By Mike McClanahan | September 10, 2018 0

Is it Time to Upgrade Your Landscape?

If your home is more than a few years old, your landscaping may be showing its age. This can lead to reduced curb appeal, lower property values, or even serious safety hazards.

Here are some things to consider.

Trees That Have Outlived Their Usefulness

Many trees such as Russian olives and Siberian elms were once popular but now are considered nuisances. Others like sumacs, aspens, and willows can send up suckers that produce “volunteer” trees or have invasive root systems that can cause pavement to buckle and sewer lines to clog.

Some species, notably ash trees recently, have been attacked by pests or disease and are no longer viable. Infestations can sometimes be treated, but if not, removal is a better option.

Much as they’re beloved as symbols of Colorado, aspens don’t do well at lower elevations, nor do other species not suited to the Front Range environment. Over time, they deteriorate and become unattractive. Better to replace them with native or adaptive species when they tire out.

Trees That Become Hazards

Large trees can grow upward or spread branches that interfere with overhead power lines and structures. Older trees can weaken with age and snap at the trunk when high winds roar, and narrow-rooted trees can topple in a storm. The same can occur with branches that scrape siding and roofs or present breaking hazards during extreme weather.

A professional arborist can assess the health and longevity of your trees and recommend trimming or removal if needed. Better to lose a tree than your power, your house…or your life.

Outdated and Overgrown Landscape Design

Your landscape says a lot about your property and the people who live on it. Just like other trends, landscaping tastes change over the years. Outdated designs detract from a home’s appearance and desirability. Plantings that were attractive years ago may have outgrown the space or become neglected. Scale is important in landscaping, so take a fresh look at your outdoor spaces to see if they have become out of proportion or out of style.

Fall is the Best Time for Planting Most New Trees

If it’s time to plant new broadleaf trees, fall is the preferred season. With energy redirected from growing leaves, fruits, flowers and new branches, the trees can focus their efforts on developing deep, strong root systems to give them a firm foundation for future growth.

While most pruning is best done in the spring, fall is also a time to look at removing any dead or intrusive branches that may cause problems over the winter.

Your Landscape is an Ongoing Investment

Realtors estimate that good landscaping can add 10% or more to a home’s value. Equally, unattractive exteriors can lower it just as much. Consider maintaining and remodeling your landscape the same as other maintenance and upgrades to your home. Even if you plan to stay where you are—maybe especially if you do—maintaining and upgrading your landscape will add years of extra enjoyment to your home…and make it more valuable in the future.


If you need help choosing the right trees and shrubs for your landscape, Donovan Arborists offers planting, pruning, and shearing services as well as a complete landscape maintenance package for property in the Denver area.

We’re always happy to give free estimates to homeowners and property managers for any services they may need.

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