Quoting Over The Phone

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"Can't you just give me a ballpark price? ...."

We are continually asked this by potential clients when they call… it usually goes something like this:

Oh hello…. um -  I was just wanting a rough idea on how much it would cost to cut down a medium size maple tree?


Yes hello, what’s the average price to trim up a Bradford Pear?

I think you get the idea…..and maybe even have asked a similar question yourself.

I can tell you now - that as the one who answers these calls…. I have come to find it rather comical, when (before I learned the hard way) if I even dared to give out a ballpark price or start to question the size/location/difficulty/etc of the job at hand, I soon found myself in a real mess. Let me explain….

Many times the situation or tree is played down, this is called minimizing…..

"Oh, well its really just an average basic everyday kind of maple tree, heck I'd do it myself except ______"
Then occasionally it’s the opposite: What sounds like a MONSTER turns out to be just a straight forward drop and clean up.

Sadly, some tree service companies will actually try the above mentioned scenario on the customer. They will give out a cheap price, just to get a foot in the door, but upon arriving for the job, their true motive begins to become apparent right away:

….. “uh - well yeah look Mary, you can get a tree like that one across the road done for $300 no problem, and that’s what we were thinking would be the price for your tree by the way you described it.  But Ma’am, this thing ya got here is a real monster … we can do it now for $900 but if we have to come back it’s gonna run ya $1200 at least.”

Just remember:  inside of the equation that makes up averages - are also price extremities, the cheapest to the most insane.


Knowledge is invaluable when it comes to spending your money. If someone gives you a price over the phone or from an email picture...be wary.