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sidewalk snow removal tips tricks for new business owners norfolk vaWhile visions of sugarplums and gaily wrapped gifts under the tree dance through the population’s heads, what’s not dancing in yours is shoveling snow. It’s going to be here, and you know you must prepare. It has to be done so no one slips and falls on the way into your store. Not to mention city rules regarding snow and ice hazards must be obeyed. Most articles and even the newspapers tell you to shovel soon and often in order to avoid the ravages to the environment and animals of ice melt and salt. That would be nice, except that you need to be in the store waiting on customers instead of shoveling soon and often. What’s a new business owner to do? If you can find a son, nephew, brother, next-door neighbor’s kid or anyone looking for a few extra bucks for the holidays, then we have some tips and tricks for keeping your sidewalk snow removal woes to a minimum.

Tip One: Stakeout

Snow plows aren’t concerned about the sidewalk, unfortunately. Their main job is to get your parking lot cleared for the next day’s business. In order to keep the plows from sluicing snow and slush onto the sidewalks, stake it out. If you can’t plant stakes on the concrete parking lot, then use orange traffic cones or upside-down trash barrels. The plows will then sluice the slush somewhere else.

Tip Two: The Right Stuff

Someone will be shoveling the sidewalk, so they’ll need the right stuff. It’s a temptation to pick up a cheap shovel, since it’s only used a few times a year. However, that cheap shovel will mean a hurt back, shoulders and arms for whoever is shoveling. Invest in a sturdy S-shaped shovel for shoveling as well as a sturdy C-shaped shovel for pushing the snow and chipping at the ice underneath. A doctor won’t thank you, but the person shoveling will.

Tip Three: More of the Right Stuff

Everyone knows by now the dangers of sodium and calcium chlorides on our waterways, wildlife, plants and the water table. Rock salt is often used as a replacement, but it’s no better for the environment. However, a product called urea, a fertilizer, won’t eat away at the concrete sidewalks and is better for the environment. You might have to locate a co-op to find it, but it’s a better bet than salts. Be sure to keep it in an airtight container to keep it dry.

Tip Four: The Right Kind of Traction

Your customers won’t wind up in the wrong kind of traction from slipping on your sidewalk if you use sand once the ice has been removed. You could also use alfalfa meal, also a fertilizer. Make sure you sweep up and bag up the sand after its usefulness is over, because it can get into the drains and mess up the waterways just like salts. As with the urea, make sure the alfalfa meal is kept in a sealed container to keep it dry.

Tip Five: Mats

If you’re a new business owner who can’t yet afford such luxuries as eco-friendly snow and ice melting products, then you’ll need to shovel soon and often. However, you can keep the sidewalk passable by putting out your welcome mats, the mats from the floor of your car, the welcome mat from home in addition to any other floor mat you can get your gloved hands on. Sand will get tracked onto your floors, yes, but your customers will be able to traverse your sidewalk safely.

New business owners often don’t know where to turn for help. Chapel Valley Landscaping has helped new business owners with landscaping as well as snow and ice removal for almost 50 years. Feel free to contact us for more tips and tricks for sidewalk safety this winter.

Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia


winning landscapesAchieving and maintaining winning landscapes can be almost impossible if you're trying to do it on your own. Between the time you'd need to invest in it and the expertise necessary to get the results you're looking for, sometimes you can feel like throwing up your hands and giving up.

If you've never sought professional landscaping services, you're depriving your home of the beautiful outward appearance that it deserves. A great landscaping maintenance company is well-versed in turning even the worst situations into winning landscapes, and your neighbors will be clamoring to know where you found your landscapers. Here are just a few of the ways that a great residential landscaping company can transform your home, adding value to it in the process:

    • Lawn and garden.
      When you seek professional landscaping services, you'll be privy to a host of amazing benefits, including but not limited to: sod laying, mowing, trimming, planting, watering, fertilizing, digging, and sprinkler installation. The pros know how to balance the aesthetics of your home with the landscape that surrounds it, achieving a look that simply cannot be obtained by doing things on your own. Your neighbors who do their own landscaping will think you've suddenly become the Pablo Picasso of lawn work.


    • Estate management.
      Once a landscaping company provides you with beautiful winning landscapes, you need to make sure that it stays gorgeous all throughout the year. The best landscaping companies will check in with you all throughout the year, including the winter, to ensure that your landscaping is as pristine as ever. Keeping up with your landscaping is important to uphold the value it adds to your home. Great landscaping can add anywhere from 7-15% value to your estate, not to mention the pride you'll feel pulling into your driveway every single day.


  • Snow removal.
    When the snow starts to fall and it becomes too much to shovel, you should have a landscaping company on speed dial that can provide the same quality of work for snow removal as they did for your lawn and garden. Besides the obvious benefit of clearing off your driveway, snow removal goes a long way in saving you money down the road. Clearing snow away from your home's foundation can prevent costly water damage to your basement and other rooms in your house. If you're like every other American and don't have the time or energy to remove a foot of snow from your premises, you need the best snow removal services possible.

These are just a few of the many ways that a landscaping company can help you get that winning landscape you've always dreamed of, from summer to winter. Find a trusted service in your area and experience the difference that quality landscaping can have on your home.

snow removal salting for commercial business alexandria va

For a commercial property or business, no matter your location in the Maryland, Virginia and Washington DC region, even just a tiny amount of snow or ice is bad for business. 

When the flakes start flying around this winter, and the accumulations reach dangerous proportions, do you have a solid winter snow removal and salting plan in place?

If you answered "no," then we have a solution for you. Commercial and business properties around the DC area benefit greatly from hiring a professional snow and ice removal company.

Here's why:

  • Removing snow and ice yourself is an incredibly dangerous business. Very few business owners have adequate gear and supplies to remove large amounts of snow and ice. What ends up happening is, in spite of their best efforts, they create more work for themselves for later. Once snow becomes incredibly hard to work with, they realize quickly that they should have hired a snow removal company in the first place.
  • When snow and ice are in the forecast, commercial property owners have to plan ahead. Provided that they are given enough preparation leeway, they absolutely must set aside extra time to deal with snow and all the negatives that come with it. This can mean extra time spent clearing snow; additional money spent on salt; and hours of extra work, long before opening time. Without a snow removal company, winter just got a lot worse.
  • If you don't have a snow removal company, how do you clear your lot? Some property owners say that they do it themselves, but how effective could that really be? Unless you have a plow truck and road salt that is used by the city, there's a good chance that the work you put in won't amount to much if the weather continues to worsen.
  • Business owners like preparedness. After all, they started their business alone, worked hard to get to where they are, and continue to thrive in a very competitive world. So why would a business in Maryland, Virginia, or DC allow bad weather to detract from their business? Being prepared got you this far, so why not take that extra step and hire a snow removal company that you can trust to get the job done?
  • Consider the safety of your guests before you dismiss the need for a snow and ice removal company. While we don't like to use this as an example to convince you that a snow removal company can help your business, we feel it should be part of the narrative. Lawsuits happen daily. They increase dramatically during winter. We think it's best to error on the side of caution; have your lots plowed by a professional and reduce the chances of unnecessary lawsuits.
  • Finally, hiring a snow removal company for your DC business or commercial property lends peace of mind. Imagine worrying only about what you need to: your business. Think how stress-free your nights will be when you see that a big storm is on the move into the area, and all that you have to do is prepare the day's planner, which doesn't include removing snow at all. It's that kind of worry-free idea that we like to present to our customers. That way, you can do the same for yours.

Prepare your business this fall by planning for snow and ice removal now. Cold weather is almost here, so don't let it catch you off guard. 

For more information on how we can help you with your property, please contact us today. 

Chapel Valley Landscape Company is a full service exterior landscape and snow removal company. We are defined by our unparalleled design, installation and maintenance for both residential and commercial properties.

Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia


 Post Tysons Corner commercial landscape award
 Residents can enjoy a surrounding green landscape while laying by the pool
 Post Tysons Corner commercial landscape award virginia
 The courtyard offers residents an exceptional space to relax

Recently Chapel Valley client, Post Tysons, received an award from the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) and the Landscape Contractors Association (LCA) for commercial landscape management.

Spread over 16 acres, Post Tysons Corner is a beautifully wooded community of courtyard and garden apartments. The site is located in the heart of the Tysons Corner submarket of northern Virginia, making it a highly prospective site for tenants.
Post Tysons offers its residents exterior spaces with ornate fountains and grills, a resort-styled pool, tropical planters, and colorful flower beds.

Post Tysons Corner is one of seven ‘Post Properties’ that Chapel Valley services. Last year, Post Carlyle Square, located in Alexandria, VA also won a National and Regional award in commercial landscape management.

Post Properties is known for their first-class properties and it is our mission is to continue to help them maintain their stature for high-quality exterior spaces. By winning an award for their site, Chapel Valley has helped them strengthen their reputation, and has given them an additional opportunity for marketing—especially to the important millennial market who are looking to work and live in urban areas that offer exceptional green space and amenities.

Interested in winning an award for your commercial property? Let your property manager know and we will have someone from our marketing team contact you.

See the other award-winning properties Chapel Valley has won in previous years.

Chapel Valley always strives to be a better company, and one way we do this is through proper training. Before fall flowers are installed, our branch trainers and crew teams receive additional training to ensure that everyone is performing to the same high standard. This approach allows all of our clients to receive the same quality commercial landscaping, no matter what location they are in. Our fall flower installation program is broken into three steps: bed preparation, installation, and protection.

  • Step1 commercial landscaping fall
    Preparing the bed is the most important step during training. Before plant material is installed, each bed is cleared of old plant material, loosened with a rototiller, applied with pre-emergence, and fertilized.
  • Step2 commercial landscaping fall
    Crew members learn what section of the bed to plant the flowers, how deep to plant them, and how far apart to plant the flowers. During this step, we emphasize that crew members plant flowers in a triangle pattern or scattered spacing, not in rows. This helps disguise any foliage that is unhealthy or has died, and makes the flowers look more natural as they grow in.
  • Step3 commercial landscaping fall
    After installing the flowers we mulch and water them. Mulching provides protection for the upcoming winter season and watering helps establish the plants in their new environment.
  • violas or pansies fall flowers
    Pansies and Violas are the perfect plant to add life to your winter landscape. They look similar, but are different. Pansies are surprisingly durable and winter hardy, offering larger colorful blooms, however Violas, whose blooms are a little smaller but plentiful, have a better resistance against the cold.

Following these simple steps, will provide color and consistency throughout the season.


snow ice management how to prevent excessive ice at your place of business this winter richmond va

As a business owner and resident, you probably already know that snow and ice are coming to your area this winter -- you just don't know when or how much. The last thing that you probably want to deal with as a business owner is dealing with a lot of snow and ice on your sidewalks, in your parking lot or elsewhere on your property. Doing so can be a major annoyance and can be dangerous; plus, it can make your property look less than its best.

Luckily, following a few snow and ice management throughout the cold winter months can help you keep snow and ice under control. This can keep your property looking well-kept all winter long, can be safer for you and the people who work at or patronize your business and can help prevent lawsuits. These are a few tips that you should follow if you want to enjoy these benefits.

Be Proactive

Keep an eye on the weather during the winter months. As you know, weather conditions can change very quickly, and a day that starts warm and beautiful can turn cold in an instant.

By keeping an eye on the weather all winter long, you'll know what to expect. Then, you can be proactive when ice and snow are supposed to hit. Keep a deicing solution on hand within your business; then, you can spray or scatter it on your sidewalks, walkways and parking lot before the snow and ice hit. This can help prevent the snow and ice from sticking and will provide a little bit of extra traction for everyone who uses your walkways and parking lot. Plus, it can make it easier for you to shovel the snow and ice away.

Work Quickly

Don't wait until the snow and ice pile up before you go out and do something about it. When it first falls, snow can actually be swept away with a broom. This is a lot easier physically than breaking out a snow shovel, and it can be effective if you start early enough. Plus, by getting rid of the snow right away, you can help prevent sticking throughout the day. This is because the sun will be able to shine on your paved surfaces, which can keep them warmer and can prevent sticking.

If you wait too long to do this, you should still consider breaking out a shovel and shoveling away the snow and the ice before it builds up too much. Although it's hard work, it'll be a lot easier than if you wait. Investing in and using a high-quality snow shovel can make the work a lot easier and more effective, so you may want to shop for this equipment before the season starts so that you'll have it on hand when you need it.

Get Set Up on a Contract

The best thing that you can do to keep snow and ice under control at your place of business this winter is to get set up on a contract with an ice and snow management company.

A good ice and snow management company will come out and treat your paved surfaces and will come out and plow your parking lot, clean up your driveways and walkways and otherwise ensure that your property is as clean and safe as possible when your area is experiencing winter weather.

If you want to plan ahead for potential bad weather in the coming weeks and months, contact us at Chapel Valley Landscape Company. We will help you prepare for the winter months so that you can put your focus on other aspects of running your business.

Photo Courtesy of Flickr


5 tips to help manage your commercial landscape in atlanta even in fall atlanta ga

A well-maintained Atlanta commercial landscape speaks volumes about your business or property. The time and effort that you put into how great everything looks is an investment unto itself. So even though colder weather is upcoming, there's no reason to neglect your commercial landscape and all of your hard work.

Maintaining a commercial landscape takes care and time. To ensure that everything looks beautiful and plentiful, equal amounts of energy need applied during all seasons of the year, not just during spring and summer.

In fact, here in the Atlanta area, maintaining a commercial landscape during fall and winter is just as important as any other time of year. Not only does your commercial property benefit from a beautiful landscape, so do the people who visit your business.

So to help you create a wonderful and hearty commercial landscape that brings lasting effects and repeat business, here are 5 tips to help you manage the workload throughout the fall.

Plan of Attack

No matter your level of expertise or your desire for extravagance, always have a plan of attack in place. Deciding what you want, and how you want it done, is important in setting a landscape standard for your commercial property. Even if you expect to hire a commercial landscape company after your initial setup, a plan in place makes this transition easier. 

Look at the Big Picture

A landscape's design scope helps your commercial business succeed on a larger level as well. How you correlate your aesthetics with your building's color and architecture is important to how others perceive what you have to offer. That's why, it's never a good idea to try to mix elements together that are uncomplimentary. When landscaping is done correctly, however, the end result should enhance what you have and add to the building's architectural beauty.

Inspiring Designs

To add to the above statements, consider landscaping with native grasses and plants. Not only will plants indigenous to the area add an element of comfort for those who visit your commercial business or property, they are far easier to care for in the long run. One of the biggest mistakes a commercial property owner or manager makes is when they attempt to add exotic elements to an otherwise simple property. Plants that fall into this category never last long, and you can pretty much guarantee that they will die during fall and winter.

Maintenance-Free is Great

After all is said and done, the best landscape is the one that brings in business but doesn't remove you (and others) from it. What's more, during colder months, and especially the rainy season, which begins in January, not having to go outside and manage a landscape is like a bonus. Further, maintenance-free also comes with a caretaker in mind. Hiring a commercial landscaper to manage your landscape leaves you to do what matters most.

Throw Down the Welcome Mat

Finally, a commercial landscape should invite people to come inside by creating a welcoming entry, a true statement in every season. The entrance to your commercial building is the first thing that people see, so guarantee that they feel welcomed by adding bright colors near the ground along the door. People who feel welcomed by your entryway are more likely to return, which is just another important benefit of a great landscape. 

The more work you put into your commercial landscape, the greater the chance of creating long-lasting customers and clients. 

It's never too late to get your commercial landscape in order, even in autumn. For more information on how we can help you, please don't hesitate to contact us anytime.

Chapel Valley Landscape Company is a full-service exterior landscape company. We are defined by our unparalleled design, installation and maintenance for both residential and commercial properties. Founded in 1968 by J. Landon Reeve IV, Chapel Valley has developed distinctive, award-winning landscapes that have been the hallmark of the company's commitment to creativity, quality and service.


the advantages of hiring a commercial snow plowing service baltimore md

If you are a business or commercial property owner, it's never too early to plan for snow removal. Not putting a plan in place before bad weather arrives can leave you in a potentially bad position.

Because, with winter comes snow, and snow has an incredibly negative impact on who can shop at your business or frequent your commercial property.

Business owners who know how to prepare, however, always contact a qualified snow plowing company sooner rather than later, because snow can (and will) cause chaos.

Interested in knowing more about the advantages of scheduling your snow plow service today?

Read on to find out why contacting a professional snow plow company will benefit your Maryland, Virginia or Washington DC business or commercial property greatly.

Customer Ease

As we mentioned above, preparing your lot for snow is a conscientious action on your part as a business owner. If a customer can't get into your business to shop, they will move on to a competitor. Losing customers because of snow is the absolute last thing you want.


No matter what type of business or commercial property you run, a well-plowed lot is a safe place for everyone. Even if your lot is simply used as a parking lot, those who work in the building will have increased safety when they enter.

Reduced Liability Risk

Along with safety, a plowed lot also has lower accident risk and liability. Snow and ice-related accidents can happen when parking lots are slippery, which leads to lawsuits that are easily avoided with a clean lot. Reduce your chances of a lawsuit by scheduling regular snow removal today.

Protected Lot Surface

A professional snow removal company uses the latest in snow removal equipment. This ensures that the surface beneath the snow is protected from plow damage. When you hire a professional snow removal company, your lot will keep its integrity while remaining free of snow and ice.


Many companies that remove snow promise a quality that they fail to deliver. Oftentimes, those who offer snow plowing services don't have the proper equipment to do the job correctly. What results, is a damaged driving surface that ends up costing more money to repair than if you'd hired a qualified professional from the beginning.


When snow begins to fall, what is your plan for snow removal? If you have intentions to do it yourself in order to save a few dollars, you are probably going to lose more money now than in the long run. The smart choice for snow removal remains with hiring a professional snow removal company to do the work.

Peace of Mind

Finally, isn't having a clean lot something that you and those who use your parking lot deserve? A driveway or parking lot that is clear of snow and ice brings with it unbeatable peace of mind. Knowing that a professional snow plow service will be there to clear your lot without as much as a phone call, is something that you'll never want to live without again.

Is your business or commercial property ready for a professional snow removal company? Although you never know when a snowstorm may hit, not having someone ready to clear a path for you is a disaster in and of itself.

So while it might cost a little up front, isn't it about time that you looked into hiring a snow plow service today? Trust us, as a business owner, having a snow plow service monitoring your lot is an unrivaled peace of mind that you simply can not beat.

For more information on how we can help you get started with scheduling a snow plow service today, please contact us.

Chapel Valley Landscape Company offers unparalleled design, installation and maintenance for both residential and commercial properties. Founded in 1968 by J. Landon Reeve IV, Chapel Valley has developed distinctive, award-winning landscapes that have been the hallmark of the company's commitment to creativity, quality, and service.

Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia


commercial landscaping serviceWhen it comes to dreaming up the perfect landscape for your yard, you may quickly find that what you imagine is a little more difficult to achieve than you originally thought. A great commercial landscaping service can do everything you want and more, turning your dreams into reality.

The best commercial landscaping services work all throughout the year, so whether you're striving for the perfect garden or just need snow and ice removed during the winter, they are happy to help. A professional landscape company does more than just make your home look pretty -- they add value to your home and put money back into your pocket. Here are just three of the many benefits to seeking a qualified commercial landscaping service for your home:

Summer landscaping. Having landscapers come in and create a beautiful garden outside of your home is one of the best ways to start a new hobby and enjoy the outdoors. According to a recent survey, people say they like to garden for the following reasons: to be outdoors (44%); to be around beautiful things (42%), relax and escape the pressures of everyday life (39%), and to stay active and get exercise (35%). Wouldn't it be nice to experience a combination of all four of those benefits? Besides being great for self-worth and enjoyment, your yard will be the star of the neighborhood, and everyone who drives be in awe of your landscape.

Winter jobs. When gardening season is over and it's time to break out the snow shovel, a commercial landscaping service is here to help you handle the big jobs. They provide professional salting, which is the safest and most effective way to clear sidewalks and driveways of dangerous black ice. Sometimes the snow just gets too heavy to deal with on your own, and you need to bring in some reinforcements just to get to work. Commercial landscapers can devise a custom snow removal plan for your home so you'll never have to miss work due to snow again.

Add value to your home. Commercial landscaping services are much more of an investment than a purchase. About two-thirds of homeowners say they'll get 60% of their landscaping investment back when they sell the home, and many often receive much more than that. Maintaining your house is a lot like maintaining your car; if you try to sell a car with a broken windshield, you'll get less than you deserve. If you add a fresh paint job and new tires to the car, the value will be higher than when you bought it. A great landscaping company knows this, and will increase the value of your home with every job they do.

Does this reflect your experience working with landscapers? Let us know in the comments.

salt is for margaritas not snow and ice removal sterling vaThe National Weather Service considers the El Nino effect in their predictions for the upcoming winter. The warm Pacific waters can spawn storms clean across the country. Forecasters are predicting above-normal storms and precipitation from New York down the East Coast for the winter of 2015-16.The Farmer’s Almanac agrees. You are probably pondering what you need to stock up on in order to keep the sidewalks and parking lot clear for your customers or clientele. The news and Internet are full of stories and articles regarding the dangers of salt to the rivers, streams and the wildlife that both live in them and drink from them. Your concern about the welfare of the flora and fauna means that you have precious little choice in snow removal and salting. What are your options?

Before the Storm

Experts agree that salts and de-icers are detrimental to just about everything. However, before a storm hits, it is wise to sprinkle a bit on the sidewalks and parking lot. Keep in mind the job of de-icer is to loosen the snow and ice from surfaces, not melt it. A light sprinkle of the substance will mean snow and ice can be scraped away much easier.

After the Storm

Believe it or not, a broom is a useful tool after a snow storm. If the snowfall wasn’t too bad and before the snow is compacted, a simple broom will brush most of it away. The snow shovel will then have little to do. Scrape or push the snow away instead of shoveling it. That will save your back some pain as well as getting down to the concrete. Most experts recommend a wide snow shovel with a metal strip for chipping and scraping away the ice. Experts also agree that shoveling the snow onto the grounds is not a good idea, just in case some ice-melt got into the mix.

There would be little need for much salt or de-icer if the walks and parking lot were shoveled or scraped as soon after the snow stops. Shovel frequently following the end of the storm. Snow will blow off the top of the building in addition to being shoved aside by cars and snow plows plowing the parking lot. Keep at it in order to use less salt and de-icer.

Some experts advise using a snow blower in order to save time and back pain. Electric models are recommended, because gas models are noisy. Snow throwers are also equipped with a scraper for clearing sidewalks down to the concrete. Beware, though, because these can sometimes pick up stones and get hung up in cracks in the sidewalk and damage the blade.

The Nitty-Gritty about Salt

Most calcium salts are only good down to 15 degrees. With lower temps, you’ll need a formula especially made for below freezing temperatures. These are the salts we are warned about on TV and the Internet. Most people coat surfaces with salt. This is not necessary. It only takes a little to melt ice from an area no bigger than a parking space. One coffee cup piled with salt is good for two parking spaces. Some folks use rock salt in order not to pollute the water with calcium salts. Whatever kind of salt you use, make sure to sweep up and reuse what is left on bare pavement. If the pavement is bare, the salt has done its job. Leaving it there runs the risk of polluting the land and water.

While you’re pondering how to remove the snow and ice from your walks and parking lot, don’t forget the furry ones. Many people take their pets wherever they go, and some take along therapy animals or service animals. These little guys get salt in their paws. It damages the pads and makes them sick when they lick their paws clean. Spare a thought for their health, too, while you’re thinking of snow removal.

Now is the time to contact us for landscape design, protecting your landscaping before winter and snow removal. For almost 50 years, we’ve taken exceptional care of Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D. C. landscapes, and we’ll do the same with yours.

Picture Courtesy of Wikipedia

Chapel Valley Preps U.S.'s Largest Roman Catholic Church for Pope's Visit

Washington, DC: On September 23rd, Pope Francis is scheduled to say an outdoor mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, the largest Roman Catholic Church in the United States. Chapel Valley is responsible for the site’s ongoing landscape management (20 plus years) and for the additional landscaping that will be performed in honor of the Pope’s visit.

The event is taking place on the east portico of the basilica, and is expected to attract over 30,000 attendees. In order to accommodate the visitors, Chapel Valley must be on site for 18 days to create and maintain a 3.6-acre outdoor space. It will take both maintenance and construction teams to fulfill the landscape requirements.

During this time trees, shrubs, and flowers will be removed and put in a holding area to make room for the stage. Once the event is finished, the plants are expected to be put back exactly as they were prior to the normal mass held every Sunday.
While the stage is being installed, an enhancement crew will be on site to take care of any pruning or plant material requirements. In addition, the crew will prune mature trees to improve sight views.

There will also be a water truck on-site as some of the irrigation zones will be turned off to protect any electrical equipment used on stage. All turf area and plants around the stage and jumbo screen will be hand-watered in lieu of the standard irrigation.

“From tree transplanting, regular maintenance, to watering—the grounds need to be a show case site even throughout all the foot traffic and construction. Pressure is on from the Basilica but we are prepared with a great staff in place”, says Chapel Valley’s property manager Danny Wenner, who has been attending weekly meetings for 2 months in preparation of the Pope’s visit.

Chapel Valley Landscape Company, established in 1968, is a second-generation, family-owned and operated company that offers unparalleled design, installation and maintenance for both residential and commercial properties. Chapel Valley is headquartered in Maryland, with additional locations in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern regions.

autumn preparations for snow ice management baltimore md

The summer's barely over, but weather watchers across the mid-Atlantic region are already talking about the threat of snow and ice this winter. Whether it's a wooly worm you've consulted, the Farmer's Almanac, or computer-generated weather projections, if you're concerned about winter weather then you need to think about snow & ice management.

Fall is the perfect season for making the little changes needed to help you get through the winter's unpredictable weather as safely as possible. For your home or business, these tips will help make it easier to get in and out all winter.

Check Your Power Lines

Spring and summer growth might have brought trees and shrubs too close to your power lines. Trim your trees so that if heavy snow or ice breaks branches, it doesn't also snap your power lines. You may also want to make sure downed limbs won't damage your roof or vehicles. For you business, check to make sure falling limbs won't damage customers' vehicles or block you parking areas.

Inspect your Handrails

On the stairs leading to the door or on the deck behind the house, handrails can become loose over time. Be sure they are in good condition so that when people need the support to preventing falling on snow and ice the rail is ready.

Look for Drainage Concerns

Much of the ice that collects in our region begins as freezing rain, so it's a good idea to check your sidewalks, porches, and parking areas for spots that don't drain off. Where water collects now can be icy spots once the temperatures drop.

Stock Up on Supplies

Fall is the perfect time to check your supply of basic winter necessities. Even when you contact us for your snow and ice management needs, you will still want to make sure that your home and business have the basics for immediate storm response. Check to make sure you have a shovel in good condition, ice melt, and a basic emergency kit in case the winter weather hits when you aren't expecting it.

Prepare your Vehicle

Before the weather turns frightful is the best time to get it ready for what may come. Check your tires for both regular wear and damage from the summer heat. It's a good idea to have the fluids topped off and double-check your defroster to make sure it is in top condition.

While thinking about your car, consider adding an extra blanket and small emergency kit in the trunk in case others are not as conscientious with their ice and snow management plans as you are.

Clean your Vents and Chimneys

Fall is a great time to have your local HVAC team out to clean your ducts and give your heating system a check-up. Chances are it's been off for months, getting dusty and being ignored. Don't wait for the first bad storm to find out that your heater is going out.

Likewise, if you have a fireplace or wood stove, clean the chimney now. No one wants a chimney fire and no one wants to climb on the roof when it's 35 degrees to remove the squirrel's nest.

Contact a Snow and Ice Removal Team

In the midst of back-to-school and then prepping for the fall holidays, snow and ice may not be something you're thinking about. But waiting until the skies turn gray before making your snow and ice removal plans can lead to delays or, worse yet, finding that your preferred company simply can't take your business.

Talk to your snow removal experts now to develop a plan for winter storms. You should discuss how soon after the snow starts and stops they will be available to clear your parking lot, how they intend to treat it to handle ice or prevent ice accumulation, and even to clarify exactly what they handle. Do they shovel the sidewalk to the door or is that your responsibility?

By preparing for snow and ice now, you can avoid headaches and delays when the bad weather arrives.

Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia


 Project Olmsted Winner
Chapel Valley's Baltimore Branch Manager receiving the award.

This summer Chapel Valley won the “People’s Choice Award” from Project Olmsted, a new summer-long exhibition of planting beds designed in the tradition of celebrated landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted.

The beds are located in the historic Sherwood Gardens, located in the Guilford Community in Baltimore, MD. The design was created by Chapel Valley’s in-house designer and was maintained by their branch located in Linthicum Heights.

The “People’s Choice Award” was chosen by the communities homeowners and visitors who came to the garden.

make early plans for snow plowing to get your business ready for the inevitable alexandria va

Maintaining commercial property is generally quite doable, especially with professional assistance, but it can become overwhelming during wintertime when the snow starts coming down. Not having a plan can cause a number of problems, but you can avoid them by making plans early on for snow plowing.

Create a Customized Plan to Handle the Season

Since your business has its own days and hours of operation, you want to create a customized plan based around this information. Snow plowing is a common necessity during the snowy season, so making plans as early as possible will prevent you from getting stuck with an inconvenient plan.

Snow Will Get in the Way of Making Money

Although you may enjoy snow on personal time, it will get in the way of your business. Snow prevents people from using your business, either by slowing them down or stopping them completely. The roads will be tough enough, so you want to keep them from having parking or driving troubles on your property.

Get It Done at Nonintrusive Times

Snow plowing service is often essential to keep your business running smoothly, but you also want to get it done at nonintrusive times to avoid pushing potential customers away. Establishing a plan early on will ensure you get to schedule routine plowing at times that will not disrupt your business’s operation.

Avoid Handling It on Your Own

Without professional assistance, you or your employees would have to get outside and start plowing snow. However, most businesses do not have the ideal equipment for the job, which makes it inefficient and undoubtedly cuts into valuable time that could be better spent on business-related projects.

No Need to Worry about Damage

If you were to take matters into your own hands and start plowing snow, you would have to research all of the right methods to avoid causing damage to any part of your commercial property. Since snow covers almost everything, the amount of knowledge you would need to have is quite extensive, which makes it easier to opt for snow plowing services as the professionals will already know what they need to do.

Put an End to Avoidable Accidents

Although you cannot stop all accidents from occurring, you can substantially reduce the chance of an accident happening that is related to the snow by getting snow plowing service. Maintaining your property is not just crucial to help your customers reach your business, but to prevent them from getting injured.

Go Into Work with Confidence

By creating a seasonal plan with a professional company, you can wake up in the morning without having to worry about your property's condition. Whether it is you or one of your employees who opens the business on a daily basis, you will enjoy knowing that the snow will not be a problem upon arrival.

Enjoy Planned Service over Getting It As Needed

Although you could attempt to get professional snow plowing only at times when the snow becomes too excessive, not having a plan can lead to some short-term issues with companies having a booked schedule. By creating a plan before the snow season begins, you can go into this season with confidence.

Just as with any part of your business, when you know you have inevitable obstacles ahead of you, preparing ahead of time is the most effective way to keep them from becoming problematic. Making plans and knowing that snow will not be an issue come wintertime is an important achievement to have.

If you have any questions about our snow plowing services or you would like to create a personalized winter plan for your business, feel free to contact us at any time.

Photo Courtesy of Flickr

ten dos and donts of sidewalk snow removal sterling vaAfter a snowstorm, clearing your sidewalks is essential to ensure foot traffic is able to enter your business. When it comes to sidewalk snow removal, there is a lot to get right, and perhaps just as much to get wrong. Here are ten do's and don'ts when it comes to this concept.

#1. Do shovel sidewalks early and often

Waiting until after all the snow has fallen may seem like a good idea; however, removing several inches of snow all at once can be back breaking. Instead, shovel smaller amounts of snow as it falls, and you’ll find it much easier to remove.

#2. Do dress appropriately for the weather

Hypothermia often results whenever people attempt to shovel snow without the right protective clothing. Ideally, you should dress in layers so you can add or remove clothing as needed. It’s also important to wear thermal socks and gloves to prevent frostbite to your extremities.

#3. Do use the right equipment

A snow shovel differs from a spade or regular shovel in that it has a flat blade that makes it ideal for scooping with. It is also more lightweight, so it is easier on your back. You are also less likely to remove gravel or scrape your sidewalk when using a snow shovel.

#4. Do take frequent breaks

Shoveling snow can be exhausting work. In fact, a good number of people each year suffer a heart attack while shoveling snow. To avoid serious problems, take breaks every 30 minutes or so, or more often if the temperatures are especially frigid.

#5. Do remain hydrated

Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean you can’t become dehydrated. In fact, you may actually sweat a great deal and need to replenish fluids. Even if you do not feel thirsty, be sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after shoveling snow.

#6. Do not use salt or commercial ice melt products

These products contain harmful chemicals that might run off into sewers and drainage ditches, where they will eventually enter the water supply. They also pose a hazard to pets, as animals can get residue on their paws that may be ingested if they lick them.

#7. Do not break up ice with the end of a shovel

A special ice breaker tool is ideal for breaking up ice, and will make this task much easier. An ice breaker tool contains a long handle with a flat blade at the end that can be used to crack through ice so that it can then be scooped up.

#8 Do not use kitty litter or sand to melt the ice

These products are actually not effective at melting ice, and instead only provide traction. They also make snow shoveling a whole lot messier. You may use sand or kitty litter only after shoveling to help provide better footing on your wet sidewalk. Removing it then will not be difficult, because you can simply sweep it away with a broom.

#9. Do not shovel without first warming up your muscles

You should warm up before shoveling, just as you would before any other workout. Performing some light activity to get your heartrate up, followed by a bit of light stretching is all you need to prevent injury.

#10. Do not use alcohol or tobacco while shoveling snow

These things can affect blood flow and increase your risk of a heart attack. They also make it more likely you will suffer from hypothermia.

Keeping track of all these dos and don’ts can be difficult, which is why you may want to leave sidewalk shoveling to a professional. Not only that, but removing snow and ice can leave you with little time to take care of the other aspects of running a business. Avoid liability and ensure customers can get to your location-contact us today for a free estimate. Thanks.

Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia

residential landscaping ideasLandscaping season isn’t over with Labor Day. In fact, late summer is a great time to get outside and enjoy the last gardening-worthy months before autumn truly sets in. Here are five easy residential landscaping ideas that work well from late August through first frost:

  1. Fight Fungus
    Slighter cooler weather often makes it possible for fungus to set in in your lawn. And if you’ve been doing your own mowing, rather than hiring a professional landscape company, it’s likely that you’ve let a fair amount of thatch build up on your lawn, blocking sunlight and exacerbating the problem. Make sure you don’t overspray with chemicals in an effort to keep your lawn looking nice for longer, however; many bugs are good for your lawn (and the rest of the environment), and harsh sprays can kill them.

  2. Trim and Tame
    As some plants thin out, things can start to look a bit straggly in your yard. Take this time of year to clear out dead branches and trim hedges into neater shapes to combat the unkempt look that tends to replace lush summer vegetation.

  3. Add Some Color
    The best perennials to plant will depend on your region, of course, but there are numerous options that will add some bright color to your yard between now and first frost. Try Alternanthera, pineapple sage, pincushion flower, Salvia, or black-eyed Susan to get started.

  4. Plant a Tree
    September is an excellent time of year to plant evergreens; deciduous trees can be planted all the way until early November. Trees are useful, as well as attractive. They can reduce bothersome noise by up to 50%. You may have also heard that proper landscaping shading windows and walls can reduce air conditioning costs by up to half; those benefits carry over in the winter and reduce heating costs because trees create a windbreak.

  5. Opt for Edibles
    Most residential landscaping ideas focus on looks. But ornamental plants don’t have to be the only thing in your yard. There’s still barely enough time to start a fall crop of lettuce or radishes. The latter are fun for kids, particularly, who will love pulling out the brightly colored radishes at harvest time. As long as you keep the beds neat, edible plants can look very attractive in your backyard.

Do you have any other residential landscaping ideas to share before it’s time to turn your attention to snow removal plans instead? Join the discussion in the comments.

Rose rosette Knock Out Rose Alan Windham website

Image of Rose Rosette by Alan Windham, Professor at UT Institute of Agriculture

Over the past few years, roses have made a comeback in commercial landscapes thanks to the Knock-Out Rose and the Double Knock-Out Rose; they are both resistant to black spot disease and powdery mildew, and are able to produce blooms throughout the growing season, making them favorable for urban environments—until recently.

Landscapers are concerned, because of two environmental factors that are causing health problems to these cultivars of roses. One being rose rosette, a disease that is incurable and spreads very easily—two good reasons why landscapers need to keep an eye out for it.

Once detected, the rose bush should be removed and rid of immediately; doing this will help prevent nearby roses from being infected. However, this can be difficult because symptoms can look similar to ones caused by herbicide damage. It is best to determine damage during the spring when new growth is present.

Symptoms include:

• Increased growth/rapid elongation of shoots
• Abnormal red discoloration of shoots and foliage
• Witches broom appearance from new growth (prolific clustering of small shoots)
• Overabundance of pliable thorns
• Deformed buds and flowers
• Lack of winter hardiness
• Increased susceptibility to other diseases, such as powdery mildew.

How do you control this disease? The mite, Phyllocoptes fructiphilus, transmits the disease to the roses and by controlling them with an insecticide, the rose’s chances of being infected are lower. Another way to control rose rosette, is by removing multiflora roses that are within 100 yards of the landscape. Multiflora roses are wild and typically grow in weeded areas on roadsides and pastures; they are highly susceptible to rose rosette, and can increase the chances of spreading of rose disease in commercial landscapes.

The other culprit causing health problems in Knock-Out Roses is the Sawfly. Landscapers are seeing an increase in sawfly population, which is likely from the large amount of plantings installed this year. Roses attract sawflies because they make a great incubation spot for their larvae. The best way to control sawflies is to use an insecticide, only when larvae are present.

Chapel Valley highly suggests for their clients to have an integrated pest management program included in their yearly maintenance plan. Our team of certified experts will take preventative actions to control diseases that spread easily. Contact us for more information on our landscaping services.

snow removal planIf you own any type of property, residential or commercial, it’s time to face some bad news: It’s already time to start thinking about preparing your outdoor landscape for winter. That might seem premature, but cold temperatures, snow and ice will be coming sooner than you think, and it will be much easier to take the necessary steps now than it will be when you’re fighting early storms beginning in the fall. Plus, if you get everything out of the way now, you’ll be able to enjoy the rest of your summer worry-free. There are basically five steps you’ll need to take:

  1. Making a Snow Removal Plan It’s good to have a snow removal plan in place now because you’ll get the best pricing and accommodation if your contract is locked down before September. Snow and ice removal can be handled in several ways, and you’ll probably want a combination of services. Salting is generally considered the safest and most effective way to clear paths, but you should keep in mind that relying too heavily on salt can damage your landscaping by changing the salinity of the surrounding soil. Given that your landscaping is probably an important part of your home value (7-15%), you don’t want to sabotage yourself for next spring.
  2. Upgrading Outdoor Lighting Make sure your landscape lighting will stand up to snow. That may mean upgrading simple stake lights, or at least supplementing them. People are often going to work and heading home in the dark during winter, so this is a safety issue.
  3. Preparing Hardscaping Hardscaping such as walkways and patios can be damaged both by the freeze/thaw cycle and by the salt and chemicals used to clear snow and ice in the winter. You can prevent some of this damage by covering concrete or pavers with specialized sealants to minimize chemical burns and water absorption.
  4. Protecting Plant Beds Annual plants won’t hold up to winter’s chill no matter what you do -- that’s why they’re called annuals. But you can preserve as many perennial plants as possible by ensuring that your plant beds have enough mulch, which will regulate soil temperature over the wintertime.
  5. Assessing Tree Health If your trees have any damage at the moment, they’re likely to develop frost cracks when it gets cold. You may be able to save them by getting special treatments and wraps that are designed to promote wound healing. It’s worth taking care of your trees in the winter; properly placed landscaping provides windbreaks that can cut down on heating costs.

Have you talked to your commercial or residential landscaping company yet about choosing a snow removal plan and getting your outdoor space ready for winter? Join the discussion in the comments.

commercial landscaping pros breakdown soil tilth texture and structure basics baltimore md

Commercial landscaping includes analyzing soil texture, structure and tilth. Although people often use texture and structure interchangeably, in landscaping, they mean different things. As such, it is best for business owners to have a general understanding of what those differences are and how they impact a landscaper’s decisions. We’ve listed a brief overview of all three concepts in today’s post:

Texture vs. Structure

Texture refers to the various materials used to make up soil and their respective percentages whereas structure does not. It is used to explain the order in which those materials appear in the soil and can be hard to change for obvious reasons. For example, let’s say that the soil has a top layer that is 75% sand and 25% of miscellaneous materials, followed by a thick layer of loam. The area’s texture would typically be classified as sandy loam. From a structural viewpoint, the sand layer would be listed first because of its order. The miscellaneous materials and loam would logically follow.

Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern Soils

Each area or region has its own, inherent terrain. Consequently, soil texture and structure vary throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern portions of the United States. Maryland, Georgia and Virginia have their fair share of clay. However, it is also common to find loam, sand, muck, gravel, silt and stone. With that said, the exact texture and structure of a given area’s soil is often determined by commercial landscapers through manual, laboratory or soil survey means.

A Tiny Peek at Tilth

As for tilth, it is used to describe the soil’s ability to permit plant growth as well as the ease of manual or mechanical manipulation. Despite being classified as a separate component for analysis, the soil’s tilth is dependent on its texture, structure and regional weather patterns. So in other words, all three concepts are interrelated and should therefore be treated as such.

What Role Do They Play?

When making commercial landscaping decisions, professionals will look at the three factors we covered in today’s post. Afterward, they’ll adjust the soil’s texture in ways that best benefit the area’s vegetation. For example, soil that has large amounts of sand may need to be amended with materials that will keep fertilizers and water from dissipating too quickly. Other areas may require the addition of plant-based compost or gravel.

To speak with an expert in soil tilth, texture and structure, please contact the Chapel Valley Landscape Company. We have been in the commercial landscaping business since the 1960s and are intimately familiar with all three concepts as well as their impact on our service areas’ growing seasons.

commercial landscaping in atlanta is it time to top things off

Are you unhappy with the uneven look of your commercial property in Atlanta? Is the turf grass stressed and in need of immediate care? If so, it’s time to ask your Atlanta commercial landscaping team about top-dressing. Top-dressing has the potential to take care of those problems in several ways. It typically involves adding a surface layer of nutrient-rich soil to the property at the opportune time.

However, in clay-ridden areas of Atlanta, the dressing may also include a good deal of drainage materials too. The sand is often mixed in with the organic and inorganic amendments to address both nutrient and drainage problems in one sweeping maneuver. The inorganic and organic materials used during commercial landscaping in Atlanta's clay-filled regions obviously vary as well.

Once the right mix of top-dressing is achieved, it is spread out across the commercial property until the surface is even and the new layer is anywhere from ¼ to ½ inch thick. Spreading may be completed with motorized, commercial landscaping equipment or by manual means. As such, it may take several hours to get a commercial area’s top-dressing just right. The process may also include other Southeastern landscaping tasks like over-seeding and thatch removal.

In Atlanta, top-dressing is generally a commercial landscaping activity best undertaken during the tail end of the growing season. By waiting until the tail end of the season, the top-dressing will help protect the vegetation from nighttime dips in temperature and subsequent frost heaving. Frost, by the way, generally doesn’t arrive in Atlanta until late October or early November.

To learn more about top-dressing and how it may improve the look as well as the health of a commercial property’s turf, please contact the Chapel Valley Landscape Company today. We can help businesses find the right top-dressing mix and apply it before the first frost arrives in Fulton County.