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Advice needed on a hedge.

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Dirty Water, Dec 10, 2006.

  1. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,799

    I'm contemplating bidding a job that requires removal of a cedar picket fence and replacement with hedge plants, ~1000 ft.

    My thought is one day for removal of the fence using a rental skidsteer with 2 guys. Something around:

    $1000 labor
    $200 Skid Rental
    + Dump charges

    I'm thinking about getting a large 40 yard dumpster to put the fence in and have the waste company pick it up, to save on making many trips (I don't have a dump truck).

    Then replacement I was thinking either arborvitae or Leland cypress for the hedge plant. I figure 2 guys could plant the entire thing in one day using the skidsteer with an auger.

    I need to contact nurseries to get a bulk rate on plants, as I'm figuring roughly around 500 arborvitae, or about 340 Leland cypress.

    So, I was thinking about bidding double the plant cost + skid steer rental.

    Any suggestions?
  2. jbailey52

    jbailey52 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,078

    Yea the arbs you would need aprox. twice as many... and they cost roughly the same.. Leyland cypress spread much faster, live/stay with a shape longer. But make sure the leyland are in containers, dont tolorate the B&B to much. Also.. whats the $200 for skid steer? Is that your cost for rental? If it is.. your making nothing even tho your renting it. I chard 800-$1000 a day for the use of a skid steer and myself + Labor of workers
  3. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,899

    I don't know what size plants you were considering but unless they are 1-Gal. I don't think you are going to get 62 plants planted per hour. Equipment is cool but unless you own it its cheaper to use good old fashioned picks and shovels for small plants.

    If you are planting big plants and I think you are based on the idea of a skid and auger set up. You and anyyone else who has not done mass plantings forgets just the logistics of getting that many plants off loaded. You know your job site, where are you going to stock pile that many plants? You could spend a day just unloading and spreading plants, are they going to drop each one at the planting location?

    Then after they are planted I'm guessing they will have to be watered in thats 6 hours if the water is right at the hole. What about all the extra dirt you are going to generate, where is it going to go? If your plants are ball and burlap you wont have much clean up if its anything else you have to get rid of the containers 3-500 buckets is a truck load to itself.

    Glad you ran this by the brain trust that is Lawnsite. The calculator is your friend :laugh:
  4. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,799

    Auger is faster here, the ground is a heavy caliche clay with rocks. The last time I planted leland cypress I planted 15 in one hour digging the holes myself.

    I'll be planting 5' ones.

    This fence borders a roadway, I'm thinking about having them trucked up in a semi from a grower that has great prices in oregon (we've delt with them before).

    I figure that unloading will take a couple hours with the semi parked on the street.

    Irrigation will be drip in a separate bid. This will go in immediately after the planting, but will dealt with separately, Obviously I have more experience in this area :)

    As far as containers, I figure we can keep a truck along side the guys planting and they can toss the containers into the truck, and then occasionally dump it into the 40 yard dumpster.

    Waste dirt will probably be spread out, or we could haul it off.

    You brought up some valid points, You are right that I should probably make it a 3 day project. I also need to find out of they want the area mulched or not.

    The way I see it, there is potential to quickly make a large amount of money on this if bid right.
  5. Tim Wright

    Tim Wright LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,034

    Don't forget the cost of the deisel for the loader and any other equipment.

  6. jreiff

    jreiff LawnSite Senior Member
    from MN
    Posts: 402

    Two days sounds alittle better than one day. More room for unforseen problems.

    Still should water in the plants before drip line is put in.
  7. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,899

    You are right planning is the key.

    I once pulled 5 dead Date palms in an established landscape and replaced them in one day. It was like a three ring circus everyone had a script of what they were to do and how long they had to complete their tasks. Everything went as planned ant it was a 30-K day for 6 guys but it was stressful. Of course we had 2 weeks of hand digging the old palms to the point that they could be plucked with the crane. But I still made a few bucks.

    I always find it works better if everyone is on the same page and knows what is expected of them and how their part contributes to the overall plan.
  8. MowJoeLandscaping

    MowJoeLandscaping LawnSite Member
    Posts: 69

    the dumpster idea is fantastic. I own two dumptrucks and its easier to use the dumpster. However, you stated 1000' of hedge and using 500 arborvitae. 2' spacing is a little close. I understand you'll be using 5' tall B&B, usually they'll be 3' diameter. 4' on center would give you an almost closed hedge to start, but without crowding them.
  9. jbailey52

    jbailey52 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,078

    I just hate arbs basically... why dont you take more of design perspective.. I think a line of that many arbs... looks very amateur.... cant you try and use both the arbs and Leyland.. I am a big leyland fan.. also.. arbs (As well as leyland if not planted properly)But more so arbs.. die from root rot and other conditions quite easily... expect replacements
  10. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,799

    Its a hedge, no need to get artistic. The HOA wants to replace a ugly rotten fence with a hedge, they don't want a fancy landscape.

    I think pruning a hedge that is a mix of lelands and arbs would be a nightmare. I think I'll present two prices, one using lelands, and one using arbs.

    Thanks for all your advice people.

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