Tree Removal- How I Saved $800


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How I Save $800 on Tree Removal

Tree Removal Stumps

As you all know by now, I am a very frugal person. However, there are some things that you just can’t be cheap about. Surgeries, major car repair, major home repairs and Tree Removal are at the top of my list. When it comes to the little stuff, I am as handy as the next average Joe, but I respect the knowledge of a professional and will gladly pay for that expertise when it comes time to have the “big stuff” done. Such was the case with the trees we had removed from our property this past week.

Florida Hurricane Deductibles

If you aren’t from Florida or another coastal area, homeowners’ insurance is a completely different language to you. Our wind deductibles/hurricane deductibles are outrageous compared to the national average. For example, we have a $14,000 wind deductible on our home. One of the things that attracted us to our current locations was the “maturity” of the neighborhood. Not only does this apply to the residents, but also the landscape. As you can imagine, it absolutely broke my heart to have the trees cut down. I hoped that it wouldn’t come to that and we could just look for a company that could help with tree trimming jacksonville fl based, as I had heard sometimes that is enough to save them. However, we returned from a summer trip this June to see 1/3 of a Live Oak laying on my garage roof. That also broke my heart, knowing that I was going to be out of pocket for the first $14,000 of the experience. I lose either way. I decided that if I got the trees cut down, I would have at least removed the issue that would cause the bigger problem. They were not healthy to the naked eye so I could only imagine what they looked like underneath.

If you live in a neighborhood with a lot of trees in an area that gets a lot of wind, you can relate to the number of people that show up at your door wanting to cut down said trees. The selection process for the person that was awarded the work for tree removal was very simple. Please give me a copy of your Commercial General Liability certificate of insurance. In addition, I would like for your agent to email me a copy of the additional insured endorsement that is on your policy. This may seem like overkill to some of you, but if the contractor does not have insurance, you are screwed because it will fall under the liability section of your homeowner’s policy which is typically $300,000 in limit or less. If they have insurance but are not able to include you as an additional insured, you are equally as susceptible because you have the false sense of security that the contractor is insured. However, you may not be covered under their policy depending on the policy language and exclusions. By asking for the additional insured endorsement, you are basically guaranteed. Once I found someone that met those two basic requirements, I didn’t worry as much about the price.

Tree Removal Less the Stumps – Hint! DIY

For the record, the price was $2500 just to have the trees removed. Not a big deal since it was a total of 7 trees. What really got me riled up was the $800 I was going to have to pay to have the stumps ground. That, is what gave me the inspiration to write this article! For those of you that have stumps in your yard, I am going to give you the “DIY” way to get rid of the stumps and save some coin on your tree removal.

First, you need to drill holes in the remaining stump. It is recommended that you use a 1″ bit to drill the holes and take them as deep as the drill and bit will allow. You will want to space these holes evenly apart across the surface of the stump. Depending on the height of the stump, you may also wish to drill several holes around the circumference of the stump at 45 degree angles.

This next step is where many people get too hasty and end up derailing the train. You HAVE to be sure that the entire plant is dead. The easiest way to do this is to fill the holes with Roundup or another systemic herbicide. Make sure that you dilute the Roundup appropriately. You can only kill the tree so much, so don’t waste a bunch of concentrate thinking you are going to kill it faster. It’s not going to happen. Fill the holes and walk away. Check them periodically over the next 2 weeks to see if the Roundup is being absorbed. If it is, add more. After 2 weeks, you are done with this phase.

For the next phase, I actually went to Lowe’s and bought two bottles of Spectracide Stump Removal Granules. Some people choose to do it with salt, and others will abandon this thought altogether and fill their holes with gasoline or kerosene. I call those people “country folk” because you can’t live in the suburbs and pull that one off. I would end up in jail faster than I could blink, so I have to stick with the “tamer” method. You fill the holes to the appropriate level with stump rot granules and then top them off with hot water to assure the granules will dissolve. Once this is done, I am done, for 4-6 weeks. If the tree is 100% dead, and I have drilled the holes the correct way and filled them appropriately, it will take about this long for the stump to rot. Of course weather and other factors play a role in that as well.

Once that time has passed, if you use the kerosene method, light that bad boy on fire and grab a pack of weenies. If you didn’t, make sure it has rotted through. If it has, you can basically break it up with a little help from a mini sledge and haul it off in a wheelbarrow.

Money Saved is Money Earned

While many people aren’t willing to wait it out, others can save big on tree removal by using this method. It’s no different than anything else in the frugal lifestyle. DELAYED GRATIFICATION. For some, the $800 I saved would pay off a credit card or medical bill. For others, it’s rent or 2 months of car payments. I don’t care about the stumps sitting there for 2 months if I can save an additional $800 out of pocket.

Make sure you tune in next week when I show you the before and after pictures of the landscaping I did in the area where we had the trees removed. It’s just another great way that you can save big on a basic DIY project.

~David

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