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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

Beautiful Bluestone Patio

Posted by Amy O'Hare

Sep 19, 2013 3:33:00 PM

before 1 resized 600

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.

after 3 resized 600

 

after 4 resized 600

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

Faster and Safer Tree Work with our NEW Tracked Lift!

Posted by Carpenter Costin

Jul 28, 2013 2:51:00 PM

track lift resizedOur mission has always been to offer the best possible professional tree work, landscape design, and lawn care for our clients. We've been doing that for over 60 years and have some of the most delighted clients around. Now we can provide these services faster, safer, and more cost effectively. We're so excited for our newest piece of equipment, our Tracked Lift!

The tracked lift is so compact that it will fit thru a standard single door. The makeup of the lift allows us to move easily over soft, muddy or delicate finished surfaces without the damage that would be done by other types of wheeled equipment. It can even climb stairs!

Carpenter Costin will be using this beauty for things like:

  • Tree removal without climbing
  • Pruning large hedges without need for a ladder
  • Accessing yards that would otherwise be inaccessible because of fences and small gates

Track lift2 resizedLast week we had the perfect project for our new lift. Our client in Salem, MA had a large maple tree that was posing a hazard to a home with a slate roof. Not only do you want to avoid injury by having a tree fall on your house, but in this case it would be very expensive to repair or replace a slate roof! Like many properties in Salem, this home has a narrow driveway and two small garden gates for entry into the backyard. Without our new tracked lift, we wouldn't have been able to access the tree. Thanks to our new machine we were able to quickly and safely remove it for a much lower cost to the client.

We expect the tracked lift to be involved in a lot more projects going forward. If you have tree or yard work that needs to be done but thought it wouldn't be accessible, get in touch! We'll be happy to show this guy off!

 

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Topics: tree care, Tree Removal, shrub care, Featured Projects, tree pruning, tree trimming, shrub pruning, landscape maintenance, Tracked Lift

Featured Project: Natural Stone Patio and Water Feature in Reading, MA

Posted by Carpenter Costin

Sep 18, 2012 3:47:00 PM

Transforming a barren slope into a tranquil sitting area with water feature.

It is amazing how many homeowners have areas of their property that they render useless for one reason or another. These areas are often hopelessly abandoned because they are deemed unusable, unsafe, or undesirable. Fortunately, with a little creativity and expertise from a Landscape Architect, not only can the abandoned be salvaged, but it can actually be transformed into desirable, useful landscaped areas.

The property in this featured project sits with a wooded slope directly to the rear of the house, rendering the “back yard” fairly useless – that is until a Carpenter Costin Landscape Architect took a look. With some fill, minor regarding, a natural stone patio, a water feature, and some plantings, the slope in the back yard was transformed into a tranquil, and very desirable patio area. Next spring when the plants fill in, and the pachysandra ground cover matures, this area will be the complete package of hardscape, softscape, and water feature.

See the images below for the transformation. To have a Landscape Architect out to your property for a free consultation, click here:

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feature before 1

The slope made utilizing this space a real challenge.

feature after 1

Thinning out the trees, adding fill, and regrading helped make room for the walkway and patio.

feature before 3

The area had scattered ground cover, but was undesirable to say the least.

feat after 2

The new patio and two-tier water feature from the deck above.

feature before 2

Before bringing in the fill, the slope was so extreme it made this area useless.

feat after 3

Leveling off the slope made plenty of sitting room. As the plants fill in next spring it will make for a peaceful little landscape.

natural stone patio w water feature

A desirable, serene patio with a calming two-tier water feature.

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Topics: Featured Projects, Landscape Design, Landscape Construction

Featured Project: Natural Stone Retaining Wall – West Newbury MA

Posted by Carpenter Costin

Jul 27, 2012 1:45:00 PM

We have a unique project to kick off the newest aspect of Carpenter Costin’s online community, our “Featured Project.” We’re hoping to highlight a project every few weeks, especially if it has a cool story or shows a great transformation.

Our first “Featured Project” utilizes a recycled material found in a rather unusual location – the homeowner’s basement. While in the process of excavating his basement from a crawl space to a full sized room, the homeowner encountered a large amount of natural stone schist. Now that there was a heaping pile of schist on the lawn, the homeowner needed to decide what to do with it all.

Enter Carpenter Costin. A quick look at the property and our Landscape Architect determined that the newly excavated schist would make a great natural stone retaining wall to replace the existing railroad tie wall.

Using the recycled schist from the basement to build the wall ended up saving the homeowner thousands of dollars in material costs, and makes a for a very cool story. Not to mention – this wall looks great and will serve as a functional retaining wall for many years to come. We’ll also be adding some plants in the future to round off the project.

View the pictures to see how the wall turned out.

before retaining wall

Before: A pile of stone, plants, weeds, and dirt. Not exactly "curb appeal."

after retaining wall

After: The new retaining wall, seen here meshing well with the driveway's slope.

railroad tie wall to be removed

Before: Timber railroad ties won't last forever. This one was only beginning to fail.

schist retaining wall

After: This stone will last forever, and when properly built, will serve as a sturdy retaining wall for many decades.

old wall

Before: A grade change made this part of the property hard to use and maintain.

stairs and level grade

After: Leveling the grade and adding stairs made this part of the property functional. Once the plants are added, it will be functional and beautiful!

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Topics: Featured Projects, Carpenter Costin, Landscape Design, Landscape Construction