Archive for November, 2011

NJ Landscaping Trees – Fall Tree Planting Can Be Risky

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

Landscaping Trees Mahwah NJ

NJ landscaping trees provide everything from pure natural beauty to screening, shading, and windbreaks. They stand tall among the landscape and platform themselves as beautiful borders and distinguished centerpieces. That sounds nice, but when should these trees be dug and planted? For people who live in growing zones 5 thru 8, October, November and early December is a good time to plant your trees. The mild fall weather puts less stress on the trees. Also, roots are active during winter months and store nutrients for the next season. But don’t get too carried away with the idea of a Fall planting project just yet. In this blog, I will give you a brief explanation as to why certain trees can be risky to plant in the Fall. By taking these facts into account, you can weigh the risk of a Fall planting for yourself. In addition, these guidelines will help explain why knowledgeable landscape design companies and/or nurseries may refuse to plant a certain tree in your landscape during the Fall months.

 

Fall dig hazard trees tend to fail for a couple of different reasons. There are roughly about four troublesome types of trees:

Trees with thin bark and lots of small branches: Betula (all) – Birch

Trees with thick roots that regenerate slowly: Nyssa sylvatica -Tupelo, Black Gum, Sour Gum

Trees that harden late in Fall: Crataegus (all) – Hawthorn and Pyrus (all) – Pear

Broadleaf evergreens: Leyland Cypress and Ilex opaca Greenleaf – American Holly.

 

Trees that are more likely to survive a Fall planting in your landscape are those with shallow, fibrous root systems.

Examples of trees that are not a fall dig hazard:

Aesculus Hippocastanum – Horse chestnut

Amelanchier Leavis – Serviceberry

Fraxinus Americana- White Ash

Hamamelis Virciniana- American Witch hazel

Picea Abies- Norway Spruce

Pinus Stobus- White Pine

Tsuga Canadensis- Hemlock

Here’s a general list of trees that should not be dug during the Fall, known as Fall Dig Hazards. If  you plan on planting trees on your property this Fall or plan on having a landscaper do it for you, do a bit of research. If the tree is on the fall dig hazard list, I would suggest you verify  that the trees were dug this past spring and not this fall.

Abies concolor – Concolor Fir

Acer rubrum – Red Maple
Acer japonica – Full Moon Maple
Acer saccharinum – Silver Maple
Acer freemanii – Freeman Maple
Betula (all) – Birch
Carpinus (all) – American Hornbeam, Ironwood
Cedrus Deodara – Blue Atlas Cedar
Celtis (all) – Hackberry
Cercis – Redbud
Cornus – Dogwood
Crataegus (all) – Hawthorn
Cupressocyparis leylandii – Leyland Cypress ***
Fagus (all) – Beech
Ilex x Fosterii – Foster Holly***
Ilex Nellie Stevens – Nellie Stevens Holly***
Ilex opaca Greenleaf – American Holly ***
Juniper virginiana – Easter Red Cedar
Liquidambar – Sweetgum
Liriodendron – Tulip Tree
Malus (move as late as possible) – Crabapple
Nyssa sylvatica -Tupelo, Black Gum, Sour Gum
Oystrya virginiana – Ironwood, Hophornbeam
Pinus nigra – Austrian Pine
Platanus (all) – Planetree
Pyrus (all) – Pear
Quercus (all) – Oak
Taxodium – Baldcypress
Taxus b. Repandens – English Yew

Tilia tomentosa (other Tilia ok) – Silver Linden
Zelkova (all)

*** Not recommended for fall planting

 

 

NJ Pool Plaster–Hydrazzo, Pebble Tec or Glass Tile, Which is Best for You?

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

Hydrazzo Pool Plaster – Pebble Tec Plaster or Glass Tile Which is Best for You?

Pool plaster options and other pool finishes offer a pretty standard formula for determining durability. The more aggregate in the finish, the longer it will last. In terms of lifestyle and aesthetics, there are plenty of options. Smooth, polished plasters, like Hydrazzo, are great for active families. These plasters are reasonably priced, last 10-20 years, and look great.

Textured, pebble finishes, such as Pebble Tec or Pebble Sheen, cost more, but they last 20+ years (under optimal conditions). They also have a unique, sparkling look. Because the pebbles can be rough in texture if  too much aggregate is exposed (which is when this plaster looks its best), I normally don’t recommend this finish to active families with young children. For those young, active families who insist on a pebble-like finish, I would recommend a glass bead finish like Beadcrete as a better alternative. Glass tile is another popular pool finish. It’s the most expensive, but it lasts 50 years if installed correctly. It is also, without a doubt, the most aesthetically appealing, offering a brilliant shimmer of varying colors across the entire surface of the pool. Glass tiles can also produce beautiful mosaic designs that give the pool additional character. Outside of these options there is the standard, white Marcite finish. This is the cheapest plaster option. It will last 5 to 15 years and is very limited in appearance. Overall, proper pool maintenance will extend the life of any finish; however, the better plasters tend to be more forgiving. If you’re planning a NJ pool renovation and need more information, call us to discuss which pool finish would be best for you. (Information based on Properly Balanced Pool Chemicals)

NJ Swimming Pool and Spa Controls ? Pentair has an APP for That!

Sunday, November 6th, 2011

Mahwah NJ

Swimming Pool and Spa Controls? Pentair has an APP for That!

Do you have an iPod touch, iPhone, or iPad? Do you have an inground pool in your back yard? These questions may seem completely unrelated. (Or, you may be thinking about how horrible it would be if your new iPhone fell into the pool.) But today, the swimming pool and communication technology industries have collided in an exciting way.

With the help of a wireless interface and a handy iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch app, you can control all your swimming pool and spa functions from the comfort of your living room, your train ride home from work, or even another country while you’re on vacation. Warm up the spa on your way home from the gym. Attract a dinner party out into your outdoor living space by discretely turning on colorful pool lights, waterfalls or landscape lighting. With the addition of a video module, you can even use your phone to keep an eye on your teenagers while you’re away for the weekend! (My parents would have loved that feature!)

The free iPhone app works in conjunction with the Pentair controls and wireless interface. An easy-to-use layout and a number of cool, convenient features make the app well worth your while. Remotely managing the pump, heater, and filter allows the pool to save on excess energy costs. Swimming pool lighting options allow for set themes and sweeping color displays. The system can track pool temperatures over time, provide handheld video surveillance, and send you an email if any problems are detected with the pool or spa. In this day and age, we have the world at our fingertips, and your swimming pool is no exception.  This is by far the one of the coolest swimming pool features we installed for 2011! Mahwah NJ