Manicured landscaping increases the curb appeal and aesthetic value of your community. The reason many condominium owners buy into a deed restricted community is that the association handles maintenance and exterior upkeep of units. It is important for the board of directors and manager to ensure that landscaping is adequately budgeted and properly maintained for the association.
Landscaping is usually one of the largest expenses a condominium, resort, or homeowners association will need to budget for. Along with the weekly services of landscape maintenance, it is also important to have proper fertilization and pest control in place. Without pest control and fertilization, the landscaping will not last long, and your efforts to maintain a healthy lawn will be futile.
Yearly tree trimming should also be included in the budget of the association. Proper pruning techniques will reduce wind resistance and the chances of your trees falling in a heavy wind, hurricane or tornado are greatly reduced.
Irrigation checks should be performed on a weekly or bi-weekly basis so that leaks and or broken sprinkler heads are quickly repaired or replaced.
The scope of any landscaping contract may include the following:
1. Landscape Maintenance Services
2. Horticulture and Fertilization
3. Irrigation Design, Installation, Repair and Modification
4. Tree Trimming
5. Landscape Design and Installation
Termite and pest control for any and allcommon area buildings and residential units are important to have in place.
For many homeowners associations, we have seen an increase in landscaping violations. To generate community spirit and participation, it is a good idea to establish a social committee or events committee to initiate a “yard of the month” incentive. In some cases, a little competition is all that is needed to get homeowners involved. Once the community starts shaping up and looking better, spirits are lifted and a sense of pride for the community is often gained.
Florida-friendly landscaping reduces the amount of water usage needed to maintain your lawn. Right plant, right place is the first of nine Florida-friendly landscaping principles. An excellent source for Florida-friendly landscaping is Guide to Florida-Friendly Landscaping: the Florida Yards & Neighborhood Handbook. This may be ordered free on line at www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/publications/cart.php?add=179. Some of the drought resistant plants include Florida’s state wildflower, the flax lily, lantana, and beach sunflower.
Naturally, large tree roots sometimes damage underground plumbing. Certain types of trees are known to have roots that spread out and seek water. These include Ficus and Weeping Willows. Palm trees are much less likely to damage underground pipes. It is important that emergency contact numbers for landscaping and plumbing contractors are readily available to the manager or board of directors in the event a repair is ever needed.
Another side effect of having mature landscaping and large trees is lifting of the sidewalks. There are options other than removing the trees to repair these damaged sidewalks. Companies, such as Custom Hardscapes, will come out and cut the root and repair the sidewalk for a minimal cost compared to the cost to remove the entire tree. In addition, many of us moved into our communities because of the landscaping and beauty that these trees bring. Trimming these roots does not harm the tree.