Increase the Lifespan of Your Shrubs

Increase the Lifespan of Your Shrubs Formal vs. Seasonal Rejuvenation Pruning

The debate between frequent formal shearing of shrubs versus seasonal rejuvenation pruning can get as hot as the summer sun but fans of shearing diminish as they come to understand the numerous health, environmental and aesthetic benefits of seasonal pruning. You probably see examples of both practices every day but may not be familiar with the specifics.

Some shrubs will need to be seasonally pruned back to their base in order to regrow properly in a given space while others only need to be reduced by 30-50% and will retain foliage during their dormant period.
Some shrubs will need to be seasonally pruned back to their base to regrow properly in a given space while others only need to be reduced by 30-50% and will retain foliage during their dormant period.

Health Benefits

Shearing is detrimental to the long-term health of a shrub and eventually may lead to its death but proper seasonal pruning can enhance a plant’s health over time. Shearing stimulates growth of a twiggy outer layer that shades the interior of the plant and becomes full of dead wood and leaves. The shaded interior is more prone to insect attack, dieback and damage from frost or drought. Because the outermost shell is woody rather than leafy, shearing also inhibits the shrub’s ability to produce nutrients through photosynthesis. Fighting off attack and disease while working harder to produce nutrients depletes the plant of energy and causes sheared shrubs to die faster than rejuvenated shrubs. The natural growth pattern of a rejuvenated shrub allows light and air to reach the plant’s interior reducing dead wood and disease and encouraging nutrient absorption.

Environmental Benefits

Frequent shearing promotes rapid growth and requires constant upkeep to maintain a desirable shape. This constant upkeep can create an environmental strain since gas-powered hedge trimmers and blowers necessary to clean up debris generate exhaust fumes and emissions, more green waste must be hauled off site requiring additional trips to the landfill, and the unnecessary waste takes up additional landfill space. Sheared shrubs also burn more energy requiring considerably more water to stay alive. Rejuvenating instead of shearing uses less gasoline and irrigation water, generates less air pollution and requires fewer trips to landfills.

Aesthetic Benefits

Seasonal Rejuvenation Pruning
Formal Pruning/Shearing

As shrubs are frequently sheared, it becomes difficult to achieve a consistent shear on every shrub resulting in many different shapes and looks. Frequently sheared shrubs will also appear inconsistent as they try to flower (see picture). Over time, the constant shearing will show unsightly dead wood on the shrub. Since most landscapes are designed by a landscape architect taking into consideration many different physical and aesthetic factors, formal pruning sacrifices the vision that the architect originally intended. The natural shape of seasonal pruning not only increases the lifespan of shrubs but it also provides a look that is more consistent with current landscape design trends. 

  • Formal Pruning/Shearing
    Seasonal Rejuvenation Pruning
    Seasonal Rejuvenation Pruning

    Also known as shearing; consists of shaping or shearing shrubs every month during the summer growing season. Sheared shrubs will look mostly green year round with minimal or inconsistent flowering. Frequent shearing is a practice that  was started to remedy the problem of shrubs outgrowing their allotted space but became popular as many people like the tight, “manicured” look. 

  • Seasonal Rejuvenation Pruning

    Consists of pruning or rejuvenating shrubs based on the individual plant species’ natural flowering cycle. Rejuvenative pruning is completed after a plant has flowered. The frequency of pruning depends on the planting density of the landscape; usually every 1-3 years. After the flowering cycle is complete, pruning is accomplished by reducing the crown of the plant by approximately 30-50% and allowing it to grow back naturally during the next growing season. Some plants need to be cut back further, almost to the ground.

Let BrightView Landscape Services Help You

BrightView takes pride in the landscapes we create for our clients. Starting with the design phase, we aim to bring your vision to life choosing the right plantings for your environment. 

The state of your landscape speaks volumes about your property and therefore needs to be properly maintained. It will be important to balance the visual appeal of your property with the cost to sustain and protect it.

You can benefit from a comprehensive landscape maintenance plan designed to meet your needs and exceed your expectations, no matter the environment or season.

Formal vs. Seasonal Rejuvenation Pruning

This is Why You Need an Irrigation System

This is Why You Need an Irrigation System Happy landscape = happy budget

Here’s a bit of trivia. What resource can improve the health and appearance of your landscape, save you time and money, and helps reduce weeds, pests, plant diseases and fungi? Surprise—it’s an irrigation system. This landscape superhero can make all the difference for your property. If you don’t yet have one, here’s what to consider.

Curb Appeal of Sprinklers
Irrigation systems provide vibrant landscapes that receive the exact amount of water needed to flourish.

These Aren’t Your Grandma’s Sprinklers

You might be envisioning the irrigation systems of old—large, unsightly sprinklers that detract from the appearance of your landscape. But irrigation systems have come a long way, and today’s systems are only visible when in use, or in the case of drip irrigation, not visible at all. Plus, today’s technology includes smart, cloud-enabled solutions that can automatically adjust irrigation based on your local conditions.

Irrigation Boosts Your Property Value

Having an irrigation system makes your property more valuable all around. The upgrade is a major selling point to potential buyers should you be in the market to sell. It’s also an attractive feature for conservation-minded tenants who will appreciate the water-saving benefit. And finally, an irrigation system can help you maintain consistent curb appeal, especially during the heat of the summer months when dry soil can lead to bald spots in your lawn and stressed plants that are more vulnerable to pests and disease.

Convenient & Cost-Effective

Sure, you could drag around a hose and hand water as needed, but that’s ineffective for a number of reasons. Aside from being a time-consuming, clunky process, hand watering is prone to user error. Are you overwatering? Underwatering? It’s hard to know, especially since different plants have different water needs.

This is where an irrigation system excels. With today’s smart technology, your system can be set to run at the optimum cadence, time of day, and duration for your landscape. Rain sensors can turn off your system to save you money during a storm. Soil sensors monitor the moisture level in your soil and adjust watering as needed. There are even flow sensors that can alert you to unusually high or low water usage and turn off your system if a leak is detected. And best of all, WIFI-enabled controllers make it easy for you or your landscape partner to manage your system from anywhere.

Totally Customizable

Today’s irrigation systems can be configured a number of ways, making them tailor-fit for your property. This further allows for cost savings by reducing run-off, maximizing performance and ensuring you don’t pay for features or equipment you don’t need. When designing your irrigation system, your landscape partner will consider factors like drainage, slopes, hills, and your specific plant material. For example, they might recommend drip irrigation for its ability to deliver targeted amounts of water close to the soil.

How to Make the Leap

When you’re ready to install a system, enlist a licensed and insured landscape partner, like BrightView, with irrigation specialists on staff. They’ll carefully explain the technology to help you make the best choice for your property. They’ll also discuss ongoing management of your system to adjust configuration as needed and devise a plan that work with your preferences, such as remote management capabilities, in-house management, or management by your landscape partner.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, don’t forget to arrange for regular maintenance and inspection once your irrigation is installed. Your landscape partner will recommend appropriate intervals for this service based on your system and may also recommend winterization based on your region. Regular maintenance is crucial to prevent issues that could require costly repairs down the line and to keep your system running in peak efficiency. It’s a simple way to protect your investment and ensure it continues to deliver benefits for years to come.

Irrigation

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To our customers, employees, shareholders and community:

Sustainability Maintenance of Superior Contracted to BrightView

Sustainability Maintenance of Superior’s Parks & Recreation Areas Contracted to BrightView Services to the Colorado town include all public areas and snow removal

BrightView Maintenance has been selected by Colorado’s Town of Superior to maintain its park and recreation landscapes starting Jan. 1, 2020. The contract covers more than 630 acres of parks, green space, and open space, the Town of Superior, and its 35 miles of public trails.

The agreement includes sustainable landscaping maintenance and snow removal for the public grounds, parks, and walkways throughout the town.

BrightView is one of the nation’s largest users of zero-emission commercial landscaping equipment and also a leader in the use of state-of-the-art water conservation technology and innovative landscaping practices, such as green roof installations, LEED-certified landscape consulting, waste reduction programs, and xeriscaping.

“Being able to partner with the Town of Superior and provide sustainable landscaping is a point of pride for Brightview,” said Bradley Hill, BrightView Senior Branch Manager. “Our team is thrilled to not only provide green landscaping to some of the most stunning trails in Colorado, but to also make a lasting connection with this close-knit community.”

The Town of Superior was founded in 1896 and is believed named after the "superior" quality of coal found in the area. The stunning mountain-filled backdrop is enhanced by the vast public spaces and parks throughout the town.

“The Town of Superior is looking forward to working together with BrightView to serve all who live, work, and play in our community,” said Leslie Clark, Parks, Recreation and Open Space Director, Town of Superior.“ We believe BrightView and their people will provide us with the excellence we have become accustomed to, as well as propel us into the future of renewable energy and sustainability.”

Learn more about the parks, trails, open space, and recreation within the Town of Superior here.

About The Town of Superior:
The Town of Superior is a municipality of approximately 15,000 people located 22 miles northwest of Denver and 8 miles southwest of Boulder, Colorado. Incorporated in 1904 and named for the “superior” quality of the coal it produced in the local mine, the Town boasts a rich history. The Town now consists of four-square miles that include hundreds of acres of quality parks, open space and trails produced and maintained for the enjoyment of residents and visitors.

Environmental Sustainability
Parks & Recreation Areas in Superior
Blue Bell - Corporate

How to Control Whiteflies

How to Control Whiteflies Keep Those Suckers Out of Your Landscape

The South is no stranger to combating pesky pests once warm, humid weather sets in. Controlling whiteflies can be especially tough since they thrive year-round and have brutal effects on your landscape if not taken care of properly. Thankfully, waving the white flag isn’t your only solution. There’s plenty you can do to keep whiteflies from invading your landscape, and the first step is education. Here’s what you need to know.

Whiteflies are Unwelcome Guests

Whiteflies are an invasive species, native to South America and the Caribbean. Just as the name suggests, whiteflies are small insects with white wings and short antennae. They feed on the underside of leaves with sharp mandibles that pierce the plant and allow the whitefly to suck its nutrients. The byproduct of their feeding is honeydew, a sticky substance the whitefly secretes that leads to sooty black mold. Not only is the mold unsightly, but it can stain nearby surfaces like concrete.

Whitefly Plant Damage
Whiteflies lay their eggs in a spiral pattern on the undersides of leaves. The pattern is created as the adult lays down a trail of wax as they walk along and lay eggs.

Adult whiteflies measure 1/16 inch long, so they’re not always easy to see, and are sometimes mistaken for moths. But what is easy to see is their damage to the plant, which can manifest in stunted growth, yellow leaves, leaf drop, and in the worst cases, death.

Unfortunately, whiteflies are a year-round struggle in the southern and coastal states, with whiteflies attacking more than 250 different varieties of plants, including gumbo limbos, hibiscus, poinsettias, citrus and other fruits and veggies.

Among Florida’s Whiteflies, There Are 3 Top Offenders

Worldwide, there are over 1500 species of whiteflies, with dozens of species seen frequently in the South. While Florida has seen a wide variety, there are of 3 that cause the most trouble: Ficus whitefly, Rugose spiraling whitefly, and Bonday’s nesting whitefly.

  • Ficus Whitefly
    Ficus whiteflies are the picky eaters of the bunch. While other whiteflies are less discriminatory in selecting their host plant, ficus whiteflies are singularly focused on—you guessed it—ficus trees and hedges. You’ll know when a ficus is infected because its formerly lush foliage will yellow and eventually drop.
     
  • Rugose Spiraling Whitefly
    The spiraling whitefly got its name from the spiraled pattern in which it lays its eggs. Some of the spiraling whitefly’s common hosts include wax myrtle, live oak, palms and black olive. 
     
  • Bondar’s Nesting Whitefly
    In addition to fruits like avocado, guava, lemon, mandarin orange and naval orange, the nesting whitefly also enjoys banyan trees and stinkwood. The nesting whitefly’s calling card is the characteristic pattern of wax that forms around its pupa, hence the name “nesting.”

Act Fast, Because Whiteflies Multiply FAST

As nymphs, whiteflies overwinter on leaves. Come spring, females can lay as many as 400 eggs, which hatch in roughly a week’s time. Immature whiteflies tend to blend in with the plant, but it won’t be long before they’re easier to spot. It only takes 25 days for the whitefly to mature.

Thankfully, treatments are available, both to treat and prevent infestations. Spraying the infected plant with a strong stream of water is a low-tech solution, so long as it’s followed up with an application of insecticidal soap or a horticultural spray.

More serious infestations may require the use of a systemic insecticide. Your landscape partner will be sure to choose one that’s recommended for the control of whiteflies, but won’t harm beneficial insects like lady bugs, who happen to be a predator of the whitefly.

In the event of heavy infestations, it’s best to remove and replace the affected plant before more of your landscape is affected, and clippings from an infested plant should always be disposed at the closest landfill to avoid further spread

Aside from these solutions, one of the best things you can do to prevent an infestation is maintain a regular fertilization schedule. Doing so bolsters the health of your plants and helps your landscape thrive while keeping pests out. If you suspect whitefly damage or want to prevent problems before they begin, request a free quote or give our team a call at 844.235.7778.

Combat Infestation of Whiteflies

Recognizing the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day

Recognizing the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day COVID-19 May Change How We Observe Earth Day, But It Can’t Squash the Spirit

This year’s Earth Day finds us at an unusual time. Like many of you, Earth Day has historically been an important day of reflection and action for us. Yet this year, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s taken on a new meaning.  As we all examine how we can stay healthy and better care for our communities in light of the novel coronavirus, we realize the lessons of Earth Day are more important than ever. 

Zero-emission, Green Mowers
Zero-emission, low-noise electric equipment is just one way that BrightView works to reduce our carbon footprint.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, the planet’s largest civic event. While the need for social distancing has canceled events, the spirit is still alive and well. This year’s theme is “Climate Action,” challenging each of us to consider how we can contribute to the goal of a zero-carbon future. Here at BrightView, we’re thinking about how we can be your change agent, helping you create outdoor environments that contribute to the wellbeing of both the people who enjoy your property and the planet. 

One of the ways we’re achieving this is by pioneering the use of zero-emission, low-noise electric equipment. We also optimize our daily routes to ensure maximum efficiency and emission reduction. But we’d be remiss to not mention that our most important partner in carbon reduction is Mother Nature herself. Some of the biggest impacts come from the things we grow, with her help of course. For example, the trees grown in our nurseries will consume more than 5 million tons of carbon over their lifetime. That’s in addition to the more than $100 million worth of carbon-consuming plant material we add to landscapes each year.  This is just the tip of the iceberg. From LEED-certified landscape consulting to water management, green roofs to climate-based landscapes and more, check out our Environmental Sustainability Page to get some ideas about ways you can combat climate change and improve the health of your environment.

Now it’s your turn. Tell us how you’re observing Earth Day by using the hashtag #BVEarthDay on social media. Then, listen along with us on Spotify to keep the good vibes going. While we might not be able to observe Earth Day together and in-person as a community this year, your show of support helps keep the movement strong.

BrightView Tree Nursery
The trees grown at BrightView's tree nurseries will consume 500 tons of carbon in their lifetime.

Environmental Sustainability
Earth Day 2020
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