wants 36 arborvitae, should I get involved?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by WayneRI, Mar 24, 2004.

  1. WayneRI

    WayneRI LawnSite Member
    Messages: 25

    I do mostly lawn-care and the usual property maintenance stuff. Customer wants 36 5-6' arborvitae planted along 2 sides of the prop. I checked the digging situation. Numerous mature maples scattered in the area, so there are many roots (less than 1") to contend with. I thought of renting an 8" auger and poking 4 holes for each hole, and dig out the rest. Will the auger go through the roots? I could rent a Bobcat for $250, but doubt my Dakota would tow it. What to do with the extra dirt?
    Will the auger do the job or should I just wash my hands of this whole job? (I can get the shrubs for $34 each, so it looks like there is money to my made if I can do the installation without killing myself.)
    Thanks for any help on this dilemma.
  2. landscapingpoolguy

    landscapingpoolguy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 822

    i do tons of this kinda work every year....if she has lots of roots you could try berming the plants....dig half way down the root ball and burm the rest up...of course youll need topsoil but so what ....dont use a bobcat get a small ex or a smallback hoe to dig....auger will get cought up in the roots.....make sure you have plenty of compost in the back fill and at teh bottom of the hole....space em 3 ft apart on center...

  3. WayneRI

    WayneRI LawnSite Member
    Messages: 25

    Thanks Chuck. I guess that answers the question on the auger. That berming approach sounds like a great idea.
  4. TerraVenture

    TerraVenture LawnSite Member
    Messages: 144

    Where are you getting your prices for arborvitae? I have to pay $60 wholesale up here in NH. All of the nurseries I work with are baout the same for 5-6' Thuja Occidentalis Nigra 'Dark American'. What variety are you buying for $34.
  5. newleaflandscape

    newleaflandscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 348

    Go and rent a Toro Dingo. Get the big auger bit for it. Your dakota wont have a problem towing it, and you ll have all the holes dug in no time. Thats what I would do. Here you cant rent a dingo with the auger for a day for about three hundred bucks.
  6. gene gls

    gene gls LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,213

    You'r in for a learning experance, thats a "ball busting" job. Are you having the trees delivered or you picking up? I suggest you looking at the trees very close and make sure you understand whats involved with this job before you quote any prices.

  7. WayneRI

    WayneRI LawnSite Member
    Messages: 25

    Terraventure: I was quoted on Nigra arborvitae. Also, quoted $23 for 3-4', which I was hoping to go with. Schartner Farms, Exeter, RI. ( A large retail/wholesale grower).
    Thanks to all for the good input.
  8. swim

    swim LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 357

    I have a one man auger and if it hits roots you better be holding on or it will kill you.
  9. NickN

    NickN LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Alabama
    Messages: 1,009

    Don't forget to tell them that bagworms love Arborvitaes and you'll be glad to keep them in check for them.(for a price)
  10. Harry0

    Harry0 LawnSite Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 220

    If the spacing is 30-36 inches apart it is usually easier to dig a trench- set the tress -check spacing and backfill with amended soil as needed-Harry

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