Advanced Search

The Green Industry's Resource Center

Old 08-26-2010, 07:10 PM
sandman23's Avatar
sandman23 sandman23 is offline
LawnSite Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: GA
Posts: 212
Shrub Maintenance Program

I am looking for feedback on taking care of shrubs.

I used to include shrubs, pinestraw, flowers, etc… in with my service price and half way accounted for the cost. Last year I stripped all extras out of my normal monthly price and charged separately. This allows me to provide a base service and add on from there. It also allows me to track extras.

Shrub trimming is the only extra service that keeps giving me problems (how often, how much cleanup, how selective, etc…). I am trying to create a program that is profitable, affordable, and manageable.

I am currently trimming shrubs as needed but I am looking for something a little more structured. I try to trim shrubs 4 times per year; Feb., May, Aug., and Nov. I use motorized hedge trimmers and do very little selective pruning. I avoid roses if possible, ornamentals, and Juniper/Ivy beds. I also decline to do shrubs for the H/O that is badly over landscaped and always planting things themselves.

I blow or rake the clippings into the yard and either tarp and haul or bag with the mower. I always recommend topping with fresh pinestraw or mulch (most decline). I let them know that I get about 80-90% of the debris. In other words, I offer a very basic service.

I am looking for input from the guys that have a structured shrub program.

Some points:
Trimming quarterly vs. monthly. Is there any real benefit to trimming monthly other than less debris?
Billing. Time of service, added to bill, or monthly?
Debris. How do you handle cleanup? Mulch/pinestraw depletion.
Besides normal hedge trimming, what else do you offer? Selective pruning, limbing, dead heading, etc…?

I am considering offering 4 services per year and making it an add-on service at around $40 per month. I bill over 9 months so roughly $360 per year. Keep in mind that these are generally small builder grade landscapes. Most can be trimmed in 1-2 hours.

What say you.
Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2010, 07:37 PM
Johnny test's Avatar
Johnny test Johnny test is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Lexington,KY
Posts: 568
Now this is just me. In my commercial contracts I charge the customer for 3 Tree and shrub pruning visits. The charge is calculated hourly+waste. 1st visit is in Jan (winter prune all deciduous trees and shrubs except maples and flowering).(2nd I prune all evergreen trees and shrubs). (3rd May is for evergreens, a second time... with Maples, Flowering trees and shrubs(asap after blooming). Each of the three visits is calculated hourly+waste...

Then my Qty 2 fall cleanups include the removal of all dead plant material including limbs or dead annuals, or shrubs...

97' ISUZU NPR (16' bed)
John Deere F687 60" 7iron w/MCS
John Deere GS30 36"
John Deere GS45 48"
John Deere JS45 21"
Stihl FS80 Pro Trimmer
Stihl FS46 Trimmer
Stihl BG55 Blower
Stihl BR56 X2
Stihl BR600 X2
Red Roo Auger
BRD-280 Bed Redefiner
Echo PE-280 Stick Edger
Echo SHC 212 Hedge Trimmer
Bluebird 24" De-Thatcher
Olathe 88 Plug Aerator
Yard Machines walk-behind Edger
Craftsman Lawn Vacuum/chipper
2-Homelite BP250 backpack blowers
McCullock FR56 Trimmer

Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2010, 08:39 PM
twobroslawns's Avatar
twobroslawns twobroslawns is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Smyrna, GA
Posts: 299
It is a lot easier if you do it every few weeks. A house that might take 2 hrs. in one sitting will take 30 mins or less if you do it once a month. You usually don't have to pick up any clippings if you do it often enough.
Gravely, Honda, Stihl, Ford
Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2010, 10:36 PM
Kinz Kinz is offline
LawnSite Member
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 22
Please tell me you're pruning at the correct times for the specific shrub. Like you're not pruning Azaleas in Nov. and February!
Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2010, 07:34 AM
twobroslawns's Avatar
twobroslawns twobroslawns is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Smyrna, GA
Posts: 299
Of course. And we're not pruning azaleas with the hedge trimmer either. I was talking about plants like the boxwoods and hollies that grow so much so quickly around here.
Gravely, Honda, Stihl, Ford
Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2010, 10:33 PM
Coffeecraver Coffeecraver is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: VA.
Posts: 793
Follow the Shrub Guide to schedule pruning at the right time of year.
Bulletin 625 / Revised February 2010

The University of Georgia and Ft. Valley State University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and counties of the state cooperating.

Norm's Landscape
Certified Horticulturist
Certified Arborist
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Layout Style:

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©1998 - 2012,™ - Grand View Media
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:58 PM.

Page generated in 0.08315 seconds with 8 queries