How Are Landscaping Clippings Recycled and Reused?

Hands holding a small plant

In the pursuit of creating a greener planet, how you care for your landscape has never been more important. 

While a neighborhood fall cleanup and regular recycling are great ways to care for the needs of the Earth, your landscaping services can also play an instrumental role in helping you foster the health of the planet. 

When most people complete landscaping project, the natural reaction is to bag up clippings and trimmings and leave them out for yard waste services to pick up. What you may not have realized, however, is that the leftovers from your latest landscaping endeavor can actually be reused in important ways. 

When you’re completing your next landscaping project or hiring lawn services, keep these things in mind as you consider how your landscaping clippings can be recycled and reused.  

Tree Waste 

In most circumstances, large tree branches cannot be simply disposed of after tree removal. One thing that tree waste can be exceptionally useful for, however, is mulch. 

This does mean that you will need to ensure your tree removal services will also involve a tree chipper as well. 

When you’re arranging for a tree to be removed from a space on your property, the chips from that tree can be used to help foster growth for new plants around that area or to help bolster the flourishing of plants already there. 

Especially as fall and winter rolls around, tree waste can also make excellent kindling and firewood. Depending on local laws, if you don’t have a fireplace (or just have a lot more wood than you would need) you can also loan out free firewood to friends, or try to turn your tree care into a small profit by selling your excess firewood. 

Lawn Waste

Much like tree trimmings, lawn waste can also make excellent mulch. As long as your haven’t been having significant lawn problems, reusing lawn clippings to better the plant life of your property couldn’t be easier. 

Simply avoid the temptation to bag up your grass clippings!

In the summer, you may want to rake or brush clippings to the margins of your lawn so that you avoid unsightly sunspots in your grass, but capitalizing on the benefits of reusing grass clippings is a low-maintenance way to go green with your landscaping services. 

Garden Waste

One of the most beneficial ways to reuse and recycle landscaping clippings is through saving your garden waste. Composting is certainly not a new idea, but you may not have realized just how tremendous the benefits can be.

Not only does composting on your own property help you to make use of fruit and vegetable scraps and avoid sending them to a landfill, it also deeply enriches soil with vital nutrients. Plus, according to the EPA, composting these organic materials can even help reduce methane emissions that would normally arise in landfills and reduce your carbon footprint overall. 

As more and more data on the current state of the environment is revealed, conscientious citizens understand that it is more important than ever to carefully tend to the environment. One simple way to do that is through reusing and recycling the landscaping clippings you’d normally bag up and toss out. 

An even simpler way to go green is by having your landscaping service provider do it for you. Make your life simple by contacting the experienced professionals at The Parke Company, who have the know-how to properly care for the aesthetic and environmental quality of your property. Our experts have the exact skills necessary to best fulfill your landscaping dreams without harming the planet. 
Give us a call (615-350-6033) or contact us online today to see how The Parke Company difference can work for you.

5 Ways You Can Improve the Health and Life of Your Trees (Without Tree Removal)

Tree

A well-maintained tree (or a number of trees) is an integral feature of every great landscape design. Trees can create natural barriers on your property, provide shade, and tremendously benefit the overall aesthetics of your property.

For a number or reasons, proper tree care is a must. Not only are sickly trees unsightly, but they can also pose a genuine threat to the safety of your property.

In the worst-case scenario, an unhealthy tree could fall in a storm. A good way to prevent that would be to cut down a tree in poor health. An even savvier way to deal with this issue is to ensure that your trees never get to that level of unhealth.

To circumvent the costs of dying trees, here are five ways you can improve their health and life without removing them.

1. Plant Strategically

If you haven’t yet, the best time to conduct a tree inventory is now.

By conducting a tree inventory, not only will you have an assessment of the health of your existing trees and be more informed as to what steps need to be taken, you will also have a detailed report as to the location of your current trees.

Preventing issues with tree health starts with planting trees strategically. When you plant trees with intention, you can ensure that competing species are not planted too close to one another, that they won’t grow into power lines, and that their placement won’t conflict with anything else in your current landscape design.

2. Start with Great Soil

Vital to planting trees strategically is starting with great soil. Just like any plant, trees need quality soul to grow well.

There are a number of different factors that make soil quality important. Not only does soil serve as a reservoir for vital nutrients and water, but it also contains the microorganisms that encourage beneficial decomposition, acting as an anchor for plant roots.

Maintaining healthy trees (as well as planting new ones) begins with assessing for quality soil to ensure that your trees have a hospitable environment in which they can grow.

If you’re not comfortable testing the soil yourself, seek out a landscape maintenance professional to do the complex work for you. These professionals will evaluate the soil for qualities like texture, drainage, chemical properties, and more.   

3. Tree Trimming

As previously mentioned, trees are plants and, as such, require similar care.

Just as you would prune dead leaves from a basil plant, or cut back dead parts of a grape vine, it’s important to incorporate regular tree trimming into your tree care.

By trimming trees regularly, you can identify diseased branches and trim them before any more sickness spreads. You can also ensure that trees don’t get overgrown if they are near any other feature of your landscape that may compromise the tree’s health.

Tree trimming has a vast array of benefits from maintaining the health of trees and increasing sun exposure, to protecting against branch weakness and improving the life of fruits and flowers.

4. Pest Maintenance

The neighborhood squirrels and raccoons may be cute, but they might not be the best for maintaining the health of your trees. In some cases, an animal that choose to make a home in or near your trees could be what compromises the health and safety of the trees on your property.

Especially with young trees that are growing, and sickly trees you’re treating, a physical barrier or other repellant can keep pests from munching at your tree’s bark or building a home where they may not belong.

5. Ask the Experts

When it comes down to it, it isn’t enough to simply ensure that you maintain the health of your trees; it must be done well for them to flourish to their potential.

If you’re not confident that you can perform all of the necessary tasks to support the growth of your trees, you’ve got a few options: you could spend hours researching how to best serve the trees on your property, or you could call a certified arborist to do the tough work for you.

By trusting the landscape professionals at The Parke Company, you call rest easily knowing that your trees will be evaluated and cared for by experts who will tailor their work to the unique needs of 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

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

Parke-company-nashville-tree-inventory-what-is-it

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.

Mulching 101: Choosing and Applying the Right Mulch for Maximum Growth

Mulch

As much as many of us would simply like to let nature takes its course when it comes to tending our property, the fact of the matter is that lush landscapes do not grow themselves and often need to be helped along.

Incorporating mulch is a time-tested method for maintaining a beautiful landscape design, but with the myriad options available for mulching, choosing the best one for your particular property can be challenging.

First and foremost, the type of mulch you select depends heavily on the project you have in mind. When people hear “mulch”, brightly colored wood chips often come to mind. While this may be an appropriate aesthetic choice, the harsh dyes and chemicals in this material do not foster growth; they would be much more appropriate to cover parts of your landscape that only need visual improvement.

Furthermore, once you have carefully selected the type of mulch you’ll use, ensuring optimal growth means more than just heaving bags of compost over the top of your garden or along the edges of your property.

If you want your landscape to be the crowning glory of your neighborhood, properly incorporating mulch is key. Here is everything you need to know about choosing and applying the right mulch for maximum growth.

Mulching How-Tos

Choosing the right kind of mulch may require a visit back to high school environmental science class.

What you want out of mulch is decomposition. Decomposition pulls nitrogen from the soil, which plants love.  

Nitrogen is vital to plant growth because it is a primary component of chlorophyll, the necessary chemical for photosynthesis. Even if you slept through science class, you probably still caught that photosynthesis is how plants use sunlight to grow.

Many mulch varieties boast of their nitrogen content, but the best mulch for your next project may depend on the specific plants you are trying to grow.

Gardens

For a garden growing fruits and vegetables, organic and inorganic mulches can be effective. In some circumstances, mulches like wood chips can still promote growth, but in a garden they are more likely to be a nuisance since you will be digging up that area frequently.

When selecting an inorganic mulch for gardens, choose ones that will help defend against weeds while still protecting the soil.

Using plastic mulch can be good for gardens with temperature-sensitive plants. A dark plastic sheet will retain heat overnight and keep your more delicate vegetation warm. These sheets can ward off weeds and also prevent too much rainwater from soaking through the ground and overwatering your plants. When applying this kind of mulch, be sure to bury or weigh down the edges of your sheet and make holes in the sheet to allow for growth.

Organic mulches both cover and nurture soil in gardens. As mentioned previously, an organic, decomposed mulch enriches the soil because of its nitrogen content.

Additionally, hay and straw can be effective mulches to help retain moisture in soil and well as offering nutrients during decomposition. It is vital, however, that the hay is seed-free so that you are not inviting any unwanted plants into your garden. You should also be careful not to lay the hay or straw too close to the stems of your plants. This can attract slugs and other pests.

Trees

Mulch can also be a helpful tool if you’ve planted a tree and want to boost its growth. Mulch can be helpful for maintaining moisture in the soil around a tree’s roots, adding nutrients, and reducing damage to roots caused by lawn mowing (and damage to lawn mowers caused by tree roots!).

When it comes to these hardier plants though, the type of mulch used is less important than how the mulch is applied.

Much like garden plants, it is vital to avoid laying your mulch too close to the tree’s roots. This “volcano effect” occurs when mulch is piled high around a tree trunk and it can often result in too much moisture buildup which leads to root rot.

To avoid this pitfall, follow these few steps from The Arbor Day Foundation for the best tree care when laying mulch:

  • Remove all grass from around the base of the tree within a three to ten-foot radius (depending on the size of the tree).
  • Pour your mulch (they do recommend organic) within the circle about two to four inches deep
  • After pouring, double-check that the mulch is not touching the tree’s trunk.

From hardy oak trees to dainty tomato plants, incorporating mulch into your regular landscape maintenance could be what helps you achieve the lush property you’ve dreamed of. If you’re reticent about adding a new practice to your landscaping techniques, fear not! The certified arborists and landscaping professionals at The Parke Company are knowledgeable and experienced in how to cater to your property’s specific needs.

Give us a call (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

landscaping and irrigation

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.