HELP! Pine needles v/s mulch

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Envy Lawn Service, Mar 29, 2004.

  1. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087


    Pine needles are not popular in this area. I've never installed them v/s mulch. The bales of needles I have saw appear to be 3 cu ft bales or about 1x1x3. I didn't drag out the ruler or anything to get technical with it, just approximate. They don't appear to be tightly packed bales or anything.

    So looking at it from a mulch coverage perspective.... it looks like one bale will cover 9 maybe 10 Sq Ft 4" thick. At $3.50 - $4.00 a bale it seems like the material would get awfully expensive awfully quick.

    I mean am I missing something here??? Am I highly underestimating the coverage area per bale? Or is the initial cost recouped in the long run because pine needles require less repeat applications? I'm lost never having done pine needles before.

    In addition to the material cost per bale, what is the average install rate a bale???
  2. imograss

    imograss LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 796

    I charge 3.00 per bale installation over cost. It's not necessarily a cheaper route to take over traditional mulch, but I use it in places that are difficult to reach and on hillsides. It doesn't wash as easy.
  3. j fisher

    j fisher LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 294

    Figure 1 bale will cover 15 sq ft, so it would take about 5 1/2 bales to cover 81 sq ft, which is the same as 1 cubic yd of mulch at 4 inches. I charge 7.00 per bale installed, so that would be 38.50 per 81 sq ft. I charge 40.00 per yd installed for mulch, so the cost is pretty much equal.
  4. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    Thanks to both of you!

    Installed at $3 over cost would equal the $7 per bale installed in my case or close to it. So one bale per 15 sq ft? Are the bales you use the size I am talking about and not packed tight?

    I use a little different but the same pricing method for mulch as you all. I just do it by the sq ft and my rates generally begin a 50 cents a sq ft @ 3" thick. So that works out to $50 a yard. But that's for the easy jobs where it mostly comes right out of the trailer and into the beds. However, I am told all too often that my rates are too high.
  5. Danimal

    Danimal LawnSite Member
    Messages: 88

    Your rates are not to high but I think yur price on straw is if you look around you can find a better price. I live in the area were alot of straw is harvested I can get it for 2 per. If you find a supplier you should be able to get it at 3. It also takes about one hour to sprEAD ten bails with medium shrubs.
  6. Strawbridge Lawn

    Strawbridge Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 660

    Envy it is 5-8$ a bale up here also.. Ckloser to 8 If I remember..
    I see no difference other than appearance and that is what I tell my customers. Straw looks yuk when old just like mulch..
    A personal taste issue.

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