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300 trees to plant

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Dreamscape, Apr 29, 2004.

  1. Dreamscape

    Dreamscape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    Customer has contacted us to plant 300 ash trees with 3.5' to 4' tall on his company's property. Was needing assistance in pricing. Trees will have a 10" to 12" ball and the ground is clay that we are planting in. Any pricing assistance would be greatly appreciated. Probably would have to physically dig these holes the old fashion way. Than you for your assistance.

  2. CT18fireman

    CT18fireman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 611

    Get a mini-excavator. That is the only way to handle 300 trees.
  3. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,872

    If would get a tractor with an auger attachement on it. One guy operates the auger and creates the holes while 2 other guys plant the trees. If a tractor isn't feasible, I'd try renting a 2-person hand-held gas powered auger.

    As for pricing, we buy all of our plant and tree materials at 50% of retail cost. So if a tree usually costs a homeowner $150 at a local retail nursery, I can get the same tree through my wholesale nurseries for $75 or sometimes less. On a big order like that I guarantee I could get them for even less. Anyway, we mark the trees up 100% back to the retail price. So I'd charge $150 per tree (in the scenario I am using) to the customer. He's still paying regular retail price but now I'm making money. And that extra money helps cover my warranty (I warranty all plants and trees for 1 year) and also helps cover my costs for pickup and delivery.

    On top of the price I charge for the plant materials, I'd also add up labor to install, rental of any equipment (e.g. an auger), planting compost needed to amend the soil with, fertilizer tablets, and that's about it. I'd add all these things up and that's my pricing or my bid.
  4. kris

    kris LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nowhere
    Messages: 1,578

    Watch for glazing if your using an auger...we quit that practice quite some time ago on the tree farm.
  5. glllc

    glllc LawnSite Member
    from CT
    Messages: 61

    Auger is definitely the fastest way to do it.
  6. CT18fireman

    CT18fireman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 611

    Auger will dig a fast hole. I like the mini ex cause we can move the trees, dig and even do some filling. Very little hand work. Never done 300 but we did 75 at one place last year.
  7. Always Green

    Always Green LawnSite Member
    Messages: 48

    Try to rent a skid steer with an auger attachment, a auger on the back of a 3point hitch tractor has no down pressure and will just spin on top of clay, also i'd go much bigger than need for the ball, like a 36" auger, this will allow you to place loosened fill back around the tree, not having the tree roots trying to grow into hard clay the 1st year.
    Also try to wobble the auger by moving back & forth left & right to break up glazing
    Our crew of 4 men with this setup does about 70 trees a day, and that's much larger trees than you've asked about, usually 3" cal. 15' to 18'
  8. Ice_Gargoylle

    Ice_Gargoylle LawnSite Member
    from indiana
    Messages: 60

    you ever see fence companies working? rent that....has a "hose" bout 15 ft.? fromt he motor, on wheels, to the auger. 2 guys...very flexible and cheaper, less damage.

    3.5-4 foot whips should be had in pots...freagn bare root even,dont get b+b...chug and plug.
  9. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,898

    I would not plant that many ash trees here in Indiana any time soon. Especially on one property. As a matter of fact, I would not plant that many trees of the same species on on property anywhere. Get a diversified planting going. There's a little green bug working its way down here from Michigan called the emerald ash borer. Unfortunatly, it's only a matter of time before it gets here from the looks of it. It doesn't matter how small/big the trees are, they will attack all ash trees...

    Now, if you want a source for smaller trees like that, check with http://www.woodywarehouse.com,
    they may have enough of that size for you.

  10. Dreamscape

    Dreamscape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    Thanks fellas, I appreciate your assistance.


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