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Jack Rabbit 06-07-2010 04:44 PM

Advice on How to Remove Oleanders?
I've been asked to bid on removing 6 oleanders.

Any advice about how to remove them? What should I know?

Advice about pricing for this job?

MountainViewGreenskeeper 06-07-2010 05:50 PM

most people will tell you just how long u think it will take times your hourly rate.

Dont know how it is in new mexico but here in AZ I would say be carefull... scorpions love to make them their homes here especially when they bushes not trees.

Jack Rabbit 06-07-2010 06:21 PM

Thanks MountainViewGreenskeeper.

About how long does it take to dig one up with hand tools? They are about eight feet tall.

Anything I should know about their toxicity and cutting or chopping them?

Steve 06-08-2010 05:42 AM

As far as I know, they are toxic, so you don't want to do anything where you will ingest any part of the plant.

You also need to get the crown of roots out or it will regrow.

Possibly chop it at the base and stump grind out the roots as best you can?

Unless anyone else has a better idea.

MountainViewGreenskeeper 06-08-2010 12:40 PM

just dont eat the tree.

hmmmmz stump grinder would be best and easiest. Sides they are fun to play with. But with hand tools your stuck digging it out. Pull it out with ur truck. Or if you cant do that get a used chainsaw blade and just cut thru it all, dirt in all.

My guess would be and hr of work(2 ppl) per tree(plus or minus) plus dump fee.
Or 4hr work plus dump + rental(stump grinder)

But again you only said how tall. Time is going to depend on how many tips to dump. How thick the bush is and how tall/wide it is.

So just adjust the hrs accordingly, we cnt tell you how long its going to take you to do it. Its the same reason you go give estimates not over the phone guesses.

Steve 06-09-2010 03:27 AM


You should take some before during and after pictures to show us how the job went.

Keep us posted on what is going on with it.

Jack Rabbit 06-11-2010 10:57 PM

I got it done. It took about 2.5 hours each including cutting off branches, digging, and hauling. Also mowed. Customers, nice folks, paid me extra.

Hard to do things when you are poor. Couldn't pull with the truck due to no access. Don't have a chainsaw and no one I know has one. Would need a dull chain anyway. I couldn't get a big metal pry bar (6' long , 15 pounds, what are those called?) ... cost too much. I borrowed a reciprocating saw and cut the branches off.

I used a mattock, shovel, wood splitting maul, axe (courtesy of the customer) and a rope. 104 degrees the first day, 90-something the second.

I found that digging mostly with the mattock close to the base did best to find roots. Then I would break them with the mattock, or cut them with the mattock's pick or the axe. I tied a rope to two oleander stumps, the one I was digging and one next to it and pulled in the middle of the rope. That gives you leverage. It is why cloths line poles bend inward. That would pop them out after I cut enough roots.

Business is picking up. I have 4 or 5 (estimate for one pending) new mowing customers and I get one-time jobs. Mostly by referral. 3 customers live near each other so travel time is low.

Steve 06-12-2010 04:57 PM

If you could do the job all over again now, what would you do differently?

Jack Rabbit 06-12-2010 09:28 PM

Thanks everyone for the advice.

Steve, I think given my current situation I have to learn to turn down some jobs because I don't have the tools to do them. This would have been one of those. So I learned:
- Use the right tools for the job. Invest in getting them when you can.
- Turn down jobs you can't do well or don't have tools for.
- Think. Use the tools and resources you have.
- Take more breaks to cool off when it is hot. You can't think when overheated.
- I underestimate the time and difficulty of jobs and should correct that.

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