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The snow is slowly melting out here in Tahoe.  In some places, the grass is peeking through but in other places, snowbanks still tower overhead.  As the sun shines, it’s time to start thinking about your garden and yard.  What does it look like?  What kind of maintenance will it need to bounce back from the crushing weight of this winter’s snow?


For a professional opinion, I spoke with Brian Connors, owner of Peak Landscaping. Brian has been in the business for 22 years in the Truckee area. Homeowners often rave to me about their experience with Brian and the finished product that you get when working with Peak Landscape exceeds expectations.


Brian had some good insight to share with me on how landscaping can start to recover from the harsh winter.  Below is our conversation.


Q: How has the snow impacted landscaping in general?

A: Mother nature really put our mountain landscapes to the test with this record breaking winter. We have discovered many deciduous trees and shrubs such as Aspen, Maple, crabapple, and dogwood have been damaged by snow load and snow storage. Broken branching is very common and a number of trees fell over or were snapped off to the point where they are unsalvageable. Large trees such as pines, fir, and cedar were also affected most properties now have broken branches that have broken off but are hung up in the tree. This poses the obvious falling risk along with the wounded tree being more susceptible to bug infestation and disease. There is also a rather large amount of lawn damage from voles and other rodents. On the structural side of things… a number of fences were blown over or damaged by snow load/removal along with endless damage to decks and railing.


Q: What is it going to take to get our landscaping back this year?

A: Spring clean ups will be more intense and the off-haul of debris will be more than normal.  Some sites will have damage from snow removal pushing earth into the landscape areas or heavy accumulations of road sand. Pruning deciduous trees and shrubs for strength/shape will be a must. Lawns will require additional attention as well. Our typical Spring program includes thatching, aeration, topdressing, fertilizing and reseeding as needed.


Q: What is your number one recommendation for taking care of your home landscaping this year?

A: Prune deciduous trees and shrubs for strength/shape


Q: What can a homeowner expect for the cost of replacement trees/shrubs this year?

A: This is site specific and really depends on past maintenance habits. The landscapes hit the worst were the under maintained/neglected landscapes. I can see some clients with mature landscapes spending $1,000’s to bring things back to par.


Q: Have you started landscaping projects in Tahoe yet? When should homeowners start scheduling your services?

A: We started running damage control on trees, etc about a month ago and have been easing into clean up’s the past few weeks as the snow melts. I’m hoping we can start on construction projects around the first of May. With all of the tree damage this winter we decided to purchased a new wood chipper + truck combo and are ramping up for our biggest season ever. I have a feeling all Truckee / Tahoe contractors will be very busy this summer and recommend scheduling services as soon as possible.