734-213-6911 | 4100 S. Maple Road Ann Arbor, MI 48108

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  1. drainage - does your yard look like thisWhile everyone loves and adores having a beautiful lawn, many homeowners put little effort in maintaining it. What many homeowners don’t know is that there is more to focus on than keeping the lawns green with grass and watering. Ann Arbor MI residents need to be careful to avoid problems associated with poorly maintained lawns.

    Runoff due to slope

    If you are experiencing excessive runoff during rainy seasons it can be because your slope may need adjustment. The slope might be graded down towards the house or away from it causing problems with the run off. This extra water can make lawns ugly and  cause damage to your home. A lawn that is in perfect condition should direct water away for the house. This way, you can protect the house from fungi, mold and other types of water damage.

    Visible pools of water

    A lawn that has a pool of water in it and marshy soil is a clear sign that there is need to do some work on the ground under the grass. The situation can be worse if the pool is near the house or the foundation because it can destabilize the house and cause potential disasters. In some cases you might find a lawn or a yard on top of a porous soil that convey water pooled down from the yard towards the basement and cause water damage.

    Couple Concerned About LawnEroded Area

    Erosion is a common problem Ann Arbor MI, especially for homeowners that live in high relief areas. Erosion is more common in homes with uneven lawns. Uneven and inaccurate lawns will cause the water to run off the surface all the way to the garden. In this process, it will most likely carry the top soil and important plant nutrients. This might cause starvation to the plants in the lawn and cause patches. Sometimes, the runoff will carry away the nutrients from the grass and other plants only to encourage growth of stubborn weed and other undesirable plants. After a long time, the erosion can worsen and expose tree roots and the foundation of the house.

    Tough Weeds

    If your lawn has tough weeds that do not go away easily, you should consider lawn re-grading. Lawns will likely develop areas that are too hard for grass seed to penetrate. Some of these places are overwhelmed by weeds such that grass cannot grow there. Other dead lawn patches can be due to deep-seated matrices of a soil fungus.

    Tripping Joints

    A lawn might develop holes or rivulets that can negatively affect the survival of trees, grass and shrubs used for decoration in the home. Alongside tripping joints, they can form breeding grounds for mold, weeds and other plants that affect the general aesthetics of the lawn.

    The lawn a key element of any home. Taking care of it can increase the resale value of your home in case you want to sell it. In case you are having a serious lawn re-grading issue, it best to contact an expert to address the problems.

  2. Despite its abundance of plant life, the terrain surrounding the typical suburban residence is as much a man-made feature as the house itself. Knowing this, it’s easy to see how the addition of structural elements, hardscapes, to the yard can make it more enjoyable. Nearly all homes have things like sidewalks and porches that are both functional and attractive, but installing the right structures beyond these basics not only further enhances the outdoor experience, they can boost the property’s value too.

    The Best Hardscape Projects
    Not all outdoor additions are created equal. Some can be counted on to raise home values due to their almost universal appeal. The following stand out among the possibilities because they work well in Ann Arbor MI or just about anywhere else.

    Elegant Outdoor Living SpacePatio
    Patios are fairly commonplace, but it’s still important to choose the right kind. It’s tempting to just pour a slab of concrete to create an inexpensive place to lounge. While it’s better than nothing, switching to brick or pavers to create a design will produce noticeable returns. Even as a flat surface, patterned patios add to the aesthetics of the property, but including built-in benches and a low fire pit, as long as it’s not overdone, can contribute even more.

    Adding water to the landscape provides a focal point that’s both mesmerizing and soothing. The key is to keep it small so it’s affordable to maintain, aesthetically pleasing, and safe. Adding a fountain helps keep the water clean while producing the sound of flowing water many people find comforting. Water lilies are another nice touch, but stocking the pond with fish requires lots of unattractive extra maintenance work.

    Long exposure of a backyard waterfall and pond surrounded by green foliage.Garden Path
    People prefer to have the option of admiring flowerbeds close up as well as at a distance. Having a winding garden path to show the way is always appreciated by just about everyone. As with patios, brick, stone, or pavers are the best options for creating a walkway that’s decorative and functional. Installing garden paths eliminate the eyesore of worn trails in the lawn. They also provide a clean, safe surface leading from the house to all the intriguing spots in the yard. Just remember that garden paths always benefit from the inclusion of lighting to make them accessible after the sun goes down.

    Outdoor Room
    These structures are more elaborate than patios. They can serve as extensions of the house or be free-standing like a gazebo. Often, these hardscapes include extensive awnings or pergolas to provide overhead cover from the sun and the weather. Sometimes, they’ll also be enclosed on one or two sides by low masonry walls that perform extra work as protection and a source of warmth for cold-sensitive plants. There are examples of homeowners using such features as extensions of their kitchen complete with refrigerators and sinks, but this wouldn’t be very practical in the outdoor climate of Ann Arbor MI.

  3. In Ann Arbor MI, summer is all too short, and you would love to use your back yard. Unfortunately, it permanently seems to be waterlogged after rain, meaning that your family can’t use it. And chronic standing water on a property doesn’t just affect barbecues, it can serve as a nesting area for potentially dangerous insects such as mosquitoes. This standing water can also do serious damage to the inside of your home, particularly its basement and foundation. Trying to sell your home with a swampy backyard won’t attract many buyers, or do much for your property’s value, either. Besides, you don’t want to get rid of the Couple Concerned About Lawnhouse, you want to get rid of the standing water. Is there a way to do this?

    There is, but let’s start by considering why you have the Black Lagoon on your property instead of a yard. Conditions that cause yards to retain standing water frequently or be in a semi-permanent state of wetness include:

    • storm runoffs
    • broken or damaged plumbing
    • improper grading of property
    • sloping property

    It should be noted that a permanent body of water on a property, especially one that “bubbles”, could be either a natural body of water like a spring, or the afore mentioned damaged piping. In either of those cases, property should be carefully inspected before any excavating, possibly involving the state or a municipality, to avoid evenbigger problems. But if the condition of a a property’s landscaping is causing swampy areas or “raging rivers” to frequently form after rain events, than a technique called trench drainage can be very effective.

    Also known as a French drain or pipe (it gets its name from its 19th century designer, not the country), correctly installed trench drainage uses gravity to pull both surface and ground water away from specific areas of your property. This drain consists of a rock filled trench overlaying perforated piping. Water seeps through the rock into the piping and then travels through the piping into:

    • a containment area, such as a dry well
    • the street
    • a drainage ditch

    Who should install this trench drainage? While in our DIY age it seems that any homeowner should be able to install a downward flowing ditch, there are a number of reasons why amateurs should not attempt this themselves. Although this type of ditch is simple in design, in order to work effectively, its dimensions and sloping must be precise to be effective. Professional landscaping companies are a great resource for this type of drain. Not only do they have great experience in installing and locating this type of drain, they can make recommendations about other types of drains and natural landscaping techniques, like certain type of vegetation, to try as well.

    Summers in Ann Arbor MI come with rain, but that shouldn’t prevent you from enjoying your yard. If yours is plagued by excess water following storms, call us to see how we can help you protect and get the most from your property.

  4. Hundreds of homeowners in Ann Arbor MI have to deal with the annoyance of a leaky basement in the summer, but unfortunately, not all of them are able to confirm exactly what the cause of the leaking is in the first place. Some of the most common culprits for leaking basements are as follows.

    Window seeping

    One of the primary causes of basement leakage that’s easy to overlook is water that seeps in through the windows. Air and light can commonly enter the basement through window wells, but if your drain pipe becomes clogged or compromised in any way after a heavy summer rain, then that excess water might seep in through the basement window without being stopped.

    After a weak window well has become bloated with water, there’s very little to prevent it from pushing the window open and letting a torrent flush into your basement with barely any resistance.

    Openings in the foundation wallWater Damaged Basement

    One of the more subtle causes of basement leakage can occur when the foundation wall has a minuscule opening that allows fluid to leak through without being immediately detected. Generally speaking, the foundation wall’s perimeter footing network is one of the first component of the foundation that actually gets constructed; even the smallest openings in this network can lead to water seeping into the basement. These openings in the foundation wall that cause water to leak into the basement are formally referred to as “cove joints”, and anywhere in your basement where concrete meets a wall is potential risk area.

    Cracks in the floor

    If your basement floor happens to be made of concrete, then there’s a likely chance that it’s depth is between 2 or 4 inches. Though concrete might be hard and strong, the truth of the matter is that it doesn’t actually fortify the structural integrity of your home. An excess of hydrostatic pressure in your concrete floor can easily lead to an upward surge of force that causes cracks. If enough cracks riddle the surface of your concrete floor, then it’s very easy for subterranean water to gush up through the new openings and make your basement damp.

    Non-structural cracks

    Large Cement Patio Crack Getting BiggerOccasionally, basement leakage through cracks won’t always be entirely be caused by any specific kind of structural integrity. Even the slightest amount of lateral pressure can lead to cracks developing in even the most stable of basement foundations. Non-structural cracks in the basement are actually the most frequently-occurring types of cracks that directly cause leaking in the basement.

    Addressing the issue

    If you live in Ann Arbor MI need the leaking in your basement taken care of, then it might just be a simple matter of expanding polyurethane injections. Professional Ann Arbor MI landscapers can effectively fill the cracks in a manner that seals the opening out to the soul. The crack filling can be made to maintain flexibility, which can be highly beneficial for ensuring that future movement i the foundation won’t be as likely to cause reopening.

  5. TherTree of knowledge growing out of booke are a wide variety of diseases that can hinder proper development of a tree. Some of them can even kill the trees within a short time. When a disease strikes a tree, most people become confused and helpless. As a result, some of them count massive losses which can be prevented with certain measures. In this post, we are going to show you how you can prevent diseases from affecting your trees.

    Cut Off Infected Trees.

    Getting rid of one tree to save many is not a bad idea. Remove trees that are already dying. Since no tree is immune to deadly ailments, it’s wise to prevent the spread lest you count huge losses. When cutting, remove the tree from the roots and dispose it away from the healthy ones. The best way to do dispose the tree is to burn it. You can also invite a tree care specialist in Ann Arbor MI to help you remove the tree safely.

    Spray the Trees with Fungicides

    Some deadly tree diseases are caused by fungi. For instance, the Dutch elm disease and the oak wilt disease are caused by deadly fungi that can render the trees lifeless in a week. Spraying all the trees with fungicides can help prevent existence and rate of spreading of fungi.

    Use Insecticides Regularly

    We have over about 70 insects capable of causing 27 diseases that can cause damage or mortality to hundreds of tree species. This means that spraying the tree with fungicides is not enough. Spray the trees with insecticides regularly to kill the insects and their eggs. It’s important to spray every part because most of these insects hide in different sections of the tree. For instance, some of them live in areas around the bark where they eat the sapwood, as they find their way to the top of the tree and develop.

    Isolate Infected Trees

    Isolating is an alternative technique that is highly effective. You can isolate the tree by digging a trench that is four-feet deep around infected trees. By doing this, you are dismantling the root system so that they don’t connect with healthy ones. This way, you can prevent cases of new infections.

    Consider Genetically Modified Trees

    The world of science has come up with highly effective techniques to prevent tree diseases in infested areas surrounding Ann Arbor MI. Today, you can buy trees that are modified to resist most diseases. If you move into a new location that has pre-exsisting trees, you may want to sacrifice some trees and plant new ones that are more resistant to infection.

    Trees have several benefits, and the best way we can enjoy them is to keep the trees as healthy as possible through proper tree care. Even though nature has its unique way of controlling things, let’s not sit there and watch our trees die while we can do something. Furthermore, scientists have done a lot of researches that can help us understand the intricate ways through which tree diseases spread. Meanwhile, the tree care techniques discussed above can make a significant impact in helping you prevent your tree from diseases.

  6. Twin Oaks

    Beech forest in spring with the sun in the trees“It’s unwise to pay too much, but it’s worse to pay too little. When
    you pay too much, you lose a little money – that’s all. When you pay
    too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you
    bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do. The
    common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a
    lot – it can’t be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well
    to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that you will
    have enough to pay for something better.”


    John Ruskin (February 1819 – January 1900)

    John Ruskin was the leading English art critic of the Victorian era, as well as a prominent social thinker and philanthropist.

  7. bigstock-Rain-gutter-full-of-autumn-lea-37528768In Ann Arbor MI, your drainage system provides proper distribution of rain and ground water from your home and without it, more water will seep into the walls and foundation to make them less sturdy. It is, therefore, responsible to never neglect your drainage systems. Knowledge of the right time to replace your drainage system is of utmost importance. There are a number of signs to know exactly when it is time to replace, but some of these signs are not so easy to recognize. The signs include;

    1. Visible cracks
    This is perhaps the most obvious and easiest sign that you require replacement, and should not be underestimated. Weather conditions can easily take a toll on the weakened spots, resulting in larger cracks that eventually start splitting apart to cause the formation of gaps that lead to water spillage. Soon many different spots emerge where water seeps, which leads to a catastrophe since apart from the expenses of replacing your gutter, you will also spend repairing the parts of your house affected.

    2. Visible watermarks
    If you are experiencing extensive or minimal water damage under your gutters, then you are facing water seepage as a direct result of broken gutters. There should not exist any kind of watermarks around or under your drainage system, and if there are any, your house is slowly being damaged by the water that is seeping into it walls and foundation.

    3. Peeling paint
    Nothing causes the peeling of paint faster than contact with water, which means if the paint is peeling you have got yourself a leak. Without taking proper measures, you may soon face more than just a leak. Extended exposure to water might cause extensive damages to the foundations and walls of your house.

    4. Incorrect installation
    People make mistakes, which might have as well happened when your drainage system was initially installed. In the event that you find a leak caused by your drainage system, the first thing you must check on is the condition of the entire system. If you do not find any cracks, visible watermarks, or peeling paint caused by the possibility of water leakage, then you have to consider the possibility that your drainage system was improperly installed. To confirm this theory, immediately make arrangements for a professional to take a look.

    5. Delayed maintenance
    Over time, debris and leaves might get stuck in your drainage system, which potentially shortens the lifespan of said drainage systems by about 70 percent. Clogged gutters will cause an overflow of water, which in turn results in damages to your house. You should always clean your drainage systems every few months or so, taking such opportunities to inspect for peeling paint and visible cracks.

    A well-maintained drainage system means a happier home. As long as you constantly inspect for visible water marks, cracks, and peeling paint and act accordingly, you will have limited the possibility of water damages to your house.

    If you are a resident of Ann Arbor MI, be careful and inspect your drainage system on an annual basis to save yourself on future repair costs. The tips mentioned above are essentially a starting point and should be utilized as a guide to assist you in ensuring the optimal performance of your roof and drainage system. Contact your local roof contractor for additional advice.

  8. Issues with your lawn and landscaping have the power to adversely affect the structure of your house. A problematic lawn can disturb the stability of your home’s foundation by creating movement and expansion. Drought, over-watering, and issues with tree roots and bushes can create instability within the soil influencing movement and expansion. Climates with four seasons that experience both heat and intense cold weather like Ann Arbor MI, require a lot of TLC in terms of properly caring for a lawn. The overall health of your lawn and the approach you take to lawn care play a dual role in not only nurturing a healthy lawn but also in your ability to recognize and rectify obstacles with your yard before they become compound problems.

    Tree On YardCompeting Roots
    When the landscaping is planted too close to a house, the roots can compete with each other, and the house’s foundation for much needed moisture causing your foundation to settle and sink. When this happens, cracks form in the foundation which can lead to doors and windows that stick. As a preventive measure, it’s best to space deep-rooted plants, trees, and bushes, a small distance from the house.

    Over watering your lawn may seem like an innocent enough mistake, however, if this is an issue that occurs frequently or is followed by a hard rain, you may experience rapid expansion and contraction which can result in shifting and cracking in your foundation. If the lawn is not absorbing the water, it can pool around the foundation leading to movement and cracks. If there are already foundation problems, the issues can become extreme leading to broken pipes and leaks: none of which are good for the overall health of your home.

    Dry grass textureUnder-Watering & Drought
    A lawn that is too dry or under-watered can not only lead to bald dry spots, but can also result in a dry foundation. A long dry spell can cause the soil to shrink, resulting in contraction in the foundation. As a result, the foundation of your home may settle creating fractures. Additionally, after a drought a heavy rain can create rapid expansion, which puts stress on the walls of your foundation. Soil needs to maintain a consistent level of moisture year round. As a preventative measure, healthy soil needs 1 inch of water per week during the growing season. For optimal results, thoroughly water the soil in the morning once a week to prevent evaporation, instead of watering daily. Run a soaker hose around the perimeter of your house at least 6 inches from the foundation and 3 inches deep, this should alleviate excessive expansion and contraction.

    Proper lawn care nurtures a healthy yard and prevents problems with your foundation. Water consistently to prevent both over and under saturation of the soil, even in climates prone to extreme changes in the weather, like Ann Arbor MI. Proper lawn care can not only help your yard to flourish and grow but it can also prevent problematic issues with your foundation.

  9. Softscapes are a lively addition to any garden, with anything from decorative moss and shrubs to a great, green lawn. As a landscaping company in Ann Arbor MI, we’re excited to help design and install a softscape that suits your backyard or outdoor office area. Just how can you keep your Pruning Fruit Tree - Cutting Branches At Springplants thriving and happy? With these five simple tips, you’ll have no problem maintaining your vibrant landscape with plenty of beautiful plants.

    Trimming and pruning

    When it comes to your trees, it’s important to pay attention. From diseased branches to wonky shapes, pruning your tree throughout the year is helpful. In fact, it’s vital to preserve the health of your trees. Diseased and damaged branches should be removed right away, or else the problem could get worse. Additionally, regular trimming at certain times of the year can help to keep your tree looking good. Indeed, pruning and trimming can take a lot of work, but it’s important not to overlook this step when it comes to maintaining your backyard and garden.

    Get rid of those pests!

    You can make the most valiant effort in creating a beautiful garden, but that won’t prevent pests from visiting your trees and bothering your

    A Japanese beetle shows the damage he can do to plants.

    A Japanese beetle shows the damage he can do to plants.

    shrubs. From pesticides to composting, there are a variety of methods to prevent and reduce pests in your garden. A more environmentally approach is ideal and includes processes like introducing helpful insects like ladybugs to reduce the population of more harmful insects, or attempting to reduce the habitat of harmful insects. You can keep your garden intact and vibrant by regularly removing weeds and preventing pests.


    Fertilizing is an important step to let your garden thrive. Which fertilizers you use depend specifically on the plants you choose to install in your garden. Each one has different requirements and we’ll help you know exactly what each plant needs. When it comes to your lawn, for example, a slow-release fertilizer with plenty of nitrogen allows you to grow healthy, green grass. Using the proper fertilizer is vital to ensuring a well-maintained garden.


    Interplanting is a popular technique that involves planting more than one type of crop right next to each other in the same space. It’s useful in agriculture, especially since it helps with reducing pests. It also has the added benefit of making a more interesting, varied garden! Use interplanting for a healthy, vibrant, well-maintained landscape.

    Control your plants

    After - New Plantings

    Keep your landscape’s design intact and prevent persistent plants from spreading by controlling them before it gets out of hand. It’s easy! Just put your plant in a pot before installing it in the ground. Plants like gooseneck and many kinds of bamboo are notorious for taking over gardens when given free reign. With this method, you can still have all of your favorite plants without the hassle of an overgrown garden.

    With these easy tips, you’ll have no trouble maintaining your lush landscape. We’ll help you design and implement a stunning display of mosses, trees, vines and more. All you have to do is let your garden thrive and enjoy your new softscape with our help in Ann Arbor MI.
  10. Rejuvenating a lawn is different from seasonal lawn maintenance. Lawns that need rejuvenating may show such signs as:

    • Thin grass
    • Yellowing grass despite regular irrigation
    • Bare spots
    • Evidence of insect or rodent infestation

    Vole DamageA sick lawn needs the attention of an expert landscaper. If the list above describes your Ann Arbor MI lawn, we can help.

    Activities like children playing on your lawn or mowing with your mower blade set too low can damage your lawn. Mowing too early in the year weakens new grass. It’s never too late to consider lawn rejuvenation. We employ different methods depending on the cause of your lawn’s poor growth.

    • Thatching involves going over your lawn with machinery designed to remove dead grass and leaf buildup from your lawn’s surface. Thatch chokes your young grass and will eventually kill it if not removed. Depending on the size of your yard and the extent of damage, we can also perform thatching with hand tools. Thatching is often needed at the end of winter to remove dead leaves before new grass emerges. If you’ve lived in the Ann Arbor MI area long, you’re familiar with the damage your lawn incurs after a winter of heavy storms. Thatching cleans out storm detritus. Thatching is a must if you’ve bought a home with a poorly maintained lawn.

    • Reseeding should be done after thatching. We spread grass seed into your existing grass to make your lawn thicker and fill in bare patches. Seeding a lawn that already has some grass helps protect the seed from birds. When the grass in parts of your yard has been trod down by heavy foot traffic, you need intensive lawn rejuvenation. If your lawn has beaten-down bare paths where your children regularly play, the best and quickest solution is to install a resilient variety of sod.

    • Resodding part or all of a yard requires digging at least three inches into the damaged sod to reach healthy dirt. Healthy dirt is aerated. We’ll explain the process of aerating an entire lawn. Grass dies in hard-packed dirt because no air can reach the roots, so sod has to be placed over loose dirt. We have many varieties of grass that will match nearly any lawn. Our sod is guaranteed to be weed free and pest free. We’ll advise you about irrigating and mowing your new sod.

    Lawn aeration• Aerating is a simple way to help rejuvenate your lawn and the most common lawn rejuvenation procedure after thatching. Aeration is best for lawns that are just starting to show signs of unhealthy grass. We’ll go over your lawn making regularly spaced small holes to promote absorption of air, fertilizer and moisture. Anthills or holes in your lawns are signs that you need help from a landscaper. Rodents and insects can kill your grass, and red ants or yellow jackets are dangerous to your family and pets.

    If your Ann Arbor MI lawn is no longer lush and vibrant, contact us. We’ll bring your lawn back to life.