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View Full Version : How to charge for trimming shrubry


Ol'Man
12-15-2006, 10:03 PM
I do ok estimating for mowing and trimming but not sure about shrubs and hedges. Do you charge per shrub or on an hourly basis. Also how often do you trim? Any time of year? How much of the plant can you cut back?

Allure
12-15-2006, 10:16 PM
I would charge by the hour but more importantly i would read up first. There are a lot of factors to consider when pruning & many plants have different needs.
Timing is important especially with respect to the bloom time of the plant.

Some plants can take heavy pruning, others are very sensitive to any pruning.

do your customers a favor & learn as much as you can over the winter.
I took a one day class at Rutgers last year & i am taking advanced pruning techniques in march. I'm sure you could find something similar at a local school.

I started reading 'the pruner's bible' last month. It gives specific pruning tips for for nearly 100 deferent species as well as lots of general tips.

Horticopia is another source for plant specific pruning advice.

Good luck

topsites
12-16-2006, 11:17 AM
Try $30 / hour starting, work with that for some time, see how things work out.

carcrz
12-16-2006, 12:05 PM
$30 an hour? That's probably a good starting point while you are learning. In our area, it is around $50 - 60 an hour inlcuding dump time. The best way I have found is to always add more time than what you think it will take to do it. That way, if it takes longer there is no problem. Also, you will be better off giving prices based on estimated time rather than charging by the hour. I always give an actual price of what it will cost, that way when I am done working my tail off & get done early I still get what I bid for the project.

metro36
12-16-2006, 01:41 PM
I trim hedges for 30-40 an hour. If you have to dispose of the cuttings you put that in your estimate. Good Luck

daveintoledo
12-16-2006, 01:43 PM
I would charge by the hour but more importantly i would read up first. There are a lot of factors to consider when pruning & many plants have different needs.
Timing is important especially with respect to the bloom time of the plant.

Some plants can take heavy pruning, others are very sensitive to any pruning.

do your customers a favor & learn as much as you can over the winter.
I took a one day class at Rutgers last year & i am taking advanced pruning techniques in march. I'm sure you could find something similar at a local school.

I started reading 'the pruner's bible' last month. It gives specific pruning tips for for nearly 100 deferent species as well as lots of general tips.

Horticopia is another source for plant specific pruning advice.

Good luck

no disrespect intended, but you really sound like you probably dont know what you are doing..... thats ok , just learn the proper way to trim bushes and schrubs

dont do it till you learn first...when i first learned, in the 80's, i found the public library a GREAT sorce of information, then practice on your own plants for a while......

this is an area where you really should have insurance also, if you where to accidently destroy an expensive landscape, it could cost thousands to repair.....:)

grassmanak
12-16-2006, 01:57 PM
i charge 50.00 per hour to trim anything, but that also includes removal and cleanup.

Roger
12-16-2006, 06:00 PM
dont do it till you learn first...when i first learned, in the 80's, i found the public library a GREAT sorce of information, then practice on your own plants for a while......



This is a catch-22 situation, "don't do it until you learn," but how will anybody learn unless they do the work. Granted, take the easy, more straightforward jobs first. But, over time, one has to take more challenging jobs, or one would never progress and get better. We all started "someplace." And, many us probably didn't know much about what we were doing in the beginning either. And, in many respects, I still don't think I know very much. But, this is a topic just like many others, the more I know, the more I realize that I DON'T know.

I applaud the action of getting books and reading. I will take that advice, and look into the two resources mentioned. I posted a thread many months ago asking for books, and did get a couple ideas (as well as suggestions to sub-out the work since I didn't know what I was doing, or to work with somebody else).

I just finished four days of trim and cleanup work, work that I was not expecting. I'm not sure I did this job right, but did the best I could. The job was attempting to spruce up a large area of forcythia bushes, but heavily infested with flora roses and pesky tree vines. No, this sure isn't the right time of the year to trim forcythia, but the bushes had been neglected for years, were growing with horizonal branches and taking root into the ground, and the rose briars were 10-13 feet high -- way out of control. The owner realized he had a major problem, but didn't know what to do about it. The forcythia are trimmed out about 4 feet high, and the rose briars are cut off near the ground. He intends to attempt a full scale war in the Spring, with brush killer to rid himself of the briar bushes. There surely will be no blooms on the forcythia next Spring, but that was the least of his worries. I left him with three piles of debris, each about 12 feet across, 12 feet high. He will burn them at some point over the Winter. This was a very laborious job, heavy work with much pulling, raking, forking, etc, about 26 work hours. I don't know what else I could have done.

Sorry, I think I have taken the thread off topic.

justanotherlawnguy
12-16-2006, 07:09 PM
I charge per hedge. If you limit yourself to an hourly rate, you are really selling yourself short.

Many guys on here seem to quote somewhere around $30-40/hr. Do you have any idea how many hedges can be trimmed in an hour plus the clean up?

There are a ton of variables that make up any particular hedge trimming job.

One word of advice, if your asking for pricing help your probably gonna bid too low at first, so bump it up a little bit. Get burned on a few jobs, then you will know exactly how much to charge.

Ric3077
12-16-2006, 07:14 PM
I charge by the shrub, it's much easier to estimate it for me at least. I do anything small for $5, med for $7, large for $10, XL for $15 and if I need a ladder it's $25-$50 depending on size. The $5 size is a little bigger than a basketball...so if you can do 12 of those in an hour (including cleanup) you get $60/hour, plus I charge a dump fee $25 for a small job, $50 for a medium job, $75 for a large job

TheYardBoys
12-16-2006, 08:27 PM
hey my advice is charge a dollar a min or 60 dollars an hour and that with removing the clippings from the yard.

ed2hess
12-16-2006, 09:49 PM
This is something that you have to learn by experience......we can do a lot of work with articulating bush trimmers. We always mulch up the trimmings so we never take stuff with us. I don't see much reason for charging more for trimming bushes than weeding or mowing grass. Our rate is $30/hr.

RedMax Man
12-16-2006, 10:45 PM
For reg. clients if i'm using hedge trimmers for hedges then i usually charge per bush if i'm doing the same ones on a reg. basis. Large and major trimming and pruning jobs i measure the all the pants that will be trimmed and also estimate my time so i end up take the size and hours to get a price. Some big jobs that are basicly major trimming, hacking and cleanup/removal then i just do it hourly. Do your home work so you know how and when certain plants are to be pruned, very important.
Tip: flowering shrubs should be trimmed soon after they have finished blossoming so that next years blooms are not harmed.

DBL
12-16-2006, 10:56 PM
2 man crew $45/hour + dump fee (fully loaded dump truck $80)

one man gang
12-17-2006, 12:11 AM
You mulch it and leave it on the grass? I can't see that working , there's still going to be a lot of trimmings left.



This is something that you have to learn by experience......we can do a lot of work with articulating bush trimmers. We always mulch up the trimmings so we never take stuff with us. I don't see much reason for charging more for trimming bushes than weeding or mowing grass. Our rate is $30/hr.

Picture Perfect Landscape
12-17-2006, 07:08 AM
You mulch it and leave it on the grass? I can't see that working , there's still going to be a lot of trimmings left.





Actually no... if you are cutting the property too and you haven't cut off a ton a clippings it will mulch up just fine. I have mulched a mixure of hollies, boxwoods, azelas, etc, with my crappy toro proline, while cutting the grass after trimming and it did fine. But yea if you are cutting off a few bags full then you needs to bag them and mulch the scraps.

RedMax Man
12-17-2006, 10:06 AM
Ya I always do the hedge trimming before mowing. That way what ever scraps are left on the lawn i can just suck them up in the catcher. When trimming evergreen hedges always blow them off with a packpack or handheld so that no clipping are left laying on top because they will turn brown and look bad. some landscapers and many home owners just rake the tops of the bushes and never clean out all the clippings well.