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Shrub trimming clean up?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Green Acres Lawn CAre, Jan 23, 2011.

  1. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,777

    Around here if you leave it up to the customer you will trim 2-3 times per season...if they are contract customers I trim as they get new growth which mean hollies are trimmed almost every 2 weeks!
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  2. rob7233

    rob7233 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 872

    I think the situation here was for a hedge row that way out of bounds or otherwise not maintained. For a few clippings, you might be able to get away with blowing them back under the shrub.

    However, I have seen the results of shrubs that were constantly and regularly trimmed. The get very dense growth on the outer layer while shutting out growth into the interior of the plant. This is usually done in trying to maintain very formal shapes (which contributes to legginess or thinning at the base).

    I'm not comfortable with the fact of constantly re-injuring a shrub weekly or biweekly. Plant resources are constantly going towards defense and recovery. These openings (yes, wounds) are entryways for diseases and viruses. Not to mention leaving the plant more stressed and attractive to pest infestations. Summers here in FL are quite stressful on plant material.
    It's the season of: "Too Much". Too much sun, too much rain, to much pest and disease pressure.

    I do understand that you're wanting to keep thing tight looking and not create too much additional work, especially if the money isn't there in the first place or the client won't pay for a needed cleanup. A lot of trying to keep a plant in bounds is from not selecting the right plant, for the right place in the first place but most are not hired to fix that issue. I just wanted to make some of you aware of potential issues. More natural shrub shapes can be the best compromise.
  3. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,858

    I agree with the bed sheet suggetions. I use the same thing. They are pretty tedious to get laid down though, mainly around shrubs that have branches all the way to the ground. If I don't absolutely have to use them I won't. The blower and a little finesse works wonders as well. Lava rock is the worst! Cheap mulch is second. Good mulch binds together after a while and you can blow the stuff out.

    tarps are cheaper than $15 too... For stuff like this I'd get the cheapest and lightest possible. You don't need them to be very large. Actually the best option would be like a 12x16 and splitting it in half so you get two 6x16 tarps.

    There's a good reason that my own landscape has large river rock in it, lol. I can trim and then use the BP blower at full power to blow everything out and not budge a rock!
  4. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,767

    It is a far different world here. People here expect that everything and I mean everything is done for one price. Telling someone that trimming shrubs or hedges will cost them extra usually kills the whole deal. I do not have competition from TruGreen or Scotts here, but I deal with the hundreds of unqualified mowing people that fertilize and treat the lawns they mow. My deal killer is the fact that I do not usually mow or trim trees or hedges. Do not want to have to do that all day every day.
  5. I totally agree. Aside from sandanqwa viburnum most plants in fl that are kept formally(cocoplum, goldmound, ixora, awabuki, etc.) are either sheared or overpruned. Most companies in Fl don't know how to properly maintain plant material and you see ugly ornamentals that never flower and have a quick demise.
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  6. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,231

    Any shrub or plant will eventually outgrow itself and become too woody and hollow. Improper AND infrquent pruning leads to this. The owners of formal lanscapes usually understand this and can afford to replace them as needed.
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  7. If you are keeping most plants in Florida in a formal appearance, it means the plant doesn't get to fruit or flower. These are important elements in a plants health. Certain plants like plumbago, Indian Hawthorne, ixora, etc. are not meant to be kept formally. Aside from looking really stupid, you don't get to enjoy the flowers and the great look if it were kept natural. I don't mean they should never get pruned, but not twice month.
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  8. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,777

    If you have hollies they have to be trimmed 5 times per season...in just 2 weeks they can get 6" new growth on them.

    One of my customers have just about all hollies...they suck!
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  9. jay albers

    jay albers LawnSite Member
    Messages: 178

    can use a shred vac to, have some mulch ready because it will suck some up, but its quick and easy
  10. ReddensLawnCare

    ReddensLawnCare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,651

    I like to use a painters cloth...they are relatively inexpensive and last forever if made of decent quality. They also are great if the wind is blowing b/c of there density...just my .02

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