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Plant Profile: Emerald Green Arborvitae

Plant Profile: Emerald Green Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis)

emerald green arborvitae

Emerald Green arborvitae is an evergreen in the Cypress family (Cupressaceae). Although some might say they are, technically, tall shrubs, they are commonly referred to as “trees”.

Emerald Green Arborvitaes are great for privacy hedges and wind breaks on any property. Emerald Green Arborvitae typically reach about 12 feet in height and spread between 3 and 4 feet wide. This type of arborvitae grows in a pyramid shape, which differs from how most shrubs grow in a ‘globe’ like shape. The tall pyramid shape helps make them a great privacy hedge, especially when home owners are trying to enclose a pool area. Our company has planted dozens of these hearty trees for customers, and it tends to always be in the backyard, and near a pool. Since they are coniferous (meaning they do not shed their leaves like a decidious tree) these arborvitaes will remain green all year long. They do not produce large colorful blooms, so don’t be expecting anything exciting!

green giant arborvitae
Green Giant Arborvitaes can be confused with Emerald Greens

Emerald Green Arborvitae can be confused with Green Giant Arborvitae, which grow much faster, and much taller. Green Giant arborvitae are not good privacy hedges because of their massive size.

Emerald Green’s will have no problem with freezing temperatures or ice in the winter. They are low maintenance until they reach maturity, which at that point will likely need hedge trimming each spring. Trim arborvitae in the spring before new growth is established.

Planting Arborvitae

If you are planting more than one arborvitae, make sure to properly space each plant out. We recommend at least 3 feet apart from one another. They will grow into the space between one another, and if they are planted too close together they can get crowded. When shrubs or trees get crowded, they are more susceptible to disease.

Dig a hole that is at least 3 inches wider than the base of the arborvitae. This is important because when you back fill the plant, you want enough room to move the shrub around for adjustments and remove air pockets. If you allow air pockets with sloppy back filling, the arborvitae will begin to lean as the soil gets more compacted.

Do not plant arborvitaes too low below the surface. They are much better off planted at the surface level, or slightly above the surface. Most trees and shrubs are like this. Water them adequately when first establishing them, but their is no need to over water them. 1-2 good soakings every week will be plenty.

Interested in having Emerald Green Arborvitaes planted at your home or business? Reach out to us on our contact page here.

Plant Profile: Leatherleaf Viburnum

Background:

viburnum

Evergreen shrub, when fully matured can be between 7-10 feet tall. Flowers in clusters in the late spring, with creamy white flowers that are 4-8 inches big. Produces fruit that grow as red berries that birds will eat. Plant viburnum 3-6 feet apart.

Light Requirements:

Full sun or light shade. Tolerates shade but thrives in full sun.

Pruning:

Prune to remove dead branches or weak shoots. Can be sheared to maintain shape.

Uses:

Specimen, foundation planting, or hedge.

Landscaping Service Doylestown:

Are you looking for a landscaping company in Doylestown PA? Our company is headquartered in Doylestown and would love to be of service to you. Contact us today for a free estimate.

What Is A Foundation Planting?

To put it quite simply, foundation plantings are the plants that get planted along the foundation of the house. Foundation plants were traditionally used as screens to hide raised concrete foundations on a home. In addition to providing great screens, they add beauty and style to a home!

Some home designers no longer feel the need for foundation plantings since new construction rarely shows an exposed concrete foundation. My biggest pushback on this would be that a long continuous stretch of vinyl siding is certainly less attractive than having landscaping around it. Shrubs soften hard corners and lines on a home’s foundation, making them asthteticly more pleasing. Most homeowners would rather walk up to their front door and be greeted by a beautiful garden bed than vinyl siding. Additionally, a garden bed around the foundation of a home separates the lawn from the house, protecting your siding from getting destroyed by a weed-wacker or lawn mower.

Take for example the two homes pictured below. The first house has no foundation planting, while the second house (which also has a raised porch), has beautiful foundation planting along with a nice stone border edge.

The foundation plants on the blue house above have no shrubs covering the view of the porch or obstructing any street view of the house. Meanwhile, the yellow house has the concrete foundation completely exposed and looks unappealing.

The foundation planting is essential for new construction, or doing a landscape transformation on older homes. Typically when customers call us for a landscape renovation, the current landscaping has grown much too big and is blocking the homeowner’s view from the door or back patio. This tends to happen when regular landscape maintenance hasn’t been done in a few years. We can either salvage the existing landscaping by a hardcore pruning, or we can remove the shrubs completely and start new.

Are you interested in a landscaping redesign? Contact us today and we’ll come out for an in person estimate to discuss a plan!

Plant Profile: Rhododendron

Background:

Rhododendron’s are part of the Evergreen family. There are a number of different Rhododendron species, that vary in size from 3-4 feet, all the way up to 15-20 feet. Rhododendron’s have beautiful flowers in clusters at stem ends. The colors of this shrub’s flowers vary from pinks, red, purples, yellow and even bi-color. They prefer moist and well drained acidic soil. These are incredibly hearty shrubs for our climate zone (6) and do exceptionally well. These shrubs are susceptible to drought, so mulch them in the spring or summer to help retain moisture.

bi-color rhododendron
Example of a bi-color pink and purple Rhododendron.

Light Requirements:

These shrubs do best in moderate shade.

Pruning:

Avoid using shears or hedge trimmers to take care of these shrubs. Use pruners to remove dying branches or to shape.

Uses:

Foundation Planting, Shrub Border, Screens, Specimen.

rhododendron

What Are Specimen Trees?

Have you ever looked at a home’s beautiful landscaping and wondered what exactly it was that made it look like it “all flowed together”? It very well could be the specimen tree, otherwise known as an accent tree. Specimen trees are used as a point of focus in a landscape. Specimen’s typically have an unusual shape, texture, color or other feature that distinguishes it from other trees and shrubs in your landscape. Specimen trees should be planted alone instead of in groups or clusters like most shrubs.

specimen tree in a home's landscaping

In the picture above of one of our landscape maintenance clients, the Japanese Maple is the specimen tree of this garden bed. The beauty of the leaves and unique umbrella shape dominates your focus and catches your attention. Japanese Maples are excellent specimen trees.

If you have any questions about specimen trees or would like to have your landscaping re-designed by us, contact us today!

Plant Profile: Upright Japanese Yew

Background:

Cone shaped shrub with fairly rapid growth rate. Can add between 10-12″ of new height each year. Easy to maintain as a hedge and can be used as a “specimen” tree in a garden.

Light Requirements:

Full sun to deep shade.

Pruning:

For a formal and more classy appearance, shear these hedges to remove about half the new growth in the early summer. For an informal appearance, do not use hedge trimmers and only remove individual long branches.

The Informal Look Of A Japanese Yew

Uses:

Foundation planting, specimen or accent. Can be used as a hedge or screen up to the height of about 12 feet tall.

japanese yew hedge row
Japanese Yew Hedge Row

If you are interested in having a Japanese Yew planted or maintained in your garden, contact us today!

Plant Profile: Viburnum

snow ball cluster viburnum

Viburnum’s are excellent plants to add to your Pennsylvania home’s landscape. These shrubs can be used for a wide variety of different uses for your landscape. These ancient shrubs have the capability of growing between 3-20 ft. tall. Viburnum, similar to Hollies, can grow quickly to large heights, or be kept smaller and more shrub like.

Viburnum’s are very versatile for modern landscapes. These beautiful shrubs bloom between mid spring and early summer and will boast beautiful flowers for quite a few weeks.

Different Types Of Viburnum

There are around 165 known different varieties of Viburnum. It’s worth noting that Viburnums thrive in almost every growing zone, and there is no single viburnum foliage. Viburnums typically have white or pink flowers, and can grow blooms that are large like a Hydrangea, or small and flat like an Azalea. The three most common flower types are:

  • Flat clusters of florets.
  • Flat umbels outlined with larger flowers, resembling hydrangeas.
  • Dome-shaped, snowball like clusters.

Viburnum Maintenance

Viburnums are typically low maintenance as far as watering is concerned. The amount of sun will impact the amount of blooms. Viburnum planted in a shady spot will tend to yield less blooms. Plant these shrubs in direct sun for best results. Most species are fast growing so yearly or twice yearly pruning will be required if you wish to keep these shrubs small. These shrubs can easily turn into a privacy fence and can grow to massive heights.

How To Plant Viburnum

Viburnum’s are no different than Hollies when it comes to planting. There is a 99% chance if you are reading this, that you will be getting the Viburnum from a nursery and it will come in a 3 Gallon Pot.

A Simple Tip For 1-5 Gallon Pot Plantings: Dig the hole as deep as the pot, and twice as wide.

how to plant a plant diagram

Are you interested in having a professional landscape company in Chalfont PA re-plant your garden with new Viburnums? Contact us here on our contact page!

Plant Profile: Hollies

Plant Profile: Hollies

Hollies are very versatile plants that can range anywhere from only a foot high, to trees that are 70 feet tall. In ancient times, hollies were used to decorate statues of Saturn (the Roman god of the harvest), to providing medieval protection from evil spirits, and of course decorating our houses at Christmas time with them.

In South Eastern Pennsylvania where our company is located, hollies will have no problem growing. They are most hardy in regions 5 and 6, and in Southeast Pennsylvania we are zone 6. Zone 5 would be the Lehigh County and above.

Gender Of The Holly

On the left, is a female holly which produces berries. On the right is a male holly that flowers, but does not produce berries.

When you think of hollies, you think of the bright white flowers, red berries, and the shiny prickly leaves. The gender of the holly actually plays a big role in the appearance of the plant. Female hollies will produce berries, while the male hollies will not. Hollies are unique in the fact that they have two separate genders, otherwise known as dioecious. Most trees and shrubs that we’re familiar with are monoecious, which means they are both male and female.

Holly Maintenance

These plants do not require regular pruning or trimming, but if you want to keep them small, or to prevent them from overcrowding, pruning is going to be required. Holly bushes are very low maintenance as well, and typically do not need to be watered unless we are in a dry spell.

We always recommend mulch for our clients for a variety of reasons, and Hollies are no exception. Mulch not only helps prevent plants and shrubs from the freeze thaw cycle, but once it decomposes it adds tons of nutrients back into the soil, eliminating or reducing the amount of fertilizer needed. We suggest using mulch from a supplier that does not use artificial dyes or chemicals. At our company, we only use naturally died mulch.

Mary Neil Holly

How To Plant Hollies

The holly bush you purchase is most likely going to be in a pot. The size of the pot should not matter, but most likely it’s going to be in a three gallon pot. Find the spot you wish to have your holly planted, and make sure it has adequate sunlight and good drainage. All good landscapes start with knowing what your plants need.

  1. Dig a hole in the ground that is about 3 inches wider than the diameter of the holly. Do not dig the hole too deep; allow the holly to sit about one or two inches above the soil line.
  2. Remove the holly from the container and using a shovel or spade, slice about 3 or four inserts into the root ball. Don’t cut the ball in half, just about one or two inches deep. This will prevent the roots from wrapping in a circle and choking itself out. Cutting these inserts will let the ball branch out into the garden.
  3. Back fill the holly. (Fill in the space around the plant)
  4. Sprinkle compost or manure around the bush to help with water retention.
  5. Water.
  6. Add mulch around the base.

Are you thinking of updating your home’s landscaping and are looking for the best landscaping service in Doylestown? Reach out to us today and we can transform the way your property looks! Click here to visit our contacts page

How To Get The Best Value From Your Lawn Service

Price and value have very different meanings in business. Some customers simply shop for the lowest price, and don’t realize the trade off in value they receive. Lower prices in the service industry almost always directly correlate with poor value. Value is the monetary, material, or assessed worth of an asset, good, or service. In a lawn service provider, the value we provide is how well the lawn or landscaping looks, how the communication between customer and client is, and how knowledgeable are we about issues regarding lawn and landscaping.

Our value comes in the top notch service we provide each time, our easy payment options, our clear customer communication, and our consistency. We hear all the time “My last lawn service I could never get a hold of” or “They missed lawn cuts all the time and our grass was overgrown”. Companies that address these client concerns will always fair better than those that do not.

If you are a customer reading this, make sure to ask your lawn company about payment options, which way is best to get ahold of them for a prompt answer (email, text or call?), and be clear about what kind of service you expect. If you want great service, don’t expect a low price. If you want a “really” great price, don’t expect great service. Our industry is extremely expensive and labor intensive. It’s hard to keep good employees without paying them a premium. The average mower costs $8-10,000. Trucks are $30-50,000. Our industry pays the highest percent in workers compensation because of the workplace hazards. All of this adds up quick!

Here is my best tip if you want to pay a fair price, and get great service: Talk to your neighbors and ask who they use for their lawn. If they’re not happy with their service, suggest that you both find and hire the same company. If they are happy, ask them who they use and hire them! Lawn care companies LOVE when they can get multiple houses in the same neighborhood. It’s less drive time between jobs and saves the owner money. Landscaping companies can offer a better price to the customer if you have multiple houses in the same neighborhood. If you’re looking for a lawn care company now, reach out to us today, and visit our referral program page to learn how you and your neighbors can save money on lawn service and landscaping!

When Is The Best Time To Hire A Landscaper?

The best time to look for a landscaping company is February and March. You will have a much greater chance of finding a reliable landscaper during these months. Customers can call multiple companies and get estimates within 24 hours, whereas if you try calling in April or May, there is a great chance you won’t get your landscaping project scheduled until at least June. Our company also offers tremendous discounts and savings for customers that sign up early!

bolton landscape cleanup program

Our company offers all customers a 10% Discount on The Bolton Landscape Cleanup Program for any customer that signs up in February! If you sign up in February, you also guarantee yourself a spot on the top of our spring cleanup list.

For customers reaching out in March, you still get an early bird discount of 5%. Customers signing up in March can expect to be serviced that month or in April.

Want even BIGGER savings? Sign up with a neighbor for our landscape cleanup program and you both get 10% OFF! If you sign up in February, both you and your neighbor can save 20% on your landscaping bill for the season. That is hundreds of dollars in savings!