Preparing your Trees for El Nino

Preparing Trees for El Nino

Forecasters everywhere have been predicting that 2015 will serve Californians an El Niño to remember. In fact, The Weather Channel recently forecasted that it could last well into the spring of 2016!

Everyone will need to prepare for the influx of rains in different ways – if you’ve got a creek, get those sandbags ready – and those with trees on their property also need to take special precautions. So grab a notebook and a pen, and take note of which of these checklist items are appropriate for the trees in your yard. Do everything you can do to prepare your trees for what could be the very, very rainy season ahead:

1. Clear Everything Near the Roof. If there are any branches overhanging your roof or touching it – get rid of them.

2. Prune the Big Ones. Big rains often come with big winds. Have large trees – like those giant pine trees in the front yard – structurally pruned to allow the wind to pass through them safely.

3. Clean them up. If you see any dead branches – or those that are on their way, remove them before they fall. Solidify young trees. Those saplings you picked up at the water conservation event this spring? They haven’t been in the ground long, so make sure they – or any younger trees – are well-staked to withstand the winds.

4. Make Sure They’re All Healthy. Inspect your trees’ health. Are there dead branches at the top? Decaying or soft roots at the base? Those could be signs that the trees’ health is in decline.

If you’re not sure how to assess any aspect of your trees’ health – or would rather entrust it to the experts, be sure and contact a certified arborist today. It’s always better to be glad you did, rather than wish you had!

Smart Irrigation Controllers are in demand….

Smart Irrigation Controllers Save Money and Water

Smart Irrigation Controllers Save Money and Water

Have you installed a smart irrigation controller yet? Today, more than ever, smart irrigation controllers are in high demand to maintain landscapes as water conservation and saving money are the top concerns of residential & commercial property owners throughout the Bay Area. Smart irrigation controllers maintain watering schedules automatically to meet specific landscape needs.

How do smart irrigation controllers work?

Simply stated, they take the guess work out of watering your landscape. Nearly two-thirds of residential water use occurs outdoors, yet much of that water is wasted due to over-watering. Many homeowners do not know how to adjust irrigation schedules to match water needs based on the season, nor have the time to deal with it.

No matter how efficient your current irrigation system may seem, it does not take into affect weather conditions that change sporadically. Specifically, we are talking about evaportranspiration (ET) and rainfall. ET is the amount of water the soil loses through evaporation in conjunction with the plant’s water loss, both of which are affected by changing weather conditions. Most traditional systems turn water and and off based on a time schedule that does not change with the weather and soil conditions, therefore plants are over-watered too much, for too long, which wastes water, money, and damages the plant.

Smart controllers use weather information and site and soil conditions to determine how much water to apply, and when to irrigate. Some controllers utilize historical weather data to compliment on-site weather conditions. Other controllers actually download ET values daily. Soil moisture sensor smart controllers also measure the amount of moisture already in the soil to determine irrigation schedules.

What’s in it for me to install a smart irrigation system?

Once these systems are programmed, they usually require no additional monitoring and will water the landscape at peak effeciency times. And, they will save you money on your water bill. The Irrigation Association and the International Center for Water Technology as CSU – Fresno, have shown smart irrigation controllers save up to 25% more water than traditional irrigation controllers. The Environmental Protection Agency now has selected these devices to be one of the first technologies endorsed by the EPA’s WaterSense program.

When should I start using smart irrigation controllers?

Now! And we can help you determine which is best for your property. Call us today!