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Local Articles in Lancaster
Lay the groundwork now so that you can enjoy healthy trees, shrubs and plants in your yard this year
Do you live in an apartment or home with a small yard? Learn how to landscape a small space, how much plants cost and how to care for those plants.
Do your research before buying and planting a new tree to make sure it will thrive in its new home and not damage existing landscape elements or your property.
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.
Landscaping reviews in Lancaster
We recently had the worst experience with her that we have had in the 20+ years with any landscaper/company we have used! Welcome to LANDSCAPE H***! We called
The crew showed up early the morning of the 26th without advance warning or even letting us know they were coming two days early.and without even ringing the doorbell.
That afternoon we were really excited in anticipation of seeing what we felt would be the best fall/winter color we ever had. Our agreement was for pansies in the several front flower bed areas, cyprus and pansies in three pots flanking the garage doors and six smaller pots of pansies on that back patio by the pool. As we drove into the driveway, our hearts sank. The three pots around the garage doors were fine, but we had expected relatively full beds of pansies in front. Where there were some pansies, they were planted well, but there was an important space by the front door that was completely
In addition, there were several high visibility areas along the front walk, one of which was half-planted and two were without any plants. All three of these areas had been planted in past years and were to be planted this year. Next, we went into the patio/pool area where they were to have planted six small pots with pansies. They had moved these pots unplanted behind the poolhouse for storage, and instead planted two Cyprus and pansies in two really large pots which were not to get planted.
Our first impression upon seeing the plantings was that they had not finished the job and would be returning in a day or two to finish the job. We did not think there was any way this could have been all 32 flats of flowers. Besides the sparse look of the pansies, her crew had trampled a 24” gutter spout flat while planting one of the pots by the garage.
After several days and no return, the week after Thanksgiving we called
yes. When we expressed our dissatisfaction, she said she would send someone out immediately to fix the gutter spout and would have a crew out that week to take some of the pansies out of the pots to fill in the gaps.
Nothing happened! Neither the gutter or moving of the pansies had been done. A couple of weeks later near Christmas, I called to see when they were coming, and
Disgusted, one morning in late December, I personally counted the pansies one by one. Where there were supposed to have been 640 individual
At the time she said she had to go to another appointment and did not have time to do the count while I was there, but said she would come back after her other appointment and do the count. She said we would receive a call or email from them right away after she had done the count. Two days after our meeting, we still had not heard from her, so I called her. She was very “huffy” and said she had put a check in the mail for three flats of pansies which cost $15 per flat from her supplier, Flower Ranch. I asked her what her count had been, and she said she didn’t recall and gave me an evasive answer that she had left her notes in her car or somewhere. She said she had trouble counting the plants in the pots. She did fix the gutter that same day, however, and did a nice job of that.
One thing that really disappointed us the most was the deterioration in her attitude about our concern about the installation bare spots, the wrong pots planted, and the seeming discrepancy in the number of flowers provided. We were never accusatory in
Considering the crew showed up unannounced two days early, they did not tell us they were there, they dumped a load of mulch blocking both sides of our garage, the poor quality and placement of the plantings, planting the wrong pots, and the deterioration in attitude, we would never do business with
and avoid this one.
The check for the refund of three flats of flowers is still "in the mail."
They laid the sod at high noon. I noted the dry edges, but attempted to save the sod by soaking. As soon as it was wet, area that was supposed to have been filled and packed sank in. Obviously, they did not fill and pack as agreed.
Basically I paid for a truckload of dried up sod that didn't take.
Had to start over.
seem in a hurry. What impressed us immediately was that he listened to us! Imagine that! We walked up and down the street looking at neighbors' yards, pointing out what we liked and didn't like. He talked about his initial thoughts and we asked questions, which he patiently answered. And after we said good-bye he sat out in front another hour os so, just thinking.
And let me tell you about the design! He is actually an artist--the landscape is composed to include movement, height, contrast and color around the seasons, Every morning I look out the window (at what used to be a sad, dry, weed-y yard) and I smile. A deep breath is full of the scent of nature. And--best of all--it seems to express us and our aesthetic perfectly. It is like he read our minds and created JUST what we wanted.
AND he did all the little things, like saved a few existing plants, put in a railing for grandma, his team was professional and polite, he gave us the schedule, showed up every day he said he would, cleaned up every day, and completed without a hitch.
If there was an A+ rating he would have earned it!
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