5 Steps for Handling Snow Damaged Trees

For many of us, snowy conditions can lead to potentially hazardous situations. One of the harmful conditions that commercial landscape property owners constantly have to deal with is snow-damaged trees. Snowstorms often create wet, heavy snow and the snow’s weight can cause considerable damage to a property’s trees and shrubs. Knowing how to react or prepare, can help minimize damages. Here are five tips for handling snow damaged trees and shrubs:

Assess the area.

Before clearing branches, make sure the surrounding area is safe. Broken tree branches often affect and damage utility lines. Be sure to take the proper steps to ensure the situation is safe – this could mean cutting the power to those lines until clean up can be handled.

Check the damage.

Trees and shrubs that bend under the weight of the snow will recover. If a tree is overall healthy and possess its main branch, most of its major limbs, and 50 percent or more of its crown (top branches), then the tree has good chances of making a full recovery.

Be patient.

During a snowstorm, or the days immediately following, there is little that you can do to help a tree. Remove any hazards and broken branches, but save major decisions for later. Concentrate on how to save the tree rather than making an impulse decision to chop it down.

Do not over prune.

Remove and prune the damaged parts of the tree. The tree might look uneven for a time however know that new foliage will soon cover up the bare areas.

Seek help.

If the job requires a chainsaw or ladder or is just too much to handle, contact an insured, certified, commercial company. They will be better equipped to access the situation and help with the cleanup.

It is not too late to get help with your snow removal needs. Send us a note or give us a call and we will get back to you with a proposal and estimate for how we can help you.
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5 Plants to Brighten Up Your Property This Winter

For many of us there is no avoiding the upcoming snow and ice this season. Because of this, choosing lively plants that can thrive through the winter months is a great way to bring some life to your commercial landscape property. Below are five of our recommendations:

 

dogwoodRed Twig Dogwood

The fire red colors of this fun shrub provides a unique pop to any commercial landscape property, especially through the winter. During these months, the Red Twig Dogwood drops it’s leaves which in turn exposes the shrubs incredible, bright red bark. Red Twig Dogwood are exceptionally adaptable and are known to thrive both in the cold and hot extremes.

Spruce
Colorado Blue Spruce

A popular evergreen tree, the Colorado Blue Spruce, gives off a silvery- blue hue and is a perfect way to add a lush feel during these cold, snowy months. Colorado Blue Spruce trees can grow to about 30 to 50 feet high, however they only are 10 to 20 feet wide. In addition to that, birds love these kinds of trees! That being said more color will be added as the birds fly in and out of your commercial landscape property.

Juniper
Golden Pacific Juniper

This low growing evergreen juniper grows to 10 to 15 inches tall and is great for any ground cover or for cascading over a wall. Golden Pacific Juniper stands out in the winter months by giving a yellowish, golden look that really comes through. On top of that it is a very low maintenance, durable plant, being both resistant to deer and insects.

Camellia
Winter Camellia

Adding a Winter Camellia might be just what your property needs for that extra spark during the dull winter months. Known for being a winter bloomer, this beautiful shrub surely is a treat for any commercial landscape property. The Winter Camellia produces flowers that range in color from pure white to soft pink to a dark red.

Reed grass
Feather Reed Grass

This persistent grouping of ornamental grass, holds its grain heads well into the winter. Feather Reed Grass grows to be 3 to 5 feet tall and the grain heads at the top will add a golden hue to your property. An added perk is that Feather Reed Grass is an extremely versatile plant. Due to that, it can be found in many locations in the U.S.

Benefits of Native Grass on Commercial Properties

As a property owner, the sustainability of the landscape is essential in not only saving money, but also providing a lasting impact on the environment. One factor that you might not have considered when thinking about sustainability is planting native grass. The word “native” means that the plant is indigenous to the area and can thrive without human contributions such as fertilizers and other lawn care treatments. Along with that native grass has many other benefits to a commercial landscape property, below are a few of those benefits.

  1. Reduces heat

    Lawns reduce environmental heating through cooling evaporation. On sunny days, air temperatures over lawns stay 10 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than air over asphalt or concrete. The resulting cooler air temperature means lower cooling costs for your building.

  2. Curb appeal

    Native grassGreen spaces make your property more attractive and increase its value. On average, buyers are willing to pay 11 percent more than asking price for a well-landscaped property. On top of that, customers spend more time and money when businesses have attractive landscaping. Adding grass to your property not only attracts customers, it also makes a commercial landscape property more attractive to potential employers and decreases turnover.

  3. Stress reduction

    Many studies prove that exposure to natural greenery reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, reduces muscle tension, improves attention and increases feelings of happiness. People who work in an environment with a view of nature have been found to recover from stress more quickly and experience less job pressure and greater job satisfaction. Exposure to nature has even been shown to increase work productivity. An investment in green space is a positive investment in your company.

  4. Reduces soil erosion

    To protect against wind and water, grass has an extensive root system that locks soil in place. A single grass plant can have up to 300 miles of erosion-controlling roots. Gardens and other types on landscapes can experience up to 600 times more erosion than natural lawns, meaning more money shelled out by property owner’s for maintenance.

  5. Purifies air and improves air quality

    Approximately 12 million tons of impurities are absorbed from the air by turf grass each year. One these impurities is the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. U.S. lawns alone capture an estimated 5% of the atmosphere’s carbon dioxide annually. Grass absorbs these impurities and moves them to the root zone where soil microbes help break down pollutants. Growing natural grass on your commercial property is a great way to decrease your business’s carbon footprint.

  6. Produces oxygen

    Grass is a living organism, meaning it takes in carbon dioxide and releases oxygen into the atmosphere. A lawn measuring 2,500 square feet generates enough oxygen to meet the daily needs of a family of four.

Contact the experts at Terracare Associates for your commercial landscaping needs today.

Fall Tree Pruning and Planting

Fall is a great time to plant and prune your trees. The months of cool fall and winter temperatures give newly planted trees and shrubs time to establish their roots before the hot summer weather returns.

Fall Tree Pruning

The goal of fall tree pruning is to improve the growing conditions for the next year’s growing season. After the spring and summer growing seasons, overgrown branches and limbs can cause damage to your property. Removing damaged or diseased limbs will not only contribute to the overall health of the tree, it will also help prevent falling tree limbs. Trees should be pruned to allow “room” for sunlight and breezes to naturally flow through. When done properly, pruning allows more light to shine through the branches and reduces the need for pesticides.

Fall Tree Planting

Did you know that tree roots will grow when the temperature is above 40 degrees? That means tree roots can continue growing during the milder fall and winter weather. This gives them the time to gain the strength they need to deal with hot summers.

Choosing the Right Tree for Your Property

TreeConsult with a professional landscaper before deciding which trees and shrubs to plant. A knowledgeable landscape professional can help you select the right plants for your property by helping you answer these questions:

  • What type of tree do you want or need?

  • Do you want an ornamental tree with colorful flowers and foliage or would a shade tree be a better fit for your property?

  • What size tree will fit in the desired area? Consider the mature height and width of the tree and if it will work in your landscape.

  • Pay specific attention to the soil conditions, light and water requirements of the tree or shrub.

Terracare Associates specializes in landscape maintenance for commercial properties throughout the western United States. We manage the landscapes of hundreds of retail sites, homeowner associations, multi-family complexes, industrial projects, hotels, municipalities and commercial office campuses.

The 6 Step Quick Guide to Brush Management

According to WX Shift, “since 1970 the annual average number of wildfires larger than 1,000 acres has more than double in the western U.S. The typical wildfire season has also stretched by about two and a half months longer over that time.” With years of drought and hotter temperatures stretching into the fall months throughout most of the western U.S., vegetation flammability has increased making wildfires a concern for many municipalities, HOAs and commercial properties. To help curb these concerns, brush management should be an integral part of every landscaping plan.

 

The USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service defines brush management as “the management or removal of woody (non herbaceous or succulent) plants including those that are invasive or noxious.” Brush management is applied to accomplish many results including reducing fire hazards around structures, helping firefights protect life and property when fires breakout, restoring natural vegetation cover to protect from erosion and more. In the west, many cities, municipalities and counties have established guidelines and rules for managing brush and reducing fire risk. Here are steps to follow when examining and executing brush management:

 

Step 1: Plan and identify what plants, trees and areas need brush management.

Step 2: Clear as much loose dead wood and invasive species as you can within the area. This will help you see what other plants and trees need care and pruning.

Step 3: Thin the plants and trees in the area. Start by trimming down plants over two feet in height to a height of six inches. This ensures two aspects: the roots remain intact to help minimize soil erosion. Depending on where you are in the country, thinning can be prioritized differently so check with your local county to learn what thinning should be done.

Step 4: Prune all plants or groups of plants that remain after the thinning process. Depending on the type of plant, the “umbrella” shape should be applied where possible. This means pruning lower branches to create umbrella-shaped canopies.

Step 5: Dispose of the cuttings and dead wood properly by either chipping wood to return to your property or by carting it to a landfill.

Step 6: Continue to monitor plants, thinning and pruning annually since plants grow back.

 

Need help making sure your property is ready for fire season? Send us a note and we’ll work to help you find a custom solution for your property.