Trees may seem like the ultimate in low-maintenance landscaping; they’re naturally occurring, live for decades (sometimes centuries), don’t really require much in the way of watering, and sometimes don’t even need pruning. But while all that is true, in fact in a residential setting, trees require much more care and consideration than one would think. They play a major role in a property’s landscaping. There is a reason why the we use the term ‘curb appeal’ when referring to the exterior attractiveness of a property, and trees and landscaping go a long way toward establishing that curb appeal.
When it comes to maintaining a community’s landscaping and curb appeal, it’s usually the property manager who oversees the various components of the task. Wayne Dubin, vice president and division manager for the New York and New Jersey offices of Bartlett Tree Experts, says that “The role of the property manager varies...based on the individual as well as the expectations of the association board. The property manager has to have trustworthy and dependable relationships established so the board and condo or co-op owners receive quality work at a fair price.”
Species, Location, and Signs of Trouble
According to Patrick Parker, director of plant health care for SavATree, a tree- and lawn-care firm with branches (pun intended) in New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Massachusetts and several other states, “Landscape design consultants typically focus on the initial design of a new landscape, while arborists are involved in maintaining an existing landscape.” Once a property manager or association board has determined which type of professional is best for their particular needs, the work can then begin.
Properly caring for trees starts with choosing the correct tree and planting it in it’s most ideal spot. This is generally best handled by professionals. Many factors come into play, and all must be considered when choosing certain trees and plants for certain areas: tree location, purpose, and species, soil type, native foliage, hardiness zones, growth rate, and light exposure all factor into whether a tree will thrive where it’s planted or not.
According to the pros, a poorly thought-out tree plan that disregards all those previously mentioned variables will almost certainly cause problems—many of which can be costly, both financially and in terms of hassle and headache in dealing with the repercussions. That’s why the first thing tree experts advise is consulting with a knowledgeable professional who can guide your board or management company in choosing the best, most appropriate trees for your property, and planting them strategically to avoid problems like root damage to foundations, falling debris hazards, and even unwanted shady spots.