Here at Greenscape we place an extremely high value on the culture that we foster and core values we possess. We focus heavily on our commitment to our employees, commitment to our clients, and commitment to the organization as a whole. Ensuring our employees have access to training & education is paramount for their upward mobility as well as the growth of the company. We sat down with Greenscape employees from various roles and heard first hand what makes the environment truly feel like a family. Check out the video below to hear their compelling stories!
A MAJOR SNOW SEASON is no excuse for not having
A WINNING CURB APPEAL
As we are approaching what we hope is the end of what has proven to be a difficult winter in terms of snowfall and the adverse affects of that snowfall, my colleagues and I have decided to put ourselves in your shoes. If you are receiving this communication, it is because you are somehow involved in the development of, direct or third party management of, ownership of or simply interested in the grounds surrounding corporate, commercial, industrial, municipal or institutional facilities. We’ve brainstormed and came up with the top five topics that we thought you as owners and managers might be grappling with.
1. Property and grounds
The visible and invisible damage that occurs on your property as a result of snow and ice control. This ranges from broken trees, branches, shrubs and damaged signage to excessive sand, compaction and turf damage caused by snow removal equipment and stockpiled snow.
With snow budgets blown and landscape budgets being stripped, how can we meet the expectations of curb appeal that our clients and tenants demand?
3. Clients, tenants and employees
Morale is low and patience is being tested. Parking spaces are a premium (and not just on city streets). With snow piles mounting, visibility is diminished and the simple trip from their vehicle to the building has become a gauntlet of snowbanks. Now more than ever people simply want the inconveniences to be eliminated.
Normally, we can expect to see signs of transitioning from winter into spring. By mid-March we start to see the familiar signs of spring clean-ups and mulch being applied on our properties. At a time when we most need those signs of spring, the clean up schedules are going to be impacted by lingering snow banks and excessively wet ground.
5. Vendor relations
The true measure of a relationship is measured under stress. Has this snow season revealed strength and depth or capacity and communication deficiencies in your vendors? What levels are acceptable and what are the true costs of such failures and value of successes?
The good news is that none of these challenges are new. Those of us who have been in this business for twenty years or more have seen this cycle several times before and we will surely see it again. With thoughtful planning and prioritization, you can take control of these conditions and drive the outcome that you want. We are all largely in the same boat and those of us that plan properly will be clear winners in the battle for curb appeal and balanced budgets.
For those who may not have the experience, make sure to reach out to your landscape professionals to help you sort through the competing needs. If you don’t have a comfort level with your service provider, Greenscape employs certified experts in most of these areas. We would be happy to sit down with you and help you put together a plan free of charge that you can implement. Click here firstname.lastname@example.org to send us an email, or if you prefer, give us a call at 508-977-9100 and ask for Jon.
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By: Jon Ciffolillo
We’ve all heard the phrase “There’s no time like the present”, and it couldn’t be more relevant when it comes to our blog topic this month: Pruning! While some believe pruning should be performed only during the fall season or after your plants & trees have bloomed- in many cases pruning is a practice that can be employed year-round. Our team here at Greenscape has been meticulously pruning properties and would love to share some tips & insights with you.
What is Pruning & Why?
Pruning is the act of trimming or thinning the branches and foliage that collectively create the form and structure of plants, shrubs, and trees. The intended result is to keep them looking aesthetically appealing as well as strong, healthy and safe. Keep in mind you should not prune more than 1/3 of a tree or shrub at a time. In the most basic and most functional pruning you would begin by removing damaged or dead stems and branches. After you have gotten rid of the dead foliage, next look for any branches that may be rubbing or crossing each other as these will pose a problem in the future, remove the less dominant branch or less aesthetically pleasing. It is important to remove any new growth that has sprouted around the base of the trunk (often referred to as sucker growth) and also along the branches themselves that shoot up vertically, referred to as water sprout. In addition, be mindful of new buds that may impact the look of the tree or shrub come spring time. When training some of our newer staff, we try to keep it simple and stick to the basics;
Tips During the Winter Months
-Great time for reduction pruning to maintain form of tree or shrub
-Pruning on dry and moderate days are the best for the plant
-Remove dead or damaged stems or branches
-Carefully remove overgrown branches or rubbing and crossing branches- increasing airflow and light exposure to the tree.
-Make sure to not remove the strong & healthy branches which hold your plants structure.
-Cut as close to the node as possible and at an angle to maintain the beauty and health of the plant.
-Keep your equipment clean. Disease is often spread by improperly maintaining and cleaning blades. If you are pruning a known diseased or infected tree or shrub you should clean the blades after each cut not to spread.
By employing the correct techniques and the proper, well maintained equipment, your plants will be well on their way to creating healthy & strong limbs, as well as beautiful lush foliage. If you’d like our professionals to take a look at your property please reach out!
When determining your landscape budget there are a multitude of factors to keep in mind. The main goal is to identify those components and employ a strategic approach that will best suit your property and it’s needs. Too often managers use a generic proposal, or an outdated scope of work for multiple properties that have very different needs. A one–size fits all approach is not only inefficient, it can produce lower quality results.
Greenscape aspires to attract and retain the most talented and dedicated employees available in whatever markets we compete. To that end, we have developed internally a very comprehensive employee reward program with which we can both encourage and reward the behaviors that allow us to remain best in class. We like to think that those who interact with Greenscape professionals notice the difference. Beyond our spontaneous rewards for excellence, we maintain monthly, quarterly and annual awards throughout all of our locations. Still, from time to time, one employee rises to the top in exemplary fashion. This employee is recognized both internally and externally with our “Employee Spotlight".
Mother Nature can be unpredictable, especially in New England. For a business whose winter livelihood relies mainly on snow removal, the volatility of the winter months can wreak havoc on business plans and business relationships. How a business deals with this volatility is a pretty good indicator of their expertise and professionalism. There are countless ways to combat and plan ahead for these ever-changing conditions. Whether you have a responsibility to your direct employees or to a third party, having the strategic foresight and simultaneous adaptability will ensure success at your property.
Finally, we can all agree that winter is merely a distant memory. The spring clean ups are wrapping up, curbing and irrigation heads that were damaged from snow plows have been repaired, and we are on to the next phase. Despite the seasonal challenges of New England weather, landscaping crews are finally settling into the regular routine of landscape service. Now is a time of year when it becomes vitally important to be assessing your landscape.
We could tell from the first day of laying the bluestone patio in the fall of 2016, this property was going to be a special one. The full-scale project was one we became exceedingly passionate about as we continued to see the remarkable progress take shape. “The Domain” in Foxborough, an apartment community developed, owned and managed by Hanover Companies is a beautiful 248-unit luxury apartment community stretching across 5 buildings and set in a tranquil area with convenient access to two major highways. Despite having completed several such projects with the Hanover Company, the excitement and passion that Greenscape enjoys by teaming with a company like Hanover to deliver such a high-end product both on schedule and on budget never gets old. This is the type of project and teamwork that keeps us passionate about what we do every day.
Springtime has long been associated with change in New England. Besides the changing of the clocks and the obvious changes that begin to take place in nature around us, it also tends to be a time when discerning property owners and managers tend to at least consider a change in landscape contractors. Coincidentally, it is often a time when the most skilled landscapers consider changing companies depending upon whether or not they feel they are getting the best return for the expertise and talent that they bring to work every day. Ironically, both the buyers of the service and the front line providers of the service are confronted with the same question although from quite different perspectives. How do they know that they have teamed with the most competent and forward thinking landscape company; a company that is able to train and retain the best crews and managers? A company that both appreciates and rewards those professionals that put the time in to be the best they can be. How can they be sure? In a word, training.
When it comes to landscape maintenance, every property can be vastly different. The scope of work ranges significantly and dramatically depending on the situation and unlimited amounts of varying factors involved. However, despite the disparity, clients oftentimes find themselves looking at a proposal that may be nearly identical to one from another property. Different layout and design, different budget, different needs, yet... uncannily similar proposal. Unfortunately, a one-size fits all approach is not only inefficient, it can also be ineffective in accomplishing quality results.
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