Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Summer coming to an End, Autumn Near!

An Open Letter to Arbor Life customers

Summer is Nearing End, and Autumn is Close!
The worst of the Houston heat and humidity will have subsided soon. Here are some tips on helping your lawn,trees, and plants with the seasonal composed of a warm season turf grass or a cool season turf grass.
Fall Lawn Care Tip: Find Out Your Grass Type
These turfs are the common warm season turf that we use in our region:

These are the Tasks for Turfs this Season:
     Apply herbicides to broadleaf weeds
     Correct soil PH: if your lawn is not performing well, have your soil tested. If the soil test should show a need to reduce acidity, apply lime now. If alkalinity needs to be reduced, apply sulfur.
     Aeration/Thatch removal: detach your lawn, by raking; for bad cases of soil compaction, you may have to employ the technique known as core aeration, for which lawn equipment known as "aerators" can be bought or rented
     Rake leaves, or use a leaf vacuum, lest the leaves smother your grass over the winter
     Less watering in Autumn: set your schedule back to 60-70% budget and gradually this rate should be 10%-0% by winter time.
     Fertilization: apply 1 pound of nitrogen per 1000 per square foot of lawn.(32-0-10 is a sufficient fertilizer for this season).
     Overseed with Rye Grass: this helps keep your lawn green and tightens up turf core to keep invading weeds from creeping in. 

Arbor Life services

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

5 Great Shade Trees for Planting in the Urban Forest

Here are some good ideas for some great shade trees! 

1. European white birch(shown in picture)-loved for its paper white bark and multiple trunks! It has a brilliant yellow autumn color. Hardy to Zone 3 but not good for dry summers or to ares where birch borers are prevalent.

2.Red horse chestnut-large roundish leaves and huge spikes of pink to reddish flower spikes top this bold textured tree.
Grows up to 50 ft. high and about 35 ft. wide, casting dense shade!

3.Russian Olive-Tough trees with narrow, silvery leaves. Fragrance is nice but not too showy.  Grows 30-35 ft. Hardy to Zone 2.

4.Ash-This an obvious choice. Many Houstonians hate this tree cause it grows very fast and need a lot maintenance. They can also thrive under many conditions!

5.Thorn less honey locust-Finely cut foliage casts a wonderful shade from this adaptable tree. Leaves turn yellow before dropping in autumn; leave little mess. Grows 40-60 feet high with a spreading habit. Sunburst or Ruby lace are two types.

Ask us about other trees for your area! Call us at 281-914-7788!
Or go to our contact page at:

Monday, July 23, 2012

Installing Lighting!

Some important key facts when doing outdoor lighting!

1.Light your yard, not your neighborhood! Avoid lights that are not directed to the features or plants of choice.

2.Purpose Lighting! What are you doing it for? Walkways, more security, or more accent of plants while enjoying at home.

3.Hide Ugly Features! Make sure you really think about how you want to light and hide light from some areas because they are not esthetically pleasing when light is displayed on it!

4.Avoid Under lighting! A common mistake when designing. Trees and entry ways should be first stops for lighting.

If you have any questions or need a bid from us feel free to go to our site: and fill out the email submit form on the top right page.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Drawing Your Design for Installation!

It is important in landscaping to get a physical idea of how you want to construct your landscaping ideas! Remember if you dont put it down there is not changing or re-examining because you did not have a plan to start with.

Here is a good start on drawing 1:

 This is a good start for taking exact measurements of entire property and making sure you did not miss any existing structures that would change planting or hardscape design.

Next step after this is to start researching plant material for your area. If you area is more sun than shade or a little of both that will depend what material you can plant. Remember Purpose Planting!!!! This is sooo important!

Second drawing with areas filled in more detail!

This shows a more descriptive expression of design! Remember folks get creative please and have fun with it. It is your backyard remember!!!

If you have any further question on things like lanscaping or tree issues feel free to go on our site: and fill out the email submit form! Thank you and have a great day outside!!!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Think Like a Landscaper!

There are some good points of reference when trying to design and create a project!
Here they go!

Make sure all your ideas tie together so that the eyes and feet of others can flow one part to the other.  Make sure pathways are 3-5' in width and they go to an overall center point.
Make sure you link greenery to any expression you design or if something needs to be removed due to not the style you are going with. You do not want to have a palm tree in a place where you are creating a Formal or Zen design in the area. Keep your style consistent.

2.Repetition! Manage plant material and hardscape material! Make sure you use the same material after you have established a plan and do not go cheap on material if you have already established the primary materials. Also make sure you purpose plant so that down the road it will not be an eye sore later. Curves and Circles are important and giving the eye a creative touch!

3.Play with color! Cool colors such as blues, purples, deep reds, and pastels. Hot colors such as white, bright pink, yellow, orange, and orange-yellow.  If you want a small place look bigger plant hot colors at the entryway and cool colors across the garden at the far end where they look like a distant water color of delight!

4.Rhythm like a Drum! Whether its leaf shape, color, plant forms, curved, or striaght lines make sure there is balance and a method to your "madness". Jazz it up and experiment with different ideas by staging them first before planting. Sometimes I would recommend starting in sections so that you have freedom to add or subtract material with whatever theme that you are presenting.

These are my tips for today! If you have any other questions or concerns feel free to contact us at 281-914-7788 or email us at:

Monday, July 2, 2012

Learning about Trees!

ISA-International Society of Arboriculture: Is a great organization that educates and helps keep trees healthy. If you want to learn more about trees and how to take care of them please visit this site.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Why Soil is soo important for life!

In doing landscape maintenance in the last 15 years I have noticed how many installers do not use new soil when preparing new beds and existing beds. Many people think that mulch takes care of the plants nutrients. This is not true. Mulch is good for absorbing water,deterring weeds, and helping prevent erosion of soil. Remember to make sure the soil is not a topsoil when dealing with flower beds. Ask the vendor what is best for landscaping material or just for grading. If you further questions about this topic feel free to contact us at: 281-914-7788