Trees are people too!

Drip Line IllustrationSometimes we take our trees for granted because they are always there and don’t turn brown as fast as a heat-stressed lawn. We forget that they, too, can be water-deprived. Right now, your tree needs to soak up water–and nutrients–to survive the dormant season.

So how do you help your trees?

Water them now and water once per month through October. Use a deep root watering device that attaches to a garden hose and soak the soil 6 to 8 inches deep.

To know where to water, draw an imaginary circle of where the outermost branches extend over the ground.  That circle is called the drip line of the tree.  Water at various points within this drip line.  Be sure to probe and water some points that are closer and some points that farther away from the trunk as you move around the tree.

Fertilize?  The deep-root watering device can also deliver fertilizer while you water.  But wait until about Labor Day to add fertilizer.  Look specifically for a fall blend that has the micro-nutrients that are beneficial for the fall fertilization.

Remember, Signature Landscapes has two skilled and knowledgeable ISA Certified arborists on staff to help you with your tree questions. Call us at (775) 857-4333 and we’ll work to keep your gentle giants happy, healthy and ready for the coming winter.

Signature Landscapes voted BEST LANDSCAPER

You read that right! Signature Landscapes voted #1 Landscaper in Northern Nevada in the 2012 Reno News and Review’s Best of Northern Nevada reader’s choice contest. Otherwise known as the Reno News & Review’s Biggest Little Best of Northern Nevada. And just in case you missed the Best Of’s from prior years, this is our SECOND first place win!

So…

Thank you, Northern Nevada!

We love you! There’s nothing else we’d rather be doing than serving each and every one of you all year long. Landscaping is our passion, our art and our way of life, and we couldn’t do it without your business.

LINK TO THE RENO NEWS & REVIEW BEST-OF ARTICLE

Best of Northern Nevada

PHOTO GALLERY OF SIGNATURE’S BEAUTIFUL LANDSCAPES

Landscape Design Gallery

Heat stress on your lawn

Just like any other living creature in Northern Nevada, your lawn can suffer serious heat stress symptoms. Caused by high heat and lack of rainfall, dry summers and lack of humidity, we’re seeing heat stress is really take a toll on our local lawns.

Consistent watering is one of the most important practices in taking care of your lawn right now. 

 But be alert – temperatures over ninety degrees day after day can cause a slowdown in grass growth. With our low humidity, the blades of grass can experience a daytime wilt which can cause a loss of color normally associated with a healthy lawn. But don’t stress yourself…this does not necessarily mean the lawn is dying or in serious trouble.

Your grass is comprised of 80% water. High heat and low humidity takes some of this away, even with good watering practices – hence the wilting. But properly watered lawns will recover much more quickly than a drought stressed yard when the longer nights and cooler days return.

Water at least 2 to 2 1/2 inches per week. One inch of water should re-wet the soil about 6 inches deep. To determine how much water has been applied, set a straight-sided can under the sprinkler.

And remember, without adequate water, your heat stressed lawn will quickly turn into drought stressed lawn.

In a drought stressed lawn, grass soon turns brown and becomes dormant. An early clue to drought stress is when grassy areas show a dark bluish-green cast. Begin applying water when the soil starts to dry out and before the grass wilts and has a chance to become brown.

A word of caution about limited watering: A single watering during a high heat and/or drought period is likely to do more harm than good. If the grass cannot be kept actively growing with sufficient water, it is best to let the grass go dormant. Inconsistent or “light” watering during extended dry periods will slow the rate of recovery when adequate rainfall does occur. Bluegrass is very resilient and will come out of the heat and drought quickly as long as it is properly cared for and steps are taken to keep insects and weeds out of the stressed or dormant areas of the lawn.

Some things you can do when water restrictions prevent you from watering as much as the lawn really needs:

  1. Make sure your irrigation timer/clock is set to provide all the water your grass needs this month.
  2. Water only that part of the lawn where improvement is most important.
  3. Use a sharp mower blade; the cleaner the cut the less water the grass blades will lose out of the injury done by the cutting.
  4. Mow regularly until growth slows, but at a higher (rather than lower) cutting height.
  5. Make each watering consistent and make sure enough water is being applied to moisten soil to a good depth.
  6. Remember, with our losw humidity, a ten minute watering of most sprinkler systems will not likely get enough water into the soil. This will force the roots to go shallow and weaken the lawn’s resistance to heat stress and drought stress/damage.

If you have questions about your irrigation timer, how to propertly adjust for this high heat, don’t hesitate to call us. Our PLANET Certified Irrigation Technicians can quickly help get your lawn’s watering needs on track.

Call Signature Landscapes at 827-5296 and we’ll come out immediately!

Signature Helps Renovate the Reno Tahoe Open Entry

Signature Landscapes is digging in and donating crews to help this year’s Reno Tahoe Open out at Montrêux look its best for the upcoming event next week.

“This area is going to shine because of Signature’s expertise and we’re so grateful to have their support,” said Michael Tragash, Special Events Manager for the Reno Tahoe Open.

A longtime fan of local PGA tournament, Signature Landscapes is completely refurbishing the grand visitor entry area to offer the 60,000 visitors a beautiful experience immediately upon entering the grounds.

“The sweet spot of any event starts the very first second you walk onto the course,” said Steven Fine, of Signature Landscapes. “So we made it a point to guarantee something colorful and inviting for the RTO guests.”

This project has come down to the wire in terms of timing with the opening. Signature crews plan on wrapping up the landscape renovations by Monday. Just in time for the huge volume of busses arriving hourly with excited Reno Tahoe Open fans.

Reno sells firewood to general public

Did you know… Reno Urban Forestry sells firewood to the general public twice each year. During the months of September and March, the wood yard located at 190 Telegraph is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for wood cutting.

The wood, which includes mixed hardwoods, is in log form and requires people to saw their own rounds for splitting.

The cost for the firewood is $75 per cord. Customers must first sign a waiver of liability and pay in advance in order to enter the wood yard. Waivers can be obtained at the Park Maintenance Office, 2055 Idlewild Drive, in Idlewild Park. Office hours are 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.

X-FEST Music Brews and Peace Concert Downtown

XFEST 2012  |  Music. Brews. Peace.

Harrah’s Plaza 2012
July 21, 2012 | 4pm – 10pm

$10 ENTRY FEE INCLUDES THREE TASTER TICKETS
Additional taster tickets can be purchased for $1 each
Proceeds benefit our favorite organization in the entire earth:
Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful

THE BANDS

Tim Snider
Whitney Myer Band
Jelly Bread

Tickets can be purchased at the plaza entrance the day of the event

THE BREWS

High Sierra Brewery
Sierra Nevada
B.J.’s Brewing
Great Basin Brewing Company
Silver Peak Brewing
Under Cover Ale Works


Click this link for the official XFEST 2012 Poster (in Adobe PDF)

Harrah’s Reno – Plaza
219 N. Center St. | Reno, NV 89501 | (775) 788-2900  | http://www.harrahsreno.com
Map to this location

 

Grow your own – UNCE Gardening Classes to take this summer

Coming this summer to a Cooperative Extension Office near you! Visit this site to learn all about this summer’s GROW YOUR OWN “back to basics guide to great harvests in Nevada”.

> Here’s a link to the brochure for the Grow Your Own class and price listing:  Summer Grow Your Own Brochure

They have outlets in all these Nevada cities:

  • Carson City
  • Elko
  • Gardnerville
  • Hawthorne
  • Logandale
  • Owyhee
  • Reno
  • Tonopah
  • Winnemucca
  • Yerington

Signature’s Landscape Olympics and Safety Day

Employees spend entire day reviewing, performing and learning landscape safety, ethics and skills.

From tree pruning to chainsaw safety, more than 75 Signature employees went thought the first annual Landscape Olympics and Safety Day.

Part of a thorough education program put on by award-winning safety professional, Jim Stanhouse, the day-long effort targeted teams in the field all day long.

Click to learn more about Signature Landscapes’ award winning safety program.

Signature Wins Best Safety Program at BANNer Awards

In 2007 the leadership of Signature Landscapes identified a number of strategies required to put our company mission and core values into action. With a full staff of 200-plus laborers working with dangerous tools and equipment every day, it was quickly decided substantial success would be achieved through the development and implementation of a robust, company-wide Safety Education and Enforcement program.

Specifically we wanted to address and provide credence to the two following:

1) Excerpt from our mission statement:
Providing innovative landscape solutions, enriching our community with service though valued and exceptional employees with a commitment to influential industry leadership.

2) Excerpt from our core values:

  1. Teamwork made up of exceptional employees with quality and pride in their work
  2. Create opportunity for personal, professional and company growth
  3. To have a profitable company to build value, and ensure our future
  4. Be the industry leader in all that we do

Fewer Accidents, Lower EMR (MOD rate), Lower Lost-Day Rates

> Constant safety message hits home the value of a Zero-Injury workplace


Our safety program is centered on two key areas: Accident Prevention and Safety Education.

Accident prevention is considered a primary importance in all phases of operation and administration. To ensure these goals are met, procedures have been put into place and are enforced daily since program inception.

Safety education comes in a variety of formats and frequencies. Due to the transient nature of our employee pool, a simple education program has paid off and safety continues to be a top training topic every season.  Each new topic is hand delivered weekly to every employee and followed up with a manager’s discussion and overview of the subject.

Topics are prioritized by historical recurrence as well as event driven. For example, just 18 months ago, a tragic accident occurred on a local freeway (not Signature related) where a couch flew off of a trailer only to cause a horrible accident and loss of life. The next business day our teams were instructed in the proper tie-down procedures for large loads.

Insurance-related claims have dropped 20%  and hospital visits due to accidents are down 45% since 2008. Automotive incidents have substantially decreased since the program launch. Employees can quickly reference any safety topic or procedure by reviewing a complete Safety Reference binder in each division’s ready-room. Signage is also posted around the building to alert and educate employees on key safety topics.

Nevada’s Cheatgrass Problem in Detail

The significant problem facing large communities this summer is the threat of Cheatgrass igniting in or near structures. Large swaths of the invasive species have raised fire dangers to critical levels over the years. It’s an easily ignited and fast-burning menace to public safety for communities near open spaces

As we all experienced this spring, we had and extremely dry entry into the summer season. It only takes a quick glance outside your window to see the effects this has on our landscapes – cheat grass everywhere you look. We’ve reposted a few main ideas here previously published by many universities and governmental organizations, including some information from the great Ed Smith, of the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension.

The cheatgrass invasion of vast areas of the West is uniquely intertwined with fire. Cheatgrass has increased the frequency and size of wildfires, and these fires have in turn allowed cheatgrass to expand its dominance.

Rangeland Ecolology & Management | March 2011


Cheatgrass
is one of the most notorious invasive species in the Truckee Meadows, causing dramatic and almost irreversible degradation of natural communities. As temperatures warm and cheatgrass growth rises… and the threat of enhanced fire activity rises right along with it.

It quickly colonizes disturbed arid lands and, once established, creates the conditions necessary for it to flourish. Growing quickly over the winter and dying after setting seed in early summer, cheatgrass leaves a dense cover of fine, highly flammable fuel. This abundance of fuel increases the frequency of fires, prevents the re-establishment of native plant species, and makes more space for cheatgrass. The cycle continues until large areas are covered with nothing but a cheatgrass monoculture.

Some level of cheatgrass presence may indeed be inevitable in the LTB, but ignoring the threat of further invasion and the factors that abet it could lead to serious ecosystem consequences. The most effective way to reduce the impact of invasive species is to identify new occurrences and eradicate them.

Predictive Modeling of Cheatgrass Invasion Risk for the Lake Tahoe | 10-2010

Cheatgrass typically completes its life cycle as a winter annual. It produces highly flammable standing dead biomass in early summer following seed production, greatly increasing the likelihood of subsequent fire.

Drier sites, especially those highly disturbed (e.g., close to roads and urban areas), were more suitable for cheatgrass than wetter, undisturbed sites. Quick action should be taken if cheatgrass establishment is documented.

Seed mortality is greatest with fires that burn while seeds are still attached to the plant, especially just before seed shatter in the summer. Removal of the grass before seeds begin to drop is always preferred.

Control and Management:

  • Manual cheatgrass control – Fire, mowing, grazing, tillage, and inter-seeding of competitive native plants have all been shown to reduce populations of cheatgrass.
  • Chemical cheatgrass control:  Cheatgrass can be effectively controlled using any of several professionally applied herbicides. But its effectiveness is limited by the environmental conditions during the cold early spring and early fall when pre-emergents should be applied, mainly lack of a suitable water supply to activate chemicals. This is when a competent landscape management company can really make a dent in the application of these herbicides.
It’s really about managing the threat. We’ve found a combination of labor, herbicides and time can effectively keep cheatgrass out of the large open areas near neighborhoods, schools and commercial buildings. As long as we’re constantly on top of the threat, we can one step closer to a FIRE-SAFE landscape.

Lebo Newman, Owner/Partner, Signature Landscapes

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