Here's the 4 tree quotes we have received to take down 3 trees in our back yard:
* $2700 turned to $2600: This was the first quote, the guy was originally starting at $2700 to take the brush but leave the wood, $2600 to leave everything. I told him for $100, just leave it. He offered then to take it away for the $2600. Was not very professional.
* $2400: This was the second quote we received, much more professional, though they would have cost more for them to leave the wood (they make money by chipping the wood and selling it).
* $1300: This one I talked with the owner of the business (he owns several businesses) in person on Saturday, we've been trying for a week to get his tree person to come out but the guy has been really sick. The $1300 is them just bringing it down to the ground, leaving it for me to cut up (or hire someone else to cut it up).
* $1900: This would be taking it all away.
I'm thinking of going with the $1300 route for getting it down to the ground (my main concern) and then I can probably hire someone for $10-20/hr to cut it all up and pile it alongside the house. For the stumps I'll rent a stump grinder for $100/day and take care of 5 stumps I have in the back yard (3 from these trees, 2 from trees I took down last year). In all, I think we can do this all for under $1700.
The removal of the trees will allow me to expand our garden plans to be around 800-1000 sq feet and get rid of some dangerous trees close to our house (and our neighbor's house).