Property manager Matt Lubas reports that Brickman has been busy getting our landscape ready for spring. In late February and early March, they focused on cleanup work. This included completing removal of leaves that couldn't be picked up after the early freeze last fall, picking up branches and other debris that came down during winter storms, cutting back perennials, and removing hazardous low and broken limbs on trees. In mid-March, Brickman began edging beds along the Loop Road. Once those were done, they have continued edging at The Smith House and in each parcel.
There has been much discussion this year about mulching. The Association has applied mulch every year on berms, in many of the common area beds, and in beds in the parcels. Brickman and other landscape professionals familiar with the property have advised that this may not be necessary, or even a good practice. Mulching is also a major expense. For example, Matt reports that in 2008 the community spent almost $65,000 on mulch. This year, the parcels budgeted about 40% less than last year and had already planned to do less mulching than in prior years. Matt has been speaking to the landscape representative in each parcel and as the season gets started, it appears that the community will be doing even less mulching than planned. Parcel 11 will be doing a full mulch application because none was applied last year due to the drainage improvement work that was done during 2008. Decisions are still pending from parcels 3, 4 and 12, but the rest of the parcels will forego mulching this year.
Discussions have also been taking place about whether to apply a pre-emergent weed control chemical in shrub beds and on berms. In the past, this was done before mulch was applied. This year, consideration is being given to alternatives including using a different pre-emergent material than the one used in the past, or not using any. If no pre-emergent weed control is applied to the shrub beds and berms, weeds will have to be removed by hand or spot treated as they grow and may be more noticeable. Residents should watch for posted signs about the use of landscape chemicals and can contact the management office if they would like to review written information (called "MSDS sheets") about the materials being used.