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Get Your Yard Ready – It’s Spring!

Yellow and red tulips

Spring is here! That means that it’s time to revamp your yard from its protective winter state to the lively green landscape it was before the cold hit. Here are some of our tips to making sure your yard is ready.

Treat Your Lawn

Grassy lawns require the most attention in the winter recovery process. Between fertilizing, aerating the soil, checking the pH, and reseeding, the process can be a lengthy one. In order to ensure your specific landscaping is receiving the correct care, consult an expert on the proper products and tools for your lawn, or for a recommendation if the sod needs replanting.

Pruning and Weeding

Winter weather can leave behind dead leaves, fallen branches, and various damage from heavy snowfall. Clearing away the leftover cold weather debris will give you a clean slate for new flowers and designs. Consider starting a compost pile to create a sustainable place for the remains, if one is not already present in your home; this will benefit the health of the yard, and the environment as a whole.

Plant New Flowers and Vines

Some flowers can last all year long, even through harsh winter weather. Prune the areas that need it, and if necessary, replant those flowers if damaged. For those that pulled their perennials before snowfall, plant some tulips, daisies, or your favorite springtime varietals around your landscape. This is an excellent opportunity to get creative, so don’t be afraid to choose vivid colors or bold petals for your garden or walkway.

Another option to establish in your yard is vines. Choose flowering vines for a burst of color, or leafy ones for an earthy appeal. Plant these early in the season, so they can grow up the side of your home or an aesthetic grate placed for support.

Bring Out The Furniture

If any of your outdoor furniture pieces or decorations were moved inside, it’s time to bring them out of hiding! If cushions or curtains are machine-washable, clean the material and apply a protective spray, to shield them from any remaining weather spurts going into summer. Furniture left outdoors during winter may have sustained some damage, so use an outdoor furniture cleaning spray to polish surfaces that need it.

Call Blue Tree

Let us help you get your yard spring ready! At Blue Tree Landscaping, we can assist with landscaping and lawn care needs for every type of home. Call or send us a message to get a head start today!

How to Treat Your Lawn After Snow Melts

The weather will be warming up soon, and this means that the green, lush landscape will be returning soon! Taking preventive measures to keep your lawn intact before winter is a smart move, but treating it after the snow melts is another step to take into consideration. Check out our tips for restoring your lawn to its healthy state post-snowfall!

Wait For Thawing

Do not start lawn care immediately after you see the first signs of snow melting. Taking an aggressive approach to removing damaged sections of your landscape could result in patches of lawn being torn away or flowers being uprooted, due to the root systems not having enough time to recover. Wait for every area of your lawn to thaw completely before starting the process.

It is important to wait on watering your lawn as well. Despite its powdery, sticky texture, the melted-down snow will linger in the roots, and over watering could damage the surface. Hold off until the lawn is close to being dry.

Weed, Remove, and Repair

There’s a good chance that natural debris accumulated during snowfall. Take a rake to the grass and the bases of plants and bushes, to clear away leaves and remnants of fallen branches. If necessary, pull patches of weeds that were missed before the first snowfall, to make room for any potential replanting.

Salt, animals, and other external forces can also do a number on your lawn, and holes can reveal themselves after the snow is cleared away. To patch them, mix new soil with compost or sand to fill up the holes, allowing for roots to catch on fresh ground and regenerate the lawn. Double-check what type of soil your lawn has to purchase the correct filling materials.

Check for Snow Mold

Snow mold occurs when a thick blanket of snow falls on susceptible grasses before it has the chance to freeze. It is characterized by gray or pink spots that linger after the snow has melted. Sweep the affected areas with a coarser broom or rake to loosen the affected areas, and if necessary, replace damaged spots with new sod.

Fertilize

Lastly, be sure to fortify your lawn for the spring and summer months by fertilizing after the snow has thawed. There are special brands of fertilizer that will aid the pH and chemical levels after a snowfall, so consult a specialist to determine what is right for your landscape. Your grass will thank you!

Contact Blue Tree

Need extra help bringing your lawn back to a healthy state? At Blue Tree Landscaping, we offer a variety of turf care services, from aeration to fertilizing and much more. Contact our team of experts to get a quote today!

How To Keep Heavy Snowfall From Damaging Bushes

Snow is notorious for causing damage throughout the winter months. The weight of frozen water on home structures, delicate trees, and exterior paint and decorations is almost expected. As far as the plants and flowers, they are in significant danger of suffering under the weight of snow. Here are a few things to keep in mind before the heavy snowfalls roll around!

Make Sure Bushes Are Strong

Before the snow starts coming down, treat both the roots and branches of bushes to ensure they are healthy enough to support any extra weight. Mulch, fertilizer, and any snow treatment materials should be applied in a timely manner before the temperatures drop too low. Not only will they be fortified against outside forces, but their health will stay intact for you enjoy during the next season.

Watch The Roof

If the bushes are situated under the roof, snow and icicles can slide off the foundation of the house and crush any plants below it. When it comes time to handle the snowfall on the ground, take a few minutes to remove snow from the roof or overhang in small increments. Do this after clearing the ground; in the event that something breaks loose, the bushes underneath will not have the added weight of the loose fragments to add to it.

Keep Up With Maintenance

If it is safe to do so, go out in regular intervals to remove snow from the bushes. If left to pile up too long, the snow can compound and be too heavy for the foundation of the branches to handle. Use your hands or a broom to gently sweep snow off the tops of bushes or hedges. or even a light aerosol spray canister to get into smaller areas.

Deposit Snow Elsewhere

Try not to dump excess snow on foliage or bushes in your yard. What may look like a small amount could contain rocks, branches, or large shards of ice that may weigh the area down. Instead, place the snow on the sidewalk or asphalt, if the area allows for it. Even pushing it to the middle of a lawn into an organized pile will minimize the area affected by the weight, and piling it up out of harm’s way will aid in the health of your bushes.

Contact Blue Tree

We can help you gear up for any level of snowfall! With Blue Tree, we’ll help you plan and execute the perfect layout for your yard that will sustain little damage in the winter months. Contact us for a quote today!

Liven up your Yard this Winter with Evergreen Plants

Greenery for Your YardWinter is here! Soon, plants and greenery will either be buried in snow or will have lost their leaves for the winter. Luckily, there are several plant varietals that can stand up to chilly weather, while providing your outdoor space with a healthy, lively appearance in spite of the temperature outside. See our top choices for implementing evergreen plants that will stand up to gardening’s toughest season.

Boxwood shrubs

Boxwoods are excellent winter plants, provided that they receive proper care before the temperature drops too low. Be sure to treat them with proper weather-resistant materials, such as anti desiccants or plant guards, before it gets too cold to do so. Water your boxwood shrubs thoroughly before the cold freezes any sensitive roots or stems, and if the shrubs are not in sunlight, consider moving them so they receive maximum exposure. Shrubs love sunlight and giving them enough vitamin D in the winter will allow them to bounce back and flourish when spring returns.

Nandina

As a vibrant choice, plant nandina between traditional darker shrubs for a pop of color. Most breeds come in shades of red and ruby and are one of the toughest forms of fall foliage to stand up to frigid temperatures. Take extra care in pruning them; if left untamed, some nandina plants can grow to heights of five feet or more!

Spruces

As the classic Christmas tree, the spruce is both resilient and gorgeous for wintertime topiary options. Plant a few in the ground for a festive look that will last throughout the years, or place smaller ones in potted plants for easy transporting. Plus, you can shape them with ease, for an added personal touch.

Cypress trees

Cypress is a popular choice for households, and with their size and stamina, they will last throughout the winter. Line your yard with them for creative fencing and a forestry feel that will complement the snow and sleet of winter. Invest in mulch for their health and appearance, and enjoy them in the springtime too.

As a bonus to accent your evergreen plants, consider planting some winter berries. This seasonal choice won’t boast leaves, but the pop of color will brighten the duller grays and browns that are prominent in winter landscapes. Pick them and display them on a dining table or in a wreath, or let them grow outdoors for the quintessential “winter wonderland” look! There are several species of winter berries such as Little Goblin and Berry Poppins, so choose one that matches your decor.

Blue Tree Landscaping, Inc.

We can help you dress your yard for winter! Contact one of our landscaping experts at Blue Tree Landscaping, and we’ll be involved with the process from start to finish. Winter is here, so call today!

Create A Stunning Patio The Neighbors Will Envy

Whether you’re hosting a cozy family gathering or a party with all your friends, the patio is the place to be. But when you want to entertain, a dated, neglected, or poorly designed outdoor space can put a damper on your fun.

Revamping the patio is a great way to create a comfortable outdoor haven that can even increase your home value. Read on to discover how you can create the patio of your dreams (and maybe even your neighbor’s dreams!) and become the envy of the block.

Add a  Fireplace

This common indoor feature is right at home outdoors. In fact, an outdoor fireplace is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser for almost every season. Set the mood for a romantic evening with a loved one or a fun night with the kids roasting marshmallows. If a permanent fixture isn’t an option, a portable fire pit is an excellent alternative. You can store it and use it for years to come.

Layer Your Lighting

No patio is complete without the right mood lighting, and a layered scheme is an excellent way to create an outdoor space that shines (literally!). You have plenty of options: Freestanding gas lamps offer functional illumination with a touch of glamor. Fans with attached light fixtures brighten the space and provide a comfortable breeze. White string lights add a delightful twinkle. The sky’s the limit!

Add Stylish Accessories

Not used to decorating outdoor spaces? Think outside the box! The kitchen isn’t the only room in the house that can boast statement-making accent walls: Tile or textured materials, such as stone and brick, enhance the patio space without taking up valuable real estate. To lend natural beauty and a splash of color, add hanging planters or an ivy wall.

If your patio is protected from the elements, you can even hang artwork, set out throw pillows, and incorporate other accents. Attach a glass-free window pane to achieve a rustic look, or hang metal wall art to match the furniture for an industrial-chic vibe. Swap out accessories to instantly refresh the space for different seasons and holiday.

Incorporate a Theme

Finally, it’s important to find your personal style and have fun with the patio! Travel lovers can imbue a cozy French restaurant feel or laid-back Spanish siesta elements. If you have a pool, opt for a nautical theme that’s fun in and out of the water. Follow a design path that suits your tastes, and the patio is sure to become your favorite spot to spend time.

Trust Blue Tree

Let us help you elevate your patio game! We specialize in landscaping and hardscaping for every type of patio and enjoy customizing spaces to fit all types of homeowners. Contact our crew to get started today!

How To Maintain Your Yard In The Hot Summer Heat

In the throes of summer heat, going outside to work on the yard is a chore that most want to avoid. With a bit of planning, though, less time can be spent sweating over your space, in favor of enjoying the fruits of your labor! Here are our tips for performing maintenance that will last through hot weather.

Create a Watering Schedule

Watering in the middle of the day will cause the water to evaporate, robbing foliage of essential hydration. Plan on watering early in the morning or later in the evening, after the heat of the day has subsided. If a sprinkler system is in place, set the timer to go off at optimal periods. Not only will it take the guesswork out of knowing when to water, but it removes the risk of over watering plants and grass, saving on water bills!

Know When To Mow – And Fertilize

There are benefits to lawn upkeep in the hotter months, besides enjoying barefoot strolls across the grass! The longer the blanket of grass is, the better protection the lawn has in the unrelenting summer temperatures. Not only is the immediate surface of the lawn protected, but the soil underneath will have a welcome shield from direct sunlight. Keep the length of the blades longer, but stick to a consistent mowing schedule all the same.

Contrary to popular belief, fertilizing can do more damage to a lawn in the summer months. The nutrients will produce a new crop of grass, which will have a hard time surviving in the heat. Save the treatments for the colder months following summer, when new sod can flourish, and take care of existing grass to the best of your ability.

Protect Outdoor Furniture

Faded, sun-damaged furniture is no picnic to look at, much less to use and enjoy. Consider investing in furniture covers for when the sun is beating down on more permanent fixtures, such as pool tables and grills. Covering furniture is essential to protecting the temperature as well, especially for metal or heat-retaining stone, which will save your skin when it’s time to wander outdoors.

For lighter pieces, simply move them in the shade or indoors. Be sure to remove cushions and smaller plants from direct sunlight. That way, the color won’t be washed out of fabric fibers or plants, keeping them attractive and fresh into the next year.

Call Blue Tree

Blue Tree Landscaping knows how to beat the heat! Let us assist you in planning the upkeep of your yard from the beginning of summer and beyond. Call or email us to get started today!

How to Make Your Next Landscaping Project Affordable

Undertaking a brand-new landscaping project can be a daunting prospect when all the materials and labor are taken into account, not to mention the pressure of knowing what you want before it all begins! Luckily, there are many paths to take when saving money on landscaping projects. Check out some of our favorite methods for affordable outdoor renovations.

Plan Ahead

One factor about landscaping projects that is often overlooked is the time factor. Start thinking about what the project will require a few months in advance, so there are no surprises or headaches later on. Choose a season with mild, predictable weather that won’t delay progress to complete the project, and acquire materials such as tools and bulk items at a pace that won’t break your budget.

Drive around your neighborhood and look at what each house presents. If one neighbor has a flower arrangement you enjoy, ask them how they executed it, and if another neighbor has a healthy-looking lawn, inquire about the service they used to install it. This will not only aid in project planning but will encourage creativity for your own space.

Pick Long-Lasting Materials

One major setback many landscaping projects face is the tearing out of dying, weed-ridden plants and constantly replacing them. Take inventory of your yard. Are some flowers failing in the heat, while others are flourishing? What plants look dry and withered, and which ones are holding their integrity year after year? Plus, is your furniture faded from too much sun exposure?

Choose materials that are not only appropriate for the time of year but will regenerate and flourish in next year’s season. Consider grass that can be regrown with simple upkeep and fertilizer, or perennials and low-maintenance annuals that won’t break the bank. For the holding units and accessories, try durable pots, window boxes, and even furniture that won’t take the brunt of the sunshine and need replacing every couple of years.

Shop Secondhand Tools

Lacking the tools to complete the project? Chances are, someone else has what the job requires at a fraction of the cost. Ask around the neighborhood for short-term loans on gardening tools or equipment that can perform hefty tasks, like lawn mowers and larger hand tools. This community mindset will not only save your budget, but the materials will be coming from a trusted source.

Jump online and check out what other products people are selling as well. Craigslist and eBay are prime contenders for this category of purchases. Take heed with this option though; not all online sales are what they seem, so look for tools marked “new” or “gently used” before buying. Plus, selling off your own landscaping materials generates cash back for other necessities.

Call Blue Tree

Let us help you save from the get-go! At Blue Tree Landscaping, our team of experts will help plan the most affordable project for your personal space, from start to finish. Contact us for a quote today!

Does your landscaping company do site visits?

If you’re reading this, it’s likely that you have a yard — or some other outdoor space — in need of landscaping work. You’re unsure who to call because, well, nothing looks worse than bad landscaping work.

The question then arises: Will a landscaping company do a site visit before signing a contract?

The short answer is “yes.” But note that there are a few other steps to take before arranging a site visit with a landscaping company. Keep reading to learn about those steps and what you need to know before signing a contract to make your landscaping beautiful.

Initial Contact

Well, a relationship has to start somewhere, doesn’t it? The first thing to do is call your local landscaping company. From there, you’ll get an idea of their expertise, prices, and general attitude. Everyone has worked with someone they haven’t liked, so best to see if this company will be a good fit from the start. Additionally, the company will be able to get an idea of what kind of work you’re looking for, and will also be able to take notes on your unique situation to make sure everyone is on the same page.

Meet Your Account Manager 

After first contact, your dream landscaping project will be passed on to an account manager. From there, you will discuss the project and reaffirm that your expectations of the project are in line with their notes from the initial conversation. As we all know, things change and it is always better to err on the side of caution. After everything is finalized, you two will arrange for a site visit.

Site Visit

Okay — we’ve made it to the site visit. But that doesn’t mean the project ends there. Similar to the initial contact and meeting your account manager, the site visit will again reaffirm that the company knows what you’re looking for in regards to landscaping work. They’ll take measurements, note specifications, and develop a project proposal for you both to go over.

Scheduling 

Now you’ve met the company, done a site visit, and seen the proposal. Now is the big moment to decide if you want to sign the contract. By this point, having completed an exciting — albeit rigorous — verification process, you should be happy with the plan. A good landscaping company will make sure you feel comfortable, well-informed, and prepared for the project ahead.

Don’t Hesitate to Call0

Whether you’ve got a massive landscaping project, or one that can be finished in a few days, don’t hesitate to give your local landscaping company a call! A good landscaping company will work with you at every step leading up to the project to make sure you’re getting what you need — before you sign off.

Three Benefits of Having a Retaining Wall (Besides the Look)

If you think installing a retaining wall in your yard will only make your landscaping look great, think again! While a retaining wall can indeed provide a great aesthetic to your lawn, there is also a number of other material benefits to having that tasteful wall in your yard.

Keep reading to learn about some of the other benefits that come with adding a retaining wall to your landscaping.

Protection, Protection, Protection

First things first: let’s discuss just what a retaining is and does. A retaining wall is primarily a protective structure that is often used around soil in landscaping. No matter how great and fancy a retaining wall can look and be, its use is first and foremost for protection. Protection from what exactly? Well, a few things. Say there is a huge rainstorm that causes flooding in your yard, or a steep slope that constantly allows rainwater or spilled soil to spoil other items around your lawn. You don’t want to wake up after a storm to find those flowers you worked so hard on buried in mud. A retaining wall will keep everything in one place, and will also reduce runoff from flood water. It will also keep your soil safe from erosion, so your landscaping can stay looking great with as little maintenance possible.

The Other Aesthetic of Retaining Walls

We mentioned that a well-designed retaining wall can be decorative, but that doesn’t always refer only to the wall itself. If you’re like many homeowners, the look of a well-maintained yard doesn’t necessarily mean your yard itself is perfect. In other words, you might have mechanical equipment or pipes, a tree stump, or other areas that may be difficult to remediate and are best left unseen from the public eye. A retaining wall can provide you with some much-needed cover for problem areas like these, without having to pay for expensive remediations. So, if you have any unsightly elements in your yard, now you know how to conceal them in a way that keeps your yard looking great.

Adds to Home Value

Isn’t this the best section on the list? Along with a nice look, space-saving aesthetic, and superior protection for your yard, a retaining wall can also seriously improve the value of your home. This is especially true for well-maintained retaining walls. Don’t take that as a challenge — retaining walls are made from natural materials that are sturdy and are meant to hold up during the harshest weather conditions. That means less time and money on repairs, and less stress!

Don’t Hesitate to Call

Whether you’re looking for a retaining wall that promises supreme yard protection during harsh storms, a way to hide some unpleasant lawn blemishes, or just something to wow friends and family, don’t hesitate to call your local landscaping company about establishing a retaining wall on your property. Your yard and home will thank you!

Turn Your Business Walkway Into A Masterpiece

Often the first impression of any business is the exterior of a building. Every detail matters, from a neatly trimmed lawn to an attractive paint color. One element that shouldn’t be overlooked is the appearance of the walkway. With a few simple steps, the outside of the company can look both professional and inviting to clients and visitors alike.

Plant Flowers

Flowers are an easy choice for lining any walkway. Swap out the varieties every few months to stay on trend and seasonal. If you plant flowers, it is important to have gardeners on hand for upkeep — because nothing looks worse than wilted, drooping flowers outside of a building. With tender loving care and a green thumb, flowers can add a pop of color and a pleasant scent to welcome visitors.

Add Other Plants

Bushes, shrubbery, potted plants and even small trees are all appealing at the entrance to a business. It’s important to choose a theme if you select several kinds of plants. Though diversity is a plus, too many contrasting elements can be off-putting. In addition, some plants will hinder the growing success of others around it if they’re too close together.

Consider Different Pathway Surfaces

Not all surfaces have to be cement or asphalt. Consider implementing an alternative surface of brick, wood or even cobblestone to add inviting charm to a business’s exterior. This customization is more permanent, but the extra touch is a conscientious effort on your part that visitors and employees will appreciate.

Install a Fountain

Little is more soothing than the sound of running water, especially in an outdoor fountain. If space allows for it, match the materials with the ground and install a gorgeous water feature by the front door. It will serve as a decoration and, if it’s large enough, space for sitting outdoors in nice weather. Smaller fountains framing a door or located near ground-floor windows will achieve a similar effect.

Put Up Seasonal Decorations

Recognizing holidays is a sure way to make a positive statement in your business’s headquarters. Putting up all-inclusive decorations is fun and festive, plus it lends holiday cheer to clients and visitors. Check your business’s rules to see what is allowed, and then dress up the walkway with colorful decorations.

Contact Blue Tree

Let our business help your business! At Blue Tree Landscaping, we specialize in ensuring that properties make the most of their allocated space, from the ground up. From materials to design, we do it all. Contact our team for a quote on how to optimize your business’s exterior, including your walkway.