Depends a lot on your financial well-being, their financial well-being, the costs and risks involved, and relationship. I suppose, also, if they are broke because of poor financial management, its possibly an enabling action.
Easy to give away a quick pruning job or knock over an easy tree.
Everything takes time. Everything takes money.
Case by case...but mostly double...no, just kidding.
Someone was known to always charge a dollar. Things get wrecked when doing work for free.
My twin Brother is tighter than a sharks ass. He messaged me about some tree work at his new house, Mornings work, Nothing tricky for me but would be a nightmare for him. He offered to sort me out lunch if I did it. Week later he messaged me saying that he had won a new phone at work and would I like to buy it. My truck is broken so I can't afford to spend out on a 'toy', so I said that if he gives me the phone, I'll go and do his trees. Next thing, hes posted it up on Facebook for equivalent of $900. He's just got a brand new kitchen and new car. Needless to say, my wife is not keen on me giving away my time for a lunch!!
Some friends are free, some are at a very reduced cost. Family is free, but I got a couple uncles that insist on payment and don't take no for an answer.
If I gotta bring a good rope man with me they'll pay his wage 25 or 30$ an hour cash. If that's all they pay for rigging over structures and wires, it's almost nothing. I like helping and doing favors, but I'm not gonna lose money.
I've bartered work with friends too. Traded tree work for HVAC work, auto mechanic work, painting. Got a buddy that's a plumber who owes me one lol hopefully never gotta cash that favor in, it might not be a fair trade if he has to visit for more than 2 hours or so. I just flopped some dead ash for him to clean up.
Drinks and chow are always appreciated, but unless it's scary hazardous trees, I'm probably having a good time anyways!
After a 48+ hour week in the plant, trees are usually very enjoyable for me. It's fun, and therapeutic. My son is really taking a liking to it now too, I bought him a saw and some good quality PPE, nice saw pants and a Petzl helmet. He wants to climb now. Maybe next year if he keeps paying attention and learning.
Didn't know you had a twin, Tommy, cool! Identical?
"friends and family rate" necessary part of my life (extends to all my neighbors on this Mt. as well ... Working close to home is good). Yes cheap , but I figure long run with very few exceptions it comes back plus to me somehow. Other jobs , ect. , sometimes their neighbors will pay full rate.
Depends on the friends, depends on the family.
Currently working every 2nd Saturday on a friends tree(s) till they are both down. Quite large canyon oaks. Just Rob, me and the HO. He is relatively disabled, so he is limited to what he can do and how much he can afford. He also does a lot for folks that have no one to turn to. Vietnam vet. We trade. He'll come out ahead. Wants to trade me his fishing boat. I don't want a hole in the water to pour money in. So we will be making other arrangements. Again. He'll come out ahead.
Other friend insists on paying me, but I give him a family discount. Again, a guy that really takes care of some folks that cant do for themselves otherwise.
Both these guys donate a lot of time to our local youth as well..
Family, they try to pay. If they succeed, I just spend it back on them
Everybody is a little different.
It's like, I really don't like that bro in law. But I love my sister. SO I gave him a consult for free to tell him what my expert opinion was on his ash tree in Colorado being devoured by beetles. His was about the last one standing in the neighborhood. He had it treated for a few years consecutively. My sister hated the tree.
I showed him some defects and what a threat it would eventually be to the house and how it was crowding out his nicer tree (a bradford pear ) that was quite healthy and vigorous. Not threatening the house. Showed him how to make collar cuts and "thin it" so that maybe the snow "might not" break it.
Sister was happy. Tree gone. Bro offered me a C note. He was happy I refused. I am happy my sister is happy. My opinion of the dude has not changed, but he feels I like him well enough. That is good to keep my sister happy. Hey.... win win...
So many folks around here on a pretty fixed income own properties and didn't expect all the Ash to drop dead so quickly. Probably 2nd or 3rd most common hardwood in the area. The good news is they can often pay for drop and leave and get someone else to come collect the wood for heating. Some guys will cut the firewood out of 3" branches, I just lack the patience.
Bad news is folks are letting them go too long to the point that they're too risky to climb. I'll help my friends and family all day long if it can be done safely.
I guess if there's a bright side it's that it's not called the Emerald Willow Borer... that would suck trying to get rid of that crap. At least Ash wood is desirable.
A sawbuck makes easy work out of that smaller stuff, many pieces at a time, upright, and away from dirt. You can find a good pallet-sawbuck video for an idea. Easy for the HO to tell the guy cutting the wood up.
I’ve done things for friends and family and I try to cover cost on most. Some realize it and at least give a healthy tip.
My mother in law on the other hand is a PITA. Bitches if I charge her for fuel cost. Apparently “giving” me her daughter is payment enough. I’d love to swap the bills
That's because there is unlimited demand for free stuff. Just put up signs in your town offering a cooked hot dog with a value of 99¢ for free, and see how long the line gets. Now that I think of it, that might be a great way to promote a tree biz. Just hand out flyers with every free hot dog. You might not need many customers to be generated from that to pay for all the hot dogs and slingers.
You all are much kinder then myself. I don't have any family owning trees in these parts, thankfully. I really don't like it when friends or friends of family ask for help and try not to get involved. I much prefer working for relative strangers.