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Landscaping Challenges Commercial Property Owners and Managers Face

Property owners and their managers are the keys to running a successful unit. However, there are several daily factors that need to be watched in order for the operations to run smoothly.  Here are some common issues that those in charge can face, and some solutions for when they pop up!

Drainage Problems

Due to the topography that commercial buildings are often set in, the sprinkler lines and water filtration systems are often not equipped to handle an influx of weather. Drains can clog and cause water to back up into the lots and dirt, flooding them and causing problems to the interior of the buildings. Sprinklers are also above ground, making them susceptible to damage from animals, cars, and other commercial vehicles. Running checks to make sure the sprinkler units are intact, as well as the drains and pipes running through the buildings, will guarantee that no individual unit is overlooked.

General Maintenance

With so much focus on a building’s overall health, it can be easy to let landscape upkeep fall by the wayside. Flowers and other accessory details to building fronts are a key component to maintaining an attractive appearance! Trees and plants will shed their leaves and clog drains, and having gardeners and landscapers visit during the transition months will help with this. Clearing the leaves and trimming trees and shrubs are just the start of the potential work, so consult an expert for the full scope of work.

Construction

Commercial buildings see tenants moving in and out constantly. As a result, contractors and other construction workers can cause damage to the landscaping, despite their best efforts to avoid it. Since there are limited entry points to some units, walking through the decor is an ever-present risk. Talk to the project manager ahead of time and come up with a solution or alternative, and see if some of the surrounding flowers and planters can be protected.

For any and all property issues, property owners and managers should encourage their tenants to speak up and alert them to any issues. This will ensure that all parties are satisfied and that the relationship remains solid on all sides. Plus, guests may spot a problem when it’s present and not know who to report it to, so staying vigilant is imperative.

Let Blue Tree Help

For assistance in maintaining and repairing commercial landscapes, contact us at Blue Tree Landscaping! We have over 30 years of experience working from start to finish on landscaping projects, both commercial and residential. Call or send an email to get started today!

Create The Perfect Snowman For Your Yard This Winter

Building a snowman is classic. It’s easy, fun, and allows for everyone involved to express their creativity with the season’s favorite activity. This year, craft a snowman that will complete your outdoor space!

Set The Foundation

Work to roll solid snowballs to allow the snowman to stay together. Don’t be afraid to add a touch of water to the snow if the powder is too fine to pack together; turning the hose on to a light mist will make the snow more malleable for shaping. When the balls are ready, flatten the top and bottom to create a stable foundation for them to sit on. Take care not to make the top one too large, and lift with your legs to get the layers on top. Snowballs can get heavy, and knocking them out of alignment can erase all the hard work spent rolling them into shape.

Smooth It Out

Nailing the classic snowman ratio is no easy feat, and sometimes the balls can come out lopsided or lumpy on one side. Taking a spray bottle filled with water to the uneven sections and smoothing them down with your hands is effective. Don’t forget to wear gloves while doing this task. If that proves to be too chilly, take a rag and smooth the snow down with that.

Bring It To Life

The tried-and-true snowman face has coal for eyes, but there are many options for crafting a snow face. Try using fruit or cookies to create a unique appearance. For other details, use real buttons for a cute and functional look that can be put to use for years to come. Above all, don’t forget the classic carrot nose, or use another vegetable of your choice for a unique touch!

Match The Snowman To The Decor

Cold-weather accouterments are the best part of accenting your frozen figure, and if your home is boasting a beautiful set of decorations, include your snowman in the fun! Wreaths, holly, or color-complimenting gloves and a scarf will match the color scheme of your exterior decorating. Place your favorite sports team’s apparel on, such as a baseball hat or a football jersey, to showcase your team spirit. Spring holidays approaching? Put a heart-shaped box of chocolates in its hands for Valentine’s Day, or let him sport a green ensemble for St. Patrick’s Day. The possibilities are endless.

Let Blue Tree Help

All this snow got you thinking of warmer days and landscaping ideas? Contact our dedicated team to get started on a plan 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!

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 Prepare Your Yard Before Moving Out

Landscape Edging OptionsWell, it’s finally happening. You’ve got everything packed, the house is clean, the kids are in the car. But wait — what about the yard? No one mentioned what to do about the yard, but you don’t want miss out on this crucial aspect of your home’s upkeep before leaving it for good.

This article details a few quick and necessary ways to make sure your yard looks great before leaving. You’ll be thankful for the lack of headaches and complaints.

Lawn Appeal 

Some neighborhoods or homeowners associations have ordinances that tell residents that their lawns must be kept tidy or to certain specifications. Even if there isn’t, most people love a well-maintained and lush green lawn. But beware — the fact that what you can see on the surface looks nice doesn’t necessarily mean everything is healthy under those blades of grass. So, before leaving, make sure to check for weeds, uprooting damage from trees or other plants, signs of pests, and any other changes that have taken place in the lawn since you moved in.

Sculpting Your Landscape

Like a gorgeous yard, many people also love a nice view of landscaping to complement their home. If left uncared for, however, the beauty of your landscaping can quickly turn ugly. That’s why it’s important to examine your landscaping before saying goodbye to your home and yard for good. Make sure none of the elements of your landscaping, such as rocks or asphalt chips, are sprinkled around the yard. Check for a rake, a pair of shears or other lawn items, which can easily be forgotten in the hustle-and-bustle of moving. Trim any overgrown bushes and trees, and remove any obvious weeds. And hey, why not take the opportunity to plant a few flowers? Make the last memory of your beloved former home a beautiful one.

Keep Your Pool Cool 

Whether above ground or in-ground, everyone loves a nice dip in the pool on a hot summer day. This includes the new owners of the home, too! Like your lawn and landscape, a pool left unmaintained can significantly reduce its value in terms of price and enjoyability. Common problems for a pool can be soil and/or concrete erosion, algae growth, plumbing leaks, and other foundational problems. Any of these can be a real headache. Give a good look at your pool, whether above ground or in-ground, before leaving.

Don’t Hesitate to Call

While some problems can be quickly spot-checked before you leave, others may require more involved work. If there’s a problem with your lawn, landscape, pool, or all three, don’t hesitate to call your local landscaping company. You’ll leave your home in excellent shape, and the next owners will thank you.

How to Avoid Basement Water Damage

The Perfect Garden SolutionFortunately for you, there are ways to prevent this from becoming a reality by taking the right precautions. Keep reading to learn a few quick and easy ways to avoid water damage in your basement — and the huge bill you might otherwise face as a result.

Start From Above 

While it might seem obvious, gravity is a key factor in water’s ability to damage a home. So, to protect the basement below, look to the roof above. One common factor leading to water damage in a basement is clogged gutters and downspouts. A gutter or downspout, which can become clogged by leaves, shingles, or other debris, can cause water to overflow and fall to the ground below. That water doesn’t just disappear — it floods the soil. This can not only end up flooding your basement, but it can also hurt the foundation of your entire home as well.

It’s also worth noting that to avoid these issues, it is important to replace any missing shingles and to keep your downspouts pointed 5-10″ away from the house. This will keep water at a safer distance from your home and reduce the risk of problems.

Keep It Flawless 

Another major factor that can contribute to water damage in your basement the state of the home’s foundation. Cracks in the foundation represent additional risks, whether they’re major or small, hairline divisions. Scarily enough, you might not easily notice cracks in the event that they do form. Rainwater — especially during floods — has the potential to seep through these cracks, resulting in damage to the foundation of your home. Even worse, years-long neglect of these cracks can make major repairs to your home necessary, translating into a major home repair bill.

The Ultimate Basement Guard 

Do you live in a storm-heavy area with lots of rain? If so, installing a sump pump can be a great way to avoid potential damage from water-drenched soil. This device collects hazardous rainwater from the soil and natural waterways, keeping it out of your home. This collected water is then transferred to storm drains or dry-water wells, which will prevent re-entry into your home. Often a sump pump is connected to your home’s electrical system. Because of this, if you do live in a storm-heavy area, it’s advisable to connect your sump pump to a backup generator. You certainly want the sump pump to work, even if the power is out.

While some of these issues can be self-assessed, it’s important to know when you need to call in a landscaping or plumbing expert. As indicated above, waiting too long can allow additional problems to occur, leading to increased costs when the problem is ultimately addressed. Don’t hesitate to call your local service expert today — you don’t want to end up wet and with a major repair bill to boot.

Different Types of Patio Materials

Installing a new patio is an exciting prospect. You have so much opportunity to customize the space and create an outdoor haven that complements your home. There’s no shortage of selection when it comes to a customized outdoor surface. In fact, you’ll find such a diverse range of building materials that the hardest part may be choosing the right one. Here are five terrific patio material options. Install one for a smooth, simple surface, or use two or more for a unique look.

Brick

A rustic brick patio will stand up to any weather and withstand heavy furniture placed on it. Brick is easy to install, and the textured surface is durable and long-lasting. Keep in mind that brick heats up in the sunshine and warmer weather, and the grout needs upkeep to maintain its appearance. To make things easy, you can power-wash the area when it gets dirty.

Wood

Wood is a classic choice for patios. You can choose from a variety of types, styles and even stains to achieve the style you desire. In terms of decorations and matches, the material is incredibly versatile. Be sure to choose a strong wood to support heavier furniture pieces, fire pits or several people when you are entertaining.

Tile

Perhaps the easiest material to install, tile is an attractive choice for any type of backyard. The range of sizes and styles of tiles lets you mix and match to showcase different varieties, such as stripes or patterns, with room for accents and special touches embedded between the edges. Consult a style expert for a full array of options.

Stone

Pebbles, cobblestones and sandstone all qualify as stone patio materials, and they’re beautiful in many forms. Stone patios can mold to any backyard shape, including irregular shapes, and the neutral look is easy to match with furniture and their cushions and covers. Consider stone surfaces to complement frequent style changes or earth-toned accessories.

Concrete

Albeit not the most attractive option, concrete is the optimal choice for a strong, long-lasting patio. However, concrete doesn’t have to look uniform and dull. You can texture the sections to make an interesting surface underfoot or even draw lines that create the appearance of unconventionally shaped tiles. Prints are also possible while concrete is being laid, so you can press details such as handprints or letters into the patio for a lifetime of memories.

Contact Blue Tree

Blue Tree Landscaping would love to help install your new patio. Let our team of experts advise you on the best materials for your outdoor space, whether it’s in the front yard or backyard or both. We can also show you how to protect them from the elements for all seasons. Contact us for a quote today.

Keep Your Lawn Damage-Free This Winter

Winter Fun: Snow FortsKeep Your Lawn Damage-Free This Winter

Cold, harsh winter weather can wreak havoc on many outdoor surfaces. But the vast expanse of a lawn is particularly susceptible to damage if not treated properly. Even if you missed the boat on pre-winter preparations, you can still take steps to maintain the appearance and health of your grass before even more frigid weather rolls around. Here are some ideas for keeping your lawn looking great all year long, no matter what Mother Nature throws your way.

Don’t Stop Normal Lawn Care

As counterproductive as it might sound, keeping up with scheduled maintenance practices can help retain your lawn’s health. Watering and mowing will help keep your lawn in great shape through the cool season, and keeping your grass relatively short will deter burrowing animals, such as mice. The good news? You can mow less often during winter.

Invest in Winter Fertilizer

Although it may sound unconventional, seasonal fertilizer is a great way to save the surface of your yard. If you can, spread fertilizer before the first frost (so the materials don’t mingle with the moisture and cause further issues) or wait until the ground is dry enough to do so. There are several brands available at major outdoor home improvement stores, so talk to an expert to see which product will work best for your lawn.

Plant a Different Grass

If you need some sort of foliage, look into a more resilient seed to plant. Different grass breeds, such as ryegrass and its varieties, can stand up to harsher weather while still providing the desired aesthetic. The texture will withstand frost and snow, keeping the soil underneath relatively healthy for the spring’s more delicate grasses. If no grass is needed, consider an alternative surface such as rocks, tile or even a new patio addition. There is room to be creative here!

Consider Stripping It

One plus to starting over with a brand-new lawn in the spring is saving the effort of preserving it during the winter. If the grass is starting to look brown and withered, getting rid of it entirely is a low-maintenance option for the cold months. When the weather improves in the spring, lay down new sod and enjoy the fresh, beautiful surface!

Contact Blue Tree

Need extra assistance with your cold weather lawn care? Let Blue Tree Landscaping help with that. Our landscapers can provide quotes and advice on the best upkeep of your grass, lawn or yard surface. We look forward to helping you maintain your home’s beautiful outdoor surfaces, so call or email us today for a quote.

Gear Up For Early Snowfall

The weather is cooling down, and with it comes natural events such as sleet, snow, wind, and rain that can all cause collateral damage. To avoid any extra work after winter, it is crucial to take preventative steps to secure every surface in the late months of fall, as well as the early months of winter. Here are some things to keep in mind when prepping:

Check Pipes and Sprinkler Systems

A burst pipe in a home is one thing, but damage to outdoor water systems is not often considered. Sprinklers and pools need extra care this time of year, so tend to them accordingly. Don’t forget to reel in hoses and inspect external water systems, such as sinks or bar setups, before shutting them down for the winter. Doing so earlier on could save hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in damage repairs.

Pull Plants

Frost and cold weather can kill delicate plants and flowers almost overnight. Save yourself the grief of gathering brown, dead flowers and plants and remove them sooner than later. Be sure to do subsequent research on what to take away in your garden beforehand; some plants can stand up to the cold and snow, so there’s no need to remove them.

Pick Crops

It might be time to pull in the fall harvest! Pumpkins, squashes, and beans are most likely in their peak harvesting time, as well as various tubers and nightshades in your personal garden. In addition, get ready to plant the winter vegetables and foliage that can withstand the cold. The fruits of your labor will reveal themselves early next year, or even as soon as the New Year!

Seal the Deal

With snowfall comes potential water damage, which means that paint, fences, and any external sealants are at risk of wear from the weather. Cover any surfaces that might be too sensitive for harsh materials, such as plush furniture and outdoor electrical appliances and stock up on temporary fixes like tarps and table covers for larger items. Now is also a great time to update outdoor pieces for next year; drag in anything that needs painting or decorating, and spruce it up for next season!

Contact Blue Tree

We know the snow here at Blue Tree Landscaping, and we can help you prepare for even the worst snowfall. Get in touch with our experts to survey your space and find the best tactics for yard preservation when winter hits. Contact us for a quote today!

Entertaining Outside In Fall

With the holiday season quickly approaching, the festivities are moving to the comfort of the indoors. For those who wish to entertain outside, this can prove to be a bit of a challenge. Regardless, with preparation and some flexibility, anyone can host a stunning and enjoyable outdoor get-together as the seasons change.

Fire Pits

As the ultimate centerpiece for entertaining outdoors, fire pits provide more than just a lovely aesthetic; they additionally provide warmth and a rustic experience. Certain designs can also house a grate for grilling, and toasting marshmallows is always an option for a fun party dessert!

Space Heaters

One of the joys of outdoor dining at a restaurant or bar is sitting under a heat lamp and feeling its warmth while eating. To emulate that same concept, those restaurant beacons can be used in the home as well! Place a few free-standing units as desired, or consider investing in something more stagnant for entertaining.

Restaurants also use wind blockers for openings to and from the outside. Although not the most attractive option, plastic covers fitted to patios or doors leading to the front yard or backyard allow for a reprieve from wind and other weather conditions. When the warm weather rolls around again, roll them up and store them for next season!

Cozy Backyard Furniture

If the weather permits, break out some comfortable blankets and pillows for guests to use. Store them indoors while not in use, and try not to purchase any light colors or delicate fabrics that won’t stand up to the elements. Thicker, coarser materials such as wool or hemp are viable choices for winter months.

Winter Gazebo or Pergola

A gazebo is commonly thought of in the warmer months for entertaining, but this structure can be formatted to encase guests in an area of warmth! A gazebo roof will support sealing coatings and tarps for protection, and several heat entertainment functions can be added to the framework. Consider putting some of that cozy furniture under a gazebo during a party, too.

For a completely new addition, also consider a pergola. This small sanctuary can be customized to fit the season’s needs, from sturdy materials to protective coatings. Although some pergolas thrive with plant encasings during the summer months, tarps and thick coverings will contribute to the protective aspects just as well.

Contact Blue Tree

Worried about winter wear and tear that might come from these events? Blue Tree Landscaping can help! Our team of experts will seal and protect multiple backyard surfaces for entertaining, from the pool to the patio. Contact us for a quote on our services today!