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View Full Version : Shrub trimming clean up?


Green Acres Lawn CAre
01-23-2011, 11:58 AM
I was just wondering if any of you guys have a quicker way to get up all the clippings up besides just getting on your knees and picking each leaf out of the bed? Help would be appreciated:waving:

ALC-GregH
01-23-2011, 11:59 AM
This has been discussed 1000 times already. Have you done a search yet?

Agape
01-23-2011, 12:01 PM
I think it came out just this year, they call it a rake.

Green Acres Lawn CAre
01-23-2011, 12:03 PM
I think it came out just this year, they call it a rake.
It's hard to rake it out of pine straw without taking the straw with it.

93Chevy
01-23-2011, 12:10 PM
Two years ago they invented something called a Tarp.

210160

Green Acres Lawn CAre
01-23-2011, 12:15 PM
Two years ago they invented something called a Tarp.

210160
How would that make it any easier?

93Chevy
01-23-2011, 12:20 PM
How would that make it any easier?

Place the tarp below the shrub and allow the clippings to fall onto the tarp. Very very very little residual cleanup.

If you have delicate flowers around the shrub...that's a tough call...you wouldn't want to hurt the flowers...but then again you're going to be walking around the shrub to trim it and raking the flowers...so I don't know that a light tarp over delicate plantings would cause much harm for a few minutes.

Green Acres Lawn CAre
01-23-2011, 12:22 PM
Ok thanks I'll try it.

Agape
01-23-2011, 12:54 PM
Ok thanks I'll try it.

Will you try it?.......will you try a tarp?.....let us know how it works, I'd hate to drop the bucks on a tarp and just be stuck with some useless......

Green Acres Lawn CAre
01-23-2011, 12:59 PM
Will you try it?.......will you try a tarp?.....let us know how it works, I'd hate to drop the bucks on a tarp and just be stuck with some useless......
How do you usually do it?

Agape
01-23-2011, 01:04 PM
How do you usually do it?

With my wife!

But pruning, I rake unless I'm dropping into Ivy or Gravel, then I use a tarp below my work and slide it along until it's full.

ALC-GregH
01-23-2011, 01:04 PM
Will you try it?.......will you try a tarp?.....let us know how it works, I'd hate to drop the bucks on a tarp and just be stuck with some useless......

I can't seem to have enough tarps. Can't see how you'd find a $15 tarp useless just because it didn't work on a hedge job. Do you ever have to haul debris away? If so, it should be covered.

Agape
01-23-2011, 01:10 PM
I can't seem to have enough tarps. Can't see how you'd find a $15 tarp useless just because it didn't work on a hedge job. Do you ever have to haul debris away? If so, it should be covered.

You should learn to recognize sarcasm.

BINKY1902
01-23-2011, 01:48 PM
I blow or rake them out and suck them up with the walk/behind w/bagger.

neckbone
01-23-2011, 01:56 PM
We use traps or drop cloths

jcbabb
01-23-2011, 02:10 PM
We use traps or drop cloths

Where can I find on of these "traps"? Those pesky clippings keep getting away! ;)

Seriously the tarps do work well. For very minor amounts when I am also mowing, my 21" with a bag sucks them up realy well too.

Strick
01-23-2011, 02:19 PM
Rake what you can, and then flip the pinestraw over and fluff it a little bit. It only takes a few minutes with a pitchfork. If you keep shrubbery trimmed often, you can sometimes just blow the tops off and blow the small amount of debris under shrubs or onto lawn and mulch up.

lawnpro724
01-23-2011, 03:05 PM
I blow or rake them out and suck them up with the walk/behind w/bagger.

We do the same thing. Tarps are a pain in the butt to say the least. I don't see any reason to use a tarp unless the landscaping is mulch or lava rock which both are to lite to blow out.

1993lx172
01-23-2011, 08:24 PM
We do the same thing. Tarps are a pain in the butt to say the least. I don't see any reason to use a tarp unless the landscaping is mulch or lava rock which both are to lite to blow out.

Add me to the list. In lava rock I just "feather" the throttle on the blower and that keeps the majority of the rock or mulch in the beds.

bobcat48
01-23-2011, 08:54 PM
I use rakes and tarps and my handheld or backpack blower.

tstutz
01-24-2011, 12:28 AM
haha c'mon guys easy on him! lol. If your using the straw for mulch for seeding purposes id leave the clippings. Might trick the customer into thinking your grass or whatever your wanting is growing rapidly! Completly kidding! no i use a "blue plastic like rug" commonly referred to as a tarp. It does the trick.

jasonc0203
01-24-2011, 10:51 AM
I use old bed sheets, I have a ton of them.

johnnybow
01-24-2011, 02:04 PM
I second the old sheets. Usually 2 around the base of the shrub. I think they are better than tarps. jmo

cgaengineer
01-28-2011, 08:23 AM
The best thing you can do is prune them before they really need it. I suggest a quick buzz every 2 weeks or so and the amount of clippings to pick up is minimal.

SLC & IS
01-28-2011, 05:56 PM
bed sheets and hand blower/vac for anything left

Snapper12
01-28-2011, 11:03 PM
The best thing you can do is prune them before they really need it. I suggest a quick buzz every 2 weeks or so and the amount of clippings to pick up is minimal.

LOL... You really trim your customers bushes every 2 weeks?

cgaengineer
01-29-2011, 12:01 AM
LOL... You really trim your customers bushes every 2 weeks?

Yes, not every single shrub, but I will do a row this week and another one the next...its much easier to take an inch or two than to take 8" off and have to cleanup a mess.
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Patriot Services
01-31-2011, 03:37 PM
Yes, not every single shrub, but I will do a row this week and another one the next...its much easier to take an inch or two than to take 8" off and have to cleanup a mess.
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I concur. Takes 5mins every couple of weeks in the heat. They always look sharp. The few tiny leaves you nip away disappear. Its built into the full service price so their is no haggling over clean up bills. Its a Florida thing man.
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rob7233
01-31-2011, 09:01 PM
Pine straw usually packs down pretty well. This is where your backpack blower volume rating comes in real handy. It's the volume that does the work and moves stuff and not the air speed.

Get in there with the blower nozzle and blow it out into the lawn area where you can rake it up. I even use the house itself (or structure) to deflect the air flow to push the shrub cuttings outward. A tarp is somewhat helpful but i find it misses a lot. You can't cover what falls down inside or even behind the shrub row until you have trimmed already and opened some space between the shrub row and house. I get too aggravated at trying to keep moving the tarp and stepping over it etc. If I have room then I just blow it into a pile on the lawn. Pick/rake up what I can, then mow afterwards to do a final cleaning. A bed sheet is also good as mentioned. Use a combination of techniques for the situation if you want. Whatever works for you. Just my 2 cents....

greendoctor
02-01-2011, 01:32 AM
I concur. Takes 5mins every couple of weeks in the heat. They always look sharp. The few tiny leaves you nip away disappear. Its built into the full service price so their is no haggling over clean up bills. Its a Florida thing man.
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That's how it is done in Hawaii as well. I never heard of letting shrubs or hedges overgrow 8". Let something overgrow that much here and you are out of a job. People expect you to trim shrubs and hedges every month if not more often.

cgaengineer
02-01-2011, 08:03 AM
That's how it is done in Hawaii as well. I never heard of letting shrubs or hedges overgrow 8". Let something overgrow that much here and you are out of a job. People expect you to trim shrubs and hedges every month if not more often.

Around here if you leave it up to the customer you will trim 2-3 times per season...if they are contract customers I trim as they get new growth which mean hollies are trimmed almost every 2 weeks!
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rob7233
02-01-2011, 08:45 AM
I think the situation here was for a hedge row that way out of bounds or otherwise not maintained. For a few clippings, you might be able to get away with blowing them back under the shrub.

However, I have seen the results of shrubs that were constantly and regularly trimmed. The get very dense growth on the outer layer while shutting out growth into the interior of the plant. This is usually done in trying to maintain very formal shapes (which contributes to legginess or thinning at the base).

I'm not comfortable with the fact of constantly re-injuring a shrub weekly or biweekly. Plant resources are constantly going towards defense and recovery. These openings (yes, wounds) are entryways for diseases and viruses. Not to mention leaving the plant more stressed and attractive to pest infestations. Summers here in FL are quite stressful on plant material.
It's the season of: "Too Much". Too much sun, too much rain, to much pest and disease pressure.

I do understand that you're wanting to keep thing tight looking and not create too much additional work, especially if the money isn't there in the first place or the client won't pay for a needed cleanup. A lot of trying to keep a plant in bounds is from not selecting the right plant, for the right place in the first place but most are not hired to fix that issue. I just wanted to make some of you aware of potential issues. More natural shrub shapes can be the best compromise.

Jason Rose
02-01-2011, 12:03 PM
I agree with the bed sheet suggetions. I use the same thing. They are pretty tedious to get laid down though, mainly around shrubs that have branches all the way to the ground. If I don't absolutely have to use them I won't. The blower and a little finesse works wonders as well. Lava rock is the worst! Cheap mulch is second. Good mulch binds together after a while and you can blow the stuff out.

tarps are cheaper than $15 too... For stuff like this I'd get the cheapest and lightest possible. You don't need them to be very large. Actually the best option would be like a 12x16 and splitting it in half so you get two 6x16 tarps.

There's a good reason that my own landscape has large river rock in it, lol. I can trim and then use the BP blower at full power to blow everything out and not budge a rock!

greendoctor
02-01-2011, 03:35 PM
Around here if you leave it up to the customer you will trim 2-3 times per season...if they are contract customers I trim as they get new growth which mean hollies are trimmed almost every 2 weeks!
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It is a far different world here. People here expect that everything and I mean everything is done for one price. Telling someone that trimming shrubs or hedges will cost them extra usually kills the whole deal. I do not have competition from TruGreen or Scotts here, but I deal with the hundreds of unqualified mowing people that fertilize and treat the lawns they mow. My deal killer is the fact that I do not usually mow or trim trees or hedges. Do not want to have to do that all day every day.

Florida Gardener
02-01-2011, 04:39 PM
I think the situation here was for a hedge row that way out of bounds or otherwise not maintained. For a few clippings, you might be able to get away with blowing them back under the shrub.

However, I have seen the results of shrubs that were constantly and regularly trimmed. The get very dense growth on the outer layer while shutting out growth into the interior of the plant. This is usually done in trying to maintain very formal shapes (which contributes to legginess or thinning at the base).

I'm not comfortable with the fact of constantly re-injuring a shrub weekly or biweekly. Plant resources are constantly going towards defense and recovery. These openings (yes, wounds) are entryways for diseases and viruses. Not to mention leaving the plant more stressed and attractive to pest infestations. Summers here in FL are quite stressful on plant material.
It's the season of: "Too Much". Too much sun, too much rain, to much pest and disease pressure.

I do understand that you're wanting to keep thing tight looking and not create too much additional work, especially if the money isn't there in the first place or the client won't pay for a needed cleanup. A lot of trying to keep a plant in bounds is from not selecting the right plant, for the right place in the first place but most are not hired to fix that issue. I just wanted to make some of you aware of potential issues. More natural shrub shapes can be the best compromise.
I totally agree. Aside from sandanqwa viburnum most plants in fl that are kept formally(cocoplum, goldmound, ixora, awabuki, etc.) are either sheared or overpruned. Most companies in Fl don't know how to properly maintain plant material and you see ugly ornamentals that never flower and have a quick demise.
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Patriot Services
02-02-2011, 04:53 PM
Any shrub or plant will eventually outgrow itself and become too woody and hollow. Improper AND infrquent pruning leads to this. The owners of formal lanscapes usually understand this and can afford to replace them as needed.
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Florida Gardener
02-02-2011, 05:19 PM
If you are keeping most plants in Florida in a formal appearance, it means the plant doesn't get to fruit or flower. These are important elements in a plants health. Certain plants like plumbago, Indian Hawthorne, ixora, etc. are not meant to be kept formally. Aside from looking really stupid, you don't get to enjoy the flowers and the great look if it were kept natural. I don't mean they should never get pruned, but not twice month.
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cgaengineer
02-02-2011, 06:32 PM
If you have hollies they have to be trimmed 5 times per season...in just 2 weeks they can get 6" new growth on them.

One of my customers have just about all hollies...they suck!
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jay albers
02-02-2011, 06:45 PM
can use a shred vac to, have some mulch ready because it will suck some up, but its quick and easy

ReddensLawnCare
02-02-2011, 08:05 PM
I like to use a painters cloth...they are relatively inexpensive and last forever if made of decent quality. They also are great if the wind is blowing b/c of there density...just my .02

rob7233
02-02-2011, 08:51 PM
Any shrub or plant will eventually outgrow itself and become too woody and hollow. Improper AND infrquent pruning leads to this. The owners of formal lanscapes usually understand this and can afford to replace them as needed.
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Can you tell me how you might go about correcting this(too woody or hollow) without yanking out the shrub row?

How do define infrequent and do you consider that improper vs. (frequent)?

ReddensLawnCare
02-02-2011, 10:08 PM
you know...most famous gardens trim there shrubs every week or two depending on the season...there plants last forever..it is just a matter of doing it correctly with fert and fungal/insect control. It has a price to do it right, but you can trim every two weeks if you keep a close eye on things..or only twice a year like me and use a PGR...that works great

rob7233
02-04-2011, 08:51 PM
you know...most famous gardens trim there shrubs every week or two depending on the season...there plants last forever..it is just a matter of doing it correctly with fert and fungal/insect control. It has a price to do it right, but you can trim every two weeks if you keep a close eye on things..or only twice a year like me and use a PGR...that works great

Sometimes with a PGR you get better, more compact growth too, without having to make little green meatballs & lollipops!

What product do you use and at what rate and frequency? What kind of results are you getting and are they consistant year round?

ReddensLawnCare
02-04-2011, 11:47 PM
I believe it is Embark or something like that????. I bought it off a friend of mine who does this all the time..and i think thats what he said...i liked it. I trim the bushes/shrubs back and follow the label mix rate and just soak the plants. You can t do it when it is too hot or you will certainly get some serious yellowing, but that will fade with a dose of 10 10 10, but not too much. The product allows the plant to become bushier without any branches to have rapid growth out so i primarily use it for my hedge rows and it does an amazing job thickening them up. IT is a HUGE time saver and last for most of the season but about september, its time for another trim and treatment. Lighter in the fall tho b/c there wont be as much growth. Hope that helps....and you have to excuse me...but...little green meatballs and lollipops? Maybe its b/c im tired but i dont get it

ReddensLawnCare
02-04-2011, 11:53 PM
Actually..i think its atrimmic *spelling* i will have to look but i believe the embark was more for turf and i never spray my turf..i want mow it so i can make the money!

rob7233
02-05-2011, 12:32 AM
"little green meatballs & lollipops"

That's what can result in the overshearing & overpruning of shrub material in a typical formal landscape. Think about it.

greydog4u2
02-05-2011, 01:05 AM
Nice one!!

Patriot Services
02-05-2011, 10:04 AM
Atrimmec is a must. Its caution labeled and meant for shrubs and hedges. It is a must on topiaries (meatballs, lollipops, swizzle sticks, flamfoozles and watoozzies). Good point to show you can do much more with LLCM and BMP certs.
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Florida Gardener
02-05-2011, 12:03 PM
What about fiddle faddles?
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Patriot Services
02-05-2011, 12:54 PM
What about fiddle faddles?
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Reminds me to pick some up for tomorrow.
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Florida Gardener
02-05-2011, 02:35 PM
Don't forget the flying willards....
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rob7233
02-08-2011, 11:38 PM
My very favorite is "Poodleballing" since my ex wife was a dog groomer that term would always stick in my head.

Patriot Services
02-09-2011, 10:12 AM
A nursery by me had 3 rows 100 yards long of triple poodleballs all ready to ship.
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CashMaintenance
02-10-2011, 03:09 AM
say this thread and thought i would let everyone know i tried that revolutionary new "tarp" (i think thats how you spell it) idea to not make a mess cutting shrubs. genius. pure genius. who would ever think of such an amazing brand new idea? :laugh::laugh:

XLS
02-15-2011, 05:39 PM
we shear weekly .front one week back yard the next and repeat so its a 2 week cycle. we use ayway possible or needed. tarps ,rake and blow you name it its done . all te debris is throwed into the lawn within 3' of the beds and left. if its long cuttings we use a 6'x6' tarp and rake . when full we fold them up and twist like a bread wraper and tie with rope and set at the curb for us to pick up later. when the mowing crew arrives the walkers bag the small clippings and throw the bags on a trailer.