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Carpenter Costin Blog

Amy O'Hare

Preparing Your Lawn for Spring

A healthy lawn does a lot for your yard: it ties together all your landscaping elements, provides a plush place for kids to play, and it provides curb appeal. All homeowners want a beautifully, healthy lawn to enjoy. With the rough winter weather behind us (we hope, at least!), it's time to start preparing your lawn for spring. 

1. Clear the lawn: Preparing your lawn starts with removing dead sticks, leaves and other debris to provide a clean slate so you can assess areas that may need reseeding.

2. Reseed. If you do need to reseed, rake the area to bring healthy soil to the surface and then spread the seed. Be sure to water well.

3. Trim, Don't Cut. There's a misconception that you should mow your grass as low as possible to avoid having to cut it as often. This isn't true and, in fact, a higher mow allows the grass to offer shade that prevents the yard from drying out and establishes a better root system that creates a plusher lawn.

 If you’d like to have some professional help with your lawn, or are thinking about a turf health program, please take advantage of our free consultations and meet with a Carpenter Costin pro.

Request a Free Consultation

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Maintenance Tips For Your Spring Landscape

With temperatures skimming 50 all week I think it's safe to say that winter is behind us. It's time to focus on spring! This is the perfect time to plan your spring landscape so you can enjoy your yard through spring, summer, and fall.

Essential Steps For Your Spring Landscape:

Early Spring (April – Early May)

1.       Inspect trees and shrubs for damaged or hazardous branches

2.       Fertilize trees and shrubs to promote growth and improve vigor

3.       Begin fungicide treatments to Dogwoods, Crabapples, and Hawthornes

4.       Dethatch and core aerate lawn to allow water, soil, and nutrient flow.

5.       Slice seed thin areas in lawn

6.       Fertilize lawn and apply crabgrass control

7.       Apply Horticultural Oil to Hemlocks to control Hemlock Woolly Adelgid

 

Mid-to-Late Spring (Late April – Mid May)

1.       Treat Austrian and Red Pines for Diplodia Tip Blight fungus disease

2.       Mulch trees and shrubs to retain soil moisture

3.       Treat Birches for leafminer

4.       Treat plants for Winter Moth and Canker Worms

Contact us for a free landscape consultation.

Request a Free Consultation

 

Spring Has Sprung! Assess Winter Damage

It's officially Spring, although the temperatures only grazed the 50s this weekend. Still, after a long, snowy and freezing cold winter it feels absolutely wonderful to leave the house in something other than a glorified sleeping bag with arms! Soon we'll be soaking up the warmth of the sun and enjoying the bursts of color and greenery.

Before we celebrate the flowers blooming, though, it's important to remember that this is the time to appraise and repair the damage done to our trees, shrubs and lawn. 

With record snowfall this year many properties suffered damage from fallen trees or broken limbs and evergreens and shrubs have been crushed from the weight of the snow.  

Carpenter Costin offers a no obligation tree inspection and property review. Let one of our certfied arborists inspect the condition of your trees. While broken branches must be removed, bent branches can sometimes be saved by cabling them straight. If your tree or shrub needs to be removed, we will take it down carefully and safely. 

Let us evaluate your trees and shrubs and assess any winter damage. We'll present you with all options available to keep them safe, beautiful and healthy! 

Call 877-308-8733 to schedule a free consultation or click below

Request a Free Consultation

 

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Winter Tree Pruning in Amesbury

Carpenter Costin Landscape Management arborists braved the cold January temperatures to prune the trees at Bartletts Reach in Amesbury.  This beautiful condominium complex, along the Merrimack River, has a gorgeous landscape of flowering trees, shrubs, shade trees and evergreens.

Working closely with property management and board members, our crews thinned, pruned and shaped Crabapples, rejuvenated Viburnums and Forsythia, trimmed Japanese Maples and pruned Honey Locusts.   A few trees that were in dangerous condition, potentially hazardous, had to be taken down.

Part of the project also included pruning back branches that were encroaching on buildings or driveways, overhanging and shading grassed areas and taking over walkways.

After a number of days of frosty work, Bartlett’s Reach is looking fantastic.

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Creating a Driveway in Salem, MA

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We recently worked with a client who purchased this stately late-1800's home on a main street in Salem, MA who loved the home, but desperately needed a driveway.

This property is full of history and character but completely void of parking! Based on the layout of the lot the front yard became the most convenient place to park. Though this parking situation worked reasonably well in the dry summer months, it was no secret that a proper driveway was in order...sooner than later.  

Easier said than done.

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The entire front property was pitched down to the house causing rain water to run into the foundation and seep into the basement. Fixing the pitch and drainage problem wasn't as simple as regrading and throwing in a new driveway; there were limitations.

Water couldn't be dumped out to either side because bounding both the east and west sides of the front yard were neighbor's shared driveways. In order to install the new driveway without adding water run-off to the neighbors' properties, and keep the water out of the client's basement, we had to resolve all the drainage within the confines of the 50-foot by 50-foot front yard area.

2dOur solution was to make the new brick driveway into a very subtle pyramid shape in order to divide the water flow into four quadrants and sheet flow each section down to each respective corner of the new driveway (divide and conquer!) This system consists of perforated drainage pipe and a series of dry-wells to deposit the water back into the ground in areas away from the driveway and the house foundation.

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The main goal with this project was to create a functional and aesthetic parking court in the front of an historic house. The client wanted to make certain that the driveway and landscape were scaled properly to the house and complemented the neighborhood vernacular.

We needed to install a new driveway and new plantings that looked like they had always been there, while functioning perfectly in regards to drainage of water and accomodating the need to park several cars.

Mission Accomplished!

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Tight Spaces For Tree Work in Somerville

Tight_Spaces_(1)Carpenter Costin's Tracked Lift once again makes getting into tight spaces possible! Glen Park in Somerville offers a new constructed play area with slides and all manner of climbing fun. This is a well-planned park, but unfortunately the tree work was left until the end of construction, making it almost impossible (without the tracked lift!) to gain access.

The newly surfaced play areas and fencing wouldn't allow for the use of traditional equipment, but the tracked lift was able to navigate a pedestrian walkway.

If you need tree work done in a tight space and don't think we can gain access - think again! Give us a call at 877-308-8733 or contact us here for a free consultation about working in tight spaces.

Winter Tree Work in MA - 10% Discount

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

Hemlock Woolly Adelgid

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 Hemlock Woolly Adelgid, untreated, may decline and die very quickly. Once HWA has been identified, it should be treated immediately. Effective treatments are available to manage HWA.

If you have any questions or concerns about Hemlock Woolly Adelgid, Call 877-308-8733 now to have your Hemlocks inspected by a certified Arborist and protected against this deadly pest.

Check out our growing Insect and Disease Glossary!

Beautiful Bluestone Patio Melrose, MA

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We recently completed a beautiful bluestone patio that transformed the back of a house in Melrose, MA. 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.

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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