Truck & Chipper W Tree in background

Carpenter Costin Blog

Steve Barone

Don't Forget to Clean Those Gutters

As we approach winter, ensure your gutters are free of leaves and debris.

Clearing the fallen leaves and twigs from your lawn and flower beds is absolutely essential in maintaining a great landscape; however, that is the simple part of the fall clean up. Cleaning your gutters of the same fallen foliage and debris is even more essential to ensuring your house and property are safe and in great shape. Gutters clogged with leaves cannot properly dispense the water that runs off your roof, resulting in severe backup and a potentially dangerous situation. The added weight of wet leaves is enough to strain a gutter, but as the temperatures drop, the threat of ice developing in the gutters is something that should not be taken lightly.

I'm lucky enough to sit in a corner office (cubicle) at the Carpenter Costin headquarters, and as I look out the window, I am noticing an increase of fallen leaves thickly scattered across the street, sidewalks, and adjacent properties. There is no doubt in my mind that it is time to start the fall clean up process, and ensure that your gutters are free of all leaves and debris.

Our crews can easily and safely clean gutters during our fall clean ups. The equipment we utilize, coupled with a crew that is not afraid of heights, make gutter clearing a breeze. As you think about your fall clean up, please consider the importance of gutter cleaning, and please proceed with caution if you decide to clear your own gutters. Request your fall clean up and gutter clearing today.

Take Advantage of this Nice Weather with Late Fall Landscape Care

Utilize the nice weather while it is still here. Invest in lawn and landscape care now for improved results in the spring.

I was visiting my parents on the South Shore this weekend and was shocked to see how compact the soil was. Without hesitation I was off to the local tool rental store to rent an aerator. It was evident that the turf was not getting the nutrients it needed due to how compact the soil was. After about an hour of aerating and a small investment of $60 in the rental, the entire lawn was liberated from severe compaction.

Core aerating is a great fall lawn care practice, particularly for severly compacted lawns. The removal of the cores improves nutrient, air, and water flow, and also spreads organic material across your turf. It is also a good idea to broadcast some grass seed after core aerating. Although the seed will not germinate this fall, it will mesh with the cores and organic matter and help thicken your turf come next spring.

In addition to core aerating, be sure to get your yard cleaned up while the weather is still on our side. Pick up all the leaves, remove any lingering debris from the October storm, and get you final mowing in for the season if you haven't yet. There really is no telling how long this weather will last, and there is a very good chance that ground will be frozen once again by next week.

Last, but certainly not least, we are in the final weeks of prime planting weather. Fall planting can be great for root development, and is usually more cost effective as nurseries discount their inventory this time of year. Don't miss out on a great chance to add plants and trees to your landscape.

Investing the time in landscape care now will help you greatly come spring. A few hours of care in the fall can go a long way to improving your landscape. If you're unsure of what you can do to improve your landscape, or how to do it, please give us a call. We're happy to help. Don't forget, our Certified Arborists and Landscape Architects are always here for free consultations.


 core aerator

Core aeration helps relieve soil compaction and improve water, air, and nutrient flow.


The Storm Damage Dilemma

Judging by the amount of trees and limbs that are still scattered across the lawns in our region, many home owners are having a difficult time deciding whether to have an Arborist out to clean up storm damage; or finding it difficult to find the time to clean it up themselves.

Unplanned tree service can put a real damper on your mood. Scheduled yearly pruning is warranted, and removal of that old unsafe tree is anticipated; but when a storm rolls into town and causes tree damage, home owners should be very discouraged. I recently spoke with a friend from the Hartford, CT area who had to change his weekend snowmobiling plans in order to clean up the fallen trees. Let me tell you, he was not too pleased.

Cleaning up after a storm does not have to be a laborious experience, draining all of your precious weekend time. Our efficient tree crews can clean up fallen branches and trees quickly, and remove the remains of the damage, or cut the wood into firewood length to be split and burned in your stove or fireplace. Cleaning up storm damage yourself is often difficult due to towns' storm debris removal policies and the danger involved in doing so. Although we acknowledge the home owner who is skilled with a chainsaw, we do feel it is best left to professionals for safety reasons.

So if you're still pondering what to do with your storm damage we highly suggest giving us a call or chiming in on an online consultation form. Why waste what looks to be a pleasant weekend by spending your time hauling broken branches around, tying up brush, or trying to find out which neighbor borrowed your chainsaw last.

storm damage tree

This leader fell down the night of the Nor'Easter. Not nearly the worst damage I've seen, but this one was in my backyard!

Time For Fall Clean Ups

Carpenter Costin's experienced landscape maintenance crews provide efficient, and effective fall clean up services.

It's hard to believe, but with this morning's chill, I can safely say that winter is on its way. The frost on my windshield made it tough to see the leaves scattered across the lawns in my neighborhood, but as the defroster started to gain on its first real test of the year, I could start to make out the reds, yellows, and browns scattered across many lawns. It is time to start thinking about your fall clean up for the year.fall clean up

The fall clean up is an often-dreaded removal of leaves, twigs, and other debris that has littered your property over the course of the summer and fall. It is a labor intensive activity for home owners, that requires extensive raking, pick up, and bagging of leaves and more. Then, depending on where you live, you may have to bring the bags to a compost center, or consider alternative means of disposal, such as building your own compost pile. The worst part about doing fall clean ups on your own is that it often takes up one of the remaining "nice" days of the fall that can be spent much more appropriately by going for a hike, or long walk, or doing another enjoyable activity, rather than raking.

Let Carpenter Costin do your fall clean up for you. Our clean ups include complete leaf removal, flower bed and lawn clean up, and much more. We will still experience some defoliation of trees, as the abundance of rain seems to have lengthened the season a bit, but as we enter the month of November, it is time to get your property cleaned up. Click the button below and request your fall clean up.

Natural Stone Wall Design and Construction

Adding a natural stone wall to your property can serve as a great barrier, property line indicator, and beautiful hardscape feature all at once.

A recent trip to Block Island, RI got me thinking about stone walls. The Island is covered instone wall ancient stone walls that served as property line markers and cattle barriers for the early Island settlers. These stone walls are truly remarkable considering they have been standing for hundreds of years, and are still practical and beautiful.

Though methods and equipment have changed since the early settlers of Block Island built their stone walls, a natural wall comprised of stone is still a great feature to add to your property, be it to seperate your property from your neighbors, keep your kids and pets in check, or to add appeal to your landscape. Choose from a variety of natural stones to get the look and design that you want.

Our expert Landscape Architects can design and construct great natural stone walls, customized to your needs and wants. Request a free consultation with a registered Landscape Architect to discuss how stone, brick, and paver walls, walks and patios can improve your landscape.


laptew stone wall BI

A Block Island stone wall built by the Island's early settlers. Photo taken by Mike Laptew of Laptew Productions.

Remember Your Free Fall Tree Care Consultation

Schedule your free fall tree care consultation in order to ensure your trees and shrubs are ready for winter!

If you're anything like me, you love the fall. Comfortably warm day time temps, cooler night time temps, and fantastic foliage and scenery make for a truly great experience. Fall is also a great time to care for your landscape, and prepare it for the harsh winter that it sure to settle over New England too soon.arborist inspecting

We highly recommend taking advantage of our free consultation this time of year. There are many tactics that can improve your landscape over the fall and winter, including slice seeding and core aeration. More importantly, our Certified Arborists can inspect your trees and shrubs and ensure that they are safe. Harsh storms are sure to hit our area through the late fall and winter, potentially causing damage to your property, especially if your trees have be stressed by pest infestation, drought, or difficult growing conditions.

Consulting with one of our Certified Arborists is free. They can assess the status of your trees, shrubs, and landscape, and provide an array of possible solutions. Consult with an Arborist, and be sure that your trees are capable of withstanding the mean winter storms that are just around the corner.


Useful Tips For Summer Ornamental Tree and Shrub Care

Take the time now to ensure you have beautiful ornamental trees and flowering shrubs next spring.

Unlike shade tree pruning, ornamental trees and shrubs are best pruned in the summer before the buds for next year's flowers develop. If you wait too long to prune your ornamental trees and shrubs you will actually end up removing buds that have already begun to develop.

Our Arborists recommend pruning ornamental trees and shrubs in July and August, and by September it is usually too late to prune. Though an expert Arborist can still prune an ornamental or shrub in the fall and winter, summer pruning is much more conducive to the future health and development of the plant.

Dogwood Tree BlossumsPruning in the summer is the best way to improve the appeal of an ornamental tree or shrub, but the pruner must be careful when servicing said tree or shrub not to spread any insect & disease infestations, as pest problems often develop during the summer months filled with heat, humidity, and rain. Misguided pruning can actually spread insect & disease issues through open wounds, and also through the pruning equipment. A Certified Arborist will know if pruning is safe or not, but if you decide to self-prune, take a careful look at the state of the tree. If pest problems are evident, consult with an Arborist before you prune.

Summer ornamental tree and shrub pruning is the way to go; however, if you are not diligent, pruning can actually harm your trees and shrubs. If you would like to be speak with a Certified Arborist regarding your pruning, click here, or call 877-308-8733.

Pine Sawfly Pest Infestation on North Shore

The calls are beginning to come in. People are noticing Pine Sawfly activity in their yard, and some of the damage already experienced has been devastating. Our Pest Management Programs treat for Pine Sawfly; however, if you are not on a program, it is imperative to act quickly before the sawfly larvae destroy your pines.

We recommend getting out and inspecting your pines for small, catepillar-like larvae. These are the newly hatched Pine Sawfly larvae, and they are on a mission to eat your trees! View the video to see what they look like and see the damage they can cause in just a short period of time.

If you detect Pine Sawfly larvae activity we recommend you contact a Certified Arborist asap. These little pests can do some serious damage to your pines.


Summer Lawn Care Tips

Keeping your lawn in great shape all summer can be difficult. Luckily, I was able to catch up with our turf expert, Paul Miller, yesterday and I asked him for the top 3 summer lawn care tips that will help our customers manage their lawns this summer.

Paul is incredibly bright in the field of turf management, and I was half expecting to hear some vocabularly and methodology that blew me away, yet he very simply stated three things:

  1. Irrigation Discipline

  2. Property Scouting

  3. Trend Recognition

So what does irrigiation discipline mean? Many people are fearful that their lawns lawn carewill become too dry during the hot, summer months, and they actually end up over-watering. Paul stressed to me that lawns only need 1" of water per week.

Paul also emphasized the importance of browsing your property for any signs of infestation or damage. Doing so can help catch any issues early and effectively treat them before its too late.

Lastly, home owners need to start recognizing trends. If your lawn was infested with crab grass last year, it will likely be infested this year, unless of course you've put preventative measures into place based on past occurences. These trends help prevent pest infestation and weed growth, and help ensure a healthy landscape year after year. Ignoring these trends can be costly, and it is always easier to use preventative measures rather than reactionary measures.

These 3 tips are simple, but they are extremely effective. Paul has been using these as guidelines during his tenure as one of the most highly regarded Golf Course Superintendants in our area. We are certainly glad to have him on board now, and hopefully these tips that we pass along will help you keep a healthy lawn year after year. Click below for a free consultation with a turf expert.


DuPont Herbicide Killing Trees

DuPont's herbicide, Imprelis, is thought to be the prime suspect in a murder case involving Norway Spruce and White Pine trees as victims. The herbicide Imprelis is a weed controlling chemical used to curb dandelion and clover growth; however, it has played a major part in killing more than just the targeted weeds.lush green lawn

Environmental officials, along with DuPont, are investigating the affect that Imprelis has on the surroundings of areas in which it has been applied, and so far the findings seem negative. 

Selecting the best herbicide to use can be difficult. Herbicides, like Imprelis, and others from a large company like DuPont are attractive to lawn care technicians, as they are often an affordable option, and help those companies keep costs low and realize a larger margin. At Carpenter Costin; however, we do not use Imprelis, and we put tremendous time and effort into choosing the best herbicides, regardless of cost or availability. We also offer organic solutions which can control weeds without the chance of negative side effects.

We recommend contacting your lawn care provider and seeing what they use for herbicide. If they are currently using Imprelis, there is a chance that it will damage other life in your landscape.

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