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Toxey
09-10-2009, 10:27 AM
guys,

I have a client that would like 28 pampas grass bushes cut and cleaned up. The grass is about 12-15 ft tall (very large). Just checking to see what other people would charge to cut the PITA bushes down. Thanks for the help.

White Gardens
09-10-2009, 11:12 AM
Labor + Hauling. Probably around + -, 4 hours.

I use my articulating hedge trimmer on the end of my string trimmer and quickly cut them down.

Think Green
09-11-2009, 10:52 PM
toxey,
We take twine and wrap the upper middle girth of these things and pull the string tight. This will cause the plant to squeeze in, and from there we can use the hedge trimmers to cut along the desired height. The twine also keeps the stems from falling all over the place and causing more cleanup. The clumps are then picked up whole and placed on the trailer. We ge anywhere from 10-15 bucks per individual plant and a full load of hauloff for these things. Our haul off is figured in as an hour of labor for our 3 men.
I wouldn't hesitate to charge 350.00 dollars!! That is over 80.00 per crew hour. and their unload time and drive time.

JNyz
09-12-2009, 08:54 PM
Agree with the pros above.

Kate Butler
09-12-2009, 09:17 PM
Tie once in the bottom third of the clump, then again in the top third of the clump. It'll hold together much better and, if you connect the two cinches at the time you tie, you'll have a handle to carry the clump away.

RandallM
03-03-2010, 10:12 AM
Tie once in the bottom third of the clump, then again in the top third of the clump. It'll hold together much better and, if you connect the two cinches at the time you tie, you'll have a handle to carry the clump away.

Absolute genius!!!! I wish I would have read this thread a week ago. I had to cut down some pampas grass last week and it was a major PITA. This idea would have made life much better for this job. I luv this forum.

RAlmaroad
03-03-2010, 10:59 AM
Matches and backhoe. Hate them...The harbor snakes and roaches.

Jason Rose
03-03-2010, 11:26 AM
I've used duck tape wrapped around them to hold them together, as welll as those 6' motorcycle pull straps (don't throw them away obviously). After years of doing properties with pampas grass, and I had one that had 28 as well! I've found it's just easier, and a whole lot faster to pick a calm and cool day and cut and drop them. Some of the big ones with the centers missing are impossible to really tie up anyway. If you gather the stuff up and toss it on a tarp you can get several clumps worth in a tarp, folded like a taco. Yep, it's that time of year again... I have one with bamboo as well. UGH! that takes a chainsaw and a whole lot of cutting and dragging. such a PITA since it's 15+ feet tall.

White Gardens
03-03-2010, 12:16 PM
I've used duck tape wrapped around them to hold them together, as welll as those 6' motorcycle pull straps (don't throw them away obviously). After years of doing properties with pampas grass, and I had one that had 28 as well! I've found it's just easier, and a whole lot faster to pick a calm and cool day and cut and drop them. Some of the big ones with the centers missing are impossible to really tie up anyway. If you gather the stuff up and toss it on a tarp you can get several clumps worth in a tarp, folded like a taco. Yep, it's that time of year again... I have one with bamboo as well. UGH! that takes a chainsaw and a whole lot of cutting and dragging. such a PITA since it's 15+ feet tall.

You should up-sell your customers and try to clean the larger ones up by digging them and splitting them.

The ones with the dead centers you can take a cordless reciprocating saw and cut out the dead root mass in the center and fill back in with soil. After a couple of seasons it will fill back in.

gunsnroses
03-03-2010, 12:41 PM
Some good advice here....but if possible, set'em on fire...they come back better than ever before. They will burn down to the green and the dead crap in between.

HeartlandOKC
03-03-2010, 01:18 PM
We use chainsaws sometimes for really overgrown pampas grasses. Cuts like butta. Hedge trimmers will take care of most.

Jason Rose
03-03-2010, 01:34 PM
I have 4 nice sized clumps in my yard that are free for that taking :) haha. I planted them and they were ok when they were smaller... Now I either need to cut about 2/3 of each one out or just be rid of them completely.

Kate Butler
03-03-2010, 01:48 PM
I keep a ratty, old chainsaw for dividing grasses. Very quick and easy.

Valk
03-03-2010, 04:38 PM
I seem to remember another similar "ornamental/fountain/maiden/pampas grass" thread - and the advice was to cut them no shorter than 1' off the ground? Is this how y'all do it?

Jason Rose
03-03-2010, 05:01 PM
Pampas grass, yes, I don't cut lower than around a foot+ Usually there's just no way to cut them lower than that... The other smaller grasses I cut down much lower, just a few inches high on small clumps. Actually that's what I've been working on today! It's sooooo nice out here! Had to stop in at home to get my pruners and loppers to do some vine cleanup (fall clematis). If tomorrow is calm and nice too I may end up getting ALL of my grasses cut down in 2 days.

Kate Butler
03-03-2010, 06:04 PM
I cut grasses literally to the ground: they're a lot easier to weed when you don't have to avoid splinters of dried grasses (doesn't sound to bad, but anything sharp under the fingernails is unpleasant).

White Gardens
03-03-2010, 07:22 PM
My rule of thumb is that I stay away from any green shoots. This generally only applies to cool season ornamentals as they tend to shoot new growth about the time I get to cutting them back.

I don't run into any green in the spring with the warm season ornamentals so I just take those down to the ground and clean them up as much as possible.

yardatwork
03-04-2010, 12:24 PM
Hedge trimmers or burn them down...if possible. They will go up rather fast and make a HUGE fire, but it'll be over quickly!

MarkintheGarden
03-04-2010, 12:41 PM
I will be doing lots of these soon.
In past experience, all of the above suggestions are good suggestions, but nothing will ever make it an easy job, except maybe burning them down, and sadly, that is just not an option for me. Bundling with twine or straps is more work than it is worth. Wrapping them in a tarp before cutting has worked well with grasses of medium height of 5 to 7 feet.

tyler_mott85
03-04-2010, 06:07 PM
I cut grasses literally to the ground: they're a lot easier to weed when you don't have to avoid splinters of dried grasses (doesn't sound to bad, but anything sharp under the fingernails is unpleasant).

I have never seen a pampas grass that is thin enough to have weeds grow in the middle of it? Maybe yours are thin because you cut them too low? Or maybe you have MUTANT WEEDS! :)


I will go low as possible but I have never experienced a pampas that I can get below six inches. Usually aim for the 1 foot region?

And as has been mentioned before...if you come across a plant that is dead in the center...that usually means you need to divide the clump. I recommend every 5 years around here... :usflag:

White Gardens
03-04-2010, 11:05 PM
I have never seen a pampas grass that is thin enough to have weeds grow in the middle of it? Maybe yours are thin because you cut them too low? Or maybe you have MUTANT WEEDS! :)


I will go low as possible but I have never experienced a pampas that I can get below six inches. Usually aim for the 1 foot region?

And as has been mentioned before...if you come across a plant that is dead in the center...that usually means you need to divide the clump. I recommend every 5 years around here... :usflag:

As long as you aren't cutting any new growth, then you can cut all the way back.

I get weeds in Giant Miscanthus, and every now and then in the center of some Karl Forrester Reed Grass that I take care of.

Save your-self the effort of dividing (unless you are looking for splits to sell:laugh:) and just cut the dead center out, and fill with dirt. It will fill itself back in over the course of a season.

Z_1
03-19-2010, 12:37 AM
Twine is by far my preference. Tying them up makes for much less clean up time and well worth the extra time it takes to get a neat job done. also much easier to get unloaded at the dump site.