View Full Version : 5 year leaf removal

10-27-2003, 02:00 AM
How would you go about removing 5 years worth of leaves on a 1/2 acre lot. I only have a craftsman lawn tractor, two push mower and rakes. They all are capable of bagging. Would you just mulch it or what? I need to know the easiest way. Or what you would do

Rustic Goat
10-27-2003, 02:10 AM
More details about what the property is and what owner wants it to be next year would help with the decision process.
If it's really 5 years worth, does that mean completely covered and now grass growth, only thick decaying layers of leaves are there now?
Is this an open lot or a residence?

10-27-2003, 09:39 AM
It is a residential lot. He plans on using me all next year. The reason why it is so bad is because they bought the house as a foreclosure last year and the whole yard went to crap over the years before they got it. The owner said it is too much for him and he don't have any time. He has too many honey-do project. He wants to redo a retaining wall next year as well as redoing flower beds, reseading with a shade tolerent grass seed. He is a really nice guy and wants me to do everything in the yard.

10-27-2003, 09:50 AM
Bobcat. If you need to, rent it. Charge for a complete renovation.

10-27-2003, 10:04 AM
If you are reseading next year and there is almost no grass now (probably) just rent a big tiller and till it under. The leaves will be great compost. till it , grade it, moybe seel them a sprinkler system. and seed in the spring.

10-27-2003, 10:38 AM
Could I not just scalp it. I know he wont go for a total redo. He just wants to do one thing at a time. Then go from there.

Rustic Goat
10-27-2003, 10:40 AM
Mulch the heck out of the newest layer of leaves, do a serious tilling, caution on pricing ahead of time on this portion if there's any concern about roots, then reseed, ought to consider sodding with St Aug.

10-27-2003, 10:46 AM
5 years of buildup??? Is there any grass left?

If you want to save the grass do not mulch the leaves. Mulching only works if you do it multiple times during the fall season.

I don't think your mowers will get the leaves out. Get a powerful backpack (rent for ~50) or just use rakes (metal) get all the leaves out and tarp them out. If you want, use the rake to get the leaves out and try to use your 21 w/ bag to clean them out.

10-27-2003, 10:51 AM
i would sask the owner what he is expecting. and go from there. if he is expecting great grass next year i bet you will have to renovate.

10-27-2003, 10:54 AM
We have talked price and it is around $200.

10-27-2003, 11:17 AM
$200 is not enough for a standard leaf removal on a half acre, In my opinion. Also, I would get a contract, especially if you are going to do the leaves a little cheap to get the rest of the business next year. I recently got stung cleaning up edging and getting a lawn in shape in the hot summer, then came to mow just as cousin johnny was getting ready to mow with a 21 inch push mower! Hope they call me next summer!!

Blades of Steel
10-27-2003, 11:26 AM
I would farm it out to someone with the right equipment. Then take over from there. There is NO WAY that 200$ is close to what you'll need to make on that job.

???? Jonesboro, Ar. is in the country so to speak. Can you get a burn permit? If you can, use the Bobcat as mentioned, dose them into a pile and strike a match.

Just one mans opinion...

10-27-2003, 11:27 AM
What would be the best way to mention a contract?

10-27-2003, 11:37 AM
Jonesboro is not in the country we have a population of 55,000+.
Brookland and Bono is in the country. There is no way i could get a burn permit for this. Too many trees and in a subdivsion.

Blades of Steel
10-27-2003, 11:44 AM
Depends on wht he wants. You mentioned he wanted you next year so you need to put a sales package together and sell your self to him. Tell him the importance of you having an contract and what he'll get in return. When calculating your annual figures make sure you add in 2 to 3 leaf removals, trimming and prunning 3 times or so a year. You will get a better response if you lay it out by month as to what he will expect.

Don't be affraid to sell yourself, be proffesional and get it done when you say your going to. They will respect you even more if you lay it out and explain to them what you require as a proffesional in the green industry.

Blades of Steel
10-27-2003, 11:46 AM
55000 could be called the country. But the subdivision could be a problem. Could you rent a debris loader from a rental company? Your only 45 minutes from Memphis, try the yellow pages.

10-27-2003, 01:01 PM
What is a debri loader?

Blades of Steel
10-27-2003, 01:16 PM
a big vaccum, you would need to box in your truck though. I would call around to see if you could lease one or possibly sub it out to a landscape company with one.

10-27-2003, 03:30 PM
It sounds like you are in the process of loosing your behind on this one. Be wary of work that he has promissed you in the future. You have no way of knowing if he will keep his end of the bargain, also more times than not the promise of more work in the future is dangled out there hoping you will give him a discount on the first job.

10-27-2003, 03:53 PM
$200 is not enough and it will be more expensive for him to have you pick them up and haul them away than to till them under. You've got a good 10 hours worth of work ahead of you, with the proper equipment.

10-27-2003, 04:05 PM
You have to start somewhere right?

Blades of Steel
10-27-2003, 04:39 PM
Yeah, but in the hole on a huge job isn't the place to start.

10-27-2003, 04:43 PM
i live about 1 hr from you and would do it for 500.00-600.00
Let me know.

Blades of Steel
10-27-2003, 04:57 PM
Yeah, I live 40 minutes from you. I'll bring my debris loader over and do it. but not for 200.00.

We are not trying to be sarcastic in any manner. We (the Lawnsite guys) don't want you to take it in the shorts over this job.

10-27-2003, 05:01 PM
Sub out to someone with bigger equipment.

10-27-2003, 05:07 PM
I would power rake it and then bag the balance. Put a good fertilizer into the ground this year and seed heavily through March, April and May

10-27-2003, 09:28 PM
Which fertilizer? Winterizer?

10-27-2003, 10:26 PM
You are in over your head @ $200.00. If it was this years leaves on good turf you would do O.k.....5 years of leaves for 200.00 is ridiculously cheep. If you have already agreed to that price then try to break out buy hiring cheep labor. Rake, tarp, and burn.

I priced and got a leaf job 2-day, approx 1/3 acre, slight slope, disposal on site. $200.00----about 1.5 hours to complete.

Most of all...Good Luck...and sell that reno. Let the leaf job close the deal on the future work. Work'em dude. Don't let him set the pace. Tell him what you can do for him and make him like it.

sorry------ I got carried away for a minute.....

10-27-2003, 10:47 PM
Thanks for all the replies. I will take some pics before and after of the job to see what everyone thinks. If I can figure ouy how.
I realize I have charged too low. That would explain why he jumped on the price quick. I know I screwed up, but when you are fairly new to the business it is hard to price services. I just hope he will spread the word about me and my services.