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Advice for Homeowners about Tree Removal Companies and Pricing

Duluth (WDIO) - With so many downed trees across the Northland, there is ample work ahead for tree removal companies.

In the Morley Heights neighborhood, homeowners have been receiving flyers from companies, most of which are from out of town.

Gerry Johnson showed us his pile of flyers. He had a 100 foot tree come down and land on a car in the street. Thankfully, it didn't hit his home or hurt anyone. "I had a friend from the Range help me cut it up. But if he wasn't available, I would have called Rick's," he told us."

Rick's Tree and Stump Removal crews were next door at his neighbor's, Joanne Camelon. "I've used Rick's for years. I did get quotes from other companies, and in my mind, they were outrageous. Buy local, because these people want your business," she said.

We met up with Rick Hanson, owner of Rick's. They've been swamped for weeks, since the first storms in July did a number on Island Lake. Now it's even busier.

"We are focusing on the trees that hit homes first, so contractors can seal the roofs. Then it will be garages, and then yards. We are working as fast as we can," he said.

As for pricing, he said the average job is $1200-$1500 for a tree. But it wouldn't be unheard of to see a $4000-$5000 tree, depending on location.

On hearing there are inflated prices being quoted in the Northland, Hanson said that $20,000 would likely be unfair. Duluth Police posted on Facebook that they are taking reports in the Woodland neighborhood of some companies charging extremely inflated prices, and that sometimes potential scammers hit the elderly population first.

Another tree company, Leaf it To Us Tree Solutions, is run by a man who went to UMD, but now lives in the Twin Cities. "We are relying on word of mouth, and we are so busy," Jack Flavin said. "My recommendation to people is to check references." 

He said that they have done $20,000 jobs, but those were for 35 trees and took four days. The biggest job he's done in Duluth so far is one that is slated to last all day, and it was $4,500.

Another piece of advice from Hanson is to ask to see the insurance certificate of a tree service company.