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

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  1. Outdoor PatioEveryone dreams of a gorgeous deck that is made from an exotic wood that truly stands apart from every other deck in the neighborhood. You may have visions in your head of a deck made from teak or cherry. The deck in your head is beautiful, exotic woods will not stand up to extreme temperature changes in Ann Arbor MI. A composite deck will stand up to the weather changes you see in the northern United States, and the deck is much easier to maintain from year to year.

    #1: Weather Changes

    Composites are created from an amalgam of other woods that was pressed together from other woods in the factory. The composite decking you use has no natural grain, and there are no gaps in the wood that will allow for cracks. The extreme weather changes in Ann Arbor from winter to summer will crack a normal deck, and a deck made from exotic woods would fall apart. You can avoid problems with the deck by using composites.

    #2: Painting And Staining

    A composite material is much easier to paint than traditional wood, and the wood takes stain much better than a traditional wood. A natural deck takes three or four coats of stain, but a composite structure will take the stain in one or two coats. Paint sticks to your deck much more easily, and you can choose any color you like. Problematic colors for traditional colors can be used with composites, and you will have an opportunity to decorate your home any way you like.

    #3: Maintenance

    A deck made from composites does not accept dust and dirt as easily as natural wood. Natural wood has grooves and grains that will get dirty easily, and it is very hard to clean up the grains in the wood. Composites will sweep clean easily, and you will learn quickly that the deck does not need heavy cleaning. You can avoid pressure washing your deck, and you can bring out a broom once a week to sweep.

    The snow that falls in the winter will not seep into the wood, and the color of the deck will not change unexpectedly. You can expect the deck to be the same color as it was last summer, and you can sweep away snow quickly from the smooth surface.

    #4: Damage Potential

    The furniture and foot traffic on your deck will damage traditional woods easily. Some hardwoods are not that hard at all, and the furniture alone will cause indentations in the wood. A composite material will not break down under the strain of consistent use, and you can keep your furniture on the deck all year. Let all your guests on the deck, and enjoy using the deck all year without reservation.

    Your home in Ann Arbor MI deserves a composite deck that will stand up to consistent use every year. You can paint your deck, clean it up and maintain it with almost no effort. Your neighbors will love visiting, and your family will have an outdoor haven to relax in.

    Construct the perfect deck, patio, walkway or porch with custom hardscaping services from Twin Oaks Landscape. 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.


    Weed management in a pond begins with proper maintenance of the body of water in question. Beautiful Classical Design Garden Fish Pond Gardening Background

    Recent advances in data collection, chemical and non-chemical treatments, equipment and education have given us more tools to manage bodies of water.

    Beyond proper maintenance of a pond, consider these steps of weed control:

    1. IDENTIFY THE WEEDS SPECIES.  This is important in choosing the right herbicide or algaecide.
    1. TAKE OXYGEN READINGS prior to any application to determine if levels of oxygen are high enough to prevent adverse effects to wildlife and plants from the chemical application. Applications should be postponed if the oxygen level is 5.8 ppm or lower.
    2. CHOOSE THE PROPER HERBICIDE/ALGECIDE based on the mandates of the label, including extent of vegetation, weed species controlled, current of proposed water usage, oxygen levels present, and other environmental conditions.
    3. KEEP THE BODY OF WATER in question free of organic matter. Lawn clippings and other organic matter that inadvertently enters ponds are frequently overlooked by both lawn specialists and homeowners. The simple act of mowing too close to a pond and allowing clippings to get into a pond encourages algae growth
  3. There are many systems in your home that you probably rely on every day without giving them much thought. Like your water heater, you likely assume that your sump pump will be there to save the day when necessary. Unfortunately, the truth is the sump pump in your Ann Arbor MI basement may be getting ready to fail when you need it most.

    More than 60% of homes in America have water damage or basement water problems. Your sump pump works tirelessly day and night to pump out water that seeps in once it reaches a certain level. Most homeowners don’t realize their sump pump isn’t working until water starts to back up oReplacing The Old Sump Pump In A Basementut of the sump pit, at which point you may be dealing with thousands of dollars in property damage.

    Don’t let yourself fall into the “out of sight, out of mind” mentality. It’s important to regularly check your sump pump to make sure it’s working like it should and keep an eye out for the following warning signs that sump pump replacement is in the near future.

    1. The sump pump cycles on and off frequently
    If your sump pump is frequently cycling on and on, even during a heavy rain, it’s a sign that something is wrong. The problem may be simple, such as a float switch that isn’t adjusted properly and causing the pump to turn on when there’s just an inch or two of water. While this may not seem like a big problem, it does cause your sump pump motor to burn out too quickly. Once the motor burns out, sump pump replacement is the only option. The problem may also be a sump pit that’s just too small for the water volume it receives.

    2. Your sump pump has a long run time
    When your sump pump turns on, take the time to listen for awhile. If it runs for a long time, or several minutes, it may mean that your sump pump is under-powered for the water volume or the distance it needs to pump water away.

    3. Your sump pump makes loud noises
    During normal operation, all you should hear is a quiet hum or a slight thumping noise when the sump pump turns off. If you hear loud motor noises, the device likely has a burnt bearing and getting ready to fail completely. You may even hear a grinding noise or rattling, which means that the impeller is jammed or damaged. If a burnt bearing is the problem, sump pump replacement is the only solution.

    4. You have a pedestal-style pump
    This is a very outdated style of sump pump that’s still seen in some basements in Ann Arbor MI. If your pump sits above the water in the sump pit on a tall pipe, you may have already noticed it’s very loud, prone to getting knocked over, and not built very well. This type of pump should be replaced with a newer, more efficient model.

    5. Your sump pump doesn’t turn on when it should
    If your sump pump isn’t turning on, you may have a stuck float switch. Switches that hang along the side of the pump are prone to getting stuck, while vertical floats with flimsy plastic brackets often break. If freeing the switch doesn’t work, it’s time to replace your sump pump.

  4. Choose the right plant for the right place whether you have too much water or not enough.



    Salvia Greggii is one of the most reliable and easy-to-grow drought-tolerant perennials. There are many varieties of the species available and bloom colors range from pure white to pink, to coral, to deep red. As plants become semi-woody, they are often used as small shrubs in warm climates. Plants can grow approximately 3 feet tall and spread to 5 feet wide. Autumn sage begins blooming in early spring and continues until a hard frost.



    AS A GROUP, SEDUMS can be relied upon to be sturdy performers in hot and dry landscapes. These hardy succulents are available in assorted sizes, shapes and foliage colors. ‘Blue Spruce’ is a variety particularly good for use as a low-maintenance groundcover along sidewalks, driveways, retaining walls and containers. This variety offers up a unique silvery-blue foliage color. Plants require a full sun location with well-draining soil. Once established, plants require little supplemental water and are highly tolerant of reflected heat.



    KNOWN AS ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR culinary herbs, rosemary also performs as a lush, evergreen landscape shrub or cascading trailer. Plants are drought-hardy once established and very tolerant of the intense reflected heat. Can be used in very low-maintenance plantings without supplemental irrigation.



    THIS STUNNINGLY BEAUTIFUL “BULB” also happens to be one of the most reliable drought-tolerant garden plants. The large rhizomes produced by bearded iris plants allow them to not only survive, but thrive under extended periods of drought. Once established, bearded iris do not require supplemental water. However, a bit of supplemental water now and then will result in more flowers.


    UNLIKE BEARDED IRIS, IRIS PSUEDACORUS is a water-lover. Yellow flag is used to clean waterways as absorbs heavy metals. Plants can spread aggressively, creating dense clumps of foliage. However, when planted in rain gardens that periodically dry out, their spread will be slowed. Plants produce bright yellow blooms in spring or summer atop sword-like foliage.


    AS WITH MANY PLANTS well-suited to a rain garden, Gooseneck Loosestrife, Lysimachia clethroids, can be an aggressive spreader depending on your location. However, if you have room to spare, they make quite an impressive display. Their long racemes of small with flowers curve as they mature, creating a gooseneck-like appearance. Plants establish easily in the rain garden and perform best in moist to wet soils.


    SOME PLANTS HAVE THE ABILITY to perform double duty in the landscape by tolerating both drought and wet conditions. Maiden grass, a species in the genus Miscanthus, have that ability. This makes them perfect for use in rain gardens that may experience big swings from very wet to very dry and back again. There are many varieties available that offer up different foliage types, colors and plant sizes.



    As with 2014, 2015 was a very difficult winter for woody plants. Many trees and shrubs exhibited winter injury symptoms this past spring and are continuing to do so into the summer. On evergreen plants such as conifers, overwintering needles sometimes turned reddish brown and dropped by spring, leaving some branches or in some cases entire trees without needles. Believe it or not many of these conifers have produced new shoots with new needles, essentially ensuring their survival. Regrettably, some plant owners removed their affected trees too soon, believing they were dead. Deciduous trees and shrubs exhibited symptoms such as slow foliar emergence, wilting foliage after emergence, and no emergence of foliage. Obviously, the latter two symptoms are troublesome and may indicate plant death. However, it is recommended that trees and shrubs be allowed some time for possible recovery. Whether conifer or deciduous, the cambium of stem tissue should be checked for viability. The presence of a green succulent cambium indicates life, but it may take some time for new foliage to develop. Buds should also be checked for viability. We stress patience to all because issues with winter injury may even be observed into late summer.



    This serious disease is once again reaching epidemic proportions in some locales in Michigan this year. The fungal causal organism only attacks Pyrus (pear) species as its deciduous host. The fungus is apparently capable of virtually killing large established pears within two years of repeated infections. Control of the disease is proving to be far more challenging than originally believed. Will this make Bradford and other pear species unusable for landscapes? Only time will tell. Although ornamental pear has been overplanted, especially after the Emerald Ash Borer debacle, we would be at a loss to lose Pyrus as a landscape tree to yet another invasive organism.



    It is generally believed that Oak Wilt (OW), caused by the deadly fungus, Ceratocystis fagacearum, is increasing in incidence throughout Michigan. While exotics such as Dutch Elm Disease and Emerald Ash Borer are “broadly devastating,” a disease such as Oak Wilt is lethal but tends to be “locally devastating.” In some manners, Oak Wilt is more difficult and costly to contain and manage than some of the broad ranging pest and disease problems. During the past spring and summer, OW has made its presence known around Michigan. While the vast majority of oak trees killed by the OW fungus occur via root graft transmission, most new infection sites develop as a result of injury to oaks at the inappropriate time. Most of the property owners who encounter Oak Wilt have never heard of it before.



    The first time we’ve seen a very widespread Norway Maple branch by branch decline occurred during the spring and summer of 2014, after the very severe winter. In some urban locations, more than 90% of trees seemed to be affected. According to reports around Michigan, the branch by branch decline is apparently recurring again this season. In fact, some city foresters are claiming that some trees are so severely declined that their removal is imminent. As a brief symptom description, one branch wilts and the foliage eventually turns tan; while the first branch is declining another branch begins to wilt and so forth. Investigations of the 2014 outbreak found that winter injury followed by an opportunistic Valsa canker-causing fungus as a likely scenario.



    In the past several months, the severity of Rhizosphaera needlecast and the difficulty in its management has increased. The problem is not spruce needlecast. Spruce needlecast has been confused with a variety of issues. One of the causes of needle loss from trees is winter burn/desiccation, which has been quite common this past winter and spring. Canker diseases such as Cytospora and Phomopsis can also mimic needlecast diseases. Differentiating needlecast from other causes is fairly straightforward. Rhizosphaera needlecast rarely kills branches…unless there has been several years of severe defoliation. Neither does winter desiccation…”usually.” Phomosis and Cytospora cankers will kill branches and also, obviously, lead to needle loss. To check for viability in branches, always look for a live, green cambium directly beneath the bark.


    SOURCE: MSU, David L. Roberts, PhD, Senior Academic Specialist, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources   July 2015

  6. Hardscapes on your property can improve the resale value of your home in Ann Arbor MI, but you must choose the hardscapes that make the most sense for your property. You cannot combine several different ideas into

    Natural Stone Landscaping on conglomerate that you believe will massively increase the price of your house. You must choose the designs that make the most sense for your home, and you must select designs that you have always wanted on your property. Try any of these design ideas for your home’s beauty, value and style.

    #1: Stone Walkways

    A stone walkway that leads from one part of your property to your another will look mystical, and the people who visit your home will enjoy walking the pathways from one end to the other. You can turn your home into a miniature walking trail, and the walkways will add a color to your home that was not there before.

    #2: Stone Patio

    A stone patio will instantly improve the appearance of your backyard, but you must decide on the shape of the patio before you get started. You are free to choose any shape you like, and you may create something no one else has ever done. There are several geometric shapes that will improve the style of your backyard, and you may outline the patio with heavy bricks. The interior pavers can make their own pattern, or you can put your monogram on the patio. A custom patio increases your home’s value immensely, and visitors will be impressed with the work you have done.

    #3: Brick Retaining WallsIMG_3043

    Retaining walls are necessary on properties that slope to one side or the other, but a retaining can be quite unattractive. A brick retaining wall is much more attractive than wood, and brick will last forever. You should avoid using railroad ties that will look good until the first heavy snow or rain. The color of wood will not last, but bricks will look perfect even after the heaviest snow in decades.

    #4: Stone Steps

    The steps that lead up from the lawn to your front door should be made of a durable stone. Creating wood steps may look nice today, but there is no guarantee that you will be able to keep up the wood of those steps for a long period of time. The stones you choose for your steps can complement the colors on your house, and the stones will stand up to even the heaviest weather.

    The selections in this article help you understand how to change the value of your home with simple stones and pavers. Each project is well worth the time if you are willing to begin construction today, and you will benefit when you sell your home in the future. Homes in Ann Arbor MI increase in inherent value when they have been improved by their owners over the years, and the hardscaping projects here are some of the easiest to complete. Contact a professional for assistance when you are ready to improve your home.

    Keep your lawn looking beautiful with maintenance services from Twin Oaks Landscape. 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. Vegetable garden - little gardener with harvests of organic tomaAs the vegetables and flowers in your garden grow, they strip nutrients from the soil. This is why it’s so important to choose the right additives, which will help keep the soil in tip top shape as your garden blooms. The type you choose and how much you use will depend on the soil and the plants you’re trying to grow.

    Commercial fertilizers are labeled with a series of three numbers. The first number is the nitrogen percentage; the second number is the phosphate percentage; and the third number is the potash percentage. A complete combination will be labeled something like 5-10-5, with at least a little bit of each nutrient. Others, like bone meal, will have a zero in some places – bone meal doesn’t contain any potash, so the last number is zero.

    Organic Options

    Some people in Ann Arbor MI will opt for an organic additive, made with animal manure, green manure, fish emulsion, blood meal, rock phosphate, cottonseed meal and granite dust. There are advantages to using this type of fertilizer:

    • They contribute organic matter to the soil, which improves the structures, fights bacterial and fungal diseases, feeds the soil microbes and adds micronutrients.

    • They provide a steady diet to plants.

    • They can be inexpensive and they’re easy to create on your own.

    Chemical Options

    Opposite from organic selections are chemical additives, which are manufactured synthetically. They include potassium chloride, sodium nitrate and superphosphate. They come in various forms, including pellet, liquid, powder and granular. They’re fast-acting and concentrated, which is important for gardeners who want to see results quickly.

    Unfortunately, these usually pale in comparison to organic options. They don’t add any organic matter to the Ann Arbor MI soil and don’t improve the soil structure. They may even harm the soil’s microorganisms, which means the soil won’t be able to support growth for the long term.

    Additionally, this isn’t a great option if you’re interested in going green. These types of additives require a lot of energy to produce; that energy is provided by non-renewable sources. The carbon footprint of using synthetic combinations is huge, because it adds to pollution and global warming. While some organic ones also require energy to be created, many home gardeners opt to make their own at home.Young Girls Working In Vegetable Garden

    For the most part, plants need 16 different nutrients in order to grow. If your garden isn’t growing as well you thought it would, it could be because it’s lacking in one or more nutrients. Plants need a lot of carbon, oxygen and hydrogen for photosynthesis. They also need mineral nutrients: phosphorous, nitrogen, potassium and others. To determine exactly what your plant needs, it’s best to have the soil tested. Then, you can search for fertilizers that have the nutrients that the soil’s lacking. If you don’t want to have your soil tested or aren’t able to do so, start with additives that have a broad array of nutrients.

    Keep your lawn looking beautiful with maintenance services from Twin Oaks Landscape. 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. If you spend a lot of time outside with your family and friends, you’ll want adequate landscape lighting so you don’t have to take the party inside once the sun goes down. Landscape lighting in Ann Arbor MI comes with a host of benefits. From keeping you safe and secure to providing more opportunities for entertaining at home, exterior lighting is something you shouldn’t pass up.Backyard Pool House


    Safety is likely your number one concern, especially if you live with other people or have a family at home. Landscape lighting can add safety to your home’s exterior in various ways. When walkways are lit, your family and visitors will be able to safely navigate the area. With zone lighting, different sections of the yard, including the patio, pool or garden, can be illuminated. Entryways, driveways, sidewalks and garages can also be lit to prevent accidents. The more lights you have outside, the safer you’ll be.


    On top of safety, outdoor lighting will also give you a sense of security:

    • Well-lit landscapes show that you maintain your home and that you care about your property. This discourages people from trespassing.

    • When you’re inside, you’ll be able to see what’s going on outside just by turning the exterior lights on.Lighting_large

    • You can also install motion-activated lighting, which will deter burglars from getting too close to your home. It’s also helpful for your family members to walk through a well-lit driveway or home.

    • Boundary lighting is also useful for showing where your property extends to.


    When you have outdoor lighting in Ann Arbor MI, you can get more use out of your home. Your deck or patio can be used in the evening. Ambiance is improved when you can see where you’re going and what you’re doing, not to mention the people who you’re spending time with. If you have outdoor lighting near your pool, you and your kids can go swimming in the evening. Ultimately, outdoor lighting will make you feel like you can get more out of property no matter what time of night it is.


    Sometimes, lighting units can even be attractive and add to the esthetic of your landscaping. Decorative lighting isn’t just functional – it’s great for the appearance of your home, too. This is a great way to direct the eye to certain parts of your landscaping, like your garden. Mood lighting doesn’t have to be functional at all, but instead can serve only to softly highlight different parts of the exterior of your home.

    Curb Appeal

    If you’re hoping to improve curb appeal, like when you’re trying to sell your home, outdoor lighting is a big help. If potential buyers want to check out your home in tlight-editedhe evening, they can drive by and see how nice it looks at night. Exterior lighting makes your home look warm and inviting. It also shows that you care for your home and that you take pride in its appearance.

    Keep your lawn looking beautiful with maintenance services from Twin Oaks Landscape. 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.

  9. Do you want to achieve a beautiful and enviable lawn this summer? Well-maintained lawns are reflea cute bull dog on the grass toned with a warm filter effectctive of proper maintenance that is ensured by only observing basic lawn care practices like proper mowing, frequent watering, and the addition of fertilizers. Ensuring that nutrients reach the soil beneath the grass is as well necessary. Aeration underlines all other activities geared towards getting a healthy lawn. It allows water and air to penetrate built-up grass or lawn thatch.

    Aeration, the natural process through which exchange of air between soil and surrounding atmosphere occurs, has a host of benefits when practiced on lawns. Whether in Ann Arbor MI or any other location in the states, this article will be of immense importance as it enumerates the benefits of lawn aeration.

    Aeration helps lawns to breathe
    Aeration leads to enhanced movement of oxygen, organic fertilizers, and other nutrients in the soil. The oxygen is vital for soil growth and survival even when the conditions are extreme. Grass in aerated lawns utilizes soil water much quickly than that in non-aerated lawns. This ensures better lawn health caused by thickening of the turf and softening of the soil.

    Loosening the soil
    When soil particles clump together without any pores, soil compaction occurs. The compaction diminishes the soils ability to hold air and eliminate excessive water. Soil compaction helps in some ways, especially in preventing soil erosion, but detrimental to the growth and maintenance of a healthy lawn. Rainwater and water applied through sprinklers are the commonest causes of soil compaction. The compaction causes the soil layers to turn dense. Aeration, therefore, comes in handy to reduce the soil compaction and facilitate water to reach the roots after watering sessions.

    Lawn health
    Aeration ensures the well-being of a lawn. Removal of unwanted seeds is done during this process. Regular aeration also significantly reduces the occurrence of brown spots. In case of herbicide or pesticide application on lawns, aeration is better done before the application to avoid a chemical barrier that could complicate aeration.

    Maximum water utilization
    A well-aerated lawn only requires little amounts of water to maintain it in tip top condition. In fact, a non-aerated lawn needs twice the quantity used to water an aerated lawn. Save for proper water utilization, aeration prevents excess surface runoff hence avoiding puddle formation.

     Clearing thatch build-upa bull dog rolling in the grass
    Soil Aeration enhances a perfect movement of air and water in the soil through the clearance of dense thatch. The thatch is located just beneath the soil and the grass. Thatch breakdown occurs naturally, and it can last a couple of weeks. Thick thatches act as breeding grounds for unwanted pests and disease-causing organisms. Thatch build-up is mainly a problem in wet soils, compacted soils, and subsoils disturbed during building activities.
    During the summer period, lawn aeration has its best results when done in late summer. While a single aeration process may not show a very discernible difference all at once, the results are almost immediately noticeable after several aeration practices. Regardless of the aeration method employed, the benefits of lawn aeration are evident. If you do not have the experience in aeration, contacting an expert in places such as Ann Arbor MI as is always advisable.

    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.

  10. If you’re looking for ways to create a welcoming and attractive backyard or garden area, there is noLong exposure of a backyard waterfall and pond surrounded by green foliage.thing more captivating than adding a water feature to your outdoor living space.

    These beautiful additions are a great way to add value to your property and serve as a focal point when you are entertaining family or friends at your home. In recent years, the use of these charming landscape features has been on the rise in the Ann Arbor MI and Northwest Ohio area for good reason.

    Adds Peaceful Outdoor Living Space

    Many home owners view their property as their personal oasis. When you add a great feature like custom designed waterfalls, water fountains, and freshwater ponds you are bringing the element of water into your garden area. The sound of the running water is incredibly relaxing and sets the perfect stage for spending an evening under the moon and stars. On a sunny afternoon, it is a great place to lounge in the sun and read your favorite book or catch up with your friends.

    Light Up The Night

    These days many water features can be designed and integrated with LED lighting. After the sun goes down, these lights can be turned on to gently illuminate the water and your Ann Arbor MI or Northwest Ohio property for more enjoyment. You can be sure that all of your friends will envy the sanctuary that you have created in your backyard. You might even inspire them to create their own piece of heaven in their own gardens and backyard!

    Noise Control

    If your home is in an area that is noisy, water features can help mitigate the noise caused by passing cars, loud neighbors, air traffic, or industrial noise. ThYard water featuree gentle noise created by flowing water will dampen the unpleasant sounds that you do not want to have to listen to while you are relaxing outdoors.

    Adding features like this to your home and garden allows you to tap into your creative side to make your home a more sophisticated place to be. Your project can be as simple or complex as you would like to be.

    If you are working with a limited budget, you can always start off with a consumer level feature that is either a “plug and play” style feature or one that is easy to install yourself, like a self-contained water fountain or waterfall. If you do not have a lot of land, you might alternatively place these features on your patio or deck for maximum enjoyment.

    People with larger budgets might consider bigger projects. If you have a substantial plot of land or an existing pool area, you might consult a construction company and see if they can custom design a feature that integrates well in your space. They will be able to offer guidance and ideas to make your outdoor living areas really stand out.

    No matter what your budget, you’ll find a feature is a great addition.

    Keep your lawn looking beautiful with maintenance services from Twin Oaks Landscape. 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.