Quoting Bush and Hedge Trimming

climbingmonkey24

Active Member
I was just curious how others tackle bush and hedge trimming. Like a line of hemlocks or arborvitaes for example. Or bushes / shrubs. Do you think the hourly rate should be different than tree work because less equipment and man power, etc.?
 

climbingmonkey24

Active Member
What do you do when a potential client tells you they got some quotes and thought they were ridiculous (even though you know they aren’t) and how they know what the job is worth...

“shaking my head”
 

Fivepoints

Well-Known Member
Price it how it should be anyway and don't waste any more of your time than necessary. I ran into this last week. I was the third guy to quote it and we were apparently all pretty close in price. The potential customer was whining to me that he didn't have that kind of money but he had a nice corvette in the driveway. He mentioned that the previous people were trying to rip him off. I politely pointed out to him that we weren't all trying to rip him off and we have a lot of overhead to operate.
 

Chaplain242

Well-Known Member
Hedging is also a skill, and to do it properly takes time - If you guess the time and use your tree rate then by the time you finish you will be working for the lower rate anyway...
 

southsoundtree

Well-Known Member
I have 6+ insurance policies to pay
Commercial auto
General liability
Surety bond
Unemployment Insurance
Inland Marine
Insurance on my financed mini-loader.

Someone said that 'there is a tree service for everyone'.

I say, "My dad asked me if I could argue with paying for Quality".

I repeat, "No Free Lunch".

Bid it at your regular hourly. If you get it, great. If not, great.
 

Serf Life

Well-Known Member
Shearing vs clipping, sides only or the whole thing, whimsical or traditional? My worst fall was off an orchard ladder shearing an ugly hedge for assholes, full price. It can take a while if you are meticulous and want to be called back, so bidding low makes them expect low next time...
 

SeanRuel

Well-Known Member
To properly prune a hedge is one of the most involved things you can do. Getting interior cuts is essential, and it takes experience to do correctly. Easier on the body and less equipment, but the great deal of skill required makes up for that imo.
 

RBJtree

Well-Known Member
I generally refer them to a good landscaper. Hedges and bushes is not my cup of tea. I could do them, but its not fun to me and my guys don't like it either. Occasionally I will bid them if they are part of a project with larger trees that I don't want to loose if I refuse the bushes. I tell them it's very time consuming to do them right and we have to charge our normal rates no matter what we are doing due to overhead.
 

colb

Well-Known Member
Most hedges are done as rectangles when a trapezoid with a wider base is correct.

Sell quality work and plant knowledge.
Yeah, but geometric forms are boring unless they are hypermodern cubist...

I overbid a hedge job recently because it was extensive and geometric. I told them I would bid high, and they declined that item on the estimate. No way I'm spending two days on that!
 

swingdude

De' Island Buzzer
Some of the things you see in this business with people and money makes you sit back and say...wtf??
You got that shit right. I do not lower my prices for anyone. I been down that road years ago. All is got me was grief. Charge your worth and if they go with someone else that is fine. Your clientelle will build over time. People that respect your skillset and like your high end work.
 

Chaplain242

Well-Known Member
Shearing vs clipping, sides only or the whole thing, whimsical or traditional? My worst fall was off an orchard ladder shearing an ugly hedge for assholes, full price. It can take a while if you are meticulous and want to be called back, so bidding low makes them expect low next time...
Likewise - took a fall onto a rock wall (these structures often go hand in hand with hedges) and there was now a new definition to a hard landing for me.... the rock wall caused water tunnelling and the ladder (even with leg base) punched into the cavity... fun and games...
 

Chaplain242

Well-Known Member
Fuck hedges and bushes. I do not mess with any. 0. That is landscaper work period. Not worth my time unless they are removals. Love killing them.
At certain few times of the year hedging becomes the busiest job for me.

However (Big However!!) hedging is one of those things that people see in the magazines and want that product, but don't have the budget.

Worse some richer clients dont want to pay its worth (thats how some are able to drive high end cars and live in the richest end of town - I have been shafted before doing hedges for these guys, and they want the most exquisite product including Topiary. Really have to vett the clients for their ethics, and their ability and willingness to pay.

On the other hand, hedging can gain you new clients for better paid tree work.

But if you hit fence wire it can cost you significantly more than a replacement chain.
 

Serf Life

Well-Known Member
I generally tell clients that if the work can be done by a landscaper, go with the landscaper.
Can't get the photo to load. Snapped a shot of crazy volcano planting/mulching couple weeks ago. There are great landscapers out there but tree-people can be more informed and provide a better product. Landscaper/lawn-mower could prune that young ornamental, and I'll be there 10yrs later saying "for fuck's sake".
 

Serf Life

Well-Known Member
Likewise - took a fall onto a rock wall (these structures often go hand in hand with hedges) and there was now a new definition to a hard landing for me.... the rock wall caused water tunnelling and the ladder (even with leg base) punched into the cavity... fun and games...
Ouch! Mine was a cracked weld where the post leg attaches which let the ladder torque and kick out underneath. Flat on my back from 10-12 ft and trimmer landed on me. Love that feeling where you can't breath for a bit and then it hurts to as the back pain sets in. Ladders are more dangerous than one-handing. Ansi that!
 
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