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What do you guys charge per bush?

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by snow4me, Jun 6, 2011.

  1. snow4me

    snow4me LawnSite Member
    Male, from Barrington IL
    Messages: 119

    I just installed a couple of Dense Yew's on a customers property. The cost of the bushes were $20 each plus tax and the topsoil and peat cost another $20. It took me an hour to install them and about an hour of my time to go buy the supplies plus about $10 gas. So I've got about $70 total invested plus two hours of my time. My labor rate is $30 per hour so should I just add $60 and charge $130... just wondering how you guys charge for this type of work?
  2. lukemelo216

    lukemelo216 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from ...
    Messages: 1,267

    i never understand how people dont set a price prior to doing the job, its kind of mind boggeling to me.

    Anyways, for small nursery stock (small shrubs/perennials etc) we generally go for 60-70% of their cost. So problem is your buying them at retail so you can make any money off of the materials itself, maybe 5-10% but you should first try to find a wholesale supplier so you get the item at a reduced rate, and provide them with a sellers id and you dont have to pay sales tax.

    So anyways, we would install them at probably, $15/bush. I dont know what your using the peat for, but dont, just a waste. Get a good compost soil and mix it with the soil that you dug out and put it back in there. Then mulch it in.

    You probably are right in the neighborhood of the correct price. For pickup we assume usually 1 hour at th nursery, and just put it as a line item as delivery fee. That will include travel time to the nursery, getting the materials, and securing the load. We save time becasue we just call in a purchase order, so the plants are all tagged and ready to just be pulled.
  3. snow4me

    snow4me LawnSite Member
    Male, from Barrington IL
    Messages: 119

    Thanks for the reply...

    customer just trusts me to be fair and he's wealthy so I don't think it matters to him.

    I bought them at a wholesale supplier and the tag on these had instructions for topsoil to peat at a 2:1 mixture in the hole with the plant.
  4. Get Some...

    Get Some... LawnSite Senior Member
    from Kansas
    Messages: 651

  5. lukemelo216

    lukemelo216 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from ...
    Messages: 1,267

    Ok well thats good.

    As far as the peat moss goes, i have read a lot of mixed reviews on using it. Such as it can dry out the soil becasue it whicks the water our, and once its dried out it can be hard to wet. Plus too it may hold onto the water for too long. you dont want the water to just sit in the hole, you want it to drain at a nice slow pace through it, and with the peat you may encounter that (the standing water)

    Generally what we do when we plant a tree or a larger shrub is utilize our own mix for the back fill. Our supplier has a really nice organic mix which is composed of 50% well rotted manuer and 50% compost soil. We will mix that with some unscreened soil and create what we call "mixed soil" Generally we take 2 buckets of the unscreened, dump 2 of the organics, and 1 more of the mix and mix that together.

    Then we will backfilll with this and then mulch with a really nice double shredded hardwood mulch.
  6. McVey Landscape

    McVey Landscape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 28

    I get as much as I can get. I also give a year on replacement if something happens, like the homeowner spraying the beds with a weed killer. I usually with charge a 60-70% mark up on bushes which will cover a reinstall if something did not take. This normally never happens though. Money in your pocket and the customer feels good about a guarantee.
  7. lukemelo216

    lukemelo216 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from ...
    Messages: 1,267

    Wow you dont charge a lot for warranty at all. If the bush costs $20 and you mark it up 60%, you charge them 12$ for a warranty and installation? You lose more money if the plant does need to be changed out. doesnt make sense. We by the plant at $20, we mark up 60-70% to resell to the customer and install, then they are also charged for soil amendments, mulch, delivery etc. and ontop of that an additional $20 for a 1 year warranty. So a $20 plant would run them $52-54 plus the ammendments and delivery. This is our method on small shrubs, perennials, etc. Bigger Trees are a different story.

    Our warranty is for 1 year from the date of purchase, and only covers the plant it self. Delivery, fuel, etc is all additional. Plus, why would you warranty something that the home owner caused to die by spraying with round up? Our warranty excludes mechanical (hitting it with a mower or something), chemcial (spraying with round up), insect damage, acts of god, and improper care.

    We arent just going to replace a tree becasue it died. They need to make sure its taken care of, gets water etc. If the homeowner decides to spray round up by it (I doubt it would actually do much, unless he sprayed the leafs itself) and it dies, well he needs to buy a new tree.
  8. South Florida Lawns

    South Florida Lawns LawnSite Platinum Member
    from usa
    Messages: 4,784

    Take your materials, multiply by 2 and thats what you charge.
  9. bmoorefield

    bmoorefield LawnSite Member
    Messages: 132

    Lukemelo is right on the mark with his numbers compared to my business. Like many others have pointed out, my service includes the one year warranty, biotoner plus (organic root stimulant fert), pick up, delivery, and installation. You are also charging for your expertise and knowledge of shrubs, correct spacing, and installation methods. I generally multiply the cost of the perennial or shrub by 2.75, but I have heard of companies that go with 3.
  10. woodall1

    woodall1 LawnSite Member
    from Eden NC
    Messages: 48

    I've always charged wholesale x 2 + 15% and warranty all plants for one year.

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