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Whole tree vs half tree

Discussion in 'Homeowner Helper Forum' started by newhopemusician, May 14, 2019.

  1. newhopemusician

    newhopemusician New Member

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    Hi all, first post here but considering I moved into a fairly wooded lot 2 years ago it likely wont' be my last :)

    I have what appears to be a "newly" dead, fairly large tree in my back yard. I certainly appreciate the complexity in the job as we have some restrictions on what type of equipment can be used and where specifically the tree needs to fall so I'm not complaining about any prices listed below but trying to understand my options so I can make an informed decision.

    We've had two certified arborists come by to give quotes on taking the tree down and they were roughly in line with each other, right around $4,000 +/- 10%. Although the one company took down a tree for us 2 years ago that seemed larger than this one and charged half the price I still accept that this is going to cost a fair bit.

    The first company suggested that the whole tree needs to come down in its entirety. The second company gave the option to take it down to 30 feet (for about 60% of the cost of full removal) or so and then we can choose to remove the rest down the road.

    Our main goal with all of this is to protect our house from the tree falling into it and avoid any branches that might come down while our kids are playing in the yard, which generally isn't too close to that tree but we'd rather be safe than sorry. Also happy to describe the yard restrictions if it would help anyone give us an opinion/advice here.

    Any general thoughts from the collective here on which might be a better option and why?

    20190514_112829.jpg 20190514_112842.jpg 20190514_112845.jpg 20190514_112848.jpg 20190514_112854.jpg
     
  2. Ted Jenkins

    Ted Jenkins Firewood by TJ

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    To me this is a no brainer. Get rid of the trees. You are not hurting for trees around your yard area. When I lived in Washington State the most valuable places were homes with out trees. So grew up thinking open the area for more sunny exposure. If there is any safety concern get them gone. The trees are an easy peasy removal. Thanks
     
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  3. sundance

    sundance ArboristSite Operative

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    First off, I'm not in the business. $4K sounds expensive (not knowing the specific restrictions). Of course the tree work I've had done leaves everything from wrist size up for me to deal with. If it's completely gone that's more work and more money. I's get a couple more bids.
     
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  4. ATH

    ATH Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Are the trees at risk of failing?

    "rather safe than sorry" sounds nice and all... do you ever drive on the highway? That is FAR more dangerous than having trees near the house. Prudence is good - have somebody qualified check them. It is very well documented that the less training and experience somebody has the more likely they are to recommend removal so check the qualification of whoever is assessing the tree. A good risk assessor should not recommend "remove" or "keep". They should give you the information you need to make your own decision based on your tolerance for risk and the value you place on the tree.
     
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  5. pmbou

    pmbou ArboristSite Lurker

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    Was $4k for the entire cost of removal? Try having it quoted differently, like option 1= take the tree down to the ground and take away everything less than 4", option 2=take everything but the stump, option 3= everything including stump removal. You might chose to have them do option 1, and go buy a chainsaw and a helmet, chaps, and learn to buck it up for yourself.

    About 12 years ago I had a row of 5 big poplars reaching out over my house and was concerned about branches coming down. These were over 3 feet across the stump. I had them quote as above. From memory, each option added like $3k, so it would have been like $9k for the full service. Well I did option 1, I had them dropped for $3k and bought 2 good used saws and gear, a splitter, and left the stumps trimmed to the ground. Got several cords out of it.
     
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  6. Rabid K9

    Rabid K9 New Member

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    Sage advice.
     
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  7. cus_deluxe

    cus_deluxe Thats what she said.

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    im not a full time tree service by any means, but ive done plenty of removals. unless there is something else the pictures dont show (proximity to power lines, difficult to access the area etc), around here, that conplete removal would cost less than $2000. $4000 is insane IMO.
    edit: just saw you are in perth...$4k is prob about right (my wife lived there for 1 1/2 years and i got to visit for a while). everything is close to twice as expensive there as here so that seems a little more reasonable
     
  8. sundance

    sundance ArboristSite Operative

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    Not in Perth, central PA from OP.
     
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  9. cus_deluxe

    cus_deluxe Thats what she said.

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    lol, mustve clicked the wrong persons name. in that case, $4k is insane haha
     
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  10. greengreer

    greengreer ArboristSite Operative

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    Alot of armchair experts out there.
    It's really hard to even get a ballpark number off of a few pictures.
    What I do see is what looks like a dead tree on a backyard with both a septic tank and a buried gas or propane tank in what appears to be the best drop zone.
    What's not in the pictures is how far away the trucks are, does all the material have to go thru a narrow gate or over a retaining wall, etc etc.
    I don't live in Pennsylvania, but from my understanding new hope is a suburb of philly, meaning it's probably not a very cheap place to do business.
    Easy to say someone's price is ridiculous until you add up all the costs of doing business. Insurance, workers comp, payroll tax, equipment payments and maintenance, fuel costs, advertising. The list goes on and on.

    To the OP: get a few estimates of your concerned about the price. Cheaper is not always better. Taking half a tree down now is always going to be more expensive in the long run. If I have to come back to finish it, your gonna be paying for that time one way or another. Good ways to save money are doing the things you're capable of. We, as arborists, are really expensive rakers. If you can go do the final clean up that should save you some money. Same goes for being able to leave the wood for you to deal with.
    That being said some companies won't go for "leaving a mess" even if it's agreed upon. It can give the company a bad image to a neighbor that has no idea of the deal you worked out.
     
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  11. pmbou

    pmbou ArboristSite Lurker

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    ATH has a point, are the trees really posing a risk right now? Eventually dead trees all fall down.

    greengreer has a point, it's over septic you can see the tanks, drain field is probably not far away, can't drive equipment or drop limbs over the drain field, and who knows what else is going on to complicate matters.

    The fact that both quotes came in at the same price makes me suspect they figured it right.

    Still it's your house and your money so get it done the way you want. Get more quotes and ask for more options, if one place won't bid a job your way, there is usually another who will.
    Leaving part of the dead tree sounds like a bad idea why not do it all at once and be done, otherwise you have do deal with it all again or it will be a hazard if left too long.
    Doing some cleanup will save you some dough if you're up for it, figure what your time's worth.
     
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  12. cus_deluxe

    cus_deluxe Thats what she said.

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    as i said, unless other circumstances are not shown by the pictures, that seems very straight forward. ive hired a guy around here with a crane to help with removals, for about $2k a day, and he can reach right over a house and grab half a tree. i understand markets are different, and maybe things are just twice as expensive there, but there must be something the pics arent showing. i live in a resort/tourist area, not a cheap place to live and work either.
     
  13. capetrees

    capetrees Addicted to ArboristSite

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