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

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  1. Lawn aeration is most ofteLawn aerationn recommended for older lawns that have developed problems with thatch. However, even young lawns benefit from lawn aeration. Aeration improves drainage, increases grass health, builds up drought resistance and prevents turf diseases.

    If thatch is a problem, then you should definitely choose to aerate your lawn. If thatch isn’t a problem, then consider the following reasons why lawn aeration is still beneficial:

    1.) Increase Drought Resistance

    The hot, dry summer of 2012 left many lawns in Ann Arbor MI brown and crisp. The reason behind so many distressed lawns does not lay solely with the weather. Compacted clay soils prevent proper root development. The same is true for soil in high traffic areas. In these growing environments roots are unable to penetrate packed soils. The result is shallow rooting. During times of significant drought, shallow roots are unable to reach deeper water sources. However, turf roots are able to penetrate and grow deeply in loose soils. The deeper the root penetration the more resistant the turf is to drought.

    2.) Control Grubs

    Grubs are beetle larvae that feed on turf and cause significant damage. The 2012 drought increased grub populations in Ann Arbor MI because the lack of rain weakened turf root systems and made them susceptible to grubs. If you are interested in curbing grub populations without using pesticides, then you can increase mowing height, encourage deep rooting provide fertilizers and water during dry periods. As mentioned earlier, aeration promotes deep growing roots. Aeration can also be benefit those choosing to use pesticides because loose soil allows better chemical penetration.

    3.) Improve Drainage

    There are 83 distinct soil types in Washtenaw County. In Ann Arbor MI soils range from sandy loam to clay. If you notice pooling in your yard or yellowing grass, then it is likely you have clay soils. Clay soils are made up ofsmall particles that are easily compressed creating a dense surface that is difficult for water to penetrate. Pooling water drowns your lawn and can be responsible for yellowing. During the aeration process, plugs of soil are pulled from your lawn providing drainage outlets.

    4.) Encourage Worms

    Lawn Irrigation SystemWorms are natural aerators. Although worms improve compacted soils by tunneling through them, worms won’t inhabit severely compacted soils. Aerating a lawn initiates the development of a habitable worm environment. Once worms get into a turf’s soil they will continue to improve and aerate it.

    5.) Prevent Fungal Diseases

    Some common turf types found in Ann Arbor are Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, tall fescue, and fine fescue. Fungal diseases like red thread, slime mold and dollar spot tend to infect fescues but lawn experts have seen it in Kentucky bluegrass. Fungal diseases are commonly caused by excess moisture that builds when lawn soils are compacted. Other causes of fungal infection are weak roots and distressed grass. Improving drainage and increasing turf strength decreases the risk of fungal disease. Aeration is one of the best ways to encourage deep rooting turf and to discourage disease, distress and pests.

    If you need lawn aeration services performed contact Twin Oaks today.

  2. Rounded firepit with patio

    Savvy homeowners in Ann Arbor MI appreciate the benefits of retaining a landscaping company well-versed in the use of sophisticated computerized planning tools. The ability to employ 3D U-Vision Design Software to help visualize the appearance of your home and grounds can prove very useful. Here are a few of the ways that this software can assist homeowners.

    1. Reproduce Scaled Images
    This great software tool allows people to create images of a home and its surroundings drawn to scale. This level of accuracy matters a lot when you develop plans for adding new enhancements, such as outdoor lighting systems, underground sprinklers, decks, ponds, arbors, walkways, trees and flower beds. When you reproduce these features according to scale during the planning stage, you’ll gain a much better idea of the quantity of materials required for the project. It helps many people calculate costs more accurately, without wasting supplies.2. Help Everyone Plan Improvements Accurately
    By using the very accurate 3D U-Vision Design Software, property owners obtain the opportunity to appreciate the best sites for landscaping improvements in advance of authorizing projects to proceed. For instance, if a couple decides to install an outdoor spa, the use of the software program may enable everyone to agree ahead of time about the preferred location for the addition. A good landscaping software program helps homeowners compare and contrast different site options.Outdoor dining area with pergula3. Toggle Between Plans And Perspective Views Easily
    Unlike some landscaping programs, the 3D U-Vision Design Software Program enables people to toggle easily between a landscaping plans and a lifelike perspective view. You’ll gain the opportunity to take a virtual tour of your landscaped property from different vantage points before undertaking major changes. If you’ve always wondered how your residence would appear from the perspective of someone viewing the home from the curb after your landscaper implements improvements, this excellent software program will help you picture the final results from that unique vantage point.

    4. View And Compare Specific Details
    The software program offers users the ability to reproduce many landscaping and design accents with meticulous realism. For instance, you can compare the way your home in Ann Arbor MI would appear with different trim and brickwork options. The excellent level of detail increases homeowner satisfaction with the final results, since you’ll realize more clearly beforehand how various landscaping and construction improvements will change the appearance of the residence.

    5. Track Landscaping Improvements Over Time
    Finally, the 3D U-Vision software permits the tracking of landscaping changes into the future. For example, a tree planted in a particular location today may appear beautiful five years from today, but when it reaches maturity in 30 years it might obstruct a treasured panoramic view from an upper-story window. By using excellent planning tools, homeowners can select the best species of beautiful shrubs and trees to complement their residence over the course of time.

    Professional landscaping companies today use software tools to help ensure that their customers make decisions that will enhance their satisfaction. These tools promote greater happiness. Be sure to ask Twin Oaks about their 3D U-Vision Design Software today.

  3. lawn-fertilizationFeeding Your Plants

    Most homeowners want a nice green lawn and shrubs. Maybe they even have trees and some flowers. Whatever the landscaping arrangement of your home is like, you want to keep it looking its best. We all know about watering and mowing. Most of us are also aware of the basics of trimming and pruning. But sometimes we forget about feeding. Like people, plants require the proper mix of nutrients to grow strong. A well fed plant is stronger, healthier, and better looking than an undernourished one. Feeding your plants properly is something every homeowner and gardener should learn to do.

    What Does Your Yard Need?

    There are plenty of different fertilizers on the market. If you have a normal lawn, you should fertilize based on what type of grass you have, and how old the lawn is. There are products specialized for new lawns, established lawns, and for winterizing lawns.

    Some products only provide nutrients; some are “weed and feed” products designed to do two jobs at once. There are granular products you put in a spreader, and liquid products you apply with a sprayer or hose attachment.

    If you have shrubs, bushes, trees, or other plants, they will likely require a separate product. Most fertilizers have numbers representing their quantities of three nutrients: nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. So, for example, a bag of 5-5-5 contains 5% nitrogen, 5% phosphorous and 5% potassium. Other common ratios are 16-6-4 and 10-10-10.

    Do you have a vegetable garden? You may want specialized products for your tomatoes. If you grow roses, there are products tailored for them as well. Although uncommon here in Ann Arbor MI, citrus trees require a special plant food as well. We have seen a few dwarf potted Meyer lemons in our time!

    DIY vs Professional Help

    If you have a standard lawn and a few flowers, applying these products yourself may make perfect sense. If you have a more specialized set up, it may benefit you to hire a professional.

    A well trained landscaper or gardener will know exactly what to apply to your plants. Professionals also understand what quantities to use. These products must be applied to plants with care, because they can cause problems when too much is used. Roots can be burned and the plant may not recover from such damage.

    Multicolored Flowerbed On A LawnWrapping Up

    Healthy plant life is a bigger part of our home life than we realize. When landscaping is maintained properly, a home looks better. Property values are maintained. And living in a house with a healthy lawn, trees, and bushes just feels better. An orderly, healthy appearance contributes to a feeling of wellness for everyone who lives in the home.

    If you have a lawn and garden in Ann Arbor MI that needs feeding, we would love to help. Putting our expertise to use can save you trouble in the long run. Call today, and we would be happy to discuss your needs with us. It’s our pleasure to provide you with an estimate.

  4. lawn-sprinkler-paverEffective irrigation is important for not only maintaining the overall health of your lawn but also for supporting sensible use of water as an important resource. There are a number of different types of lawn irrigation systems each with different benefits. No matter what system you use, though, these five tips will help you improve your lawn’s irrigation and manage your water use more efficiently.

    What Is Irrigation?
    Irrigation is typically considered the supplemental addition of water to a plant when rainfall is insufficient to meet the plant’s needs. This practice is especially important in areas with little rainfall, but it’s also a consideration in areas with milder climates, like Ann Arbor MI, for controlling water use and maintaining the appearance of your lawn.

    Improving Irrigation
    Determining appropriate steps for managing your lawn is relatively easy when you know what to consider. Follow these simple tips to learn how to make the most of the irrigation system in your lawn.

    1. Use an Appropriate Dispensing Method
    While it may be tempting to just take a hose to everything, doing so is an extremely inefficient way to water your lawn. A hose without a nozzle dispense water much more quickly that than grass and plants can absorb it, which causes excessive runoff and carries away topsoil. If you are not yet ready to invest in a sprinkler system, consider option for a hose nozzle with multiple settings or even just a watering can. Either option dispenses the water over a wider area, making it easier for the ground to absorb.

    2. Water Deeply
    The key to watering your lawn is to water deeply but infrequently. Doing so will encourage the development of deep roots. You’ll want to water your grass long enough that the water soaks to the depth of the roots. While the specific amoGreen grass.unt of time needed varies by soil type, a general rule of thumb is to apply no more than one inch of water. This amount should be enough to soak the soil between six and ten inches deep.

    3. Water at the Right Time
    Watering at the right time of day is another important consideration for effectively irrigating your lawn. It is best to water in the early morning. Watering midday can cause too much water to evaporate prior to soaking into the soil while watering late in the evening encourages fungal development.

    4. Avoid Overwatering
    Overwatering is just as much of an issue as under-watering, so be mindful of how much moisture your lawn has absorbed in the past few days. If your area has gotten ¾ to 1 inch of rain in a week, you should skip watering. A great way to monitor this is using a rain gauge in your yard. Likewise, attaching a rain sensor or moisture sensor on your automatic sprinkler system can help you avoid overwatering.

    5. Prevent Runoff
    Runoff is a significant contributor to water waste. The soil type and rate of application of water are the primary components that determine how quickly runoff will occur. To eliminate this issue, monitor your lawn before, during, and after several irrigation periods. Take note of how long the sprinkler runs before runoff appears, and then set the time for each cycle according to that observation.

    Effective lawn irrigation is an important practice for maintaining its appearance as well as adequately regulating resources. Follow these tips to improve the irrigation in your Ann Arbor MI yard and enjoy healthier, fuller grass while using less water.

  5. Installing a permanent irrigation system adds value to your home and beauty to your landscape. Depending on the shape, size and location of your yard, your sprinkler system design and layout will require careful consideration and a unique eye.

    Water SprinklerPhysical Boundaries and Permanent Structures
    The location of property lines and placement of trenches for your irrigation system water lines is critical. If fence structures or other physical barriers are currently in place, trenching placement will be in accordance with the fence line. If a fence is planned for the future, the trenches must be placed accordingly.

    Permanent structure placement and future design plans of your Ann Arbor MI landscape must also be taken into consideration as possible. In addition to your home, garage and fences, any stone patios, storage buildings, or pool placement must be considered in the layout and design of your watering system. These collaborative design decisions will save you a lot of water over time.

    Items to consider in the design your sprinkler system include
    1) controller location
    2) rain sensor placement
    3) spray head placement
    4) fixed vs rotor spray head concerns

    Rotors vs. Spray Heads
    Rotors function best over distances. Rotors are designed to produce a designated sweep of water, and produce a “chattering” sound as they turn back and forth, spouting water across the landscape. They generally have a radius between fifteen and thirty-five feet, depending on the amount of water pressure in your system. Because rotors can cover longer distances, placing these will require less trenching but cost more per placement due to the price of the rotor mechanism. It is important to note that rotors may not function efficiently if water pressure in your area is low. A qualified landscape designer can help you determine any limitations to a rotor system.

    Automatic sprinklers watering grassSpray heads are fixed in the landscape and produce a steady spray of water in one area, covering one circle of the landscape from their position. Depending on the size of the area to be watered, these may well be the most efficient option.

    While many property owners prefer rotor heads to spray heads because there is less water lost to evaporation, unless your yard is large enough to offer an efficient use of the range offered by a rotor system, you may wind up watering fences, outbuildings, sidewalks and patios. Over time, excess water on these permanent structures can cause discoloration and damage. Ultimately, your sprinkler system needs to provide your landscape efficient, consistent water. If your landscape features curves, such as permanent paths or patio edges, a rotor system will be less efficient than a fixed spray head. Should your landscape contain long, narrow areas to be watered, there are sprinkler heads design to fan water over these stretches as well.

    Your Ann Arbor MI landscape deserves the best professional treatment as you set out to enjoy the bounty and beauty of a Michigan summer. Contact a qualified professional landscape designer for expert advice in determining your needs.

  6. There are plenty of hardy trees that thrive in Ann Arbor MI. While all trees require water, wholesome soil, and pruning, some trees require more maintenance than others. Many trees require extra maintenance in the summer months. Below you’ll find information about some of the most high-maintenance trees.

    EvergreenHideaway Home
    Evergreen trees are well-known for their beauty and the privacy they offer. Evergreens require continual maintenance in the form of trimming and pruning. Evergreen tree care is important to prevent a hazardous mass of dried twigs from forming in the center.

    Silver Maple
    Silver maple trees are widespread across the Midwest. They offer plenty of shade, but their fast growth makes for brittle wood that breaks easily. Silver maples have shallow root systems which often leads to cracked sidewalks and broken sewer pipes. However, their fast growth is ideal for areas that need substantial shade in a short period of time.

    WillowLakeside Willow
    Willow trees are instantly recognizable and gorgeous. However, they need lots of water. The roots will invade sewer lines and drain fields to get the precious water they need. Willows are also prone to cracking. However, with proper tree care, a willow can live up to 30 years.

    Eucalyptus trees are heavy and fast-growing, shooting up as much as ten feet per year. They need to be pruned every summer to control growth and height. If they become too top-heavy, the resin-filled branches can break without warning.

    Sweet Gum
    Sweet gums are one of the most beautiful autumn trees. Their leaves become a vibrant shade of scarlet every fall. Sharp spikes cover their round seed pods. The spikes can stab bare feet and injure pets. If you or your pets plan on enjoying your yard, masses of sweet gum seed pods will have to be picked up.

    Every summer basswood trees become infected with aphids that secrete sticky bits of sap. Anything beneath a basswood tree will become covered with difficult to remove sap. Make sure to park elsewhere if a basswood tree overlooks your driveway.

    FruitCrabapple tree in full bloom
    Several varieties of fruit trees grow well in the Midwest, such as apple, pear, and cherry. Fruit trees can be some of the most rewarding to grow, but they require a lot of maintenance. Insects and animals are drawn to the delicious fruit. These pests must be kept at bay. Fruit should also be picked so it does not rot on the ground around the tree.

    Whatever is planted on your land, we have the expertise to take care of it for you. Call us today so that we can take care of all of your Ann Arbor MI landscaping needs.

  7. When your homes’ foundation is suffering, your home will usually give you signs. Summer is the time of year when those signs can become most prominent due to weather changes. Here are some of the most common problems that may lead to foundation issues during the hottest months of the year.


    Soil expansion is one of the primary reasons for foundation issues. When water is added, soil expands, and when there is a lack of moisturedrainage - does your yard look like this, soil contracts. This constant back and forth causes houses to settle and shift. Some settling over time is normal, but due to summer offering hotter temperatures, soil expansion and contraction can become more extreme during this season.

    Excessive Water

    Flooding, though usually rare in summer, can occur. Excessive water from heavy rains or flooding cause extra strain on foundations. If a home has a basement, too much water can affect basement walls due to the pressure the extra moisture puts on them. Especially in places near water, such as Ann Arbor MI, it’s important for home owners to be aware of any excess water near their homes. The effect on foundations can be detrimental.


    Dry grass textureA very common issue in summer is drought. Days or even months without rain can make soil contraction extreme enough to affect a home’s foundation, resulting in the need for repair. Watering foundations can help, but depending on how extreme the damage is professional foundation repair may be necessary to correct the damage and save the integrity of the home.

    Signs You May Have a Need for a Professional Assessment of Your Foundation:

    1. Cracks on walls or floors

    Not all cracks are created equal. Small cracks can be a normal sign of settling, but large cracks or cracks that run horizontally are usually signs of real problems. Cracks may be found in tile or on any other type of flooring, but many people forget to look up when assessing the health of their foundation. Cracks in walls give further evidence of foundation issues that are worth following up on.

    2. Doors and windows that won’t close

    If doors and windows stick when someone tries to close them, it can be a sign of foundation issues worth looking into. In summer issues with doors and windows will be easier to notice, especially if there hasn’t been much rain in the area.

    3. Water that pools around the foundation

    Assuming you do have rain in summer, water that doesn’t drain properly and pools around your house is a bad sign. If you notice pooling water, you will probably also notice that water isn’t draining properly from spouts. These are signs of foundation shifts that need to be assessed by a professional.

    If you live in Ann Arbor MI and need foundation repair this summer, it’s important to seek professional help as soon as you notice that your foundation may have been compromised. Summer can wreak havoc on homes, but proper foundation repair early on can save money and your home before it’s too late.

  8. Even though gardening is a lot of work, many people find it a soothing hobby. Gardening is a work in progress and requires seasonal cleanup every few months. If you live in Ann Arbor MI, you are probably finishing your spring cleanup and getting ready for summer. If you need cleaning and designing help, a professional landscaping company can have your garden in shape for the season. These are some common areas that require a gardeners attention for summer blooms:Pruning Fruit Tree - Cutting Branches At Spring

    1. Prune Trees and Shrubs
    Winter weather can damage tender branches of shrubs and trees, so they need attention during seasonal cleanup. To keep them healthy, prune away dead or damaged branches back to the living stems. Larger branches may require a handsaw. Use hand pruners to shape hedges neatly. Shrubs that flower in the summer should be pruned before their buds swell. After spring-blooming shrubs have dropped their blooms, then they should have a summer pruning.

    2. Divide and Cut Back Perennials
    In order to allow for new growth, prune blooming perennials to a height of 5 inches and ornamental grasses down to 3 inches. Some perennials (such as lilies and irises) should be dug up and thinned so the flower bed in not overcrowded. Each clump should have at least three stems for new growth. Other clumps can be planted in bare areas or given to gardening friends. Roses should have damaged canes cut down to an inch below the dead area. Climbing roses should be tidied up and woody growth pruned away, leaving the green canes. Support new canes with twine as needed.

    3. Clean Up Flower Beds
    Any remaining dead leaves, foliage, or dead annuals can be raked or pulled up and put in the compost bin for organic matter. Avoid putting dead weeds in with compost, because they can go to seed and cause big weed problems when the compost is used. Apply a fresh layer of mulch as needed around flowers, trees, and shrubs. This is the ideal time to add proper fertilizer to the lawn and garden. It is also suggested to check irrigation lines to see if they need any repairs.

    4. Build Up New Compost
    All of the grass trimmings and other organic matter can be put into the compost bin to make new compost. Leaves and branches should be ground up so they will decompose quicker. The compost pile needs to be kept moist and turned every couple of weeks with a pitchfork. It will turn into a rich, organic compost that gardeners treasure like gold.

    5. Repair the LawnCouple Concerned About Lawn
    Each year, it is recommended that soil testing should be done to find the pH balance. Soil amendments can be added to correct an imbalance. A professional landscaper in Ann Arbor MI can do the testing. If there are bald spots in the lawn, the dirt can be worked up with a dirt rake and compost added. Then, new grass seed can be planted that will fill in spots during the summer. If any dead turf is in the yard, it can be dug up, flipped, and used as compost for the new seed.

    Even though you work every season in your garden and lawn, you are rewarded with beautiful flowers and a bountiful harvest. Some gardeners find it useful to keep a seasonal calendar of chores that need to be done. With a little effort, you can have a wonderful garden season this summer!

  9. Perhaps you’ve considered placing your Ann Arbor MI home on the market recently? Today, some local property owners enhance the marketability of their real estate using attractive outdoor lighting. Outdoor lighting performs a valuable role in many marketing plans these days.

    LLighting_largeights Attract Attention

    First, consider the virtues of adding additional lighting around the exterior of your home. This feature frequently enhances the value that a property provides to residents:

    • Exterior lighting facilitates outdoor entertainment plans;
    • Lighting prevents slips and falls on the grounds at night;
    • Extra illumination may deter some crime;
    • Outdoor lighting enables realtors to show properties more effectively at any hour of the day or night;
    • Lighting emphasizes attractive property features, such as patios, gazebos, statues, entrances and decks.

    By increasing the utility of the yard to residents at night, well-situated exterior lights often contributes to the satisfaction that residents feel with the home. For this reason, a homeowner may want to consider asking a qualified landscaping company to install outdoor lighting before placing the home on the real estate market.

    An Evening Open House

    One useful way to market real estate involves conducting an “open house”. A real estate agent remains on the premises for several hours, greeting visitors and showing them around the property.

    Lovely exterior lighting installed by a professional landscaping company typically will contribute to the enjoyment that residents obtain from residential real estate in Ann Arbor MI. A lighting system on the property often expands the available real estate marketing options. For instance, you might consider asking your real estate agent to conduct an evening open house.

    Just consider a few of the advantages this sales tool offers:

    • Many people cannot spend time viewing real estate during daytime hours;
    • When your home shows well in the evening, visitors will appreciate its utility for entertaining;
    • Interested prospects can tour the premises again during the day;
    • Well placed lights will highlight the best features of the yard.

    Conducting an evening open house may not appeal to every buyer, but the chances remain very good that this sales strategy will interest some potential purchasers who might otherwise not spend time looking at the property. You’ll typically increase the number of interested prospects by conducting at least one open house during evening hours.

    Garden LampLong Term Benefits

    Carefully placed exterior lights furnish some definite advantages for real estate owners. Light permit residents to see more clearly when they return to a home after dusk. During summer, this feature significantly expands the entertaining options available to homeowners in Ann Arbor MI. Happy family barbecues, reunions, pool parties, graduation parties and neighborhood gatherings usually benefit from carefully illuminated residential exteriors.

    If you’ve placed property on the market and experienced difficulty distinguishing your home from surrounding properties, you might want to consider asking a local landscaper to install lights around the exterior of the residence. This strategy could improve marketability!

  10. Opulver 1ne: Finding it Difficult to Park a Vehicle or Enter a Home

    When there are no streetlights in your Ann Arbor MI neighborhood, it is vital to have outdoor lighting installed on a property’s landscaping. Driving on a street or driveway that is pitch-black is dangerous and can lead to serious accidents. If you manage to park a vehicle on a home’s driveway, then without exterior lights it is difficult to walk on sidewalks, steps or porches. There is a good chance that you will not even find a front door in order to insert a key in the lock when there are no light fixtures such as a porch light. If the weather is inclement, the situation of walking outside in the dark is more treacherous.

    Two: Having Thieves Break into a Home

    Thieves are looking for buildings that do not have lights outside because it is easier to break in without being seen by neighbors or passing police vehicles. Adding bright exterior lighting such as spotlights that are beamed at doorways and windows can help to prevent burglary and home invasions. It is a good idea to have a security monitoring system that increases the amount of lights that are turned on when a potential break-in is occurring to a home. With a security system in place, it will detect when a thief is breaking a window or opening a door and will turn on additional bright lights immediately while also contacting local law officials.

    Thbigstock-Golden-Retriever-Dog-Digging-H-22554335ree: No Outdoor Lighting during a Power Outage

    Ann Arbor MI occasionally has power outages caused by thunderstorms or high winds, and if you are relying on solar lights during these events, then there is not enough exterior lighting available. A professional landscaper can install a variety of exterior lights that operate from a generator that stores power for several hours to provide additional security and protection for a family. Ask about these types of exterior light fixtures for a home:

    • Security lights – bright lights that are near windows and doorways
    • Accent lights – designed to augment landscaping features
    • Decorative lights – will create additional beauty for a home

    In addition, you want to have lighting control options for a home that include:

    • Motion sensors – great for deterring thieves
    • Photoelectric sensors – turn on automatically when it is dark
    • Timers – set by homeowners to provide lighting when needed

    Four: Guests Can’t Find Your Home

    When guests complain that they cannot find your home because it is impossible to see the street address or driveway, then it is time to install additional exterior lights.

    Five: The Landscaping Does Not Look Attractive

    If you want an Ann Arbor MI home to look attractive, then adding spotlights and other forms of lights outside can augment a property’s landscaping. Understanding how to use the proper types of light fixtures in the correct positions requires knowledge about how dim or bright lighting works, and hiring a professional landscaper is essential for the installation of solar and regular lighting.