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Trimming Question - Forsythia

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Lawn-Scapes, Oct 29, 2001.

  1. Lawn-Scapes

    Lawn-Scapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,810

    I don't do much trimming so forgive me...

    A customer wants me to trim a row of Forsythia (sp?). It's 90' long by 8-9' high by about 7-8' wide. I know this is not the right time to trim and blossoms will be reduced in the Spring but they want it done. How long should this take to do? I will be solo, using 40" hedge-trimmer and an attachment trimmer (the pivoting one for line-trimmers). I will be taking off approximately 20-25% from sides and top, rounding it. The clippings will be carted to the woods in thier backyard.

    I'm figuring 4-5 hours. Should it take less. I don't want to overcharge... $200-$250

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    That price sounds real fair, because you need to be careful on your time estimate. This sounds a bit conservative. If your taking about 25% off, that's aLOT of material! Remember you will be doing alot of ladder moving and such. And cleanup is never real easy at that height. Are you doing this alone, or will you have some help?
  3. TSG, I moved your thread over to the Landscape forum where it should get more views and a better response.
  4. Lawn-Scapes

    Lawn-Scapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,810

    Thanks Runner...

    If I understood you correctly... You think the pricing is fair (to both me and the customer)... but I may be a little conservative in the time estimated?

    Yes.. it will be me, myself and I doing this :(

    You think it may take longer?
  5. Lawn-Scapes

    Lawn-Scapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,810

    Anyone else???
  6. gene gls

    gene gls LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,213


    I would add another hour and another $50.00. If this is a regular customer and you have a chance of trimming this hedge again next year I would reach in with hand prunners and clip off a few of the big old heads near the center of each bush to create new lower growth and reduce the forced buldging effect on the top growth. These bushes grow very fast, 2' new growth is commom. By trimming heavy now may encourage larger blossoms on the remaning bush next season.

  7. Lawn-Scapes

    Lawn-Scapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,810

    Thanks Gene.

    By trimming "off a few of the big old heads near the center" ...

    This is in addition to the shaping.. right?

    Will this create noticeable holes on top?
  8. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    ive trimmed my share of forsythia, and 5 hrs seems like alot. the trimming on these is not so crytical as when trimming yews or something u can get a good tight shape on. the worse part about it is alot of cleanup, but if u r dumping on site, just bring a tarp and drag it into the woods. now, if u decide to get down on your hands and knees and pull out the hand pruners for those "thick" shoots near the bottom or lower middle, now youre talking time. have fun, i love trimming
  9. KerryB

    KerryB LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 661

    Why do customers always want these bushes cut in an improper manner. Sorry guys but this bush should be left to its natural shape and only about 1/3 of the oldest wood should be cut to the ground. You can tip the longest branches and suckers to maintain shape. But most people want to have them sheared like a compacta holly.
    Sorry just venting I like to see plants left to their natural shape as much as possible. Just remember if you cut off last years wood you cut off this springs flowers.
    As for the time and price I think your ok. Maybe a little on the conservative side.
  10. Craig Turf Management

    Craig Turf Management LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 354

    I'm with the doctor on this one. As far as forsythia is concerned, I prefer to thin the plant and leave it as natural as possible, rather than round or square it off. Will your client allow you to prune this shrub correctly? A large part of our job is educating our clients.
    Take care, Bill!

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