Crap it finally happened. Wrong tree removed.

evo

Well-Known Member
#1
I am so embarrassed.

Today's quick and easy was to root prune a 12" caliper Japanese maple, and to remove 2 of 3 Bradford pears in a row along the drive.

I lined my guy out telling him we are keeping the middle one, and taking the other two. I got set up chiseling away da roots. My guy grabbed a handsaw and started whacking limbs off the pear (10" at ground), we were chatting away, good spirts, and laughing. I had my back to him while he was working, bent over with my nose in the dirt, my leg fell asleep, and I repositioned to see the horror. WRONG TREE! Half the limbs were cut off in a nice pile. I maintained calm, didn't freak out, and told him just to make finish cuts then to stop.

It's not that the tree was nice, or in good condition, or even the right tree in the right spot. I f-ed up, my employee f-ed up, miss communication all the way. Client isn't thrilled, but we came to a agreement on how I can make it right.

Any stories of you guys dealing with close to the same? How was it handled, what was the outcome?
 

SomethingWitty

Well-Known Member
#4
Back when I worked for Afford tree service, one day we showed up at the yard the boss led us to(we were led to every job because he didn't GPS or worry with addresses) in order to remove a medium-sized post oak over a new driveway.
We smashed it with the bucket and loader and got the whole thing in the truck in about two hours.... And then Dan showed up swearing about how we were dumbasses and then he took us to the other side of the neighborhood to remove the right tree.
I don't think anyone really paid attention, and we stole a tree without so much as a word to whoever owned the property.
The trucks had small signs. You had to walk up to read them. I dunno. Dan is an asshole.
 

flyingsquirrel25

Well-Known Member
#6
We were working on a row of crappy firs. 30” 70ft tall. The owner wanted to keep three and we were to take the one in the middle. I completely botched it, told the climber to take the wrong tree. Owner came out crying just before the top came down.... I was flabbergasted, I screwed up, thought my goose was cooked. We talked decided to obviously finish the tree and remove the one we were supposed to. I told the client she was not responsible for the cost of the miss cut tree. We got finished removing both trees and she came back out laughing. Was embarrassed that she “over reacted” and that she liked what we did better than what we had planned. I billed for the one tree, she payed for both. I tried to discount the next removal we did... she wouldn’t allow it. We ended up removing the remaining trees later that year after one fell on her prized state champion Kwanza Cherry. We still have work on the books yearly for this client, it’s our little inside joke how I forced her to make a decision (she’s just a bit indecisive).
 

evo

Well-Known Member
#7
So after I realized what happened and told my guy to stop, the client came out and said “oh, your pruning that one too?”
I quickly thought “great I’m off the hook” but then explained the issue, and that I would make it right. He left for us meeting. About 20 minuets after his neighbor came to talk with us about a small service berry. We were chatting and the his wife came out, “oh, I didn’t know you were pruning that tree too”. I played it off saying that I wanted to speak about that tree when I was done root pruning.

After the neighbor left, I explained the miss understanding my employee and I had, and that I would make it right. Consulted on what might be a better tree for the area, and we settled on a stewartia. Cost of new tree and planting on my dime. Ran by the nursery to see what they had in stock, and it turns out they only have 2-3 big ones left. Looks like I’m out a third of the bid, and half a day in labor to fix it. All smiles though..
 

evo

Well-Known Member
#9
We were working on a row of crappy firs. 30” 70ft tall. The owner wanted to keep three and we were to take the one in the middle. I completely botched it, told the climber to take the wrong tree. Owner came out crying just before the top came down.... I was flabbergasted, I screwed up, thought my goose was cooked. We talked decided to obviously finish the tree and remove the one we were supposed to. I told the client she was not responsible for the cost of the miss cut tree. We got finished removing both trees and she came back out laughing. Was embarrassed that she “over reacted” and that she liked what we did better than what we had planned. I billed for the one tree, she payed for both. I tried to discount the next removal we did... she wouldn’t allow it. We ended up removing the remaining trees later that year after one fell on her prized state champion Kwanza Cherry. We still have work on the books yearly for this client, it’s our little inside joke how I forced her to make a decision (she’s just a bit indecisive).
Conversation at the end of the job with the guy.
He shared a few of his companies major f-ups. Such as building a 300,000 square foot industrial complex 2 feet across a property line. Then a multistory addition, built next to a existing building to be joined on. The surveyor messed up the elevation at a benchmark, resulting in all the floors not lining up.
 

swingdude

De' Island Buzzer
#11
I am so embarrassed.

Today's quick and easy was to root prune a 12" caliper Japanese maple, and to remove 2 of 3 Bradford pears in a row along the drive.

I lined my guy out telling him we are keeping the middle one, and taking the other two. I got set up chiseling away da roots. My guy grabbed a handsaw and started whacking limbs off the pear (10" at ground), we were chatting away, good spirts, and laughing. I had my back to him while he was working, bent over with my nose in the dirt, my leg fell asleep, and I repositioned to see the horror. WRONG TREE! Half the limbs were cut off in a nice pile. I maintained calm, didn't freak out, and told him just to make finish cuts then to stop.

It's not that the tree was nice, or in good condition, or even the right tree in the right spot. I f-ed up, my employee f-ed up, miss communication all the way. Client isn't thrilled, but we came to a agreement on how I can make it right.

Any stories of you guys dealing with close to the same? How was it handled, what was the outcome?
Wish there was a ha ha...instead of a like... glad it worked out.
 

KevinS

Well-Known Member
#13
At a condo I was sent to remove a spruce so I cut down the only spruce they had. What I didn’t know was my spruce should have been dead and the people in the unit had there handyman cut it down the week before. Poor instructions and communication led to me taking out a very nice Siberian spruce
 

southsoundtree

Well-Known Member
#14
Turned my back on my groundman the other day, while training him step-by-step to fix up an old, very neglected Japanese Maple.

We were just about done, when I told him that where it was whacked back so hard on the one side,with opposite-branching, it would need thinning like the other side. I showed him to select one side-branch to save, and prune the rest.

Turned my back for a couple minutes, attending to other stuff, and he's removed the branches all the way to the main branch, liontailing the snot out of it, pruning in entirely the wrong spot (mid branch, not whacked-off ends).

It will fill-in, in a season, and I'll be back annually.

WTH was he thinking and doing?

About 10 years ago, a similar thing happened on a rear branch of an ornamental cherry?
I had to ask him how he got to that, from the instructions we discussed, and every example on the jobsite within 50'.
"oh. ummm."

Is ADD more common than ever, or is this just the way it is in laborious jobs?
 

evo

Well-Known Member
#16
[QUOTE="southsoundtree, post: 571087, member: 2887]
Is ADD more common than ever, or is this just the way it is in laborious jobs?[/QUOTE]
I love cucumbers. They are great mildly pickled in apple cider vinegar in the fridge for about a hour.
 

evo

Well-Known Member
#17
Turned my back on my groundman the other day, while training him step-by-step to fix up an old, very neglected Japanese Maple.

We were just about done, when I told him that where it was whacked back so hard on the one side,with opposite-branching, it would need thinning like the other side. I showed him to select one side-branch to save, and prune the rest.

Turned my back for a couple minutes, attending to other stuff, and he's removed the branches all the way to the main branch, liontailing the snot out of it, pruning in entirely the wrong spot (mid branch, not whacked-off ends).

It will fill-in, in a season, and I'll be back annually.

WTH was he thinking and doing?

About 10 years ago, a similar thing happened on a rear branch of an ornamental cherry?
I had to ask him how he got to that, from the instructions we discussed, and every example on the jobsite within 50'.
"oh. ummm."

Is ADD more common than ever, or is this just the way it is in laborious jobs?
Dude has been with you ten years?
The next conversation with the crew is to develop a plan so this doesn’t happen again.
Spray paint, neon signs with blinking arrows, skinning the bark off with a chainsaw.
Any thoughts?

I’ve heard horror stories from Seattle. Oddly numbered address, street numbers, and streets with tree names. Huge crews and poorly written work orders
 

climbhightree

Well-Known Member
#18
Hmm my most remembered one was done by @countryboypa31, many many years ago. I sent him and my other employee to remove a quick/simple dead Hemlock...they ended up removing a live Larch tree (it was winter time). The tree was much bigger and surrounded by communication wires (compared to the dead Hemlock). He thought he made good time on the tree, even though he thought I grossly misjudge how long the tree would take.

All the surrounding homeowners praised the guys for taking down this "dead" tree. It was for an association that we do a lot of time and material work for (wooded area, like a old church camp grove). I basically let it go and didn't charge for that time...later I joked about it with the maintenance guy. We still do tons of work there.

Ps- The dead Hemlock was down the path another 30 yards may be. All in all it was my fault for not giving clearer instructions/location.
 
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swingdude

De' Island Buzzer
#19
Hmm my most remembered one was done by @countryboypa31, many many years ago. I sent him and my other employee to remove a quick/simple dead Hemlock...they ended up removing a live Larch tree (it was winter time). The tree was much bigger and surrounded by communication wires (compared to the dead Hemlock). He thought he made good time on the tree, even though he thought I grossly misjudge how long the tree would take.

All the surrounding homeowners praised the guys for taking down this "dead" tree. It was for an association that we do a lot of time and material work for (wooded area, like a old church camp grove). I basically let it go and didn't charge for that time...later I joked about it with the maintenance guy. We still do tons of work there.

Ps- The dead Hemlock was down the path another 30 yards may be. All in all it was my fault for not giving clearer instructions/location.
Lol...epic...shite happens
 

Tom Dunlap

Here from the beginning
#20
I told the crew to go to 1234-56th Ave and lower the top of an Amir maple hedge on the side of the yard. A couple hours later I get The Call

They went to 1234-56 ½ Ave and were ¾ done with lowering the top of a Siberian elm hedge across the front of the house

It was all settled but that story is too long

I asked the crew leader when I gave him the address if he was going to write the address down. I got the hand wave off and confident no I'll remember. Grrrrr

After that I wrote things down

The crew leader didn't express any regret or apology. He got fired a few weeks later because of another incident
 
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