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Trimming Bushes in Lava Rock= Headache

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by nstrut, Apr 23, 2006.

  1. nstrut

    nstrut LawnSite Member
    from Ohio
    Posts: 4

    Easy enough, I thought. I'll just trim the bushes and take my blower to the red lava rock landscaping and blow all the clippings into the yard prior to mowing. Well, I did just that and it took three seconds to find out it wasn't a good idea. I started with the blower and I was blowing the lava rocks out of the flower beds and all over the yard. I tried to vacuum the clippings, but the lava rocks would suck up to the vacuum also. I ended up cleaning the beds by hand, feeling dumb and frustrated. :confused:

    Other guys have told me they lay plastic down and then trim over the lava rock, but when trimming evergreen bushes, the needles tend to go everywhere any way. Is there a trick to this that I am over-looking? Any recommendations?

    One idea was to water the lava rock down prior to trimming the bushes. Appareantly, the lava rock should hold the water and weigh it down enough to use the blower afterwards.

    Sounds good, but almost too easy. Let me know if you've ever had this problem.

  2. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,899

    The Karma got you. Junipers/evergreens should not be power pruned they should be selectively hand pruned. They have nice shape naturally, when they get too big you just go in with the loppers or hand pruners and selectively remove the biggest or most offensive branches but not more than 20% of the foliage. This keeps the plant healthy and beautiful and you don't have to pick tiny pieces of needles out of lava rock.

    If the client insists on paying more to keep the plants ugly and slowly kill them then I would recommend burlap to catch the debris. They fold or roll up nicely and are cheap and can be used over and over they are also light enough you can cover other smaller plants and not do any damage.

    It is too late for these plants as once junipers have been sheared they will never look right again. But as a "professional" its you duty to educate homeowners.
  3. grass-scapes

    grass-scapes LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,552

    Go to Lowes or home depot. Go to the paint section there. you will find some cloth tarps there that are 2 to 4 ft wide by different lengths. I have several on my truck. They usually fit nicely between the shrubs and the house. BIG time saver. When done trimming, I to to the end of the bed, and slowly pull out the tarp and 95 % of the debris.

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