December 31, 2010

It’s A Wrap! Landscape Design/Build Projects in 2010

Filed under: On Site Construction Projects — admin @ 11:04 am

Live Oak Landscape Contractors would like to thank all of our wonderful clients for giving us the opportunity to work with you in creating the landscape of your dreams…..here are some pictures taken in 2010 and if you want to see more of the projects, just scroll down the pages to see past and present projects.  We will have many projects in 2011 to share with you!DSCN3643DSCN4027DSCN4295

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December 30, 2010

Buy Local Firewood to Avoid Invasive Insects

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 10:07 am

emerald ash borerWe hope that you might have read the article in today’s The Start-Ledger, Home and Garden section by Kimberly L. Jackson.  Her article  talks about stacked wood for burning possibly harboring insect pests such as the emerald ash borer, a small but deadly metallic-green bug from Asia that has been feasting on trees across the Northeast.  Leigh Greenwood, who manages the “Don’t Move Firewood” campaign notes that 35 percent of firewood sold in the US is brought in from another location citing Canada, Eastern European countries and Mexico among sources.  She also says that because firewood looks dry and clean, that does not mean it is pest free.  There could be microscopic eggs or fungal sports that cannot be seen.  In essence, both authors recommend buying local wood within 50 miles of your home. 

Historically, the wood-borne pathogens chestnight blights and Dutch elm disease, which wiped out American chestnuts and elms, first arrived in the US on lumber, shpping crates and/or nursery stock.

southern pine beetlesouthern pine beetle damageSouthern Pine Beetle and damage to trees.

Websites to visit are:  Dontmovefirewood.org, beetlebusters.info and nature.org for pictures of invasive forest pests and helpful information on preventing their spread  The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service also has pest trackers and other information about pest threats at aphis.usda.gov/hungrypests.


December 15, 2010

House Plants Help Clean Indoor Air

Filed under: Trees, Shrubs & Plants — admin @ 2:27 pm

Live Oak Landscape Contractors want to keep our clients informed on many subjects.  We thought you might be interested in this timely topic: NASA research has consistently shown that living, green and flowering plants can remove several toxic chemicals from the air in building interiors. You can use plants in your home or office to improve the quality of the air to make it a more pleasant place to live and work – where people feel better, perform better, any enjoy life more.

Based on preliminary evaluations of the use of common indoor plants for indoor air purification and revitalization a study using about a dozen popular varieties of houseplants was done to determine their effectiveness in removing several key pollutants associated with indoor air pollution. 

NASA research on indoor plants found that living plants are so efficient at absorbing contaminants in the air that some will be launched into space as part of the biological life support system aboard future orbiting space stations. 

english ivyEnglish Ivy- this hearty climbing vine thrives in small spaces.  It also fares well in rooms with little sun.  Its dense foliage excels at absorbing formaldehyde, the most prevalent indoor pollutant which shows up in wood floorboard resins and synthetic carpet dyes.

Peace Lily- Among the few air purifers that flowers, peace lilies adapt well to low light but need weekly watering.  This year around bloomer rids the air of the VOC benzene, a carcinogen found in paints, furniture wax and polishers.  It also sucks up acetone, which is emitted by electronic, adhesives and certain cleaners.peace lily

lady palmLady Palm -this simple to grow tree like species, lady palms feature oversize fan-like leaves.   Easy on the eyes, this plant targets ammonia, an enemy of the respiratory system and a major ingredient in some cleaners, textiles and dyes.

Please read Dr. Bill Wolverton’s book How to Grow Fresh Air: 50 Houseplants to Purify Your Home or Office


December 12, 2010

Poisonous Holiday Plants and Pets

Filed under: Trees, Shrubs & Plants — admin @ 2:25 pm

Bright ornamental plants are a great way to dress up the house during the holidays and a dreary winter.Live Oak Landscape Contractors want to make  pet owners be aware, however, that many of these common plants are poisonous to pets.

Toxicity  ranges from mild to severe and the amount of the plant consumed determines how sick a pet may become.  In general, gastrointestinal upset is the most common finding but if enough plant material is ingested, seizures, coma or death is possible.  Below is a quick tip to familiarize yourself with holiday poisonous plants.

Puppies and kittens, naturally curious, may want to sample some of the new-in-the-house greens.  Dose is size-dependent, so puppies and kittens are most often at greatest risk for plant poisoning.

pointsettiaPoinsettias- Most people associate this beautiful holiday plant with extreme toxicity, but this is not entirely true.  The sap of poinsettias is considered to be mildly toxic/irritating and will probably cause nausea or vomiting, but not death.  It  is better to err on the side of caution, though, and keep pets away from this plant.

hollymistletoeMistletoe and Holly – A couple of holiday plants are considered to be moderately to severely toxic and you should call your veterinarian or poison control center immediately for specific advice.

amaryllisLilies and Daffodils- Additionally, plant bulb kits featuring amaryllis and other plant family in the lily family, narcissus and other plants in the daffodil family are popular gift items at this time of year.  Pet owners should be aware that these plants are toxic to pets, sometimes with severe symptoms of gastrointestinal signs, cardiac arrhythmia and tremors and convulsions.

christmas treesChristmas Tree – Christmas trees are considered to be mildly toxic.  The fir tree oils can be irritating to the mouth and stomach, causing excessive drooling or vomiting.  The tree needles are not easily digested either; probably causing GI irritation, vomiting, obstruction or puncture.  As noted earlier, the amount of trouble depends on how much is consumed.

Stay Safe – Watch your plants and your pets.  Monitor your pet’s interest in the plants.  To be 100% safe, do not bring toxic live plants into your home.  Place plants out of reach.  Check the plants for any signs of chewing or missing leaves.  www.humanesociety.org has a complete list of plants that should be avoided by your pets.


December 5, 2010

Winter Pruning for New Jersey Landscapes

Filed under: Landscape Maintenance — admin @ 8:31 am

pruning with snipers The timing of pruning for any particular plant is partly dependent upon the reason for pruning, but is substantially determined by unrelated practical considerations, including  excessive bleeding (resulting in a serious loss of mineral salts), practical convenience and spread of disease (risk of disease spreading from older to younger wood).

pruned rosesThese vary from one species to another so it is unsatisfactory to make generalizations and this once again stresses the need to know one’s plants.

An advantage of winter pruning of deciduous trees and shrubs is that the lack of leaves allows a better appreciation of plant shape and recognition of disease problems.  As a general rule the work should be done in the latter half of the winter.  This reduces the likelihood of frost damage to the newly pruned shoots and provides less opportunity for entry of pathogens, since healing will be rapid during spring.

On the other hand, pruning in autumn or early winter reduces the risk of severe physical damage such as wind rock and wind throw during storms.

pruning treesSimply put, you must know your plant!  Live Oak Landscape Maintenance  has the knowledge of plants and the crews to give your plants the best seasonal care.