Monthly Archives: December 2014

Snow Removal Guide

Shovel Snow Safely with Tips from Blue TreeIt may seem like summer was only a few weeks ago, but the freezing temperatures and consistent snowfall of winter are just around the corner. And what’s one of the least appealing parts of winter? Clearing away all of that snow! Here are some tips for making the process of snow-removal a bit easier and more appealing when using one of the three most popular methods.

Shoveling

It’s best to treat shoveling snow like any athletic activity and stretch beforehand! This will decrease the likelihood of developing cramps and/or soreness later that day. Additionally, try to simply push the snow instead of lifting it, and buy a shovel with a curved handle to prevent back problems. When choosing where to pile snow, remember that another storm is likely in the future, so leave some empty space around your driveway for future shoveling endeavors.

Finally, remember to take breaks throughout, and stay hydrated!

Snowblowing

If you have a large driveway or simply don’t feel like spending hours shoveling every time a snow storm hits your area, and you don’t have a snowblower already, you may want to consider investing in one. When you first take it out after a blizzard or snowstorm, pick a safe spot (or two) that is far away from your house to blow the snow into. Then, adjust the chute to face the area. If possible, snow blow with the wind instead of against it so as to prevent excess snow from flurrying back into areas you’ve already cleared.

Using Ice Melt

A great way to combat the dangers of snowstorms while simultaneously cutting down on your shoveling and maintenance time is to apply ice melt to your driveways and and sidewalks before a storm. If you own a commercial property, ice melt is particularly advantageous. Apply ice melt to all pertinent areas around your business or home in advance; this will make it easier to rid surfaces of ice afterwards through shoveling and additional ice melt. Carbonyl Diamide, Potassium Chloride, and Sodium Chloride are all types of ice melt that perform best at temperatures between 20℉ and 30℉, a common range for below-freezing weather in the Philadelphia area. However, be sure to research which kind of ice melt is best for you before using it. Certain types are more likely to cause damage to concrete or vegetation, may be unsafe for pets, or may require you to wear gloves while applying.

Outdoor Lighting Guide

Light Up Your Yard with Blue Tree!You’ve invested the time and effort into making your backyard as nice as can be — so why not enjoy it as much as possible? With quality outdoor space heaters and outdoor lighting, you can make use of your yard late into the evening. Before planning out your outdoor lighting design, take time to consider how you plan on using your backyard after the sun goes down. Will you be walking through the grounds, or staying on the deck or patio for an after-dinner drink? Do you want the kids to be able to throw a ball around? Do you simply want to beautify the view from your kitchen window? Depending on the layout and existing structures on your property, you may want to consider a combination of the following popular outdoor lights.

We are happy to help you plan your lighting scheme.  Call us today for help with planning and installation!

Path Lights

Path lights are more than just a pretty accent to your landscape design; they cast light onto walkways that could be uneven or made of stones, keeping you and your family safe! Use them to mark parameters, and space them close enough that the light covers all areas. You can also use path lights to illuminate gardens, spotlighting the nicest areas or illuminating plants with cool colors and textures. Be sure to keep the lamp surfaces clean, trim plants that could cover their light, and replace bulbs as necessary.

Tree Lights

When it comes to lighting your trees, you have a variety of options — to up-light or to down-light… that’s just one of the questions! One option is to both downlight from the foliage of the tree (consider two 20-watt downlights, placed as high as possible) and illuminate the trunk with a bullet or flood light. You could also uplight the tree from the base, dramatically creating shadows and contrast. Moonlighting is another unique way to beautify your yard. This technique involves placing lights in the branches of your tree, casting complex shadows across the landscape.

Bullet Lights

Known for projecting a solid, narrow beam, bullet lights are perfect for lighting tree trunks, garden features, fountains, or other special areas of your yard.

Wash Lights

Wash lights are great for covering a wide expanse with soft, diffuse light. Consider using wash lights on the paneling of the sides of your house or on your surrounding fences. Well lights are another great option for covering a wide area, and can be put in a waterproof casing in-ground, so you don’t have to worry about choosing one fixture or another.

A typical backyard will require a combination of fill lights (wash or well), bullet lights, tree lights, and path lights. Thoughtfully placed lights along walkways, trees, garden features, your deck, and your driveway will be key to keeping your yard enjoyable and safe, all day (and night) long.