IN THIS ISSUE:
Master Plan Today for the Spring of Your Dreams
Color Me Curious…Did You Know?
Plant of the Month
It’s Time for a Tree Check-Up
Managing Snow and Ice During a Winter Event
A look ahead at January
Can you imagine building a house without any plans? How would you know if the end result fits your needs or if it is within your budget without a plan? Once upon a time, there were probably plans for the landscaping at your property. Those plans probably showed what plants to use and where to put them. They may have also outlined proper planting techniques and diagrammed play areas or outdoor seating spaces too. But I bet those plans are long gone now. And things in the landscape have grown, died, or changed. So now what do we do to make sure that the original design intent is kept in-tact while elevating the exterior grounds to a new level at the same time? Read more…
Color Me Curious...Did You Know?
The Plant of the Month will
make you say "Whoa Nellie!"
It’s no coincidence that we chose an evergreen tree for our December plant of the month, the Nellie R. Stevens Holly. While most everything else in the landscape is dormant, evergreens fill the landscape with year-round color. Often used to create a natural screen or plant buffer, the Nellie’s natural pyramidal shape and deep green glossy leaves also make it versatile enough to be a specimen plant in the landscape. Bright red berries appear each winter and are a holiday decorator’s dream. The berries also provide food for wildlife in the winter, and the foliage provides shelter from winter weather for birds, squirrels, and other small animals.
It's Time for a Tree Check-Up
- Trunk decay or missing/loose bark
- Oozing wounds
- Holes or evidence of boring insects
- Unusual growths (think fungus and mushrooms)
- Broken, dangling, or cracked branches suspended in the canopy
- Narrow branch angles
- Uneven growth or slowing growth rate
Managing Snow & Ice During a Winter Event
Snowflakes falling in the moonlight and lightly dusting the sidewalks and streets is a beautiful image…unless you are a property manager. Snow can quickly turn from being a beautiful miracle of nature to a huge liability if not properly managed. Planning ahead can make managing a winter weather event less of a headache. Can’t make it to your property? Have your contractor or on-site personnel shoot over some photos or video so you can see if additional service is required.
Getting Ready for That Winter Weather:
- Communicate – Do you know your contractor’s mobilization plan? Do your residents or tenants know your plans? Communicating prior to the storm helps you be prepared to share information and you can set expectations for service.
- Pre-Treat – Do you know that pretreating for snow and ice can save you money? Light snow accumulations can be treated almost entirely with ice melt and never need a plow. When ice melt is on the surface prior to the precipitation falling, it helps PREVENT the snow from sticking. As snow continues to fall, the brine mixture that is now on the ground helps to keep the melting process going.
- Create a Slip, Trip, and Fall Plan – Slick entryways and wet floors can be as dangerous as snowy sidewalks. Place weatherproof mats in places where heavy foot traffic occurs and be prepared to post signage and mop often if floors are wet.
- Double-Check Downspouts – Sometimes downspouts can be blocked by debris. When the snow melts from the roofs, backed up downspouts could cause indoor leaking issues. Be sure before a storm that they are unobstructed to allow for that melted
- Prepare On-Site Staff – Small amounts of icemelt, a few shovels, some cones, and caution tape are great tools to keep on hand for winter. Many times, on-site personnel are able to respond to isolated occurrences of ice or refreeze faster than a contractor and that helps prevent costly slip and falls.
- Manage the Snow, Not the Budget – Treating snow and ice is costly – no doubt. But slip and falls, lost business, and property damage are also expensive. Delaying services or not doing them at all can result in accidents and lawsuits, and it makes your contractor’s job harder. Plows can only push snow – they can’t lift it. If too much snow accumulates before plowing occurs, machines have to be brought in to clear the pavement. When ice melt isn’t used at the proper rates, snow can easily stick to hard surfaces resulting in slick conditions. Ice that forms when snow is packed down from pedestrian traffic and vehicles is extremely difficult to remove.
A Look Ahead to January
Rejuvenate Your Landscape With Dormant Pruning
When It’s Too Cold Outside…Bring the Landscaping In
Light the Night with Landscape Lighting
With every New Year comes the opportunity to start fresh, creating the mind space to put ideas and improvements into motion. Resolutions shouldn’t be reserved strictly for the individual, it is easy to apply the same mindset to your career or commercial property. Make it a goal to accomplish these three things this year, and the overall image and outward appearance of your commercial property will surely benefit.
Winter weather presents many challenges for commercial property owners and managers. Keeping guests, residents, and employees safe and keeping the property accessible to emergency personnel are the primary goals and ice melt plays a critical role in an effective winter weather strategy. But what about pets and other animals? Are the products used to melt ice on asphalt, concrete, and other hard surfaces safe for our four-legged friends?
Partnering with a good Snow and Ice Management company can take the headache out of severe winter weather for any Property Owner or Manager. If you have never had to hire a snow contractor, or if you have had unsuccessful experiences in the past, here is a surefire checklist for hiring a qualified and competent company who will be by your side through the toughest winter weather.