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Old 08-06-2011, 11:11 AM
 
Location: SE Michigan
6,191 posts, read 15,352,869 times
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I bought another house last summer, and there's a very large dead ash tree in my front yard that needs to go. It's close to power lines, and the way it's leaning, could come down right on my roof in a storm. I called both Consumers Energy - they said it's not close enough to the lines to pose a real problem and they'll only remove branches, not whole trees, and the township, who said they'd only remove it if it was on the easement, which it's not.

Because of the proximity to both the power line and my house, I'm not going to hire anyone without proof of insurance. True story - the guy that does my lawn is also a handyman, and a couple of weeks ago removed some large branches for someone. One branch fell onto a power line, and the homeowner was charged almost $1,700 for repair by the power company. My lawn guy has no insurance and has agreed to pay her back in installments.

I've had one estimate so far - $575, which I thought quite inexpensive. I'm told that's about right for the area (SE Michigan.) Am going to get another estimate or two. That didn't include stump grinding or wood removal: the guy said he'd cut the stump level so I could put flower pots or a birdbath on it. Stump grinding adds about $100. I know people who will be delighted to come take the wood away for firewood.

Have you ever had a tree removed? How much did it cost? Any horror stories?
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Old 08-06-2011, 11:31 AM
 
404 posts, read 1,170,573 times
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Don't know about your area, but I'd expect that a tree being dead or alive won't matter in the cost of removal. I'd think removing a dead tree would be a little more dangerous because of the threat of branches breaking and falling. I just had a dead red leaf maple removed and it turned out to be infested with termites and it was close to my home, the termites were under the bark and not visible--so there's that to worry about. Good luck.
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Old 08-07-2011, 12:20 AM
 
Location: Eretz Yisrael
21,353 posts, read 24,084,481 times
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Shop around. The number should be around $300 for a crew with insurance to drop it and cut it into dealable pieces. clean up, grinding and removal will add to the price.
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Old 08-07-2011, 01:47 AM
 
Location: Ohio
15,158 posts, read 13,418,020 times
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NE Ohio here. Last summer I had a dead tree taken down......about 18 - 24 inches wide at the base.

$400 dollars to do it all, cut it down, remove the wood and grind the stump.....I got $50 off for paying cash. I had it done by a local tree service.

I wouldn't use anyone other than a licensed, insured tree service to take down a tree close to power lines or a house.
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Old 08-07-2011, 04:56 AM
 
20,793 posts, read 53,962,236 times
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I was going to say that was dirt cheep. We have very large ash trees at our other house. Just to get them trimmed is about $200. We just lost 15 50 year old pine trees in the back yard of that house from a wind storm. Since the wind knocked them down they were "free" to take down but we got a bid of close to $6000 to remove all the stumps . We are just cutting them off at ground level and planting some bushes
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Old 08-07-2011, 05:25 AM
 
Location: Virginia
18,717 posts, read 26,898,941 times
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Your bid is dirt cheap compared to the DC area. We had an oak suddenly die, and it cost us $800 to have it cut down and carted away. No stump grinding included, but the tree was in a tricky spot, within 40 feet of three homes in three different directions so there was only a very narrow area for braches and the tree to fall. That might have added to the price.
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Old 08-07-2011, 06:42 AM
 
39,449 posts, read 40,753,065 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chiroptera View Post
I've had one estimate so far - $575, which I thought quite inexpensive.
Without knowing the size of the tree it's impossible to know and prices will vary by area. They are just cutting it down, chipping the limbs and leaving the logs?

Close power lines or houses add a lot because it's a lot more work. If you have a nice clear area you just cut it down, at most you might top it and cut that up on the ground and drop the rest of it. Might take an hour or two to get it down and cut up with a larger tree. Same tree with with obstacles on the ground might take all day. You have to rope each limb down which means each limb has to be tied off before it's cut so it can be safely lowered to the ground. $100 seems cheap for any sizable stump but I'd question how much of it he's going to remove if it was really big tree. That can take many hours to do them right even with a really good machine, you can look at the diameter of the base of the tree and that is going to double about a foot into the ground. There's a lot more there than you see.

Last edited by thecoalman; 08-07-2011 at 06:58 AM..
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Old 08-07-2011, 06:59 AM
 
5,641 posts, read 17,308,313 times
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It sounds like a halfway decent price, but I would shop around. The services vary widely even around here in Chicago area - we finally got a good company, the local guy that for some reason everyone uses - he is expensive with bad customer service to boot.

They measure the circumference of the tree and price it that way. Get that dead tree down, it can do serious damage if one falls esp. with the storm we have been having this year. We had 3 perfectly healthy trees come down this year. Luckily earlier in the year, we took 2 dying/1 dead trees down.

Like someone else said, make sure they have insurance!
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Old 08-07-2011, 07:18 AM
 
Location: SE Michigan
6,191 posts, read 15,352,869 times
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The base of the tree is about three feet wide, and the trunk branches off into three seperate trunks, as it were. The guy who gave me the estimate so far said it would take him and his partner all day.

I know it's a complicated job...some lower branches are within a few feet of the power lines, it's maybe 20 feet from my house and also close to a fir tree. Yes, he'll drop it, saw the pieces into manageable chunks and put them in a pile and rake up the debris.

I'm going to get another couple of estimates this week.

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Old 08-07-2011, 07:21 AM
 
39,449 posts, read 40,753,065 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gardener34 View Post
Like someone else said, make sure they have insurance!
Absolutely, my Brother used to cut trees down for a living and he was damn good at it. He's never had any major issues other some minor damages and we used to do 50 foot trees right next to houses. He was talking to the one neighbor about this tree he had next to his barn that was all gnarly. My brother wanted the wood for furniture and the guy wanted the tree gone. He was going to cut it for free but flatly told him he had no insurance and wouldn't be responsible for damages.
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