How do you create plant schedules on AutoCad plans?

Landscape Architecture for Landscape Architects Forums TECHNOLOGY How do you create plant schedules on AutoCad plans?

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    Andrew Garulay, RLA

    I have to bite. What is Bomarzo?

    The photo is formated for use as an avatar that I use elsewhere as well. It had to be formatted to that size for a different website.

    Thomas J. Johnson

    It’s a place in Italy…

    Andrew Garulay, RLA

    What has it to do with my photo?

    Hey, I apologize about the unemployment thing and the abrassiveness comment. I just got a bit tweaked that you entered the thread saying that I should be fired for not using a table for plant schedules. Maybe that was humor, but it seemed a little harsh.

    Rick Spalenka

    Way to go Jason. I like your KISS philosophy. Circles are what was used for years and all these different graphic symbols make the drawing look childish when you are using a plan to plant shrubs. I use to own a landscape construction company and if I had to translate some symbol or abbreviation each time I wanted to locate a plant I would go nuts. On the drawing – X marks the spot and what is X? If your site is so large that the plant symbols are too small to read break up the drawing into different scales to accommodate identifying the X. Reminds me of the story of NASA spending thousands of dollars to develop a pen to use in space, no gravity. The Soviets used a pencil.

    Also I hate CAD programs that have a plant data base where when you want to locate a new plant on the drawing you have to decide what plant name you are going to use first. I just use symbols and identify that plant based on design intent and availability. Many many plants do the same thing. I think it’s crazy when a designer insists on using Supershrub hybid super color when that plant may only be good for 10-15 years and have to be replaced. A good design has longevity.

    Plant schedules are good getting the planting plans approved, for bidding jobs, purchasing plants and getting the plants to the job site but not for getting the plants into the ground. I think the only reason they are on a planting plan is so some jerk in a local jurisdiction can put a stamp of approval on your drawing. Our local development plans have to be stamped by a guy who doesn’t know a hackberry from a London Plane tree but has the POWER. If he doesn’t like your plant selection he can hold up the approval.

    Lynn Wilhelm

    Hi Rick,
    While I agree with you about well labelled plans for field use (and for presentations–well pretty much all the time) I can really appreciate individual plant symbols. Even when reading a plan in the field, identifiable plant symbols are really helpful. It’s really easy to determine what goes where, with only one glance at the label for a symbol. Layouts go faster than with plain circles.

    I carefully choose plants for plans and don’t appreciate substitiutions without permission. I have a good reason for almost every plant in a plan. There’s a big difference between an Otto Luyken Laurel and a Schip Laurel, or an Autumn Cheer Encore Azalea or an Autumn Sunset. Abelia Rose Creek is very different from any other Abelia, a Waterfall Japanese Maple is very different from a Seiryu Japanese Maple and so on. I always check availability of plants when working on a plan, it comes from working design-build. I know plant availability can change and a phone call or email is all it takes to discuss changes. In my experience, what some people think is a suitable substitution differs from what I think would be.
    That said, I have seen many planting plans that leave a lot to be desired, with plants that grow 6′ high to grow in front of a window 3′ off the ground. I’m not perfect, but I try to put the right plant in the right place. As long as the person attempting to make the substitute can tell me why that’s a better choice, I will concede, if they can’t I may ask them to look harder for the correct plant or try another choice.

    Meg Gaffney

    Late on this, but a little note. I really appreciate this conversation as I will be trying some different ways to schedule… My comment is simply about counting. -As you’ve mentioned, bcount can be risky if you aren’t well purged. And though I am not super-controlling of my block attributes, I am with the layers where they are placed.

    When labeling I isolate the layer, then select the blocks in question and delete them at which time AC tells me how many items it just deleted. Undo and move to the next group. It can really go pretty fast and let you grab specific groups on a big drawing with many plants.

    For my schedule, I print and tally up my labels manually. It forces me to spend the time needed to visually comb for editing.

    Lynn Wilhelm

    That’s an interesting idea, Meg.
    I also like to count/edit manually for totals. A red marker really helps. The weird thing for me is that I can no longer print larger than 11 x 17 at my office. I’ve outsourced to FedEx. It just takes getting used to printing smaller–or maybe in sections. (I do save paper and ink!) I always have a “draft” layout for in-office printing. Big plans can be tough, but doable.
    To save more paper and ink, I’ll try any online technique.


    I am still am on AC 2006, but I have been using a block for my planting schedules for a long time. I have a legend line block that is full of attributes so when I edit my attribute (DDATTE) I have a window pop up with Botanical Name, Common Name, Size, Qty, Water Use, Plant Factor, and Comments. (I am in California, so the new MWELO requirements have us put water use and plant factors on our legends.) I then copy them down to create my legend.
    I keep two legends, one for horizontal and one for vertical applications depending on what my plan view port looks like for that particular project. As a part of my legend, I have a no-plot layer that shows the block name that I am using. I also have a plant library that has 50+ tree blocks 50+ shrub blocks and 10+ vine blocks which are labeled separately with their own numbers (ie. plnt055, tr_015, or vine_001). This way I can BCOUNT the plan and type in my quantities easily.

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