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"Rich and his crew showed up right on time the first day but of course it was raining!! It continued to rain for about three days, but his crew worked on what they" could. Rich had stated that things would get messy, which they really did! Our place was a huge mess for two weeks but each night his crew would clean everything up the best they could and would put up a temporary fence so that our dogs could get outside and play, this went a long way towards impressing us. We hadn't asked him to do this, but rather they took charge and made sure the dogs could get out and we really appreciated it. It was just one of the many little touches added. Rich was not here the entire time of the project but his crew was always hard working and very respectful. Of course we had concerns that would come up from time to time or things would seem to go slower than we hoped but Rich always said. "Please trust me, if you don't like it when we are done, I will change it for you." We trusted him and he was right. Everything is beautiful. We were also glad that they were done when they promised they would be, even having to contend with mother nature. This was an expensive project and we knew it was a huge undertaking, it was not without it's stumbling points, but anything that came up Rich quickly explained or addressed and took care of. We are also convinced that Rich and his crew threw in a lot of little touches that we would not have gotten from a huge company, that personal touch went a long way. It took a while for the job to take shape but once it did it was fun to see there progress each day. Once they delivered the mulch and started getting it placed we knew it was almost done! It took a full three weeks to complete the project, with a few odds and ends to be wrapped up after words. The last of the mulch wasn't even shoveled into place and we were having our first party! We continue to get compliments and people can't even believe it is the same back yard. We not only have our retaining wall out front but a fantastic patio and BBQ area that is the envy of all our neighbors!

-Jeffrey G.

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Local Articles in Milwaukee

Lakefront landscaping

Landscaping can be a challenge in ordinary circumstances, but lakefront landscaping poses additional challenges from sloping and floodplain issues. What ideas will help you create your perfect lakefront escape?

itemized or flat rate contract

Dear Angie: Should contractors itemize their bills? Is that the norm, or is flat rate becoming the norm? -- Roger E., Parker, Colo.

close up of grass lawn behind beige house

How do you find the best lawn service? Ask the right questions to compare lawn care companies and ensure proper all-year yard maintenance.

landscaping around septic system (Photo by Brandon Smith)

Don’t compromise your septic system while trying to spruce up your landscaping.

Fire hydrant in snow

If winter weather leaves you puzzled on how to safely remove snow and ice from your driveway, sidewalk or landscaping, follow these tips to prevent damage.

Angie's Answers

I don't care about lawns--I planted mine in clover and don't have to mow it. When I do need to mow I use a rotary Fiskars mower, which is great--or a scythe. That's right--a scythe (the European type, which is smaller, and it's very good exercise). Gas-powered mowers, chemical fertilizers and weed killers--all nasty stuff that gets into everyone's air, soil, and water. I'm sure my neighbor doesn't like my wildflowers, semi-wild pockets of fruit bushes, and unmown areas and yes, dandelions (I have 10 acres) but that's too bad. It's better habitat for wildlife, especially the pollinators on which our food supply depends. I think this obsession with the Great American Lawn is a waste of time and resources. Plant some food instead.


One of the more difficult issues facing you will be making sure you compare apples 'n apples while understanding the differences between apples 'n oranges.

Some things common to all:

How far from your (water) meter pit to the home?

Do you know what sort of water pressure you have?

Those two questions sortta drive the rest.  How many sprinklers you have is a piece of the puzzle but it is lower on the issues list than how much water pressure and gallons per minute of flow (gpm) you have.  Knowing the water pressure and gpm coming to the house is important because it is the info divided by the flow rate of the heads to tell you how many you can run at a time.

 That, plus the number of heads it takes to cover your yard will let them decide on how many zones to cut the yard into (each zone is X number of heads that run at the same time).

Will the different estimates be for systems that are all parts from a single manufaturer or will it be a collection of brands?  Some will tell you that the parts (controller, back-flow, heads and even specific heads) are better from different manufacturers while others will tell you that all from a single manufacturer will give you an optimized system.

And, are the contractors equally certified?  Not only education and experience but certifications from the various manufacturers who's parts they want to use.  And, will their installations be the same?  Will they open trenches all around your yard and be a week getting the stuff layed, connected and back-filled?  Or, will they pull the flexible pipe and be in 'n out in one day with water flowing to cover their intrussion before they leave that day?

Will your system need to be blown out with pressurized air at the end of the season to avoid winter freeze and bursts or will it drain automagically?

I know, I took your simple question and made it hard.

When I bought my system about 9 years ago, I had a variety of estimates and the differences sortta fell into the mess I listed above.  The low estimate was a person who seemed to be from the "get it in the ground and fix it later" school.

The highest estimate was from someone who seemed more concerned about my yard and the final result than I was.  The low person was using parts 'n pieces from a variety of manufacturers.  The high person was certified by the company that made all the parts he was wanting to use and he carried a fairly high rating from them for his past performance..  He would vary for me if I wanted but he had sound reasons from the controller to each of the heads as to why he preferred his "brand".

It doesn't look like you are a member of Angie's List.  Given the size of the investment you are looking at, this might be a great time to join and see how others in your community have rated the contractors you are considering or if there is one you should add to your list. 

My yard is between 12 and 15,000 square feet less the house, deck, two mini-barns and it is interrupted with a number of blocking (blocks the stream of water) evergreens and planting beds.

The low estimate I had was about $2,500 and would take three days to put in from the time they began to trench.  I don't recall how many heads he wanted to put in but if it was off, he'd be able to put another anyplace and tie it to the nearest zone to give me good coverage.  Uh, this was the get it in the ground 'n adjust later person.

The high estimate I had was around $4,500.  This proposal was for seven active zones each having 5 to 7 heads.  There was enough capacity (extra zone controllers and space within the system controller) built in to add drip irrigation at a later date for the planting beds without having to replace anything.  He drew the entire yard and gave me a copy with the heads marked showing the "throw" of each and the overlap he built in to avoid any missed areas.  And, they wanted to arrive in the morning and leave that evening with the system watering to cover their tracks throughout the yard.  One day and they would not leave until it was working as advertised!

I took the high estimate.  I have a neighbor who bought from the other folks.  Both of us are happy.  He is really happy because each time he calls his company for adjustments or corrections (yep, they got it in the ground and are still putzing with it) they are out within the week, they are really easy to do business with and their service calls' costs haven't gone up a whole bunch.

Sorry, you can't look at the price and divide by X number of heads and have a fair comparison.


1) IF you are talking the root crown - the portion where it is not one solid truck or "bole", but still a solid or near-solid mass of roots coming off the base of the trunk, then that has to come out on way or another. Typically, once you get beyond about a 3 foot circle then you are in the radial portion of the roots where they spread out laterally, and are a foot or more apart, and new roots can grow in that area fro the new tree OK. Of course, be prepared to have to trim some volunteers so the old tree can't come back, and be sure to fertilize the new tree per recommendations because the old roots will still be trying to extract water and food from the soil to support the tree that they do not yet realize is gone. Do NOT put stump killer or poison in the old tree - will kill new one too.

2) The proper commercial way to do this is to have the entire root crown and larger roots removed with a stump grinder - looks like this -


You need a tree service that can grind down at least two feet below ground level and remove the root crown and larger root segments. If you hve large roots running laterally quite a ways, he can grind them up too - ditto to "trippers" sticking up above ground. Just be sure to have it clear (spray painted) upfront how far he is going for what he quoted - typically about $150 for tree up to 1-2 feet in diameter, up to $500 for a massive sycamore or walnut or cottonwood or redwood with 6 foot diameter crown. While you can rent stump grinders at tooll rental places, I REALLY do not recommend it - the rental ones you can afford to rent for one use are pretty light duty, and they can chew a person up in no time flat if you lose control when it snags in the wood or hits a rock.

3) Another way is to go out to where the massive roots taper off to something you can reasonable cut - say 4-6 inches in diameter, and cut them all in a circle around the stump, then with a come-along or CAREFULLY (not more than a few hundred pounds) with a vehicle with a trailer hitch, put a steady pull on a good rope or strap or chain in a shallow notch cut around the top of the stump (so it does not pop off easy), then while it is being rotated up out of the ground walk around and cut any root you see still attached or trying to lift out of the ground. This works much better if the stump is left about 4-6 feet high so you get some real leverage on it with the pull, but if already cut down short run chain or strap over the top of it and around a large root on the far side of the stump. I use a Sawzall with foot long coarse tooth wood cutting blade for this - goes through roots really fast, and blade is only $1 or so apiece so ruining one or two hitting rocks is no big thing, and also reaches in under the stump better and safer than an axe. I helped a neighbor take out a back yard full of birches this way - took us about half a day to remove about 15 trees with about 6 foot diameter circle of crown and roots, leaving holes about 1-2 feet deep where each tree was. Remember this - whichever way you use to take it out, you will need maybe 1-5 wheelbarrow loads of good growth medium to replace the divot. 

4) Cheaper route - cut off flush with ground level (or leave some stickup as a planter or stool or feeder base or whatever), and plant new tree at least 4 feet away from old crown, in a spot between the old roots.

'Reasonable' is one of those words that means wildly divergent things to different people.  Check with your local high school to see if they have  any sort of agricultural program.  If yes, perhaps someone in that program could help you.  Being a landscaper myself, I must say it sounds like you want something that is - first and foremost - cheap.   This is NOT the best way to look for any service.  You would be better served looking for 'competant' than with 'cheap'.  The nicer you want your flowerbed to look, the more important it is to find someone who REALLY knows what they are doing.

Natural stones will have some degree of variance given the lack of pre-made consistency.


1/2" is too much from stone to stone and should be able to be fixed with additional leveling sand. 




Lakefront Landscapers in Milwaukee

Companies below are listed in alphabetical order. To view top rated service providers along with reviews and ratings, Join Angie's List Now!

Aqua Well & Pump Systems Inc

124 N Oakridge Dr
North Prairie

B & T Landscaping

W181 S6593 Muskego Drive

Badgerland Lawn & Landscaping Inc

1624 S West Ave

BC Bricklayers


Be Green Lawn Care, LLC

PO Box 180092

Best Choice Landscape Inc

S66 W14427 Janesville Rd

Blaze Landscape Contracting Inc.

W180 N5325 Marcy Rd.
Menomonee Falls

Bob's Grading Inc

s83w26395 National Ave



Breckenridge Landscape

18480 W Lincoln Ave
New Berlin

Cottage Gardener, Ltd.

N57 W27841 Walnut Grove Ct


New Berlin

Crawford Tree & Landscape Services Inc

8760 W Calumet Rd

Creekstone Custom Carpentry, LLC

N144w6818 Pioneer Rd

Daniel Labrasca Services

5233 County Rd V



Done Right Builders LLC

1100 s 1st street

Dresen Landscaping LLC

8617 Storage Dr

Eco Harmony Landscape & Design LLC

1648 W El Rancho Dr

Economical Landscape Solutions

P.O. Box 537
Oak Creek

Exteriors Unlimited Landscape

6929 W Donges Bay Rd



Handy Husbands

1121 Sheraton Dr.

Handyman Specialties

po box 210222

Hanson's Landscaping

1210 Sweetbriar Dr



Hawks Landscape Inc.

12217 W Watertown Plank Rd

Hegemann Home Concepts LLC

8215 Summit Pl

Hill & Valley Landscaping LLC

6831 W Ryan Rd


138 North Ave Ste 5


PO Box 371248

Infinite Services

114 S 65th St

Innovative Exteriors LLC

S15 W33950 Wolf Rd

Insite Landscape Design Inc

11525 W. North Ave. Suite 1b

J. Way Construction, LLC



po box 27

Johnson's Nursery Inc™

W180 N6275 Marcy Rd
Menomonee Falls


824 East Rawson Avenue
Oak Creek




8351 N Grandview Dr

Knop's General Contracting

1049 South Spring Street Apt. 249



La Rosa Landscape Co Inc

N 144 W 5800 Pioneer Rd


2145 S 162ND ST
New Berlin

Landscape Master L.L.C

P.O. Box 266

Leatherneck Landscaping

2230 N. 63 Street

Legacy Landscaping LLC

S81 W18510 Gemini Drive


2732 E Eaton Ln


532 E Capitol Dr Stop 1

McKay Nursery Company

750 S Monroe St

MetroShield LLC

15984 west heritage lane
New Berlin

Midwest Prairies, LLC

11847 North Washington Road

Milaeger's Landscape Services

4838 Douglas Ave

Moraine Environmental Inc

1402 7th Ave

Nate's Lawn Maintenance Inc

970 Jer-Mar Rd

Oasis Landscape & Design, LLC

3912 Sheridan Rd

Outdoor Accents LLC

PO Box 528




PO Box 26664

Purpose Contracting

22200 W 6 Mile Rd

R&R Enterprises

2500 W. Manchester Ave.

Rodriguez Landscape Co

534 W Madison St

Schlise Custom Landscaping

269 Killarney Rd

Schmidt's Tree Service

824 Marsh Lane

Schultheiss Contractors LLC

2650 S 60th St

Scotts LawnService

1030 Internationale Pkwy

SRG Landscape

1567 A South 14th St

Stone Oak Landscapes Inc

1930 E Norse Ave

The Ground Crafter, LLC


Trimen Builders, Inc.

409 County Road K

Two Brothers Lawn & Snow LLC

8615 N 52nd

Versatile Pro, LLC

6546 N 86th St

William's Lawn Service

PO 250521

Woodland Outdoor Services LLC

w232s7655 Woodland ln


1120 S 23RD ST

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