Naperville Landscaping Services
Serving the Naperville Community and the surrounding suburbs
25 Jun 2017
Why Do You Need to Let Some of Your Trees Go (When Their Time Comes)

Why Do You Need to Let Some of Your Trees Go (When Their Time Comes)

While trees are undoubtedly the heart and soul of every garden, there comes a time when any tree must leave. Some tree species do not have the privilege of living 5000 years, so strong and so tall as Bristlecone Pine. Sadly, the common tree types we have in our yards get old in less than 50 years and when they do, removal is due.

For someone who lived for 17,000 – 25,000 years, reading this paragraph would surely give them the strongest headache an Ent has ever had. The wisest and eldest of the Ents, Treebeard, is very likely to have witnessed as many battles and events as Eru Ilúvatar; the creator of the world of J. R. R. Tolkien. Finding out there’s a tree (or Ent if you will) that is about to be removed from an area (or killed, if seen from his perspective) would’ve caused Treebeard to start a war against Men.

But worry not. The ancient Forest of Fangorn is far from our Earth and the trees we have are not capable of walking, talking and fighting our battles for us like Ents did. Ranging in all sizes and shapes, trees do a lot more for our gardens than providing oxygen for our flowers, plants and, of course, for us. Unfortunately, that applies for healthy trees only. The unhealthy ones, though, are undesirable. Not only can they be an eyesore, but they also represent a hazard for you, your family and your pet.

There are a number of reasons to remove trees from a yard. However, to decide whether you need to let go of a tree, you only need to answer yourself these questions:

  • Is it in the way of a planned activity? Many times the reason to remove a tree is simply because the homeowners have planned an activity that includes the space that a tree takes (such as renovation or building a kid’s playfield).
  • Is the tree healthy? If the tree is damaged over 50% and cannot be saved, removal is probably the most appropriate solution. An unhealthy tree may continue surviving in your yard, but it will be forever charmless.
  • Does it pose a hazard for you and your family? Old and sick trees usually have weak roots and branches, which represents a constant threat for you and your family. If trimming and pruning doesn’t help, tree removal is essential, because they could snap over you at any time.
  • Is it leaning? If the tree is leaning, it could mean a number of things. For example, weakening or breakage of the roots or suffering from a disease. In this case, tree removal is a must, because it represents a hazard.
  • What is the environment of the tree? If the tree is growing on rock ledges or near a body of water, it is very likely their root systems to be shallow and weak. These trees must be removed before they fall; it’s only a matter of time.

If you find the old adage “Better safe than sorry” to be true, there are few more considerations you need to take into account. For example, if there are dead branches on one side only, there’s hope for the tree if expert handles it on time, as it is only a symptom of trunk or root damage. Also, examine if the tree has a historical or sentimental value. If you’re not attached to it, a member of your family might. Once you answer all of these questions and conclude your tree no longer belongs to your garden, it’s time to take care of the matter and do what needs to be done.

Do not be hasty – that is my motto”

Treebeard’s motto is as he had this particular thought in mind, encouraging us to think long and think hard. Growing tired of a tree or realizing you could use the space of the tree’s location differently are not good reasons that can get you Treebeard’s approval. Before removing a tree from your yard, you need to be totally sure that the tree is beyond saving and it does more harm than good. The best way to ensure if a tree cannot be saved is to hire a professional tree removal service provider. We at Sunset Landscaping speak Entish, which is our secret why we know exactly whether a tree needs to go or not.

22 Jun 2017
professional lawn care service

Keep it Safe: 5 Plants to Avoid This Summer

Now that the summer days have arrived and the hot sun is inviting, everyone is bound to increase their time spent outdoors, whether on doing landscape work, playing with a pet or taking a walk. But we, the humans, are not the only ones that find the sun’s rays so beneficial to our health and mood; plants too enjoy the summer sun as many of them blossom all summer long. Since spending time in the yard is bound to become one of your favorite activities, it is of utmost importance to learn which plants can represent a threat to you, your family, your lawn or your pet.

With many unwanted plants growing in a hot sun, it means poisonous plants such as poison ivy and poison oak are due to appear in your garden. In the US and Canada, there are over 700 plants that are considered poisonous, so the odds of keeping your yard poisonous-plants-free without any professional lawn care service are not in your favor. If you think you’re not allergic to any plant, just think about it; over 85% of the world’s population has an allergic reaction when coming into contact with one.

The obvious solution is to avoid these dangerous plants. To do so, first you need to learn what do they look like so you can identify them if they suddenly appear in your yard. Here are 5 poisonous plants you might wanna avoid this summer to keep your yard healthy and safe.

Poison Ivy

Symptoms: blisters, serious itching, rash

The distinguishable three-leaf plant is the number one plant you need to avoid this summer. When you get in touch with a leaf of poison ivy, rest assured you’re getting a blistering rash and serious itching time. Whether as a vine or a shrub growing close to the ground or to a tree, each of those three shiny, toothed leaves is loaded with an oily resin known as urushiol and may cause an allergic reaction. In spring, the leaves are reddish, but in summer, their color is green. One important tip is to NOT scratch the area where you’ve got in contact with poison ivy but instead, use a wet compress.

Poison Oak

Symptoms: serious itching, red blisters, rash

Poison oak, commonly mistaken for poison ivy because of their similar three-leaf look, is also one of the worst enemies you can have in your yard. This tenacious plant can grow both as a vine in the shade or as a shrub exposed to the sunlight. Getting in direct contact with poison oak will immediately result in itchy red blisters on the infected area. Similarly, you should not scratch that area and use wet compress or cold water to ease the itching. When you see a green three-leaf plant with shiny, curved edges in summer, keep your hands off of it, no matter how inviting it may seem.

Poison Sumac

Symptoms: swelling, burning sensation, red blisters, rash

Those who have had a poison sumac rash are familiar with the uncomfortable allergic reaction this seemingly harmless plant can cause. While its appearance may hint that it is a plant that comes straight from Rivendell, the poison sumac can cause a lot of harm. It usually grows in the wild, but it is not as uncommon as one may think for it to appear in a garden. To identify a poison sumac, look for a plant that looks like a tall shrub and which leaves have clusters of seven to thirteen leaflets. Compared to poison oak and poison ivy, this one can cause a lot more severe rash. Interestingly, though, the most effective treatment is also wet compress or cold water.

Wild Parsnips

Symptoms: itching, discomfort, rash

Wild parsnip is a perennial plant that usually grows in dry areas, such as by the side of roads, inhabited fields or pastures. Although not very likely to find it in your landscape, it is important to know how to identify it, because it can give you a blistering rash. The chemicals this plant’s sap contains can cause discomfort and itching and if you expose the infected area on sunlight, it’ll double the pain. In summer, each wild parsnip produces a plenty of tiny yellow flowers. Once you see it, you can never forget it. Applying water on the area is a great relief method.

Stinging Nettle

Symptoms: discomfort, stinging, burning

While it is undoubtedly the least harmless plant on any list of plants to avoid in summer, the stinging nettle is one of the most annoying and most uncomfortable plants your skin could ever get in touch with. The stinging nettle is tall, thin and weedy plants with leaves that are green of color and have tiny, sharp stinging hair. When you rub your hand against this hair, this plant will inject the irritating chemical into your skin and immediately make it turn red and cause itching. What you can do to relieve the pain is wash the area with cold water. Aloe vera moisturizer may further help to ease the itching.

With the days getting longer, homeowners will increasingly start spending more time outdoors, handling all sorts of landscaping chores. One of those chores you should not overlook is to watch out for one of these five poisonous plants. If you think you’re unable to identify them or you’re never too sure of their presence, you can contact a professional lawn care service provider to inspect your yard thoroughly and ensure if it’s all safe and sound.

15 Jun 2017

5 Weekend Landscaping Tasks to Improve Your Curb Appeal

As a homeowner, you’re probably trying really hard to find the best of the best for your landscape: from safety and protective products to flowers, plants and unique decorative items that can make your outdoor space stand out. In addition to all that, you’re probably spending most of your free time in your garden performing all sorts of landscaping tasks. Unfortunately, this kind of dedication to your landscaping can be overwhelming.

Sure it can, but it doesn’t have to. The key to keeping all things neat in your landscape is proper planning. Unless you’re not planning a road trip this weekend, there’s no better time to boost your curb appeal in only a few simple and easy landscaping tasks. Whether you want to sell your place or give it a fresh makeover, you won’t have to invest weeks of labor and huge amounts of money to achieve your goal. We provide you a list of landscape improvements that can add a distinctive first impression without emptying your bank balance and be consuming a lot of effort and time. Here are 5 landscaping tasks to help you improve your garden’s look over a weekend.

Pull Up Dead Plants and Weeds

Plants that failed to grow healthy and beautiful sadly need to go. Not only do they impact the curb appeal of your landscape, but they can also take up a lot of space that you would otherwise use for new, hopefully healthy plants and flowers. Also, those weeds that grew in places most unsuitable need to go too. The small weeds are easy to pull up, but beware of the larger ones, especially if they’re close to good plants. Their roots may be tangled up and if you pull them carelessly, you may damage your good plants severely.

Clean Your Gutter

If there is a task that is most commonly overlooked by all homeowners, cleaning the gutters is definitely the one, besides also getting your home cleaned by a home cleaning service. While it plays an important role to the curb appeal of your landscape, most gutters are in serious need of cleaning and look dirty. When neglected, this small task can create big problems, such as water damage to your roof. Before you get to it, check the weather forecast and check if it’s hot this weekend. Thus, it will be easier for your gutters to dry out.

Pressure Wash Your Walkways

Over time, your walkways may need much thorough cleaning than sweeping. Those tiny particles of dirt can almost become a part of the walkways themselves and the only way to get rid of them is to pressure wash them. If you don’t have a pressure washer, you can either hire a professional service provider to take care of it or rent one for a day. Nothing makes a landscape look as dirty and untidy as non-maintained walkways. Pressure wash your driveway, siding and any deck you may have and let cleanliness be the first word to describe your landscape.

Hire Mowing Lawn Service Provider

While you’re busy doing the rest of the landscaping tasks of this list, those worn-out looking areas around your garden need to be taken care of too. According to the statistics, 72% of the American householders do their own yard work all by themselves. However, a growing number also opt out to hire professional mowing lawn service providers to make sure their lawn looks just perfect. Unless you haven’t worked for a landscaping company, you’re lacking the speed and other required skills to maintain a beautiful and healthy lawn. Moreover, due to the fierce competition, landscaping companies provide their services at prices you will find extremely low. Hiring the right mowing lawn service professional can make you feel relieved, allowing you to make the most of your free time and complete all of the other tasks of this list.

Trim Your Trees

Although it’s not the easiest or simplest task of all, trimming your trees every now and then is essential. Aside from the obvious reason such as the tree’s appearance, for many homeowners, knowing when a tree is in need of trim or if it’s in need of trim at all is difficult-to-impossible. But let’s assume that you do know when to trim your trees and you simply avoid this task, week by week, until too late. We urge you to examine your trees and look if there are any dying or dead branches that are better off cut. Not only do they impact the curb appeal, but they also represent a constant threat for you, your family and your property, as it can break at any time.

05 Jun 2017
How to Keep Your Pet Safe and Sound During Yard Work

How to Keep Your Pet Safe and Sound During Yard Work

Performing the routine lawn maintenance check up at the beginning and the end of every season with a pet in your yard can be just as rough for your furry friend as much as for you. The very thought of preparing your grass for the upcoming season on a casual Sunday morning may be a thrilling activity you’ve been looking forward to for some time, but have you considered how will you keep your pet off eating weeds that may contain chemical products, as well as away from all your equipment?

While for some difficult tasks like fertilizing keeping your pet at home is inevitable, this is not a permanent solution, especially if your pet is big and not a fan of indoors life. So the obvious solution is to take some precautions in your yard and ensure that is safe and healthy for your pet. And in case you think it’s the fear in you making you look for ways to save your pet’s life, you should know that two out of the ten culprits in accidental poisonings are found in the garden, just where your pets are supposed to live. Here’s how you can protect your pet while doing yard work in 5 easy steps.

Prepare Your Yard

Before you hire a professional grass cutting service provider to mow your lawn and let your pet off leash, it is of utmost importance to thoroughly inspect your property. Remove any sticks, pebbles, sharp objects and other objects that may hurt your pet during his/her tireless runs around the garden. These sort of objects can also become projectiles once the mowing begins and injure your pet. Also, make sure there are none of your pet’s toys in your lawn so that the lawnmower can do the job flawlessly.

Turn All Equipment Off

When not in use, all the running equipment in your backyard is doing nothing beneficial but wasting electricity and threatening your pet’s life. It is a serious threat for your pet, especially if it’s off leash. Equipment such as lawnmower, weed-eater or bulldozer can easily injure your pet should your pet perceive the equipment as new toys. Also, keep in mind to never take your pet on a ride on a piece of equipment with you. They may be skilled at keeping their 4 legs firm on the mower, but a small bump could do more harm than you can think of.

Use Pet-Friendly Mulch

As every pet likes to sniff and dig around, it is very important to use mulch that cannot do any harm to them when consumed. Pets are attracted by strong odors, so they’re very likely to put their nose in the new mulch as soon as you add it. Mulches that contain cocoa or caffeine are particularly attractive to them, both ingredients that can be lethal for dogs and cats. Therefore, you must look for pet-friendly mulch and let them sniff as much as they want. All you have to do is read the label when in store – it must be included.

Don’t Over-fertilize

This is one of the most common mistakes that many rookie-gardeners make. Besides being bad for your lawn and your environment, fertilizing more than 3 times a year can be harmful to your pet too. As with anything else they find in your garden, pets have a tendency to eat fertilizers, especially organic types. However, the chances of ingesting these toxic compounds are not on their side. When shopping for fertilizers, it would be great if you go for pet-safe fertilizers. Even fertilizers with only a small percentage of toxins are a threat for your pet.

Make Sure Potentially-Dangerous Materials are Kept Away

Paint, gas, pesticides, fertilizers, herbicides and other chemicals you have need to be kept away from the reach of your pet. Curiosity always gets the best of the pets and they cannot help it but sniff, chew and play with everything within reach. If there are some of these materials out in the open, it’s a sure thing that your pet will find it and consume it.

If you truly consider your pet to be a part of your family, these 5 steps should be a part of your regular yard maintenance check up. Before starting any sort of yard work, ensuring that your 4-legged companion is in a safe environment is your first step.

24 May 2017

10 Tips to Boost Your Curb Appeal on a Budget

Regardless of whether you’ve decided to sell your place or just want to give it a makeover without spending a fortune, what you need to know is that it is not as expensive and impossible as the very idea may seem. The first impression is the single most important factor when it comes to selling your home. Put yourself in the shoes of a buyer: would you buy a house that is not well maintained and doesn’t excite you with anything but its price tag over a house that has your wows after the first glance?

Since first impressions are tricky and you get no second chance, it is of utmost importance to do everything within your power to boost your curb appeal and turn your home into the attraction of your neighborhood so your house’s first impression will count. Not only will your house get more attention by potential buyers, but your pictures for your online ad of your house will also look more attractive and will double the visits of interested new home-seekers. When they drop by to see if the house is really that beautiful and well-maintained, you need to have ensured that your home’s exterior – including the front entry, your yard, the home path, the driveway – are at their finest.

The best thing is that adding an extra oomph to your home doesn’t necessarily mean you have to spend a lot of money to get it in top shape. Here are 10 tips we recommend to add curb appeal and increase the value of your home that won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

Renew or Add a Home Path

If your home has been missing a pathway that leads right to your door or it got old over time, it’s time to make sure your home path is on point. Make a statement by giving your home path a new style and make a warm welcoming entrance to your home. Clean off all the dirty spots on the pathway and splash a new color.

Do a Paint Job on Your Front Door

A simple paint job of your front door can draw a lot of attention to your home. Your front door can immediately make an impression that the interior of your home is also neat and well maintained. Painting your front door is probably the cheapest and easiest way to refresh your curb appeal. If you don’t want any paint job done, at least make sure to clean it thoroughly and make it shine. Keep in mind that, your entry reflects the home interior.

Manicure the Lawn

Feeding, watering, mowing and other typical lawn maintenance chores should of course be a part of your routine landscape maintenance check up. When it comes to selling your house, though, you will need to take extra caution and manicure the lawn so it will look like an emerald-green carpet. Get rid of the weeds, cut the grass to a proper size accordingly to the season and create clean edges. Unless you hire professionals like us at Sunset Landscaping to do magic with your lawn through lawn fertilization services, this is an absolutely free way to add an oomph to your landscape.

Pressure Wash the House

There’s more dirt than meets the eye, but there’s no dirt that can get away from the strong stream of a pressure washer. Pressure washing can boost your curb appeal by cleaning your house of grime, dirt, mold and dust that has been accumulating over the years without you ever noticing it. Renting a pressure washing if you don’t own one is relatively inexpensive and cleaning your exterior won’t take you more than a couple of hours. The results? A neat and clean looking garden that can capture everyone’s eye.

Clean Up the Driveway

Basic clean up of your driveway is another free tip, but it goes a long way in improving your landscape appearance. Take your garbage containers aside from your driveway (preferably where they are not visible) and make sure there are no cracks or visible damage anywhere on the driveway. If you can see these damages repaired by yourself, this won’t cost you as much as it would by hiring professionals.

Clean the Windows

Cleaning your windows is one of those tasks that may easily slip off your to-do list, while it can leave an impression of a home that sparkles. Wash out the windows both from the inside and the outside with products that can clean them off any dirt that may have been stuck on them for years and give them a shiny mirror-like look. This will, of course, cost you almost nothing, maybe even nothing if you use do-it-yourself cleaning products, like soda and vinegar.

Trim the Hedges

If you like your yard to be symmetrical and neat, then what better way than to trim the hedges. The hedges in your garden can easily go out of control and trimming is the only way to keep them in good-looking order. All you need is a hedge trimmer and if you don’t have one, don’t worry – it is both inexpensive to rent and purchase. Just grab it and shape up those hedges to boost your home’s appearance.

Add Some Path Lights

Adding some lighting around your garden or illuminating your pathway can make your property look much more desirable. Low-voltage, inexpensive lighting can not only make a huge impact on your curb appeal, but it will also make your outside space more secure and safer. You can also try installing lights on your trees to highlight some of your best landscape features at night. However, it is important not to overdo it and avoid drawing attention to some external flaws.

Get a New Mailbox or Do a Makeover of Your Old One

If your mailbox got old and rusty, then it’s finally time to do something about it. Your mailbox should complement your home and your personality, so it is kind of a big deal. Dress up your old one if you’re feeling really attached to it or get a new mailbox that perfectly meets your landscape and your home style. You don’t need to be an experienced designer or an exceptionally crafty houseowner – you just need a keen eye for detail and know what feels and looks best for your home.

Renew Your Planter Beds

Renewing your planter beds can greatly improve your curb appeal by giving your garden a fresh, colorful and stylish look. Pull out the excessive weeds, plant some new flowers and add vast amounts of mulch to create a beautiful contrast, as well as boost your plants’ health. You may also consider if your borders are adding onto the style of your landscape or are only wasting your outdoors space. If so, upgrade your borders by adding some decorative stones.

22 May 2017
Nail Your Curb Appeal: The Importance of Tidying up Your Yard

Nail Your Curb Appeal: The Importance of Tidying up Your Yard

Whether your yard is big or small, creating a beautiful, dreamy outdoor space designed for a relaxed outdoor living will certainly add wow factor to your home’s exterior. However, creating an alluring landscape is a lot like raising children. It needs lots of love and demands constant attention since it’s a complex blend of different living, breathing formations – flower beds that scream “Water us!”; lawn that needs its weekly haircuts; bushes and trees that can eat into the siding if left neglected. Yes, creating the perfect summer sanctuary is an arduous task but if not taken care of properly, you won’t be able to enjoy it. Therefore, consider your whole space.

Fencing, walls and gutters are just as important as flower beds. They represent key pieces of the whole landscaping puzzle yet in the spectrum of yard maintenance, they are the most overlooked. If left at the mercy of the weather, they’re bound to accumulate a lot of dirt, rust and fungus. Hence it’s important to think about caring for these not-so-living parts of your garden infrastructure that have served you so well. If you decide to skip the chore, you run the risk of clogged downpipes, cracked foundation and gutters falling off house.

But the implementation of the cleaning project isn’t easy to cope with since it’s one of the more laborious tasks you can undertake, plus there are many different elements that need attention. Even if you can decorate your outdoor space, cleaning gutters and fence staining require a different set of skills, so you may want to hire professional auxiliary services. If you want to make your outdoor area the envy of the neighborhood that is.

Keep Gutters Clean for a Smooth-Running Home

Gutters are a form of exterior plumbing designed to channel rain water off the roof and away from your house. If not cleaned, they could lead to flooding, discoloring of exterior siding and cracked foundation. Clogged gutters can also cause water to collect in pools which can lead to water leaks causing structural damage and a moldy mess.

Did you know that mold can cause serious health problems? From allergic reactions to irritated eyes and nose and asthma attacks, mold exposure can also damage respiratory systems. Hence it’s of utmost importance to ensure your gutters are not blocked with leaves, twigs, dirt and debris. Prevention is better (and cheaper) than cure.

It’s best to schedule gutter cleaning once a year, however if you have a lot of trees, your gutters may need more frequent sprucing up. To ensure your project is tackled quickly, it’s best to consider professional auxiliary services. They have the right tools for the task. Plus, they take safety seriously. Gutter cleaning does seem as a simple chore, however if you don’t take necessary precautions, it can turn dangerous pretty quickly. Therefore, it’s best to hire a professional.

Tackle Dirty Messes with Power Washing

We clean the interior of our homes almost on a daily basis, but rarely do we consider the state of our exteriors. How hypocritical of us!

Cleaning exterior walls is the last thing most of us think about – until they’ve become so filthy that they diminish the look and feel of a landscape. But simply hosing them down won’t get rid of the accumulated dirt. Only an incredibly potent cleaning device such as a power washer can shine your house back to its previous glory.

Besides cleaning mold, mildew and dirt off walls, power washing is an effective solution for cleaning muddy and greasy driveways, clogged gutters and roofs covered with leaves. However, just like gutter cleaning, power washing only seems simple. By taking matters in your own hands, you run the risk of damaging the siding and even getting bilateral eye injury caused by a strong jet of water. This is where professional auxiliary services can prove to be invaluable. Hiring a professional to power wash your garden spotless will save you time, money and trouble.

Fencing: Decorate and Protect

Although commonly installed as a protective barrier to ward off intruders (and prying eyes of the neighbors) and create privacy, a fence is also an aesthetic element of a landscape. It’s the first thing people notice yet we give them little attention relative to other parts of the landscape. Metal or wood, your fence deserves consideration. And routine maintenance.

Any kind of wooden or metal fence is susceptible to moisture damage, which is why having it stained is very important. Experts recommend staining every 2-3 years or if the fence feels damp to the touch. Staining not only protects against the damaging effects of the sun’s rays and other weather elements, but also helps prevent the cracking and splitting of the wood.

However, stain fumes can be very dangerous and can trigger asthma, so it’s best to leave it to the pros. Many landscaping companies provide staining as part of their auxiliary services, plus they have the tools and skills to tackle the chore safely and fast.

As the summer season takes hold, tidying up should rise to the top of your to-do list if you want to perk up your landscape.

12 May 2017

Importance of Trimming for Growing Beautiful, Safe and Healthy Trees

Trees provide a soft, serene beauty to the landscape yet it’s easy to take them for granted. Especially since they ask for so little and give so much. And even though they can do well without much help from us, intense weather, diseases and pests can take their toll. To ensure healthy and resilient trees, it takes more than just watering effectively and protecting their roots. It’s important to properly prune and trim them as well.

However, incorrect trimming can do more harm than good. Here’s a friendly advice: Don’t do it yourself. Having your trees trimmed by yourself could be just as bad as not having them trimmed at all. Improper cutting can seriously hurt the tree what can lead to decay. Only an experienced landscaper or an arborist can make sure the process runs smoothly. Plus, they know when it’s best to trim. Do you?

Of course, it should be done as soon as you see any damaged, diseased or dead branches, however it’s best to do it either after your trees have finished blooming or during colder months when they don’t produce any sap and bacteria and fungi are inactive. This minimizes the risks of infecting trimming cuts.

However, tree trimming goes beyond improving trees’ health. It can improve your view and keep your landscape aesthetically pleasing. Not having your trees trimmed and letting them grow wild could make your home look abandoned. So unless you’re going for a mystical, Maleficent-style scenery, give your trees a haircut.

Partnering with a tree trimming professional will do more than just maintain your property’s curb appeal. Since landscapers are well versed in all components that make up a functional and attractive outdoor space, hiring professionals for tree trimming will help to minimize the risk of harm to your family and damage to your home’s exterior and landscape.

Dried out and loose branches can often be dangerous – they could fall and hurt passers-by what can result in a costly lawsuit. Or even worse, you or your closest ones could become the victims of a fallen branch. Another important thing concerning safety is the direction your trees grow in as sometimes they could interfere with power lines on or near your property. By trying to show off your DIY skills you run the risk of getting electrocuted, therefore don’t tempt your fate, have an expert assess the situation and trim the menaces off. They have the experience and tools to safely cut large limbs without damaging power lines.

However, trimming is not performed only for the purpose of removing branches that are dead or dying. Regularly thinning a dense canopy will reduce the weight on the tree’s trunk, making it less likely to fall from overburdening or a heavy snow fall. Besides keeping trees from developing broad or weak branches, trimming can also increase air circulation and sun exposure preventing excessive soil moisture. Moist environment is a recipe for many fungal diseases, insect infestation and tree decline.

And for those of you who’ve decided to test your green thumbs by planting one or more fruit trees, here’s a tip: Regular removal of diseased, broken or already dead branches increases sun exposure resulting in improved quantity of the crop and richer and juicier fruit production.

Remember, a landscape without a tree just isn’t the same. Trees that are well taken care of invoke a certain forest charm, keep the air clean and animate the garden with soothing bird songs. So, if you want to ensure the living sculptures that tower over your landscape keep creating alluring outside scene, give them some TLC. Remember that a little love goes a long way.

03 May 2017
Your Weekday Lawn Maintenance Checklist

Here’s What Your Weekday Lawn Maintenance Checklist Should Look Like

A green yard is the landscapers’ dream and is almost as welcoming as a friendly dog. Besides boosting your landscape visual appearance, lawn that is green in color means it is healthy and strong enough to keep any weeds, pests and diseases at bay. Regardless of the season, your lawn requires your attention more than anything else in your yard, simply because it takes the largest part of it. Properly watering, regular fertilizing and weekly mowing are surely big musts, but they’re not enough.

Growing and maintaining a healthy and beautiful lawn does not require a lot of hours of landscaping work as much as it requires wise management. One great way to ensure your lawn is properly taken care of every week is to create a lawn maintenance checklist. The idea may sound a bit childish rather than efficient to you, but rest assured it will help you keep all things neat in your yard. Not only it is efficient and keeps you moving forward, but checking off the does you set for yourself can give you a sense of accomplishment too. If you decided to give it a try, here are 6 dos your weekly lawn maintenance must contain.

Watering: Watering is undoubtedly the most essential care tip for your lawn. Although it’s an obvious one, properly watering can be a bit tricky, as for how often and how much depends on multiple factors, such as your geographic location, your climate, type of grass and type of soil. If you live where the temperature goes beyond 100 Fahrenheit quite often, more frequent watering is of course required. The best time of the day to water an emerald-green lawn is early in the morning when the sun is still rising.

Mowing: Mowing is just as essential as watering and it is also known as a classical weekend activity. There are many different ways you can mow your grass, but usually it depends on the season. The ideal height also varies with each season. Over summer or during drought, you should allow any type of grass to grow taller, yet you should mow it once a week on a high setting. Over fall and spring, mowing once a week is also a must and over winter, weekly mowing is not necessary.

Eliminating weeds: Regardless of the type of grass, trees and shrubs you have in your yard, having a good control over weeds does a plenty of good for your lawn. A brief weekly walk around your landscape should be enough for you to identify any weeds that must go. Make sure to pull the weed off their root, because otherwise it will grow back. For the sneaky ones that hide among your lawn, you can apply a weed control product and wave them goodbye as well.

Edging Inspection: Any type of lawn starts showing some signs of wear when the summertime begins and that can certainly impact the curb appeal of your yard. The more often you maintain your yard’s edges, the better looking it will be. Look for any grass damage every week and take care of it right away. By putting the theory “Work smarter, not harder” into practice, you can greatly reduce the time you spend on landscape work per week.

Fixing Repairs: If you use to throw garden parties or gatherings often or you own a pet that enjoys digging spots of soil and grass, there must be some repairs that need to be taken care of. Remove the damaged patches of grass and reseed the area with the same type of grass. Although weekly check up for repairs and sorting them out immediately is efficient, you should think about reducing those lawn damages in a long run. For example, you could install stepping stones to prevent too much stepping on the lawn or choose a specific area for your pet’s playtime.

Insect Control: Chinch bugs, fire ants, fleas, mosquitoes, cutworms and similar types of pests could attack your lawn at anytime. What better and easier way to save your lawn than simply performing an insect control every week. Although in most cases grass can fight off these insects by itself, some can cause severe damages and affect your landscape’s visual appearance. A strong stream of water can help, chemicals too. The key is to take care of them on time.

19 Apr 2017
6 Landscaping Mistakes to Avoid This Spring

6 Landscaping Mistakes to Avoid This Spring

With the days getting bigger and warmer, your garden is starting to require higher maintenance. Spring is the time of the year when your year-long efforts pay off, but it is also the time of the year when your landscape needs your pair of hands the most. While you may not necessarily enjoy all the planning, planting, harvesting, mowing, the heat and the hours spent on landscaping work, you still need to keep up with all your landscaping tasks in order to have the beautiful and healthy yard you want.

As with anything else in life, we all make mistakes and then try to learn our lessons from them. With landscaping, it’s not different at all. Even the most experienced gardeners make some rookie mistakes multiple times, but the important thing is to always learn something from these errors. Benjamin Franklin once said “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of care” and it seems like he had exactly landscaping in mind. So before you put your gardening gloves on and get to work, there are a few common landscaping mistakes many landscapers do in spring that you should be well aware of and avoid them. These rookie mistakes could turn out to be fatal both for your health and curb appeal of your garden, so you need to make sure you won’t do any of them.

Mistake 1: Planting Without a Plan

Piecing together a landscape by combining your favorite plants and decorative objects is not the way to build your landscape. It’s easy to lose your head for a bit and start your landscape project without taking your time to prepare a detailed plan. This is the most common mistakes landscapers make, especially in spring when the cold winter days are past and landscapers are eager to add new plants. Although being ambitious and working hard is necessary, the first step is making a plan. Without a plan, you are very likely to run into all sorts of issues with space, colors, design, flow, order and appearance.

Mistake 2: Planting Too Close To Each Other

While planting in the wrong place was once a common landscaping mistake, it seems like landscapers have finally learned that plants’ health and growth depend on getting proper sunlight. But here’s the new problem: planting too close to each other. Planting is delicate stuff and it requires a lot of consideration put into. Each plant requires some space to grow properly. If they are close to each other or crowded by (unnecessary) weeds, their growth may stop and never continue. Make sure they have enough room to spread, regardless of how much space looks unused. In up to three years, you’ll see how that seemingly unused space will burst into big, healthy plants that will add a variety of colors and scents.

Mistake 3: Cutting the Grass Too Short

You’ve probably heard that cutting the grass too short reduces the frequency of mowing. The truth is, it doesn’t. After cold winter days, your grass does indeed need mowing, but not any different sort of mowing than usually. You may be inclined to cut it shorter because it’s longer now, but that’s exactly the mistake you want to avoid. By cutting your lawn too short, you may end up with dead spots of grass all over your yard and we all know how ugly that can look.

Mistake 4: Failing to Fertilize Properly

Whether by adding too little or too much, you can easily go wrong with fertilizing in spring and kill the grass, as both are among the most common landscaping mistakes. Achieving the perfect balance of fertilizers is the key to healthy and beautiful plants. The hard way to finding the right amount of fertilizers for your plants is to become an expert yourself by reading a lot of books on landscaping. But not many would choose the hard over the easy way, which is hiring a landscaping expert. Thanks to their vast of experience, they will know the right fertilizer for your plant by a brief look.

Mistake 5: Adding Too Much of Your Favorite Plants

There are a hundred of subtle ways to suggest what your favorite plant is and adding too much of it in your yard ain’t one. Planting too much of only one plant is a sure way of creating a dull, monotonous, one-colored yard that as soon as the summer ends will turn even duller and more monotonous. Without creating a natural variety, your garden will be dull in all four seasons except the one when your favorite plant blooms (oh, the thrill). To make the most out of your yard, add various colors, sizes and shapes of plants that bloom in different seasons to have a real visual treat all year long.

Mistake 6: Trying to Save on Quality Landscape Materials

Trying to save on quality landscape materials for the yard you’re working so hard on is a rookie mistake, because experienced landscapers have learned the hard way that the more you put into it, the more you get out of it. Soil, aggregates, firewood and mulch are some of the most essential landscaping materials, as they are the key elements of a visually attractive and functional yard. The tricky part with landscape materials is calculating the right amount you need for your project. You will either end up with too much of the same material and not knowing where to store it or get back to the store to get more.

Having a well-maintained, stunning garden does not have to be overwhelming. If you can’t seem to find the way to avoid these 6 mistakes, give the professionals at Sunset Landscaping a call and they will make sure all things in your garden are neat, tidy and taken care of. Whether you need quality landscape materials or other landscaping services, call us today for a free estimate of your landscape.

12 Apr 2017
Landscaping Materials to Make Your Yard Work Pay Off

Landscaping Materials to Make Your Yard Work Pay Off

Your time spent in the yard may not necessarily be time well spent, especially if you don’t have the knowledge or the right landscaping materials. You may not have realized it yet, but landscape supplies can be a major cost in building and maintaining a yard. Besides that, landscaping requires a vast of knowledge to make things work. But regardless of the amount of hours you put in yard work, it won’t pay off if you’re trying to save on landscaping materials.

Just as no pizza goes without dough (spare me, cooking experts), no landscaper should ever feature poor-quality materials in their yard. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you should go in your local store and buy the most expensive materials. The point is not to get the most expensive materials, but the ones that meet your yard requirements best. To do so, first you need a well-thought plan, with priorities and goals clearly identified.

All the landscaping materials you choose have a direct impact on the appearance of your yard. For that reason, we list the materials you should never try to save on if you want a healthy and visually appealing yard.


Although not mandatory, mulching is among the most crucial landscaping products you need. Being one of the best gardening habits you can implement, mulching can do wonders for your garden. Mulch is actually a protective barrier that helps the soil keep off unsuitable temperatures, as well as to hold the moisture to prevent your plants from drying out. It can also prevent soil compaction, which prevents yet another demanding chore (aeration).

There are many different types of mulch you can get, but basically, there are two types: organic and inorganic. Organic are derived from animal manures and plant materials, while inorganic mulch contains pebbles, gravel, and similar materials. Make your selection based on the time of year and climate conditions.


Good soil quality is also among the most important materials your landscape requires, yet it is often overlooked. The growth of your plants largely depends on the soil quality. If the soil is of poor quality, rest assured your plants won’t grow as big as you expect them to. Also, healthy soil can store and process more water.

When adding soil to your yard, choose soil of the same type you already have or type that will at least complement it. This way, you won’t damage the existing soil, as it will just mix up beautifully. If you want to build a whole new healthy and productive soil for your plants, you need to consider a few things, such as your location, climate conditions, plants requirements, etc.


Many landscapers underestimate the importance of using compost, while it is in fact the most eco-friendly way of making a yard flourish with beautiful plants. Composting is the process of turning leaves, grass clippings and other decomposed organic material into compost. Since compost is organic, it is a great protection against pests. Also, compost can improve your soil structure so your soil can have the perfect balance of air, water and nutrients. Investing in quality compost can turn out to be one of your smartest investments, as it does not only save you money on chemical fertilizers, but it also decreases the need for watering.


Every landscape could use a gravel product, because it is something that can be featured in a variety of settings. Aside from its appearance-boosting ability, gravel is commonly used as a base for driveways. Gravel is mostly known for creating a hard-wearing path without breaking the bank. Regardless of your landscape style, gravel can fit just perfectly, as there are hundreds and thousands of types to choose from. What’s most important is to get gravel that suits your landscape style and the other elements in your yard.


Like gravel, there are many different types and uses of sand in landscapes. If one of your landscape’s purposes is to provide a playground for your children, you surely do need quality sand. The sand you choose should be mainly based on where you live. Sands come in different particle sizes and different colors, and that’s where you can get creative and mix it up a little. If you need sand to use as a paving base, you should go for coarse washed type.

Making these choices all by yourself can be hard, but that’s where we step in. We, at Sunset Landscaping, are ready to take over your responsibility and get you the landscaping materials to make your yard work pay off.