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We look after numerous housing developments and with new ones imminent we are once again being asked about watering, it's something we've always managed to avoid but it's becoming increasingly likely we can't for much longer, does anyone here offer a 'watering service' and how do you make it work, one of the largest tree suppliers recommends watering new trees every other day in summer and with us looking at 100's of new trees how is this feasible and ideally profitable!? Any advice appreciated! 

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  • I'm with you, don't get involved at all costs!!

    We are in a similar position to you. There's a couple of issues, firstly is another contractor doing the planting? If so you'll  get the blame for plant/tree failures because the watering regime was not carried out " correctly" In our experience planting contractors will do anything to avoid replace failed plants/trees. You are not in control of the quality of either the plants/trees nor how well the they are planted, we've seen bare root trees left unplanted for weeks on sites. Inevitably these fail to take. 

    Secondly, the practicalities of getting water to where it's needed and water supply, you will need a bowser and something to tow it with. We did do some watering on a site we planted, reluctantly! We used an IBC on our arb truck, it took forever as no water on site and we relied on gravity for the watering, we put what we thought was a big price on the job but it took far longer than anticipated. Fortunately the weather turned and we only had to do it once.

    If you have no choice , make sure you get written confirmation that you are not responsible for plant failures, as to price whatever price you arrive at treble it, I suspect that the managing agents will not pay a realistic cost and take the view it's cheaper to replace any failures. If you don't want to do it put a stupid price in! That's what we do.





    • PRO

      I tried it once as an add on service on a small scale but never again the frequency of visits made it unviable and some of the plants were already perishing from lack of water before I took the work on .

      Added to this there was greenfly / aphid damage and bad planting and wilting specimens prior to my arrival . 

      Hanging baskets were the worst nightmare always on the cusp of drying up .

      Complete nightmare for which I got the blame and this was the case on more than one site .

      On another site the newly planted shrubs had been over watered prior to my arrival  .

      Never again I got the blame for other people's incompetence and far too time consuming .

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