Fly by night tree services


Well-Known Member
Often when doing the no haul no clean up felling of a single tree, the voice in my head is if shit goes south I’m charging this chump change and risking everything?
Yes the drop and flop for the minimum price is great, but I could show these folks many trees which they would start back peddling right quick for only $250.
Went to fell a heavy side leaning spar, sunk my axe in and heard the ominous sound. Tapped it a few times and sent the climber back up to shorten it down from 70’ to 40’


Well-Known Member
We were having this conversation last week after we had another client telling us about the horrors of hiring a hack. The entry bar for tree services is to low around here. You can literally go put a down payment on an insurance policy and buy a city and state/county business license to start serving the public. No experience needed. No knowledge or competency required. I think it should be just like being a state licensed electrician, etc. If you can't show a small level of knowledge, you don't get licensed to operate. Even the landscapers have to be state licensed here. To do cabling and bracing you have to have the state tree surgeons license.
Here is unregulated and govt refuses to regulate as they have to underwrite the system if they do. So you do get your hacks, you do get more than enough rip-off crews. However to regulate will add significantly to the cost of tree work for compliance costs as it won’t be free, and I don’t think the community could afford it economically right now.

Here cable and bracing is regulated by civil law in that you are putting yourself in firing line if it fails and meeting insurance requirements to be covered means all the training and insurance payments to exclude many from venturing in that direction.

I think a consumer education program would be better - if it could exclude the efforts of hijackers that want to exclude all but the expensive options.


Well-Known Member
@Sawjocky; So, are you saying that this person dropped fourteen trees in three days for a total cost to the customer of $3,500.00? Or did he just drop one tree for $250.00, and it took him three days to do that? Thanks in advance for any answers you choose to provide.

Sorry for quoting my own post, but I don't think @Sawjocky answered my question yet. I'm not sure if it's just an oversight, or if he does not care to answer the question. I'd appreciate it if he were willing to do so, though. Thanks.



New Member
I don't know the exact price of total work completed probably more them 3500 because he did some climbing and the fact he worked for two neighbors. The point is his work was trash. he took way too long and Meth is the culprit fucking leach these kind of people make us all look bad.


Well-Known Member
Thanks for taking the time to answer, @Sawjocky. So I'm inferring that he did indeed drop roughly fourteen trees in three days of work. It is possible that he did for the customer exactly what he said he was going to do.

The customer just might not have realized what that would look like when it was all said and done, when he agreed to it in the first place. Thanks again.



Active Member
I recently droped 5 good size pines for a customer and no cleanup. $100 per tree and walk away. That's my minimum. He was more than happy. Once they were on the ground he changed his tune a little. First of all he thought it should have taken me way longer than it did. About 20 minutes total. Had to set a line and pull 2. Wedges in one and the other 2 fell. After dropping them exactly where he wanted them he was a little upset about all the brush and logs blocking his driveway and most of his yard. I had to explain to him that that was all his brush and that I didn't bring it in from another job and dump it on his lawn. After he thought about it for a minute he understood. He just didn't think there would be that much brush in those trees and he knew the logs weren't that big when they were standing. I told him that's why we charge what we do for cleanup. Which he opted out of during the estimate.


Well-Known Member
Always looks like more brush and debris when it's on the ground than when it is in the air.
And no matter how many times we tell our customers this, it's always a huge surprise when jobs done and a lot of the time we end up with pissed off customers.
At this point if they don't like the price on clean up I give them a few landscapers numbers, those guys can do it or they can call any doper in the book looking for a fix if they really want it cleaned up for cheap.