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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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Monday - July 28, 2008

From: Wayne, NJ
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Trees
Title: Hiring a landscaper in New Jersey
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Soon I will be hiring a landscaper to plant a privacy line of arborvitaes with a 1' retention wall and I need some help on prices. The quote I was given, which included 48 arborvitaes (and I will actually need about 10 more) at a size of 6' to 7', was $15,000. Doing some research on the web, one wholesaler was selling each arborvitae for $60 each, which makes the quote look a little steep. I have recently moved and this is the only local landscaper I know of.. should I look around for another landscaper who will do the work cheaper or is this a fair quote?

ANSWER:

Sorry, we're gardeners, not auditors. Not only would we not have the slightest idea if you were quoted a good price or bad, but we're in Texas, you're in New Jersey. What sounded outrageously expensive to us might seem like a real good buy to you. About the only thing we can suggest is that you go to our Suppliers section, type in your town and state in the Enter Search Location box. This will give you a list of landscape professionals specializing in native plants in your general area. Since the Thuja occidentalis (arborvitae) is a native to New Jersey, these people should at least have a good handle on it. On that same list will be nurseries selling native plants; you could check prices there. Beyond that, we can only tell you to shop around, check the quality of the plants that are being sold, and good luck!

 

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