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View Full Version : I hate this Privet hedge


Darryl G
11-06-2010, 12:40 PM
Pics of a privet hedge I maintain and hate. The lady only has me cut it once a year. I started taking before and after pics but forget to get the final ones so there's only one in progress.

That's a beach association park next to it. It goes a lot easier since I bought that 8 foot step ladder. Little Giant Ultrastep, nice ladder. The chain link fence makes it a little tricky...not something I want to hit with my trimmer.

Darryl G
11-06-2010, 02:43 PM
Well, you can't really see the whole thing but how much to cut this and haul off the clippings? It extends maybe 20 or 30 feet to the left of the third pic to the lot line, about 100 linear feet total. About 6 hours and 3 cubic yards of clippings.

I feel I'm giving the lady a pretty good deal. Maybe too good because it's a real reach across parts of it even with extended clippers...wears me out. And gotta cut on her property, the park one and 2 others.

corey4671
11-06-2010, 02:53 PM
does the 6 hours include cleanup? If so, $300 plus a $35 dump fee.

Darryl G
11-06-2010, 03:01 PM
Yeah, I billed $300 plus $42 dump fee. I'll tell you though, it's a lot of work for $300. Like I said, wears me out. Not a job I look forward to. It's been around $300 total in the past but it was a bit worse (taller) this last time.

RAlmaroad
11-06-2010, 03:36 PM
Every though about pruning it in the late fall or early winter when everything else has quieted down? Those things cannot be killed, loose their leaves and would be easier to clean up. You'd be happier and welcome the extra cash that time of year.

Darryl G
11-06-2010, 03:41 PM
Every though about pruning it in the late fall or early winter when everything else has quieted down? Those things cannot be killed, loose their leaves and would be easier to clean up. You'd be happier and welcome the extra cash that time of year.

Yeah but the feisty elderly lady only wants it cut once a year and if I did that it would be twice for the year. I've asked and been rejected before. The funny thing is she waits until it's totally overgrown before she'll let me cut it and then it's an emergency. She's not the easiest customer to deal with. I bite my tongue a lot, lol.

djlunchbox
11-06-2010, 04:25 PM
damn feisty elderly ladies.... we have a few of them. they do like to wait until the last minute for stuff. we try to get them used to our good work and the nice outcome, and then explain that we are doing this as a favor, and if she continues to wait until they get to this point, the price will go up. if you are worn out after doing just the hedges, then it seems like you should be getting paid more for the harder work. i'm finding the hardest part of this career is saying no to people who won't pay what the job is worth... then again.... who charges 400.00 to cut just one long hedge? i feel for ya man. i just cut a fair size chunk of my fall cleanup price because this elderly lady could not afford my regular rate. she was shaking all over the place when she answered the door this morning. i felt bad. this is a first time customer, so if it takes longer than 2 hours, we will not be doing it for this price again. ( still getting my leaf cleanup times down.)

Darryl G
11-06-2010, 06:28 PM
Yes, this hedge is about all I can handle in a day, which puts me under my daily financial goal really. It's really the height and width that makes it difficult. It's hard to get the center on the back portion of it, even with a ladder and extended trimmers...it's exhausting. I checked my records and it was 5 hours the previous time. It seems she always wants it done in mid June when it's hot out for that type of labor.

cgaengineer
11-06-2010, 07:53 PM
Ever thought about using a PGR on them?
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44DCNF
11-07-2010, 11:17 AM
I see gas shears in the photos, but hand pruners, loppers and pruning saws all seem to be missing from the equation. Without the application of those missing tools, I don't think the problem can be solved properly. A three year renovation plan is in order, or at least a good one time thinning and removal of old growth. Barring her acceptance of that, I'd be inclined to refuse the work. By doing it this way, at her request I understand, you are just creating the monster it is.

Once renovated or thinned though, you should be able to make a couple annual shearings at much less cost to her.

Darryl G
11-07-2010, 01:33 PM
The tools you mentioned are all available but she just wants it sheared once a year. She likes the privacy the hedge provides because that's a wiffle ball field right next door...you can see home plate, first base and the pitchers mound in the pics actually.

You make some good points but this is a very stubborn customer. She isn't willing to spend the money to tame the thing. But it probably would be cheaper in the long run. I'm sure you know that even if you cut off all the new growth every year, privets tend to spread width-wise, which is exactly what's happening here.

I actually picked up the account because her son-in-lawn is a long time plowing customer of mine and he had been maintaining the place for her but it was creating some tensions. I also do the lawn care (spring and fall cleanups and mowing) and cut the front shubs. It's not a big account for me but between the plowing, cleanups, trimming this hedge and the front shrubs, it's a decent one. I just checked my books and it accounts for 2.75% of my gross this year to date and was 3.25% last year. Sometimes I find it's easier to just do what 80+ year old customers want rather than try to educate or argue with them, lol.

Patriot Services
11-09-2010, 03:59 PM
I always talk my customers into ongoing hedge and bush maintenence. The customers like that the payment is spaced over the year and they always look fresh. I like it only takes an extra 15 mins a month instead of a half day ordeal and a trip to the dump.
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cgaengineer
11-09-2010, 06:03 PM
I always talk my customers into ongoing hedge and bush maintenence. The customers like that the payment is spaced over the year and they always look fresh. I like it only takes an extra 15 mins a month instead of a half day ordeal and a trip to the dump.
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This is the way I do some of my customers...its much easier! If you do it frequently enough, waste pickup is minimal.
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djlunchbox
11-11-2010, 01:16 PM
darryl, do you have any pics of how it turned out? i love pics of finely trimmed privet bushes.

Darryl G
11-11-2010, 07:00 PM
No, forgot to take them. Just got that one picture in progress.

djlunchbox
11-16-2010, 07:49 PM
No, forgot to take them. Just got that one picture in progress.

ah, bummer. i'm sure you will do battle with it again soon!:laugh:

exmark user
12-11-2010, 12:52 AM
450.00 easily

Patriot Services
12-12-2010, 09:18 AM
450.00 easily

The old lady would probably vapor lock at 450. 350 was a good price and he seems to be happy with that.
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Darryl G
12-12-2010, 02:47 PM
This lady is actually getting worse and worse to work for....gives me a list of instructions every time I'm there like it's the first time I've every worked for her. I was there for the fall cleanup recently...make sure to trim around the bird bath, make sure to blow out around the a/c unit good, make sure to blow out the shower (outdoor shower room)...the same things over and over and all things I do anyway, lol. One of those customers when you smile when you pull up and there's no car there :) Don't get me wrong, she's not mean or nasty or anything, but I really would rather just be left alone.

Patriot Services
12-12-2010, 03:31 PM
Old lady + outdoor shower = scorched eyes and monthes of therapy and medications to erase the image.
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Darryl G
12-12-2010, 03:36 PM
ROFL. It's got a door, but it's easy enough to peek under it without her noticing, lol. It's near the beach. Pretty common thing in the beach areas to have an outdoor shower for rinsing off.

Patriot Services
12-12-2010, 03:47 PM
Couldn't be any worse than my 80yo neighbor peeing in his pool with a cup of coffee in his hand a few weeks back.
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Darryl G
10-28-2011, 08:05 PM
Just an update. I cut this baby down to 5 feet over the summer...they wanted to maintain their privacy....and cut it once since then, maybe a month ago or so. I had my camera with me today so snapped some pics of it. Here by are.....

Patriot Services
10-28-2011, 08:19 PM
Has the old lady gotten any easier to work for?:usflag:

Darryl G
10-28-2011, 08:33 PM
Actually she's not doing so well...cancer...so never see her anymore. Last I heard it didn't look good for her :(

FoghornLeghorn
10-28-2011, 09:49 PM
Why not get some Cutless and spray the hell out of it?

Darryl G
10-28-2011, 11:17 PM
Well it's growing back in now and I get paid to cut it, lol.

Kelly's Landscaping
10-30-2011, 11:40 PM
I got a few like that just high enough to make them uncomfortable to hold the trimmers.

Just did a one time beast for a 1000 dollars but it wasn't green when I left 110 long I cut it to 3 feet it was 20-30 feet tall when I started and some trunks were 5 inches in diameter. Cut the whole thing with the chain saw attachment on the KM 90. Took 6 hours of solid cutting every other tree seemed to have vines in them or wanted to fall into the neighbors yard over the 6 foot stockade fence behind it and if that happened they were gone.

FoghornLeghorn
10-31-2011, 01:11 AM
I got a few like that just high enough to make them uncomfortable to hold the trimmers.

Just did a one time beast for a 1000 dollars but it wasn't green when I left 110 long I cut it to 3 feet it was 20-30 feet tall when I started and some trunks were 5 inches in diameter. Cut the whole thing with the chain saw attachment on the KM 90. Took 6 hours of solid cutting every other tree seemed to have vines in them or wanted to fall into the neighbors yard over the 6 foot stockade fence behind it and if that happened they were gone.

$1000??? Man, I think I would've charged at least $1600 for that. The debris removal had to be a mother fcuker!

Darryl G
10-31-2011, 01:45 AM
It would have been a lot easier for me to have cut this one at 3 feet, just run down it with the power pole pruner or small chain saw since it's pretty solid wood that far down. At 5 feet it was about 1000 cuts by hand with loppers, pruners and a hand saw.

Kelly's Landscaping
10-31-2011, 01:47 AM
Yea that came as a bit of a surprise we defiantly underestimated the amount we filled my gmc completely 3 times and I had to fill the ram 4500 at the end as well to finish the job that day. So grand total about 30 yards of branches luckily my place is rather kind and I think I got hit for fewer then 15 yards.

What I was after was I signed up the lawn for next year so that's 3 on that street now and Oct is not known for a lot of extra work so I wanted to give my guys some hours and in Joey"s case a good case of poison ivy :laugh:

Darryl G
10-31-2011, 04:20 AM
I just checked. I was $760 on my job with two 8 yard dump trailers full of debris hauled out...the thing was really wide and at least as tall as in the pics from last year. Cutting it now is a breeze though.