Hillside problem...

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by cleancut, Jan 21, 2001.

  1. cleancut

    cleancut LawnSite Member
    Posts: 222

    I had a large apartment complex call wanting an estimate to correct an erosion problem..They have two steep hills that is just almost completely dirt-no grass..One of the hills is an easy fix - some timbers and mulch..The other hill is a much larger area and has several full grown trees on it..The problem is that the hill is about 35Degree slope and is very irregular...Timbers and other barriers wouldn't really work..The area is in a triangle shape and I was thinking about outlining the area in nandinas and also make several cross sections with the nandinas and then placing junipers and ground cover within the perimeter then add a layer of mulch..Also I would add landscape fabric..Does anybody have any suggestions???Also what would be a good price to charge for the plantings.??.Probably will take about 150 nandinas, 75 junipers and several 2" ground cover containers..This is about a 3 day job...Thanks for the help...Clean-Cut
  2. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,662

    I would eliminate the weed barrier. All this will do is make your mulch slide down the gradient. I didnt have a figure for specimens so I picked $15 for each plant to have a variable(I dont know what you will be paying obviously), $60 yard for mulch installed, $76/hr for labor with a 2 man crew.

    specimens--3375----(x 2.5)--8437.50
    materials----60------(x 2)----120.00
    labor-------608-----(x 3)----1824.00
    delivery----35-------(x 2)----70.00
    ------------------------------TOTAL $10,957.75 (+ tax)

    How I'd bid it.

    [Edited by kutnkru on 01-21-2001 at 07:52 PM]
  3. cleancut

    cleancut LawnSite Member
    Posts: 222

    Thanks for the reply Kris..Is everybody else afraid to help out..???Alot of people looked but only 1 reply..Wow that's alot of help....Thanks again Kris...Clean-Cut
  4. jkinchla

    jkinchla LawnSite Member
    from MA
    Posts: 74

    I think Kris gave you some good figures as a rule of thumb. I would suggest that if it is a huge area (over 15,000 SF) that you might want to sub out the mulching to a guy with a bark blower, due to the high slope. You will probably make more money doing it that way than to provide the labor to do it by hand. Also, I would avoid the landscape fabric as well, the mulch will just slide right off.

    HAve they considered an alternative to mulch, like a meadow or wildflowers? Mow it once a year and forget about the hassles of mulching.
  5. cleancut

    cleancut LawnSite Member
    Posts: 222

    Thanks for the reply jkinchla..I prefer to mulch because I will get to re-mulch it twice a year and make more money..I haven't really done alot of hillsides and was just trying to get some ideas and to see if my ideas would work and look good...A border of nandinas with wildflowers in the perimeter would look good..Thanks..Clean-Cut
  6. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 1,277

    Hey Clean Cut,

    I'd also be inclined to do something requiring little or no maint, like some ornamental grasses, groundcovers, somthing of the like. If you use wildflower seeds, or a fescue, you could put some Curlex over the top to hold it down while it grows. Invisible structures makes a plastic rolled product for applications like this, too, but it's a bit pricey.

    And be careful with your criticisms about unhelpfulness from other members. I see there was only 4 hours between your 1st and 2nd posts.
  7. SCL

    SCL LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 543

    Godd reply stone,
    I agree with the idea about groundcovers. Pachysandra, english ivy, and vinca are all good choices. You might be tasked with cutting them back periodically with a weed eater. This is what they do at O'Hare. Fabric on a hill is like plastic on a roof. Slide, slide, slide.
  8. paul

    paul Lawnsite Addict
    Posts: 1,625

    Cleancut, I would have liked to give you answers to your question but not knowing the size of the area and the height of your hill, I can't give a very good answer.
    If it was me I would look at a retaining wall system even with trees they can be worked around them, plus it would cost more money and could put more $ in your pocket.

    Sometimes you just have to see the problem!
  9. jay

    jay LawnSite Member
    Posts: 133

    Some good erosion control plants are Ivy, Japanese Honeysuckle, Star Jasmine, ice plant, crown vetch, periwinkle, Lantana, Cotoneaster, Rockrose, Wild lilac, Snowberry, and Rosemary. Not sure what plants work in your area but I'm sure some of these will.
  10. cleancut

    cleancut LawnSite Member
    Posts: 222

    Thanks for the replies and advice everybody..I was trying to lean toward the groundcover and mulch but the customer wants a less labor intensive and less expensive solution..So, I think I'm going to use erosion control blankets..They should work great on the irregular hillside and will be much easier on me...I won't be making as much money but I'll be gaining a new customer..Have any of u used these blankets and how expensive are they, and how much would you charge for installation..??The area is about 13,000 sq ft.Thanks..Clean-Cut

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