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Showing 31-33 of 33 articles.

Blades are Sharpened!

Blades are Sharpened!

Pruning and Shrub Shaping

The spring flowering shrubs and Yew shrubs are ready for a trim!  We began shaping and trimming last week and will continue working through all properties until complete….and then we’ll start all over again.  J  For the entire month of July, there is extra time added to all of our regular maintenance visits to accommodate the additional work.

The delayed spring weather, ample amounts of rain and periodic HOT days have caused nature to be slightly off kilter this year.  My general assessment right now is that the normal sequence/progression of spring (forsythia bloom!) and early summer (shrub roses in full bloom!) that spans the time from about April 15-June 1st was shifted and consolidated to May 9-June 20th.  In addition to the natural progression of spring was the great emergence of 2013—first tree leaves fully emerged on May 19th (about 3 weeks later than normal) and just 4 weeks later the shrubs are in need of trimming.  Normally, there is a 6 week or more time frame between first full leaf emergence and trimming/shaping.  Yikes!

Normally, we begin trimming shrubs the first week of June.  By the first week of June most spring flowering shrubs have nearly completed their flowering, not this year though, the delayed spring also delayed flowering on many shrubs.  Unfortunately—at the same time leaf/shoot growth was/is in full swing.  For example, while lilacs...

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Colored Mulches

Colored Mulches

I can’t tell you how many times we are asked to apply mulch in a season and with that often comes the request for “Chocolate”, “Red”, “Gold”, “Orange”…thankfully, no one has requested “Purple”, or “Blue”…although, they do exist!  

About a year ago, I took a stand and said–NO MORE.  We will not voluntarily offer painted mulches.  Why…because.  Not all mulch is created equal and if you are willing to spend extra money (above the cost of a standard natural wood mulch)for something that is inferior, then quite frankly–I have a mountain in New Orleans that I would like to sell to you.   Through many conversations with clients I have been able to educate them to the purpose of putting down mulch and why colored mulches may not be in their best interest.  My crusade is paying off, we currently only have 3 clients who have not willingly switched to either Hemlock, Shredded Oak, or a Mixed Hardwood Mulch.  In 2013 we will have zero, as we simply will not provide colored mulches at all.

I was about to write a carefully crafted blog about “WHY” we do not feel colored mulches are appropriate when I stumbled upon this fine article.  Not a fan of rebuilding the wheel….here it is in it’s entirety…I could not agree more or have written it better myself!

Taken from Nature’s Way website, an...

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Severe Drought

Severe Drought

This morning the headlines in the morning news were that the drought in SE Wisconsin has been upgraded to “severe”.  What this means is that crop damage has occurred or is highly likely, there may be water shortages, and water restrictions are in place in many communities.  Well, the farm fields are not the only thing affected…as we well know, the lush green of spring in our individual landscapes has long since passed.  Coupled with no rain are the effects of sweltering high temperatures.  What to do….and what not to do….

I keep dancing, praying, and hoping for rain!  The cooler temperatures this week are a blessing, unfortunately the severe heat of the last two weeks has caused some damage to many landscape plants.  The damage that I have seen is mostly a ‘sun burn’ of top leaves on shrubs and trees, and where there has been no watering I am seeing shrubs now turn ‘crispy’.  Are they dead?  I’m not sure yet.  Stressed for sure…and time will tell if they can or will rebound.

Sincerely, I hope that we do not see widespread loss of ornamental plantings.  And I am generally not an alarmist…but the last time I recall a drought like this was in 1988 and the last brutal heat I recall like this was in 1995….never do I remember the heat and drought happening together.  I have driven and observed landscapes from Delafield to Whitefish...

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