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Bradford Callery Pear Tree weight/crown reduction advice

Discussion in 'Arborist 101' started by chad556, Jun 28, 2011.

  1. chad556

    chad556 ArboristSite Operative

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    Ok so I am doing this pruning job tomorrow and it is the first job of this kind I have done and I need some advice. In the past most of the jobs I have done are climbing jobs and removals. I am hoping to expand my horizons here and learn something

    Objective: Reduce crowns of five 25' bradford callery pears by 33% as per HO request. Brush will be dragged into the backyard (about a 50' walk including a pass through a doorway) and dumped over a fence into a natural wooded area.

    I plan on using my new Fiskars Pruning Stik (a really neat pole pruner i picked up at the Home Depot of all places) and a silky handsaw. To gain access to the highest points of the trees I will probably also be using an 8' step ladder as it would be impractical to climb and I don't have a bucket.

    Also, I don't want this to turn into a "how much should I charge" thread. But, if you are comfortable answering, I would love to know what you would charge to do this job with the above mentioned equipment and situation. I am thinking between $150 and $250 for all five trees and guessing It will take me 2-4 hours. Check out my pics and share your estimates!

    Any input/advice would be greatly appreciated. I know this is a very 'noob' question so I am hoping that including some high quality pictures from different angles will help everyone make some educated responses and help a lot of us learn a thing or two :)

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  2. ozzy42

    ozzy42 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I don't know what your situation is with brush disposal[truck,trailer,chipper]?But I would pass on all the dragging thru the back yard and then tossing over a fence.It would be easir to just toss it into a truck since it's all curbside.Plus ,you may inadvertently be illegally dumping.Who owns the property over the fence.In most cases,a fence sits on or near a property line.

    250-300 doesn't seem to bad for the 5 of them,assuming you plan on 15-20 min per tree for the trimming.

    I'm down to just 2 guys and a trash trailer but still get at least a buck an hour.If you can't get that ,may as well go punch a clock somewhere.
     
  3. Blakesmaster

    Blakesmaster Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I second ozzy's recommendation of getting rid of the brush yourself but if you don't have the hauling capacity...well, it is what it is. From the pics it looks like you'll need a lot more than that 8 foot step ladder. God I hate doing ornamentals w/out a bucket. So tedious, and hard to get perfect. I'd be more in the $6-$700 range for those trees.
     
  4. chad556

    chad556 ArboristSite Operative

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    Hey thanks for the responses. Yeah, I truly underestimated what I was in for, I spent 3 hours there after a 10 hour day at work and almost finished 3 trees, lot longer than 15-20 minutes a tree. Its looking more like it will be a $3-500 job. The great thing about working for this guy is that I can name my price when the job is finished and hes pretty wealthy(obviously) So it is a balancing act of covering the cost of my time and effort vs. getting him to call me back and recommend me to his friends and neighbors. I try to charge what the job is worth, factoring in my overhead (which is next to nothing) and my time (which is scarce). Thanks for the numbers it really is nice to see what a ballpark is for the job so I can have something to compare it with. Not trying to go into the business or undercut anybody, I'm just a CA with a full time job at a golf course who likes making a little extra pocket money.

    The brush cleanup is legal btw the fence is actually the top of a retaining wall with nothing but a steep slope and woods behind it that the guy owns. It would be way easier to have a dump truck but all I have is that blue caravan in the pics :(. Wish I had one, dragging all that brush takes forever, luckly my girlfriend was nice enough to help me out.

    And yes that 8' ladder is just barely enough, it would have been 100X easier to have a bucket but hey at least I got a good workout with the pole pruner. For an $80 home depot tool that pruner is pretty awesome. Great reach, great power and beautiful, easy cuts every time.

    Here are some shots of the work in progress, I am going to try to finish it up tomorrow so more will be soon to follow:

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    They are like giant, precisely pruned hedges, that was a ton of work (only the first two from the left are 'done')
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  5. chad556

    chad556 ArboristSite Operative

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    Ok, here is the job all completed. I would have really underbid that one! As it turned out I got $400 for about 6 hours total labor plus my girlfriends help (the job also included pruning an ornimental eastern redbud in the backyard)

    Here are the pics:

    My girlfriend doing some pruning while I took a break to get some pictures:
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    That pruning stik was a great investment. So easy to use even she loved using it.
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    Some before and after:

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    Before:
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    After: You can actually see the front of the house. We talked about removing some of the trees and we decided that the far left, right and the center trees will go leaving the remaining two to thrive. Probably this winter or next :msp_thumbup:
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    Thanks for looking! Let me know what you think.
     
  6. treeseer

    treeseer Advocatus Pro Arbora

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    I like the fiskars stick, too. Holds up well to hard use surprisingly well.. before you remove those three, consider how the remaining two will respond--sprawling into the open, straining those bad forks, ice or snow come, and...

    Keep the hedge look, unless you want to branch out into cabling to hold those things together. the client evidently likes a tight formal look to the landscape, and i doubt the 2 bradfords will deliver that.
     
  7. chad556

    chad556 ArboristSite Operative

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    Very true, thanks for the advice. These trees have been there for about 12 years and have really outgrown the space. Its too bad I couldn't reach the tops with my equipment because I know the guy will have some one top them when they start to grow over the house and it probably wont be pretty. I have little experience with this kind of pruning but I am guessing that it will be harder and harder on the trees each year they are contained like this? I do like the idea of leaving all 5 and keeping up with proper pruning. I think they do a great job shading the house and providing a degree of privacy for the HO.

    Easiest way out would be removal of all 5 and replacement with an appropriate slow growing ornamental. Yes its rather drastic, but if hes up for a big change i think it would be a great opportunity to plan out a workable long term landscape.

    If only two are left it would take some time for them to fill in the space and, yes, damage from wind and snow/ice is always a concern with the species. I did remove several co-dominant branches and a good amount of interior weight off the trees however not having its other nearby trees for support anymore would make a difference i think.

    Lots of stuff to think about here, I will be sure to discuss all the options with him when it comes time to decide. Thanks!
     
  8. treeseer

    treeseer Advocatus Pro Arbora

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    No they can be maintained indefinitely at a smaller size.

    O and i thought you could climb. sell him on reducing the height in a year or two. simple work really; climb and clip.
     
  9. lone wolf

    lone wolf Tree Freak

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    My opinion is 20 min per tree with a bucket truck isnt he using a pole clip or something
    ?
     

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