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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everybody,

I wanted to ask for advice and any tips before I start a project this weekend that involves planting 6-7 ft Arborvitaes, a small berm etc...
I have never done this before and thankfully its a smaller requirement of a 50 ft stretch that needs to be planted...
I dont have the actual formula in front of me to calculate actual
yards of dirt needed, but it comes in around 17 yrds if the berm height is approx 24" and 3ft wide and 50 ft long. This 17 yrds takes into account the slopping to the sides effect of the berm otherwise is 22 yrds...
I figure the 6-7 footers will be planted 3 ft apart measured between base of tree. 16 to 17 Arborvitaes in all I guess should cover it...I figure placing approx 1 ft screened topsoil first, plant the trees 3ft apart, place another 1ft of topsoil above and around tree, use fabric cloth for weeds prevention then top off with mulch ( unsure how much actually I need)...They will have plenty of water..
This may sound over simplified and if I'm missing something please point it out or if my math is incorrect....If this goes well my confidence will be boosted for larger projects exactly like this but 130 ft...

Thanks in advance..

Duc
 

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I dunno Duc...the way I figure it you would need 11.11 yards of material...

H x W x L..... 2'H x 3'W = 6'SF 6'sf x 50'L=300CF...27 CF PER YARD....300/27=11.11CY.
 

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Sounds to me like you have pretty much thought everything out well. Is drainage for rain water run off going to be a consideration?
 

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I'm sure you have already gotten info for this project, but I'd like to add a little more....
"Like all plants, arborvitaes do have their preferences. Ideally, they would like to grow in a sunny situation in rich, well-drained, neutral pH soil that stays evenly moist. Unlike many other plants that struggle when they don't get exactly what they want, arborvitaes adapt well to a wide variety of situations. They will tolerate heavy soil or moist soil. They also do well in a wide range of soil pH. Arborvitaes will even do well in a shady situation (as long as it's not dark shade). Keep in mind that all plants need some special care until they have established a good root system. They develop their ability to withstand stress once they have settled in.
When siting your arborvitae, there are a few special considerations. First, if you have deer, you may want to choose a different type of plant. Consider snow load. Their branches are rather flexible and when arborvitaes are planted where the snow falls off the roof onto them, they can have problems with winter damage. Arborvitaes will also have occasional problems with an insect called red spider mite. This is most common on plants that are near a brick wall or planted under an overhang where they seldom get any direct rain. Red spider mites love it hot, dry and dusty. Given those circumstances, they can do considerable damage to an otherwise healthy arborvitae. If you have to plant an arborvitae where those conditions exist, try to make a practice of rinsing the dust off the plant on a regular basis during warm weather. Red spider mites are sucking insects that are so small you can't see them on the foliage. They give a rough, sandy, speckled appearance to arborvitae foliage. If you suspect you might have spider mites, place a sample in a plastic bag and bring it in to a horticulturist"
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Originally posted by Argee
I dunno Duc...the way I figure it you would need 11.11 yards of material...

H x W x L..... 2'H x 3'W = 6'SF 6'sf x 50'L=300CF...27 CF PER YARD....300/27=11.11CY.

I gave the wrong width, it should be at least 5ft or 6ft ( 6ft too wide I think)

50'x2'x5'= 500 cubic feet Divide by 27 the number of cubic feet in a yard = 18.51 c yards

50' x 2' x 6' =600 /27 =22.2 c yards

I was told to take into account the sloping effect and 3/4 this amount = 13.88 with the 5ft width 16.65 with a 6 ft width

How much mulch do I need? The drainage should be fine..

Thanks again
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you Argee for those tips !! I have the idea setting/location for them plenty of sun, protection from snow drops and my snow removal ( point in another direction!!) methods....plenty of water( sprinkler point at them) and I know about those little mites and how to treat for them....any tips on how to make an even berm?

Wish me well, it should happen this weekend......

Duc
 

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If you slope it leaving 2' on top and belling out to 5' on the bottom you would require exactly 13CY's

If you slope it leaving 2' on top and belling out to 6' on the bottom you would require exactly 15CY's
 

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Originally posted by ducati996
....any tips on how to make an even berm?
Duc
Well you have a loader I believe. I'd stake a center location and start dumping in bucketfuls from the side. Then I would pick my chosen width, site down one side with the edge of the bucket, curl it back, drop it an go...repeat on other side...this should give your rough berm with the slope your after. If your happy with this go to next stage.

Put your plants in the bucket and start planting. Using a shovel, excavate for the plant putting all the soil into the bucket, insert plant and any ammendments. Repeat.

Regardless of how you do it, take your camera along a grab us some snapshots of a work in progress.

Good Luck and have fun!!!:thumbsup:
 

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Duc,
You didn't pick up on Argee's comment about deer which was my first thought when I read your post. If you have them in your area, that big a stand of Arborvitae will just be a deer salad bar. Something with sharp needles that hurts their little mouths will solve that problem versus the soft juicy needles on an Arborvitae. As for the berm dimensions, will you be putting any grass on the berm? If so, consider mower deck width and pitch to prevent scalping. I have several berms in my yard and the narrow ones give me problems with scalping so that's my other bit of advice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hi Deerebob,

No Deere problem where I live unfortunately, I would love to see them but thats progress for ya (over development) pushed them out a long time ago...

No mowing at all will be needed because of cloth cover and mulch
top...
 

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Originally posted by ducati996
...No Deere problem where I live unfortunately, I would love to see them but thats progress for ya (over development) pushed them out a long time ago...
Duc,
I assure you the reason you would like to see them is you don't. There is almost nothing more destructive to landscaping than deer. They are beautiful creatures when they are not munching on something in your yard. I venture to say that deer have cost me at least a $1,000 in replacement landscaping over the past 12 years which is why I posted what I did.

Another thing no one has mentioned yet about berming is consider using clean fill for the base and then top off with 12" of black top soil. The fill will provide a solid foundation so that the berm will not erode as quickly over time. Since you are not planning to grass it, this is a more important consideration. I had two large berms put in several years ago and that's what I did. Both have weathered very well. Another piece of equipment you might find useful for the project is a 24"+ aluminum landscape rake. It will work nicely after you have graded the top soil with your blade or bucket to give it a really finished look. It will also be useful to spread/spread out the mulch when you are finishing up. Use cedar not cypress mulch since it smells better and lasts longer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I missed your reply some how and I thank you for the tips....
I noticed you mentioned 1/2 screened fill and 1/2 organic topsoil.
I was thinking all screened fill, since my grass has grown real nice from the same supplier I have used in the past. Plus the screen will erode less over time, and hold the roots firm. The mulch will help with nutirents over time as well....I'm I wrong in my thinking here? should it be 1/2 and 1/2 , or all screen fill is ok? and yes I got the rake already..

Thanks

Duc
 

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Duc,
It's not necessarily 1/2 and 1/2 but rather the depth of the top layer that I'm suggesting. When I am talking about top soil it is black dirt and not necessarily organic top soil which is more expensive. The fill I am referring to has clay or highly compactable material in it which makes it good as a structural base. Top soil, tends to stay softer and not compact nearly as much which makes it a good top dressing. If the top soil is sterilized it won't have weed seeds in it which the fill will likely have which is another reason my wife and I like to put in in our flower beds and around newly planted trees and bushes. Although your area may be too large, but we quit having top soil delivered in bulk and opted to buy it in bags. If we needed a good amount we had the store deliver a pallet or 2 of bags. Even with a tractor, top soil in bags is easier to spread or store than in bulk if the area is not too large. We are able to get 40lb bags of top soil for $0.99 here in Chicago. If your price is not around this level then you are better off buying in bulk.
 

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Hey Duc....how'd the project go? Did you get everything planted that you wanted planted? PICTURES, PICTURES, PICTURES, PICTURES Please!:lmao:
 

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Originally posted by Argee
Hey Duc....how'd the project go? Did you get everything planted that you wanted planted? PICTURES, PICTURES, PICTURES, PICTURES Please!:lmao:
Maybe the reason there are no pictures is he is still too busy hugging them!:lmao: :lmao:
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Originally posted by DeereBob
Maybe the reason there are no pictures is he is still too busy hugging them!:lmao: :lmao:

Yes..I admit it I like hugging them late at night rubing them up against my naked skin...nothing like Arborvitae rubbing up next to you...:)

Finished over the weekend...I still need to do some edging around it -tips or suggestions welcome!!, but it came out good from what I can tell - first time.

The next batch will be 40 and I will not need to build such a high berm....I will use a PHD on my JD 4100 for the holes, cloth and mulch....I'm not so anxious to start that yet!!

Duc
 

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Duc,
Don't know what your budget is but some landscape blocks would look really nice on both sides of the berm and hold down erosion. The expensive route would be to use Unilock type blocks that interlock. These need to be put on leveled crushed gravel or or sand. A cheaper alternative would be to get landscape blocks from your Home Center and put 3 levels on both sides of the berm. You can overlap the second and third courses like bricks and level the bottom layer as best as possible but doesn't have to be perfect. I also noticed that you have some large brick or blocks around your driveway. You could use these to carry on the theme and serve the same purpose as what I mentioned above.

If you would like a more rustic look, landscape timbers or railroad ties would serve the same purpose and might be cheaper. If you do this, you'll need to use rebar or 12" landscape nails to secure the timbers into the ground. An extra long drill bit to drill holes in the timbers of the proper diameter will make the job much easier.
 

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awesome job duc.. i love those trees...

They make a great barrier... they look great and will only get better in time.
 
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