Cities and Municipalities Prepare for Winter Storms

Snow plow winter storms

Winter storms can be a challenge for those drivers trying to maneuver the roads.  Municipal public works departments are preparing for the storms 24/7 to ensure public safety.   Continue reading “Cities and Municipalities Prepare for Winter Storms”

Landscape Preservation: What Is Integrated Pest Management?

integrated pest management plants

What is the value of the trees and shrubs on your property? What about the other plants and turf? No doubt there is not much room in your landscaping budget to spend thousands of dollars to replace dead or damaged plants and tree. That is why Terracare Associations has created our Landscape Preservation Program.

What is Landscape Preservation?

Landscape Preservation refers to the landscape care and health of important outdoor assets such as trees, shrubs, and turf on your commercial property.  Replacing high dollar landscape assets can be avoided with ongoing, year-round TLC.  A common way to refer to preserving your landscape assets is,  Integrated Pest Management.  According to the EPA (Environment Protection Agency) “Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is an effective and environmentally sensitive approach to pest management that relies on a combination of common-sense practices.”

Landscape Preservation and plant health care (PHC) use current, comprehensive information on the life cycles of pests and plants to create a fine-tuned program for your property. This program, in combination with available pest control methods, is used to keep your plants and trees healthy as well as manage pest damage with the least possible hazard to people, property, and the environment.

The Three Key Benefits of Landscape Preservation

The goal of Landscape Preservation is to keep your plants and trees healthy. We believe that healthy tree is a happy tree. The same goes for shrubs and other plants.

Healthy plants are better able to fight off insects, disease and other pests. By regularly inspecting plants and trees on your property, we are able to take the needed steps to keep your trees and plants healthy.

Proper feeding and watering throughout the year eliminates many pest problems. By strengthening and stabilizing the landscape, we can create the proper balance of conditions that are more favorable for plants than for pests.

At TCA, we often recommend this program to larger commercial properties, especially those who are concerned with LEED Certification and an eco-friendly approach to pest management.

  • On large, commercial properties, where hand-pulling weeds is neither practical nor cost efficient.
  • By monitoring, preventing and controlling damaging pests you can reduce your use of chemicals that can harm the environment and save money.
  • Landscape Preservation gives you greater knowledge of pest activity on your property.

Creating a Customized Landscape Preservation Program

  1. Inspecting and Monitoring

A trained landscape professional will regularly monitor your property for signs of harmful pest infestation. While insects are a common problem, they are not the only problem that should be monitored. We watch for early signs of plant/tree diseases and weeds in turf areas and floral beds.

The sighting of a few insects does not necessarily pose a threat to the plants on your property. Keep in mind, not all insects require control. Many are not harmful, in fact, some are even beneficial. For instance, lady bugs eat aphids and certain wasp species that feed on web worms. These are just a few of the insects you should welcome.

Each Landscape Preservation Program is customized for a specific property. This is not a one size fits all program. We understand that plant care and pests control varies from region to region.

What is needed in North Texas can be different even in other parts of the state. The same is true in California, Utah, and Colorado, That is why we take a personalized view of each property. To fully understand the needs of your property, we may need to take soil samples or examine the water table.

2. Prevention

Implementing proper maintenance and plant care techniques will go a long way in preventing many of the pests common to your area.

Mowing turf areas at the highest setting for your grass type promotes deeper roots, preventing water loss. Taller grass also cools the soil and reduces heat stress in summer. Proper watering will ensure that the grass stays healthy. Frequent watering encourages shallow and weak root systems.

Performing a soil test to determine its pH levels will help prevent you from overusing fertilizer. Improper use of fertilizer promotes weed growth and makes plants more susceptible to disease.

3. Control

Landscape Preservation emphasizes non-chemical and biological methods of plant health and pest control. However, when chemical control is called for, it is important to choose the least toxic methods.

Various methods are used to control pest problems. Cultural control methods, such as mulching beds and other areas, help to control weeds. Mechanical control employs the use of devices, such as traps for rodents and insects.

Is your property ready for winter? Contact Terracare Associates to find out how you can protect and preservation the beauty and health of the plants on your property.

This is part 3 of a 3 part series on the benefits of winterizing and preserving your landscape:

Part 1: The Importance of Winterizing Your Landscape

Part 2: Why Your Property Need a Winter Watering Program

Part 3: Landscape Preservation: How Integrated Pest Management Can Save You Money


Terracare Associates [TCA] is a recognized leader in outdoor maintenance in the Western United States – with 30 years of experience. During all seasons, our certified and experienced staff improves landscapes, parks, roadways and infrastructure for beautiful, safe and sustainable outdoor environments.

For more information about Integrated Pest Management:

Why Your Property Needs a Winter Watering Program

Winter watering program
Winter Rose by Dave Shea

Since deciduous trees and many perennial plants become dormant for the winter, you might think that most of your landscape maintenance is done for the year. But winter is the time when you have to prepare your trees and other plants for spring through a winter watering program.

Replacing trees and other plants damaged or killed by harsh winter weather can be prevented or greatly minimized with a winter landscape plan. Failing to properly winterize your property may result in a costly plant replacement in the spring. Here are a few reasons why you need a winter watering program your landscape:

The Importance of Winter Watering

Trees and shrubs that have suffered under tight watering restrictions during the summer, may become even more stressed in late fall when your irrigation system is shut down for the winter.

To remain a healthy root system, most trees need 10 gallons of water per diameter inch of trunk per month. Additionally, shrubs need 3-5 gallons of water per month depending on size, age and type.

For instance, in Colorado, with its windy, dry climate and low moisture it is very important to winter water trees and shrubs for a deep root feeding. In the Rocky Mountain region, even though snow generally is plentiful, it takes at least 10-20 inches of snow to equal one inch of water.

As a guideline, Colorado State University recommends regular monthly winter watering from October to March. Our certified arborist, Pete Evers recommends to a depth of 12 inches, underneath the branches within the circle bounded by the drip line.

Watering once per month will help with winter desiccation. Evergreens lose moisture on sunny winter days. If the soil doesn’t contain enough moisture to replace the loss, needles–starting from the outside and moving inward–dry out and turn brown. Sometimes, however, the soil is moist but the roots can’t absorb it. The ground might be frozen or the roots damaged.

Winter Desiccation in Evergreen Tree and Shrubs

In much of Colorado, winters can have extended warm, dry, windy spells. Warm winters cause winter drought. This puts your trees and shrubs at risk from dry winters. Recent transplants, evergreens and shallow rooted species such as lindens, birches, and Norway and silver maples are prone to winter desiccation, and need adequate moisture even during winter.

Benefits of adding Yucca extract to landscape water

Yucca plants are great at attracting and holding water in the soil. Yucca is high in a natural wetting agents called saponins, a steroidal-based natural chemicals that actually make water wetter, breaking the polarity of the water molecule.

At TCA, we will add yucca extracts to our water. This allows the water to penetrate deeper into the soil and to effectively spread throughout the root system. Since the water is dispersed more evenly in the root zone, your plants will be able to use water more efficiently, and should be able to go longer between irrigation cycles without adverse effects on the plant.

Is your property ready for winter? Contact Terracare Associates to find out how you protect and preservation the beauty and health of the plants on your property.

This is part 2 of a 3 part series on the benefits of winterizing and preserving your landscape:

Part 1: The Importance of Winterizing Your Landscape
Part 2: Why Your Property Need a Winter Watering Program
Part 3: Landscape Preservation: How Integrated Pest Management Can Save You Money

Terracare Associates [TCA] is a recognized leader in outdoor maintenance in the Western United States – with 30 years of experience. During all seasons, our certified and experienced staff improves landscapes, parks, roadways and infrastructure for beautiful, safe and sustainable outdoor environments.

Partnering to Keep Road Safety a Priority


traffic560By Steve Bertasso – Operations Manager, Utah

Road safety starts with you.  Road maintenance companies go to great lengths to make sure the road is safe for you during construction.  Car and truck construction crashes are many times caused by auto drivers not paying attention or are too impatient to slow down.  Sharing the road with large vehicles can be dangerous if you are not aware of their limitations. Continue reading “Partnering to Keep Road Safety a Priority”

Public-Private Partnerships For Public Works

City of Centennial public worksPublic-private partnerships are a way for governments to collaborate with the private sector to share the risks and rewards involved in the construction and maintenance of public infrastructure projects. To ensure a lean government and outstanding service, cities often embraced public-private partnerships. This is what the City of Centennial did.

The City of Centennial is located just south of Denver city limits with 107,000 residents.  The city was formed in 2000 through high citizen engagement resulting in the largest incorporated city in U.S. history at the time.
Continue reading “Public-Private Partnerships For Public Works”

3 Essential Ingredients to a Great Business Partnership

What is a partnership? Defined by Wikipedia as: “An arrangement where parties, known as partners, agree to cooperate to advance their mutual interests.” Partnerships

A partnership could be focused on individuals, as in a marriage, friends, or teammates.  For example, in our family we recently adopted two adorable puppies who work together to solve problems. Sometimes one stays awake while the other is checking out what is happening, our dogs are working together in partnership toward a common goal – FOOD!

Partnerships are also incredibly important in business. In B2B relationships especially, developing a long-lasting relationship with customers, vendors, employees, and your community is so important when striving for a valuable business partnership.

There are 3 essential ingredients to a great business partnership:

1.  Great communication

Success in business is greatly impacted, for better or worse, by the way we communicate. Effective business communication contains terminology, technical information, as well as providing instructions that can be easily understood by your audience and through consistent and timely interaction. Communication should also be crafted together to ensure your business partnership is supported by assuring everyone’s needs are addressed promptly.

2.  Integrity

People often define integrity as doing the right thing even when no one else is around. It is the ability to act with honesty and be consistent in whatever you are doing at all levels of an organization. This is based on the particular belief, value, or moral compass your business has incorporated into your daily work within a B2B environment.

3.   Think long term

A successful partnership should last. Thinking long term about who you are doing business with and why they are important comes down to trust. It is important to build a relationship beyond business tasks. It’s a commitment to one another even during challenging times. Creating a customer experience that allows both parties to succeed is golden and can last for years to come.

Finally, another essential aspect ofbuilding outstanding partnerships is to work within the local communitywhere your business operates. At Terracare Associates, we believe that giving back and volunteering is a great way to connect, make a difference, and build partnerships in our local areas.

Terracare Associates partners in a big way. During the month of April, in conjunction with Earth Day, we encourage our employees to partner and volunteer with local charities, bringing their expertise to the community. These community partnerships benefits from our core business skills.

Here are some of the highlights from our charitable activities and partnerships on Earth Day.

Columbine Memorial, Colorado


The outdoor memorial to commemorate the tragic shooting at Columbine High school was beautifully built in 2007. The foundation did not have continuous funding to maintain the perennials, trees, pavers, mulch, mowing and water feature. Terracare Associates volunteered to maintain the memorial year round.

Each year in April, just before the anniversary of the tragedy, our employees volunteer to clean up the memorial to ensure it is a beautiful peaceful place for remembrance.

Learning Gardens – Liberty High School, Brentwood, California


Terracare Associates has built five Learning Gardens in the San Francisco Bay area to connect children and adults to nutritious foods through hands on experiences with accessible, local, edible gardens.

Bill Horn, Senior Vice President, spearheaded the idea to connect youth to the earth and Terracare Associates has selected school gardens as one of our signature community projects. Most recently we installed a learning garden at Liberty High School in Brentwood California. The Superintendent of Schools (pictured) supports and strongly supports this partnership.

Project Cure Centennial Colorado


Project Cure is a non-profit headquartered in Centennial, Colorado. Their mission is to collect and recycle medical equipment and supplies to be used at hospitals in need around the world. We helped Project Cure with a plant sale fundraiser on Earth Day.

The team designated two locations, one in partnership with Sheraton Hotels on the 16 Street Mall and Project Cure headquarters in Centennial. The sale was a huge success — raising enough to send more than $35,000 worth of life-saving medical supplies.

Creating Winning Partnerships for Municipal Landscapes

Parks and streetscapes beautification projects deliver essential environmental, aesthetic, and recreation benefits to our cities.  Investing in projects that maintain the city outdoors results in positive economic benefits, enhanced property values, increased municipal revenue, and attracts homebuyers and employers who appreciate well maintained outdoor areas.

Terracare Associates (TCA) works with municipalities from California to Texas providing landscape maintenance services to meet the unique needs of governmental agencies. Continue reading “Creating Winning Partnerships for Municipal Landscapes”

Companies scramble as feds freeze visas for employees

Recently, the Department of Homeland Security abruptly stopped issuing temporary worker visas under its H-2B program. At Terracare Associates, these employees are a crucial part of our team and community. We greatly value these employees.  Our President, Dean Murphy, spoke directly with The Denver Post on the subject of employment and the H-2B program.

“‘We are really in a spot. Do our guys go from working eight hours to 12 hours a day?’ asked Dean Murphy, president of Terracare Associates, a landscaping firm based in Arapahoe County. Terracare had applied for about 50 visas to use in Colorado and another 100 in Texas to help meet demand from more than 1,000 clients during the peak season of mowing lawns and maintaining irrigation systems.”

Read Dean’s full interview with The Denver Post here.