2012 in review


The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 2,200 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 4 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Landscape Projects


Landscaping Makeover!With Fall well underway, I’m sure you can’t help but daydream about your yard and how it can be improved for this upcoming Spring and Summer!

For some great ideas, visit our Portfolio page!

Contact Us if you have any questions!

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Get the Most out of Rain!


Rain Barrels

A great tip for saving money and helping your greenery at the same time is to funnel your rainwater into a barrel.  The cost for a rain barrel is not very expensive, and you should be able to get one at almost any hardware store from between $40-$150, depending on the size and quality.

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Fall is the Time to Save Your Trees!


Help your trees this Fall!

Fall is an ideal time for trunk injection treatments!

  • Cooler weather generally means quicker uptake
  • Cooler weather also means a larger treatment window– no need to inject only in the morning
  • Most treatments will protect into the spring and beyond
  • Many insects, diseases, and nutrient deficiencies are doing damage now– don’t delay!

Contact us today for a service quote!

– Taken from Arborjet.com

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Dry Conditions & Turf Dormancy


Here are some good tips from UMass —

ImageResponsible irrigation is the rule. This is a great time to assess the performance of irrigation systems, as the turf will quickly tell the story of any issues with coverage or output. When circumstances permit, however, dormancy of well-established and otherwise healthy turf can lead to savings of time, labor and management resources if approached properly. If dormancy is allowable, remember these important points for managing dormant turf:

• If you opt for dormancy, commit to it. Avoid irrigation unless adequate and consistent evapotranspiration (ET) replacement can be achieved. Irregular and insufficient irrigation during dormancy can actually further deplete valuable carbohydrate reserves and negatively impact later recovery. If dormancy persists for an extended period (perhaps 45+ days depending on turf species, soil, etc), however, reduced recovery can be expected.

• Restrict traffic on dormant turf to the lowest possible level. The turfgrass shoots that die back when dormancy progresses are not able to adequately cushion and protect the critical meristems that will ultimately facilitate re-growth and recovery.

• Mow only when absolutely necessary. If a mowing event is needed, avoid mowing during the hottest part of the day (this benefits the turf as well as the operator).

For full UMass article, visit: http://extension.umass.edu/turfmanagement-updates/dry-conditions-turf-dormancy

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Green Roof Demand Growing Leaps And Bounds


Industry grows 115% in 2011, and the 16 million square feet of green roof space installed in 2011 has only begun to scratch the surface.

Article from: http://www.greenindustrypros.com

Green roofs have been steadily gaining in popularity since 2004. The biggest jump happened just last year when the North American green roof industry grew by an estimated 115%, according to a study by Green Roofs for Healthy Cities.

It’s estimated that at least 16 million square feet of green roof space was installed in 2011. Just 4.3 million square feet was installed in 2009.

There is a fairly even split between private and public green roof installation.
Future growth.

Green Roofs for Healthy Cities says the future growth potential for green roofs is enormous.

There are billions of rooftop square feet in North America that present opportunity for green roof installation.

There are numerous large metro markets that have yet to establish policies and/or incentives to encourage green roof installation.

The Green Roof Professional (GRP) accreditation program is also becoming more popular. There are more than 500 GRPs across North America today. This high level of education and discipline helps bolster consumer confidence in green roofs.
Benefits of green roofs.

According to Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, there are numerous environmental benefits to having a green roof system on your building:

  • Stormwater management
  • Increase of biodiversity
  • Moderation of urban head island effect
  • Improvement of air quality
  • Improvement of aesthetics in the public realm
  • Addition of new amenity spaces
  • Local job creation

Article from: http://www.greenindustrypros.com

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Alternative Pesticide Services



Trunk Injection Advantage
Trunk injection is the most effective alternative to spraying or soil applying pesticides for tree insect or pest control. Arborjet trunk injection equipment injects formulations directly inside trees. With over 10 years of research and development, our trunk injection systems and formulations are proven to give the best results when protecting trees from pests.

Simple & Quick
The Arborjet drill-plug-inject method is easy to learn and application is quick. The Arborjet trunk injection system is a perfect fit for the do-it-yourselfer but is best applied by a professional, especially for more serious problems.

Eco-Friendly
Unlike spraying or soil applications, Arborjet’s system injects directly into the tree, limiting any impact to your family, the applicator, and the environment around you.

Cost Effective
Equipment & formulation costs are much less costly than they use to be. Service providers can offer a program that is valuable to the homeowner and still very profitable for them.

Trunk Injection Facts
View the Trunk Injection fact sheet: Click Here.

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Landscaping as an investment in your home


Smart Money magazine notes in the March 2003 issue that spending 5 percent of the total value of your home on landscaping, and doing it wisely, you can add 15 percent or more to the value of your home.

A Clemson University study found that landscaping can result in more than a 100% return on investment. The report concluded that “Homeowners wanting to increase the value of their property will do well to consider the cost-effective, return potential of quality landscaping, and to safeguard their investments by hiring licensed, professional landscape contractors to perform the work.” The return on investment is contingent upon the quality of the landscape installation. This study also found that consumers value a landscaped home up to 11.3% higher than its base price.

95% of respondents to a Society of Real Estate Appraisers survey said that landscaping adds to the dollar value of residential real estate, while 99% of them said it enhanced the sales appeal of residential real estate.

According to Money magazine (May 2003), spending on landscape design and installation has more than tripled in the past five years, as it offers the best return on investment of any home improvement. Smart homeowners are hiring landscape architects to help them realize their dreams. Think about what you want and how you will use your landscape. Formal entertaining, herb gardens, and children’s playgrounds are all possibilities. Don’t limit yourself to plants and trees; maybe you would like a fence, a fountain, a deck, a patio, or other outdoor element. Make a realistic budget. One rule of thumb is to invest 5 to 10 percent of your house’s worth. If this seems steep, consider that appropriate landscape improvements are estimated to return 100 to 200 percent of their cost when a house is sold. According to the Money magazine story on home renovations, “not all improvements will increase the value of a house by the amount they cost to perform.” Landscaping, however, according to their research, has a recovery value of 100% to 200%, “if it is well done and harmonizes with foliage nearby.” This compares to a recovery value of 75-125% for a kitchen remodel, 80-120% for a bathroom, and 20-50% for a swimming pool.

The Florida Nursery Growers & Landscape Association researched and compiled the following statistics: Landscaping can increase the resale value of a property by as much as 14% and speed up the sale of a property by as much as six weeks. A landscaped patio can raise property value by 12.4%, a landscaped curb by 4.4% and hedges can add 3.6%. 5% of a home’s value invested in low-maintenance, quality landscaping can increase resale value by as much as 15%, earning a return of 150% or more on the original landscape budget. When plants are properly selected and placed the results can come in lowering heating and cooling cost by as much as 20%.

According to the Guide for Plant Appraisal, published by the International Society of Arboriculture, homes with nice landscaping are likely to see sale prices that are 4 percent to 5 percent higher compared to similar properties in the neighborhood. Homes with landscapes that are not as nice as others in the neighborhood could see sales prices that are 8 percent to 10 percent lower. Eighty-four percent of the real estate agents interviewed for the study said a house with trees would be as much as 20 percent more salable than a house without trees. A popular landscape trade magazine notes that “a mature tree can have an appraised value of $1,000 to $10,000.

According to the American Nursery & Landscape Association, an improved landscape can increase the value of a homeowner’s property value by 7 percent to 14 percent. The association’s study also revealed that such improvements could accelerate the sale of a home by five to six weeks.

According to a Gallup poll, homeowners polled feel that landscaping “adds almost 15% to the value of their property and that landscaping is an investment with lasting value.” According to this poll, 95% of residential homeowners believe that good landscaping adds value to their homes; 86% of commercial property owners feel the same about their commercial properties.

In The Value of Landscaping, homes with nice landscaping are likely to see sale prices that are 4 percent to 5 percent higher compared to similar properties in the neighborhood. The general rule of thumb is that you get back 100 percent to 200 percent of what you invest in landscaping when you sell your home.

Remember you are not only be paid for the service you provide, but also building your clients home value! Never apologize for offering a fair price for good quality work.

– Content from Breezy Hill Nursery

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Checklist: Winter Yard Work


By Author Kathy Maynard from ServiceMagic.com:

Landscape and yardwork are usually the last thing on the minds of most homeowners in the dead of winter. But this is actually the ideal time to renovate the lawn and eliminate the brown spots and crab grass left over from last summer.

 Lawn renovation

A lawn renovation starts with a thorough raking to open the ground and expose the soil so new seeds can germinate. Next, level the lawn by covering the lowest areas with new soil. Then, reseed the entire lawn if necessary, or simply patch certain areas as required.

To ensure germination, add a good fertilizer and cover the seeds with humus to protect them from hungry birds. Then wait about three or four weeks for the seeds to pop.

An advantage to doing this in the winter is that nature provides enough water to germinate the seeds, whereas it is necessary to sprinkle the areas during other times of the year.

 Crab grass

At this time of year your grass is full of millions of crab grass seeds waiting to sprout in the spring. Therefore, you want to be ready to spray with a pre-emergent about the last week of February, just before the temperature starts to warm up.

However, you don’t want to apply pre-emergent any earlier than February, as it would kill new seeds that you have planted. Also, the chemicals are not be as effective in the cold weather.

Also, remember that you cannot apply pre-emergent yourself because it is a hazardous chemical which by law must be applied by licensed professionals.

 Pruning

Now is the time to begin pruning your trees, and don’t forget about your roses, too. In order to improve the production of both fruit trees and rose bushes, you must prune before they start to bud.

You shold also cut back overgrown bushes and trim non-fruit trees before they start to grow again.

Professional pruning consists of:

  • Clean from the inside out, removing crossing branches.
  • Thin branches so they will not become too heavy with fruit. Quality is more important than quantity.
  • Don’t forget to spray your fruit trees with dormant oil. You should apply dormant spray three times: around Thanksgiving, around Christmas, and the third application should come after pruning.

 Flower beds

Now is a great time to clean out the flower beds, removing the fallen leaves and blossoms to avoid potential fungus and molds from growing.

 Planting

Plant bare-root trees and roses before spring arrives. Now is when you will get the very best prices possible on new trees and bushes for your landscape.

 Contact landscape professionals

Finally, winter is the ideal time to contact a landscape contractor about updating, remodeling, or totally reinstalling your yard.

Homeowners typically wait until spring to make their initial calls, only to find that most quality landscapers are busy and even scheduled ahead by March. Plan ahead to get your best service and prices of the year.
Read more: http://www.servicemagic.com/article.show.Checklist-Winter-Yard-Work.8618.html#ixzz1nBETTAQC

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How to Cultivate and Maintain a Great Lawn


Having and maintaining a great lawn is easier than you may think.  Check out the steps below for a guideline to keep your yard looking it best!

  1. MOW YOUR LAWN AT YOUR MOWER’S HIGHEST SETTING – By keeping your grass tall, it keeps it healthy.  Tall, thick grass helps choke out week seeds.  Tall grass also shades the soil better, keeping it cool and moist, which improves the root penetration, allowing the grass to last in times of drought.
  2. DON’T FERTILIZE YOUR LAWN CONTINUALLY – Fertilizing your grass once in the Fall, or twice (Fall & Spring) is best.  Fertilizing your yard more than twice causes the grass to grow rapidly, making it more susceptible to disease.
  3. WATER YOUR LAWN DEEPLY, NOT FREQUENTLY – What we mean by this is that it is better for you to water your lawn once a week for an hour, than to water your lawn every day for 10 minutes.  Watering longer causes the soil beneath the roots of your grass to moisten, allowing the roots to go down further, which creates more resilient grass.
  4. DO NOT APPLY PESTICIDES, FUNGICIDES OR INSECTICIDES – If you follow the first 3 steps, your grass should not need any of the chemical substances.  Some of the insects that patrol your lawn actually work to keep it healthier.  If your grass is healthy (follow Steps 1-3 to get it there), it will be thick and tough enough to withstand any insect attacks.

Landscape Associates Crew

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