Six Care Tips for your Newly Installed Landscaping Feature

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Landscape installations are a surefire way to add visual interest to your property without completely overhauling the look of your home. 

Installations come in a variety of forms. They can be softscapes: adding trees, shrubs, flowers and other foliage to your landscape. You may also elect to install hardscapes: things like walkways, pavement, rocks and ponds. Or, perhaps  your new landscape installation could consist of decor like outdoor lighting, water features, or tree hangings.  

Whatever type of landscape installation you decide on, it’s important that these featured pieces stay as beautiful a year from now as they are when they’re first put in. 

Here are six care tips for your new landscaping feature. 

1. Lawn Maintenance

Aside from the obvious ones, there are plenty of reasons to keep your lawn maintained. Other than keeping a pristine lawn for aesthetic purposes, the health of your landscape can be compromised if you do not take good care of your grass. 

By choosing the appropriate mower height and keeping your lawn at the optimal level, you reduce your risk for weeds to grow in grass that is stressed or unhealthy.

Weeds left to their own devices can infiltrate your new landscaping feature over time. Your once beautiful walkway may now be overrun by weeds and other uninvited pests. 

Be sure to maintain your lawn to combat any plant life with malintent. 

2. Brush Clearing

Similar to maintaining a tidy lawn, it is also important to clear brush regularly. 

When dead leaves and foliage stay on the ground unattended, there is a significant risk of mildew and fungus growth. If you have a water feature nearby, moist environments can be severely compromised by the presence of these invaders. 

Piles of leaves and brush can be a convenient home for small rodents and pests. Naturally, these unwanted guests might also make a home in your new fountain or rock feature. Keeping brush and foliage maintained can help circumvent this risk and keep critters at bay. 

3. Check Irrigation 

Faulty irrigation systems can present a real problem for property owners. Not only can irrigation systems that dispense too much or too little water damage the plant life of your property, they can also cause significant structural damage to landscaping features. 

If your irrigation system isn’t working correctly, this can have an adverse effect on your water features, resulting in sky-high water bills. You may also find that your landscaping features suffer water damage from a leaky sprinkler system. 

Having your irrigation system evaluated by a professional could help you avoid unsightly damage. 

4. Tree Trimming 

Tree trimming on your property is a great way to ensure that your landscaping features shine. 

Ponds filled with dead leaves are unsightly, and it would be a tragedy for your beautiful outdoor lighting fixtures to meet their end at the hands of a fallen branch. 

Be sure to get your trees trimmed regularly to avoid damage. 

5. Energy Conservation

Conserving energy is a great decision for any reason, but it can also do a lot to maintain the health of your new landscaping feature. 

Particularly with features like lighting or fountains that are supported by electricity, conserving energy can help to ensure that your features don’t run themselves ragged and that all pieces and parts stay operational for as long as possible. 

6. Expert Advice

Ultimately, it’s hard to notice every flaw or red flag in a property where you spend every day. Hiring an extra set of eyes for your landscaping services could be just the ticket to ensure that no issue goes unnoticed and every problem is attended. 

The experienced arborists at The Parke Company are well-versed in what it takes to properly maintain landscaping features through high-quality landscaping services. From installation to repair, our experts are here to ensure that your property stays beautiful. 
Give us a call (615-350-6033) or contact us online today to see how The Parke Company difference can work for you.

Municipal Landscaping: What’s a Tree Inventory, and How Can It Help Your City?

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If you work in municipal landscaping, your heart’s passion is to beautify and preserve the natural landscape of your city. While every aspect of your town’s landscape design is important, tree care may be one that warrants reevaluation.

Some people think that tree maintenance is simple: tree removal, tree trimming, stump grinding. What they may not have considered, however, is that proper care for trees is vital to maintaining a thriving, green world, even in urban areas.

In addition to the procedures your city already has in place to tend to local trees, consider incorporating a tree inventory. Here is what you need to know about this important practice.

What is a Tree Inventory?

As its name suggests, a tree inventory has a lot to do with accounting for all of the trees in a specific region. But it doesn’t stop at a simple roll call.

Tree inventories will take into account the number of trees in an area as well as the variety of trees recorded.

Some more sophisticated tree inventory processes will employ GPS and GIS technologies to ensure precision and accuracy of tree records. This allows those who oversee the landscape to have easy access to the locations and population sizes of trees in their city without having to rely on a potentially inaccurate map or by visiting the reasons in real life every time.

A tree inventory is the process of bringing true and precise awareness to the arboreal life of your city and efficiently recording that data in an accessible format.

How Does it Help?

Tree inventories do more than just inform your landscape maintenance professionals how many and what type of trees are present in your city. Tree inventories can also be effective for proper tree care.

On a basic level, tree inventories can be a practical way to save your city money. A keener awareness of the trees in your city can be helpful for anticipating new construction in particular regions in order to avoid unexpected costs related to sudden needs for tree removal. It can also instruct you as to which areas should be avoided for new construction.

Tree inventories are also a practical and detailed way to care for the health of your city’s trees.

Tree inventories do more than just record the type and location of trees in an area. They can also record specific reports on the health of individual trees. This can inform the certified arborists who care for your trees as to how to move forward with the treatment of the landscape.

A tree inventory records the current status of trees in the given area and can report back on needs for each tree to encourage flourishing and aid trees that may be in poor health. This can also be an effective measure for avoiding potential costs associated with sickly trees that may fall or infect other parts of the landscape, leading to the loss of plant life and presenting a hefty financial burden to your city.

What Are My First Steps?

Caring for a city’s landscape is a difficult job, and it is one that should only be performed by the best in their field.

If your city has yet to conduct a tree inventory, this is a vital practice to institute if the landscape is to be as healthy and beautiful as possible.

Your first steps should be to contact someone experienced in tree care. A certified arborist is best equipped to conquer this lengthy and arduous task.

The experts at The Park Company are committed to honoring the beauty of the landscape in their communities. Their certified arborists and landscape artists are uniquely qualified to care for the landscaping needs of Nashville and the surrounding communities.

A tree inventory may be what is keeping your city’s landscape from its best and healthiest state. Don’t hesitate to give us a call at (615)-350-6033 or contact us online today to see how The Parke Company difference can work for you.

6 Signs It’s Time for Tree Removal

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Trees, like any other plant, are living organisms. This means that they will die someday. Proper removal of dying trees is necessary, not only for the general health of your landscape, but also for the safety of your home.

Unstable, sickly trees are a serious safety risk. If their instability progresses too far, an unhealthy tree could fall into your yard or on your home. Even if a tree is not completely dead, a weak tree could easily be brought down by a storm.

The best way to circumvent this safety risk is by being proactive in maintaining the trees on your property. Always keep a close watch on your older trees to check for symptoms of illness. Here are six signs that it’s time for tree removal.

1. Lack of Leaves

Most property owners are aware of the fact that trees shed their leaves in fall and remain barren until spring rolls around again. You may notice, however, that the regrowth of leaves on your trees is a bit different from years prior. This could be one of the first signs of a tree’s failing health.

If you observe that a certain area of your tree has few or no leaves, this could be a signal of illness. A tree lacking or sparse in overall leaf coverage is likely dying and should be evaluated by your landscaping service provider.

2. Mushrooms At the Base of the Tree

Mushrooms and other fungus-like organisms grow easily along the forest floor, but this is bad news for your trees. When large colonies of fungus grow on your trees, they infect the roots and trunk, causing damage that can result in serious instability and significant safety risks.

Unfortunately, if the growth of the fungus is progressive, little can be done to salvage infected plants. Many invasive organisms that commonly attack trees (such as honey fungus) cannot be removed with a fungicide.

Any trees that have not been seriously damaged by the fungus can be transplanted after careful examination, but many will have to be removed to prevent the spread of further infection.

3. Dead Branches

If you’ve noticed fungus growing at the base of your tree, you are likely to find collections of dead branches on the ground as well. Sickly trees often drop these fallen branches, which can then contribute to the spread of disease.

According to Tchukki Andersen, a certified arborist for the Tree Care Industry Association, when trees are sick or dying, they tend to shed branches to become “smaller” so that there is less of an organism to feed. This is not unlike when the human body cuts off blood flow to appendages to redirect blood to the heart and brain if necessary.  

Falling branches present a risk of falling and causing damage to your property or loved ones. When unattended, falling branches compromise tree stability, resulting in a potential fall.

4. Find Branches Without Buds

It is possible, however, to catch signs that branches may be dying before they even fall.

Carefully observing your trees’ branch health can help you spot early indicators of tree illness.

Tree limbs that lack buds where they have typically been present could be dying. If these same branches are also fine and brittle, snapping easily, this could also be a sign poor health.

Careful observation of branch health will help you avoid the larger risks that result when illnesses reach the trunk of a tree and compromise its stability. Be proactive and monitor your trees’ branches as a part of your regular landscape maintenance.

5. Bark Health

Like human skin, the bark of a tree can be a visible indicator of its overall health.

If bark has fallen off of a trunk leaving deep cracks and gouges, this could be a sign that the tree will need removal. These cracks in bark are often referred to as “cankers” and trees are likely to break or split in those areas, posing a serious threat to safety.

Evaluating a tree’s bark can also reveal its health status. This evaluation is known as a “scratch test”. To conduct a scratch test, simply peel away a small section of the bark from the tree’s trunk. If the underlying flesh of the tree is green, the tree is alive. If the bark underneath is brown and dry, this is a sign of decay.

When conducting a scratch test, make sure to test multiple branches since a sickly tree could still have a healthy branch or two.

6. Trunk Heath

While you’re conducting a scratch test, it can also be helpful to evaluate the health of your tree’s trunk as a whole.

If your tree’s trunk lists heavily to one side as a result of strong winds or a storm, this is a sign of weak roots and warrants removal.

A cavity or “owl hole” in your tree’s trunk may seem charming, but it can also signify a dying tree. Hollow portions of a tree trunk are never a good sign. These holes are typically the result of a fallen branch leaving a cavity behind and they tend to appear in old, dying trees. If you notice these types of cavities in your tree, have it inspected as soon as possible to avoid a costly disaster.  

It is important to note the difference between a sick tree and a dying tree. While dead and dying trees cannot be saved, sick trees can be helped if quickly diagnosed by a certified arborist.

From tree planting to tree removal, the care of your home’s landscape should be handled by experienced professionals. The certified arborists at The Parke company have the precise set of skills to properly evaluate the health of your trees and to help you take the next steps toward tree removal.
Give us a call (615-350-6033) or contact us online today to see how The Parke Company difference can work for you.

Building a Treehouse: Choosing the Right Tree

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Nowadays, most children are heavily exposed to screens before the age of three and spend overwhelming amounts of time indoors rather than creating outdoor memories to last a lifetime.

People who grew up without the ubiquitous presence of screens are likely to recall one of childhood’s most nostalgic inventions – the treehouse. For parents who want to enrich their children’s upbringing and combat the negative social and physical effects of excessive screen time, installing a treehouse in your backyard may be the key.

If you’re thinking about adding a treehouse to your landscape design, strategy is key to ensure both safety and sustainability. Here are a few things you need to consider when choosing the right tree for your treehouse.

Location

Everyone knows the first rule of real estate: location, location, location. The same is true for choosing the perfect tree for your treehouse.

It is important to consider your specific needs when deciding where to build a treehouse. For a family of younger children, a treehouse close to your home may ensure that your kids do not stray too far on their adventures and remain in your line of sight. Be sure, however, not to locate the treehouse so close to your home that it presents a potential safety risk or disrupts the rest of your landscape design.

If your children are older and can handle a grander excursion, you may be able to build  your treehouse on a tree further back on your property, allowing your children to embrace a little independence and grow their developing imagination.

Age

Once you have determined the ideal location for your treehouse, consider the age of the trees in that area.

Safety is a top priority when building your treehouse and tist can be directly influenced by the age of the tree you choose. Older, weaker trees should be avoided when selecting a tree for a treehouse, but even young trees should be approached with caution.

Trees are (obviously) plants, so they continue to grow over time. When building around a tree that may continue to grow significantly, be sure that you have built your structure in such a way that allows for growth as you exercise regular tree care. The last thing you want is for a treehouse to burst at the seams after a few years’ growth.

Supports

There are a number of different factors to consider when ensuring that your tree will offer sufficient support for your treehouse.

The first option is to choose not one, but two trees between which to build your treehouse. If there are multiple trees near enough to each other, building across two trees may allow you to build a larger treehouse with double the support.

Regardless of whether or not you have the capability of building on two trees, the thickness and disbursement of the branches will be important for ensuring stability. Be sure the branches are sturdy and convenient enough for building a treehouse. Removing extraneous branches can be done easily with proper landscape maintenance, but it’s a much more difficult task to grow the right branches.  

Height

The internet is full of opulent photos of treehouses tucked away in the highest reaches of Amazonian canopies. While a sky-high treehouse may make for a scintillating Instagram post, treehouses placed far off the ground may not be the best idea.     

Especially with younger, more rambunctious children, treehouses placed in a tall tree may increase the risk of injury in the event of a fall. Generally, it is advised that treehouses for children should be about 10 feet from the ground.

Height can also be a risk factor when combined with risk factors from weather. When a treehouse’s center of gravity is higher from the ground, storms can present unforeseen danger. When subjected to high-speed winds, treehouse can act as a sail and multiply the stress put onto branches during a storm. Ideally, a well-built treehouse will be able to endure the weather typical of your area, but keeping a tree house low to the ground may be a simple step to ensuring stability.

Treehouses are a classic feature of landscape design that are often forgotten today. In an age when kids need time outside more than ever, incorporating a treehouse may be what helps to combat “tech-brain” and encourage imagination in ways that only outdoor play can.   

From tree planting to treehouse installation, The Parke Company is available and qualified to ensure that your treehouse is safe and artistically incorporated into your current landscape.

For more information on how to safely incorporate the whimsical delight of a treehouse into your landscape design, 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.

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.