Tree trimming. Reasonable price in Canberra?

vulpior 11 July 2013 10

We live out of town with a long, tree- and bush-lined drive. The trees grow, of course, and we periodically trim back to avoid damage to larger vehicles; Elgas in particular flags this to us. Some of the growth that needs attention this time is higher up and we are going to have a couple of local guys come and do a fairly drastic job to clear the drive.

They have quoted a price of $50 each per hour (so $100 per hour for the pair) for cutting and clearing the cut material to a designated spot on site, and $200 more for them to take it away, and I suspect that this is a for-cash price (I’m not the one who has been speaking to them). They also expect the work to take at least 8 hours.

I have no idea whether this is a reasonable price or not. What say you, RiotActers?

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10 Responses to Tree trimming. Reasonable price in Canberra?
zllauh zllauh 10:40 pm 30 May 15

Hi Mate,

Get couple of quotes and compare apples to apples. I doubt there is 8 hours of work.

We have used in the past for a tree removal and had good experience. Would certainly recommend them, Atleast get couple of quotes from few mob.

Cash in hand job is not best always !

My 2 cents.

vulpior vulpior 9:31 am 19 Jul 13

Farout, I wouldn’t suggest that these guys would fulfil the description of “a reliable tree trimming service”, at least not for urban properties that need careful attention paid to a small number of trees. They were definitely “a couple of guys with a ute, ladder and chainsaw” who were able to do the drastic cutting back that the trees lining our rural driveway needed.

And to those who asked or commented about insurance, I have absolutely no idea (but could guess). I left it to the neighbour/landlord/parents to do the arranging and chipped in half the cost.

It’s rare that we need skilled/trained arborists for our place. We certainly don’t need to employ anybody for power company mandated work; over the border in NSW they do the work to cut trees away from power lines and provide replacement plants too.

Sandman Sandman 5:36 pm 16 Jul 13

Bargain. Are they fully insured for that price?

farout farout 2:30 pm 16 Jul 13

vulpior said :

They came as promised. They did the job.

Care to share the name / website, so that anyone looking for a reliable tree trimming service can consider them?

vulpior vulpior 12:23 pm 16 Jul 13

They came as promised. They did the job. The price was well worth it, especially to keep our weekends free for what we want to do rather than trimming trees. It should keep the trees away from larger vehicles for a good few years.

breda breda 1:55 pm 13 Jul 13

These guys sound like backyard operators to me.

I recently had major tree surgery and general pruning done in my back yard. The trees involved are precious to me (60 year old camellias, a big liquidamber and a few smaller ones) so I bit the bullet and paid Sapphire Coast Tree Services just under a grand to do the job.

They sent four guys and it took about 6 hours, so on an hourly basis it was quite reasonable – two of them were skilled arborists and two were labourers. They chipped everything on site and raked up the yard so that it was neater than when they arrived. The trees look fantastic – you can’t even tell that they have been pruned in most cases. The liquidamber, which is three times the height of the house, needed major surgery to keep it off the power lines, and that took about 3 hours, but should last for 10 years based on the last time I had to have it trimmed for the same reason.

I probably could have found someone cheaper, but prefer to pay a bit more for professionals who have the right safety gear, training, insurance etc. If somebody injures themselves with a chainsaw or something (it’s dangerous being up a 15m tree with a chainsaw!) I want to know that they have proper workers compensation insurance and that their colleagues know first aid.

churl churl 1:33 pm 12 Jul 13

Depending on what is growing, it may well not need an aborist.
A lot of rural wind breaks are trimmed mechanically (think mega hedge trimmer), up to a remarkable height, and can include tops.
But I dont know what local rates for that are.

vulpior vulpior 10:50 am 12 Jul 13

And that is just the kind of advice that I was after. Thanks.

Elf Elf 2:14 am 12 Jul 13

$50 per hour is cheap by standards. Compare it to say bus drivers, earning $31+ per hour, 19% super, 6 weeks holidays per year, 20 sick days per year etc. Add that up and it would excees $50 per hour for what is unskilled labour. If you are being charged $50 that is about 30-40 dollars per hour lower than industry standard, ie: Qualified arborists with proper Insurance. If any trimming needs to be done off the ground, then you need to be an arborist to get the Insurance that will cover. If they are the run of a mill gardening business, be careful they most likely will not be covered for this sort of work.

thatsnotme thatsnotme 4:29 pm 11 Jul 13

A while back, we got a letter in the mailbox from ACTEW asking us to trim a tree in our back yard that was getting a bit close to the power lines (not the main lines, just the line from the pole to our house). It’s an old apple tree, that had obviously gone many years before we moved in with no care, so it was a bit of a mess. Seeing as it’s the only mature tree in our back yard, we want it to stay.

We asked for a quote from someone to come in, trim the tree, and give it a bit of a clean up / shape.

The quote was over $1,000. Needless to say, I climbed the tree with a saw and did the job myself!

Only a limited sample I know, but if your job takes 8 hours, then $1,000 to trim multiple trees and take away the mess doesn’t sound unreasonable to me.

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