How to Protect the Beauty of Your Home Landscaping in Tennessee’s Unpredictable Climate

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If you’re not too careful, you may make the mistake of assuming that Tennessee’s climate can be lumped in with other nearby states. By slapping the label “southern” on an area, you may assume that Tennessee’s yearly climate consists of dreadful summers, nonexistent  winters, and year-round warmth. 

While Tennessee could certainly be considered a southern state, its greatest diversity may not be how much it differs from surrounding states, but by how diverse the climates are within the state itself. 

Tennessee has a generally temperate climate, fostering somewhat pleasant weather year round, but its varied topography leads to a variety of climatic conditions that can be observed in the state.  

Given its wide range of topography, Tennessee is divided into six topographical regions: the Unaka Mountains, the Great Valley of East Tennessee, the Cumberland Plateau, the Highland Rim, the Central Basin, and the Gulf Coastal Plain.

The differences between mountains, plains, and valleys are vast and can make for some terribly unpredictable weather, regardless of where you’re located. 

Keeping the variety of Tennessee’s topographical features in mind, there is no one-size-fits-all method for caring for your landscape design. Here are some techniques to incorporate to your landscape maintenance throughout the year to combat a finicky climate. 

Irrigation Systems

As much as we may like to, none of us can control rainfall. It’s obviously incredibly important that your home landscaping receives the appropriate amount of water year round, regardless of the rainfall that occurs naturally. 

A simple solution to this is to install an irrigation system. By doing this, you can easily water your landscape and adjust quickly to changes in the weather. Rather than digging out your sprinkler from the back shed after you thought you were finished for the season, an irrigation system ensures that all areas of your property get the water they need to flourish all year long. 

This also includes factoring in drainage systems. The appropriate drainage system will help you deal with any unexpected rainfall or flooding, and it could be the saving grace to ensure that your landscape doesn’t drown in unpredictable weather. 

Plant with a Purpose

Proper lawn care and landscape maintenance begins before trimming and watering processes. The best landscapes are carefully designed with variable climates in mind. 

While your options for what to plant are somewhat regionally determined, there are a number of flowers and trees known to withstand a variety of climates. If you’re looking for a low maintenance addition to your landscape, one of these plants may be a wise idea if you’re looking for something that can withstand unexpected frost. 

According to Cassy Aoyagi, president of Form LA Landscaping, planting species that are native to your region is also a great way to proactively combat tenuous weather. Plants that have grown in your area for a while have had time to adapt to any common changes in the climate and the soil. These plants will be more resistant to disease and will self-adjust to many of the changes in climate.  

Proactive Maintenance

You’d be surprised at just how essential a routine cleanup job is to your property. An unpredictable climate can mean unusual growth and death that clutters your landscape. 

When trees suddenly shed leaves and branches, being unprepared for this change can pose a threat to the health of your property. Perhaps your trees drop a large number of leaves in the summer season before your planned leaf removal. Being out of season is no excuse for leaving this issue unresolved. 

If lots of leaves and branches stay on the ground, you risk leaves rotting and stifling the growth of grass and tree roots. Protecting the beauty of your landscape in unpredictable climates means being proactive and observant, quickly tending to issues when they arise and not waiting until the next season to tackle the problem. 

Swings in weather can also lead to growth of mold and fungus. If left untouched, these invaders can infect your property with disease and lead to the death of trees, shrubs, and other vital elements of your landscape. 

To avoid resorting to tree removal, be sure to incorporate proper tree maintenance and inspect your plants closely when there are unexpected shifts in the weather. 

Get an Evaluation 

Ultimately, there will be changes in the climate that you can’t prepare for. As the environment suffers more and more unusual swings in climate behavior, there is a chance that your property will endure unprecedented shifts in weather that take a toll on your landscape. 

The best way to protect the beauty of your landscape is by hiring a professional to evaluate your property’s needs and treat it accordingly. 

A certified arborist or lawn care specialist has the skills and know-how to critically assess your landscape’s unique needs. The Parke Company is staffed by specialists who are ready to help ensure that your property stays beautiful, regardless of nasty weather. 
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)

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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?

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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.

5 Great Places for Paths and Walkways

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The importance of paths and walkways in the overall landscaping of your yard should never be overlooked. Focusing solely on your garden, pool, or patio, while forgetting to consider how each space is connected can leave your yard feeling disjointed. It is crucial to consider transitions between spaces in your outdoor landscape design.

Paths serve two primary purposes. First, they connect your outdoor spaces, ushering guests toward different destinations in your yard (delineating the way from the pool to the outdoor tiki bar to the barbeque, for example). Alternatively, paths and walkways can be used to simply encourage the enjoyment of your yard. A labyrinth, for instance, is a path meant for strolling, encouraging meditation, or the simple appreciation of your garden.

It’s important to think about your path’s purpose, look and feel, amount of foot traffic, dimension, shape, and which materials you wish to use when designing your ideal walkway.

Ideal Places for Walkways That Truly Enhance Your Landscape

Where to place paths and walkways throughout your outdoor living space depends on a variety of factors – the size of your yards, the outdoor features you wish to highlight, the amount of use you expect each path will get, the purpose your walkway will serve, etc. Below are a few ideal places where paths and walkways will help enhance your overall landscape:

  1. A welcoming front yard walkway not only increases your home’s curb appeal, it also provides an inviting entrance into your house. A beautifully landscaped front yard walkway gives guests an immediate positive impression as they make their way to your front door. As the entryway to your home, you want a front yard path that is visually pleasing, but also easy to walk. A walkway that leads to your front door should be relatively direct, although if you want to highlight certain features of your front yard it can be interesting to include a few slight detours through pleasant surroundings.
  2. Nothing beats a lovely garden path that welcomes you into nature. Enhancing your garden path with fragrance and color sets the tone for the entire area. As the entryway to a key aspect of your outdoor space, you’ll want to ensure the path reflects the same visual and emotive features that your garden offers.
  3. A meandering walkway within your backyard – be it through a rose or vegetable garden, a densely planted oasis that features a plethora of plants, or whatever else your great outdoor space has to offer. These walkways are dedicated to encouraging you to simply zen out, take a leisurely stroll, or enjoy the plants and wildlife that make up your outdoor area. Rather than being a path to a specific destination, meandering walkways curve through your backyard, inviting people to relax, reflect, and take in nature..
  4. Nothing beats a functional path to your pool, fire pit, dining patio, or any other key feature of your backyard.. Walkways that logically lead visitors to each outdoor destination will encourage the use of your various outdoor spaces.
  5. A path to a calming outdoor destination in your yard such as a lookout spot, bench, gazebo, reading nook, or intimate patio deserves a beautiful walkway that gently leads people towards their blissful destination.

The Parke Company Can Lead the Way to Your Ideal Front or Back Yard Path

Whether you are looking to upgrade an existing path or walkway with our landscape maintenance services, or need a new path or walkway installed via our landscape installation services, The Parke Company’s landscaping services will set you on the path to the walkway of your dreams. Locally owned and operated, The Parke Company provides community-centered, high quality, and affordable tree removal and landscape services to municipalities, businesses, and private residences in the greater Nashville area.

We know Nashville. When it comes to lawn services, we have all your bases covered. We know the soil, water tables, plants, seasons, and how each of these may directly or indirectly impact your specific landscape. We have the local experience, knowledge, and know-how to help you manage your landscape and realize your dreams.

Our certified team of Nashville locals has a reputation for being clean, consistent, and professional, and for being leaders in their industries. We at The Parke Company stand behind our work and pride ourselves on our ability to respond quickly, provide efficient and cost-effective services, and meet your needs every step of the way.
Please feel free 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. You can also ask about how our landscaping service can best support your outdoor living space’s paths and walkways.