Snow Fall Guess

As we walk our properties with our clients, or meet with property managers at this time of year, a question we hear frequently asked is “what kind of winter are we in for this year?” Well, of course, the only correct answer is no one knows for sure. This being New England though, the conversation rarely stops there.

For years, keen observers of Mother Nature have attempted to make direct and quantifiable correlations from woolly bear caterpillar’s stripes, to the number of acorns on the ground, to spiders spinning over size webs. It makes for fun conversation.

Those more statistically inclined, might interject with a few heavy seasons behind us, we are due for a lighter snow fall this year. Certainly over a range of years, snowfall totals will move towards the average. Those who have lived in New England long enough know in any given year a guess is just that—a roll of the dice.

Accurate and timely forecasts are instrumental to Eastern Land Management’s snow removal operations. We utilize the services of WeatherWorks, Inc. before, during and after storms. It’s a real key to planning for and revising our approach to every storm event. Each year at this time, their meteorologists perform research to provide a scientific answer to the above. They endeavor to match several atmospheric oscillation patterns to past years data to put forth a prediction. This includes the ENSO Neutral Condition, which we have come to know as El Nino/La Nina.

As of late September, WeatherWorks’ preliminary outlook is for an “above normal likelihood for a cold outbreak from late October through mid November…with the potential for a pre-winter event.” They also see a relatively cold winter with coldest runs early and late in the season. Precipitation looks to be active. As we move into early November, they will refine this again.

So, what does it all mean? Sounds like a chilly and active winter. Here in Fairfield and Westchester County, with our proximity to Long Island Sound, a degree or two can be the difference from rain to snow. What kind of winter are we in for…place your bets.

Top 100 Snow Contractors

snow-logoSnow Magazine, the official magazine of the Accredited Snow Contractors Association (ASCA) has published its TOP 100 Snow Contractors. Eastern Land Management (ELM) of Stamford, CT, is listed as # 44. Once again, based on the demand for our snow removal services, ELM has moved up this impressive list.

“Snow removal is an unforgiving and challenging business to be in,” says Bruce Moore, Jr., Vice President of Operations. “ELM has worked hard to develop the processes which deliver timely, effective and most of all safe and reliable snow removal services for our commercial properties.” Moore adds, “we are particularly proud of our experienced team who consistently go the distance to insure our clients and their employees have safe access to their properties during all types of New England winter weather.”

Winter weather has become increasingly more severe over the past 10 years with blizzards and record-setting events in Westchester and Fairfield counties. “We’ve had to up our game,” says Moore. “These large events require a storm specific plan, and often additional resources to insure our clients’ properties remain open during their business critical times.”

ELM’s snow removal services are performed on the commercial, corporate and office park properties we serve with landscape maintenance. This gives ELM a significant advantage in understanding each individual property’s schedules and nuances. Bruce Moore, Sr., President notes “our year around relationship with our clients inherently adds to ELM’s commitment to do everything possible to minimize damage to the landscape assets. Most importantly, each site has a specific snow operations plan, which we develop together with our clients. We stay in touch throughout the storms with property and facility managers with our iPhones to keep them updated.”

Making the accomplishment even more notable is that ASCA and its’ TOP 100 list covers both the United States and Canada.

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Fall Turf Fertilization: Are You Sure My Property Needs This?

The kids are back in school, temperatures are cooling, the leaves are turning and it won’t be too long before we wake up to a morning frost. Yes, the world of plants and grass is slowing down. A number of important landscape operations are performed at this time of year including leaf removal, fall bulb plantings and irrigation system shutdowns. When mid to late November arrives, holiday lights and seasonal decorations will be coming to commercial properties in Fairfield and Westchester counties.

However, a critical operation which may be overlooked at this time of year is fall turf fertilization. Hey, wait a minute…just exactly why is the grass being fertilized now? And, by the way, is this a wise use of precious budget dollars?

Yes, the turf will go dormant in late fall and will no longer be pushing growth. However, as your grass enters dormancy, it’s essential to have nutrients taken up at the root zone level to be stored in the plant. Those nutrients allow your property’s turf to make its way through the severe winter and be readily available for take-up in the spring. Late November and early December days can be chilly, but the soil temperatures are still moderate, allowing the critical nutrient exchange and storage to take place. It’s just exactly the right formula to help the turf overwinter and be ready for green-up as the early spring days get longer and the warmer temperatures return.

Everyone knows that strong foundation is critical to a building’s structural integrity. In many ways, the fall fertilization is the foundation to next season’s spring green-up and turf health. By next March and April, it will be easy spot the properties whose turf has a strong “foundation.”