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hedge trimming clippings

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by moremowing, Oct 6, 2003.

  1. moremowing

    moremowing LawnSite Member
    Messages: 27

    I have a lot of hedges that i trim. Some are in beds surrounded by mulch, bark etc. I currenty use tarps to catch the clippingd but what a major pain to use> Any1 have any tips for this
  2. Rick Jones

    Rick Jones LawnSite Senior Member
    from NY
    Messages: 427

    Remember that thing called the Flowbee? For cutting hair. If somebody could come up with something like that, to trim shrubs, they could probably make a lot of money!
  3. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Messages: 8,745

    sorry, don't have any tips..I hate pruning shrubs that are in mulch
  4. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 2,116

    I continually find that I underbid shrub trimming. I find that it takes about as long to pick up the clippings and get them in the truck as it does to trim the shrubs. Then, when I get home, there's even more labor because I have to remove the clippings from the bed of my truck and get them into a trash bag.

    (I'd prefer to just bag the clippings on sight, but I find that with wind, if you don't have the bag inside a trash can, it's quicker to do it my way, which is throw them in the truck and take them home and then bag them...if only I had room on my rig for a trash can!)

    I hate shrubs. If they're tall, they're a back breaker. You are at great risk when you get on top of the ladder and start leaning over to get to the back of shrubs. One fall with a serious injury could kill my entire business as a solo operator.

    One of my worst experiences this summer was a $30 shrub trimming job in 102 degree heat. It looked really, really easy and I figured the clippings could be bagged...boy was I ever wrong on that one. 2 hours on sight plus another hour to get the clippings to the dump and get back to my territory. I had to pay $20 to get into the dump too.

    Bidding lawns without being too high or too low is hard enough. For me, shrubs just plain suck.

    I've tried quoting them hourly and no one has hired me that way yet. When I quote them hourly, the customer still always wants an estimate of how long it'll take...so I might as well just quote a firm price that is high...but when I do that, I seldom get the job. And when I do bid a price that I think is really high and the customer happens to let me do the work, I find that by the time I'm finished I'm only making what my hourly goal was in the first place, which is $40/hr.

    DFW Area Landscaper
  5. twins_lawn_care

    twins_lawn_care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 932

    What we do is use either tarps or bed sheets. If they are a long hedge, just line the tarp up underneath as far in front and back as we can, then trim away, and just pull the tarp up, no mess. Same idea with the bed sheets, easier to handle on smaller jobs.
    On some stand alones, what we do is have a tarp cut halfway down the center, and wrap it around the shrub, kind of like getting a haircut, and trim, scoop up, and you're done. Same idea as the barber, so the hair doesn't go where you don't want it to, in teh mulch. Saves hours of clean up time!
    Hopet his helps. :D
  6. CamLand

    CamLand LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,299

    tarps are good,but bedsheets get right up under bushes.also we try and do trimming and mulch at same time also making job easier..
  7. sildoc

    sildoc LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,925

    Tarp Yep
    Only other thing I do different is pull out my stihl vac and get the missed pieces when you pull out the tarp. Takes less time doing that then it does picking them up.
  8. CSRA Landscaping

    CSRA Landscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,232

    Here's an idea: rake back the mulch/straw that's in the shrub bed, trim your shrubs, then cover the trimmings (w/in reason) with your straw/mulch.
  9. John Gamba

    John Gamba LawnSite Fanatic
    from ct
    Messages: 10,812

  10. maple city

    maple city LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 305

    I'm glad you guys mentioned bed sheets, I've been toying with that idea for awhile, but wasn't sure how well it would work. I have some old waterbed sheets that would probably be great. Tarps are just too bulky.

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