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Fire-Safe 2017: Defending Your Home Against Wildfires

Posted on July 03, 2017 by James Florence

This year’s ample rain brought relief from the longstanding drought, but its deferred aftereffects have many California residents feeling an opposite sentiment. Following a profusion of spring growth, the onset of summer heat has transformed the landscape’s verdant splendor into a dry tinder, setting the stage for what fire authorities predict to be a harsh wildfire season. So far, this forecast appears to be accurate: According to a recent CNBC report, as of June 24, the amount of California acreage burned by wildfires is up threefold compared to this time in 2016.

While most of the fires thus far have taken place in Southern California, the state’s northern regions have an equally incendiary potential, Read more

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Posted in: Fire Prevention
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Video: Proper Tree Pruning

Posted on May 11, 2017 by James Florence

Earlier this week, we posted an article featuring expert tips on tree care, including irrigation, disease prevention and maintenance. One of the aspects mentioned was pruning, a crucial maintenance measure that, unfortunately, is often performed improperly. To gain some insight into correct pruning procedure, watch this informative video by Diamond Certified Expert Contributor Laural Roaldson, owner of Laural Landscapes, Inc.

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Diamond Certified Experts: Tree Care 101

Posted on May 09, 2017 by James Florence

Despite being the largest of all plants, trees are surprisingly easy to overlook. Maybe it’s because their serene, stationary disposition causes them to blend in with their surroundings; maybe we just don’t look up often enough. Either way, like any plant, trees require water, nutrition and ongoing maintenance, so it’s important to take care of the ones on your property. To learn about some tree care basics, we’re joined by six Diamond Certified Expert Contributors in the tree service and landscaping fields. Read more

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Posted in: Diamond Certified Experts, Landscaping Tips
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Tip Sheet: Five Guidelines for Gardening

Posted on March 02, 2017 by James Florence

Following the heavy (and much needed) rainfall of the past winter, gardening enthusiasts in the Bay Area can look forward to a bounty of opportunities come spring. In addition to the finer points involved in planting flowers and crops, here are some basic guidelines to consider for optimizing your gardening experience.

Plan for all seasons. While many assume gardening is only for the spring and summer, if you plan correctly, you can keep yours looking beautiful through the fall and winter seasons as well.

Remember, plants grow. A common mistake gardeners make is installing plants that don’t fit within the schemes of their gardens. Don’t be a victim of “cute in a gallon can” syndrome—just because a particular plant looks good at the nursery, Read more

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Posted in: Landscaping Tips
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A Room of One’s Own: How to Create Your Own She Shed

Posted on October 18, 2016 by Suzanne Carroll

Why does it seem that every time you sit down, you get interrupted? The phone rings, the kids start fighting, your spouse can’t find the remote…inside our own homes, we can feel like we’re constantly forced to multitask or put someone else’s needs before our own. But what if there was a place where everything was different: a room of your own, made just the way you like it? Imagine a place where you could enjoy a respite from the distractions of daily life or pursue a hobby that brings you joy. And wouldn’t it be perfect if this room was just a few steps from your back door? If this sounds like a tempting proposition, Read more

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Posted in: Uncategorized, Consumers, Home Tips, Home Improvement
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How to Protect Your Property from a Landslide

Posted on September 29, 2016 by Suzanne Carroll

If you think your property is at risk:

  1. Learn about the history of your property. Areas that have experienced landslides in the past are likely to experience them again. Your city may keep records of past landslides, and you can also try this landslide inventory-mapping tool (in beta) from the California Department of Conservation.
  2. Hire a professional to evaluate the drainage on your property. You may need to build channels to deflect flow around buildings. Be aware: you are responsible for damage to neighboring properties caused by water diverted from your own.
  3. Plant ground cover on slopes—the root networks can help stabilize hilly areas.
  4. Consider hiring a professional to build a retaining wall.
  5. Read more

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Posted in: Home Tips, Landscaping Tips
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Industry Organization Spotlight: California Landscape Contractors Association

Posted on May 31, 2016 by James Florence

CLCA-LogoThe California Landscape Contractors Association (CLCA) is a nonprofit trade organization dedicated to promoting the statewide landscaping industry and its associated causes. In addition to licensed landscape and landscape-related contractors, the organization’s 3,200 members include public officials, educators and students.

CLCA’s stated mission is “to serve and protect the interests of its members, promote professionalism, and advance public awareness of the landscape industry.” Read more

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Posted in: Industry Organization Spotlight
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