Plant Sizes????

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by prairie, May 13, 2002.

  1. prairie

    prairie LawnSite Member
    from kansas
    Messages: 115

    What size of plants do you NORMALLY plant at a clients location, be it Boxwood, Barberry, or Spirea. I usually plant 2 gal for my customers that are very nice and ready to be planted, because of being close to being root bound. I've had some people say, "those are kind of small aren't they"? I don't know it's just been this year that I've had clients say this me... What size do you guys plant normally..
  2. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Messages: 2,585

    usually I start by asking them right up front how big do you want the plant to stand from the root ball up when I plant it...if they say 4 ft, I explain to them we're talking about more double or triple what a 2 gal costs....most times I use balled and burlapped stock...most of my customers are at least in their late 40's and 50's and dont want to be wheel chair bound when their landscape finally matures.
  3. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,778

    This is a great subject. The size plants that you use is very important in defining you. ...especially if you are, and plan to remain a small company.
    If your survivability will allow it, and you have the nerve to insist on it, you can develop a higher end customer base and establish a reputation by using only bigger, higher quality plants. The oposite will hold true as well.
    That is a difficult thing to accomplish, but worth it if you can.
  4. wmsland

    wmsland LawnSite Member
    from NE OHIO
    Messages: 127

    The size of the plant used depends on a few different factors, such as what the design/designer calls for, availability of different sizes and probably most important the clients budget. Bigger doesn't always mean better.
  5. steveair

    steveair LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,073


    Lately I've been leaning towards the bigger materials for my installations.

    I prefer larger material because I prefer to space my plantings out to allow for future growth. There are just ENTIRELY too many guys out there these days who come in, and just throw 2 gal plant after 2 gal plant into a area.

    It looks great for a few years, but then in a few years everything is growing on top of each other and you end up losing half of the stuff because of crowding.

    The problem is that clients have trouble understanding plant growth, and that there is so much 'overplanting' going on that it has been considered the 'norm'.

    For example, when doing a foundation planting, most guys tend to try and fill every little nook and cranny in front of the house with a plant. No 'bare spots' allowed! The problem is, in about 3 years you have a complete jungle as those plants grow and start to cover each other. Yes, there are such things as 'filler' plants that are meant to be lost over time, but in many instances half the plants are 'fillers'.

    I prefer to space plants according to there growth rate. By using larger material, I can space plants properly and still avoid all of the 'empty' voids that are created. In the end, it may cost a few more dollars, but it will maintain the desired look that I was shooting for in both the present and future, whereas most people these days shoot for 'look good now' and who cares what happens later.

    High end jobs are always fun, as you really get to spend the money on big material and have it look good now and later. Instant and lasting gratification. However, it comes at a very high cost.

  6. prairie

    prairie LawnSite Member
    from kansas
    Messages: 115

    Thanks Guys, I mostly plant 2 gal probably 50% of the time, the rest are 3-5 for higher end clients and 1-2 gal for the budet jobs. I do my own design so it is easier for me to go back and change things around
  7. Planter

    Planter LawnSite Member
    from Utah
    Messages: 214

    I recently planted some nice Bakerii Spruce in #7 containers. They were nice trees at about $109 each. The next size up were absolutely beautiful. And well they should be at $299 each.

    The customer set the budget and took the smaller trees. Budget rules with the customer.

    How many of you go to the nursery and hand pick your own stock? I find that I can spend a few billable hours there and get better and larger stock than when I let the nursery staff pull what's at the front of the row and have them give me the ones the public would pass as misshapen.
  8. prairie

    prairie LawnSite Member
    from kansas
    Messages: 115

    I keep stock onhand at the shop all the time I usually have enough to do 1-2 complete new house landscape installs. I also keep the stock so customers can come and look at what their buying. I always just buy from my whole saler and have them diliver, I've been blessed with a great whole saler and haven't EVER had to return any plants for over 7 years.

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