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Carpenter Costin's Blog

Tree Work in Danvers, MA

Posted by Amy O'Hare

Mar 28, 2014 10:59:17 AM

We're so honored to be able to work with the same clients over and over again whether it's for yearly spraying for insects, landscape design, or tree work. In December a couple of our long time clients purchased a home in Danvers, MA and chose winter tree pruning to improve both the aesthetic appeal as well as the safety of their property.

One of our arborists went to assess the trees for winter damage, checking for broken branches and structural damange. We worked with the client to discuss future plans for landscaping and then set out to get to work. At first glance it seemed that it would be challenging to gain access; the yard is fenced and didn't provide easy access to the trees. Once again, we were able to use our Tracked Lift to enter the rear yard through the gate with no impact to the lawn. 

Once in we pruned shade trees to allow for more light in the small yard and created the best environment for a garden, healthy lawn and new planting capabilities! 

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Topics: tree care, Featured Projects, tree pruning, tree trimming, Carpenter Costin, Tracked Lift

Preparing for Spring Landscaping

Posted by Carpenter Costin

Mar 3, 2014 10:37:00 AM

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It doens't feel like Spring is around the corner but in reality now is a great time to start planning your Spring landscape. To begin, think about how you want to use your yard this year and consider areas for kids or pets, entertaining or outdoor living. If you're not sure, our landscape architects have great ideas and will help you envision your yard as a perfect place to play and relax. 

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Here are some ideas for Spring Landscaping:

  1. Bring warmth and fun to your backyard with a stone fire pit.
  2. Redefine the entrance to your home with a new walkway.
  3. Add a beautiful flowering tree for an interesting focal point.
  4. Introduce seasonal color to your property by adding flowers that bloom all season.
  5. Add outdoor living space with a new patio.
  6. Remove or transplant overgrown shrubs that detract from curb appeal.
  7. Install a stone wall to delineate a seating area.

Carpenter Costin’s landscape architects will work with you to explore the possibilities of your property and turn your dreams into reality.  Call now for a no obligation consultation on spring landscaping, 877/308-8733.  

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Topics: tree planting, hardscape design, Carpenter Costin, Landscape Design, Landscape Construction, landscape tips, Spring Landscape Care, Spring

Winter Tree Care and a 10% Discount

Posted by Carpenter Costin

Dec 17, 2013 12:48:55 PM

tree_removal_bucket_truckAvoid tree loss and property damage  

Most damage during severe weather events occurs due to falling trees and limbs.  During winter months, storms with high winds can break off branches or cause trees to fall, resulting in property damage, power outages or even personal injury. The weight of ice and snow accumulations can bend and break delicate evergreens.

Now is an important time to have your trees inspected for decay, broken or hazardous branches, and weak branch unions.  There are some basic procedures that can help reduce the risk of tree and property damage.  Carpenter Costin’s certified arborists can inspect for conditions and defects that could predispose your trees to failure. In the winter you want to be sure to:

  • Clear dangerous branches away from your home
  • Remove dangerous and unwanted trees and shrubs
  • Rejuvenate shrubs and hedge to thicken and invigorate
  • Prune disease-prone fruit trees
  • Prune to improve vista

Please give us a call to arrange a complimentary appointment for a Carpenter Costin certified arborist to give your trees a thorough inspection and evaluation before winter hits.  Based on our assessment, Carpenter Costin may recommend treatments, pruning or installation of support cables.  As trees provide great value and beauty to your property, removal should only be considered only where high risk conditions exist. 

We offer a 10% discount on winter tree work between December 1st and March 31, 2013.

Don’t let your trees become casualties.  Call now to arrange a Free Tree Inspection by a certified arborist.  877/308-8733.

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Topics: tree care, Tree Removal, tree pruning, tree trimming, Carpenter Costin, Winter Tree Service, tree service videos

Winter Tree Work in MA - 10% Discount

Posted by Amy O'Hare

Dec 7, 2013 5:11:22 PM

It's time for winter tree work. Have your trees serviced between Dec - Mar and get a 10% discount.

Tree removal and tree pruning in the winter is ideal for a number of reasons. Firm ground, low foliage, and reduced outdoor activity make tree service easier for the Arborist. Carpenter Costin's 10%  winter discount makes tree service much easier for the property owner as well.

Tree service in the winter is also recommended for areas that are constantly used in the growing season, such as golf courses and athletic fields. Servicing trees in these locations during the winter will ensure that there is no damage to the turf.

With clear sight lines, Arborists can easily analyze and prune out dead wood and hanging limbs, and identify any structural weaknesses that can be pruned or cabled to ensure safety.

Consider Carpenter Costin's winter tree services to help improve the appeal and safety of your trees. You'll be glad come spring time.

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Topics: tree care, Tree Removal, tree pruning, tree trimming, Carpenter Costin, Winter Tree Service, tree service videos

Hemlock Woolly Adelgid

Posted by Amy O'Hare

Sep 24, 2013 9:56:00 AM

HWAAn insect is threatening to destroy one of our most valuable native trees—the Eastern Hemlock.

Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) is a tiny, aphid-like insect introduced to the U.S. from Asia.  Since 1988, when it was discovered in the state, it has slowly spread throughout the region, usually by wind and birds.  In addition to being small, HWA is different from other insects as it lays dormant much of the growing season and becomes active throughout the winter, producing new egg masses as early as February.

HWA can be easily recognized by the presence of white cottony egg masses on Hemlock twigs.  Damage is caused when the eggs hatch and the young feed by sucking sap from the twigs, killing them.

Trees infested with HWA, untreated, may decline and die very quickly.   Once HWA has been identified, it should be treated immediately. 

Effective treatments are available to manage HWA.

Call now, 877/308-8733, to have your Hemlocks inspected by a certified Arborist and protected against this deadly pest.

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Topics: tree care, Carpenter Costin, pest management, Hemlock Woolly Adelgid

Beautiful Bluestone Patio

Posted by Amy O'Hare

Sep 19, 2013 3:33:00 PM

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We recently completed a beautiful bluestone patio that transformed the back of a house in Melrose. We worked closely with the clients and established a plan to remove the old and unsightly asphalt and concrete from the back area of the house and replace it with a beautiful bluestone patio.

You can see that one of the challenges this yard presented was the sloped landscape.

 

before 2 resized 600We put a lot of thought into figuring out exactly how the grading was going to work, in order to guarantee rain water would sheet-flow away from the house, and to make sure that the house, patio, driveway, and yard were all tied together properly.

 

A creative solution to the grading problem was to extend a stone retaining wall out of the foundation of the house and top it with a thermal bluestone cap.

This not only solved a grading issue, but the wall is a perfect seat, running along the side of the new patio.

after 2 resized 600Emerging out of the end of the seating wall is an uncapped retaining wall that returns back into the grade and allows a perfectly scaled walkway with granite steps to guide the clients or their guests from the driveway to the patio. Unlike the smooth, newly cut granite steps within the walkway at the entrance to the patio area.

The rough, recycled granite steps anchor the far corner of the space and lead one down to the sunken grass glade below.

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The finishing touches will come in the form of a custom deck being constructed adjacent to the patio and colorful perennials within all the planting pockets we created throughout the landscape. We can't wait to share the final results!

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Topics: Featured Projects, Carpenter Costin, Landscape Design, Landscape Construction, landscape care, portfolio

The Perfect Touch: A Danvers Paver Driveway

Posted by Carpenter Costin

Aug 22, 2013 11:50:00 AM

drivewayYou might think of your driveway as an after-thought to your landscape or yard work, but pictures from this project will change your mind! A beautiful driveway is the perfect touch for curb appeal, welcoming visitors, and creating a clean and polished look to your property.
We just completed a beautiful 3,000 square foot driveway in Danvers, MA using a premium combination of pavers. The different shades and shapes create an interesting and beautiful look.
photo 2A horseshoe section of driveway delivers you to the top parking court area and garage, which sits about 15-feet above the grade of the road.
Some of the details include a double interior banding of weathered brick type pavers throughout the horseshoe
section of the drive, with a single banding at the top section to delineate the parking court area.
Our Carpenter Costin masons custom built an inlaid, 6'-diameter compass rose as a center piece for the parking court area. Look at the detail!
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Installation of select landscape boulders, plants, and high-quality Kentucky bluegrass sod softens the hardscape edges and finishes off the overall aesthetic.
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We love sharing projects like this to start sparking ideas! If you're intersted in speaking with a landscape architect who can give you ideas about giving your outdoor space the perfect touch, call us at 877-308-873 or request a free consultation.

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Topics: hardscape design, Carpenter Costin, Landscape Design, portfolio, projects, project photos

What Causes Trees to Split?

Posted by Carpenter Costin

Aug 12, 2013 1:20:00 PM

describe the imageBetween wind and rain, Mother Nature can take a toll on your trees and put your homes, cars, and family at risk! A couple of weeks ago we got a call about an Oak tree in Swampscott that started to split on a calm day. During the month of July we had five calls for similar issues; trees or branches failing for seemingly no apparent reason. 
It's hard to remember now that we're enjoying the summer heat, but we had two significant storms this winter. Those hurricane force winds have damaged our trees, and now that the added weight of water and leaves are in the tree canopies, we're seeing the flaws manifest. 
This reminder reinforces the need to have a free arborist evaluation. A professional eye will see what you may not before you end up with a tree on your roof!
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Topics: tree care, Tree Removal, Carpenter Costin, arborist evaluation

Create a Destination - At Home!

Posted by Carpenter Costin

Jun 26, 2013 11:54:00 AM

describe the imageThe fragrant hint of summer roses, the sound of the wind in the trees and the beauty of brightly colored flowers all reward our senses in the garden.  After a long day of traffic jams, deadlines, difficult economic news and endless demands, a stroll through your garden can soothe the soul. In fact, researchers have found that exposure to nature can actually reduce your blood pressure, give you a sense of peace, and lift your mood.  

Turn your yard into a place to relax by making it a destination.  You can create an inviting outdoor living space by adding outdoor ‘rooms.’  Here are some ideas:

  • Design a tropical, comfortable and calming oasis. Imagine sipping an ice cold drink and relaxing with friends in the sun!
  • Add a pizza oven for unmatched entertaining.
  • Create a special place just for the kids and bring them out into the fresh air to play. 
  • A special, secluded ‘room’ in a quiet spot can be used for reading or meditation.
  • An outdoor fireplace can be used throughout the year.


For a complimentary consultation about how to create a destination in your yard call us at 877/308-8733 or

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Topics: hardscape design, Carpenter Costin, Landscape Design, landscape tips, outdoor living

Pruning Timing Depends on Pruning Goals

Posted by Carpenter Costin

Jun 6, 2013 10:45:00 AM

pruningWhile it's true that most pruning can be done at any time of year, your pruning goals dictate when a shrub or tree should be pruned.

Size Control of Non-Flowering Shrubs

When pruning shrubs such as Yews, Holly, Juniper, Privet, Arborvitae or Burning Bush, the best time to prune is just after the initial flush of growth.  Bud break occurs on most shrubs in April or May based on temperature and rainfall.  Immediately following the opening of the buds, the shrubs explode with new growth.  This growing period subsides with summer heat and reduced rainfall.  It's at this time, late June to early July, that pruning begins, removing the excessive growth that can cause shrubs to outgrow their intended space.  Later in the summer, usually around September, a ‘touch up’ pruning is done to control the limited growth that occurs in the hot summer months.  This second pruning helps maintain a neat appearance during dormant months.

It should be noted that shearing of shrubs, other than hedges, is not an accepted practice by horticulturalists.    

Spring Flowering Shrubs

There are two main goals in pruning flowering shrubs:

  1. To maintain the shrub within its intended site
  2. To promote maximum flower display

The timing for pruning shrubs such as Viburnum, Honeysuckle, Forsythia, Potentilla and Weigela, is after they flower.  These types of shrubs produce flower buds later in the summer for next year’s blossoms.  Late June or July is the appropriate time to prune such plants to maximize the next year’s flowers.

Large Leaved Rhododendrons

rhododendronLarge leaved Rhododendrons should never be sheared.  Shearing damages the leaves, causing unsightly brown cut margins.  Also, shearing creates a dense outer crown that does not allow light and airflow to easily reach the inside of the shrub’s crown.  Shearing definitely increases insect and disease activity in all shrubs, especially Rhododendrons.

Carpenter Costin hand prunes all large leaved Rhododendrons, maintaining a natural appearance, while maintaining the size of the plant within its intended space.  Rhododendrons are pruned shortly after flowering, which usually occurs sometime in late June.

It should be noted that plant development does not occur based on our calendar, but rather on daily temperature, called ‘Degree Days Heating.’

Summer Flowering Shrubs

blue hydrangeaAs with other flowering shrubs, pruning shortly after flowering is the best time.  Shrubs such as Clethra, Spirea, Rose of Sharon, and Hydrangea flower later in the season.  Summer flowers are produced on the new wood/shoots and develop in the same calendar year.  Hence, pruning too early will remove flowers getting ready for this year’s display. 

Our Strategy

At Carpenter Costin Landscape Management we plan for 3 separate prunings each season targeting specific shrubs.  The timing of our target pruning dates is completely dictated by the shrub’s development and species.  (We monitor Degree Day Heating through the University of Massachusetts for a variety of purposes).

First Pruning

As we can all see, large leaved Rhododendrons are in bloom right now.  I estimate that these shrubs will be pruned at the end of June, just after their flowers fall.

Second Pruning

Spring and early summer shrubs are either flowering now or have just passed flowering.  Pruning of these shrubs and the first pruning of non-flowering shrubs will occur approximately 4 weeks from now, or early July.  This timing will assure that we get the most out of our spring and early summer flowering shrubs and get the best flower development for next year’s blossoms.

Also, the initial growth spurt will be behind us for non-flowering shrubs, allowing for a longer period of time with a managed shape.

Third Pruning

Late summer pruning, to ‘touch up’ the almost certain additional growth of non-flowering shrubs, and the proper pruning time for summer flower shrubs, is September.

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Topics: tree care, shrub care, tree pruning, tree trimming, Carpenter Costin, shrub pruning, landscape care