Landscaping Maintenance

A frequent topic that comes up is how best to maintain one’s yard, trees, flowers, plants, etc. The board asked Silversand, the common area landscaping company, if they could provide some pointers and generic advice to the homeowners about what they should do, when they should do it, etc. This is not a substitute for seeking advice from a professional company, nor should it be construed as a mandate from the HOA, etc. It’s simply an attempt to provide some informative guidance and advice to home owners who may be wondering the best way they should maintain their landscaping. With that said, Silversand produced this handy schedule for landscape tasks throughout the calendar year:

Schedule For Landscape Tasks Throughout Calendar Year

Additionally some home owners shared Randy Lemmon’s website that also has a similar fertilization schedule

Silversand Services has also provided the following and attached tips for tree trimming at your home:

  • Always Work Safe
  • Trim low limbs so that you have about 6’ of clearance.  Basically an average height person should be able to stand under the tree without having to duck.  King Lakes is a somewhat newer community so some of the trees are still small, but it is a good rule to keep all branches above average height so you reduce the risk of someone walking into low branches and potentially hurting themselves or a vehicle scraping its roof on low hanging branches.
  • Trim any limbs that are touching the exterior of the house/garage.  This will reduce damage that could occurs to exterior of home/roof/gutters.

Please see these tree-trimming tips from arborday.org:

Tree Pruning: After 3 to 4 Years

Root growth should be well on its way to anchoring the transplant and expanding the size necessary to nourish the growing branches.

  • Cut off root suckers and sprouts in the crown.
  • Thin excessive branches to reduce competition for light, water, and nutrients.
  • Remove codominant leader.
  • Remove a few of the lowest limbs but others are temporarily left to help the trunk develop more taper and strength.
  • Eliminate branches that rub or growing in undesirable direction.
  • Remove narrow angled branches.

https://www.arborday.org/trees/tips/annual-pruning.cfm

Keys to Good Pruning

  1. Begin visual inspection at the top of the tree and work downward.
  2. Use The ⅓ and ¼ Rules of Pruning
    • Never remove more than ¼ of a tree’s crown in a season
    • Ideally, main side branches should be at least ⅓ smaller than the diameter of the trunk.
    • For most deciduous (broadleaf) trees, don’t prune up from the bottom any more than ⅓ of the tree’s total height.
    • Where possible, try to encourage side branches that form angles that are ⅓ off vertical that form “10 o’clock” or “2 o’clock” angles with the trunk.
  3. For most species, the tree should have a single trunk. Identify the best leader and later branches before you begin pruning and remove defective parts before pruning for form.
  4. Don’t worry about protecting pruning cuts. For aesthetics, you may feel better painting large wounds but it doesn’t prevent or reduce decay.
  5. Keep tools sharp. One-hand pruning shears with curved blades work best on young trees.
  6. For high branches use a pole pruner. A major job on a big tree should be done by a professional arborist.
  7. For larger branches, cut outside the branch bark and ridge collar (swollen area). Do not leave a protruding stub. If the limb is too small to have formed a collar cut close.
  8. When simply shortening a small branch, make the cut at a lateral bud or another lateral branch. Favor a bud that will produce a branch that will grow in desired direction (usually outward). The cut should be sharp and clean and made at a slight angle about ¼ inch beyond the bud.

ttps://www.arborday.org/trees/tips/keys-to-pruning.cfm

This site has some good tips on watering your trees – http://www.gardeners.com/how-to/when-to-water-trees/7931.html

Hopefully this information will help ease the routine maintenance task all homeowners need to do to ensure their landscaping is properly maintained.

Lastly, we would like to offer the following reminders:

It is now past time to remove the support stakes from your trees.  These are only needed for the first year or so after the tree’s planting and if left on too long can cause damage to the tree.  Please note that the Association’s management company will begin sending out letters for this issue in the coming months.

In addition, many of the trees that were initially planted by the developer did not thrive and may need to be replaced.  Please have your tree looked at by an expert to determine if it will ever grow well.  The management will also be sending letters in regards to any trees that are dead or are not growing in the proper shape of a tree.