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1st. thread How much to mulch?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by harleysville7, Sep 17, 2009.

  1. harleysville7

    harleysville7 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 107

    I am new to this forum and just starting to get into commercial mowing.

    I own another service company and have an opportunity to bid on (4) very large commercial cutting jobs. They are all apartment communities.

    The largest being approx. 60 acres.

    I know what I need to charge for the cutting but all of the other items such as fall clean-up, spring clean-up and especially the mulching. I have no clue as to the going rate.

    There are over 250 trees and every unit has a mulch bed outside there door.

    How do you guys charge for mulching?
  2. richardb200373

    richardb200373 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 24

    I am a small landscaper in Northern VA. As a general rule of thumb, I figure on at least $10 per yard of mulch for labor, plus the cost of mulch of course. Depending on the terrain and how close I can get the mulch dumped, I will add on more for difficult areas. On average, I can move about 3 yards of mulch per hour per man, this is with wheel barrows and shoveling it in with pitch forks. I don't have much equipment or a big truck, so I'm limited in some areas. I know that I'm probably under charging, but I try to make myself at least 20 per hour. Just my 2 cents, maybe I'm way off.
  3. harleysville7

    harleysville7 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 107

    Would you charge per tree for the mulching?
  4. punt66

    punt66 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 8,536

    He is way off! I get $75yd delivered and installed for mulch. Since you have a large job you can discount it a bit. As far as the leaves go, you need to break it down in areas and go from there. Do you need to remove the leaves?
  5. punt66

    punt66 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 8,536

    you dont charge per tree. You charge per yd deliered and installed. You need to figure out how many yds you need.

    So if i had a 25yd job then the bill will be :

    25 x 75 = $1875.00 + Tax
  6. harleysville7

    harleysville7 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 107

    Thanks guys for the info. Very helpful.

    What is the average cost of a yard of mulch?

    I live in the North East.

    How many trees can you cover with 1 yard of mulch?

    I am assuming that most trees have a 5 foot circumference.
  7. punt66

    punt66 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 8,536

    search online for the formula to figure it out. Probably around 1/2-3/4yd. Here in CT as a contractor i get mine for $18yd. However most retailers are around $22 - $25yd for dark double ground pine mulch. (most popular around here)
  8. richardb200373

    richardb200373 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 24

    $75? are you insane? Lets just say you do 10 yards and purchase it for $25 a yard.... So you are then making $50 a yard..times 10, $500!!!! For maybe 4 hours work for one person. I think you're way off or you are really ripping people off.
  9. silverado212

    silverado212 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 373

    I get $70 a yd here. That covers mulch, del., labor. For a job that big invest in a measuring wheel. Measure out all your beds. New approx. 3" mulch existing approx. 2" thick. For the amount of mulch you could back your price off some and still make good money. Do you have to clean out the beds or are you top dressing the same color and kind? If you have to clean out and dress beds that is more work. You need to then figure out man hrs X your labor rate = price for just cleaning up the beds.

    WALKER LANDSCAPE LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,413

    We get $100.00 out here with light weed pulling and edging. It all depends on where you do buisness at I guess. :)

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