Christmas Decor Lights up the Nevada Humane Society for Lights of Love

The Nevada Humane Society facilities on Longley Lane are getting a total holiday makeover. Christmas Décor by Signature Landscapes has just finished installing over 10,000 lights on the building and trees in an effort to help kick off their 7th Annual Lights of Love community event.

Families are invited to join Nevada Humane Society this Saturday, December 7, for the first ever Lights of Love Holiday Tree Lighting! Featuring children from the Suzuki Music Association of Reno/Tahoe performing traditional holiday carols on violins, this family-friendly event is sure to warm your heart.

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Crews lift the tree base to the roof of the Nevada Humane Society

“We love to see our communities sparkling with colorful light and festive displays,” said Steven Fine of Christmas Decor. “What can be more joyous this time of year than the holidays coming alive with the magic of glittering lights while helping our animals find warm homes this winter?”

Live music begins at 4:30pm and UNR Wolf Pack Coach Brian Polian will light the tree at 5pm. Admission is free.

“This exciting event is a great way to kick off the holidays and raise awareness for homeless pets at the same time. As we feel especially connected to those we love around the holidays, our Lights of Love tree is being lit to bring light to those feelings,” said Kimberly Chandler, Communications Manager for Nevada Humane Society. “We also hope to celebrate those pets who are being adopted, and to reach people who are not familiar with our organization so that we may place even more pets into loving homes this holiday season.”

Lights of Love runs through January 1, featuring holiday lights in remembrance and honor of beloved pets. A light may be lit for a $10 donation, which benefits homeless pets at Nevada Humane Society.

 

 

 

 

Wonders of Winter Care – Tips and Tricks

Hello Northern Nevada! Winter is on our doorstep with snow coming soon. In the meantime, there’s still some nice weekends ahead to enjoy being outside while catching up on a few remaining landscape chores.

Snow on top of leaves is a mess

Wet leaves take time to dry out, become heavy and even slimy. It will save you time and trouble in the long run if your yard is covered (again!) with leaves, to deal with them before it snows. For leaves on the lawn, a smart move is to mulch them with a mulching lawn mower. The fragments left behind are good nutrition for the lawn.

In bed areas, you’ll also be ahead of the game by raking most of the leaves out. Work especially at cleaning out ground cover.

Storm damage is more likely to occur on trees that haven't yet dropped all their leaves. 

Tree care tips for when it snows

Storm damage is more likely to occur on trees that haven’t yet dropped all their leaves. The snow mounts on them, weighs down the branches and they can break. Many trees – particularly pear, crab apple and honeylocust – which still have a lot of leaves are in this susceptible category.

If you see snow accumulating and you can reach branches on smaller trees, use a broom handle to gently shake limbs so snow falls off. Start on the lowest branches. Otherwise, snow falling from higher onto lower branches just adds to their snow load that leads to breakage.

Don’t forget evergreens. Even though they stand tall winter after winter, in very heavy snows, their branches can also break. Keep an eye on them during heavy snows and shake their branches as well.

It's always best to have broken, ripped limbs pruned back with a clean cut.

Prune to prevent more storm damage and decay

High winds have already broken limbs in many areas this fall.  It’s always best to have broken, ripped limbs pruned back with a clean cut. Otherwise, torn limbs can invite pests and disease. This is one time when having an arborist, who really knows trees, do the work pays off for the long term.

Also be aware of “hangers” – limbs that may be damaged but are still “hanging by a thread.” They could fall at any time to damage property or injure people. Look up and play it safe.

What not to prune

Shrubs that flower early in the spring have already set the buds that will become pretty flowers. Avoid pruning lilac, dogwood, forsythia, viburnum and spirea in the fall as you will see fewer flowers next spring.

Remember the sprinkler system
If you have not yet winterized the sprinkler system, don’t delay. Freezing temps are ahead! Our guys can help you out in a pinch. Call Julie at (775) 827-5296 for a technician to drop by and take care of your system.

Homebuilders association recognizes top builders, projects | nnbw.com

Signature is a proud winner of a BANNer Awards Trophy this year! Thanks to everyone at the Builders Association of Northern Nevada who helped put on an incredible event this Friday!

  • Outdoor Lifestyle AwardSingle family residence: Signature Landscapes, Enloe Residence.
  • Most outstanding subcontractor: Signature Landscape (nominated by KDH Builders/Jenuane Communities).

via Homebuilders association recognizes top builders, projects | nnbw.com.

A Green Christmas Tree – How Green Is It?

This year, the gap between Thanksgiving and traditional Christmas is a narrow one. Many of us will be hauling out the holiday décor even before we get into turkey day leftovers.

Before you hang the wreath or follow-up on that deal of the week to buy the pre-lit tree, think about greener options that might work for you this year.

Natural or artificial tree?

Cutting down a perfectly shaped Christmas tree to deck out for two weeks and then send to the trash heap sounds like an insult to Mother Nature. Isn’t it logical that using the same artificial tree year in and year out saves trees, keeps debris out of the landfill and is the best way to live green at the holidays? Compelling logic, but there’s more to the story.

Need help with holiday lights or other seasonal landscape chores? Enjoy a professional holiday decoration consultation with our brilliant experts at Christmas Decor! Call us at (775) 827-5296 or visit our Virtual Holiday Showroom at http://www.christmasdecorreno.com


While a pre-lit tree is tempting, you will go greener with a real tree. Here’s why:

  • An artificial tree must be used for 20 years to have a lower carbon footprint than a natural tree.
  • Grown trees produce oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide the entire time they are growing.
  • One acre of Christmas trees on a farm produces enough oxygen to support 18 people.
  • Trees from tree farms are grown sustainably – for every tree cut down, 2 to 3 more seedlings are planted.
  • Natural trees are recycled by most cities, so they don’t have to end up in the landfill. They are ground into mulch that is used for hiking trails, gardens and other purposes.

Tips for selecting and caring for a natural tree:

  • Pinch and sniff. Pinch a needle to check for freshness. When you smell a rich fragrance, that’s the sign of a fresh tree.
  • Remove a needle and bend it. If it snaps like a carrot, the tree is fresh.
  • Before putting the tree in a stand, cut off at least an inch at the base of the trunk. This new cut will allow the tree to absorb water.
  • Water regularly. The stand for large trees should hold at least one gallon of water. Check the stand daily and refill the water to keep the tree fresh.

Sustainable lighting for trees and garlands
A natural tree doesn’t always work for everyone. So if you still need to get the most out of the artificial tree you already have, make your sustainable step this year to replace worn-out lights with the new LEDs.

Here are good reasons to replace worn out lights with LEDs:

  • Safety: LED lights do not get hot like conventional lights to create a fire hazard or scorch plants.
  • Fewer outlets required: You can string a few dozen strands of LEDS end to end and plug the whole line into one extension cord connected to one power outlet without blowing the circuit.
  • Less power: LEDs use up to 90% less power than conventional holiday lights.
  • Longer life: LEDs last 4-5 times longer than conventional lights.
  • Sustainable facts: LEDs require less energy and because they need to be replaced less often, less material is used over the long term.

 

 

Winter Lawn Care Tips

As you know, lawns in Northern Nevada go dormant for the winter. Here are a few tips on what you can do to prepare:

  • Get the lawn as clean as possible. Excess leaves and debris can cause long term problems including disease and smoothing of grass. A heavy covering of leaves does not protect your lawn. Instead, once it snows those leaves trap moisture and prevent the lawn from being able to breathe.
  • Do not change the last few lawn mowing levels, and keep mowing until the grass is no longer growing. Leaving the grass too long over the winter can cause the same kind of problems as leaves on the lawn.
  • Heavy traffic should be kept to a minimum as much as possible. The wear and tear on dormant grass from heavy traffic can cause long term damage, and may prevent those areas from greening up in the spring
  • Winter weather in the Truckee Meadows can be very unpredictable. If we have heavy snow fall, ice can develop under the snow causing diseases such as snow mold.  If this happens, allow these areas to breath by changing traffic patterns over the snow packed area.
  • Salts and other ice melting agents can do serious damage to grass. You should only use ice melting materials when needed.
  • Mites are a grave threat to lawns even when parts of the lawn are covered in snow. South and west facing areas are often times free and clear of snow even as the rest of the lawn is covered in snow. These are the areas mites hit. A combination of winter watering and winter mite sprays can prevent costly damage which becomes visible when it warms up in spring.
  • Finally, voles can cause damage to lawns under snow. ‘Trails’ in the lawn that lead back to a common point are a sure sign of vole activity. For vole or mite control please contact Signature Landscapes pest control team. We have affordable options to protect valuable landscapes during the winter

Snow Mold in Northern Nevada Lawns

What is snow mold?

Snow mold is a fungal disease that appears in the early spring as the snow melts. There are two types of snow mold. Grey snow mold (also known as Typhula blight) and pink snow mold (sometimes referred to as Fusarium patch). Pink snow mold infects the crown of the plant and can cause more severe injury than gray snow mold which only infects the leaf tissue.

To minimize the risk of snow mold occurring on the lawn it is important to "put the lawn to bed" properly.

What does it look like?

Snow mold damage looks like circular patches (3″-12″) of dead and matted grass. Depending on the severity of the outbreak, the circles can coalesce and become a large mass. It is not uncommon to find both gray and pink snow mold together.

Pink snow mold is distinguished by the pink color of the web-like mycelium growing on the grass surface. While the grass is wet, the mycelium starts out white and resembles cobwebs, as it matures it turns its pink or salmon color. The mycelium quickly disappears as the grass dries.

Gray snow mold is similar to pink snow mold except that its mycelium remains whitish-gray. Gray snow mold is also distinguished by the presence of tiny black mycelial masses (sclerotia) on the grass blades and leaf sheaths of infected plants which pink snow mold does not produce.

What causes snow mold?

Snow mold is caused when there is an extended period of snow cover on ground that is not completely frozen. It can also be brought on by a badly timed fertilizer application which causes a flush of growth too late in the fall. Snow mold can also occur under leaves that have not been cleaned up or amongst long grass that should have been mowed once more before winter set in.

How is snow mold prevented?

Avoid excessive nitrogen fertilizers in the fall, mow the lawn until it stops growing, clean up leaves in the fall, manage thatch to avoid accumulations of more than 2″

How do I repair snow mold damage?

Fungicides are available for both preventive and curative treatments of snow mold. However, they are not recommended due to the largely superficial and temporary damage snow mold inflicts on the lawn.

Although it can look really nasty in the early spring, most snow mold damage will recover in time. Once the area has dried, the infection will cease and the turf will grow out and renew itself. To speed up the process, the infected area can be lightly raked to encourage drying. Some overseeding may be necessary and if the damage is extremely severe, topdressing can be applied and areas can be repaired like a bare patch.

 

Article produced by Kelly Burke at About.com

Signature Landscapes Sweeps Top Awards At Nevada Landscape Association Gala

Local landscaper, Signature Landscapes, was the recipient of the most prestigious award for Northern Nevada landscapers; the President’s Award, for their work at the renowned Schaffer’s Mill Sports Complex in Truckee, California. Receiving the award during the Nevada Landscape Association’s annual award gala, was Tim Laskowski, construction manager for the landscape contractor.

"It’s been an extremely busy year for Signature, and this award really goes out to our guys who put their blood, sweat and tears in this property," said Laskowski. "And to win for such an incredibly beautiful building, it makes it that much more satisfying."

Signature’s installation team was responsible for all aspects of hardscape (paver and stonework) around the entire complex including the pool area and the extensive labyrinth of pathways throughout the 7.4-acre clubhouse village. The complex includes a pool, hot springs bathing area, several restaurants, a sports shop, large fitness center and Schaffer’s Square, a community gathering spot.

The company’s work for the sports complex was also recognized for several other outstanding awards. Signature was awarded 1st Place for the Hardscape Installation category;  receiving a perfect 10 on the scoring chart – an achievement rarely seen in the award’s history.

The Schaffer’s Mill work also received the Environmental Award for acute awareness for building water efficient and environmentally balanced landscapes that do not sacrifice the quality of the design nor the quality of life for the project overall.

Finally, the company also took home the Large Commercial Installation for the project.

“We’ve never seen one of our projects sweep the top of the field like the Schaffer’s Mill project,” said Laskowski. “It’s a testament to every facet of our installation team, from our guys in the trenches to the managers running the big picture, they really stepped up and took this landscape to heart!”

Signature Landscapes was the recipient of several other awards at the event such as their first place work for Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center, and a number of residential homes. The company was awarded the President’s Trophy last year for their work on the large Shakespeare Ranch property in Glenbrook, Tahoe.

 

2013 NEVADA LANDSCAPE ASSOCIATION AWARDS for Signature Landscapes

  1. Presidents Award: Schaffer’s Mill Sports Complex
  2. Environmental Award: Schaffer’s Mill Sports Complex
  3. Large Commercial InstallationSchaffer’s Mill Sports Complex
  4. 1st Place Hardscape Installation: (perfect 10) Schaffer’s  Mill Sports Complex
  5. Large Commercial Installation: Lyon County Detention Facility
  6. 1st Place Large Commercial Maintenance: Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center
  7. 1st Place Large Residential Installation: Enloe Residence – ALSO OUTDOOT LIFESTYLE AWARD WINNER for The 2013 BANNer Awards!
  8. 3rd Place Large Commercial Maintenance: Reno Corporate Center
  9. 2nd Place Medium Commercial Maintenance: Sandhill Business Center
  10. 1st Place Small Residential Installation: Lumsden Residence

CHRISTMAS DÉCOR IS HONORING MILITARY FAMILIES WITH ITS ANNUAL DECORATED FAMILY PROGRAM

This holiday season, Christmas Decor by Signature Landscapes will be bringing a little extra holiday spirit into the homes of military families with its annual Decorated Family Program.

The deadline for nominations is December 11th. Log on nominate a decorated family today: http://www.christmasdecorreno.com 


With more than 10,000 Nevadans deployed overseas this holiday season, local families across the Truckee Meadows are facing their own challenges of preparing for the holidays without their loved ones. Christmas Décor by Signature Landscapes has stepped in to light up the homes of the families of these brave men and women. Each holiday, Signature Landscapes’ donates products, resources and time to decorate the homes of local military families as part of the Decorated Family Program.

 

Signature Decorates Soldier’s Home


Video Description: The Christmas Decor by Signature Landscapes team decorated the home of a local military family this season while dad was away in Afghanistan. This video show mom and her two kids coming home with a giant surprise! What a wonderful evening!

Why Do Leaves Turn Different Colors?

Leaves are loaded with chlorophyll, which makes them green. But all green plants also carry a set of chemicals called carotenoids. On their own, these look yellow or orange – carotenoids give color to corn and carrots, for example – but they’re invisible beneath the chlorophyllic green of a leaf for most of the year.

In the fall, when the leaves are nearing the end of their life cycle, the chlorophyll breaks down, and the yellow-orange is revealed.

“The color of a leaf is subtractive, like crayons on a piece of paper,” says David Lee, formerly of Florida International University, who has studied leaf color since 1973.

Most trees have evolved to produce a different set of chemicals, called anthocyanins, when it’s bright and cold in autumn. These have a reddish tint and are responsible for the color of a blueberry. They’re also sometimes made in newly sprouting leaves, which explains their sometimes reddish tint. Where chlorophyll and anthocyanins coexist, the color of a leaf may run to bronze, as in ash trees. At high enough concentrations, anthocyanins will make a leaf look almost purple, as in Japanese maples.

More drab autumn colors form as leaves really die and complete the breakdown of the chloroplasts. When they’re all dried out, the pigments link up together into what Lee calls a “brownish gunk.”

Have a burning horticultural question you’d like us to answer, email Steve Fine, at steve@siglands.com.

This article originally appeared in the November 2013 issue of Popular Science.

 

What’s the Deal with Fall Turf Aeration?

Why does Signature Landscapes believe so strongly in lawn aeration?

After proper watering, Aerating is the single most important thing you can do for a healthy lawn. Aeration promotes root growth and reduces water usage by getting oxygen and H20 into the root zone. Aerated soil will endure drought stress, fill in bare spots faster and resist insect and disease attack too.

LEARN MORE >

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