4 Ways Landscaping Can Be a Natural Sound Barrier

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The right landscaping is key to creating the perfect environment for your residential or commercial space. The visual element of your property, however, is only one factor in developing the aesthetic you seek. Even the most beautiful space can be tarnished by noise pollution.

Modern life is filled with noise. Between traffic, phone notifications, music, and chatter, it can seem impossible to escape the constant noise and find solace. Don’t let your property add to the noise. Here are four ways that your landscaping can also act as a natural sound barrier.

Water Features

In some circumstances, adverse sounds may not be severe. While the noise of distant traffic or neighboring properties may not dramatically affect the mood of your property, they can be easily mitigated.

Incorporating water features into your landscaping is a simple way to add the calming sounds of trickling water as a way to counteract moderate (but still inconvenient) noise pollution. Certain water features can also attract birds whose song can cancel out the din of less melodic noise.

Not only do water features offer a unique auditory serenity, they can also dramatically improve the visual quality of your property. Check out this article to learn more about the value of water features and find out if this is the right choice for you.

Vertical Barriers

If the sound disturbance is greater, a vertical barrier may be the best solution. Rather than adding sound to counteract noise pollution, these barriers act as a wall to block out noise from ever entering your property.

A tall fence can double as a property outline and a defence against noisy neighbors, perfectly maintaining the solace of your outdoor environment.

If a fence doesn’t fit within the pre-established aesthetic of your landscaping, consider a natural border to combat noise. Dense, tall hedges and trees can also act as an effective sound barrier and line the perimeter of your space in the same ways as a fence.

Sinking

When properly combating noise pollution, it is not enough to only consider what you incorporate into your landscape design. You must also consider where it is installed.

When deciding where to place hardscapes like walkways and pavement, sinking these spaces where possible can be an effective way to mitigate unwanted noise.

By setting these features lower to the ground, you create spaces that are insulated and protected from irritating noise. The only sounds heard are those intentionally created within your own environment.

This intentional sound barrier has the same effect as an amphitheatre and can perfectly maintain the serenity of your property, especially when combined with dense hedges or another natural sound barrier.

Pest Defense and Maintenance

Creating natural sound barriers within your landscaping doesn’t have to mean incorporating any new features to your property. It can be as simple as regular landscaping maintenance.

When the natural landscape of a property is not sufficiently maintained, it can leave you vulnerable to unwanted pests and wildlife. A pile of decomp at the corner of your property may seem initially inconsequential, but it can act as a homing beacon for pests.

Not only can unwanted critters cause damage to the natural beauty your property, but they can also be a source of unwanted noise. While chirping birds may offer welcome solace, chattering raccoons are far from calming.

Regular maintenance of the landscaping on your property is a straightforward way to ensure that no unwelcome guests pay you a visit and disrupt your space with noise.

Developing the visual quality of your space is certainly important, but even the most beautiful environments can be made less inviting by unwelcome noise. Get the most out of your landscape and ensure that it sounds as beautiful as it looks.

At The Parke Company, we operate with our motto in mind: “Make it pretty. Make it right.” We are dedicated to ensuring that your landscaping is not only beautiful, but also meets your unique needs. If noise pollution affects your property, or you simply want to improve the overall aesthetic of your landscape through natural sound barriers, let the trained professionals at The Parke Company do the work for you.

For more information on how to install natural sound barriers, contact the certified arborists at The Parke Company and let their superior lawn services transform your property.Give us a call (615-350-6033) or contact us online today to see how The Parke Company difference can work for you.

Emergency Tree Service: How Fast Response Times Will Save You Money

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Nashville has more than its fair share of wind storms. In fact, in 2016, Nashville was cited as the windiest city in the country, with 11 serious wind-related events. Inevitably, when the wind seriously kicks up, some Nashville trees will be knocked down. Snapped limbs and uprooted trees can create seriously dangerous situations and destroy property. When that happens, you are going to want a qualified tree service to be able to respond quickly and stabilize the situation.

For more than 30 years, homeowners, businesses, and even municipalities have been calling The Parke Company for emergency tree service. We have the resources, and more importantly, the specialized staff to rapidly respond to tree emergencies. Rapid response can defuse dangerous conditions and prevent or minimize additional damage to property.

Operationally, emergency tree service presents the most challenges to a professional landscape services. The need is immediate, and more importantly, not everyone is trained in how to safely drop a split bough or an entire tree. At The Parke Company, emergency tree service has become an important part of our business, and we are staffed with the experts to handle the task.

What Rapid Response Means for Municipalities

When bad weather hits, it doesn’t discriminate. Homes, businesses, and communities alike all take a hit. But for municipalities and counties, the challenges that fallen trees and dangerous limbs present can have a wider effect on the safety and economy of the community than any individual house or shop. If streets are blocked, if power lines are threatened by dangerous trees, or if storm drains are clogged by wind debris, a town can experience serious issues.

Clearing roads is a priority. A community can have excellent emergency services, but if their vehicles can’t reach where they need to go, it’s the same as if those services didn’t exist. The net result leaves medical assistance, fire departments, and police severely restricted in the services they can render. While not a municipal emergency service, repair crews from utilities are also essential to mitigating dangerous conditions and hastening recovery. Like emergency services, they can’t do their job if they can’t get to where they need to go.

And there’s another cost for the community. After the event, the municipality’s ability to get things back to normal will be evaluated by the residents. A town with a responsible, well-executed emergency response plan will gain a positive reputation, while one that doesn’t may be looking for new management.

At The Parke Company, we are exceptionally proud to have been selected by several communities, including Belle Meade and Forest Hills, to provide landscaping services. Those services include emergency tree service, storm damage, brush clearing, and leaf bag pickup. Our reputation, proven work quality, and ability to work within fixed budgets has made The Parke Company a go-to resource for municipalities.

What Rapid Emergency Tree Service Means for a Homeowner

If a storm has created a need for emergency tree service at your home, a fast, professional response by trained experts can end a potentially dangerous and damaging event. Minimizing damage, and most importantly, rendering a home safe, can save significantly on the potential cost of the event.

The biggest challenge facing a homeowner needing emergency tree service is, well, the fact that it’s an emergency. You need help now. If the wind event was areawide, there are going to be plenty of your neighbors with the same need. Demand for tree service may outstrip supply. If you don’t already have a relationship with a qualified emergency tree service, you may find yourself waiting and paying a premium when the crew does show up.

At The Parke Company, we believe the best way to save money on emergency tree service is to minimize the need for it before a storm hits. We’ll talk about that more later.

Keeping Emergency Tree Service Affordable

The way we keep our emergency costs competitive is our triage approach to emergency tree service for our customers. We send out teams that deal with threatening or blocking trees. They deal with trees that are leaning on structures, across utility lines (with coordination of power company), or blocking access. Then they are off to the next call and will return with the equipment and crew needed to do a cleanup.

Using this triage technique allows us to provide our customers the immediate assistance they require to remedy an unsafe condition or access to their property. The follow-up visit takes place when things are calmer and a full complement of equipment can be deployed.

While we are there, we highly recommend that one of our certified arborists evaluate the condition of any remaining trees. If a tree is a likely candidate for removal, we can accomplish that while we are onsite. When we are done, all of the tree debris will have been removed or chipped into mulch.

Not surprisingly, we have a lot of experience with insurance companies, and we are happy to assist you in submitting your claim. We have worked with most of the companies who write homeowner insurance in the Nashville area.

Common Mistakes Made in Emergency Tree Service Situations

Storm damage can be unsettling. Many times, a home represents the largest single investment a family has, and their desire to inspect and protect their house after a storm is understandable. However, many times that desire to protect the castle overrides more effective thinking. Here is just a small sample of bad behaviors and actions to avoid during an emergency tree service event:

 

  • Be a witness, not a victim. Trees that appear solidly supported, or stuck fast on the ground, often shift or roll, causing personal injury or worse. Don’t attempt tree removal yourself. Let our expert arborists check it out. Stay clear and keep passersby clear as well. If you have a downed power line, report it to the power company immediately.
  • Beware the expert with a chainsaw. Unfortunately, when there is a big demand for emergency tree services, some people represent themselves as qualified tree experts because they own a chainsaw and a pickup truck. Before you engage anyone who is soliciting you, ask for a business license and a certificate of insurance.
  • Avoid insurance feuds. Insurance coverage is complicated, and it can get even more complicated if your neighbor’s tree blows over and damages your covered property, or vice versa. The key to coverage is the health of the tree. If a tree was healthy, the policy that covers the damaged property will pay for the damages (less the deductible) regardless of who the tree belongs to. However, if the tree was diseased, the question of liability is not clear. A report from a certified arborist can provide an accurate evaluation of a tree.

How to Minimize the Cost of Emergency Tree Service

At The Parke Company, we are ready to respond to your need for emergency tree service, but we are also ready to help you minimize the odds of you ever needing it. The best way to avoid the expense, danger, and inconvenience that storm-damaged trees can bring is to take preventative steps before the storm hits. For more information on those steps, check out our emergency tree service blog.

The bottom line is this: Your landscape is an investment, just like your house. It requires maintenance to keep its value. If your carpet is getting thin, you will replace it. If the exterior paint is peeling, you will be on the phone with a painting contractor. The reason you take these actions is because you can see the problem and you want to protect your investment.

With trees, you often can’t see the problem until nearly all the value is gone. Trees get old, they get sick, and they get wounded. Often you don’t notice these problems until a strong wind blows them over, or a piece simply falls off.

If you take advantage of the tree and landscaping services that we provide, you can rest assured that your outdoor investment is being maintained as well as your home investment. Call us today and let’s talk about ways we can get your outdoor assets contributing to the overall value of your property.

Landscaping to Lower Your Energy and Water Bills

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We’ve all enjoyed the cooling shade of a tree on a hot, humid Nashville summer day. The relief from the heat is almost instantaneous. Trees are a great natural source of “air conditioning” that can protect people from the sun’s direct rays, and if planted correctly, they can do the same thing for your home.

A cooler home means less “man-made” air conditioning required, which translates into lower energy bills. Who doesn’t like lower energy bills?

Trees providing cooling shade isn’t a new idea, but using them strategically to cool a home usually isn’t considered by Nashville homeowners unless they are working with a leading landscaping service like The Parke Company. Staffed with certified arborists, and with nearly 30 years’ experience in tree trimming, tree transplanting, and other tree services, the Parke Company has a solid understanding of how trees can be used to “direct” weather to or away from your house.

It’s an interesting idea, but you may be thinking that trees take forever to grow and you want help now. Well, trees are not an instant fix, but you can see heat relief in less than a year and it just gets better every day after that.

Real Dollar Benefits of a Well-Designed Landscape

It is generally accepted that a strategically planned landscape will pay for itself in reduced energy and water costs in eight years or less. That obviously is beneficial for the homeowner, it also drives up value of the home, and of course, it’s environmentally responsible.

Here are a few ways that landscaping helps in reducing energy and water costs:

  • A smart landscape uses both deciduous and evergreen trees. Deciduous trees provide abundant shade in the summer but then allow the winter sun to warm the house in the colder months. Evergreens also provide shade. They make great windbreaks in the winter, blocking bitter cold winds from reaching the home if properly positioned.
  • A new 6’ to 8’ deciduous tree will cast shade on your ground level windows inside a year. Depending on the species (and how many stories your home is), it will shade the roof in 5 to 10 years.
  • Evergreen windbreaks will reduce the wind chill near your house, reducing the amount of heat you need to remain comfortable. Windbreaks also create “dead air space” that insulates your home year round.
  • Succulent ground cover will reduce the air temperature before it reaches your home. The same holds true for shrubs and bushes.
  • Mulching trees and gardens not only protects the plants’ roots, but reduces evaporation. Less water is needed to sustain these plants.
  • Smart lawn maintenance, like raising the lawn mower blade during summer and only irrigating lawns in the cooler morning hours, can greatly conserve water.

 

Creating a strategic landscape must take in a multitude of considerations. Terrain, existing stock, prevailing winds, house design, availability of stock, and other issues all have to be examined to come up with a plan that will yield the best results.

If you would like to benefit from a well-designed landscape and the beauty of an amazing green space, give The Parke Company a call today and we will be happy to help.

Installing an Irrigation System – Not a Great DIY Project for Most Nashville Homeowners

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If you don’t have an automated irrigation system, you probably spend many humid Nashville evenings hauling out a hose and sprinkler to water the lawn and shrubs. Some people see that task as a pain while others enjoy the quiet time after a hectic day at work. The truth, however, is that both kinds of people are wasting water and may be damaging their lawns.

The hose/sprinkler technique is incredibly inefficient. If you care about your lawn, trees, shrubs, flower gardens, and water bill, you should seriously consider a professionally planned and installed irrigation system. At the Parke Company, we do more than tree trimming. We offer a full range of landscape services including all aspects of irrigation systems from planning to installing to seasonal maintenance.

Nashville residents are known for their sense of self reliance, and many may wonder why they would need a tree service company to put in a watering system. After all, it’s just a matter of buying the parts, digging a ditch or two, laying the pipe, burying the pipe, and hooking the whole thing up to a water source. Piece of cake.

Actually, it’s a tad more involved than that. Here’s the short list of what is required before you dig a trench or lift a piece of PVC:

Considerations

  • What type of grass do you have? Some turfgrasses require more water than others.
  • What kind of soil do you have? Sandy soil will absorb moisture while clay will not. Soil type will play a major role in how frequently you irrigate and for how long.
  • Are you going to need a building permit in your community?
  • What are the ordinances regarding irrigation systems, particularly backflow safeguards?
  • Check with your utilities before you start digging.
  • Does your community require a licensed contractor to install the system?

Gather Data

  • What is your water pressure expressed in pounds per square inch (PSI)?
  • What’s the size of your water meter and water line?
  • What is your water flow rate expressed in gallons per minute (GPM)?

Map the System

  • Use graph paper and make a “to scale” map of your property. Identify your house, garage, outbuildings, trees, shrubs, mulched areas, low and high spots, sidewalks, and fences.
  • Once the map is completed, plot your irrigation zones and the location of sprinklers, taking into consideration “spray overlap.”
  • Each sprinkler head will have a specific target. You want to avoid watering non-organic materials like foundations, driveways, and sidewalks.
  • You’ll use this map to order parts. It’s important that it is as close to scale as possible so you don’t come up short or buy too much.

Of course, all this is just the planning stage. You are definitely going to need help identifying the parts you need and how to assemble the zones.

Even a relatively small lawn can wind up being a sizeable investment if the planning and implementation is done incorrectly.

Contact The Parke Company

Avoid that risk and the frustration and give the Parke Company a call for a free consultation. We’ve been in business in Nashville for over 30 years. We are the premiere tree experts and home for certified arborists. We have the professional staff, experience, and equipment to handle all your irrigation needs. Call us today!

Tree Removal – Don’t Be Too Quick to Make the Decision

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Trees are one of nature’s most beautiful gifts. Even a single tree located on your Nashville property has a special attraction to humans. Their grace and strength give them a character that we can connect with. They represent continuity and stability, something missing in modern chaotic life. They give us shade in the summer and put on a show in the autumn. Losing one is like losing an old friend. But at times, trees can present a serious risk to people and property within their reach. Trees seriously damaged by storms or disease are going to fall down. Because they are big and heavy, if they fall on a roof, a car, or a family member, there’s going to be serious damage. The most common way of dealing with this risk is tree removal.

5 Signs it May Be Time to Remove a Tree

Removing a tree is an extreme step. We can’t overemphasize the need to have an arborist, like the ISA certified arborists at Nashville’s leading landscaping service, the Parke Company, inspect the tree first. However, there are signs that a tree may be in trouble, and you can use those tips as the trigger to call the arborist.

  1. Rough, upturned soil under the canopy of the tree and particularly at the base of the trunk.
  2. The growth of mushrooms at the base of the trunk. These decay-producing fungi are easy to spot.
  3. Excessive chipped or peeling bark in the trunk.
  4. Dead or hanging branches located in the upper portion of the crown.
  5. Twigs on the end of branches that don’t have a living bud.
  6. Remember that these are just signs, not absolute proof that warrants the removal of a tree. If you see these signs, it’s time to call us.

If you can keep a tree, you can continue to benefit from its presence. Removing a tree and disposing of the debris can be a labor-intensive and expensive proposition. It’s not just a matter of cutting down a tree. That tree needs to be cut into lengths, a stump grinder needs to remove the trunk and roots, and a wood chipper is required to clean up the debris.

An arborist is in a position to recommend strategies to keep the injured tree. Those strategies might include pest and disease treatments and/or specific pruning. An arborist is the best person to tell you what path to follow.

Don’t Be Fooled by a Leaning Tree

Don’t jump to the conclusion that a tree is falling down just because it’s leaning. Trees will “lean” naturally to get more sunlight. If a tree is close to a structure, or too close to another tree, it will change the direction of the trunk to get a better shot at the sun. If a tree is leaning because of wind damage, you need a visit by the arborist. Often, trees that have been bent by wind can be recovered through cabling and bracing. Getting reseated takes a fair amount of time but you can save the tree and avoid the expense of tree removal.

If you have trees that you are concerned about, give us a call today and we can arrange for a certified arborist from the Parke Company to visit your property.