prepare for winter commercial company

With cool crisp air, and trees showing their stunning red, orange, and yellow colors, fall has undoubtedly arrived in Northern Michigan. While fall is one of the most beautiful seasons in the Traverse City area, it is also a sign that it is time to get to work outside at your commercial property.

Summer is typically perceived to be the busiest ‘landscaping’ season, and while this is true, preparing for winter is a close runner-up. From dealing with all those fallen leaves to marking hazards on your property for snow removal, the autumn months can leave you feeling overwhelmed.

Let’s look at the essential tasks you must complete to prepare your commercial property for winter in Northern Michigan effectively.

Perform a Fall Clean-Up

A fall clean-up is the most essential winter preparation tool. It cleans up all leaves, twigs, and debris that has fallen into your landscape through the season change. Most properties in Northern Michigan have a large number of leaves to clean up each season.

landscape maintenance crew rake leaves

If these leaves are not properly cleaned up, it can mean big problems for your landscape in the Spring. Leaves left on your grass can cause the grass to die and encourage pests like mice and voles to make their home in your landscape. They leave lines of dead grass that are often revealed in the Spring after snow melts.

It can be tricky to make sure you clean up all your leaves before the first big snowfall. Usually, our first larger snowfall is followed by a melting period. Be sure to get any remaining leaves you missed during that time. Overall, leaf cleanup does not require any special knowledge, but it is certainly hard work and requires a large time investment.

Yes, TruNorth can help your commercial business with leaf removal.

Cutback Perennials & Remove Annuals

In order for your perennial plantings to return in the Spring looking healthy and full, most need to be cut back before winter. Certain plantings, like ornamental grasses or hydrangea blooms, can be left up for winter interest if you prefer. Pruning perennials can get tricky, as some varieties, like peonies, bloom on old wood, meaning old existing branches. If some perennials are cut back to the ground or cut back improperly, they may end up dying. This service is one we really recommend the experts handle, as each type of plant has its’ own unique needs

pruning branch on tree

If your property has any annuals installed, meaning flowers that only last for the summer season, they need to be removed and disposed of. Just like cleaning up your leaves helps to prevent pests, removing annual flowers does the same.

Yes, TruNorth can help your commercial business with perennial cutbacks and remove annuals.

Consider Aeration and Overseeding

Aeration and overseeding are additional landscaping tasks that can help your struggling lawn to rebound well in the Spring. Aeration, or sometimes called core aeration, is a process performed by a machine that punches cores or plugs systematically out of your grass. These cores pull out grass, built-up thatch, and compacted soil. While pulling out grass sounds alarming if your goal is for a healthier more lush lawn, it is key in providing the needed nutrients, air, and water to your struggling grass.

The cooler temperatures of the Fall months combined with the time before grass goes dormant make it the best time for your lawn to fully recover before the harsh winter. To learn more about why you should aerate your turf, check out this blog by our Green Team branch.

Yes, TruNorth can help your commercial business with aeration and overseeding. Our Green Team branch handles both of these services.

Final Mowing and Fertilization

Many business owners assume that fertilization is only really important in the growing summer months. However, one of the most important fertilizations of the year is the final fall fertilization. The final fertilizer application winterizes your lawn and provides a slow-release formula to help for extended feeding. The nutrients provided create growth in the top of the grass that will be pulled to the root allowing energy to be stored up that will be used next spring to encourage growth. Fall fertilization allows the grass time to recover from the hot summer as well.

landscape maintenance team mow and fertilize

The final lawn mow of the season helps prevent grass from being overly long, creating a welcoming home to pests and fungus growth. A final mow allows your grass to rebound well in the Spring.

Yes, TruNorth can help your commercial business with fertilization and lawn mowing. Our Green Team branch handles all fertilization now!

Put Out Plow Stakes, Remove Speed Bumps, and Mark Hazards

After your landscape is stabilized and cleaned up after fall, it is time to begin preparing for the winter season. If you plan to tackle snow removal yourself, be sure to get plow stakes in the ground before it freezes. These will be essential in protecting portions of your landscape.

If your parking lot has speed bumps, they should be removed so the plow trucks can easily navigate your parking lot. All hazards, like power boxes that may be hidden by snow as the season progresses, should be marked somehow. A good snow contractor will work with you on spotting potential hazards and addressing them so your property doesn’t have a ton of damage after the winter.

Yes, TruNorth can help your commercial business with preparing your property for snow. We usually meet with the property manager each season to walk through the property together.

Install Burlap

For many commercial properties, installing burlap is necessary for plants like arborvitae to survive. Burlap helps protect plantings from bitter winter wind near the shoreline, salt near parking lots or roads, and from winter burn. We recommend looking for a company that offers road brine instead of traditional salt. While road brine does still contain salt, it is much less harmful to plantings in your landscape and better for the environment.

landscape maintenance team install burlap

Yes, TruNorth can help your commercial business with installing burlap on your plantings.

Find a Snow Removal Contractor

Reliable snow removal services are an absolute must in Northern Michigan. If you have someone on staff who can be available 24/7 and has the experience with equipment to plow your own lot, it makes sense to keep snow services in-house. However, most commercial companies do not have an employee, let alone several who can dedicate the entire winter season to monitoring your property.

We know finding a snow removal contractor can be really difficult, so much so, we even wrote an entire article about how to find a great one.

Yes, TruNorth can help with snow removal services.

Hiring a Commercial Landscaping & Snow Removal Service Provider

Unfortunately, landscaping services don’t end when the temperatures start to drop here in the Traverse City area. In order to preserve your property and have it looking its’ best in the Spring both fall landscape maintenance services and snow removal services are likely necessary.

We typically recommend considering your landscape provider for your snow removal provider. They already know your property well and don’t want to do damage to it that they will just have to fix in the Spring. For some businesses, handling leaf clean-up or putting in snow removal stakes may be manageable, but for others, it may not. Work with your landscape contractor to find a maintenance plan that is both good for your landscape and your budget.

Need some help preparing your commercial business for the winter season? If so, consult with our team of experts and choose a solution that works for you!

Get started today with a consultation!

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