People aren’t the only life on your association's property; there are plants, trees, and other living landscaping elements as well. More than just decoration, these features provide the community a vitality and serene pleasure only nature can provide. And whether you're a sprawling suburban HOA or in the city proper with just a courtyard or tree well, the lawn, trees and flowers in your landscape need regular maintenance throughout the year in order to stay healthy and vibrant, with special treatment each season to suit the stages of their life cycles.
Spring cleanup and prep set the stage for a resplendent summer. “Spring is a very busy time for the landscaper,” says Sherman Fields, vice president of Acres Group, a landscape maintenance company with three offices in the Chicagoland area. “In early spring, the board of directors and property management should inspect the landscape to take an inventory of what needs to be done—what didn’t make it over the winter and what needs to be removed and replaced.”
According to the professionals, the first order of business is clearing the lawn of any branches, leaves or trash that may have gathered over the winter, and dethatching— clearing out old, dead grass and organic buildup to make way for new seedlings to come out in the late spring and summer. Debris that accumulates over the winter can harbor insects, insect egg casings and fungus spores. Removing the debris reduces the probability of insect infestation or fungi. Also, dethatching the lawn allows water and nutrients from fertilizer to penetrate the surface.
Evergreens and weak-wooded trees are particularly susceptible to snow damage. Unable to draw moisture from the frozen ground, their leaves or needles turn brown. If the winter burn damage is minimal, Fields says the brown tips of evergreens can be snipped off. If the browning is more extensive the shrubs might need to be replaced.
If you have roses, mid-March to April is the time to start cutting them back, almost in half, so they will bloom with all new growth.