Landscape design, construction and maintenance, these three building blocks are required for a successful landscape project. A landscape architect provides a functional, aesthetic design. The landscape contractor uses the plans and specifications provided by the landscape architect for bidding the project. If awarded the contract, the plans become contract documents that the contractor adheres to during the construction process. Following construction, the landscape maintenance contractor (who might also be the installation contractor) provides regular ongoing maintenance to ensure the installed irrigation and plant systems operate and flourish. Whether a residential, commercial or public works landscape project, these three separate but … Read More
(Landscape Contractor Standard of Care, Part 3) In part three of the series of articles addressing landscape contractor standard of care, we examine the role of the landscape contractor during the construction process, the importance of construction project management, supervision, communication and coordination and landscape contractor deficiencies that may result in customer dissatisfaction and potential legal action.
This past summer brought us the gigantic Rim fire that devastated Yosemite National Park and surrounding communities. Over 4,900 firefighters operated under a unified command, however when the fire crossed over into the boundary between state and national park land, the National Park Service took a very different approach than Cal Fires (California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection).
We have seen an increasing number of disease pathogens and insects attacking many tree species throughout our country. In Southern California, the gold spotted oak borer, (GSOB), (Agrilus auroguttatu), first introduced in San Diego County between 1990-2000 has spread into Riverside County and is expected to spread throughout California. This pest specifically targets the Coast Live Oak and Black Oak, (Quercus agrifolia, Quercus kelloggii), both oaks comprising a major part of our red oak forests throughout California. The adult female beetle lays eggs on host trees mainly June through September, the eggs hatch into larvae which bore through the outer … Read More
Fortunately, most municipalities now have recycling programs for green waste, making it easier for homeowners to recycle their used Xmas tree. Recyclers grind or shred trees into a mulch which is then composted and eventually becomes available as a bulk or bagged mulch product. This is certainly a preferable option than the “old days” when trees were commingled with regular trash and buried in landfill sites. If you have a large tree, prune off some branches and reduce the overall size to ensure local curbside pickup. If you have the room on your property, you can do your own recycling … Read More
I read a fascinating article on how trees and plants evolved to cope with harsh, freezing environments. Fossil evidence depicts flowering plants first survived in warm, tropical climates. As they spread into upper latitudes and higher altitudes, plants needed to adapt to cope with the colder, freezing conditions. Unlike animals, plants cannot just get up and move to a warmer location, nor are they capable of warming themselves. While colder environmental were a challenge, the real problem was dealing with icy conditions. How did plants manage to adapt and evolve to live in such harsh climates? Read the article at: … Read More
Read an article in the Los Angeles Times concerning upcoming changes at Yosemite National Park. There is a proposal to remove public parking, a gift shop and tram operations in an effort to minimize impacts to the Mariposa Grove, a grove of approximately 500 Giant Sequoia trees (Sequoia giganteum). The Park service recognizes paved surfaces and infrastructure are “compacting the soil, encroaching on sequoia roots and interfering with natural drainage patterns”. Tram service will be limited to the south entry of the park and shuttle buses would take people tot he entrance of the lower grove, where the largest and … Read More
With the intent to continually learn new information, stay up on new industry trends, laws and practices, I attend lots of seminars, workshops and continuing education courses. Most of the seminars have been informative and useful, and for the most part, the speakers have been entertaining in presenting their material. Lets face it, learning new information is not always fascinating or interesting, especially when the topic is technical in nature. Or, the topic might be informative but the speaker might not have the best oratory skills to keep one fully involved and listening or absorbing the message. When I attend … Read More
Click Here to Download the PDF Version of This Article This Post is Part Two of a Series, Click Here to Read Part One In part one of the series Landscape Contractors Standard of Care, I discussed why a professional landscape contractor is held to a higher standard of care than an ordinary laymen. Wikipedia defines standard of care as “In certain industries and professions, the standard of care is determined by the standard that would be exercised by the reasonably prudent manufacturer of a product, or the reasonably prudent professional in that line of work.” The previous article focused on … Read More
For years, certified arborists and urban foresters have learned the many benefits of trees. Energy savings are one of the foremost known benefits of trees as they shade building during the summer reducing the need for air conditioning and deciduous tress allow sunlight to reach structures during winter months, solar radiation decreasing the need for winter heating. Another known benefit for trees are their ability to reduce storm water runoff and erosion, particularly during the winter months. Tree root systems bind soil particles and slow storm runoff from roofs and other impervious surfaces, trees act as bio filters, slowing storm … Read More