How to speed up time of picking up leaves from pruning shrubs?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by kebrowns, Jul 22, 2012.

  1. RussellB

    RussellB LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 8,032

    I use old bath towels. the leaves cling to them so you don't lose as many when picked up compared to plastic tarps. Pick the towels up and shake into a lined trash barrel.
  2. Glenn Lawn Care

    Glenn Lawn Care LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,645

    Mine does not have a hose. I can raise the height of the vacuum so it doesn't suck up rocks or mulch. The suction is pretty good on it. I like using it.
  3. kebrowns

    kebrowns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 203

    did you get pre-cut tarps and from were.
  4. Darryl G

    Darryl G Inactive
    Messages: 9,500

    I take one or both tubes off my backpack blower and blow them out. By taking the tubes off you have a much more dispersed stream of air so you can give it more throttle. I have used tarps and drop cloths before but generally only use them when cutting ornamental grasses now.

    You can also use a shredder vac...but you have to learn where that fine line is with throttle and the distance of the vac tube to the mulch so that you're picking up leaves but not mulch...the mulch can get lodged between the impeller and housing if you suck it up.
  5. cpllawncare

    cpllawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,659

    Exactly! Same here.
  6. OakNut

    OakNut LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    I prefer canvas drop cloths (for painting) and find that the 4'x12' ones are well suited for both long stretches of hedges as well as "wrapping" around smaller shrubs.

    They also don't blow around much like those cheap plastic tarps do.

    Old sheets and tablecloths come in handy as well.

    I get my drop cloths at Harbor Freight for around $6. That's about half the cost of the same size cloth at Home Depot.
  7. Darryl G

    Darryl G Inactive
    Messages: 9,500

    Don't you guys find yourself tripping on your tarps/cloths? I just don't like having them under foot. Or I I just too clumsy to handle it? lol
  8. OakNut

    OakNut LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    It depends. If laying flat - no issues. If on a contoured surface where you can't get it to lay completely flat - yeah, sometimes.

    I use them when it benefits me to do so. Otherwise, just rake, or blow the clippings.
  9. pollak1322

    pollak1322 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 68

    I use my 20'x20' tarp folded in half and zip tied together. I find that the full size is to big and bulky to be dragging around and blows everywhere. plus by doubling it over it doesnt rip as fast when dragging it around loaded.

    Right before beginning to trim I lay the tarp out under the hedge or bush or whatever and go to town having all the clipping fall to the tarp, when I've trimmed as far down as the tarp goes I drag it down to the next section and so on and so forth. It doesnt collect every single leaf and stick, but by doing this then going back and raking, then going back for a final blow I get usually get 99% of the debris
  10. tr_developments

    tr_developments LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    Some tarps are available which are pre-fitted with a notch in the middle, which adjusts to the bush or shrub you are pruning. I've had as much success, however, with tarps and as I have had with a newer Stihl handheld shredder / vac (definitely works, but difficult to keep from taking up mulch). Often times, when you take back the tarp, you still have to hand-trim some of the shrub depending on how close to the ground it is. Now matter the approach, there is usually no way to keep an area perfectly spotless, especially depending on what it might be that you are pruning (for landscapers, it may change on a daily basis).

    Good luck. Check out the handheld shredder / vacs for sure.


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