Ever wonder where your plants come from?
Those vibrant annuals, graceful grasses and impressive trees all have to come from somewhere before our crews carefully tuck them into your grounds, beds and pots.
Where did their journey start? How do they stay happy and healthy along the way?
Brad Sarno, operations manager at Level Green Landscaping, talks about the painstaking care that goes into proper plant handling.
Annuals: Practically Home Grown
Those pretty petunias and vivid vinca that give your property a big burst of seasonal color are practically your neighbors when they’re seedlings, grown close to home at several of our trusted growers.
We have strong relationships with these partners, who often grow annuals specifically for us after we tell them our needs.
The flats of flowers and plants arrive on big box trucks to our yard, where they spend no more than a day in our holding area before we truck them to our customers’ properties.
On large jobs, annuals are often delivered directly to the job site, Sarno says.
We meet them on site, the flowers roll off trucks in big carts, and we get them planted.
“Plant materials are like fruit,” he says. “They’re a perishable commodity. We want to get them planted and fertilized as soon as possible.
“They’d much rather be in the ground.”
A Look at Our Plant Holding Area
Level Green has a large plant holding area, about 40 by 150 feet.
It includes a sunny area for sun-loving plants and a covered area for shade-loving plants.
An irrigation system on timers waters everything twice a day.
Plants have just a quick visit and a thirst-quenching drink here before moving on to to our customers’ properties.
Everybody loves tropicals. Exotic banana trees, palms and canna offer a vacation vibe and make a big statement in oversized pots.
We figure out how many our customers need and then place one huge order to our supplier in Florida.
They all arrive at once, turning our holding area into a giant tropical paradise before our various branches claim their plants and deliver them to our customers.
Be Kind To Trees
Some trees are container grown and arrive in their plastic pots.
Other trees are grown in the ground, often for several years, until they’re two or three inches in circumference and ready to transplant.
They’re carefully lifted from the ground with a hydraulic tree spade, the root ball placed in a wire cage and wrapped in burlap for traveling — either to our holding area or directly to our job sites, where we set up temporary holding areas.
Trees are watered at these holding areas, either with sprinklers or with one of our water trucks.
Many of our evergreens and conifers come from Oregon, where the cool and rainy weather is great for growing stunners like Japanese cedar or Golden Dwarf Hinoki cypress.
Easy Does It
“You have to handle trees very carefully,” Sarno says.
If we need to use a forklift to lift them, we wrap the fork bars with burlap and tape it, so the sharp edges don’t damage the tree.
Our crews are trained to only handle trees by the container or the root ball.
“You can’t just grab them anywhere,” Sarno says. “You have to hold them very carefully. If you scratch or damage the bark, it’s like an open cut on your body. It’s an opportunity for infection or insect damage to occur.”
Plant Care — Doing The Right Thing
“Our motto here is ‘Do the Right Thing,’ and that means everything, from the mulch and fertilizer we use to how we take care of the plants,” Sarno says.
“Quality costs more, but it’s worth it. Everything we install has a one-year warranty as long as the customer waters it. We have to make good on that promise, so we make sure our quality plants are well cared for along the way.”
Doing the right thing also means recycling all that plastic.
Our vendors often take back flats and plant containers, wash and sterilize them and re-use them.
If not, we have a recycling bin onsite.
Your Plants Are Safe With Level Green
When it comes to safe plant handling, we’ve got it covered, from start to finish.
If you’re not already a Level Green Landscaping client, we’d love to add you to our growing list of happy customers.
Our focus is on commercial properties like offices, mixed-use sites, HOAs, municipalities and institutions in Maryland, Washington DC and parts of Virginia.
Contact us at 202-544-0968.
You can also request a free consultation online to meet with us one-on-one.
We’d love to hear from you.