they are tall oak trees), one quote was 1,800., one quote was 1,200. and the first quote I got was for 4 trees for 1,400. (I decided to take down two more after he was there because the second quote told me that they were rotten on the inside and would need to come down eventually. Any ideas which one to go with? 1,200 guy sounds good to me. He has done work around the neighborhood, I have seen his truck. All of them will produce an insurance card when I give the go ahead. Why would there be a 600. difference between 2 of them. 1,800 did say the price is good till when ever, the 1,200 guy said good for the next two weeks as it is winter and he is slow. Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2009 at 10:37PM
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If you have seen the $1,200 guyÂs work and youÂre satisfied, then he may be the better choice, but ultimately it's your choice...assuming both contracts would be for the same line items.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2009 at 11:38PM
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Can any one send me a Zelcova seedling? How much would one cost, if you can?

    Bookmark   February 14, 2009 at 10:50AM
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I cut trees down for a living and if you have somone come out to your house and they are going to cut down your tree ask them if they are lisensed to cut down trees if you wont a good price range to look for send me a pictuer of your tree and I can tell you what a good price is.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2011 at 4:20PM
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I also need a price as I have a contractor in Miami who we want to have cut down 10 trees ( and grinding the stump)removing 35 inches diameter and the City of Miami requires that they replace it with 12 threes of minimum 4 inches in diameter and 16 feet tall.

The permit will cost approx $300. How much should the contract cost?

    Bookmark   June 28, 2011 at 5:45PM
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