your guesstimate on cost to plant 20 arbs

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by GarPA, Jul 13, 2003.

  1. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Posts: 2,585

    The daughter of one of my best commercial customers wants 20 arbrovitae (I dont think I can spell that word) planted. She will buy them at $40 each.....4 to 5 feet tall balled and burlapped. The nursery will plant them for $20 each....yikes!!!! I dont plant ANYTHING for less than $25 to $30. This person just got laid off and I'm trying to give her a bit of a break but $20 just won't cut it. Given these facts, how low would you go to plant these???The soil there is fill and not easy digging. $40 per plant is about as low as I can go....I think.... thanks
     
  2. Grassmechanic

    Grassmechanic LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,697

    I'd plant them for $20 ea. That's $400 for not even a half days work. Not too bad.

    Mike
     
  3. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Posts: 2,585

    Mike...I will admit I may be getting a little slower in my old age but one thing I do know is that theres no way I can dig the proper sized hole(in hard clay), partially backfill with amended soil and fill with water, starter fert the roots, finish the backfilling, and cleanup.....at 12 min per plant based on your numbers. If you can do it that fast and plant them properly, my hat's off to you.
     
  4. Grassmechanic

    Grassmechanic LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,697

    Yep, just did a hedge this past spring, in hard Michigan clay.

    Mike
     
  5. Green Goblin

    Green Goblin LawnSite Member
    Posts: 54

    Spend 150 bucks to rent a dingo/skidsteer with auger and plant them in about an hour.
     
  6. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Posts: 2,585

    Goblin...I was thinking about retning the dingo with the big auger...I was told they work very well. I've not used a Dingo before. They look pretty simple to operate. Hows the learning curve with this machine?? thanks
     
  7. swing blade

    swing blade LawnSite Member
    Posts: 123

    the dingo is a piece of cake to run. I used on for a rock garden. It picks up 500 pounds and moves quick on the ground. the one I had was the DX 420 and a front end loader. The other units are wheeled, but i have not used them. I did notice that when turning the dingo if you do it too fast it will tear up the grass, but its still cheaper to fix the grass then it is to do the job by hand.
     
  8. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Posts: 2,585

    Yes Milo I need to get familiar with that machine...many a time I was going to rent it but didn't because the job price wouldn't allow it. Too often a tree install only involves 3 to 5 shrubs/trees and I can't justify it for only a couple hours of work against the daily rental fee of $175 plus the time to pick it up and return it. When I have an off day I'm going to reserve one and "play" with it for a few hours. That way I'll be comfortable using it on turf that I dont want to tear up. I know it took me a while to get the hang of a skid steer so as not to damage turf. I'm sure the wheeled Dingo will not be as hard on the grass as the skid steer. Those things tear things up in a heartbeat if you're not real careful.

    thanks
     
  9. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    5ft arbs have very small root balls. and they are not heavy. id plant them without a doubt for $20 each. thats $400 for about 2-3 hrs work, one man.
     
  10. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Posts: 2,585

    When customer went back to buy the trees they were out of the 5 footers. She had to settle for 3 to 4 footers in containers. These were even smaller root balls than the balled and burlapped 5 footers. We put them in this weekend at $20 per plant. Some real ugly digging because of the clay and rock but the job was profitable. We also cut out a long narrow bed for all of them so mowing would be easier. So she got her moneys worth and we did ok profit wise.
     

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