Price check (hedge trimming)

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Jimbo, Jul 26, 2002.

  1. Jimbo

    Jimbo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,093

    I just wanted to find out what the going rate is for hedge trimming in different areas.
    I have been doing alot of mow, blow, go's and I am now getting requests for additonal services. The other day I did some hedges at one of my small commercials, and today I got a call from the same company but another location to do the same thing (I guess they liked my work).

    Here is a sample job.

    -Trim 20 globe shaped hedges (height, and width of a 5 gallon bucket).

    What would you charge for trim and clean-up?

    Thanks
    Jim
     
  2. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Senior Moderator
    Posts: 6,074

    A few things to remember to factor in to the price.

    We charge a dump fee of $25.00. Our first year we never did this, but quickly wised up. Even if you have a place that is free to dump, you still have to chew up time driving to the dump and getting rid of the clippings. Time is money, charge for it.

    Also, look at how extensive and difficult the cleanup is going to be. This is an important step to bidding.

    Will the trimmings be able to be easily blown out of the beds if the shrubs/hedges are indeed in beds? Are the beds filled with stone? Sometimes stone beds we have to lay drop cloths down to catch the majority of the clippings, because if not the clippings will get embedded down into the stone. Laying drop cloths down is a pain and more time consuming.
    We always look at how difficult the cleanup is going to be to get a good accurate price.
    Obviously we like the hedge jobs where we can easily blow and scoop up the trimmings and go.

    Figure out how long this job is going to take you. Then decide how much you want to make an hour. You might be faster or maybe slower with hedge trimmers than my husband Matt. So our price could be different than yours.

    It will take you a few hedge jobs to get comfortable estimating how long the job will take you.
     
  3. TurfGuyTX

    TurfGuyTX LawnSite Senior Member
    from DFW
    Posts: 648

    Everything Jodi said. Shrubs can be very time consuming.
     
  4. I estimate time X my hourly rate and quote a $ price-
    As Jodi said- clean up seems to take twice as long as the trimming, thats where you can loose $
     
  5. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,354

    5 dollars per 3-4 ft shrub, more for difficult shrubs. then clean up fee . haul charge unless they got a place with easy access to put it.
    had one wanted it put on the back 40 .
    he changed his mind when he found out what the charge would be to take it back there.
    just a lot of variables in this type w.
    the job u mentioned 100 bucks.
    it aint easy to get them all just rite ,an they got to be that way.. id just vac up the leavins .
     
  6. Heller Landscaping

    Heller Landscaping LawnSite Member
    Posts: 204

    I would charge about $200.00 for the job if it is in mulched beds maby more if in stone. I hope this helps. Hedge trimming is time consumining although many people don't think so. Around here few people are willing to pay alot for hedges but will pay alot for their grass.
     
  7. LAWNS AND MOWER

    LAWNS AND MOWER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,129

    Jodi hit the nail on the head. Trimming hedges is the easy part. Cleaning up after yourself is a PITA. To answer your question, I charge $35/hr for hedge trimming. If I need to use a step ladder and reach out to the point I could fall into the shrub, then there's a extra charge. To be honest, I much rather be mowing than hedge trimming. Make more money and exert about 1/2 the energy. I quess you need to take the good with the bad.

    LAWNS AND MOWER
     
  8. Turfdude

    Turfdude LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,900

    Hey guys - quick tip. Always swat shrubs prior to pruning - you don't know how many stinging insects like to make nests in shrubs. Its easier to run from them when rakes distance away than on top of them w/ gas shears!

    I also quote by the size of plant, type of plant, and difficulty of clean-up.

    1. The bigger the shrub, the more money obviously. It goes up considerably when you have to start climbing up & down the ladder especially when using the extended hedge shears. But don't forget - small shrubs that require hand pruning (boxwoods and alberta spruce esp.) require a lot of time and talent to acquire that pristine look get a higher charge too.

    2. Some shrubs have to be pruned, cleaned, repruned, blown out and touched up a third time (abelias, rapandens yew, many med - tall juniper, etc..) these we charge more for as they require more time. The majority just need to be sheared, picked, touched up and blown out.

    3. Clean-up can make you or break you. You obviously want to get all of the clippings removed (or else you're left w/ dead brown clippings a week or so later that look like ****). You don't want to remove all of the mulch you applied in the spring and tick off the client. Some shrubs are done w/ more than one row in a bed or shrubs where the foliage still traps clippings at the ground no matter how you try to elevate the base (junipers ans azaleas esp.). If you have a bed of larger stone (over 1") the clippings always manage to get hung up and don't always want to blow out easily.

    Oh yeah, then there's the job from hell, where you have to elevate the bottom of the fir tree limbs that overhang the inground pool of the inground pool co. owners house w/out getting debris in the pool. Solution - 1 man w/ hand shears and 1 man holding 60 gal. barrel each time cut is made.

    Been there, done that, can write several books.

    Bob
     
  9. Ax Man

    Ax Man LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 446

    In my thinking overhead is the same at all times, weather the mower is runnning or not.
    So I charge the same rate for both.
    After doing this kind of work for ever, ( no books yet)
    its easy to make good money trimming.
    Get good quality shears (Sandvik/Pradines etc.) for evergreens, keep them razor sharp, and make sure the blades are adjusted pretty close or you will get bruising which causes brown spots within a couple days.
    = no repeat business
    High grade power trimmers especially, My favorite is redmax Lrt.
    I have an echo 2500 but can't get the blades adjusted right to use on hedges so I use them on the rough stuff.

    Did the guy with the barrel stand in the pool?
    Ahhhh!
     
  10. Jimbo

    Jimbo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,093

    Great advice everyone...Thanks for the tips Bob- sounds like you have lots of experience (call me when the book comes out).

    Axman-

    I feel there should be different hourly rates for jobs with a varying degrees of difficulty. I have made a list over the years, with hourly rates, and depending on the job my rate can be anywhere from $35min-100+ for an hours work.

    For instance if I am doing heavy brush removal and hauling a large tractor and Bush hog to the site the rate is going to be really high. Something to think about.
    I guess thought everyone had varying rates and I was curious where this job fell on your scale.

    FYI- I charged $80 for those 20 small globe shaped hedges and I was finished in an hour. However, I didnt clean up real well because I was laying new mulch anyway.

    Jim
     

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