Saving Water and Money: Smart Irrigation Tips for Nashville Residents

Irrigation system on a lawn.

Irrigation is critical for a healthy, green lawn all year round. Ensuring that your yard is well-hydrated while also conserving water and saving money is a tricky balance to strike alone. Here are some of our top tips for getting the most out of your irrigation system while keeping costs and water usage low.

Irrigation Tips For Nashville Residents

Set a Schedule

Watering is important in the spring and summer, especially in Nashville, where we experience our fair share of dry weather. One of the best ways to conserve water and get the most out of your system is planning when to use it. The sun can evaporate water very quickly when things are dry, meaning it’s best to run your sprinklers when the sun isn’t a factor. Scheduling your sprinkler system to run overnight or in the early dawn hours can ensure that your yard is able to soak up the moisture before the heat wicks it all away.

Many modern sprinkler systems can be run on a timer, making the process of scheduling your watering simple. If you have an older system that needs to be turned on manually, it’s best to run it as soon as you’re up for the day. By ensuring that evaporation is limited, you can use far less water while keeping your lawn looking great. And there are more than environmental benefits to irrigating conscientiously, too. You can save serious money on your water bill this summer if you change some of your irrigation habits to fit the climate. People who install an irrigation system may be in for a shock the first year when they get their water bills; these systems can use a lot of water!

Fortunately, smart irrigation habits like setting a schedule can keep that price low while still hydrating your lawn sufficiently. The Parke Company has worked over many summers to service and upgrade sprinkler systems across the area, so Nashville irrigation is one of our specialties. If you need help determining the best schedule and amount of water to use for your lawn this year, we’re here to help.

Maintain Your System

Inefficiency in irrigation systems can drive costs up and lead to inconsistent hydration on your lawn. One of the most important irrigation system tips we can offer is to maintain the device regularly. The fall or late winter is a great time to have a landscaper like The Parke Company inspect your system. Common issues include broken sprinklers, ruptured pipes, and sediment blockages. Each of these issues can be avoided by a few best practices and regular maintenance.

In the fall, when it’s time to shut your system down, always make sure you’ve fully drained the lines. Leftover water in the pipes can freeze, causing them to expand and create stress fractures and leaks. The same thing can happen in sprinkler heads or even in the pump that distributes water through your entire system. Repairs from frost damage can be costly, so properly draining the system and shutting it down is critical. It’s recommended that you hire a landscaping company to perform your yearly shut-off and start-up, as they’ll also inspect and repair the entire system as necessary during the process.

Irrigation systems do save water over manual watering, but improper care can render even the best system inefficient. Whether your system has only been running for one season or decades, upkeep is key to preserving the quality of your yard this summer.

Manage Drainage and Runoff

Drainage is an overlooked component of irrigation. When you consider what’s the most effective irrigation method to save water, you probably don’t think of how it drains. But properly moving excess water from your lawn ensures that water isn’t wasted and your yard isn’t over-watered. Installing hardscapes like drains can make sure that water doesn’t pool in low elevations. Leveling out your yard with landscaping services like lawn rolling and aerating can also help prevent overhydration. While sprinklers and their placement are obviously important to keeping your yard looking green and healthy, where that water goes matters, too. Grading your lawn gently downward away from the home can help keep water out of your basement or foundation and ensure it’s evenly dispersed across your property. That way, trees, flowers, and grass alike get the hydration they need, and you avoid unsightly puddles and wet spots.

Upgrade Your Irrigation

Whether you’re manually watering your garden and lawn or are saddled with an older irrigation system, you may be wasting water and money. A modern irrigation system will be far more efficient than systems that are even just 20 years old. Upgrading your outdated system can help you save money on water and electricity. These new systems are much more efficient than legacy irrigation products, and they still provide excellent coverage and hydration. Modern innovations mean there’s less water and energy waste, and smart features like phone integration make setting your schedule simpler than ever. Using your home wifi to control and monitor your watering can provide insights on things like energy and water usage, helping to alleviate any surprises when the utility bills come in.

One of the best irrigation tips we have to offer is to modernize, because technology does make things simpler when it comes to irrigation. You can even add smart controls to an existing system without fully upgrading.

Changing out your sprinkler heads is another affordable way to give your existing system a much-needed efficiency boost. If you have dry spots in your yard, a different type of sprinkler may resolve your problem. Landscaping companies like The Parke Company are well-versed in modernizing irrigation systems, and we can help you determine which changes could benefit your property.

Save Water and Money With Smart Irrigation

No matter your specific irrigation needs, we can help. If you’re ready to learn more about smart irrigation changes for saving money and water, reach out to The Parke Company today for a free consultation and estimate.

Deadwood Dilemma: Why Regular Removal Is Crucial for Tree Care in Nashville

Deadwood near a tree.

Tree care is important for the aesthetic of your property. Deadwood is unsightly, but your primary motivation for regular tree care should be safety. Here is why regular tree pruning and deadwood removal is so critical for the safety of your property.

What to Know About Deadwood

Understanding Deadwood

Deadwood refers to any part of a tree that is no longer growing. While deadwood on a tree isn’t a good sign of its overall health, deadwood isn’t necessarily a death sentence for a tree. Trees can live for a long time despite parts of them being dead, and that’s part of the reason people think it’s not a big deal. A living tree can be made up of single limbs or sections of deadwood, or it may be composed of many deadwood limbs. The primary causes of deadwood include competition with other trees for sunlight, disease, and pests like insects. No matter how deadwood forms, it’s dangerous for the tree for a variety of reasons, and it also poses a risk to you and your property. In forests, fallen deadwood and the remains of standing dead trees play a critical role in their ecosystems. Deadwood helps nourish the soil, hosting animal, plant, and fungal life. In a home’s landscaping, however, deadwood is often considered an eyesore. Especially noticeable during the spring and summer months when leaves are abundant, these bald spots on a tree stick out like a sore thumb.

There are many reasons to want to remove deadwood from your property. While deadwood is sometimes benign in older trees as they lose some of their structure with age, it’s not beneficial. Deadwood attracts pests and infection due to its weakened structure, allowing them to enter an otherwise healthy tree and spread to living wood.

Spotting Deadwood

Deadwood is fortunately very easy to spot if you know what you’re looking for. Things are much more obvious in the warm months when deadwood won’t have leaves growing on it. These bare spots stick out and are often a cause for concern for homeowners (even if only from an aesthetic standpoint). In the winter, deadwood will appear drier than other wood, and it may be darker in color. If deadwood has been around for a while, you may notice pest damage and holes from woodpeckers, insects, and even fungal growth.

Spotting deadwood is much more challenging in tall trees or trees with many limbs, so it’s important to remember that you can’t simply rely on the untrained eye. Arborists are trained in spotting tree issues that nobody else would notice, and they can perform a tree inventory to ensure that your property’s trees are all healthy. Arborist consulting services will be able to assist you in determining which of your trees may have issues and how to best address the deadwood. In many cases, pruning and limb removal is the best course of action. In more extreme cases where much of a tree is dead, full deadwood tree removal may be necessary.

The Benefits of Deadwood Removal

Deadwood can benefit the soil in forests and can create sustainable ecosystems for small plants and animals. So why remove deadwood from trees? In nature, deadwood makes plenty of sense. In your backyard, it isn’t necessary and can cause issues. Fallen deadwood can damage other plants and property or even cause injuries to pedestrians or pets. Deadwood is highly unpredictable, meaning it can fall in severe winds or on a still day just as easily. Spotting deadwood and removing it early can prevent damage and ensure your tree’s health doesn’t continue to deteriorate. Deadwood is also unsightly. Trees with deadwood have bald patches in the spring and summer and look noticeably worse than other limbs, even without leaves in the fall and winter months.

How Deadwood Is Removed

Nashville tree removal services from The Parke Company can help you with your deadwood issues. Our staff of qualified, professional tree surgeons can help to determine which of your trees may need pruning and deadwood removal. Once the trees are assessed, the next step is to plan the removal. For smaller limbs and trees, ladders and pole saws may be all that’s necessary to conduct the pruning. On bigger trees, or in the event that total removal is necessary, more equipment and work may be required. Tree removal and pruning in Nashville can be conducted year-round depending on the severity of the issues, but it’s recommended to wait to prune less problematic limbs until the winter months. If you can afford to wait for minor deadwood removal, it’s usually less expensive to have it scheduled in advance. For pressing issues like extensive deadwood or complete tree removal, time is of the essence to ensure that the deadwood doesn’t damage your property or home.

The Dangers of DIY Deadwood Removal

It’s a dangerous prospect to remove deadwood on your own without the proper equipment and know-how. Deadwood can fall while you’re cutting it, and its brittle nature doesn’t mean it can’t harm you when it falls. Climbing a tree to remove deadwood or to remove the tree from the top down is incredibly dangerous and should only be done by experienced and insured professional tree surgeons.

The way that you prune a tree can also cause more harm than good to the tree itself. Proper pruning requires knowledge and specialized tools to prevent causing trauma to the tree. This is especially true in the spring and summer when the tree is not dormant. It’s advised that pruning occurs in the winter to allow the tree to devote its energy and resources to healing rather than splitting the duty between recovery and growing and maintaining its leaves. Removing deadwood from your trees regularly is a great way to keep your yard looking great and save money in the long run. Maintaining your trees with the help of The Parke Company can give you the peace of mind that your trees are free of deadwood and will remain sturdy during storm season.

Do Away With Deadwood — The Right Way

If you’re ready to have your trees assessed for deadwood or need deadwood removed, The Parke Company can help. Be proactive with tree and landscape maintenance and work with us today.

Growing Healthy Trees: The Role of Crown Thinning in Nashville’s Urban Forest

Trimming a tree crown.

Pruning trees is an important practice in urban areas where environmental and man-made factors can adversely affect a tree’s health. Read on to learn more about what crown thinning is, what it does, and how it’s important to trees in Nashville.

What to Know About Crown Thinning

Defining Crown Thinning

A tree crown refers to the leaves, branches, and fruit that extend off from the trunk. A crown is perhaps more commonly referred to as the canopy of a tree, but the terms are interchangeable. A tree’s crown is the structure through which the tree gathers many of its nutrients. Leaves absorb sunlight and carbon dioxide, producing nourishment for the tree and “exhaling” oxygen. A crown also includes the fruit or nuts of a tree. Crown thinning is the practice of removing branches and limbs from the tree’s crown. This is a common pruning method in cities and suburban areas where trees need some help with pollutants, man-made structures impacting their sun exposure, and other urban environmental factors. Crown thinning is often necessary in urban areas because of how a tree may interfere with city infrastructure.

The Importance of Crown Thinning

There are many upsides to crown thinning trees in urban areas, and this practice can equally benefit the tree and the people around it if done with care. Consider crown thinning a tree haircut. It’s not a drastic act; in fact, removing too many limbs can be harmful to a tree. When thinning a tree’s crown, the canopy is thinned methodically and with purpose. Some of the main reasons for thinning a tree’s crown include improving views, reducing a tree’s wind resistance, and allowing sunlight to better reach the ground. Sometimes, a tree grows too big and blocks a landmark or a stellar view, and pruning it a bit can help restore the vista without harming the tree. Whenever an arborist is confronted with an aesthetic concern like this, their first priority is saving the tree if it’s healthy (and not a threat to its surroundings). Crown thinning is a big part of maintaining a city’s greenery while ensuring residents are safe and happy with their sightlines.

Crown thinning is practiced more in areas that are subjected to severe weather like thunderstorms, snow and ice storms, and high winds. Nashville is no stranger to any of these weather events, so it’s no surprise that crown thinning is a part of the city’s tree maintenance strategy. Crown thinning can allow wind to blow through a tree so it doesn’t get pushed over. This prevents homes and infrastructure from sustaining damage in storms and also ensures that the tree will live longer. Crown thinning can also give smaller trees and plants in the shade of a tree a fair chance to thrive. Trees can shade garden beds, plants, and developing trees and prevent their development and growth. By thinning the crown of a tree, you can effectively produce a greener space from the ground up.

One common practice in cities is a slightly more involved form of thinning called crown raising. What does raising the crown of a tree mean? To put it simply, it’s the act of removing lower branches from a tree. This is usually done to prevent the tree’s limbs from interfering with traffic, visibility, power and utility lines, and to prevent storm damage to city structures and homes. Chances are you’ve seen utility companies and arborists raising the crown of a tree before, but you may not have realized it. While it looks similar to general pruning, crown raising can drastically change the appearance of a tree over time. Fortunately, if done properly, this won’t harm the tree, and it can live on instead of being removed for impacting city living.

Proper Pruning

Crown thinning should be done in a controlled way to ensure the tree remains healthy. Improper pruning and thinning can allow disease and pests to damage the tree and eventually cause the tree to die. Effectively pruning a tree canopy is an involved process that requires the eyes and hands of a professional. The crown of a tree is critical to its health, and there are many things that can go wrong in the pruning process. The first pruning mistake that many people make when trying it on their own is over-pruning. Crown thinning should only account for a small percentage of the tree’s overall structure. Removing too much can greatly inhibit a tree’s ability to produce the nutrients it needs to survive.

The actual cuts a person makes when pruning a tree also matter. Remember: each cut on a tree is a wound, and it’s important to ensure that the wound is able to heal on its own. Improper cutting, whether from a bad angle or attempting to cut a branch that’s too thick, can allow diseases to enter a tree’s structure and kill it.

The time of year also matters to pruning. Winter is the best time to prune because trees lie dormant in the winter. Since the tree doesn’t have to focus on producing fruit or new leaves, it can focus its resources on healing the cuts from pruning. When raising the crown of a tree specifically, another mistake that you can make is pruning too quickly. Raising the crown of a tree can’t be done overnight. It can’t even all be done in a single season. Instead, getting a crown raised to the desired position can take many years. This prevents the tree from being traumatized too extensively. Much like people, trees can go into shock if their injuries are severe enough. Thinning the crown of a tree is best left to the professionals, so it’s important to consult an arborist when looking to prune your trees. If you’re looking for crown thinning in Nashville, you need to work with the experts.

Get It Right With Parke

The Parke Company has decades of experience pruning trees, and our arborists are ready to help you. If you’re ready to explore your crown thinning options, call us today for a free consultation and estimate. Your trees will be in good hands.

Selling Your Property? Landscaping Tips and Tricks to Enhance Curb Appeal

Backyard with new bushes and enhanced curb appeal.

When you’re selling your home and looking for ways to enhance curb appeal quickly, why not start with what’s between the curb and your home? Here are landscaping tips and tricks to enhance your property’s landscaping to improve your home’s curb appeal.

How to Enhance Your Property’s Landscaping to Improve Your Home’s Curb Appeal

Front Yard Improvements

Selling a home can be stressful, and you might overlook key details of your home that could increase its value in the fray of preparing it for showings. How can you make your front yard look expensive without spending a fortune?

One of the easiest and most budget-friendly ways to improve the curb appeal of your home is landscaping maintenance and upkeep. A well-kept lawn and entryway to your property can go a long way toward making an excellent first impression on prospective homebuyers when they visit your home or look at photos online. The first step for improving your lawn’s overall appearance is to remove fallen sticks, pinecones, needles, leaves, and weeds. Depending on the season, mowing your lawn regularly and right before staged photos is a must. Cleaning concrete walkways and other existing lawn decor can help give your lawn a fresh and inviting feeling to people looking for a cozy place to live. Without adding a single thing to your front yard, you can clean it up and make a huge difference.

While cleaning things and keeping your lawn looking pristine can help improve your home’s curb appeal via the landscape, this alone won’t increase a home’s value by a significant margin. Making additions to your front lawn can have a great return on investment when it comes to your home’s sale price. Fortunately, additions to your lawn don’t need to be expensive to raise the property value. Adding garden beds and mulching can give a front yard a much more colorful palette that will draw the eye and get more people to check out your home. Flowers can add a quick pop of color that your home might desperately need. Other easy curb appeal landscaping strategies include planting new trees. Saplings give people the impression of newness in a home and instill homebuyers with a sense of growing alongside their new home. Picking the proper trees to plant in your lawn can be a challenge since some trees work in certain landscapes and others may not. Consulting a local landscaping company with a certified arborist can ensure that you’re picking the right additions to your lawn so that you not only enhance its beauty but also improve the local ecosystem.

Work with the experts at The Parke Company for all of your landscaping improvement needs, and you won’t be disappointed. When you’re selling a home, you may not have time to get to all the lawn care your property needs, and that’s fine. If you’re busy or just need a helping hand, let us take care of the maintenance, planting, and mulching in your front lawn.

Tree Care

How do you improve curb appeal with landscaping? Trees are a big part of your home’s overall look, so it’s important to make sure that your trees are healthy and maintained. An arborist is your best bet for improving the health and beauty of your trees. Arborist consulting services include things like pruning and removal, tree inventories, and planning new plantings depending on the needs of your property. In the event that a tree needs to be removed or pruned, you can count on a tree surgeon to properly and safely do the work that needs to be done. Pruning a tree yourself can be so much worse than giving your plants a bad haircut. Trimming even a few branches could lead to asymmetry and make the tree look lopsided. Trees also need to be pruned with precision to ensure that the tree doesn’t die. When you cut a limb, you create a wound in a tree. If improperly done, bad cuts can allow pests and diseases to enter a tree’s system and lead to costly removal services. Your home’s curb appeal is important, and trees are a huge part of what makes a property appealing. Don’t take the responsibility of tree care lightly.

Backyard Enhancements

Backyards aren’t something homebuyers see right away, but they can make a huge impression during a tour. Outdoor decor is one thing to focus on improving, but a growing trend in homes in the 2020s is outdoor living spaces. Buyers want to see outdoor furniture and covered spaces like pergolas, patios, and gazebos in the properties they’re shopping for. These additions to your landscaping aren’t cheap, but they offer a huge return on investment for sellers.

The importance of hardscapes in your landscaping in terms of curb appeal can’t be overstated. Besides patio furniture, pieces like fire rings and fountains can greatly improve your backyard space. While these hardscape upgrades aren’t necessary, these changes can substantially raise the price and attract new buyers. A well-decorated backyard with substantial entertainment space is very important to homebuyers who are able to pay over asking price, and in today’s competitive real estate climate, that’s very important. Anything that can set your home apart from the others on the market is a great way to drum up interest and increase the number of bids, giving you more money than you’re asking for. Homebuyers want to see a home with unique traits inside and out, and hardscapes are a great way to give a home character. In the Nashville area, there is no better option for a landscaping company than The Parke Company. We have decades of experience installing complex and simple hardscaping, and quality is our first priority.

Does Landscaping Help Sell a House?

While it’s important to focus on your home’s structure and interior design before selling, neglecting your green spaces is a major missed opportunity. Curb appeal counts in a big way when luring in potential buyers. And if you plan to list your home, it’s never too early to start boosting its curb appeal. Get the greatest value when selling your home by calling the pros at The Parke Company today.

Emergency Tree Services: What to Do When Disaster Strikes

Fallen tree after a storm.

Trees are sturdy and capable of putting up with a lot, but between old age, disease, and extreme weather, they can fall. Here’s what you can do when disaster strikes and your tree sustains damage.

What to Know About Emergency Tree Services

Is It a True Emergency?

Sometimes, it’s incredibly clear that a tree is damaged; you may see fallen limbs or a total collapse. In some situations, however, signs of damage might be internal and not pose an immediate risk to your property. It’s important to know what to look for and determine whether or not your tree needs prompt attention. Emergency tree service is more costly than regular maintenance, so if you can avoid it by keeping tabs on your trees, you may save yourself a lot of money in the long run. Trees are susceptible to disease, especially if they’ve been damaged by storms or wind. After a windstorm, look for fallen limbs and other signs of tree damage. While a fallen branch or two isn’t a cause for concern, fallen limbs may show signs of disease or allow infection to enter the tree. Rotten or dry limbs that fall after a storm are a sure sign of widespread disease in a tree. These trees are susceptible to falling in future storms and should be dealt with immediately. Removing a tree before it poses an emergency risk is important to keeping your property and yourself safe.

What’s Included in Emergency Tree Service?

When you think of emergency tree service, you may jump straight to emergency tree removal service. Removing fallen trees is only one aspect of emergency tree service. There are many other emergency services that may be necessary following a Nashville severe storm or wind event. Rest assured, a lot of emergency services don’t call for complete removal of your tree. While cleanup is certainly a big part of emergency tree service, so is evaluating the property for other high-risk trees and removing any trees that may pose a threat to your home or safety. Sometimes, when a limb falls from a tree, the tree can recover and remain healthy. On other occasions, a fallen limb is a warning sign that trouble is on the horizon. An arborist performing emergency tree service can determine whether tree removal is the best bet and safely conduct that removal if it’s necessary. Sometimes, only pruning is needed after a tree sustains storm damage. Pruning a tree is not as simple as removing limbs. It requires precision and knowledge to ensure that the tree heals properly following a limb removal. How a branch is cut and where it’s removed from can determine a tree’s future health, so this task is best left to the pros. In some cases, after heavy winds, a tree may be unstable but still standing. Emergency tree service can help stabilize trees, allowing their root systems to recover and giving the tree a second chance at life. Stabilizing a tree usually involves using stakes and ropes to give the trunk support so it can grow straight, instead of crooked or sideways. Trees that grow back improperly after becoming destabilized are much more likely to fall and cause damage later on.

Proper Tree Maintenance

Preventative tree maintenance is an important thing to consider. Assessing the health of your trees on your own can be difficult, so don’t rely on your observations alone. Contact a tree specialist near you to perform a tree inventory of your property and ensure that future emergency issues don’t happen. Arborists are skilled tree surgeons who are well-versed in tree health, so they can check your trees over for any red flags. Most trees don’t make their issues obvious, so knowing what’s going on internally is key. Having an arborist examine your property for tree issues is the single most effective way to ensure that you won’t have trees fall during storms. Pruning limbs that are at risk of falling can ensure that your property doesn’t sustain damage and can keep the tree healthy. Tree removal is always the last resort, but it’s sometimes necessary. Fortunately, arborists can also help you plan which trees to plant on your property if any do need to be removed. Many trees can benefit neighboring plants or help to ensure that your soil is safe from erosion from heavy rain. Planning your tree inventory is an excellent way to beautify your landscaping and ensure it’s capable of resisting storm damage in the spring and summer months.

Who Can Help?

It’s very obvious when you need disaster relief tree service. Don’t hesitate or try to clean things up on your own because there are serious risks to DIY tree removal. If one tree is damaged, it’s possible that neighboring trees are also affected, and these could pose risks to your safety as you try to clean up. Certified arborists are skilled at assessing the health of your trees and can ensure that damaged limbs and trees are removed safely and efficiently. If a tree or multiple trees and limbs are down on your property during a storm, contact emergency tree service specialists near you. The experts at The Parke Company have been serving Nashville customers for decades, and we’re prepared to give you the peace of mind you need after a severe storm. Nashville weather is unpredictable, but you can count on us putting our best foot forward to remove your damaged trees, assess your property for safety concerns, and give you great value for the work done. We take emergency tree service very seriously at The Parke Company, and we’re very familiar with the sort of damage Nashville storms can cause.

Nobody wants to need any type of emergency service, but when your trees need attention, think of The Parke Company. If you’re looking to learn more about emergency tree services or tree maintenance services that The Parke Company can offer, give us a call today.