Amazing Variance in Tree Service Cost

A June storm forced our hand on our trash trees. We had to remove one large hackberry tree, we chose to remove another hackberry (was choked off with vines), and we elected to remove 9 other small hackberrys before they get out of hand and a Carolina cherry laurel that was growing too close to the house.

We got four estimates before we had the tree work done:

Name Job & Insurance Coverage Cost (tax not included)
Dallas Tree Surgeons
703 Valencia St.
Dallas, TX 75223
Everything. Web site says “insured for your protection.” $3400
Sam Hill Tree Care
PO BOX 170304
Irving, TX 75017-0304
Everything. Carries liability & workman’s comp. $2000
Herbst Tree Services
1600 Stonecrest Trail
Wylie, TX 75098
Everything except haul off trees. Carries liability but not workman’s comp. $1925
Preservation Tree Services
660 Preston Forest Center, #137
Dallas, TX 75230
Everything except stump grinding. Web site says “fully insured.” $3850

The variance in these prices is astounding. The company we ended up choosing, Sam Hill Tree Care, is properly insured and accredited and came in as almost the lowest price. The most expensive company was nearly twice as much! When you’re talking thousands of dollars, that is a huge difference, bordering on exorbitance.

It pays to shop around!

Trash trees removed

All the trash trees save one are now gone from my property. Below are links to panoramic shots of my trashy back yard, one before and one after the tree removal.

back yard before tree removal

back yard after tree removal

If you look carefully, you may be able to see the remaining tree. It is directly under the TXU power line, so I have to call TXU out to remove it.

The tree removal company’s two trucks were chock full of debris:

Our next task is to sod that yard!

Watering the Lawn

Last year I purchased a Melnor 4200 water sprinkler from Home Depot. It looks like this:

I have read from various places that you should give your lawn at least a full inch of water every time you water it.

What amazed me is that after this Melnor sprinkler ran at full blast for an hour and 10 minutes, it had delivered so little water that I couldn’t see much water some containers I set up around the yard. (This is a common way to determine the output of your sprinkler.) I don’t think this is a problem with the sprinkler per se; I just need to leave the sprinkler running for hours at a time to get the deep water penetration necessary to encourage deep roots.

Update: After 3 hours of watering, the rain cups barely measured 1/2 inch!

This is a Dallas Summer?

It has rained so much in the past month that we’re enjoying Houston-like conditions: high humidity, highs in the mid- to upper 80s and the lows are around 70, and swarms of bugs and mosquitoes everywhere. This is nuts! Are we really in Dallas? Where’s the 110 degree summers?

Jennifer fertilized the yard this afternoon, and I didn’t bother watering afterward because I’m sure we’ll get rain within the next 24 hours.