- FAX 215-438-1879
- Peter McFarland
- Locke Woodfin
These features are important parts of outdoor living space
We can create an oasis for you — a private courtyard by your kitchen or living room.
McFarland has completed a range of hardscape projects, building retaining walls, stone and brick walkways, fountains, ponds, driveways, and patios. Also cedar pergolas and arbors constructed with the finest landscape timber.
The results are beautiful and functional outdoor living spaces.
Please contact us if you would like us to add these features to your property.
- Best times to prune trees
- Protection against winter burn
A combination of brick, slate, and cobblestone materials creates an aesthetically pleasing and long-lasting look.
Pergolas built with cedar wood result in a sturdy support system for wisteria, which provide filtered shade.
Over the last two years we upgraded our entire fleet of trucks, chippers and tractors by purchasing all new vehicles. We did this for several reasons: the fleet was getting older; the new trucks are more fuel efficient and have cleaner emissions. Most important, they are safer, bigger, and stronger.
Every truck has a hydraulic lift so we can lift heavy equipment, logs, stumps, trees, soil, and stones. This way we save on back injuries and time, getting projects done faster and safer. It also helped that financing costs were very favorable.
From a distance, you might not notice the difference, since our vehicles still have the same sky-blue color. This color is another way for people to recognize us, when McFarland is out there taking care of customers’ trees and landscapes.
This year we completed more installations of stone walls, brick walks, slate patios. cedar pergolas and trellises than we ever have in the past 53 years being in the business. We are very proud of the quality of this work.
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Late Fall & Winter are Best Times to Prune Trees
As a general rule of thumb, every tree on your property should be pruned at least once every five years.
It has been our experience that homeowners, who have their trees pruned by us on this cycle, experience less tree damage than those who let nature do the pruning.
Tree pruning makes the most sense when the leaves have fallen and our crews can prune limbs more efficiently.
Pruning in Winter, when the ground is frozen, means the under story trees and shrubs experience less damage from falling limbs.
A healing process occurs naturally, following the pruning, in which cuts and wounds close. This process starts, and is most active in Spring, when trees return from dormancy and begin their new growth. Pruning during colder months gives pathogens the least amount of time to attack a wound in a tree.
When pruning trees, our crews pay particular attention to reducing safety hazards caused by ice and storm damage and heavy winds. They remove all weak, diseased, and dead limbs, as well as limbs or trunks with serious structural defects, such as crossed or rubbing branches.
They also thin the ends of limbs in the outer canopy and the center of the crown. This reduces the weight and spread of the tree, thereby increasing its longevity. Our crews are experienced in weight reduction pruning, which we specialize in.
White oak tree at the Morris Arboretum
Weight reduction is especially important for trees growing in full sun, because they often have a large spread to their canopy.
Remember, you should consider having twenty percent of your trees pruned each year. Contact your McFarland Arborist soon to discuss which of your trees should be pruned this Winter.
Older, mature trees,such as American Elms, Maples, Oaks,and Sycamores, are good candidates for pruning in the colder months.
Why Planting in the Fall Still Makes Sense
F all is the best time of year to plant trees, shrubs, and herbaceous perennials for several reasons:
- Most of a plant’s root growth occurs in late Summer and Fall when the soil is warmer, and it can establish healthier, more vigorous root systems.
- Milder temperatures and more dependable rainfall in Fall help new plants to grow in.
- Damage from pests and diseases is less.
- Fall planting allows more time for leaf and flower bud development.
- Often less watering of the newly planted plants is necessary because of cooler temperatures.
Spring flowering shrubs, such as Azalea, Lilac, and Rhododendron, perform better after having a season to establish their root systems.
Call your McFarland Arborist to get on our Fall planting schedule.
Fall Fertilizing for Trees & Lawns
Fall is the best time to fertilize your trees and lawn because roots grow strongest then to prepare themselves for Winter, and nutrients and minerals added by fertilizing are easily absorbed and stored until Spring, when your plants will leaf out healthy and lush and produce new growth.
Trees in forests and woods selffeed by the natural process of leaf and wood decay.
In urban or suburban environments, however, leaves and dead wood usually are removed. Also, most trees in these settings are surrounded by roads, driveways and sidewalks, which reduce the area for nutrient uptake.
All trees, especially Oaks, should be fertilized every other year.
For healthier, greener lawns, we recommend early Fall fertilizing each year. Not only does this feeding help lawns recover from the stresses of summer, and stay healthy during winter dormancy.
Fall fertilizing also stimulates root and stem development before cold weather sets in.
We recommend a second feeding in late Fall to enable your lawn to green up earlier in Spring.
Lawn roots need air as well as water and nutrients for healthy growth. Many lawns have restricted air and water movement due to soil compaction. We recommend core aeration to break up this compaction, so your lawn will breathe better. Core aeration also benefits the roots of nearby trees.
Please call us soon to schedule your fall fertilizing
Plant Spring Bulbs in Fall
Spring-blooming bulbs should be planted in late Fall, once ground temperatures have begun to cool down. October and November are best for planting bulbs.
Displays of daffodils, tulips. crocuses, and hyacinths scattered about your property in clusters or larger drifts, make for more color in April and May.
Please call us soon if you would like us to plant bulbs.
Protect Against Winter Burn
When air temperatures fluctuate above and below freezing, winds can cause dehydration of broad-leaf evergreen trees and shrubs, resulting in winter burn.
The leaves or needles will turn brown. Stems and branches may die because the roots are unable to replenish the loss of water. In worst cases the plant does not recover.
To prevent this from happening, we recommend application of one or two anti-dessication treatments, starting in late Fall or early Winter.
Broadleaf evergreen trees, such as Aucubas, Azaleas, Boxwoods, Hollies, Laurels, Magnolias, and Rhododendrons, are especially susceptible to winter burn. Conifers, such as Spruce, Fir, and Pine trees, also can suffer this damage.
If you have any of these evergreens on your property, or questions about other types of evergreens that may need protection, call us before Winter to arrange a consultation.
Outdoor Living Space Features
When installing brick sidewalks, we use new bricks that look aged. We don’t use concrete as a base because concrete cracks. We use very fine, small stone, which we tamp down hard then level to the grade we want, so rain water and snow melt wash away and don’t leave puddles. The stone base allows for air movement and drainage, and allows for ground shifting and tree root movement.
For walls, we chip and pull Wissahickon schist stone out of a local quarry, then use it to build dry walls (this means no concrete). The result is a timeless, classic look.
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Now that Fall is almost here, we want to make sure your property is ready for Winter. The best way we can do this is making sure your trees are properly pruned to minimize possible damage from ice, wind, and winter storms; protecting your evergreen plants against winter burn, and; fertilizing your trees and lawn.
If you are not already on our Fall schedule for these services, please contact us.
— Peter McFarland