View Full Version : Cost to install 60 pines

03-14-2004, 06:45 AM
I might have to sub this job as we're booked solid thru May

Would appreciate a range of cost to:

Install 60, 6 ft white pines..b & b'd
Ground is level
No staking
Edge tree rings

How many man hours would you guesstimate for this job?

I've never installed this many on one job so I'm not embarrased to admit that this one is a little intimidating for us. THere are 50 other smaller plants that also go in that we can handle but 60 pines will be a bit much for a small operation like ours.

thanks much for your help on this one

03-14-2004, 07:06 AM
Really depends on your equipment.

We have a bobcat mounted tree spade that could easily plug those 60 holes in a day. If they were all in one location we could probably almost get them all planted too ....perhaps have half a day to finish off and cleanup the following day. 3- man crew.

Our best 1 day last fall was 50 trees with a 4man crew. That was trucking the trees to site,digging the hole, trucking the spoils away(about 3miles)planting , watering in and mulch.

Will you have to truck the spoils away? Will the trees be delivered to site?

Im gonna say somewhere around 60-70 hours with the equipment.

03-14-2004, 08:04 AM
Kris...yes trees will be deliverd to site by nursery and debris from planting can be dumped in woods at rear of property..

03-14-2004, 08:36 AM
For what it's worth and it's not really worth talking prices on here, with us supplying the trees and all labor it would be around 21k

03-14-2004, 09:24 AM
It would take me about 1.5 hours per tree to plant by hand. I have never planted that many trees at one time myself but have planted trees that size many times. Normally about 1hr per tree but with that many I would think by the end of the day planting by hand that it may end up being about 2 hrs per tree. Very hard work.

03-14-2004, 11:04 AM
Do you have acess to a tractor with a 12: auger? I have a 12" Auger on my loader and can plant a tree in 15 minutes or less. Rent a Toro Dingo, simple to use. 21K seeks to be a lot.

Randy Scott
03-14-2004, 12:34 PM
Originally posted by dreisman
Do you have acess to a tractor with a 12: auger? I have a 12" Auger on my loader and can plant a tree in 15 minutes or less. Rent a Toro Dingo, simple to use. 21K seeks to be a lot.

A 12" auger isn't going to make a hole for a 6' pine. A 6 ' pine will have a root ball of anywhere's from 18"-24" across and just as deep. We use a 36" auger on our skid-steer and still open the hole up a little bit. There's a rule of thumb for how big a hole should be in relation to the root ball.

Pricing is regional, but for 60 pines at 6 feet tall, well into the 20k range.

GarPa, I would suggest trying to fit this job into your schedule. There is good money in tree installs, and plant installs. I would plan on two days of rental fees for a Toro Dingo with tracks, not the wheeled machine. get the auger attachment and start drilling. You clean the hole out, you have great native soil you just chewed up to backfill and make a slight ring above the surface to help retain water directly over the root ball when watering. Mulch over that ring keeping the "moat" intact and also providing shade from the direct sun, and your done. No need to remove any soil from the site. Maybe just the rocks that will turn up. Be sure to water the trees as you backfill them as to help settle the soil and release any air pockets. I would personally stake the trees. Evergreens never develop an extensive or large root system, so they really need a little support the first year or two. Also, trees should not be staked any longer than two years or they never develop the strength to stand on their own.

03-14-2004, 03:43 PM
Our six foot pines have a root ball of at least 32" most 36". I agree with Randy... id try and fit it in. Its not rocket science planting trees...don't jump down my throats for that guys... it's just not as involved as a hardscape... Go for it! Rent the equipment.BTW my price was 21k with nothing else. Feel free to think it's high... I can get it in a heartbeat.

Critical Care
03-14-2004, 04:05 PM
I went through this a few years back, but with 50 or so aspens which are easier than what you're looking at. With a several person workforce we were able to knock this job out in a day doing all the digging by hand, and the job was about 60 miles away. But, we had water right there on hand, could drive the truck up to where the trees were being planted, and the big one was that the soil wasn't hard or rocky. On the ohter hand, a few of us spent a week solid on jack hammers trying to dig 50 40" inch deep holes for a greenhouse. That was hell for sure trying to go through solid lava rock. Augers didn't work.

Better check to see what you're getting into, literally, and then price accordingly.

03-14-2004, 09:57 PM
gar, if you sub it out you are a knucklehead. good money dude, don't let it pass. it's just laborsome

03-15-2004, 12:53 AM
GARPA i just had a guy plant 14, 6 foot tall white pines in my yard it took him 4 hours to do it by himself with a shovel and he was not busting his a$$ to get it done

03-15-2004, 01:06 AM
60 pines at 21k thats $350 per tree good luck flipping that coin

03-15-2004, 08:24 AM
Excuse me draftlawn.... I can retail them for that. Im not guessing here draft. I'm talking from real life experience.

03-15-2004, 08:48 AM
i'll do the 60 pines for 12 grand

03-15-2004, 08:50 AM
oh you'll do them for material cost?

03-15-2004, 09:11 AM
Kris..without a a whole lot of number crunching at this point I came up with a swag of at least 17k. Supplier is still looking for the 60 pines and when he gives me the cost, I will post back here

Bobby...read my lips....we are booked solid thru May on landscape work. I have no desire to overcommitt, have the customer waiting around and get pissed off, and damage our reputation for getting things done on time. As it is we have 30 ton of stone to put in this property plus 50 shrubs plus a large flower display. THe municipality gives customer only so many days to get the privacy pine hedge installed after final inspection.

This is why we are looking at subing it out. Get it now?

03-15-2004, 09:20 AM
Why not hire a new crew to install the trees? With the profit you will make form the trees you could pay them all season.

03-15-2004, 09:25 AM
I wish I could find more worker bees to do it...as it is, I'm having trouble getting my 6 month helpers. And also to be quite honest, I'm not real keen on having to guarantee 60 pines on a site where they will NEVER get watered. While white pine are pretty hardy, they do need some help from mother nature to get roots established before we move into the heat of summer

03-15-2004, 09:48 AM
I see your worries about the guarantee on the trees. When I plant trees with a guarantee I mark the price up 150% of retail. Even if 3/4 of the trees were to die I would still break even. Just my 02. You may trying to sell the a maintenance service on the trees, then you can take care of them.:D

Good help is impossible to find.:(

03-15-2004, 10:09 AM
good point on selling the maintenance on the trees...I completey forgot abouyt that option...dahhh

and yes help is impossible to find...I;d gladly pay them well above the avg wage and all I expect from them is to know which end of a shovel to hold...I'll do all the setting in and after thinkingabout more, staking them might be a good idea...for 12 months only as mentioned above...along with mulch volcanoes around trees, the other thing that makes me crazy is seeing stakes left in on trees for years....

03-15-2004, 12:17 PM
6 ft white pines =$70 each. $4200 for the trees. my guy gives a 10% discount on all orders over $1000. so, now the trees are costing me $3780. we did 6 ft pines in the fall. me and another guy did 8 in 6 hours BY HAND!. SO EVEN IF, it took an hour a pine, that's 60 hrs. i'd easily clear $6500 for the job, in 60-70 hrs tops. for a pee on like me, that's good dough

03-15-2004, 11:35 PM
Randy Scott knows what he is talking about seems to be
very educated in the field. I have a Hort degree and I agree
with every thing he said. Including $. We install the same
way as well. The only way that any one could do it for 12k
would be if they own the nursery, and then there still selling
them self short if they guarantee them.

03-15-2004, 11:47 PM
pretty interseting peak. I JUST TOLD YOU HOW i coiuld do it. now tell me why i can't?

03-15-2004, 11:55 PM
well i must be getting a hell of a deal on 6 ft white pines @ $25 apeice the guy i get from is paying $ 15 each for them. He will install them for $ 30 each thats the tree and labor. if you can get 21k run with it, with guys like this in my area its hard to do

03-16-2004, 12:13 AM
bobby do you have any over head
-workers comp
-truck cost
-any equipment

and your telling me your time to install 60 trees over a good week of time driving back and forth and clean up every day and give a guarantee on the trees is only worth $6,500 to you
no offense but you like to sweat

03-16-2004, 08:40 AM
so, you need to make more than $6500 a week,after material costs, to scrape a paycheck out? 12k-$3780=$8220. it's gonna cost me $1140 for all the expenses you mentioned above, to operate for the 60 hours. this leaves $7080. i'll even leave the $580 towards "unexpected " expenses. this leaves me $6500, for the 60 hour workweek. i'd live like a king if i could take a paycheck for this amount every week. and...just think, if you don't plant them upside down, you may actually have a few of them live. this is the difference between big companies and small. you guys have to charge 20 grand, just to profit 3 grand. i can charge 12, and more than double your profit. my operating costs aren't a million dollars a year, i guess, this is why i sweat. in fact, sweating is good for you.

little green guy
03-16-2004, 11:47 AM
yah but Bobby, what about when 10 of those trees die and you have to go back and replace them. Say bye bye to your profit :waving: I ran a # real quick and came up with about 19k but who knows if I realy sat down and figured it it may be higher. I'd also never plant 60 trees by hand.

03-16-2004, 12:06 PM
like i said, we don't plant them upside down, i don't anticipate losing 10 of them. however, if i did lose 10, it would cost me around $800 in materials and labor to replace them. not a big deal. so, i'd clear $5700 for the job.

03-16-2004, 03:27 PM
near louisville ky i have to agree with bobby.
60 pines @6' 4200
labor 3 men 8hrs 1000
warranty, equip; overhead 1000

job cost 2500 - 3000
job selling price 6500 -7000 with tax

if we lost half
30 trees at cost 1000
labor 500

no losses = 3500 profit one day
half lost = still 1500 - 2000 profit one day

i'll do this everyday for this price

been in business for over 10 years and do approximately 300k / year in landscaping services

03-16-2004, 03:42 PM
doesn't your nursey guarantee the tres for like a year

03-16-2004, 08:15 PM
we provide a one year warranty. at the completion of every job we go over the complete care instructions and we actually have very few replacements every year.

03-16-2004, 08:32 PM
$200 per tree for a $60 tree...$12000 here too.

03-16-2004, 09:30 PM
This thread has turned into a joke!
You're not talking about the same caliper tree as me...Im not talking about some little s-hit pine in a pot. I'm talking a nice 6-8 foot 32" basket.
This is why I hate talking money on here.

And bob you need to get over this BS about large companies... We would go in and plant (the caliper of tree im talking about) with equipment and trucks and have it done in a day...making more profit ..yes more profit even with our overhead than you would even dream of making in a week!
And another thing that you can put in your pipe and smoke....you won't get the trees cheaper than us..cause we'd be the ones selling to you.

03-16-2004, 10:26 PM
kris, i'm talkin about 6 ft heavy pines. two strong guys couldn't lift one. well if you need 20 grand for the job to make a decent profit, i'm assuming that's cus your rolling off the lot in the am with $200,000 worth of equipment. so try and be a little nicer

Randy Scott
03-16-2004, 11:57 PM
Originally posted by kris
This thread has turned into a joke!
You're not talking about the same caliper tree as me...Im not talking about some little s-hit pine in a pot. I'm talking a nice 6-8 foot 32" basket.
This is why I hate talking money on here.

It's obvious who has and who hasn't done a job of this magnitude and have done it properly as my previous post explained. The time it takes to PROPERLY set a tree and the time it takes to plant a tree are worlds apart. I can see some slight variation for pricing by region, but that's about it. Taking your experience from planting one or two trees and multiplying it 60 times isn't going to work for you guys digging holes by hand. I just about p i s s e d my pants when I seen that. Give 'er h e l l there boys. When you actually do a job with 60 trees of this size and caliber, you'll then know what it takes. The equipment, the manpower, and the time.

Funny, everybody on here pisses and moans about raising mowing prices and charging"$60" an hour, but when you try to talk decent profit for work in landscaping, it's too high, I can do it for less, yadee yadee. What a joke. That's fine, just as the lowball mowers price themselves to go belly up, so can the lowball landscapers.

03-17-2004, 02:23 AM
u huh, randy, i know i'm on your ignore list.......i also know you're peaking. sorry boys to offend you, but i've seen it all too often. gross a million a year, pay out 1.1 million in expenses. everything is out on loans, payroll sky high. i see it everyday, when i pull up to the gas pump, a little sign,"don't give any credit to xyz landscaping." not saying it's you, but i wouldn't invest millions in a nickle and dime business, cus that's exactly what this business is, nickle dime.

03-17-2004, 05:02 AM
no its not Bobby...not at all...unless of course one chooses to run it that way...

03-17-2004, 07:26 AM
Like i said ..JOKE!

Nickle and dime?! I'm gonna leave that comment alone..you're ignorance is to easy to insult,
I'm going to pick and choose what posts I get involved in here and thats going to be slim to none.

03-17-2004, 08:15 AM
nice, instead of trying to explain your point, just get mad and throw a tantrum. when i say nickle and dime, my point is that most of the time, we are not working on 20 thousand dollar landscape jobs, we are usually working for small amounts, but alot of times. like residential grass cutting. $30-$35 is nickle dime, so we try and make that $30-$35 alot of times. and you're gonna compete for that 35, with guys that will do it for 25. mostly it's the bigger companies comming in at lower prices, thier overhead is so high, they become desperate. kris don't get all pissy, we are just having a conversation here, i'm not trying to insult anyone.

03-17-2004, 08:19 AM
Your probably right Bob ... I need a break.

03-17-2004, 08:30 AM
apology accepted

03-17-2004, 08:47 AM

03-17-2004, 08:53 AM
Kris...you;d best not vanish here....You're one of the too few landscape verterans here who know which end of a spade to hold....don;t let the menstrual moments of some, run you off....we have too few experienced landscape guys here as it is...I've always appreciated your insight on the landscape side of things

03-17-2004, 09:57 AM
i agree with gar

03-17-2004, 10:44 AM
If anyone would do a job like that for 12 grand they are either crazy or dont have much work so they try to undercut everybody!
I have seen many lawn guys come and go that do this kind of pricing. You have to charge at least 21grand. Big job but I would go for it. Try to rent equipment to get it done quick and good as possible or it might turn into a never ending nightmare. I have had a couple of those.

03-20-2004, 12:03 PM
if we are talking about White Pines? and im thinking eastern white pine for 6 - 7 ' my price is $92 a tree.

$backhoe rental=$300.00
3 workers 10 hrs =$300.00
Compost and mulch=$200.00
plus 35% profit=$2765.00=$10,665.00+tax ...could shoot for 50% on warranty depnds on conditions for growing.....White Pine is not my favorite to warantee.


03-20-2004, 10:23 PM
Hmmm... I can do it for $100 a tree. Yea, so I'm losing $50 a tree, but I'm making up for it in volume! Right? LOL

03-21-2004, 01:26 AM
planting one tree forty times is the same as 40 trees 1 time last time we checked. ...and 6ft is 72inches and $12000 will do me fine. Next we will be wanting $100 per 1000 sq ft to aerate a friggin lawn. If you can get $21000 good luck.

Potomac Lawns Inc.
08-11-2006, 10:33 PM
Well how much for planting 100 5-6 foot b & b pine trees, I know this post is a bit old, just would like to see if i am in the ballpark thanks.

Potomac Lawns Inc.
08-13-2006, 12:59 PM
Know one has any thoughts?

Travel'n Trees
08-13-2006, 02:41 PM
I would realisticly think a one day job plant and mulch job 100 pines I would do it for 11k and take 6k for one days work?