Landscape Installation and Maintenance: Bad to Worse

All I can say is Wow! This blog post fires me up. I’ve been watching the landscape maintenance practices on this commercial property in my town for years. I’m left scratching my head on how a landscape company continues to maintain a landscape poorly and benefit from it. The poor trees in this New Milford development are in distress. Essentially every tree, probably 50-100 of them were originally planted improperly throughout the entire site. To make matters worse, the landscape company in charge of the site maintenance pulls up with their mulch blower and blows mulch over the entire site like clockwork every spring. I’ve never seen anyone ever turn over the existing mulch or better yet, I’ve never seen anyone remove all the excess mulch, before re-mulching. Later in the season, they bring in a rolling boom lift to prune the dead out of the trees. At some point, someone decides the trees aren’t worth keeping anymore. Yes, the trees were Ash trees which I’m sure had Emerald Ash Borer but the poor maintenance practices on the site didn’t help. The trees were finally put out of their misery and finally cut down only to start the process again. Yes, the same ‘professional’ was hired to remove the stumps of the trees they killed and to plant new replacement trees, also planted way too deep and buried with mulch. I know annuities as an investment are not the best investments due to their high fees that mostly benefit the salesman and fund company. Well, I look at this property as an annuity for the landscape company. They get paid to poorly maintain the site, they get paid to remove the trees that they helped kill and they get paid to poorly plant new trees. This relationship is just like an annuity that involves the landscape. It only benefits the landscape company.

Recently removed trees
Container trees

Say it isn’t so. First, why would you chose a tree grown in a smooth plastic container? Smooth containers provide the worst environment for a healthy root structure. Studies show the roots have a memory. Once a root starts to circle, it will always circle so these plants are already doomed. They will self strangulate themselves in the not too distant future.

A new tree in a mulch volcano

Here we go again. History does repeat itself. This is just terrible! Once again, the newly planted tree is planted too deep and buried under way too much mulch! In between planting depth, excessive mulching and the inferior root system that the plastic container created, this tree has no chance to reach the grand tree it’s capable of.

tree planted too deep
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Richard Schipul

For the last 30 years, I have owned the landscape company Designing Eden LLC based in New Milford, CT. We offer landscape designs, landscape installations and garden maintenance services in Fairfield and Litchfield County Connecticut. I am currently the only Nationally Certified Landscape Designer in Litchfield County and sit on the board of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers and Mad Gardeners.


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