$46k? Thats outrageous. And yes, beware of the ones who complain about their costs. Nobody, esp a customer, wants to hear all that nonsense. Its called the cost of doing business.
Lets break this down:
6 trees removed - price does vary now. Depend largely on size (pun intended!). And expect an upcharge if higher skill is needed (painstaking or meticulous detail, buildings in very close proximity). Nonetheless, lets call it $2k per tree (for which, if you are having them do all 6 during one visit/job, they should most definitely give you a volume discount)
12 trees trimmed - also varies, dependant on height. Also dep on proximity to buildings, etc. Call it $500 per tree (which is again is high, as some trees won’t need this much detail.
Crew/equipment breakdown: I’m not into telling contractors how to do their job. I am, however, into figuring out the actual resources necessary to do a job. This helps determine true cost. For this job, let say: 6 guys, 2 highly skilled climbers, 2 bucket trucks, 1 chipper, and 1 pc of misc heavy equipment. Chainsaws and other smaller equip are a given - these are called the cost of doing biz (you dont upcharge for that). That many on the crew should take 3 days max.
If you pay each guy $750-1000 for the 3 days, that is $7,500 max on labor. Remainder can be put toward machinery, profit, and “insurance”. As you can see, total price of $18k is more than enough.