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

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  1. Summers in Ann Arbor MI can be warm and even scorching hot on some days, and you mlawn-sprinkler-irrigation-systemay find it difficult to get your yard all of the water it needs to thrive without the functional use of your irrigation system. While you may use your watering system frequently throughout the summer, you may need to winterize it during the cold months of the year to prevent damage to it.

    What Happens to Your Sprinkler System in Cold Weather
    In Ann Arbor MI, the temperature often will drop well below freezing for many long hours or even days in some cases. While the ground may insulate the pipes in your sprinkler system for brief or light freezes, the temperature of the soil can easily drop below freezing during extreme weather situations. During a cold spell:

    • The water in the pipes may freeze
    • The water will expand when it freezes
    • The frozen water exerts outward pressure on the pipes
    • The pipes may rupture

    This can cause expensive water waste and the need for repair bills for your irrigation system in the spring. Winterization is a better idea than dealing with busted pipes in your sprinkler system once the temperature warms up.

    How Winterization Helps Your System
    Winterizing the pipes in your sprinkler system is a step that your landscaping or irrigation system service provider can complete for you. It involves draining all of the water in the pipes out of the system and the sprinkler heads. In some cases, the pipes will remain empty, but some service providers will run a special anti-freezing agent into the pipes to further prevent damage to the system. You can discuss the method that will be used with your system during a conversation with your service provider, and you may request a specific method.

    When to Complete Spring Start-Up Service
    After the risk of a freeze has passed and the temperatures are warming up, you may be ready to turn on your sprinkler system again for the first time of the season. Your landscaping firm or other system service provider may help you to prepare your system for use throughout the summer months by completing a spring start-up service. During this process, any agents that were used to prevent freezing in the pipes will be removed and fresh water will be restored to the pipes. After this service is completed, you will be able to restore the full function of the system so that you can water your lawn as desired.

    A sprinkler system is a true benefit to your Ann Arbor MI home, and you may love the benefits it provides. For example, it saves time and energy manually watering the yard, and it distributes water evenly throughout your space for the health of your lawn and other vegetation. If you want to keep your sprinkler system in the best shape possible over the cold, icy winter months, winterization service from your landscaping firm is a smart idea.

    Get your yard looking its absolute best with custom landscaping solutions from Twin Oaks. Find us online at http://twinoakslandscape.biz/, visit us in Ann Arbor, MI at 4100 South Maple Road, or call us at (734) 213-6911.

  2. Property Manager Testimonial

    I have worked in the Condominium Management industry for more than twenty years, and I have worked with dozens of different landscape firms throughout that time.  I found Twin Oaks to be one of the best in the industry.  They are prompt and thorough when it comes to communication and response time, and they provide exceptional service, increase property values and provide managers piece of mind when it comes to following through.  I highly recommend them to anyone looking for more than just cost when it comes to landscape firms.

    Mariah Sroka, CMCA, AMS, PCAM

    Community Manager

  3. Like the rest of the state, Ann Arbor MI experiences harsh winters. It can snow anytime between November and April, although some years have seen snowfall in October. Ann Arbor MI typically gets 58 inches of snow in the winter. January is the coldest month, with an average daily temperature of 24.7 degrees Fahrenheit.

    Given such brutal conditions, just about any tree, especially a young or non-native tree, will need some kind of protection. A snowstorm that dumps several feet of snow within a few hours is bad news for any tree, especially if wind is also involved. Ice makes twigs and branches extremely fragile, so the recommended tree maintenance is to provide support for them. Trying to remove the ice would actually make the branches and twigs more likely to break.

    Some types of trees are more vulnerable to particular winter hazards. Among them are the following:

    Fruit trees
    Fruit trees and exotic trees are particularly vulnerable to extreme cold. Temperatures around or below zero can kill buds, twigs and branches of such trees. The best tree maintenance in this case is prevention. Damage caused by intense cold is not reversible. One way to prevent such damage is to ensure the tree has gotten plenty of water, mulch and fertilizer during the growing season so it will be strong and healthy by the time winter comes.

    EvergreensSpruce Tree Isolated On White Background
    Evergreens are especially susceptible to desiccation injuries. Winter winds can strip moisture from leaves and needles. If the soil is also frozen and there is no water, the tree can’t replace the moisture and eventually becomes dehydrated. A desiccated conifer’s needles will eventually turn purple, brown or yellow. If a broad-leafed evergreen like a holly or boxwood gets desiccated, their leaves will curl and turn brown or tan at the margins. Again, prevention is key. Evergreens should either be planted in a protected area or wrapped in burlap or canvas. They should also be mulched and watered.

    Some evergreens are also very sensitive to the salt used to melt snow on roads. Scots, red, and white pine are very susceptible to the foliage burn salt can cause. (Some deciduous trees like oak and sugar maple are also vulnerable to salt.) Again, trees should be protected in some fashion. In the spring, trees need to be washed to get rid of accumulated salts.

    Deciduous trees
    Deciduous trees are vulnerable to a condition called “frost crack” that is caused by the fluctuating temperatures of a winter day. On a sunny winter day, the south side of a tree will be warmed and the tissues will consequently expand. The temperature drops rapidly at night, and the bark will contract more quickly than the wood beneath it. The bark therefore splits. Overtime, the repeated fluctuations in the temperature causes the trunk to split open. Although the split generally heals in the spring, the tree is still vulnerable to fungi and decay. There are a number of ways to protect the tree ranging from barriers that deflect the sun away from the tree’s south side to trunk protection like whitewash or burlap.

    If you want to keep your trees healthy this winter then call Twin Oaks. Find us online at http://twinoakslandscape.biz/, visit us in Ann Arbor, MI at 4100 South Maple Road, or call us at (734) 213-6911.

  4. Perennials are a beautiful addition to any property for plants that enhance the appeal of the space and incorporate added color to the yard throughout the year. Unfortunately, the perennials can be destroyed in the winter season due to harsh weather conditions where they’re prone to wilting. To protect your perennials this winter in Ann Arbor MI, there are a few important steps to take to ensure that they survive the cold season.

    Spider Plant1. Move or Divide the Perennials

    You can move your perennials to a safer area that has more shelter during the fall season, which will allow them to become more established and planted once winter arrives. Divide the plants when they are not in bloom for an effective way of replanting them. It’s important to group plants that have similar water requirements. Plant supports can also be placed early on in the season before the perennials grow to be too large.

    2. Cut the Plant Back

    Serious wilting is known to occur with perennials during the winter season but can be avoided by cutting the foliage by at least half. Cut back the dry stems to soil level to remove disease spores and pest eggs that may linger after frost for too long. You can leave the stems that have attractive seed heads. Diseased foliage from evergreen plants and shrubs should also be discarded before raking up mulch that has diseases.

    3. Add Organic Material

    One of the most effective steps to take for perennial care in the winter is to add organic material as winter mulch after the ground freezes and has become solid. It’s important to add a six inch layer of the organic material, which will prevent rodents from nesting in the soil during the winter months. The organic material will then need to be replaced again after several nights of above-freezing temperatures. You can then add the mulch to the compost pile.

    4. Compost Dead Plant Debris

    You can create an organic soil conditioner by composting dead plant debris for proper perennial care during the winer season. Hot, active piles will work well at killing weed seeds and disease pathogens. This will protect the plants for several months and will allow them to continue thriving in the spring season.Buttercup Flowers

    5. Lightly Fertilize the Plants

    You can protect the perennials by fertilizing them with low-nitrogen high-phosphorus fertilizer. Most perennials do not require heavy fertilizing after the winter season in Ann Arbor MI, but light fertilizing will help. You can apply this with a single application in the spring season once the weather becomes warmer.

    Winterizing your perennials is a simple and straightforward process if the right steps taken to protect the plants. It’ll be easier to winterize the perennials during the season if you take small steps throughout the year to carefully prep them. Although it may require a bit of work, you won’t need to provide further care for the next few months.

  5. Many households in Ann Arbor MI take advantage of wintertime in order to review landscaping videos before a spring or summer landscaping project commences. This 3d-designdecision represents a wise use of time.

    Informative 3D landscape videos give property owners a much clearer idea of the range of available options for beautifying and upgrading exterior features. Just consider five benefits that flow from taking this step:

    1. Enjoy Quality Family Leisure Time

    Watching these types of videos as a household provides a way for everyone to appreciate the impact of different landscaping techniques. Its a great way to share quality time with loved ones during the holiday season. Since an upcoming landscaping project impacts areas of the property accessible to the entire household, everyone on the premises possesses an interest in the outcome.

    2. Define the Scope of Each Project

    Landscaping presentations help individuals develop a better sense of what each type of project entails. For instance, if your landscaping firm will install lighting in the yard during the spring, this change will impact household members very directly. If some members of the household have always wanted to conduct outdoor evening sports activities, now might be the best time to consider adding extra light around an exterior tennis court or a basketball hoop. Seeing the three dimensional presentation gives everyone a better understanding of the scope of upcoming exterior transformations.

    3. Consider the Priority of Persistent Lawn and Garden Issues

    Boulder Retaining Wall with Patio


    Sometimes, when a couple sits down to watch a landscaping video together, individuals will think of persistent lawn and garden issues that require the most immediate attention. Watching a 3D landscape video often produces harmony and consensus about the best time for asking your landscaping company to initiate work on every project that you plan to address eventually. This type of household discussion sometimes helps prioritize landscaping needs more effectively.

    4. Enhance The Project Long Term

    Watching videos sometimes raises awareness about potential lawn issues that a landscaping project really should address. For example, if a particular tree will occupy significantly more space in ten years and disrupt other features, relocating it to a different section of the yard now makes sense. Seeing a landscaping video in 3D enables everyone in the household to visualize the importance of long term develoIMG_2751pments.

    5. Create New Outdoor Entertaining Plans

    Many people begin formulating exciting new outdoor entertainment plans shortly after watching landscaping videos. They possess a better appreciation for how their property will appear once the project ends. This period of the year may provide a great opportunity to contribute creative suggestions for outdoor family reunions, graduation parties and picnics that will occur during warmer months in Ann Arbor MI.

    Better Results

    By seizing the opportunity to use leisure hours effectively during colder months and examine 3D landscape videos closely, property owners gain a clearer idea about the full extent of each project. They prepare themselves to work closely with their landscaping firm. They also develop useful insights that assist the upcoming project.

    Get your yard looking its absolute best with custom landscaping solutions from Twin Oaks. Find us online at http://twinoakslandscape.biz/, visit us in Ann Arbor, MI at 4100 South Maple Road, or call us at (734) 213-6911.

  6. Landscapers divide the types of design work they do into two categories: Softscaping refers to plantings and other living elements in the landscape, while hardscaping refers to landscaping elements built from hard-wearing materials such as stone or concrete. Real estate agents in Ann Arbor MI have known for years that landscaping increases a home’s resale value, but recent trends in home sales show that hardscapes can also increase your home’s resale value. These hardscape elements are most likely to get you a better price for your home.Garden Brick Paver Path With Arbor

    In the front of your home, a concrete or stone walkway can dramatically increase your home’s curb appeal. A sidewalk that borders the front of your property gives your home a neat, well-maintained look, while a walkway that leads to the front door draws the eye to your home’s entryway, adding an exclamation point to your home’s positive first impression on potential buyers.

    Elsewhere on your property, walkways that lead to other landscaped areas promote usability and give the impression of a larger space.

    Fire Pit
    According to the Society of Landscape Architects, a stone fire pit and seating area is the most popular hardscape element in landscape design. Fire pits are a great way to turn your unused lawn or patio into a place for your family and friends to socialize and give buyers the sense that your house promotes the togetherness that will make it feel like home.

    Outdoor Kitchen
    All outdoor living spaces increase a home’s usable floor space and increase its value. That’s probably why one of the most attractive hardscapes is an outdoor kitchen with a built-in grill. It also makes entertaining guests easy because an outdoor kitchen does not separate the guests from the hosts while the food is being prepared. Adding a dining area to the outdoor kitchen increases its appeal.

    Elegant Outdoor Living SpacePatio
    Probably the most prolific of all hardscapes, the patio is still one of the most desirable landscape elements. Because a patio essentially adds usable square footage to a home’s floor plan, backyard patios increase your home’s resale value. That increase is even more pronounced when the patio also includes flower beds, a water feature, a fire pit or permanent seating.

    Retaining Wall
    If your home is built on a hill, retaining walls are a good investment in your home’s value. Not only are they attractive, they also prevent your home’s foundation from shifting along with the hillside. Unlike wood railroad ties, using stone for your retaining walls ensures that they last a lifetime. If the needed retaining walls create a terraced property, adding stone steps makes your property more accessible and, therefore, more valuable.

    When to Add these Features
    Unlike a fresh coat of paint or a new front door, most hardscaping is not meant to be done as preparation for listing your home for sale in Ann Arbor MI. Rather, these projects are meant to increase the enjoyment of your home with an eye for increasing its value in the future.

    Get your yard looking its absolute best with custom landscaping solutions from Twin Oaks. Find us online at http://twinoakslandscape.biz/, visit us in Ann Arbor, MI at 4100 South Maple Road, or call us at (734) 213-6911.

  7. When most people hear the term soil erosion, they conjure up images of vast dust storms sucking up top soil and floods eating away at earthen river banks during the spring and summer months of the year. Very few consider that cold winter months also contribute to erosion.

    Just as in the warmer months, soil erosion can be a significant problem when the temperatures dip. In cold-climate areas like Ann Arbor MI, knowing the causes of erosion can help people plan ahead and minimize the harmful effects of soil loss.

    Wind – Snowstorms and wind can blow unprotected soil away before the ground is frozen. Even after the ground is frozen, thermal fracturing of the soil due to extreme temperature changes can mean the loss of tiny soil clods to fierce winter winds. Composting throughout the winter can enrich and help protect the soil from wind erosion.

    Water – Water is the leading cause of erosion. When a temporary thaw or warmer weather returns, snow and ice turn to water that can cause soil loss due to melt runoff. Unprotected soil can break down, compromising landscapes, lawns and gardens susceptible to further damage. With the loss of top soil, gardeners will have to resort to chemicals and artificial supplements to revitalize crops and grass coverings.After The Heavy Rain

    Gravity – The force of gravity is an ally to erosion. Water can only run downhill because of it. Extreme cold can expand rocks and soil, causing cracks in terraced area designed to hold water in place. Careful attention to and regular inspection of earth barriers will help correct problems before they fail.

    Lack of proper plants– Plant roots help anchor the soil against the forces of wind and water. Without a proper ground cover or sell-seated vegetation, there is nothing to bind the soil to the earth. Shrubs that thrive in cold temperature and root vegetables like potatoes and carrots help aid in soil retention. Flower bulbs panted in the fall for spring blooming also help hold the soil in place.

    Exposed soil – Any barren ground areas where plants or grass doesn’t exist are prime targets for erosion by both wind and water. For large areas, a cover crop like rye will provide ideal winter protection. Once spring arrives, the cover crop can be plowed under and further enrich he soil for planting. For smaller areas, use leaves or other natural mulching materials as a blanket to protect the soil throughout the winter. Where this isn’t practical, there are many varieties of soil blankets youdrainage - does your yard look like this can buy to spread across vulnerable areas. Some are made of synthetic material and reusable year after year. Others are mace of organic materials like straw that can be mulched into the ground when spring arrives.

    Preventing winter erosion in an area like Ann Arbor MI can help preserve the soil resources already in place while assuring you’ll have a landscape ready for spring planting when the winter snow and freeze have departed.

    Get your yard looking its absolute best with custom landscaping solutions from Twin Oaks. Find us online at http://twinoakslandscape.biz/, visit us in Ann Arbor, MI at 4100 South Maple Road, or call us at (734) 213-6911.

  8. Best of Houzz

    Twin Oaks Landscape of Ann Arbor, MI

    Awarded Best Of Houzz 2016


    Over 35 Million Monthly Unique Users Nominated Best Home Building, Remodeling and Design Professionals in North America and Around the World


    Ann Arbor, MI, January 20, 2016Twin Oaks Landscape of Ann Arbor MI has won Best Customer Service on Houzz®, the leading platform for home remodeling and design. The twenty-year-old landscaping and lawn care company was chosen by the more than 35 million monthly unique users that comprise the Houzz community from among more than one million active home building, remodeling and design industry professionals.

    The Best Of Houzz is awarded annually in three categories: Design, Customer Service and Photography. Design award winners’ work was the most popular among the more than 35 million monthly users on Houzz. Customer Service honors are based on several factors, including the number and quality of client reviews a professional received in 2015. Architecture and interior design photographers whose images were most popular are recognized with the Photography award. A “Best Of Houzz 2016” badge will appear on winners’ profiles, as a sign of  their commitment to excellence. These badges help homeowners identify popular and top-rated home professionals in every metro area on Houzz.

    Twin Oaks is proud to have earned for this award through the actions of those who matter most: our clients.

    “Anyone building, remodeling or decorating looks to Houzz for the most talented and service-oriented professionals” said Liza Hausman, vice president of Industry Marketing for Houzz. “We’re so pleased to recognize Twin Oaks, voted one of our “Best Of Houzz” professionals by our enormous community of homeowners and design enthusiasts actively remodeling and decorating their homes.”

    Follow Twin Oaks on Houzz.

    About Twin Oaks

    Twin Oaks has provided the citizens of Michigan with dedicated and diverse landscaping services for well over two decades. Working in both residential and commercial applications, the company has been happy to serve a wide range of customers. Over the years we’ve built up a great deal of experience and knowledge which has allowed us to become more effective and broaden our range of services. If you come to Twin Oaks with a landscaping goal, whether it’s the construction of a new porch, the regrading of your entire yard or a lawn maintenance issue like the reversal of soil erosion, we can help accomplish it in no time.  We thank the users of Houzz for this award and for their many years of patronage.

    About Houzz

    Houzz is the leading platform for home remodeling and design, providing people with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish – online or from a mobile device. From decorating a small room to building a custom home and everything in between, Houzz connects millions of homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals across the country and around the world. With the largest residential design database in the world and a vibrant community empowered by technology, Houzz is the easiest way for people to find inspiration, get advice, buy products and hire the professionals they need to help turn their ideas into reality. Headquartered in Palo Alto, CA, Houzz also has international offices in London, Berlin, Sydney, Moscow and Tokyo. Houzz and the Houzz logo are registered trademarks of Houzz Inc. worldwide. For more information, visit houzz.com.


  9. If you’re looking for ways to add extra room to your home, you might consider adding new hardscape instead of creating an addition to the existing home. There are a few benefits to be had over an addition.Outdoor landscape garden in North Vancouver, British Columbia, C

    Less Space Requirements
    When you’re adding an addition to the home, you’ll need enough clearance from the surrounding houses as well as space in the back of the house. Whether you’re adding another level or an addition at the back of the home, you’ll need a certain amount of clearance based on zoning laws in Ann Arbor MI. An addition should be a certain square footage, or it’s not worth the cost of construction in most cases. When you’re adding hardscape, you can make it as big or as small as you want. You can create a path away from the home to a location in the corner. Nothing has to be attached to the home either.

    No Building Permits Needed
    You have to get approval and permits before you can build onto your own home. Contractors who work on your home have to be licensed and able to perform work on the addition while adhering to building codes for the city of Ann Arbor MI. There are setback requirements in many property deeds, and you have to be aware of zoning laws. If you’re adding a room with plumbing like a laundry room or extra bathroom, you’ll need a licensed plumber and associated permits and inspections after the work is completed. When you’re adding extra space into your backyard with hardscaping, you don’t have to worry about building permits.

    Less Time Required
    Building an addition on the home means there’s banging, sawing and dust settling all over the yard and the rest of the home. It’s a major inconvenience when you’re trying to live around construction. With small children, it can be even tougher since they can’t be put down for naps during the construction day. If you ask contractors to take a break during naptime, you’re only prolonging the process even longer.

    Lower CostHome Tropical Garden With Pond
    Between materials, labor, permits and inspections, the addition on a home can range from $50,000 to $75,000. You’ll have to pay for contractors as well as subcontractors to perform the work. Plumbers and inspections cost extra too. The cost of the addition depends largely on the quality of the materials you want to use in the home too.

    Continuous Build
    When you construct an addition on your home, it’s an enclosed space that is limited. With hardscaping, you can build a patio. Later, you can lengthen the patio into a walkway to another section of the backyard to be hardscaped. This kind of construction is quick and gratifying. You could work on the backyard in stages based on the amount of money you have to work with at the time. One year, you can extend the patio. The next year, you could build a secret garden in the far corner.

    There are more benefits to hardscaping than there are to constructing an addition on the home. You don’t need to worry about building permits, zoning requirements or the costs involved. A new hardscape can give you extra space without all the hassle of building onto the home.

  10. Stone WallsWinters in Ann Arbor MI can be brutal, and everything from frigid temperatures to several feet or more of snow or ice are common. These weather conditions can wreak havoc on your garden areas. Whether you have a vegetable garden, a flower garden or another type of garden, you may be wondering what steps you can take to keep it safe from harm. One of the beneficial features that you may incorporate into your space is a retaining walls. While these can be used to create aesthetic appeal in your yard by giving you a terracing look or by incorporating taller borders into your space, they also have functional benefits that can be put to use soon.

    The Ability to Control Runoff
    You can use retaining walls in a number of ways, and the walls can range from several inches to more than several feet in height. When you have a steeply graded yard, the runoff from snow and ice melt can be significant, and this can damage your gardens. Walls can be incorporate to terrace the area and to make the ground more even. By doing so, the runoff from snow and ice can be controlled more easily. You can even use these features with others, such as drainage features, to further control snow and ice melt or even heavy rains that are common at the beginning and end of the winter months in Ann Arbor MI.

    Creating a Level Yard for Temperature Control
    Another benefit associated with the use of walls is the ability to better control temperatures in your yard. When you have areas that are deeply inclined, the temperature at the top of a hill in the sunlight may be several degrees warmer than a shaded area at the bottom of the hill. When you level out the space using walls, you can ensure that areas of your yard receive more even amounts of sunlight. This can help you to better control temperature. Ultimately, this can ensure that gardens stay warmer, get adequate sunlight and dry out more quickly as desired.

    Increased Ability to Cover Your Plants

    Garden Bed Retaining Wall
    While some walls will be used to level or terrace a yard, others can be used to create tall borders or planter boxes for your gardens. While the elevated area may seem to expose roots in these boxes to cooler weather conditions, they also can make it easier for you to cover your plants throughout the winter. You can secure the cover inside the crevices of your planters and can wrap the entire boxed planter area.

    As you can see, retaining walls in Ann Arbor MI offer true benefits to you. If you have an herb garden, a flower garden or another type of garden, a smart idea is to speak with a landscaping professional about the possibilities for using walls effectively in your space. A beautiful and functional design can be incorporated to provide you and your many garden areas with several benefits throughout the winter and beyond.