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Storm Damage & Fallen Tree Clean Ups


The weekend Nor'Easter damaged many trees and knocked out power and phone lines across the region.

The heavy snow, driving rain, and gusty winds did a number on the trees in our region. A quick drive around the neighborhood shows more damage than we experienced during Hurricane
Irene, at least in my neck of the woods. Hopefully, you've escaped the Nor' Easter with no damage to your property.

Our crews are working tirelessly cleaning up damage from the storm. If you've experienced any storm damage, fallen trees, or broken branches, please do not hesitate to call us at 877-308-8733 or click the button below to request a free consultation.


fallen tree damage

Nor'Easter on the Way; Prep for Wind, Rain, Snow


October Nor'Easters can wreak havoc on trees in our region!

There is a bit of uncertainty as to what this storm will bring. Will it be 8 inches of wet snow, along with powerful wind? Or will it be driving rain and high wind gusts? Either way, it is enough to get the Carpenter Costin office churning, prepping staff and equipment for the possibility of measurable snow.storm damaged tree

Regardless of whether we get 8 inches of snow, or substantial down pours of rain, this storm is sure to pack a nasty punch, creating the possibility for storm damaged trees throughout Massachusetts. Unlike Nor'Easters that come in the dead of winter and encounter defoliated trees, Fall Nor'Easters can impact trees that still have their foliage. Trees that still have foliage are very susceptible to damage during these storms. The foliage in these trees catches the wind and creates more resistance to the wind. This resistance is often enough to damage trees that have been stresed throughout the year.

Please be careful through the storm. If you have a tree that you suspect is weak, then please stay away from it if possible. An October Nor'Easter can truly wreak havoc on your trees, so proceed with the utmost caution. If you do experience storm damage give us a call, or click the button below and we can have a crew out to clean it up, and ensure your trees are safe moving forward.



You're Running out of Time to Improve Your Landscape


Act fast to improve your landscape and add appeal to your property in 2011, while you still can!

With a little over two months left in 2011, it is getting down to crunch time as far as landscape construction goes. Each day we get closer to the planting threshold; meaning that the optimal time for planting new trees, shrubs, and turf is shrinking. Hardscape construction season, however, lasts a little longer, as our experienced landscape masons can build new walls, walks, and patios well into December.fall hardscape walkway

Planting new trees and shrubs in the fall is preferred; however, waiting too long to do so can actually be harmful to your newly added plants, as temperatures are dropping and frost, snow, and ice become a real threat. Depending on the climate in our region (which can vary so greatly), it may be possible to add new plants for a few more weeks, but we highly suggest consulting with a Landscape Architect to learn more.

Landscape masonry projects can not only continue well into the 12th month, but it is actually a great idea to split your new landscape constuction into two parts: a late fall hardscape project and a spring softscape project. Not only can this method help finance your project, effectively splitting costs across the fall and spring, but it also provides great results and efficient working conditions.

Take advantage of our free consultations, and speak with a Landscape Architect today! The landscape construction season is shrinking each day, so please don't wait!


 fall plantings

Time For Fall Clean Ups


Carpenter Costin's experienced landscape maintenance crews provide efficient, and effective fall clean up services.

It's hard to believe, but with this morning's chill, I can safely say that winter is on its way. The frost on my windshield made it tough to see the leaves scattered across the lawns in my neighborhood, but as the defroster started to gain on its first real test of the year, I could start to make out the reds, yellows, and browns scattered across many lawns. It is time to start thinking about your fall clean up for the year.fall clean up

The fall clean up is an often-dreaded removal of leaves, twigs, and other debris that has littered your property over the course of the summer and fall. It is a labor intensive activity for home owners, that requires extensive raking, pick up, and bagging of leaves and more. Then, depending on where you live, you may have to bring the bags to a compost center, or consider alternative means of disposal, such as building your own compost pile. The worst part about doing fall clean ups on your own is that it often takes up one of the remaining "nice" days of the fall that can be spent much more appropriately by going for a hike, or long walk, or doing another enjoyable activity, rather than raking.

Let Carpenter Costin do your fall clean up for you. Our clean ups include complete leaf removal, flower bed and lawn clean up, and much more. We will still experience some defoliation of trees, as the abundance of rain seems to have lengthened the season a bit, but as we enter the month of November, it is time to get your property cleaned up. Click the button below and request your fall clean up.


Natural Stone Wall Design and Construction


Adding a natural stone wall to your property can serve as a great barrier, property line indicator, and beautiful hardscape feature all at once.

A recent trip to Block Island, RI got me thinking about stone walls. The Island is covered instone wall ancient stone walls that served as property line markers and cattle barriers for the early Island settlers. These stone walls are truly remarkable considering they have been standing for hundreds of years, and are still practical and beautiful.

Though methods and equipment have changed since the early settlers of Block Island built their stone walls, a natural wall comprised of stone is still a great feature to add to your property, be it to seperate your property from your neighbors, keep your kids and pets in check, or to add appeal to your landscape. Choose from a variety of natural stones to get the look and design that you want.

Our expert Landscape Architects can design and construct great natural stone walls, customized to your needs and wants. Request a free consultation with a registered Landscape Architect to discuss how stone, brick, and paver walls, walks and patios can improve your landscape.


laptew stone wall BI

A Block Island stone wall built by the Island's early settlers. Photo taken by Mike Laptew of Laptew Productions.

Plan Now for Next Year's Pest Management


Don't be caught trying to combat insects and diseases with reactionary measures. Plan your technical programs now for effective preventative treatments next year.

Each spring, the phones at our headquarters in Swampscott ring off the the hook with local homeowners mentioning that "something is eating their trees." Some of these callers were plant health care technicianadvised to implement a pest management program earlier in the year, but decided against it only to be infested with pests come spring time. Luckily for the callers, our plant health care division provides effective reactionary pest management solutions; however, they highly recommend signing up for the more effective, and less costly, preventative treatments prior to the beginning of the growing season.

Our preventative programs are tailored to suit your property, and range from one-time target treatments, to five and eight visit programs for complete pest management and plant health coverage. These treatments prevent infestation from the insects and diseases trying tirelessly to eat your foliage, damage your trees, and ruin your turf.

Whether your property has been affected by insects such as the Winter Moth, Lace Bug, Hemlock Woolly Adelgid, and Fall Web Worm; or plagued by Tip Blight, Anthracnose, Powdery Mildew, and Apple Scab; our plant health care pros can provide the treatment you need. Request a free consultation now with a Carpenter Costin professional to discuss your pest management needs and wants. You'll be thanking us next spring when your property is pest free!




Fertilize Your Lawn Now For Great Results in the Spring


Fall lawn fertilization will help give your lawn what it needs to thrive next spring.

Fertilizing your lawn in the fall is one of the simplest forms of turf management there is. Effective, off the shelf fertilizers are readily available at your local hardware store, and will get your lawn the nutrients it needs. Invest in an inexpensive spreader, or borrow one from a friend, and broadcast the fertilizer across your entire lawn.

Fall turf fertilization provides your lawn with the nutrients and food needed to develop a strong root system, and improve the health and appeal of your lawn through the winter. Fertilizing will help ensure your lawn starts off on the right foot come spring time. Even if you don't decide to use any other fall lawn care practices, such as core aeration or slice seeding, be sure you apply fertilizer because it is so easy to do, and is extremely beneficial to your turf.

Our turf management programs include fall fertilization; however, we also provide target fertilization treatments. Our lawn care pros highly recommend turf fertilization in both the spring and fall, and can provide target treatments at this time. To request a fall fertilization, or to speak with a lawn care pro, click the button below or call 877-308-8733.


fall lawn fertilization 

Add a New Hardscape Feature This Fall


A stone, brick, or paver hardscape feature can help revitalize a landscape, and have it ready for the beginning of spring 2012.

The window to add natural plant features is slowly shrinking, as the perfect time to install new plants is in September and October. However, this does not mean that you should give up on your landscape for the 2011 calendar year. Adding a new hardscape feature in the second half of October and November will create a great place to spend the warm fall days this year, and also ensure that your new landscape will be ready to use come spring 2012!

Designing and building new stairs, walkways, or patios in the fall is a great idea because conditions are such that they are conducive for construction, but will not interfere with prime "landscape usage time" like it does in the spring. Let's face it, once next spring comes you'll want to enjoy your landscape, and not have to wait until your new feature is added.

Late fall is a perfect time to add a new hardscape feature. Our Landscape Architects and experienced landscape masonry crews are great at designing and building a creative stone, brick, or paver feature that will suit your wants and needs. For a free consultation with a registered Landscape Architect click the button below or call 877-308-8733.



Adding a hardscape feature now will drastically improve the overall appeal and function of your property.

Warm Fall is Extending Lawn Care Season


Beautiful, warm weather is bringing many people joy and happiness, as the summer-like high temps are great for outdoor activities. However, this weather also brings an extended growing and lawn care season. Care for your turf now, before its too late!

In previous posts, we've stressed the importance of fall lawn care. Caring for your lawn in the fall should not be neglected, as this is the prime time for root development. For a healthy, lush lawn in the spring, it is necessary to invest time now.

Despite some chilly temperatures last week, the past few days have been spectacular, picture perfect fall days. This extension of the warm weather season means that you now have more time to care for your lawn! Be sure to combine cultural practices with lawn treatments to ensure your turf is in the best shape possible before winter.

Fall lawn care tactics that should not be ignored include:

Take advantage of this nice weather while it is still here and care for your lawn now; because before you know it, you'll be sporting a heavy coat and winter hat. Investing in your turf this fall will ensure a much healthier and better looking lawn come spring time.

Interested in improving your lawn, but not sure what to do or how to do it? Have a Carpenter Costin turf expert come out for a free consultation.



Commercial Snow Management on the North Shore


Ensure you're covered this winter; and not covered in snow like last winter. Choose Carpenter Costin's commercial snow and ice management services.

It snowed over 100" throughout most of our region last year, and while you were nestled in a warm house, with your eyes glued to your local news station, our experienced snow management professionals were working tirelessly keeping many commercial properties free of snow and ice.

Carpenter Costin's comprehensive winter management programs are built to benefit the client. Our customized programs suit your needs and wants, without sacrificing quality and reliability. Our expansive snow removal and ice management fleet features various snow removal equipment, from big loaders to small walkway blowers and sweepers and dedicated shovelers.

Time is running out! Winter is right around the corner, and if it is anything like last year, it is best to be fully prepared! If you're still shopping for a snow and ice service provider, request a consultation with a commercial service pro from Carpenter Costin.


carpenter costin bobcat

Carpenter Costin's expensive fleet features diverse snow and ice management equipment to suit your needs.

Grub Damage in New England


If you're noticing areas of your lawn that have been mysteriously ripped up or damaged, it may be because you have an abundance of grubs in your turf.

Grubs are beetle larvae that hatch in your soil and feed on the roots of your turf. Though the damage caused by grubs can be significant, it is usually the animals looking to eat the grubs, such as skunks and racoons, that cause the most damage. The sharp claws of skunks and racoons can easily dig through your turf and soil while searching for skunks. This action can leave your lawn looking like it has been roto-tilled.

Earlier in the summer, we sent out a notification about the abundance of European & Masked Chafers, and Japanese Beetles. These chafers and beetles have mated and their larvae are now active in many lawns across New England. Due to the significant number of larvae, or grubs, damage is especially high this year. However, the threat is diminishing. As the temperature drops, the larvae will either pupate and leave the soil, or they'll tunnel down even further to withstand the cold winter.skunk damage digging grubs

We are being called to many lawns that have been damaged by animals digging for grubs. As our Technical Services Manager and Turf Expert, Paul Miller, mentioned earlier in the year, "Grubs are the shrimp cocktail for skunks, racoons, and crows." These animals will devastate your turf in their quest for grubs, and unfortunately it leads to a substantial investment in sodding, seeding, and lawn repair.

Considering the amount of damage caused by grubs this year, we highly recommend factoring preventative grub treatments into your future pest management and lawn care programs. It is too late now to use preventative measures, but plan on preventing grubs with a treatment early next summer. Preventative treatments can save you from the huge headache and investment associated with a lawn renovation.

When evaluating your pest management program for next year, seriously consider adding the preventative grub treatment. Our lawn care pros are always available to discuss your pest management or lawn health care needs. Request a free consultation to determine the right plan for you.


skunk grub damage

Skunks, racoons, crows, and many other animals and birds love to feast on grubs. They will literally tear your lawn apart looking for the tasty grubs.

Protect Your Plants from Harsh Winter Weather


Apply anti-transpirants or anti-desiccants to protect your plants from damaging winter cold and winds.

During the winter, cold winds do their best to dry out or dehydrate your plants. This is commonly seen in the Arborvitaes (pictured) in our area, particularly when they do not receive dehydrated arborvitaeenough water before the winter. Using an anti-transpirant will help fight dehydration and drying in your plants and trees.

Anti-transpirants and anti-desiccants are actually the same thing. Although the word transpire means to pass through a pore or membrane, and the word desiccate means to dry or dehydrate; when paired with the prefix anti they both allude to the fight against dehydration or drying. The term anti-transpirant; however, is the more commonly used term.

The cold, seemingly ever-lasting, winter winds that we experience in New England can dehydrate a plant or tree in no time. Applying anti-transpirants in the late fall will help your plants retain moisture and protect them the cold, drying winds. Anti-transpirants will also help protect from salt damage in the winter. It is a good idea to coat your plants with anti-transpirants if they are close to a road where rock salt is used for snow and ice control, or if they are along the coast and are susceptible to salt spray during winter storms. Burlapping plants and shrubs will also fight dehydration and salt damage this winter.

Anti-transpirants sprays can be found at your local hardware or garden store. If you do not feel comfortable with the application, our Plant Health Care technicians can provide the service for you. Ensure that you protect your plants from damaging wind and salt this winter. Request a consultation a Plant Health Care pro to learn more.


Lost in the Flood


The early morning storms that raged across our region dumped enough rain to seriously flood many areas throughout the North Shore.

Ironically, I posted an article last Thursday about watering your trees and shrubs in the fall. Well the storms we encountered this morning certainly did their part to ensure your trees and shrubs are staying moist. What the storm also brought is the realization of how important proper drainage is.

Depending on the topography of your property, landscape drainage can be a savor when it comes to flood damage, flood insurance costs, and water damage repairs. If your home is prone to water in the basement, it may be time to think about a landscape drainage plan to help divert the water that usually ends up in your basement to a garden area. Installing proper drainage can help turn a serious water problem into a beautiful garden or landscape feature. 

If you're nervous each time we get excessive rain, like we did this morning, you should really take advantage of a free consultation with a Landscape Architect. Our registered architects are capable of designing and building creative landscape drainage features. Call 877-308-8733 or click the button below to request your free consultation.


flood damage

Insufficient drainage resulted in this lake forming under the Swampscott commuter rail bridge this morning, just a short distance from the Carpenter Costin office. Not pictured in the photo is a jeep that was completely submerged under the bridge.

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