Free advice, anyone? PITA client and shrub removal

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by OKSooner, Mar 28, 2010.

  1. OKSooner

    OKSooner LawnSite Member
    Messages: 234

    Well, I've got a good one here.

    Last summer I did some work for an elderly gentleman who lives in a gated neighborhood. I noticed at the time that he was for lack of a nice word, a tightwad.

    He called me back in early March wanting me to prune some crapemyrtles, etc, and also to remove a good-sized viburnum and a good-sized southern waxmyrtle. (At least I think that's what this shrub is.)

    Now I'm having trouble with him. I've gotten most of the easy stuff done (irrigation inspection, lighting repairs, crapemyrtle pruning done right, etc.) and he's wanting to pull these two shrubs.

    I tried to communicate with him to let him know that I really don't know what to expect when we go to take out these shrubs by the roots. He wants it done, and he knows what he wants... however he is expecting me to stick to an estimate for the work that I gave him that was probably lower than it should have been. I needed the work...

    So here are two questions for those who know or who have opinions:

    What am I likely to find in the way of root systems for these two shrubs? My reading on the subject tells me that viburnums have fibrous root systems, for what that's worth... how BIG a fibrous root system? I haven't found anything pertaining specifically to the root system of southern waxmyrtle / Myrica cerifera. If it's plausible for me to go ahead and pull them I'm not opposed to doing it just to have it behind me and to be rid of this guy.

    OTOH, opinions please, should I just follow thru on the irrigation inspection I've promised him for this Tuesday, try to get paid up to that point, and then politely suggest that he call someone else?

    Or, worst case, let my bad side out and just not call him back, or tell him to go #$^* and keep the light fixtures? (Not really an option, but it would be if this were July and I were busy otherwise.) :laugh:
  2. whosedog

    whosedog LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 730

    Chain around base of bush attached to your hitch,yankem out.
  3. poncho62

    poncho62 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 222

    Just my opinion, but....You gave him an estimate, to me that would imply that you knew what the job entailed......I think you should live with that. Who knows what damage the "rich" guy in the gated community can do to your reputation if you bail on him.
  4. Think Green

    Think Green LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,746

    You commented on irrigation inspection..........! Do you have to be backflow certified in Oklahoma? We do here in Arkansas! EPA and city ordinances are strict on this subject.
    When our systems are checked, we have to turn them on briefly and inspect all the heads and check valves for leaks. The back flow preventer's are checked by our subcontractor who charges us for the inspection of 135.00 per year.

    Are these shrubs located inside a bed or somewhere else in bare root? Either way, the law is to call before you dig! Utility companies require it! Water, Gas, Electrical lines have to be located. Low voltage lighting wires are a concern also..What about irrigation heads, lateral lines,etc.
    If you agreed to the task and have already started and completed a few tasks, quitting now will and can warrant non payment. If you gave him a estimate on paper describing your intentions, then this is a agreement for services rendered. You can do it or cut your losses.
  5. jasontimm

    jasontimm LawnSite Senior Member
    from MN
    Messages: 362

    Feel him out, if he is hell bent that you do it, then you better, i agree with poncho. Thats my advice.

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