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Entries in foliage (4)

Friday
Mar212014

Free Property Evaluation - Winter Damage

A dynamic landscape composition of trees, perennials, boulder wall, waterfall, and annuals.We were hit hard this winter with near record snow totals combined with colder than normal temperatures, which had many of our plants covered in a frozen snow load. Ice storms and extended sub-freezing temperatures added to the stress on our plants as well as record amounts of road salt used this season.

In April, once the weather warms up and the plants break dormancy, you will be surprised to see the damage our properties suffered this winter. Broken, leaning or damaged branches on trees and shrubs. Browning or loss of leaves will appear due to a dry fall and cold winter winds which dry out broadleaf evergreen shrubs. Plants like Rhododendron, Skip and Cherry Laurel, Japanese Holly, and Leyland Cypress will either drop their leaves or have extreme browning of foliage. We can diagnose a treatment and pruning for these plantings to help them rebound from this difficult winter.

Let’s not forget the increasing population and migration of deer and the damage they are causing to our landscape. They will be looking for food from now through early spring and they won't be picky. Alternative plantings that are deer resistant may need to be incorporated into your garden to help deter them away from your property. Another option is a deer fence which we can work into a property with minimal visual exposure to help protect your landscape investment.

Not only were our plantings hit hard but also our hardscape elements such as patios, decks, pool areas and driveways. I have already seen cracking, heaving and uneven settling of these materials. Repairs will be needed or it's time to consider replacing some of these elements.

April is a good time for a property evaluation and to reassess your goals for the upcoming season. A Goldberg and Rodler designer is available to meet with you for a free property evaluation and determine the extent of the winter damage and practical solutions. Now is the time to plan for the year. Call (631) 271-6460 or email us to arrange your spring consultation and evaluation now.

Written by Richard Schneider

Monday
Nov042013

Fall Spectacles 


Ginkgo fall colorAs we enter November and the mums finish flowering, fall may feel bittersweet. Bitter in the sense that winter is approaching and sweet with the delicious aromas of pumpkin spices, wood smoke and hot apple cider. Fall is a great time to witness local foliage change from green to rich, vibrant hues of purple, red, orange and gold.

Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum) is the New York state tree and shows off its beautiful red color in mid to late October. The bark on a Sugar Maple is dark grey and exfoliates (peels away) on older trees.  20% of New York State forest is Sugar Maple and this native staple tree is an icon for New York, especially this time of year. A brilliant yellow fall color shows up on the Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) which is native to China. It is considered a living fossil as it has no close living relatives in the species and is similar only to extinct species found in the fossil record. They've been around since the dinosaurs walked the earth and can live for hundreds of years. They make excellent street trees, as long as you plant the male form. The female form's fruits have quite a noxious odor.

Witch-hazel flowers in fall

Dwarf Fothergilla in fall colorA beautiful small tree specimen is Witch-Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana). A New York native, Witch-Hazel is an ideal plant for wet or dry conditions and perfect for your fall and winter landscape.  If you can see a Witch-Hazel, you’ll notice yellow flowers hiding among lush yellow leaves. The flowers have an aroma quintessential of fall and have an abstract shape. Witch-Hazel can grow up to 12’ tall and is a unique specimen for your landscape. Related to the Witch-Hazel is a shrub called Fothergilla. The Dwarf Fothergilla is an excellent native shrub for the landscape and the fall color is striking. 

Virginia Creeper in English IvyA trailing plant that shows brilliant red color in the fall is Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia). Don’t be frightened by this bright red vine that looks like poison ivy. There is a noticeable difference if you can recognize the distinguishable characteristics. For example, Virginia Creeper has 5-7 compound leafs that are always toothed (serrated edges) while poison ivy has only 3 leafs and with only a few teeth or none at all. Another discernible difference is the bark on Virginia Creeper, which appears to be woody. It is important to be wary when you see Virginia Creeper, it almost always grows alongside poison ivy. Ironically, poison ivy has a beautiful fall color (reds, purples, and yellow) but we can skip that one in the landscape!

Hurry up and get outside for an autumn stroll, and witness your fall foliage in magnificent colors. Goldberg and Rodler’s experienced staff is always working to bring you up to date information, ideas, and assistance with your seasonal landscape. At Goldberg & Rodler, we are experts in landscape maintenance, so when that big leaf drop happens, don’t hesitate to contact us for your fall cleanup this year. 

 

Written by Nick Onesto

Monday
Mar252013

Storm & Winter Damage

Strong winds during last year's Hurricane Sandy cause a lot of damage to trees and shrubs in the landscape by uprooting them and breaking limbs. That damage was immediately obvious.

What you may have attributed to winter burn may be burned foliage from wind and saltwater damage. Damage that you can't see underground from excessive saltwater infiltration will show as a stressed or failing plant. The effects of this storm will continue to damage plants for some time but there are a few ways to mitigate the damage to your landscape such as irrigating a few inches per week in early spring to flush out salt in the soil, fertilizing with an organic, salt-free fertilizer to promote new leaf growth and proper pruning to ensure the structural integrity of the plant.

Not sure why your plants are stressed or are you suspicious of residual hurricane and harsh winter damage? A certified arborist can detect issues not visible to the untrained eye such as weakened limbs, injured root systems and salt damage. Decrease the chance of damage during the next major weather event. Call Gary Carbocci, an ISA Certified Arborist (NY0151A), at (631) 271-6460 at Goldberg & Rodler's Tree Care Long Island division and assess your landscape today.

Tuesday
Jan082013

Winter Interest  


During winter, the garden takes on a different character with the play of light and shadow. It is also a time when the unique features of certain plants are highlighted. Witch-hazel, to the left, is a small tree that blooms in February. It's a wonderful native specimen to showcase during a time when there are few things in flower. Camellias also flower during the winter, but be careful to protect their broad evergreen leaves with an anti-transpirant to reduce wind burn. These do best in a more sheltered area such as behind a windbreak or near a building.

In addition to flowers, there are countless
varieties of trees and shrubs with interesting forms, bark, berries, cones and evergreen color to animate the winter landscape. Berries provide food for birds during the winter as well as color for your garden. A mature Japanese Dogwood or Crape Myrtle (at right) both have multicolored, exfoliating bark that stand out in any landscape. The reddish color of the Crape Myrtle's bark is a striking contrast in a winter landscape. A Montgomery Spruce has beautiful blue needles all year (shown in bottom picture with the granite wall).

Grasses, whether evergreen or perennial, can give you good groundcover all year long. Green liriope doesn't get a haircut until Mid-March. Acorus only needs a light raking. Dwarf fountain grass plumes usually last though early winter if there hasn't been a heavy snowfall. Grasses like this should be cut down as soon as they start looking messy, but don't cut them down based on color. The brown plumes add a feathery, light look to your landscape and contrast well with blue skies and white snow.

Hardscape elements, such as paving, boulders and walls, stand out. Structural elements such as sculptures, pergolas and gazebos enliven an outdoor space all year but in winter they can take center stage. A patio heater or fire pit can make an outdoor space usable on mild winter days. Warm drinks like cocoa, tea and coffee can extend your stay outdoors but remember to dress warmly and to extinguish the fire before returning inside. Just because it's cold outside doesn't mean you can't have fun. An arboretum like Planting Fields in Oyster Bay is a great place to explore year round and there aren't as many people in the winter so you can relax more and take your time to enjoy everything. They have numerous trails through the woods on the grounds but they also have greenhouses to explore if it is too nippy outside.

Exterior lighting schemes can highlight unique landscape elements like the Westchester granite wall to the right. The light picks up the bits of mica in the stone and makes it glitter. During the summer, plants might cover most of this wall, but in the winter when the perennials die back it has a chance to shine. Winter is a time to showcase textures and elements not seen in the summer months when brilliantly colored flowers take center stage.