Estrella Owner Services

  Landscape Design, Installation and Maintenance for Your Outdoor Living Space

Sustainable Practices for your Outdoor Living Space

The ultimate success and value of the landscape and related components of any project is fundamentally dependent on sustainable practices, that is, if the aesthetic appearance and health of plant materials is a priority. A landscapeis and has always been the combination of living materials and interdependent natural systems created to be dependent on a healty relationship between them. Healthy, well maintained plants, soils, micro-climates and eco-systems, even in urbanized areas provide for each other in order to thrive. Ove the past 30 years, the economic demand for efficiency and drive for lower costs of development and maintenance has generated methods that may eliminate practices that promote healthy landscapes. Sustainable site design, installation, and maintenance are more than something that is only being talked about. Sites that have sensibly applied development and maintenance principles for landscape related elements will be inherently sustainable.
Practice:
Complete removal of leaf litter from the surface.

Result:
Reduces the ability for the decomposition process to occur, which can increase soil microbes needed to re-build the soil profile nutrients for healthy soil and plant materials.

Corrective Action:
Determine the acceptable level of leaf matter that can remain in decomposed granite areas. Reduce the frequency at which this task is done. This done not apply to removal of trash, litter or other materials that do not readily decompose.

Practice:

Shearing and shaping of shrubs, ground covers and accent plants on a regular basis.


Result:

Shrub growth and blooming is stunted and prevented. Newly trimmed plants go into a repeating cycle of stress reaction and recovery which generates new growth. Continued regular shearing prevents mature leaf development and creates a thin outer layer of foliage and a woody interior.


Corrective Action:

Apply practices of Renovation Style Pruning to allow plants to become fully mature and display their best blooming potential.

Practice:
Over trimming trees and palms

Result:
Trees with minimal ability to provide much needed shade, aesthetic value, of the ability to grow properly due to excessive removal of foilage. Foliage and leaf cover are the very basic requirement for a tree to be able to photosynthesize which is how a tree functions and grows.

Corrective Action:
Apply proper pruning practices that maintain a strong central leader, remove no more than 20% of the canopy at any time, create proper pruning cuts, and remove staking at the right time.

Practice:

Chemical application to plants and seedlings that naturally germinate and are desireable species to have in the landscape. Projects with a native plants palette are designed to regenerate native species on their own from one year to the next.


Result:

Removal of plants that naturally seed themselves and are part of an intended plant palette. These are typically natives with the best ability to grown in our environment with the least amount of maintenance and irrigation.


Corrective Action:

Learn to identify desirable plants and their seeding state. Refrain from applying chemicals to them. Spring is a good time to review seeding appearance.