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45 gallon oak trees

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by texastruecuttin, Jan 27, 2011.

  1. texastruecuttin

    texastruecuttin LawnSite Member
    Messages: 35

    I was asked to bid on planting four 45 gallon oak trees next week. The trees are already bought and will be delivered. The bid will be for digging the holes and filling the tree in. I was wondering what would one charge per tree for a hole big enough for a 45 gallon tree. This will be me and one other worker on the job. Is it effective enough to take the job with just shovels to dig with?
  2. johnsonslawnmanagement

    johnsonslawnmanagement LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 908

    That's quite a large hole to dig with a shovel. I would rent a mini excavator or a skidsteer with a auger. You'll be needing something to lift and set them in the holes with anyways so rent something.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  3. BluestoneOL

    BluestoneOL LawnSite Member
    Messages: 15

    I'm gonna backup Johnsons on this. Those are some pretty heavy root balls for just two guys to wrestle around, rent something and save yourself some time and an aching back if you can. As for what to charge, I would look at it like anything else I price/bid...figure out how much you need to make and work back. So, if you need to make a minimum of $200 a day then I'd charge $200 plus my labor, rental, and fuel costs. If they don't like the price then they should have bought the tree's from you.
  4. Cajun Cleanin'

    Cajun Cleanin' LawnSite Member
    Messages: 115

    Rent something.They paid big money for those trees so they have to expect to pay a good price for the install.Of course there will be fert and staking to go along with the rental.I definately wouldn't be a 200 a day to do it.$100 a tree without seeing the layout.Maybe more.
  5. CALandscapes

    CALandscapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 946

    There's no reason to spend the time going to the rental store, picking up the machine, running back to the job, etc. (+ the money it costs) to plant four 45 gal. trees. The trees won't weigh more than a couple hundred pounds each. 2 men should be able to do the job, by hand, before lunch time. Our laborers average a 45 gal. tree per hour, minimum...

    Hope this helps. -Chase
  6. nameistaken

    nameistaken LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 326

    It would really depend on your soil. Heavy clay, sandy, rock and limestone, etc.?
  7. FLCthes4:11-12

    FLCthes4:11-12 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 283

    Digging the hole shouldn't be the problem 2 men can dig a big hole in just 20 mins. even here in GA in hard red clay. Moving the tree around could be a little hard. I would suggest getting a ball cart or even a good set of hand truck if you can find some with oversized tires. if its on grass you might try slipping a heavy duty tarp under the container and slide or you can always roll it.
  8. integrityman

    integrityman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,713

    Digging the holes and removing the dirt is one thing. How are you going to move the trees?

    Lets suppose there are 40 "gallons" of dirt in those large pots. That will weigh at least 500lbs. Add the weight of the tree too. You will easily be at 550lbs.

    At the very least maybe you should purchase a tree cart like this:


    Figure out what your hourly man hour for labor will be. ($40 per man hour?) Assume at least 1-2 hours per tree, tack on 15%.

    FYI- you will probably want to import some good top soil to incorporate into the dirt blend, Add some 12-12-12 fert or some Espoma Tree Tone fertilizer to ensure the vitality of the trees. Also- decide is you will be mulching around the base of the tree.
  9. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,263

    I'm not accustomed to planting large container trees so I just googled and found a TX nursery with 45 gal. live oaks. In the photos, it looked like the pots were only about 24 inches across and a little more deep. I was surprised at how small the containers were. Does this sound right for 45 gal ?
  10. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,263

    I just googled again and found a couple container suppliers.
    The dimensions of their 45 gal is 30" x 17".

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