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Estimate help - Plant two large trees?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by OKSooner, Oct 9, 2008.

  1. OKSooner

    OKSooner LawnSite Member
    Messages: 234

    Comments, please?

    I have a guy who wants me to help him plant two large trees next month.

    One's a red maple, the other's an oak. Don't know what kind of oak. Both B&B, 4" caliper and weighing in at about 700 pounds.

    I'm a solo operation, but I figure I can do it for him by doing it this way:

    Rent a bobcat with interchangeable auger and bucket/fork attachments. Hire a local labor crew that I've worked with before for about 4 hours. Auger out three holes right next to each other for each tree to break up the soil and then have the labor dudes dig a proper hole at each of the two places I've hit with the auger.

    While they're digging, I change out the auger to the bucket/fork. They help me get each tree on the forks, and then I gently place each tree in its hole. Cut back the burlap, backfill, fertilize and mulch.

    I'm thinking about $450 plus the cost of the labor crew, which should come in at about $200 to $260. IOW, about $650 to $700 total.

    How does this sound for a job like this? High, low, or right on? (In other words, should I take the job or try to send him to someone who can do it cheeper?)

  2. BrandonV

    BrandonV LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,616

    3 trees that size should take no longer than a 1.5 hours for 2 men and an auger to plant. stake (if needed and clean up)
  3. Superior L & L

    Superior L & L LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 567

    Start to finish four hours is probably good. I would probably add some cushion ! what happens if you hit rock when your digging?
  4. barefootlawnsandlandscape

    barefootlawnsandlandscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 296

    Does that include the trees in that price? $100/inch tree and installation, at the least, depending on access.
  5. Lawnworks

    Lawnworks LawnSite Fanatic
    from usa
    Messages: 5,407

    Why not use a 36" auger and drill the holes? If you need them wider... just do it w/ a shovel. Remember stakes and tie... you will probably need them. You should just need one other guy... if you are handy w/ a skid steer you could probably do it by yourself
  6. frumdig

    frumdig LawnSite Member
    from nunya
    Messages: 172

    yould be surprised what 4 guys can do with a ball cart and some shovels.... plus less damage... i cant recall if some of our bigger cherrys and maples were 4"... but weve done 3-3.5 with a ball cart numerous times.... and some big hollies and cryptomerias that had to be at least 48"+ rootballs... and they arent always in the easiest of location to get to... but i guess if the area is wideopen, a bobcat will save ya some time. but the average properties we install, a bobcat is just out of the question, and we can do it just as quick with good old fashioned labor.... i think your biggest time factor is, do you have to pick up the trees? or will they be delivered? and if not, can your trailer carry a bobcat and 3 trees?


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