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Wednesday
Mar082017

Why Share Your Yard with Pests?

Bothersome is just one of many terms one may use to describe the presence of the dreaded mosquito.  They are particularly annoying for those who enjoy spending the evening outdoors at the pool, puttering in the garden or relaxing on the terrace surrounded by friends and family. 

Aedes mosquito. Photo: James Gathany, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)To make matters worse, mosquitoes spread several diseases when they bite, including the Zika and West Nile Viruses.  Mosquitoes can also transmit heartworm to dogs.  There are various ways to protect your family from these pests.  Repelling them is the most environmentally friendly option with the lowest impact on the environment.  The same repellents also deter fleas and ticks.  Fleas can transfer tapeworms in addition to causing uncomfortable itching from their bites.  Ticks are associated with spreading Lyme Disease to both humans and animals.

Deer tick in microscope. Photo: Ashley Haugsjaa

When there is an infestation, the use of a pesticide on the adult mosquitoes may be needed until the infestation is reduced to a manageable population.  At that time we would switch to repellents.

Spring is coming and if you are looking forward to spending time in your beautiful yard without these annoying pests, you may want to consider a custom tailored program designed by Tree Care of Long Island, a division of Goldberg & Rodler, to repel mosquitoes and other nuisances using environmentally friendly botanical oils. We will let you know if you have hidden breeding grounds on your property by conducting a thorough site evaluation.

Contact us today for a free quote. Call 631-271-6460 or 631-271-TREE.  

 

Written by: Maria Ferrero

Tuesday
Mar072017

Community Gardens

Although community gardens have a long history prior to World War II, it was during this time, in the midst of food rationing, when citizens answered the call in the name of  the war effort, planting Victory Gardens to grow, eat and preserve fruits and vegetables for themselves and their families.   At least 20 million private and cooperative gardens were created back then in backyards and empty lots in the name of patriotism.   

Today, concern for the environment and awareness of the health issues associated with the use of chemicals and pesticides, has brought about a trend toward more nutritious, organically grown, fresh produce.  Organic gardening relies on crop rotation to avoid insect and disease problems associated with a particular crop and the use of organic fertilizers, compost and mulch rather than the more traditional methods using insecticides, fungicides and chemical fertilizers.  Local or home grown organic food is also known to be far more nutritious than traditionally grown produce. The organic movement is not lost on the traditional supermarkets, as most have jumped on the bandwagon, introducing organic produce and grocery items to their shelves.  Limited selections and higher costs, nevertheless, have compelled many consumers to consider growing their own vegetables and herbs.  Others, without the benefit of a personal outdoor space, have gravitated toward local community gardens where they can enjoy and appreciate the satisfaction of tending, harvesting and eating their own produce.  There is also the added benefits of physical exercise, social interaction with fellow gardeners and emotional and physical health when eating a healthier and more wholesome diet.  Gateway Park Community Organic Garden, located in Huntington, is a wonderful example of how a local community can come together.  Growing produce while also supporting those less fortunate, provides an opportunity for the local community to improve their quality of life with a diet of healthy, home grown and nutritious food while also significantly reducing food costs. 

Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA’s, are another path to realizing the benefits of healthy, sustainable organic produce while also supporting local farmers and the environment.   These programs are based on you, the consumer, purchasing a share of a farmer’s harvest.  A membership fee is prepaid early in the year to help the farmer purchase needed equipment and seeds.   Then, from May or June until November, depending on the crops a particular farm grows, a weekly allotment of fresh picked produce is harvested specifically for you.   Many of these farms have weekly drop off points in our area, so it’s important to choose a farm that delivers to a convenient location for you.   Some membership require work participation, but considering that the majority of CSA’s are located at the east end of Long Island, this concept may be impractical for most of us.   Produce selections and costs also vary from farm to farm, so checking out websites for the details is important.  Homecoming Farm in Amityville is a wonderful example of a group, the Dominican Sisters in this case, coming together to support themselves and the community with a healthy and sustainable Community Supported Agriculture project.  Bayard Cutting Arboretum and Bethpage Restoration Village are also CSA’s, but may or may not be organic.

As a consumer who purchases organic foods whenever and wherever possible, I find myself purchasing the same few available organic fruits and vegetables week after week.  The experience of tasting a healthier and more varied choice of local organic produce, fresh from the farm, is very appealing and adds another benefit, for me at least, to join a CSA. 

Being aware of the many options available on the garden path to a healthier diet, whether to have your own backyard garden, a plot at a local community garden or a weekly delivery from a CSA you will be an integral part of a rapidly growing movement to reconnect with nature and support a healthier, more sustainable environment.     

Written by: Maria Ferrero

Thursday
Feb022017

Healthy Landscapes Are the Root of Happiness

A great article from our friends at NALP, National Association of Landscape Professionals. Love your landscape! Want to protect your family from ticks, fleas, mosquitoes, and more? Contact us today to protect your property! We have a range of sprays including organic options to protect you and your family. Our newest team member, Chris Tanner, is an expert on caring for your plants. He will make sure everything is pruned properly and at the appropriate time. Concerned about oak wilt? Speak to our arborists about your trees.

Thursday
Jan262017

Goldberg & Rodler Earns Top Landscape Award on Long Island

Back in October 2014 this property was featured in our Project of the Month blog and is now aptly named The Manor on the Hill.  The design for this Port Washington property began in summer 2013.  The Goldberg & Rodler design team earned the Judges Award, the top honor in the Long Island Nursery and Landscape (LINLA) awards program, and also won the Gold Award in the Single Family Residence category.

UPDATE 06/22/17: We were just honored with the New York State Nursery & Landscape Associtaion (NYSNLA) 2017 Environmental Beautification Award: Residential Over $100,000 for this project!

The front yard is now a cobblestone and asphalt parking court comprised of tiered retaining walls and increases the usefulness of the space. Planting helps soften the boldness of the brick manor and the large natural boulder is showcased.This traditional style brick home is the definition of a diamond in the rough.  The house sits atop a hill, oriented on an angle, and was found with a landscape in utter disrepair.  Our clients had a vision for their home to reclaim its historic integrity while providing the comforts of a modern lifestyle.

BEFORE: The original driveway was a dark and desolate ........AFTER:The entry is now transformed to an inviting and open experience.

The first obstacle was grading the site, which was a massive undertaking.  Since the lot was so small, staging equipment and materials was a constant struggle.  Tight scheduling and diligent project management were essential components for conducting this project smoothly.

BEFORE: A nine foot wide spread footing is making its debut......AFTER:Brick and bluestone walls are paired with Long Island boulders.

The existing bluestone patio in the rear yard was recycled into a new form that included an aged brick edge.  The patio was then extended to accommodate a brick and bluestone fire pit.  A u-shaped outdoor kitchen was an essential part of this reimagined landscape.

The backyard is now a series of entertaining spaces enlivened by a full outdoor kitchen, gas fire pit, and seating/dining areas.The outdoor kitchen has a chunky bluestone veneer and provides a textured aesthetic with a smooth bluestone counter.

An incredible amount of coordination was required to carve this diamond out of the rough.  The process was grueling and taxing on all parties involved and the result speaks volumes about the power of teamwork.  The amount of construction required for this project would make most people shudder or retreat.  With determination and due diligence Goldberg and Rodler transformed this landscape into a unique lifestyle experience.

The Manor on the Hill is composed of a dynamic arrangement of entertaining and advantageous spaces. The new design succeeds in creating a private getaway from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.We can tailor a landscape design to fit your lifestyle as well.  All projects large and small are treated with the same level of award winning detail.  We can do this for you.  Call Goldberg & Rodler at (631) 271-6460 and we will mobilize our design team to help enhance your lifestyle.  Now is the time for planning this year's garden, so call today!

Written by: Nick Onesto

Thursday
Jan192017

Protect Your Oak and Other Shade Trees from Deadly Diseases: Prune in Winter!

Oak Wilt has come to Long Island and our precious shade trees may be in danger. DEC Forest Health Technicians confirmed Oak Wilt to be in Brooklyn, Babylon, Islip, Riverhead, and Southold. What is Oak Wilt and why do we need to worry? Oak Wilt is a fungus that acts as a plug inside the tree, preventing water and nutrients from getting to the crown (top) of the tree. An infected tree will start to die from the top down and you will notice browning leaves and branch die back. Leaves can abruptly wilt, or the tree may experience sudden leaf loss during spring and summer. Splits in the bark may also occur.

Winter pruning by Goldberg & Rodler keeps trees healthyGoldberg & Rodler wants to help you save your majestic old trees. One of the ways to avoid the fungus getting inside the tree is winter pruning. The DEC says do not wait until summer to prune your trees. During the growing season, recently pruned or broken limbs attract beetles and other insects that carry the fungus. Pruning a tree in winter offers one defense against infection, as beetles (and other insects and fungi) are inactive. There are other benefits to winter pruning. You can easily see a deciduous tree’s branching pattern and structure without leaves. Broken and/or injured limbs are more noticeable. Removing weak and damaged branches can also help reduce limbs breaking off due to snow and ice loads. Pruning in the winter lessens the risk to adjacent plants, especially perennials, as many are dormant. Once spring comes, these trees benefit from winter pruning with a strong and robust burst of new growth. For best results, prune between October and February, when deciduous trees are dormant.

Symptoms of Oak Wilt: (A) White Oak (B) Red Oak [Photo: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation]Oak Wilt fungus can also spread through roots systems, especially with Red Oaks, because their root systems have a tendency to fuse together when growing in a group. If you have many Oaks on your property, it is best to call Goldberg & Rodler and have our trained and certified arborists assess your trees. Infected trees can die quickly, anywhere from 3 weeks to 6 months after infection, but the time to act is now.

Interested in keeping your trees healthy? Suspect they may have Oak Wilt? Contact us now and save a place on our winter pruning schedule. Call our main office at (631) 271-6460 or our dedicated plant healthcare hotline at (631) 271-TREE (8733).

Visit the DEC’s website to learn more about Oak Wilt and the areas of quarantine. If you have an infected tree removed, follow proper disposal guidelines to prevent the fungus from spreading. It is prohibited to move oak and any firewood out of the infected areas.