Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Arborist Comparisons

During that April snowstorm a tall wild-looking apple tree in our back yard fell on our house.  It fell slowly and caused no damage.  (My wife did not even wake up.)

But we needed it removed and its stump ground so it would not regrow.  We also needed to remove a big Ponderosa Pine on our uphill property line that was threatening to fall on our neighbor's house.  Finally, we had a tall, skinny, and sick White Oak near that might as well get removed while the other work was being done.

I contacted three arborists. How did the bids compare?

The first was Gene Burks of Second to None Tree Service (541-517-3736).  He is a one-man operation, and the arborist we use to prune dead branches from our back yard's wonderful White Oak tree.  He does not do stump grinding.

His bid for the Apple was $400, the Ponderosa Pine was $1,650, and the sick White Oak was $100.

(We eventually hired Gene to remove all three trees.  His method for removing the Ponderosa Pine was fascinating to watch.  He removed half of the branches and hauled them away, then removed the rest and built a "bird's nest" under the Pine.  Then he started at the top and dropped ten-inch to twelve-inch rounds down into that nest cushion.)

The second bid was from Bakke Tree Care, another one-man operation that was recommended by a friend.  Jonathan Bakke was friendly and prompt.  I cannot say more since we did not hire him.

His bid for the Apple was $280, the Ponderosa Pine was $3,900, and the sick White Oak was $100.

(I have no idea why his bid for the Ponderosa Pine was so high.  I also wonder if he would use the same "bird's nest" method or if he had some other technique?  His bid for the Apple was quite low: I'll never know if he had some trick to make that job simpler.)

Finally, we called Sperry Tree Care, which might be the biggest tree care business in Eugene.  Since they were the only arborist I called who was able to do stump grinding we hired the for that job ($80).

Their bid for the Apple was $380, the Ponderosa Pine was $1,950, and the sick White Oak was $250.

(Talking to the fellow who removed the stump, I found out that Sperry Tree Care prides itself in "beautification" jobs.  They often have customers who say "make the yard as nice as you can for such-and-such amount of money".  A crew of four to six workers arrives, makes plans, checks the plans with the client, starts the clock, and then divides and conquers.)

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