In our last blog post, we provided a checklist of things you can do to keep your landscape healthy and looking nice through winter. One of the items we suggested you should do is to prune your trees (shrubs can be pruned, too). Pruning revives tired plants and helps younger plants establish a good shape. We suggest pruning in winter for a few reasons. The lack of leaves makes seeing what you are doing much easier and in the winter, plants are less likely to 'bleed' as sap is not as active. Cuts will have time to heal over before spring growth begins.
The following are a few tips for how to prune your trees and shrubs so you don't cause damage.
The first thing you want to do when pruning is to remove any damaged or diseased wood. This must go first so you're not wasting time working on areas that won't get better.
Next, you'll want to address any branches that crisscross or rub on other surfaces. Start with removing the least important branches completely or shorten them so they are not intertwined. A good place to cut is down to an outward facing bud. Shortening these branches forces the plant to funnel its energy into the buds that remain, giving you more vigorous growth.
When cutting, make sure you are doing so correctly. Incorrect or 'bad' cuts can result in poor wound recovery and unhealthy plants.
Don’t prune too far away from the bud. More than a finger width is probably too far. Cutting too far away can result in the wood between the cut and the bud below dying, which can affect the health of the bud. If the bud fails to grow, die back can cause the whole stem to die.
Just as you don't want to prune too far away, you don’t want to prune too close to the bud either. If you're on top of the bud, you're too close. Pruning too close to the bud often results in damaging the bud itself and that can jeopardize the bud's ability to grow into a leaf or flower. Pruning too close to the bud can also cause the branch to die back further down the stem.
Be careful of the angle when you prune. If you leave a pointed stub of stem above the bud you risk causing the stem to die back as far as the bud and possibly beyond it. A better option is to keep the cut as straight as possible but a slight angle can be okay if you are trying to redirect the growth of a particular branch.
Make sure any cuts you make have angles that slope in a way that forces water to run off and not pool. If water pools on the cut, your plant is more susceptible to rot.
Pruning can be a challenging project if you've never done it before, or if you have a lot of trees and shrubs to contend with. If you would like help pruning plants around your property, give Graham Landscape & Design a call for a free estimate. 541-729-8029
While rain, ice, and sometimes snow can make it difficult to keep your property looking attractive, even for the most diligent homeowners, don't give up! Whether for your own home or a property you manage, there are a number of ways you can keep your landscape healthy and looking great throughout the winter.
#1 — Keep Watering
When the weather gets cold, we often stop maintaining our landscapes. But, the need for water doesn't go away. Failure to keep your fruit trees, lawns and other plantings watered over the winter can result in a variety of issues, including susceptibility to disease. You get a pass, though, if the temperature drops below 40 degrees as you don't want to freeze your plants.
#2 — Keep Raking
Raking in the fall is a typical thing in our area, but did you know that it's a good idea to keep raking lawns and gardens over the winter as well? Plant debris continues to build up, and when it mixes with ice or snow, it creates an environment for growing mold and fungus, especially where leaves have accumulated.
#3 — Cover Thin-Barked Trees
To help control frost and prevent sun scald, put a light-colored wrapping around younger trees with thin bark that are located in sunny areas.
#4 — Fertilize Lawns
To help your lawn grow rich and green in the spring, put down fertilizer that is rich in phosphorous, nitrogen and potassium prior to the first freeze.
#5 — Mulch Garden and Tree Beds
As you've read in our newsletters, mulch is an excellent insulator and it can help protect roots against frost. Make sure you lay down a nice layer of mulch in your garden and tree beds; one to two inches thick should do the trick.
#6 — Keep Grass Short
As we head into winter, it's a good idea to keep your grass short, between one and two inches shorter than usual. Shorter grass reduces the risk of frostbite and snow mold.
#7 — Winterize Sprinkler Systems
Unless you like the idea of a burst pipe, it's prudent to have your irrigation system winterized so that water in pipes doesn't expand and crack your irrigation lines. Our irrigation team can help!
#8 — Add Potted Plants
If your landscape is feeling drab, adding some neatly trimmed boxwood trees in large pots can add a hint of freshness along walkways and entryways.
#9 — Add Winter Plants & Trees
When choosing your plantings, it's a good idea to select those that not only look good together but also provide interest at different times of the year. For instance, great choices for winter include trees with highly textured bark, a variety of berries (avoid holly as it can be toxic to children and animals), violets, pansies, witch hazel, Oregon grape, maple trees, etc.
#10 — Prune Trees
With leaves gone, it is easier to spot damaged branches. Removing these will give you healthier, stronger trees in the spring.
#11 — Use Lighting
Last, but not least, outdoor lighting can make a world of difference for how you can enjoy your landscape in the winter. While lights help you see better in the dark, their glow also adds a touch of warmth, making your landscape look more attractive.
If you would like help in getting your landscape ready for winter, for your home, or even for any properties you might manage or have as rentals, please give our team a call at 541-729-8029 or email us to schedule an appointment.
If you're thinking winter means the end of backyard enjoyment, think again. Adding a fire pit can make a cold, dreary yard magical, especially when lit in the crisp, winter months. While many consider fire pits more of a summer feature, they can be quite excellent, providing both light and warmth. Just imagine... Sitting outside with a mug of hot chocolate, watching the beauty of a fire from the comfort of your own yard, enjoying the company of family and friends... Doesn't that sound nice?
Well, if you don't already have a fire pit, we can help! Now is the time to plan having one built so you can enjoy it in the spring, summer, fall, and winter! Our design team can work with you to design a fire pit to best complement your yard and work within your budget.
Here are things you'll want to keep in mind for planning the fire pit of your dreams:
To start your fire pit planning, please give our design team a call at 541-729-8029 or email us. Big or small, we'll help design and build a fire pit you can enjoy for seasons and years to come.
There are many reasons why you might be considering a retainer wall for your property, but before you start planting stakes and laying down materials, there are a few things you will want to take into consideration first. A little planning up front can help steer you away from a big investment that you ultimately regret or wish you could do over.
Tips for planning your retainer wall:
Of course, you can opt to build a retaining wall on your own. But, if this seems like too much to handle or more than you would like to take on, give your team of experts a call. We have built retaining walls for homeowners across Eugene, Springfield, and the surrounding areas. The professionals at Graham Landscape & Design can be reached by calling 541-729-8029.
The old adage of "saving for a rainy day" teaches us the importance of planning ahead for the unexpected so we can handle emergencies when they pop up. Planning for snow removal falls into this same line of thinking. Once winter weather arrives, the threat of snow or severe ice disrupting our daily activities or business is a matter of "when" not "if."
It can be tempting to hire the first person who shows up with a plow, however, it's best to plan ahead so you know you're working with an experienced, licensed and insured professional. Hiring the wrong person (i.e. inexperienced, uninsured, the 'Good Samaritan', etc.) can leave you in worse shape if someone gets injured or if property becomes damaged from snow/ice removal efforts.
Don't get caught unprepared — plan now for who to call to remove snow or ice from your home or business. Besides knowing you're hiring a professional, planning early can put you on the "first to service" list as opposed to those who call at the last minute.
Costs for snow and ice removal are usually determined by the square footage of your property and the types of surfaces that will require service (i.e. parking lots, walkways, service entrances, etc.). A few other important factors in the cost of services include how difficult your property is to navigate, the depth of the snow, the thickness of the ice, and how far out of town your property is located. Our team of professionals can work with you to estimate costs so you can budget ahead of time.
To get an estimate for your property, please visit our sister website Eugene Snow Removal.
If you've followed our blog for a while you probably know we're big fans of mulch. And if you don't have mulch in your yard, now is the perfect time to get some down before the cold of winter really sets in. There are many reasons for why mulch is great, including the fact that it helps protect your plant beddings, any newly planted bulbs, shallow root plants, and young trees.
Mulch comes in a variety of colors and textures so you're likely to find one that meets your preferences. You can get deep browns, warm reds, and soft golden tones in both coarse and fine blends. If you're not sure which one is right for your yard, let our experts help.
Here are five reasons why you should add mulch to your yard:
As a general rule of thumb, it is best to lay down mulch somewhere between 2-4" deep, and you'll want to avoid touching trunks of trees or stems of plants so you don't get any rot or disease issues.
Now is the perfect time to have our team help get your yard winter ready. Give us a call today at 541-729-8029.
If you're looking to add a hardscape to your backyard, one of the common materials used are pavers. Pavers come in all kinds of colors and can be paired nicely with other materials to create one-of-a-kind designs. However, most people are not familiar that there are different kinds of paver systems with permeable pavers being the more environmentally friendly choice.
Traditional pavers are laid over layers of stone and polymeric sand and feature tight joints so that when compacted, the pavers are set together. If stone dust or limestone screenings are used, there is a higher likelihood of trapping water and causing early failure of your pavers.
Permeable pavers, on the other hand, are laid on multiple layers of crushed stone, and the joints between each paver are filled with smaller aggregate. This design allows water to instantly drain through the joints and percolate through the layers of aggregate below, where any impurities are trapped before water seeps into the ground and returns to local waterways. To create the ultimate sustainable patio, driveway or walkway, a permeable paver system can be designed to collect and recycle rainwater for irrigation and other purposes.
And, depending on where your home is located, there may be grants or tax incentives available for installing permeable pavers or a water harvesting system, which makes the idea of installing a permeable patio, walkway or driveway all the more attractive.
If you would like more information about installing a permeable paver hardscape for your home, please give the Graham Landscape & Design team a call today. 541-729-8029
Once the cold of winter hits, many Oregon gardens transition from the beauty of fall to looking drab and boring. But, that doesn't have to be the case as there are plenty of plants that can add a nice pop of color to your winter garden. Here are a few of our favorites:
Not sure how to incorporate these beautiful bloomers into your landscape? Give the Graham Landscape & Design team a call at 541-729-8029. Our landscape designers are experts at coordinating plants that complement each other and add year-round beauty.
We recently had the pleasure of working with homeowners living just north of Vida, along the McKenzie River. They wanted to transform their backyard into a riverfront oasis. Together, we worked with the family to design a beautiful paver patio, complete with an outdoor built-in BBQ, fire pit, seating wall, viewing bench overlooking the river, and natural stone pathway.
If you are a homeowner living in the Eugene-Springfield area (or nearby areas), give the Graham Landscape & Design team a call. We love to create outdoor living spaces your family can enjoy. 541-729-8029
Having a truly unique backyard was of utmost importance for this Eugene, Oregon homeowner. The challenge for our team was how to integrate a unique play space for their children with the desire for an artistic feel. Through collaboration, we designed an underground play area and a sunken trampoline that the children could enjoy. Then, we covered the structure with a high-grade artificial turf, giving it an easy-to-maintain finish with an artistic aesthetic.
To further accomplish the artistic feel of the backyard, we extended a mosaic of concrete rectangles from the back patio to "make it look like it's exploding into the yard."
This Eugene family now has a fun, and easy to maintain space they can enjoy for years to come.
If you live in the Eugene and Springfield area and have an idea for your backyard, give our design team a call. We're always up for a fun challenge! 541-729-8029
Check here to see what we've been up to!