Category: Landscaping


4 Things Your Landscaping Service Can Do for You In the Winter

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You take pride in your lawn. After all, you’ve worked all summer to keep it looking nice, or you contracted your favorite landscaping service to keep things in order. When the winter weather sets in, it may seem easy just to leave your lawn be until springtime. But there are still many things you can have your landscaping service do.

Here are five things you should get your landscaping company to do during the winter.

1. Trim Your Shrubs, Trees, and Hedges

Many people try and trim their shrubs, trees, and hedges during the summer time. While this may be the most common time this task occurs, it’s often easier to maintain them during the winter months.

Why is that exactly?

In the winter months, those trees, shrubs, and hedges will have shed all of their leaves. This alone makes it easy for you to prune and trim them so they can grow even healthier in the summer months. Remember, it’s always recommended you work with a professional landscaping service when it comes to pruning and trimming. A simple mistake can severely harm your plants.

2. Remove Leaves and Debris (Before Heavy Snowfall)

Leaves and debris are the enemies of your lawn. When you leave leaves and debris on your lawn, it stunts the growth of your grass. You should take the time to remove them during the fall, that way your grass will grow in healthy and lush in the summer.

You may have to rake several times during the fall, as certain trees can take a reasonable amount of time to lose all of their leaves. If you dread the thought of raking, ask your landscaping service to take care of it for you. Many companies will offer several other value-added services like tree trimming and pruning that can be combined with basic maintenance packages.

3. Prep for a New Lawn Design (Before Freezing)

If you’re planning to install a new flower bed, mulch, or some other set piece, it’s best you get your landscaping service to remove anything that you are looking to get rid of. Once the frost sets in, it’s extremely difficult to remove deeply rooted plants, trees, and other things that you want to be cleared for your new landscaping feature.

4. Repair Broken Decks and Patios

If your deck and patio are damaged, they may collapse during a heavy snowfall. We recommend you repair your deck and patio before winter arrives. While it may not seem that important, it’s always easier to fix your deck than it is to build a new one.

A landscaping service can help you repair your deck and patio, as well as assess your irrigation systems for cracks, and check the condition of your stone and concrete walkways.

Looking for a Winter Landscaping Service?

Harmony Tree Services has been providing landscaping services to clients throughout the Allentown, Emmaus, Bethlehem, and surrounding areas for several years.

If you are interested in our landscaping, tree removal, lawn maintenance, or winter services, feel free to contact us at 610-966-4142. We can help you with all your landscaping needs.

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10 Easy Landscaping Tips and Tricks to Make Your Lawn Beautiful

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Your house’s front and back yards contribute greatly to your home’s overall appearance. A nice garden right out front provides an excellent backdrop when you want to finish that summer novel out on the patio. A beautiful backyard garden, on the other hand, makes for an excellent dinner party location or even just a play area for your pets.

Investing a lot of time and effort into landscaping is a high priority then for many homeowners. If you think an aesthetically pleasing garden for your home is an endeavor worth pursuing, read on for these 10 tips to get started.

1.    Water the Plants Early

In the early hours of the morning, the hot sun becomes an excellent source of energy for the plants but also evaporates away any water from the soil. Schedule watering the garden before the sun comes up to maximize absorption by the flowers.

2.    Choose the Right Colors

There’s an entire field of study on color theory for gardening, but the only strategy you need to know well is finding a good balance between warm and cool colors. Try to use a mixture, as a monochrome garden usually isn’t as satisfying.

  • Warm colors like red or orange are more vibrant and stand out in the garden. Use warm-colored flowers to promote a sense of excitement in the viewer.
  • Cool colors like blue or purple can make the viewer feel relaxed. These types of flowers are ideal for meditation gardens.

3.    Use Mulch

Possibly the most popular gardening resource, mulch is great for improving soil fertility and reducing weed growth. Read up on the many types of mulch and find out which ones are best for your situation. For instance, straw mulch is more useful than hay mulch for reducing weeds since it doesn’t contain as many seeds as hay does.

4.    Include Some Evergreens

As beautiful as a rainbow of flowers and shrubs are in the summer, most plants shed by the time winter rolls around. Go for some evergreens to ensure your garden stays lovely throughout the year.

5.    Build a Landscaping Walkway

Japanese gardens use walkways to focus the viewers’ gaze into their most beautiful features. Walkways also reduce the amount of wear and tear on the soil caused by walking over it. When building a walkway, remember to include:

  • Stepping stones or bricks that match the color and material of your house’s exterior. This strategy ties the garden to the home well.
  • Attractive lighting fixtures to illuminate the walkway at night.

6.    Keep the Landscape Interesting

Break the monotony of large green grassy spaces by including various accessories throughout the yard. For instance,

  • A flower bed. Use smooth, curved stones to mark the edges of a flower bed, which give your garden a more natural look than straight edges.
  • A water fixture such as a fountain, which should be made of stone, rock, or any material that blends in with the background.
  • Berms, a landscaping term for small mounds decorated with shrubs, trees, and flowers.

7.    Include Outdoor Seating

A basic garden bench or patio if applicable can seem more inviting to viewers and give them a chance to take in the sights comfortably.

8.    Recycle Equipment

To save money on gardening equipment, recycle household items for the job. Consider for instance:

  • Twist ties from the grocery store to keep flowers and vines upright against a fence or stick.
  • Vinegar as an herbicide for weeds.
  • Empty milk jugs as watering cans.

9.    Hide the Artificial Elements

While an air-conditioning unit is useful in the hot summer months, its metal exterior can look ugly against the plants. Covering the unit in a wooden housing can go a long way into making your lawn look more natural, though be careful not to obstruct the fan.

A garden hose, in addition, can be housed in a similar wooden crate when not in use.

10. Know When to Call in the Pros

Landscaping is a rewarding journey but a difficult one that may require specialized equipment and training. For some parts of the job, don’t hesitate to call in a professional landscaping service to help you out.

Make Harmony Your First Choice for Landscaping Services

If you live in the Lehigh Valley, Harmony Tree Services offers tree and stump removal, pruning, and other landscaping services. Give us a call today to learn more.

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6 Signs You Need to Start Landscaping Your Yard Immediately

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A clean lawn contributes greatly to the overall look of your home. If you’re looking to sell your house at some point or even want a nice environment to hold your next outdoor barbecue, making your lawn look beautiful goes a long way.

But landscaping is more than just a one-time effort. Plants grow, rough weather comes and goes, and nature makes its changes throughout the year. In order to keep your landscape updated and maintained, you need to do checkups every now and again.

Here are 6 common signs that calling the local landscaping service is a good idea.

1.    Aged Plants

Whether it’s grass, flowers, shrubs, or trees, plants don’t maintain their best appearance at all points throughout their lifecycles. A few signs to look out for are:

  • Patches in the grass
  • Brown grass and leaves
  • Overgrown shrubs that need trimming
  • Tall weeds
  • Damage to tree bark

Some of these issues can’t be fixed even with good, routine maintenance. Consider landscaping if you notice a strong case of any of the above.

2.    Dated Landscaping

Much like home design and fashion, the art of landscaping changes from year to year. As of 2018, there are recent trends for:

  • More extravagant outdoor dining spaces.
  • Elaborate flower pots that store multiple plants.
  • An increasing push for wildlife support.

…among many others. To keep up, consider redoing your landscaping every decade or so.

3.    Overgrown Trees

Trees contribute greatly to the vertical aspect of a garden. Reaching high into the sky, they can give your lawn more volume and make it look more natural.

However, trees with overgrown branches can block sunlight coming into the plants and grass below. Also, branches can pose a hazard, especially in the winter, where they can break and fall.

If the ground seems darker than it needs to be at high noon, that’s a sign tree pruning might be needed.

4.    Dirty Furniture

Over time, dirt, grime, leaves, and small twigs can get caught in your stone walkways and benches. What was once a beautiful white stone border can turn grey and dirty rather quickly, especially in heavy weather. Various power washing services can restore their appearance.

5.    Weather Damage

Unlike an indoor flower pot, the outside is exposed to rain, wind, snow, and storms that can damage or blow plants sideways. On top of that, inclement weather can render stone walls uneven and crack wood in patios, stairs, and other structures. Maintenance for weather damage is a natural responsibility for you as the landscaper.

6.    Many Pests

Rotting plant matter attracts rats, mice, insects, and other pests to your lawn. Pests can also spread to your house itself, so if your landscape is being invaded, that’s another good sign an update is needed.

What Should I Do If I Need to Start Landscaping?

While a lot of jobs can be done yourself, don’t be afraid to call a professional landscaping service like Harmony Tree Services. We can handle your pruning, tree removal, stump grinding, and other general landscaping. Don’t hesitate to call us if you have a project you’d like to discuss.

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8 Mistakes You Need to Avoid When Landscaping

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Your home’s front lawn is the first impression you make on your visitors, so it makes sense to spend time and money on making it beautiful. After some careful planning, you decide to make landscaping your yard a personal project.

But even after reading up on some of the best up-to-date guides out there, even experienced gardeners can make mistakes. Here are 9 of the most common ones you should keep in mind while landscaping your lawn.

1.    Neglecting the Soil

Your soil is quite literally the foundation of your gardening efforts. Keep your soil fertile by adding 2 or 3 inches of compost at the beginning. Remember to go easy on the fertilizer. While moderate amounts can help plants grow, too much will cause water pollution. Find out how to test your soil to determine how much is needed.

2.    Overdoing the Mulch

Mulch is a common yet effective tool to control soil temperature and moisture. Avoid putting too much however, as tightly-packed mulch can:

  • Suffocate your plants.
  • Collect rot.
  • Attract insects.

Also avoid the “mulch volcano” phenomenon, where too much mulch is used at the base of small trees. This surprisingly common setup generates heat at the base of the tree, causing the bark to rot. Damaged bark prevents the tree from protecting itself against insects and disease.

3.    Overdoing the Gravel

Gravel is a drought-proofing measure commonly deployed in drier climates. Gravel tends to absorb heat, so be careful not to use too much, or you risk overheating your plants. Plus, gravel can find its way into the underlying soil, making it difficult for nearby plants to seep in water through their roots.

4.    Planting Too Close to Buildings

Whether you’re planting near a backyard shed or the side of your house, make sure any trees aren’t planted too closely. You don’t want tree roots to intersect with these buildings, nor do you want a tree to potentially fall onto your house during a heavy storm.

5.    Choosing the Wrong Plants

You might consider seeing a professional landscaping service to choose the right ones.

  • Some plants are seasonal and thus only grow in a specific climate. Have a variety of seasonal plants so your lawn doesn’t look too bland at a particular month.
  • Don’t use too many evergreens, as seeing nothing but green throughout the year makes your garden unappealing.
  • Other plants might even grow too quickly and overtake parts of your garden. Try using smaller plants such as dwarf trees.

6.    Failing to Deal With Weeds

Weeds are the bane of any homeowner’s existence. They pop up everywhere and they are difficult to deal with. Still, they have to be dealt with. Here are a few tips:

  • Pull them out before they get bad.
  • Plant ground covers, or low-growing plants that spread across the ground to stop weeds.

7.    Shrub and Tree Pruning at Bad Times

There certainly is such a thing as too much pruning. In general,

  • Prune in the winter while the plants are dormant to prepare for the growth spurt in the spring.
  • Prune in the summer after the seasonal growth ends. This is your chance to remove defective limbs and direct the growth where you want it to go.
  • Avoid pruning in the fall, as certain species of decaying fungi spread their spores around this time, which you certainly don’t want near recently pruned plants.

8.    Know Your DIY Limitations

Rest assured, you don’t have to worry if a job seems too difficult to do on your own. Jobs like constructing patios or removing tree limbs can be difficult without the proper training and equipment.

Knowing when to hire a professional tree pruning or landscaping service can save you a ton of time, money, and energy in the long run. Do not hesitate to contact Harmony Tree Services if you ever need help. We specialize in pruning, stump grinding, and snow removal among many others. Overall, we can help get your landscaping job done right, giving you the results you need the exact way you want them.

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6 Quick Tree Pruning Tips from Your Local Landscaping Service

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There is nothing more scenic than large, healthy trees on your property. But as much as you love your trees, you also need to maintain them. Many homeowners neglect tree pruning because they feel it is too hard and too time consuming.

Here at Harmony Tree Services, we provide detailed tree pruning and landscaping services. Still, we want to teach homeowners who want to do it on their own how to properly prune a tree in order to avoid damaging them.

1. Decide when and what to prune

The obvious first step is to decide what you want to prune. Do not try and prune every tree on your property in one day. Tree pruning takes time and you want to make sure you do it well. Cutting the wrong parts of your tree can hurt your trees, and as you know, replacing or removing them is no easy task.

As a general rule, pruning in the winter will lead to a lot of growth come summer, while summer pruning will slow growth for that season, but will help you shape and control how your tree grows.

2. Assess and start pruning your tree

The next step is to assess your tree. Take a look at its major branches, determine which ones make up its skeleton, and look for damaged branches that need to be removed.

Damaged branches should always be the first to go. If they are dead or damaged, carefully remove them with your pruning shears. Damaged branches could be slowing the growth of your tree by blocking healthier ones from coming in.

Thin out areas where branches overlap, to increase light exposure and air flow. Trees need both of these things to promote healthy growth.

3. Target problem areas

Some of the most important branches to target are the ones that are obstructing a power line, telephone pole, or other structures. Pruning these branches won’t hurt your tree – and they will help you solve a major source of annoyance. That’s a win-win.

4. Prune branches to shape your tree

The entire purpose of pruning is to shape the tree you are working on. You don’t climb up on a ladder and start cutting branches off for no reason. Make sure you have a plan for how you want to shape your tree and execute it.

5. Less is more

One of the biggest mistakes people make when it comes to tree pruning is over-pruning. While some pruning is good for your tree, cutting too many branches isn’t good. Trees grow branches in order to protect themselves from fungus and insects.

We mentioned it above, but you should always focus on damaged branches first, over cosmetic ones. While it is important to solve annoyances, damaged branches usually block healthier ones from growing in. If you want to keep your trees healthy, remove these first.

As a general rule, never prune more than 25% of the trees branches.

6. Dispose of your branches properly

Depending on where you live, you may be able to burn your branches in a fireplace. If you can, this is one of the easiest ways to go about it. Leave the branches out to try for a few days and quickly burn them in a fire.

If you live in a major city and cannot do this, you’ll probably need to hire a landscaping service to help you with this.

Need help with your tree pruning?

Does the idea of pruning your own trees seem too hard? Don’t sweat it, that’s quite normal. If you want to get your trees pruned with the stress of doing it yourself, give Harmony Tree Services a call. We have been helping our clients in Allentown and surrounding areas by providing a wide variety of landscaping services for many years because we are good at what we do.

Give us a call today and we’ll help you figure out the best plan of action when it comes to tree pruning and other tree services.

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6 Tips to Help You Hire the Best Landscaping Service

If you own a house or property, you know all about the landscaping struggles that come with home ownership. It isn’t hard to spot landscaping services in any major city, but finding reliable ones is another question all together.

Here are 6 things you will want to know when it comes to hiring a professional landscaping service in your area.

1. Check the BBB Rating of the Landscaping Service

The Better Business Bureau provides tons of useful information that you can use to check the status and reliability of a company. Look to see if the landscaping company you are looking at is in good standing, that their licenses are up to date, and that they have little to no complaints listed.

2. Quality (Experience) over Quantity (Price)

We all like to save a dollar from time to time. But is saving that dollar worth it if the service you receive is subpar? Like almost everything in life, you get what you pay for. The barrier to entry for starting a landscaping service is low, so we always recommend that you seek out a company that has a solid reputation for providing excellent service.

When a landscaping company cuts corners, you can guarantee that you will have to go back and fix that work, costing you a lot more in the process.

3. Let Your Landscaper Handle the Permit Process

It doesn’t matter where you live in the United States, if you want to make major changes to your property or a structure, you’ll need a permit.

Experienced landscaping companies understand the permit process and are more than capable of helping you apply for the right permits. In some cases, you will have to pay for the permit up front, or the company you hire may include it as an item on your bill when they invoice you.

Always be wary of a company that tries to skip getting permits. Not having the proper permits for a job can lead to hefty fines that you don’t want to be responsible for paying.

4. Beware of Large Deposits

Deposits are a normal part of any service business, but massive deposits are not. If a landscaper asks you for a large deposit upfront, be wary of them. This is often a major red flag as these types of landscapers will usually take your money and run.

This isn’t to say that every company that requires large deposits is a scam, but if the company is unproven and doesn’t have any legitimate reviews, you have the right to be concerned.

5. Ask About Their Warranty

Even the best landscaping companies have to redo work sometimes. It’s a fact of life. Whether the workmanship was bad, or the materials themselves were defective, always ask your landscaping service about the warranty they provide.

As a general rule of thumb, a high quality company will stand by their work and offer a warranty for it, while lower quality ones will offer no compensation should things go wrong.

6. Sign a Contract

This is one of the most important things you can do. A contract is legally binding and will outline exactly what the landscaping company is supposed to do.

In cases where things go wrong, where the company is negligent, or tries to cheat you out of work you paid for, you can sue them for damages using the terms laid out in the contract. Sometimes contracts may seem formal, but they are designed to protect both you and the company, so use them!

Questions? Ask Harmony Tree Services

Hiring the right landscaper isn’t easy. Harmony Tree Services has been offering dedicated landscaping services to clients in and around Allentown for many years.

Don’t hesitate to give us a call if you have a question about landscaping. We are more than happy to help.

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