12 or 18 Auger for tree and shrub planting

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by TWerner, Dec 22, 2013.

  1. TWerner

    TWerner LawnSite Member
    Posts: 80

    Hi guys,

    We are finally building on our 11 acre field in Orange County North Carolina. We'll be planting well over 50 trees during the next couple of years and a lot of shrubs as well.

    Shrubs will include Abelia, Nandina, Holly, Japanese Red Barberry
    Trees will include some Arbor Vitae for privacy, Dogwood, Crepe Myrtle, and Magnolia, as well as the 1" Oaks and Maples that I can transplant from the woods.

    I have a Deere 3520 with 30 pto hp, and since I hate digging holes, we plan to buy a PTO driven post hole digger for the tractor. Probably the 6900HD from Everything Attachments. What size Auger would you recommend? 12 or 18? Or would you get a 9 and drill 3 holes in a triangle and join them?
    (I am not considering buying a back hoe!)

    Thanks,
    Todd
     
  2. Vecchio Lawn Care

    Vecchio Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 905

    Could you rent one and just make a plan I plant them all at the same time?
     
  3. agrostis

    agrostis LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,263

    Get a 18" auger and even that's pretty small. You want to go wide when planting, the rule of thumb is 3 time's the size of the original root ball. Good luck.
     
  4. TWerner

    TWerner LawnSite Member
    Posts: 80

    We're going to be planting in stages, a few at trees at time. More work to dig them up than to dig the new hole, but any help is good help.

    I suspect we'll run a drip irrigation line to even the distant plants/trees for their first year or two of growth. Probably bury some hose for irrigation just a couple of inches down to avoid destroying it with the mower. The property slopes gently, so draining those lines for winter will be easy.

    My only concern with the 18" is that it would be useless for small shrubs, but then again, those only require 2 scoops from the shovel.
     
  5. ztman

    ztman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,007

    I agree with Vecchio, renting the attachments makes sense. That way you can get what ever size auger you need for the specific trees you are planting them
     
  6. whiffyspark

    whiffyspark LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,093

    Or just rent whatever auger size you don't buy
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  7. TWerner

    TWerner LawnSite Member
    Posts: 80

    That's reasonable advice guys, but I find it interesting how you value time.
    It's 30 minutes to sunbelt rental's lot. The time to rent something is at least 15 minutes. So hour fifteen to rent, another hour to return it. $6 in gas each way. So rental fee + $24 gas plus over 2 hours each time I want to use something. Let's say I value my time at $30 an hour. That means each time I rent something I throw away $84 in my time and in gas money. Renting anything bigger than a hand held auger brings that to over $250 if I use it for a day, so if I rent 4 times I'll actually save money buying an attachment. And that doesn't count the fact that I can probably sell for 40 or 50% of my cost after a couple of years of light use.

    Time is money and fun, so I'm gonna buy the pto P.H.D. That said, I'd rather only buy one auger, so I want to choose the correct size.

    Thanks,
    Todd
     
  8. whiffyspark

    whiffyspark LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,093

    What gallon size are you planting. Or are they burlap and ball?
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  9. TWerner

    TWerner LawnSite Member
    Posts: 80

    I suspect 1 to 5 gallon

    Also, I think you pro's all have trailers or pick up trucks. I don't, so renting requires it fit in the SUV back, or borrowing a trailer. Add a couple more hours each time, or $50 for the trailer rental fee.
     
  10. ztman

    ztman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,007

    If you look at it that way, you could save money, and time, by hiring someone with the equipment to punch the holes for you.
     

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