View Full Version : wants 36 arborvitae, should I get involved?

03-24-2004, 08:37 AM
I do mostly lawn-care and the usual property maintenance stuff. Customer wants 36 5-6' arborvitae planted along 2 sides of the prop. I checked the digging situation. Numerous mature maples scattered in the area, so there are many roots (less than 1") to contend with. I thought of renting an 8" auger and poking 4 holes for each hole, and dig out the rest. Will the auger go through the roots? I could rent a Bobcat for $250, but doubt my Dakota would tow it. What to do with the extra dirt?
Will the auger do the job or should I just wash my hands of this whole job? (I can get the shrubs for $34 each, so it looks like there is money to my made if I can do the installation without killing myself.)
Thanks for any help on this dilemma.

03-24-2004, 11:01 AM
i do tons of this kinda work every year....if she has lots of roots you could try berming the plants....dig half way down the root ball and burm the rest up...of course youll need topsoil but so what ....dont use a bobcat get a small ex or a smallback hoe to dig....auger will get cought up in the roots.....make sure you have plenty of compost in the back fill and at teh bottom of the hole....space em 3 ft apart on center...


03-24-2004, 11:25 AM
Thanks Chuck. I guess that answers the question on the auger. That berming approach sounds like a great idea.

03-24-2004, 12:02 PM
Where are you getting your prices for arborvitae? I have to pay $60 wholesale up here in NH. All of the nurseries I work with are baout the same for 5-6' Thuja Occidentalis Nigra 'Dark American'. What variety are you buying for $34.

03-24-2004, 01:09 PM
Go and rent a Toro Dingo. Get the big auger bit for it. Your dakota wont have a problem towing it, and you ll have all the holes dug in no time. Thats what I would do. Here you cant rent a dingo with the auger for a day for about three hundred bucks.

gene gls
03-24-2004, 10:28 PM
You'r in for a learning experance, thats a "ball busting" job. Are you having the trees delivered or you picking up? I suggest you looking at the trees very close and make sure you understand whats involved with this job before you quote any prices.


03-24-2004, 11:38 PM
Terraventure: I was quoted on Nigra arborvitae. Also, quoted $23 for 3-4', which I was hoping to go with. Schartner Farms, Exeter, RI. ( A large retail/wholesale grower).
Thanks to all for the good input.

03-24-2004, 11:56 PM
I have a one man auger and if it hits roots you better be holding on or it will kill you.

03-25-2004, 08:42 AM
Don't forget to tell them that bagworms love Arborvitaes and you'll be glad to keep them in check for them.(for a price)

03-26-2004, 06:38 PM
If the spacing is 30-36 inches apart it is usually easier to dig a trench- set the tress -check spacing and backfill with amended soil as needed-Harry

Green Goblin
03-28-2004, 09:47 PM
Rent a dingo with an 18" auger charge double on the arbs and 35-50% of the retail cost of the arbs to plant. shouldn't take any time and will be lots of pure profit. Arbs are tough so you shouldn't have to worry about much death.