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We just bought and moved into a house with atrocious garden planning. I have 16 4-5 foot tall English boxwoods that came with the house, all green and full, trimmed pompom style. No sign of any disease, only some minor psyllid leaf curling on some (only visible up close). Trouble is, all 16 are in front of the front door and the smell drives me batty, plus I don't find such a large congregation of formal boxwoods particularly attractive, being more of a cottage gardener type myself.
There is a company that is interested in coming and digging them, but we have not discussed price yet. I hear 4-5' healthy boxwoods are $500 or more a piece bagged and burlapped from a nursery or landscaping company, but what is a fair price from me, if they are doing digging work? I'm guessing 1/2 to 2/3 of that? They will also backfill dirt and there will be a damage repair contract.
I won't give them away, we are after all paying for them in our mortgage!
Centaurea~ you could also put a notice in your local newspaper as" Free for removal!" That's what my neighbor did, when he re-landscaped his front yard 2 years ago! He had several landscapers and lots of neighbors take them up on the offer. Lots of mature shrubs and even (2) seven year old maples were removed with most of the holes filled with topsoil.
Some people will go to any length to get rid of them but others want a trade - plants for cash since the company will be charging the full price for them. Looking at $500. and 16 plants that's $8,000. Even if she got $4,000. it would be nice.
You also have to keep in mind that normally a company would charge you a decent amount to come and remove things--in this case they want the plants so they're not going to charge you for the removal, but I wouldn't necessarily expect to get a ton of money for them because they'll probably take the wholesale price that they would normally pay for a plant that size (which is probably considerably less than retail) as a starting point and subtract out what they normally would have charged for the labor, dirt, and disposal and that's what they'll be willing to pay.
The offer we got was so low we paid someone to remove them and deposit them in the landfill. The boxwoods were 30 years old and the landscaper would have made a huge profit but wouldn't offer 10% of their value.
Thank you all for responding. Such a wide range! So, at best half, and at worst nothing, right?
To answer some questions. They are English Boxwoods, 30-40 years old. They are globe shaped or close to it, with most being as wide as tall I think, with none narrower than 3 1/2' or so. All guesstimation but usually I am good about it. I've attached a pic.
Another question... Could we get more if my husband and I dug & burlapped ourselves? We don't mind a little sweat, it's just time vs. money. How much do they weigh I wonder, and how much it costs to rent a bobcat!
I wouldn't try to do it yourself. As Pirl said it will truly be a lot of work. Not the digging, but keeping them just at the right moisture level. If you don't they will look fine for awhile, but next year they might loose tons of leaves.
I would contact nurseries in addition to landscapers. Have you heard from the company yet? I would not expect you will get anywhere near 500.00 each. I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings, but shrubs that size are very hard to transplant, and very labor intensive to remove. And they are very common, so many places would have good sized specimens in stock already, B and B'd.
There definitely is a very high demand for mature shrubs such as your boxwoods. Checking with an established well-respected nursery in your area should help you get a good deal, at least in the hundreds of dollars. In fairness to the nursery, they are taking all the risk of them not surviving (although boxwoods transplant extremely well and you're at the perfect time to do this), in addition to their cost in labor and replacement topsoil. Retail, those boxwoods are worth hundreds each, so if you got 25% of their value, it would definitely be worth it. It'd be a shame to not give them a chance of a new home. Get quotes from at least three different places and go with the best! Let us know what works out.