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View Full Version : Labor to plant 21 five gallon leyland cypress


stephen424
11-01-2010, 09:50 PM
Do you just use a "$ per plant"?

93Chevy
11-01-2010, 09:51 PM
Are you amending the soil in any way? Mulching after plating? Is this a full install, or a just a quick plant and go? If it's a quick plant and go, I'd probably charge per plant, but if I was doing a full install, I'd prepare a total estimate with soil work, planting, mulch, etc.

stephen424
11-01-2010, 10:04 PM
just a quick plant n go....which is why i am confused on how to price it.
i do 99% complete landscape projects (edge, mulch, fabric, etc)

customer just wants 21 leylands planted alongside neighbors fence to eventually block out the junk she sees in his yard. i am getting 7 gallon leylands.

how much should i charge per plant

ed2hess
11-02-2010, 08:05 PM
Assuming no rock about 1 hr each...at whatever your labor charge. We would probably charge $50 each. But got to know customer and how busy you are etc.... To many of our customers $1000 would seem outrageous.

SNAPPER MAN
11-02-2010, 08:21 PM
I would charge $120.
Posted via Mobile Device

teejet
11-02-2010, 08:57 PM
250 if its easy digging, 350 if its hard. Of course you make your money on the plants right? Should take about 4hrs for one guy depending on soil.

bmac1996acc
11-02-2010, 09:36 PM
Assuming no rock about 1 hr each...at whatever your labor charge. We would probably charge $50 each. But got to know customer and how busy you are etc.... To many of our customers $1000 would seem outrageous.

One hour per 5 to 7 gallon tree seems like a long time unless they're digging the holes with a spoon.

starry night
11-02-2010, 09:41 PM
Do you just use a "$ per plant"?

This is typical for a "how much to charge for planting" thread. Everybody is all over the place in pricing. (as would be expected.)

Why don't you take an empty 7 gal container; dig a hole in your yard and see how long it takes you.

Grass Shark
11-02-2010, 09:50 PM
How much are you paying per plant?

Lugnut
11-02-2010, 11:16 PM
when not sure on planting pricing its usually pretty safe to double the price of the plant

BrunoT
11-03-2010, 12:19 AM
This is typical for a "how much to charge for planting" thread. Everybody is all over the place in pricing. (as would be expected.)

Why don't you take an empty 7 gal container; dig a hole in your yard and see how long it takes you.


AND WE HAVE A WINNER!

You'd think actually having planted a few at some point in one's life would be a prerequisite to doing it for a living. Because doing that one would soon realize that soil varies, access to the planting spot varies, proximity to utility lines and plumbing can be an issue, drive time from supplier to property varies, etc, etc, etc.

BrunoT
11-03-2010, 12:20 AM
when not sure on planting pricing its usually pretty safe to double the price of the plant

Bad news for landscapers when the nursery had a sale on Azaelas this spring, $1.88 each for 1 gal.

starry night
11-03-2010, 10:36 AM
when not sure on planting pricing its usually pretty safe to double the price of the plant

C'mon man. Five ft. forsythia ---wholesale price of plant $25---so you would charge $25 labor? Five ft. Japanese Maple--wholesale price of plant $125 -- so you would charge $125 labor for the same size plant as the forsythia?

Price of the plant has nothing to do with the labor to plant it.

Lugnut
11-04-2010, 09:43 PM
i wouldn't but for someone who doesn't know what to charge can get an rough idea this way...if plants have to be transported farther, harder digging, etc. would increase this. Obviously someone who is buying discounted shrubs should realize this as well. In this case when planting 21 trees they have to be around $100 each, so $2100 in labor would work for me in this scenario. My crew and I would have this done in a day.

Lugnut
11-04-2010, 09:51 PM
C'mon man. Five ft. forsythia ---wholesale price of plant $25---so you would charge $25 labor? Five ft. Japanese Maple--wholesale price of plant $125 -- so you would charge $125 labor for the same size plant as the forsythia?

Price of the plant has nothing to do with the labor to plant it.

Yes the price of the plant should be reflected in planting price. Regardless of what your labor price is to dig a hole and put a plant in, you should charge more for more expensive plants due to higher risk in the event of having to replace one. If you plant 50 spirea and 2 need to be replaced, your out $60 materials cost. Same container sized Japanese maples, you're going to be out over $200 in replacement plant material costs. Granted there are many installs where nothing needs replacing, but there is always the possibility.

sgallaher
11-06-2010, 10:47 AM
I don't know why your confused what to charge. Figure out your cost, then figure out what you want to make per plant ( I always sell for double my cost), then figure out how much time and charge your regular per hour rate. Let's say they cost $25/ea. 21 plants x $25 = $525. I would charge about $1,100 for plants and about $250 for planting. I also guarantee my plants for 1 year against disease and death from improper planting.

LizzieLandscapes
12-12-2010, 04:42 AM
Hope you plant them at least 6'to 10' back away from the fence and 6' on center apart.

Now for pricing.
First of all you, need to figure out how much it is going to cost YOU to do the job. This is called overhead. Overhead includes things like gas, a percentage of wear and tear on your vehicle, ect.
Then you add in your windshield time (the time it will take you to drive to the jobsite and back. Windshield time is usually less than your normal hourly rate, so charge a percentage of that, some charge their full hourly rate.

You should always check out the jobsite ahead of time, shove your spade deep into the soil in which you will be planting... in a few places to test the soil conditions. Is it rocky, clay, loam, sandy? Will the soil need to be amended with compost?
(personal I always amend the soil, it cannot hurt the plant, if done properly, feeding the soil is always a benefit to the plant...I don't care what the so-called experts recommend, I consider myself an expert in these areas as well)

Does the area have hardpan under the topsoil? Will it drain properly? Dig a small hole about 2' down and fill with water, if it drains by the next day then it has good drainage, if water is still sitting in the hole
(your client can call you the next day and tell you if it has drained or not)
then you will have to take actions to improve the drainage situation. Is there a hosebib available and a hose close enough to water those tree's in once planted? (I always carry 2-100' hosed and my watering wand with me)

Also, check ease of access. For example. Will you have to haul those 21, 7 gal trees from your truck parked on the street into the back yard and across a field to plant them or can you drive right up next to the fence dropping off the trees close to where they will be planted?

This jobsite soil evaluation is necessary and within the scope of the OP's original question because in order to not screw yourself over, you need to take into account the planting situation before you give your client an estimate or a solid price to do the work.

Jobsite analysis + Overhead costs + Windshield time + Your mark-up on the RETAIL price of the trees 25%? 50%? 100%? I think marking up a plant 100% is unreasonable, but that is my opinion)]
+ how much money you want to make on this job.
Be reasonable here or you will price yourself right out of a job.
Consider the planting conditions when you do thi's
( if easy charge accordingly, if difficult charge accordingly).
Charging by the hour on this kind of job does not usually pay very well.

NOTE: Taking a 7 gallon pot and digging a hole in your back yard then noting how much time it takes you and charging by that time...has to be thee most ridiculous advice on figuring out what to charge for planting, that I have ever heard of. It's absurd. There is much more involved in planting a tree than that
End NOTE
So there you have it.
Job analysis + Overhead costs + Windshield time + retail price of the plants + % of mark-up on plants + Labor for planting including any extra effort it is going to take you in order to do it. = your estimated price to the client.

It may sound complicated and sometimes it is, but once you get experience under your belt doing it, it's like reall easy to estimate any job and you won'r lose money if you follow the rules above.

starry night
12-12-2010, 01:08 PM
You're five weeks late.

Patriot Services
12-15-2010, 04:34 PM
You're five weeks late.

Yep. Trees are now too deep, too shallow, leaning, dying, check cashed, money spent, phone disconnected, in a different town, opened another business.
Posted via Mobile Device

starry night
12-15-2010, 04:44 PM
Yep. Trees are now too deep, too shallow, leaning, dying, check cashed, money spent, phone disconnected, in a different town, opened another business.
Posted via Mobile Device

:laugh::laugh: Good one, Patriot. :laugh::laugh:

LizzieLandscapes
12-16-2010, 08:43 AM
You're five weeks late.

Yep. Trees are now too deep, too shallow, leaning, dying, check cashed, money spent, phone disconnected, in a different town, opened another business.


I was well aware of the date of the OP.
Did you know that this site has an archive? Uhhu, it sure does and guess what else? This thread could possibly be read at some point in the future, by other members once it is archived.
This site also has a search feature that will search the archives for threads or posts that are relevant to the topic you are searching for.
So, lets say for example, a different member has a question about charging for planting trees, but can't find what he/she is looking for so instead of starting a new thread, he or she enters into the search box
" How much to plant?".

Guess what will happens? Abera Cadabera! Just like magic
the title of this thread will pop up, along with many others and if that member clicks on this thread title. The information I posted will be available to them. So that is the reason why I replied to a thread that in your opinion, was way past it's expiration date.
Good solid information lives in cyber space forever, gentlemen. There is no expiration date.

So, perhaps you two, should stop a moment and think things out a bit better, before posting remarks such as those. Or at least before you say them to me, anyway.
Though I do have a great sense of humor, see?
Oh, hardy har har..har, ho, ho.

Patriot Services
12-16-2010, 10:06 AM
Lighten up Frances. LS sight is full of practical useful information. As well as some really funny quips. If you want pure analytical info just go to ag coop sites. This forum is for US. No customers come on here searching for a provider. We are free to rant, rave and share misery. Some posters make it too easy to take shots at.
Posted via Mobile Device

starry night
12-16-2010, 10:52 AM
Lighten up Frances. LS sight is full of practical useful information. As well as some really funny quips. If you want pure analytical info just go to ag coop sites. This forum is for US. No customers come on here searching for a provider. We are free to rant, rave and share misery. Some posters make it too easy to take shots at.
Posted via Mobile Device


Patriot, I could not have said it better.

And Lizzie, if you want to get serious, I thought your dissertation on proper planting methods was arrogant and presumptious as if none of those on the original thread could have offered the same information if we had seen fit.
As for searching the web, the OP or anyone wanting such detailed information could have searched university sites if he were looking for detailed planting information.

Hause
12-27-2010, 12:34 PM
Leylands are cheap, I cant see spending over 20 on a five gallon. Thats 400 in plants, with my dingo, I could load equipment, pick up plants and have them watered in by lunch. Charge 50 to 60 ea and pocket 500 to 600 for a mornings work, why are yall making this simple install so difficult?

LizzieLandscapes
12-28-2010, 02:13 AM
Please excuse me then, for misunderstanding the reasons behind the existence of a forum such as this one. I am terribly sorry.
Replying in an arrogant and presumptuous way, was not my intention at all. I do apologize, though, if that is how it came across as sounding, to you.

starry night
12-28-2010, 09:30 AM
That's OK. Not a big deal. Glad to have you as a new member on Lawnsite. Merry Christmas.

mowinmaniac
04-08-2011, 01:13 AM
well where I live its rock & clay . could take a couple hours

starry night
04-08-2011, 09:26 AM
well where I live its rock & clay . could take a couple hours

I think you got caught in a "newbie time warp." If you look at the date of the original post, it was Nov.1. This thread is dead and gone..................until today. :laugh:
You can learn a lot from old threads so keep looking through the archives but watch the date line.

Tyler7692
04-08-2011, 12:14 PM
dirtandhoops,

please get a life and quit worrying about the date. Who gives a ****, what are you the calendar police?

93Chevy
04-08-2011, 07:22 PM
Tyler7692,

Please get a life and quit worrying about others who worry about the date. Who gives a rip, what are you the date police police?

Patriot Services
04-08-2011, 10:39 PM
93Chevy,

Please get a..............aahhh screw it!
Posted via Mobile Device

AzLawnMan
04-08-2011, 10:52 PM
Patriot,

Please..... Errrr, nevermind.

sgbotsford
10-03-2012, 11:50 PM
On a recent job I found that the actual planting wasn't much different between 2 gallon and 10 gallon -- if I had the hole already there. All sizes ran about 6 per hour. Depending on the shape of the pot. (I never see #7's here, but I'm guessing 14" across and about the same high.) you would need a 20" auger, or a 16" auger, over dig the hole, then scalp the sod in to partially fill the hole, jumping up and down to pack it, until you get up to the right depth.

20" means at least a groundhog, but more likely a small skid steer, or a lot of hand labour. With the skidsteer, it's a a few minutes per hole, then hours cleaning up the damage. With a ground hog it's 10 minutes per hole, and a few minutes cleaning up the damage.

My normal bid for this sort of thing, is the price of the tree, per tree. So if the Cypress are $50 each, then $50/tree. I'll modify that if the soil is hard. I turned down one job because there was no access for machinery, and the land should have been a brick factory.

Patriot Services
10-04-2012, 08:07 AM
I love when old threads get "dug" up. Its funny to see who is still around. Usually the newbie with crazy ideas is long gone.
Posted via Mobile Device

starry night
10-04-2012, 09:34 AM
That was a fun thread, wasn't it, Patriot. So long ago that I was a different person.......dirtandhoops.

AzLawnMan
10-04-2012, 12:08 PM
I thought the pricing some of these guys were giving was nuts!! I hope but I doubt some of these guys are still around.

93Chevy
10-04-2012, 08:04 PM
LOL, sometimes I crack myself up. Usually it's just me though

sgbotsford
10-04-2012, 09:45 PM
@AzLawnman

Explain nuts. Too low, too high? Put it in context of local wage?

Here in Alberta, a kid can leave school in grade 10, and make 70K/year in the oil patch. Minimum wage is $8/hour, but even a gas station pump jockey in a small town gets $10.

So instead of laughing, explain what you mean.

muddywater
10-05-2012, 11:40 PM
I just planted 3000 3 gallon plants this week, i did it pretty cheap per plant. But i did it in 3.5 days with 4 guys and a one man echo auger. If you can find a way to be really efficient, you can do things alot cheaper. On the same job, we did 40,000 sq ft of sod in one day. But we did it with 48" sod rolls.

muddywater
10-05-2012, 11:46 PM
On a recent job I found that the actual planting wasn't much different between 2 gallon and 10 gallon -- if I had the hole already there. All sizes ran about 6 per hour. Depending on the shape of the pot. (I never see #7's here, but I'm guessing 14" across and about the same high.) you would need a 20" auger, or a 16" auger, over dig the hole, then scalp the sod in to partially fill the hole, jumping up and down to pack it, until you get up to the right depth.

20" means at least a groundhog, but more likely a small skid steer, or a lot of hand labour. With the skidsteer, it's a a few minutes per hole, then hours cleaning up the damage. With a ground hog it's 10 minutes per hole, and a few minutes cleaning up the damage.

My normal bid for this sort of thing, is the price of the tree, per tree. So if the Cypress are $50 each, then $50/tree. I'll modify that if the soil is hard. I turned down one job because there was no access for machinery, and the land should have been a brick factory.

I use a mini skid on tracks with an auger... no turf damage. I never charge by plant material costs. I bid it by man hours then if i am feeling greedy add a little gravy. Like starry night said, are really going to charge $300 for jap maple when it is in 15 gallon bucket? That .5 man hours for that to be in the ground. Damn good money if you can get it, but i usually have to bid against someone or if not... I have a conscience

sgbotsford
10-05-2012, 11:48 PM
I'm impressed. 14 man days for 3000 plants is fast. That's 200+ plants per day.

I don't know if I could MOVE 10,000 gallons of pot to a site in 3.5 days. And the thought of digging 3000 holes with a one man auger makes my back hurt.

So how much did you charge per plant? Did you provide, or did they? Were they already on site?. What was your soil like? Locations already marked? Any soil treatment needed? Just planting, or weed barrier & mulch too? Multiple species?

Not being critical, just curious.

You can bid on the basis of making it cheap enough to get the contract.
You can persuade people that you know what you are doing, and so they should take the higher price, in terms of higher expected survivability.

sgbotsford
10-06-2012, 12:05 AM
@muddywater: The cost of the kind of stuff I'm planting doesn't vary much by pot size. EvI'm growing the stuff. Some things will be 20% over becuase the liners were more expensive. Some things under because they really haven't grown into that potsize yet. But a 10 foot swedish aspen = 10 foot birch = 8 foot spruce = 9 foot pine = 10 foot weeping willow. All come in a #10 grow bag. All cost $90. All cost $90 to plant. It makes it easy for the people who come out to look. "See that bag? $90. Everywhere. You think it too small? Buy somewhere else. Want a lot of them? We'll talk. " Another $90 gets it installed.

Actual installations vary too much. How far is it? How many loads? Can I combine loads? What's the soil like? Is there water on site. Faster to highball the estimate to cover the crap, and make money when it's not as bad as it could be.


Mind you my planting includes 2 year warranty, 2 years fertilizer, weed barrier, and mulch.

I deliberately bid high my planting because I'm running a farm. I grow trees. I only plant trees for clients in order to sell trees, and that only when I'm not busy. I'm not really set up for planting. No bobcat. Only a groundhog auger. And the planting cost = material cost, when I'm providing the material makes it easy.

Just got a call for a guy who wants a privacy screen on his back fence. 10 foot birch alternating with aspen. It's fall. Everyone else he's talked to is talking 300-400 bucks per tree. I quoted 225/tree installed, minimum 6 trees. Or 110 per tree delivered. Or 90/tree he picks up. I also told him if he takes option 2, and has a hole ready, I'll help him plant one to show him how it's done.


Am I out to lunch?

muddywater
10-06-2012, 08:44 AM
I'm impressed. 14 man days for 3000 plants is fast. That's 200+ plants per day.

I don't know if I could MOVE 10,000 gallons of pot to a site in 3.5 days. And the thought of digging 3000 holes with a one man auger makes my back hurt.

So how much did you charge per plant? Did you provide, or did they? Were they already on site?. What was your soil like? Locations already marked? Any soil treatment needed? Just planting, or weed barrier & mulch too? Multiple species?

Not being critical, just curious.

You can bid on the basis of making it cheap enough to get the contract.
You can persuade people that you know what you are doing, and so they should take the higher price, in terms of higher expected survivability.


They provided the plants. We had to unload them though. It took half a day to unload them, but we staged them so we could install faster. It was on a hill as you can see in the photo. And it was fill dirt with no ammendments.

I am the favored contractor for this client. They told me I could have the job if I matched a certain price per plant of another contractor. There is 140 yards of mulch but that is a separate price.

The little one man auger really saved hundreds of man hours.

http://www.lawnsite.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=257959&d=1349390804

http://www.lawnsite.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=257958&d=1349390804

Patriot Services
10-06-2012, 01:55 PM
We use augers too, up to 15 gal. Then its hand dig, but still doesn't take that long on our soft soil.
The laughable part is when someone thinks the TYPE of plant has any bearing on the cost of install. I've installed some very pricey exotics that I would have lost the job if I bid twice the plant cost.
Posted via Mobile Device

So where is Lizzie these days? Oh well at least he is archived for future generations to read.

muddywater
10-06-2012, 02:22 PM
Yeah we have a 36" bit that will fit just about any large plant. Then i have a special bit for our dingos that is 12" at the bottom, then 24" at the top. So we can plant 3 gallon and 15 gallon/ small bnb with the same auger. Really efficient. Then when we have thousands to plant we use the echo auger bc it is so maneuverable.
Posted via Mobile Device

italianstallion69
10-07-2012, 01:33 PM
@muddywater- what kind of one man powerhead are you using?

I use 2 43cc ardisams with 8" and 12" bits and one groundhog hd99 hydraulic with a 18"

the ardisams suck to start, takes ~5 mins every morning to get em going, even had my engine guy look at he said its fine.

are the echos any better (for 2x the price?)

like you- i always put 2 guys on a one man auger. very fast! and manueverable.

muddywater
10-07-2012, 07:50 PM
@muddywater- what kind of one man powerhead are you using?

I use 2 43cc ardisams with 8" and 12" bits and one groundhog hd99 hydraulic with a 18"

the ardisams suck to start, takes ~5 mins every morning to get em going, even had my engine guy look at he said its fine.

are the echos any better (for 2x the price?)

like you- i always put 2 guys on a one man auger. very fast! and manueverable.

Damn those ardisams are cheap. I could have bought two for the price of my echo. How are the quality of those? I saw something similar on ebay, but i worried if they would even make it to 3000 holes. And then i cant get parts or have anyone to work on them. The echo just barely has adaquate power. It probably needs a seal at the shaft after this job. We had to put grease in it each morning. I think i should have gotten the stihl model, it might be a little tougher.

italianstallion69
10-07-2012, 08:19 PM
the ardisams are cheap but very powerful!

used them all summer long, easily over 1000 plants per auger and the only repair so far was getting a new pull starter put on the one powerhead.

it is extremely hard to get auger bits off the powerhead so we just switch powerheads- 8" for 1-2 gals and 12" for 3"+ gals. also ditch the bolt for a tractor hitch pin/lock ring setup.

you can get them $200 at tractor supply!

2 for the price of 1 echo!

italianstallion69
10-07-2012, 08:47 PM
how do you like the dingo and auger? that is one thing I do not have. we just use a mini ex to dig for tree holes. I compared costs and thought a mini ex was more versatile, but 2 of my guys keep asking for a dingo auger setup.

I just worry being `2,000 lbs it wont be manueverable into the sometimes tight spaces landscape architects cram our plants.