Temperatures are finally warming up and Spring is right around the corner! With this change in seasons comes changes in the landscape of your HOA community or commercial property and it is important to properly prepare the plant and tree materials for the upcoming warmer weather.
January/February marks the kickoff to Spring here in Arizona and is the perfect time to begin fertilizing Citrus Trees in your landscape. Citrus Trees, like many fruit bearing tree species, are heavy feeders so it is important to their health and fruit bloom that they receive the proper fertilization and water prior to their full bloom. Amount of fertilizer recommended to use varies depending on size and age of the tree. When buying your fertilzier it is a good idea to refer to the back of the package to find proper amounts to use for your tree. We have also included a chart that details recommended amount by the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension which you can access here.
When it comes to applying the fertilizer to Citrus Trees, you can do it one of two ways. One way to go about this process is to purchase a spray fertilizer which you would spray directly on the leaves of the tree. The other option is to spread fertilizer on the ground near the tree. When applying fertilizer via the ground it is important to spread the fertilzier from the tree to the length of the canopy, avoiding placing fertilizer directly on or near the trunk of the tree.
Finally, due to the dry climate that we have here in the desert southwest it is crucial to the health of the trees to water them thoroughly following the application of fertilizer. This ensures that they get the water they need to utilize the fertilizer in a way that will promote bloom and growth.
ELS has an entire division dedicated to Arbor Care, complete with SLM certified arbor professionals. Request a bid for your next arbor project!
Trees are an important asset to any HOA community or commercial property as they provide a number of benefits including adding economic value to a property, energy savings, carbon dioxide capture, and shade production for the surrounding landscape. When it comes to tree management, it is important to find certified professionals who are able to keep these amazing assets maintained.
Certified arborists are trained individuals who understand the ins and outs of tree care and can perform all of the necessary steps of installing and maintaining a tree to maturity. When looking for a certified arborist to trust with your community’s largest asset it is important to consider the certifications that your arbor contractor holds as well as their education and reputation as tree experts.
Arborists should be trained in the planting, pruning, removal, and maintenance of trees. Their job goes far beyond the installation of trees in a community and reaches out to maintaining the health and structure of the tree into maturity.
Planting: Arbor care professionals may plant or transition trees from nursery to a new site. It is not uncommon to have different companies install and maintain the trees. However, companies that offer a wholesale nursery or other service to provide trees while also offering arbor care are a great way to go to get the job done from start to finish.
Pruning: The ultimate goal of tree pruning is to maintain a healthy and structurally sound tree that grows naturally into its mature size. Your arborist should be pruning only when these goals are not being met or when there is a need caused by external factors. Common tree pruning purposes include the removal of tree limbs or foilage due to (or to prevent from) storm damage, seasonal pruning, pruning to keep the tree from obstructing walkways, structures and streets, and removal of branches that may cause a safety hazard to others or to the tree itself.
Removal: Tree removal is inevitable over time and needs to be done carefully so as not to harm the overall landscape. Certified arborists should be able to help you understand when the correct time is to remove a tree and provide you with a plan for the removal as well as reason. Reasons for tree removals can range but typically include the changing of a certain species of tree, death of a tree, risk, and a tree outgrowing that area in which it was planted.
It is important to have a professional perform any tree removals to ensure safety of everyone in the community.
Maintenance: Maintenance of trees includes all of the above steps as well as emergency tree services, disease control, fertilization and soil management, and more. In finding a company to provide these services and maintain your landscape it is a good idea to go with a comprehensive company that has divisions dedicated to both Arbor and overall maintenance.
Here at ELS, we have five divisions dedicated to ensuring that all of your landscape needs are met. Check them out here.
As a community manager or board member for an HOA community it is important to ensure that the maintenance company you choose for your community is keeping lines of communication open with you and your board. Important questions to ask yourself when considering if a company is right for YOUR community are:
Is my HOA maintenance company transparent in what they are doing in my community and when?
How is my HOA maintenance company communicating with me and my homeowners? Is their current method effective?
What can my HOA maintenance company do when it comes to communication to make my job easier?
While there are other factors to take into consideration as well, communication between landscape company and community plays a vital role in establishing a long lasting and mutually beneficial relationships.
Blog posts are a great way for HOA maintenance companies to keep communication open and touch on certain topics that require longer explanations and detail to properly explain. Regular and consistent blog posts by an HOA maintenance company helps to answer frequently asked questions from homeowners and board members as well as to educate the community on industry standards. Blog posts should be easily accessible and shareable so that you, as a community manager, can send them out en masse. This helps mitigate an influx of homeowner questions and/or complaints for various landscape events that may happen in a community each season.
Utilizing blog posts as a resource to send to disgruntled or confused homeowners saves time, shows authority as an informative manager, and helps educate the homeowner.
Monthly Community Newsletters
Community newsletters are one of the BEST resources a maintenance company can supply when it comes to keeping communication open between community manager, board, and homeowners. These newsletters create a space where everyone can feel up to date on what is happening and holds the company to a level of accountability as all tasks that they should be completing are outlined in the newsletters.
We recommend releasing supplied newsletters (newsletters your HOA maintenance company creates and sends to you) monthly for large communities. A strong and effective newsletter will have one section dedicated to projects and events for the current month and another, separate section, dedicated to upcoming projects and events later that season. This allows for everyone to be on the same page and tells homeowners what they can expect from the HOA maintenance company.
Here at ELS, we release monthly newsletters for over 15 of our largest communities. This has decreased the amount of questions and emails that community managers receive and has increased satisfaction among homeowners, board, and managers.
Managers and Staff at Important Meetings
The presence of your HOA maintenance company at important meetings with the community is crucial to ensuring that all questions and concerns regarding landscape are addressed. A company that is not willing to attend these meetings is a company that is not willing to communicate. Building relationships with the community, attending all important meetings, and showing up plays a huge role in the overall success of the community and company.
While communication may not be on the top of the priority list when looking for a new HOA maintenance company for your community, we believe it should be. Here at ELS we value effective and strong communication with community managers, board members, and homeowners just as much as we value a job well done out on the field.