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Planting shrubs - how many per hour

Quoting a job that requires 3200no shurbs to be planted in soil.   Never done planting in this scale.  Density 4-5 per sqm.

Soil is fairly loose but as its on a new development it'll have been made up and rolled in with all sorts.

Can any of the experts advise roughly what you'd expect a man to do per day / hour  - and I dont mean the big boys that can do 3000 trees per day in the forests!



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  • Mixed bag from hebe, forsythia, escallonia,  hydrangea, rose, viburnum, hedera helix etc

  • PRO

    When we do large planting area we use a post hole digger and the resulting hole is big enough to take a 2.5ltr plant you can easily plant 100 plus pot's per hr with 2 people but then there is all the prep of removing the pots and placing the plants on the scheme on top of that.

  • PRO


    Things to consider. If you have to set them out to a plan,  it can take a lot of time to set out. Identifying, moving , taking the pots off, clearing up the pots, disposing of the pots etc. As you mention, it very much depends on the soil, newly put in top soil is a joy, clay, builders rubble, MOT or concrete  close to edges etc can be a real nightmare and double the planting time. However, from my experience this is very lucrative work so don't underprice yourself.  

  • Too many variables to be of any help . If its new site, then yes there'll be all kinds' of crap to dig through, bricks polythene etc. Any compost needed?. . But the main one for me would be how secure is the site . I have a mate who had a job some years ago planting a few hundred shrubs, finished the job, went home, following morning all the shrubs had been stolen.  And because the owner hasn't signed off on his work , he never got paid !!! So where are all these shrubs to be stored overnight ?. Just becareful .. 


    • PRO

      This is where terms are essential.

      When supplying a price. A contractor should state that all plants remain the property of the contractor until paid in full and that the client shall ensure security of the site.

      Obviously some common sense on both sides should prevail but essentially, safeguards have to be built in to protect both sides.


  • PRO

    • PRO

      Spon’s. Estimating costs guide to minor landscaping, gardening and external works. By Bryan Spain. 2005 edition.

      My copy is thirteen years old, but I don’t think there is a newer edition.




      Spon's Estimating Cost Guide to Minor Landscaping, Gardening and External Works (Spon's Estimating…
      Buy Spon's Estimating Cost Guide to Minor Landscaping, Gardening and External Works (Spon's Estimating Costs Guides) by Bryan Spain (2005-04-14) by B…
  • I subbed onto a site last year to plant up the common areas, the builder was charged per shrub depending on the size to supply and plant

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