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Entries in winter (21)

Wednesday
Nov202013

Benefits of Winter Mulch: From the Desk of Sal Masullo

It has been said many times and it is true, "Timing is everything."

Sal Masullo, working hard to protect his clients' investments.NOW is the time to consider winter mulching. Winter mulch is a little different from regular shredded bark mulch. Winter mulch is an organic compost based mulch that provides many benefits for both new and established plantings. Considering the very dry fall we experienced this year, winter mulch makes even more sense as a simple, inexpensive way to protect the investment you have in your landscape. The root systems of your trees, shrubs and perennials have been under tremendous stress. Winter mulch will protect these roots through the cold days ahead.

 

Just like people, plants require supplementary nutrients. Healthy plants are better equipped to fight off pests, disease and extreme temperatures. The benefits of winter mulch:

          Insulates soil and minimizes the impact of extreme cold temperature on plants and their root system

          Minimizes root disruption from the freeze/thaw cycle by stabilizing soil temperature

          Feeds plants slowly, consistently and organically as it decomposes

          Reduces moisture evaporation from the soil (a key benefit this season)

In short, winter mulch is preventative medicine for your plants. If you would like more information regarding winter mulch or other helpful winter protection for your garden, contact our office and one of our landscape professionals will be happy to answer all of your questions.

Written by Sal Masullo

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
Sep232013

Benefits of Tree Pruning

Redspire Pear trees before: Encroaching on building, shading planting Redspire Pear trees after: Light and air reach the understory planting

Fall is here! Fall is full of fun festivals and corn mazes but don't let those distract you from thinking ahead in regards to your trees. We're at the tail end of hurricane season and at the beginning of harsh weather in the form of heavy snow, ice, and strong winds. Fall is the time for pruning large and ornamental trees.

The benefits of pruning a tree include safety and aesthetics. Heavy snow loads, ice storms and strong winds can cause healthy as well as diseased and dead limbs to break off and drop under the stress. Removing dead wood and lower limbs can prevent debris damage from falling limbs while providing a crisp and clean new look. 

When the limbs are thinned out, it allows for more light and air to pass through and the understory planting will thrive. Ever see a tree sway slightly in the breeze? It might look dangerous, and it can be if the canopy is so thick that the wind moves the tree as one piece but when that wind can pass through as well as around the canopy, that makes a tree stronger. The tree is basically developing "muscles" to help it weather future winds.

Small trees can be pruned more easily than large trees but you will always get better results from a professional. Large trees require the help of climbers, trucks, machinery and arborists with a vast knowledge of tree growth habit. You don't want a novice climbing up 100 feet above the ground level. Experienced arborists, like our own Gary Carbocci of Tree Care Long Island a division of Goldberg and Rodler, can evaluate the trees and surrounding landscape and make recommendations based on years of experience and expert knowledge. Goldberg & Rodler will execute the whole process with professionalism and dedication to bring safety and clarity to your landscape.

See our before and after gallery of the trees we recently pruned in the front of Gurwin Jewish Geriatric in Commack, NY.

Monday
Sep162013

Fall Means...

Pumpkins, hot cider and football. But it also means core aeration, lawn renovation, bulbs and fall cleanup! Don't give up on your garden just because the weather has cooled. There are many items still on the check list before getting cozy inside for the winter.

This lawn could use an aeration and re-seeding.Now is the best time to help out your lawn. Core aeration can provide valuable air circulation to an established lawn. Now is also the best time to renovate your turf. Lime is very important, especially on Long Island. The pH of the soil across most of Long Island trends toward acidic. A simple soil test can figure out if you need to raise the pH of your soil to help your plants grow better. Tree Care of Long Island offers soil testing and lime application (among many other services) for your lawn and plants.  Fall is the best time to seed your lawn. Depending on the variety, grass seed needs a temperature range of 45-65 degrees Fahrenheit to germinate properly. Make sure to water adequately while not overwatering and that the seeds is in contact with the soil. Birds LOVE grass seed. To protect your seed sprinkle a light dusting of compost over it. This will also help keep the seed moist.

 

Bulbs. My favorite kind of fall shopping. The varieties available get more diverse and spectacular every year. We're placing orders now for installations to occur before Thanksgiving. Many times the first signs of spring are those crocus and miniature daffodils coming up in almost bare beds. Don't miss out on a fantastic spring color display! Daffodils are critter resistant but tulips are on the menu for deer, squirrels and other furry friends so plan accordingly. The key to a show stopping bulb display is massing. If there weren't enough one year, add more for the next season. You can never have too many bulbs! They are some of the most cost efficient plants you can put in your garden, especially if you get a naturalizing variety which will multiply and bloom for many years.


Don't forget to schedule your fall cleanup. Perennials and ornamental grasses need to be cut down, leaves collected and disposed of, whether on the ground or in the gutters. A blocked gutter can cause roof leaks if the water backs up under the shingles. Protect your outdoor furniture. We offer shrink wrapping for pots, tables and chairs, barbecues and other outdoor furnishings. Remember to have a professional blow out irrigation and pool lines to prevent damage from water freezing and thawing in the lines throughout the season. Drain and cover any fountains. Talk to a professional for pond care and winterization if you have animals in the pond. Hungry birds and raccoons can make a meal out of unsuspecting koi and goldfish when the weather turns nasty.

As we move into fall, keep the winter items in the back of your mind, such as snow plowing, anti-transpirant applications, decorations, winter compost, and more! Stay tuned for our winter entry.

Do you have a question for us? Comment below or contact us.

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.