Calculating the Value of Trees.

There has never been a better time to plant more trees. With CO2 concentrations increased over the last century by half, trees are an easy, cost-effective and natural way to bring CO2 percentages down. In fact, trees are the single most powerful weapon in the landscape tool kit as a means to improve the overall health of the urban environment.

Every day, ELM practices sound best tree care management practices to improve the quality of life, reduce pollution, lower energy costs, improve the appearance of commercial and community landscapes, and increase the value of commercial and institutional real estate properties.

Tree facts:

  • Trees are natural carbon eaters. A single tree can absorb CO2 at a rate of 48 lbs. per year.
  • Trees are natural pollution fighters, filtering harmful particulates, such as dust, pollen, smoke from the air, through their leaves.
  • Trees are energy savers, lowering peak temperature by transpiring water and shading surfaces.
  • Trees reduce surface water runoff from storms, thus decreasing soil erosion and the accumulation of sediments and potentially harmful chemicals in streams.
  • An acre of trees absorbs enough CO2 over one year to equal the amount produced by driving a care 26,000 miles.
  • Trees provide forage and habitats for wildlife.
  • Trees recharge groundwater and sustain water stream flow.
  • One large tree strategically placed on a site can replace 10 room size air conditioners operating 20 hours per day.
  • Fallen tree leaves can reduce soil temperatures and soil moisture loss; decaying leaves promotes soil microorganism and provide nutrients for tree growth.
  • The carbon footprints of 18 average Americans can be neutralized by one acre of hardwood trees.

Want more good reasons why healthy trees and landscapes are a solid return on your investment? Contact Bruce Moore Jr., ELM president at 203-316-5433.

The Benefits of Mulch

Mulches are the Swiss Army Knife of landscape applications. They come in many forms and serve many functions: covering bare ground in shrub beds, around annuals, and in tree wells, and working behind the scenes to make the soil and the plants it serves healthier and better able to withstand stress.

As our region heads into watering restrictions and year three of a statewide drought, mulch will play a critical role in conserving water.

Here’s how:

1) Retaining moisture – Mulches reduce evaporation by placing an insulating cover over bare soil, which keeps roots hydrated. Mulches also save water by reducing weeds and their competition for moisture and nutrients. Mulch is an important tool for landscape health during periods of drought-based watering restrictions as it helps the soil hold water longer.

2) Preventing run-off and erosion – Mulches help soil absorb irrigation water and heavy rainfall, preventing run-off and allowing penetration of water into the soil.

3) Regulating soil temperature – Mulches moderate soil temperature fluctuations. During hot weather, mulches reflect heat and keep soil cool. This helps reduce summer heat-stress on plants. During cold weather, mulches help the soil retain warmth, reducing the chance of winter root injury.

4) Preventing weeds – Mulch, when applied thick enough to prevent light from reaching the soil surface, prevents weed seeds from germinating. Weed seeds that do germinate, are inhibited from penetrating the mulch cover.

There are two broad categories of mulch: organic and inorganic. Inorganic, or mineral, mulches are materials such as gravel, rock or stones. These can be decorative and can help supply some of the functional benefits of mulch but lack the insulating and nourishing properties of organic mulch.

Although synthetic mulch products are available, organic mulch, derived from natural substances, have the added benefit of contributing nutrients to the soil as the mulch decomposes. Natural mulches come in many grades and textures, including quality bark and wood shavings, wood chips, and pine straw.

Mulch beds should be freshened once a year. When mulching an existing bed, we recommend mulch depth of 1 ½ to 2: thick. While mulch is a significant contributor to plant health, too much mulch can be too much of a good thing. If there is already a significant depth of mulch, additional mulch could suffocate roots and stress existing plants.

To learn more about the benefits mulch brings to your landscape and its strategic role in water conservation, contact Bruce Moore at 203-316-5433.

Does Your Landscape Have an Addiction?

In general, water use is taken lightly, and in many cases, overused.  It seems like everyone has a report card or dashboard these days.  In the FM world, commercial property managers measure the efficiency and optimization of all building systems.  From tenant satisfaction to asset utilization to driving efficiencies, this is the world commercial facility managers live in and are accountable for.

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self watering planters

Self watering planters- simple, effective and colorful cost savers

If you are looking for a way to add color to your commercial property, particularly at entries, plazas and courtyards; planters can be the right solution to add vibrant color to these hardscape areas. Some facility managers have held back on these visual accents due to the cost of watering, either by the facility team or service provider.

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Perennials, spring

Perennials – right for your commercial property?

Perennials can be successfully used to offer more landscaping choices to your commercial property. They can also set you apart from the competition and create a higher position for your site’s curb appeal. For this reason, it is better to contact the right provider for your landscape, and someone who understands the proper use of perennials.

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