planting trees with augers

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Lacebark Boy, Jan 7, 2004.

  1. Lacebark Boy

    Lacebark Boy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 27

    I got a job coming up, 100 trees to be planted along the right of way into a town. What is your advice on using a tractor mounted auger to help dig the holes? I'm thinking of drilling several holes with an 18 inch auger. I have a 33 horsepower tractor.
    Thanks -Lacebarkboy.
     
  2. brentsawyer

    brentsawyer LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 663

    What size tree are you planting. For that size auger you shouldn't be planting over 1" trees. A 33hp tractor should be strong enough. I have used a 30" auger on a Dingo w/ 18hp engine. Was underpowered when hitting any rocks
     
  3. Lacebark Boy

    Lacebark Boy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 27

    The trees are approximately 2 inch caliper. The root ball is about 18 inches in diameter. I plan to dig a 36 inch diameter hole. I know I'll have to drill several holes and clean out the rest with a shovel. I was hoping you folks might have some tips.
     
  4. brentsawyer

    brentsawyer LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 663

    stop right there. 18" diameter on a 2" tree is a joke. What kind of tree. That is nowhere near specs on decidious trees. On a 2" tree you need about a 24" or larger ball and at least a 36" spade and probably more. If you are getting a good deal on the trees, I'd reconsider since you are seriously endangering the health w/ that small ball.
     
  5. bcx400

    bcx400 LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Posts: 77

    Why don't you rent a machine for the job? Using an 18" auger bit on this project sounds like as much work as hand digging. Couple thing to consider when using an auger-

    -I have found that hydraulic-driven augers are more powerful than most pto-driven augers (unless you have a huge and powerful tractor.

    -If you are digging near a road, you may find the soil is so lousy that the auger will not work very well. If this is the case, hire a backhoe and operator to dig the holes.

    -I'm sure you'll have the utilities marked-out. I hit a wire for a street lamp many years ago with an auger- I didn't know I hit the wire until I pulled the auger up, and found 100+ feet wound around a 36" bit!
     
  6. xcopterdoc

    xcopterdoc LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 752

    a 2" tree and what size root ball?????
     
  7. bcx400

    bcx400 LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Posts: 77

    Standard for nursery stock is 12" of root ball for every inch of caliper
     
  8. PLI1

    PLI1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 254

    I've done this before and it worked fairly well. The most important part is to make hole big enough so the tree transplants well. In your case make sure all utilities are marked. I worked in an area one where there was so much stuff running underground we had to plant fairly large trees by digging everything by hand. You gotta do what you gotta do in some cases.
     
  9. brentsawyer

    brentsawyer LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 663

    What happened to the original poster? We didn't scare you off. Just wanted to point it out that you may be getting yourself into future trouble with a small root ball and have to replant a large # of trees as they could die with that little of a root system remaining after being B&B'd
     
  10. Lacebark Boy

    Lacebark Boy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 27

    The trees are being furnished by the city. I am not responsible for them if they die. All I wanted to know is what others think about the technique of using an auger for digging the planting holes. Also how does my price of 75.00 each sound? The trees will be delivered to the site. All I have to do is plant and stake, with me furnishing the stakes.
     

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