It's time for winter tree work. Have your trees serviced between Dec - Mar and get a 10% discount.
Tree removal and pruning in the winter is ideal for a number of reasons. Firm ground, low foliage, and reduced outdoor activity make tree service easier for the Arborist. Carpenter Costin's 10% winter discount makes tree service much easier for the property owner as well.
Tree service in the winter is also recommended for areas that are constantly used in the growing season, such as golf courses and athletic fields. Servicing trees in these locations during the winter will ensure that there is no damage to the turf.
With clear sight lines, Arborists can easily analyze and prune out dead wood and hanging limbs, and identify any structural weaknesses that can be pruned or cabled to ensure safety.
Consider Carpenter Costin's winter tree services to help improve the appeal and safety of your trees. You'll be glad come spring time.
Carpenter Costin's Tracked Lift once again makes getting into tight spaces possible! Glen Park in Somerville offers a new constructed play area with slides and all manner of climbing fun. This is a well-planned park, but unfortunately the tree work was left until the end of construction, making it almost impossible (without the tracked lift!) to gain access.
The newly surfaced play areas and fencing wouldn't allow for the use of traditional equipment, but the tracked lift was able to navigate a pedestrian walkway.
An insect is threatening to destroy one of our most valuable native trees—the Eastern Hemlock.
Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) is a tiny, aphid-like insect introduced to the U.S. from Asia. Since 1988, when it was discovered in the state, it has slowly spread throughout the region, usually by wind and birds. In addition to being small, HWA is different from other insects as it lays dormant much of the growing season and becomes active throughout the winter, producing new egg masses as early as February.
HWA can be easily recognized by the presence of white cottony egg masses on Hemlock twigs. Damage is caused when the eggs hatch and the young feed by sucking sap from the twigs, killing them.
Trees infested with HWA, untreated, may decline and die very quickly. Once HWA has been identified, it should be treated immediately.
Effective treatments are available to manage HWA.
Call now, 877/308-8733, to have your Hemlocks inspected by a certified Arborist and protected against this deadly pest.
We recently completed a beautiful bluestone patio that transformed the back of a house in Melrose. We worked closely with the clients and established a plan to remove the old and unsightly asphalt and concrete from the back area of the house and replace it with a beautiful bluestone patio.
You can see that one of the challenges this yard presented was the sloped landscape.
We put a lot of thought into figuring out exactly how the grading was going to work, in order to guarantee rain water would sheet-flow away from the house, and to make sure that the house, patio, driveway, and yard were all tied together properly.
A creative solution to the grading problem was to extend a stone retaining wall out of the foundation of the house and top it with a thermal bluestone cap.
This not only solved a grading issue, but the wall is a perfect seat, running along the side of the new patio.
Emerging out of the end of the seating wall is an uncapped retaining wall that returns back into the grade and allows a perfectly scaled walkway with granite steps to guide the clients or their guests from the driveway to the patio. Unlike the smooth, newly cut granite steps within the walkway at the entrance to the patio area.
The rough, recycled granite steps anchor the far corner of the space and lead one down to the sunken grass glade below.
The finishing touches will come in the form of a custom deck being constructed adjacent to the patio and colorful perennials within all the planting pockets we created throughout the landscape. We can't wait to share the final results!
You might think of your driveway as an after-thought to your landscape or yard work, but pictures from this project will change your mind! A beautiful driveway is the perfect touch for curb appeal, welcoming visitors, and creating a clean and polished look to your property.
We just completed a beautiful 3,000 square foot driveway in Danvers using a premium combination of pavers. The different shades and shapes create an interesting and beautiful look.
A horseshoe section of driveway delivers you to the top parking court area and garage, which sits about 15-feet above the grade of the road.
Some of the details include a double interior banding of weathered brick type pavers throughout the horseshoe
section of the drive, with a single banding at the top section to delineate the parking court area.
Our Carpenter Costin masons custom built an inlaid, 6'-diameter compass rose as a center piece for the parking court area. Look at the detail!
Installation of select landscape boulders, plants, and high-quality Kentucky bluegrass sod softens the hardscape edges and finishes off the overall aesthetic.
We love sharing projects like this to start sparking ideas! If you're intersted in speaking with a landscape architect who can give you ideas about giving your outdoor space the perfect touch, call us at 877-308-873 or request a free consultation.
Between wind and rain, Mother Nature can take a toll on your trees and put your homes, cars, and family at risk! A couple of weeks ago we got a call about an Oak tree in Swampscott that started to split on a calm day. During the month of July we had five calls for similar issues; trees or branches failing for seemingly no apparent reason.
It's hard to remember now that we're enjoying the summer heat, but we had two significant storms this winter. Those hurricane force winds have damaged our trees, and now that the added weight of water and leaves are in the tree canopies, we're seeing the flaws manifest.
This reminder reinforces the need to have a free arborist evaluation. A professional eye will see what you may not before you end up with a tree on your roof!
Back in the 1950’s and 1960’s it was customary for home builders to overplant house lots with evergreens. Now those Rhododendrons or Arborvitaes may be towering over, smothering or just plain hiding your home.
One option is to cut all those evergreen plants down and start over with smaller plants. Another idea is to cut back and prune those out-of-control shrubs so they fit into the desired space. Yearly pruning will keep your plants from overgrowing their spots and covering your home.
How to Tame Out-of-Control Plants
- Prune annually to keep plants contained to their site
- Prune after blooming for the best crop of flowers next spring
- Cut back new, ‘leggy’ growth for a neater appearance
- Prune to separate and define plants
- Thin overgrown shrubs and ornamental trees to improve light and air circulation
- Don’t attempt this if you are not sure what you are doing, it is easy to damage your plants
You’ll be amazed the difference a little pruning can do to make your property look fantastic.
Need some help? Contact us and we’ll send an arborist out to meet with you for a free consultation.
Our mission has always been to offer the best possible professional tree work, landscape design, and lawn care for our clients. We've been doing that for over 60 years and have some of the most delighted clients around. Now we can provide these services faster, safer, and more cost effectively. We're so excited for our newest piece of equipment, our Tracked Lift!
The tracked lift is so compact that it will fit thru a standard single door. The makeup of the lift allows us to move easily over soft, muddy or delicate finished surfaces without the damage that would be done by other types of wheeled equipment. It can even climb stairs!
Carpenter Costin will be using this beauty for things like:
- Tree removal without climbing
- Pruning large hedges without need for a ladder
- Accessing yards that would otherwise be inaccessible because of fences and small gates
Last week we had the perfect project for our new lift. Our client in Salem, MA had a large maple tree that was posing a hazard to a home with a slate roof. Not only do you want to avoid injury by having a tree fall on your house, but in this case it would be very expensive to repair or replace a slate roof! Like many properties in Salem, this home has a narrow driveway and two small garden gates for entry into the backyard. Without our new tracked lift, we wouldn't have been able to access the tree. Thanks to our new machine we were able to quickly and safely remove it for a much lower cost to the client.
We expect the tracked lift to be involved in a lot more projects going forward. If you have tree or yard work that needs to be done but thought it wouldn't be accessible, get in touch! We'll be happy to show this guy off!
The fragrant hint of summer roses, the sound of the wind in the trees and the beauty of brightly colored flowers all reward our senses in the garden. After a long day of traffic jams, deadlines, difficult economic news and endless demands, a stroll through your garden can soothe the soul. In fact, researchers have found that exposure to nature can actually reduce your blood pressure, give you a sense of peace, and lift your mood.
Turn your yard into a place to relax by making it a destination. You can create an inviting outdoor living space by adding outdoor ‘rooms.’ Here are some ideas:
- Design a tropical, comfortable and calming oasis. Imagine sipping an ice cold drink and relaxing with friends in the sun!
- Add a pizza oven for unmatched entertaining.
- Create a special place just for the kids and bring them out into the fresh air to play.
- A special, secluded ‘room’ in a quiet spot can be used for reading or meditation.
- An outdoor fireplace can be used throughout the year.
For a complimentary consultation about how to create a destination in your yard call us at 877/308-8733 or
While it's true that most pruning can be done at any time of year, your pruning goals dictate when a shrub or tree should be pruned.
Size Control of Non-Flowering Shrubs
When pruning shrubs such as Yews, Holly, Juniper, Privet, Arborvitae or Burning Bush, the best time to prune is just after the initial flush of growth. Bud break occurs on most shrubs in April or May based on temperature and rainfall. Immediately following the opening of the buds, the shrubs explode with new growth. This growing period subsides with summer heat and reduced rainfall. It's at this time, late June to early July, that pruning begins, removing the excessive growth that can cause shrubs to outgrow their intended space. Later in the summer, usually around September, a ‘touch up’ pruning is done to control the limited growth that occurs in the hot summer months. This second pruning helps maintain a neat appearance during dormant months.
It should be noted that shearing of shrubs, other than hedges, is not an accepted practice by horticulturalists.
Spring Flowering Shrubs
There are two main goals in pruning flowering shrubs:
- To maintain the shrub within its intended site
- To promote maximum flower display
The timing for pruning shrubs such as Viburnum, Honeysuckle, Forsythia, Potentilla and Weigela, is after they flower. These types of shrubs produce flower buds later in the summer for next year’s blossoms. Late June or July is the appropriate time to prune such plants to maximize the next year’s flowers.
Large Leaved Rhododendrons
Large leaved Rhododendrons should never be sheared. Shearing damages the leaves, causing unsightly brown cut margins. Also, shearing creates a dense outer crown that does not allow light and airflow to easily reach the inside of the shrub’s crown. Shearing definitely increases insect and disease activity in all shrubs, especially Rhododendrons.
Carpenter Costin hand prunes all large leaved Rhododendrons, maintaining a natural appearance, while maintaining the size of the plant within its intended space. Rhododendrons are pruned shortly after flowering, which usually occurs sometime in late June.
It should be noted that plant development does not occur based on our calendar, but rather on daily temperature, called ‘Degree Days Heating.’
Summer Flowering Shrubs
As with other flowering shrubs, pruning shortly after flowering is the best time. Shrubs such as Clethra, Spirea, Rose of Sharon, and Hydrangea flower later in the season. Summer flowers are produced on the new wood/shoots and develop in the same calendar year. Hence, pruning too early will remove flowers getting ready for this year’s display.
At Carpenter Costin Landscape Management we plan for 3 separate prunings each season targeting specific shrubs. The timing of our target pruning dates is completely dictated by the shrub’s development and species. (We monitor Degree Day Heating through the University of Massachusetts for a variety of purposes).
As we can all see, large leaved Rhododendrons are in bloom right now. I estimate that these shrubs will be pruned at the end of June, just after their flowers fall.
Spring and early summer shrubs are either flowering now or have just passed flowering. Pruning of these shrubs and the first pruning of non-flowering shrubs will occur approximately 4 weeks from now, or early July. This timing will assure that we get the most out of our spring and early summer flowering shrubs and get the best flower development for next year’s blossoms.
Also, the initial growth spurt will be behind us for non-flowering shrubs, allowing for a longer period of time with a managed shape.
Late summer pruning, to ‘touch up’ the almost certain additional growth of non-flowering shrubs, and the proper pruning time for summer flower shrubs, is September.