Archive for Sunday, June 15, 2008

Landscapers, arborists keeping busy

June 15, 2008

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While farmers struggle with the implications of the recent rains, local landscapers and arborists are taking advantage of the soggy weather.

"For the last six weeks, we've been doing storm damage, broken tree damage, trees blown over," said Newton Mulford, owner of Jayhawk-Mulford Tree Service. "Instead of doing maintenance, we're doing emergency work."

Landscapers, like Drew Elser, landscape division manager of First Management, said rainy weather has caused his crew to adjust its scheduling.

"First of all, it throws your mowing schedule completely out of whack," he said. "With the heavy volume of rain we get around here. It's pretty difficult to get a mower out there without leaving muddy tracks all around."

Keeping up with customer expectations is another consequence of the rain, said Frank Male, co-owner of Lawrence Landscape.

"We have projects, and they have deadlines. The deadlines don't move, even though you don't have the dry days to get the work done," Male said.

Despite battling muddy ground, landscapers are keeping busy.

"We've been fortunate because we've been able to do other projects," Male said.

His company is building a retaining wall at the new Tonganoxie water park and is working on replacing bricks on Ohio Street.

"We've been able to cover our overhead and keep the wheels turning, but it's less than ideal," he said.

Mulford said storms during the last six weeks have uprooted trees, and saturated soil and winds have caused other trees to topple over.

"If you get into that type of work, you have to postpone the regular work," he said, adding that emergency maintenance accounts for nearly 100 percent of his business these days.

He said homeowners should be aware of trees that may fall over by watching the upper crown, though there is often little warning.

"Sometimes you get these high winds when the limb gets cracked, but it won't break off. Monitor that and if there are any abnormalities, have somebody come out and get it checked," Mulford said.

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