Measure the shrub quantity by using Auto Cad ?

Landscape Architecture for Landscape Architects Forums TECHNOLOGY Measure the shrub quantity by using Auto Cad ?

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    Hi everyone , and happy holidays 🙂

    I heard that there is a fast way to measure the quantity of a shrub in a planter by inserting the number of plant per meter in CAD ( somewhere ? ) and it will get multiplied by the area of the planter by one click and the result is there .

    I thought I could ask here maybe someone knows how ?

    Thank you and Kind regards .

    Andrew Garulay, RLA

    You can easily get the square footage of an area by using the “properties” command and clicking on either a closed polygon or a hatched area. I leave the “properties window” docked and open on the side at all times. You can click on several hatches and the cumulative area will be displayed at the bottom of the pane. You’ll have to do the math to get the number of plants, though.


    There may be a better way, but that is what I do.


    I keep an excel spreadsheet with formulas built in for calculating numbers of plants based on spacing to speed things up. Cut and paste in the SF and the number of plants shows up in another column. Cut and paste it into your plant schedule. You barely have to move if you have a good mouse with programable buttons. I use a Logitech Anywhere MX mouse.


    For triangular spacing, here is the formula i use in excel 

    plant area / (plant spacing * (plant spacing * 0.86)) where the 0.86 is the height of an equilateral triangle to its base – the distance between rows

    Your variables are A1 and A2, and A3 is the formula above

    A1 =plant spacing variable

    A2 =planting area variable

    A3 =A2/(A1*(A1*0.86))

    So, plants at 1.5m on center in a 40 sq meter bed = 21.

    If drawn in cad, 19 plants would fit, with space left over that still needs to be covered.  The formula figures out the empty space, and tells you that you need 2 more plants in the bed.  In the end, it’s up to the contractor to figure out the layout.

    If anybody sees an error in the math, let me know.

    In cad, hatches are the easiest way to mark up a planting area.  I always put closed polyline hatch boundaries on a separate nonprinting layer from the planting hatches and what ever linework is used to note the edge of the planter.

    Wes Arola, RLA

    I’ll buy anyone a beer who writes a lisp that populates a closed polyline (organic shapes) with triangularly spaced plant blocks…

    Toby’s approach above is the most automated way I know of to get counts based on area. The key is to setup your excel file as a tool.

    Alan Ray, RLA

    toby, thanks but is there an american translation?

    Andrew Garulay, RLA

    One way is to offset 2 blocksby one row spacing and one column spacing and then array the two together off to the side. Copy your polygon over the array and erase what is outside of the polygon. Use “copy with base point using a corver of the polygon as your base point and then paste the it in on the same point on the origanal polygon.


    That is what I do for cobblestone aprons.


    go ask for such a lisp at

    there are some seriously talented lisp writers to be found on that site.

    The reason I would use something like the formula is when I have to calc out huge planting areas.  And it’s a cya for me.  It’s up to the contractor to make it work.


    The formula works for what ever measurement system you use.

    OC spacing in feet, planting area in sq feet.  always express feet in decimal form.

    OC spacing in meters, planting area in sq meters

    Also, since I use this for large areas that are sloped – sometimes upwards 2 to 1 – I have a bunch of formulas below the A3 cell for slopes 1:10 through 1:1.  The key is to convert the slope to a percentage and then multiply that to the original flat ground total.

    10′ oc Acacia redolens ‘Lowboy’, planting area is cad measured at 5756 sf ft, is 67 plants.  But when the planting area is a 1:4 slope (112%) the contractor should be able to put in 75 plants.  The reasoning is that nobody measures flat on a slope.

    I would post the excel file, except I cannot figure out how to delete the ownership part.

    Sara Kirk

    This is just one of the reasons I miss using Vectorworks….you could set it up a lot of ways to calculate plants for you. 🙂


    Wow , thank you everyone for the informations , I will try all what is been suggested .

    Kind Regards .

    Jeremiah Farmer

    That formula is going to leave you with quantities about 10% higher than reality.

    The issue is, it’s a true triangular spacing.  So every other row of plants is offset, right?

    Well imagine a perfect square planter — along the left and right edge, you are counting half-plants on every other row.

    What we did to tweak our formula, was to create a bunch of various shaped beds, and then fill with a shrub at exact spacing.  We then compared that count to the count from our formula.

    And we ended up finding that the 0.8666 divisor, although correct in a purely mathematical sense, was making the quantities too high.  Yet leaving it out, at Square spacing, was still too low, on average by about 5%.

    So we ended up splitting the difference, at roughly 5% higher than Square, and about 10% less than Triangular.  And of course don’t forget rounding up to the nearest whole number!


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