Mowing a former arboretum


LawnSite Member
I recently got an opportunity to take on some work at a former arboretum to mow and do leaves in the fall. The place itself is about 10 acres but there's 3.5 acres of mowable turf. There's 4 large turf areas which make up about 2.5 acres which should be pretty easy. What I'm concerned about is all the detailed trimming that is required everywhere else. There is a rose garden with narrow maze like turf paths that could only be mowed with a push mower. Lots of trimming there.

There's also lots of specimen trees and plants that require very careful trimming around the roots and beds. Some of them I've been told not to use equipment on other than a string trimmer so I don't compact the soil. Its located in a very wealthy area and the going rate for mowing an acre is about $100-$120.

I'm estimating it would take 2 guys about 2-3 hrs. I have two 60" riders which would take care of most of the mowing. No hills, pretty much all flat with some slight slopes and terraces. So I'm thinking at least $500 upwards to $750 per cut. If it was just an open field I would be nowhere near that but with such detailed work I feel like I have to charge a premium. What are your thoughts? Is my estimate too high?