carpenter_costin_logo_new.png
Truck & Chipper W Tree in background

Carpenter Costin Blog

Avoid Over-Mulching Your Trees

Mulch is any material spread over soil as a covering. Often, mulch used in landscaping around trees is made from bark chips and is used to inhibit weed growth, hold in soil moisture, and creates aesthetic appeal. Mulch is a excellent part of any landscaping plan, but many people don’t realize that they can kill their trees with too much mulch. 

Over-mulching can create a waterlogged soil and root zone, resulting in root suffocation. Roots need to take in oxygen, unlike leaves that give off oxygen. The problems that are caused from yearly over-mulching are not immediate and symptoms can take up to three to five years to show. When oxygen levels drop below 10 percent, root growth declines. Unfortunately, by the time you recognize the symptoms (off-color foliage, abnormally small leaves, poor growth and die-back of older branches), it's usually too late to apply corrective measures and the plant has begun an irreversible decline. Sugar Maple, Beech, Dogwood, Oak, Tulip, Spruce and Pine trees are most easily damaged by excessive mulch or grade changes. 

Follow these tips to avoid and correct over-mulching:

  • Never add significant amounts of soil or mulch around tree trunks
  • Follow the rule of thumb of keeping mulch and soil below the area of the trunk flare (the trunk spread at the base of tree).
  • If your trees are already over-mulched, help them ‘breathe’ by lowering the depth of the mulch below the root flare.

For more information on tree mulching, please give us a call at 877-308-8733 or request a free consultation.

Request a Free Consultation 

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

spring_lawn

Creating a Master Plan for your Landscape Design

Landscape Design Master Plan

A master plan is a comprehensive plan of action intended to guide growth and development. You can create a master plan for professional success, for personal growth, for a community, and you can create a master plan for your home and landscape design.

Flow of The Landscape

Your home, where you live, includes both the indoor and outdoor living space that should be complementary. You want a flow from one to the other. Your landscape should be a harmonious space from which you derive enjoyment.

Art Form

Landscape design is an art, it uses the principles of simplicity, good scale, balance, sequence, and focalization. These principles are the guidelines in designing each outdoor feature, whether it's patio, stone walkway/pathway, a flower garden, or a shrub border. Every detail matters which is why it is critical to have the master plan to effectively and efficiently get the job done.

Improve Your Landscape

When you decide to improve your landscape, your outdoor living space, a master plan is essential. A Landscape Architect creates a master plan by working with you to understand your goals for the space and how you intend to live in it. Analyzing your goals and researching the parameters of the site helps determine the optimum solutions in advance of actual execution.

Whether you implement your design in one season or break it down into phases and install over several seasons, a landscape master plan ensures continuity throughout the project. Master planning allows you a practical approach to construction sequencing and phasing, and gives you a better understanding of the costs and maintenance you will need for your landscape.

If you have any questions or would like to move forward with improving your landscape please contact our registered Landscape Architects to discuss master planning for your landscape design project. Click the button below for your free consultation.

Request a Free Consultation

Landscape Design Portfolio

landscape-master-plan

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

 

installing_cable_in_tree

 

Plant Health and Pest Management Program Plus a 10% Prepay Discount

Understanding what is delivered in your plant health care and pest control programs will help set expectations and goals for your landscape.

Everyone wants the perfect landscape, with healthy and beautiful trees and shrubs; however, not everyone is willing to invest in a comprehensive plant health care program. Even those who do invest in plant health care may not understand the plant health care pest managementcomprehensiveness of their programs. Knowing what to expect from a landscape care program will help you achieve your goals, and limit landscape-associated headaches.

A plant health care or pest management program is comprised of a series of visits that include inspection and treatment of the trees and shrubs on your property. At Carpenter Costin, our Pest Management Program consists of five visits, and our Plant Health Care Program consists of eight visits.

Not all plant health care programs are equal. Programs depend on the knowledge and equipment that a company has, and determines if they’re capable of providing various technical services. Most providers offer programs based on timely visits, and usually start at three-visit programs and go up to comprehensive eight-visit programs. One-time target treatments are also available for specific prevention, such as Hemlock Woolly Adelgid or Ticks.

Determining which program is best for you should be based on your property and your budget; however, for optimal results, it is recommended that you opt for a minimum of five visits. A five visit program ensures control and prevention of insects, and also provides control on plant diseases. Opting for anything less than five visits jeopardizes the ability to control the pests, and is not the best investment for your landscape.

Many collegiate horticultural programs recommend property visits and treatments every two weeks throughout the growing season; however, at an average cost of about $80, the price tag for such a program would be substantial. A five visit program offers the best bang for your buck, while an eight visit program provides the most comprehensive control and prevention. If it fits your budget, more visits are better; however, five and eight visit programs are very economical without sacrificing quality.

Although plant health care experts are great at predicting when certain pests will become active based on factors of phenology, they cannot forecast this more than a few weeks to a month in advance - and so much is based on micro-climates (meaning pests active in Swampscott may not be active in Andover). Relying on a three visit program to handle your plant health care needs may jeopardize the ability to tailor due to current conditions and micro-climates.

For best results, we recommend that you choose a five visit or eight visit program. There is exceptional value in choosing a five or eight visit plan, and it ensures that your trees and shrubs maintain great health. A three visit program may be less expensive, but we urge you to be cautious when choosing a plan under five visits, as sacrifices must be made. For more plant health information, request a free consultation with one of our experts.

We're extending our 10% discount for prepaying for insect & disease management services until March 15. 

plant health and pest control

Preparing for Spring Landscaping

Landscaping Services in the Spring

It doesn'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.

describe the image

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

describe the image

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.

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.

Bartletts_Reach_nice_pic_size_adj

Creating a Driveway in Salem, MA

1a

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.

2a

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.

11

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!

1b

Winter Tree Care and a 10% Discount

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.

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

Search

Recent Posts

Subscribe to Blog