How to Fix Your Retaining Wall Aesthetics with Landscaping

Retaining walls are often perceived as uninspiring because they are seen as an eyesore. An occasional necessity, there is no reason why they should look ugly or out of place in your garden. Improving a retaining wall with the use of retaining wall aesthetics and landscaping is a simple matter with careful planning and planting.

retaining wall aesthetics


Posted In: Arborists, Bricklayers, Builders, Irrigation Specialists, Landscapers, Resource Management

Many homeowners are under the false impression that the vast majority of winter damage comes as a result of unusually cold temperatures. What causes most damage is the drying due to cold air and the up and down fluctuation of temperatures that comes during winter. Add to that the general lack of rain, those causes a lot of stress on plants and can make them much more susceptible to winter damage. This is especially true if the plants are not native to the climate and suitable for the environment. Some plants just need a little extra help to get through the winter unscathed. A few preventive steps and a little bit of your time are all it takes to protect your plants against the most common plant problems during winter. Here are some other things to keep in mind as you work to protect your trees and to help guard against winter damage.

Posted In: Arborists, Buller, CHB, Clutha, Hamilton, Manukau, Marlborough, Rodney, Rotorua

budget landscaping ideasToday we’re pleased to share with you a guest blog post by Andy Ellis.  Andy is a former All Black. He is also a part of an illustrious group, being the 11th Crusader to reach 100 caps.

Andy is involved with KamoMarsh, an award-winning Garden Design and Landscape Architecture firm based in Christchurch, New Zealand.

For almost 40 years, KamoMarsh have worked on a diverse range of projects, creating beautiful landscape garden designs that both inspire and invigorate those who use the spaces.

Andy is  a natural on the field playing for the #allblacks. He’s also a natural when bringing together a range of landscape design elements to complement the environment and make the best use of natural resources and existing landscape features.  Read on and discover Andy’s top budget landscaping ideas put together especially for you! (more…)

Posted In: Arborists, Auckland, Christchurch, Gardeners & Lawn Mowing, Landscapers, North Shore, Pacific Islands, Queenstown, Selwyn, Tasman, Waimakariri, Waimate

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tree care servicesDo you ever find time to remove tree roots from your lawn, remove tree stumps or tend your yard? If you think hiring professional tree care services is an extra expense, then consider the time and effort you’ll otherwise need to spend tending your garden.  It not only costs you time and hard work pulling all those roots, but you might not have the right equipment to get the job done.

4 reasons for using professional tree care services

Here’s four great reasons why you should use professional tree care services: (more…)

Posted In: Arborists, Gardeners & Lawn Mowing, Hastings, Hauraki, Hutt Valley, Kaipara

Do you want to hire a gardener, but not pay the earth? Everyone wants a bargain on services right now and hiring a gardener or landscaper is no exception.  The range of services offered by gardeners will vary considerably and as with hiring any tradesperson for your home, the lowest price doesn’t always equate to the best deal.

Quality, reliability and value for money are important to think about when hiring a gardener or accepting any quotes. Post a job on Builderscrack and have gardeners and landscape architects contact you today.

Guidelines to help you hire a gardener

hire a gardener


Posted In: Arborists, Carterton, Central Otago, CHB, Christchurch, Gardeners & Lawn Mowing, Landscapers

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Winter gardening tips for March and April in New Zealandwinter gardening tips

A successful garden provides a visually interesting variety of colour year-round.  Builderscrack has some winter gardening tips for you! Start by incorporating a blend of trees both evergreen and deciduous, mixed up with flowering shrubs, spring bulbs, perennials and annuals.

In climates with mild winters, cooler months are a good time for flower colour and fragrance.

For climate control, choose evergreen plants for protection from cold winds and deciduous plants around the house to let the winter sunshine stream in. Here are some top gardening tips for the next couple of months. (more…)

Posted In: Arborists, Dunedin, Far North, Fiordland, Gardeners & Lawn Mowing, Landscapers

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So, that mighty oak out the front is blocking the light? Rather than lopping its top off, and thereby completely ruining its shape and health, call in someone who can provide a solution to suit both your needs and the tree’s requirements.

To some, a towering tree in the garden is a thing of beauty and grace to be enjoyed and cherished. To others, it’s nothing but trouble. It blocks the sun, obscures the view and sheds leaves for months on end. Regardless of which camp you’re in, when it comes to pruning or removing trees, you should call in the professionals.

David Glenn is the president of the New Zealand Arboricultural Association and notable trees registrar for the Royal New Zealand Institute of Horticulture, so he knows his rimu from his rata, his chainsaws from his handsaws. And he knows a good arborist when he sees one.

“An arborist needs to combine the needs of the person with the needs of the tree. This is where their skill is crucial, as different trees respond differently to various treatments,” he says.

Like any tradesperson, when you’re looking to hire an arborist, you should get three quotes.

However, David says that arboold oakrists tend to specialise in either pruning or tree-felling. Tree-felling, especially around houses and powerlines, is very tricky and requires a high level of skill, so in your contact with an arborist, ask if they’re pruners or fellers. Also ask about their insurance – sometimes tree-felling is excluded on a residential policy.

Aside from pruning and felling trees, a qualified arborist should be able to advise you of your legal rights for neighbouring trees overhanging or shading your property. Also, when you’re thinking of planting, they can give you sound information on the best choice of tree for the site. It’s very important that your arborist gets the chance for a full consultation prior to providing a quote and undertaking any work.

They will need to visit the property to view the tree in question and identify any issues that could cause difficulties when undertaking the task; things like power lines, underground services, roads, the slope of the section and the garden in general. These potential problems should all be on the quote.

The health of the tree in question also needs to be discussed, with the arborist identifying disease, decay and root issues. Also, as part of the quote, the arborist will check if resource consent is required.

arborist2Your quote should also detail how the debris is to be dealt with – getting rid of it is half the job. Do you want it left on site? Chipped and removed to be sold as mulch? Chipped and left on site for you to use as mulch? Or chopped into firewood?

The quote should be detailed, right down to the size of the wood chips you want, as each of these disposal methods takes a different amount of time.

When you’re having a tree felled, stump removal is not usually part of the job. So, ask for it to be included if you want it done. How the stump is to be dealt with once it’s removed should also be in the quote – be aware, a tree stump can provide a surprisingly large pile of woodchips!

The tree team will arrive on site with an array of gear – up to five different-sized chainsaws, a wide range of ropes for climbing and roping branches down, handsaws and secateurs for small pruning jobs, a brushwood chipper, a small truck, possibly a small crane to lift branches, and a stump grinder if required. How many people show up will depend on the job. David says it would take one arborist two hours to formatively shape a 20-year-old oak tree, but it would take a three-man team a full day to thin and prune a 120-year-old oak. Felling a large tree could take two full days.

arborist-in-treeTree work is covered by the OSH code of practice, with which all arborists must comply. So, your tree team will have hearing and eye protection gear, hard hats, steel-capped boots and the appropriate chainsaw safety equipment.

The biggest thing to bear in mind, though, says David, is to be sure that when you receive a price for the work, you are absolutely clear as to whether it’s a quote or an estimate. You don’t want any nasty surprises when the bill arrives!

Read more about Arborists

Article (modified) courtesy of Resene Habitat magazine.

Posted In: Arborists, Choosing Tradespeople

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arboristAn arborist is an expert in the care and protection of individual trees.  They know about the needs of a variety of trees and are trained to provide the appropriate care to the trees.

Well looked after trees are both attractive and add value to your property. Trees that aren’t well maintained will be a significant liability and can even present a safety hazard.

Removing or pruning larger trees can be dangerous work and should be done by arborists (otherwise known as tree surgeons, or tree doctors) who are trained and have the right equipment to work in the trees safely.

Services that Arborists & Tree Cutters provide include:

  • Eliminate branches that rub each other
  • Remove limbs that interfere with wires, building facades, gutters, roofs, chimneys, or windows
  • Remove dead, weak, diseased or insect-infested limbs
  • Train young trees
  • Remove limbs damaged by adverse weather conditions
  • Remove branches, or thinning, to increase light penetration
  • Improve the shape or silhouette of the tree
  • Tree removal
  • Emergency tree care when trees have been storm damaged
  • Plant trees
  • Recommend the right kind of trees for specific locations
  • Develop and implement a plant health care program
  • Cabling or bracing to support branches with weak attachment
  • Aeration to improve root growth
  • Installation of lightning protection systems
  • Spraying or injecting to control certain insect and disease problems

Hire an Arborist

Posted In: Arborists, Banks Peninsula