Bidding a large contract

Planet Rope

New Member
Location
Jackson
Hello, Tree Buzzers!

I'm excited to say that this is my very first post, and I really need some advice. I'm a CA with a small tree care business and I'm bidding on a big cemetery project where burial crypts are being constructed.

It involves tree pruning, tree preservation ( I.E mulching, fencing, and supervision) air excavating/ air-spaiding, root pruning, and more. There are about 8 large trees being pruned and 12 or more being protected. The CRZ encroachment equals about 200 ft in length x 4-8 ft deep of root excavating where I will be pruning/ preserving roots from heavy equipment just beyond where they dig. I pruned plenty of girdlers before and even have some experience using a high powered pressure washer to remove dirt. ” I know I'm a redneck” but have not been arboricilturally involved to this extent.

I easily came up with numbers for the pruning and preservation, but I'm stuck on how to price this air spading because my experience with it is limited. I only have a couple of days to offer the construction companies an estimate. There are not a lot of arborist in my area ( especially one's that climb) so I dont think anyone is bidding against me. I really want this gig but Dont want to overshoot it, not loos my hat. Any advice would be appreciated.
P.S I'm already having to purchase an Air-Spaid so I really dont have the funds to call a consultant at ASCA. Attached is picture of Tree Protection Plan from the architect. I'm not sure if I'm allowed to share the actual blueprint.
 

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flushcut

Well-Known Member
Location
Delavan, WI
I am kinda surprised a cemetery is spending that kind of money. All the ones I have worked are CHEAP like real cheap. They are more interested in planting dead people than new trees let alone taking care of the ones that they have.
 
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flushcut

Well-Known Member
Location
Delavan, WI
P.S. I've had weird things happen in cemeteries like gas caps that went missing and tools being moved. Mostly happened in the kids section of this cemetery in Milwaukee. Old cemetery as most of the children were born late 1800's to early 1900's ages from new born to about 8YO. And the groundskeeper said to let him know if we suddenly fell in a hole with the machine because we probably collapsed a casket. No big deal he said if it happened. LOL
 

cerviarborist

Very stable member
Location
Florida, USA
Four to eight feet deep seems kind of deep to root prune for preservation purposes. Whose idea is it to go that deep, and do the soil conditions and root growth of the trees on site really warrant that excavation depth? The contractor may have to dig that deep for the underground facilities they're installing, but again, are there really roots of any significant consequence below about 18"? I took a quick look at the plans, and didn't see a depth of root pruning specified.
 

Planet Rope

New Member
Location
Jackson
Four to eight feet deep seems kind of deep to root prune for preservation purposes. Whose idea is it to go that deep, and do the soil conditions and root growth of the trees on site really warrant that excavation depth? The contractor may have to dig that deep for the underground facilities they're installing, but again, are there really roots of any significant consequence below about 18"? I took a quick look at the plans, and didn't see a depth of root pruning specified.
 

Planet Rope

New Member
Location
Jackson
Yes! The 4-8’ is for burial crypts and a drainage swall. The 2nd deep that I’ll be excavating will be about 2’ beyond where they dig. My plan is to let them dig carefully tell we start finding roots 1” or bigger. Then I would take over.
What I don’t know is how long it would take to airspaid this length. Or any length for that matter.
  1. How many men does it require?
  2. Can it all be done at one time or do I have to wait on the phases of construction to take place?
  3. And what do people typically charge for this?
    Is there a video out there I can watch on the techniques of air spaiding? I would normally just hit them with an hourly rate, but I don’t think this will help the contractors prepare their bids, or maybe I’m wrong. Does anyone have a sample fee scheduall for this type of thing.
    Maybe I’m worrying to much. However, it is a 3 million dollar contract ( not all mine) which seems like it would be a game changer for someone new in the tree business. P.S New in the business, but not new to arboriculture.
 

cerviarborist

Very stable member
Location
Florida, USA
A better plan would be to either use theTree Preservation BMP as a guideline for defining the critical root zones and just airspade them down to the depth that tree roots are normally found in that type of soil, and root prune it, or use the airspade for exploratory work to locate roots. If you go with the BMP recommendations, then you and the contractor you're working for can be confident that you're adhering to arboricultural industry standards.

Using an airspade for a lot of root pruning will make you wish you'd never been born, and the rate at which you progress will be largely determined by what kinds of soil you're working in. Here in Florida, it's sandy so an air spade cuts through it like a hot knife through butter. I hear from folks with clay or rocky soil profiles that it's very slow going with the airspade often augmented by a lot of pickaxe work. Further, the airspade only has sufficient power to blow fragmented soil debris clear of the excavation area down to a foot or so. Deeper than that, you'll have to airspade and then clear the trench with a trench spade....slow going.

In my area, I never root prune deeper than 18" and rarely find roots much further down than a foot, unless I'm right at the buttress of a tree (and normally that tree is being removed). I use a Dosko Root Pruner which has been custom adapted to operate on a Toro Dingo. With it, it typically takes more time for me to unload the machine off the trailer and get it into position, than it does to root prune 100 linear feet.
 

Planet Rope

New Member
Location
Jackson
Thanks cerviararborist,

100 ft with a Dosko in that amount of time definitely puts things in a better perspective. To defend myself, I have only known about this project for a week, when the bids due tomorrow. Therefore I missed walkthroughs and ZOOM meetings. Although the contractors kind off dropped the ball by calling me the last minute, I will commend them for calling me during the planning phase of this. Something I rarely see in my area!
 

flushcut

Well-Known Member
Location
Delavan, WI
Nope. God as my witness. It was just myself and my business partner in the cemetery all day. We were there about a week 27 big ash removals. I went to fill the saw pulled the caps off of the jugs filled the saws and poof gone. I was anal about the gas caps because they went on the old good gas cans and you can't find a replacement for them.
Flopped the log set the saw down, 385xp with 36" bar, at the stump and found the saw a dozen head stones away.
I asked the groundskeeper about it and he said "they do that every now and again". He has had stuff go missing in that section rakes shovels. Large items that no critter is walking off with.
 

cerviarborist

Very stable member
Location
Florida, USA
Nope. God as my witness. It was just myself and my business partner in the cemetery all day. We were there about a week 27 big ash removals. I went to fill the saw pulled the caps off of the jugs filled the saws and poof gone. I was anal about the gas caps because they went on the old good gas cans and you can't find a replacement for them.
Flopped the log set the saw down, 385xp with 36" bar, at the stump and found the saw a dozen head stones away.
I asked the groundskeeper about it and he said "they do that every now and again". He has had stuff go missing in that section rakes shovels. Large items that no critter is walking off with.
This in the Delavan News: "Cemetary Groundskeeper Retires Early to Open Shop Specializing in Gently Used Shovels and Rakes". :loco:
 

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