Leaf Clean Up

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by clayslandscape, Oct 15, 2012.

  1. clayslandscape

    clayslandscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 457

    There is a church two blocks from my business that have requested an estimate in leaf removal and also want me to begin taking care of the lawn next spring. Well, the leaf removal has me stuck... It only has 7-8 oak trees but they are VERY MATURE, extremely large trees. The good thing is they are to be dumped on the side of the street and the town picks them all up. They want them picked up in a one time deal so my typical leaf clean-ups that I do with my weekly maintenance will not be the same. I have two billy goat vacs, 2 stihl 600's, and a toro zmaster with bagger but I think this will be straight raking.

    What are you all's thoughts? Thanks in Advance.
     
  2. ArTurf

    ArTurf LawnSite Gold Member
    Male, from Ark
    Posts: 3,439

    I generally will not do a "once a year" clean up if I know the leaves are going so thick they are unmanageable with the bagger. Meaning it will constantly clog & jam. I will explain to them they need to be picked up in intervals due to the clogging and possible breaking of belts. One thing you can do if the leaves are very thick is go over them with the mower without the bagger and chop them up to some degree (but not too much).
     
  3. Darryl G

    Darryl G LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,033

    Rake? I would use the blowers to push them into piles and then the mower to plow them to the road. You don't need a leaf plow, just drive the mower right into the pile and bulldoze them with the deck down fairly low. Some will spill off the sides but it works pretty well. Just be careful not to start a fire with leaves on your exhaust. Of course you could use tarps too and pull them with the mower. Sounds pretty straight forward to me...why would you use rakes? :hammerhead:
     
  4. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,028

    As stated I would not want to do a one timer as it is worse for the lawn when the leaves sit and matt down and get wet. You will be in for a nightmare of a time doing that one and you can't even swear on the job.

    Talk to them and get the job on your terms. I am not going to tell you how to price your work because you know that but I will tell you that with that equipment you can get or make a chute blocker and mulch those leaves and then bag the majority of the little pieces that are left. The volume will be greatly reduced by the mower. Contrary to popular opinion, a little bit of oak leaves is not going to tip the acid balance on the lawn. You should be able to stay seated on this job 90% of the time. Who even has a rake on their trailer anymore? Good Luck.
     
  5. Darryl G

    Darryl G LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,033

    I have a half of a rake (broken handle) that I use along with a plastic grain shovel for scooping up twig and nut piles. Otherwise I don't use rakes for fall cleanups.

    I can't see going through the effort of grinding up and bagging leaves when the town will pick them up from the curb. I suppose it depends on how large of a property it is and how far to the curb.

    I agree with the misinformation about oak leaves making a lawn acidic. When decomposed, oak leaf mulch has a nearly neutral pH.
     
  6. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,028

    I just suggested the grinding if the distance is too long to push or blow them. I just did a 4 foot by 25 foot pile of wet leaves that would have been a nightmare to push or blow. I ground them up in 15 minutes and had 6 bushels of crap to pick up from it. not even a full Walker hopper. I was done in less than an hour when it would have taken me at least 3 and a bunch or blower gas.
     
  7. Darryl G

    Darryl G LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,033

    I agree. I call it bringing the man to the mountain instead of the mountain to the man. Flexibility and ingenuity go a long way. If you're not making progress, try something else.
     
  8. clayslandscape

    clayslandscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 457

    Here is a photo of the 6 trees. The curbside is where I am standing at taking the picture.

    photo (40).JPG
     
  9. Darryl G

    Darryl G LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,033

    I'm not very good at standing on my head!

    I would defintely want to break that up into 2 or 3 cleanups. I'd explain to them that it's not good for the lawn to get smothered for weeks and to let the leaves get wet and matted and that it will cost them less to do it a couple of times rather than all at once.

    It really doesn't look that bad though. I'm sure you'll get plenty of leaves but it's not that far to move them. 2 guys on the backpack blowers could do that no problem.

    photo%20(40).JPG
     
  10. clayslandscape

    clayslandscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 457

    I was thinking $275 for the clean up job so would you split that in half for two different services?
     

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