Mulberry Tree ……….. the UNINVITED one!!

There is one type of problematic fruit bearing deciduous tree that grows wild, grows fast and often within inaccessible areas surrounding our Chicago area properties…… the mulberry tree!Pacocha - Mulberry Growing Within Low Growing Arborvitaes

The mulberry tree is rarely purposely planted by man in our area.  It tends to grow in any location where the soil is left undisturbed and is frequented by birds and animals that eat the tree’s fleshy fruit and “deposit” its remaining seed to the soil below.  The problem we landscape professionals face is when a mulberry tree happens to grow directly within evergreen bushes, deciduous hedges, inches away from foundations, along retaining walls or even within chain link fences they become very difficult to remove.  An unchallenged mulberry tree will eventually dominate the area it’s growing within and take on the appearance of an unruly out of control 20’+ tall tree-like weed.  However, once a property owner finally decides to remove the uninvited mulberry tree (and it’s stump), even at the cost of likely damaging the adjacent obstacle (plant, fence, retaining wall, etc.), the tree will certainly lose and will become all but a distant memory.Pacocha - Mulberry Growing Along Base of Chainlink Fence

As you can imagine, we highly recommend the complete removal of any/all wild growing mulberry trees located on your property while they are still relatively small in size and easy to physically remove.  This early visual identification (physical removal) strategy will help limit possible future property damage, instantly improve the overall appearance of your landscape and eliminate the need for non-selective herbicide applications to eradicate the problematic tree.

Pacocha - Mulberry Growing Within Arborvitae    Pacocha - Mulberry Growing Under Spruce Tree

Please be sure to contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. with any questions or comments you may have in regard to the information listed above.  Once again, thank you for visiting and have a great day!



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Watch out for RUST…….. ON YOUR LAWN!!!

Yes, lawn rust!

When we hear the word rust we usually think of deteriorating steel or iron somewhere in our local surroundings.  However, you may be interested to learn more about a common lawn disease that shares the same name.  Whether it be the tell-tale sign of your shoes turning orange when walking across the lawn or the lawn taking on a semi-faded orange color, your lawn is likely dealing with this common late summer fungal related disease called lawn rust.

Pacocha - Lawn Rust on Shoe

Here are a few lawn rust specifics for your review.

  1. Shoes become orange colored when walking across the lawn (orange/brown/rust colored powder sticks to shoes)
  2. Lawn takes on a temporary rusty color (entirely or in patches)
  3. Usually found during late summer/early fall season Pacocha - Rust on Blade of Kentucky Bluegrass
  4. Very common when lawn has gone dormant (partially or fully)
  5. Disease very likely when high humidity AND high temperatures are the norm
  6. In severe cases, rust disease may thin overall lawn (although not very common).  Plant premium site-specific grass seed to rebuild lost density as needed.
  7. Core aerate and/or mechanically power rake all lawn areas to break down/remove problematic excess thatch
  8. Perform infrequent watering and continue lawn fertilization (nitrogen in particular) to speed recovery

Please be sure to contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. with any questions or service requests you may have.  Thank you for visiting our site and have a great day!

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Our new FAQ page!

Please check out our new frequently asked questions page on our website.

As always, please be sure to contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. for any lawn, landscape or snow removal services needed at your property.  Thank you for taking the time to visit our site and have a great day!


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Strange dark green colored circular shaped ring found on my lawn = FAIRY RING DISEASE

With the abundance of rain we have enjoyed over the past few months, you may have noticed a few odd looking circular shaped dark green colored rings (3′ to 10′ +/- in diameter) located across your lawn.  If so, you are not alone.  In all likelihood, the saturated soil below your lawn has initiated a very common fungal based disease called Fairy Ring.

Pacocha - Fairy Ring 1

The first signs of Fairy Ring disease are usually the appearance of dark green colored circles, arcs and/or mushrooms across the lawn’s surface.  Of course, the mushrooms are a reliable sign that an abundance of buried decaying organic material is in the soil (old tree roots, stumps, etc.).  As the fungi break down the excess organic matter in the soil nitrogen is produced giving the lawn located just above/around a healthy dark green color and a decent growth spurt (beyond surrounding non-affected lawn areas).

Pacocha - Fairy Ring 2

If Fairy Ring effected lawn areas prove to be seasonally persistent at your property and grass fails to grow/survive, then you may want to consider removing a 6″-10″ layer of soil located just below the plagued lawn areas, add clean topsoil and plant premium grass seed to repair the specific areas.  There is no guarantee this soil replacement approach will be 100% effective, but may be worth the investment over the long term if your lawn continues to struggle.

Pacocha - Fairy Ring 4

In most cases, just by power raking (mechanical dethatching) the entire lawn in the spring, mowing frequently and providing routine lawn fertilization will increase the vigor/growth rate of the entire lawn and adequately conceal most Fairy Ring outbreaks that may occur over the course of a growing season.

Pacocha - Fairy Ring 3

Please contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. with any lawn care or lawn repair services needed at your property.  Thank you for visiting and have a great day!

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Poison Ivy growing on your property? We can help eliminate the problematic vine once and for all!

As summer approaches and we spend greater amounts of timePacocha - Poison Ivy Along Residential Driveway and Down Spout outdoors, be on the lookout for troublesome poison ivy that may be growing on your property.

Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. offers effective poison ivy removal solutions for the greater Chicago and surrounding northwest suburban areas.

Services offered:Pacocha - Poison Ivy Growing Atop the Roof of a Back Yard Shed (3 of 4)

  • On-site poison ivy identification
  • Non-selective targeted liquid herbicide applications
  • Physical poison ivy removal (post non-selective herbicide application only)
  • Off-site disposal of any/all poison ivy vegetation physically removedPacocha - Poison Ivy Growing Through Wood Fence from Neighbors Property
  • Lawn and/or landscape restoration services (post poison ivy removal)

Please be sure to contact us with any questions or concerns you may have.  Thank you for visiting and have a great day!

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Tree and stump recently removed? Heaping pile of wood chips left atop your lawn? ……….. Repair your lawn now by following these few simple steps!

If you recently had a tree removed from your property and it’s stump ground down, this information may prove beneficial to you.  Please find a few steps listed below that will ensure a successful lawn repair.

1). Be sure that any/all tree stump and large roots (above and below grade) get mechanically ground out via stump grinder.  Usually a stump grinding depth of 12″+/- Pacocha - Tree Stumps Removed 1(below final grade) is adequate to eventually grow grass atop area.

2). Remove any/all wood chips and other woody root material from the area.  Any/all excess wood chips possibly left in the hole (strongly discouraged by the way) will decompose over time and will steal much needed nitrogen from the grass plants.  Excess wood chips and other root material left will also increase the chance of settling in the area.

3). Remove any/all elevated soil and grass that may exist around the previous stump area.  The goal will be to level the entire area (as needed) to a satisfactory degree before new Pacocha - Tree Stump Removed 3grass is planted.  A somewhat flat soil grade is worth the extra effort now to ensure less mower scalping of elevated lawn areas and will eliminate the “pitcher’s mound effect” so often found on sub-par lawn repairs made across previous tree/stump areas.

4). Begin to add soil to fill the hole.  Try to compact the soil (every 2″-4″ added) to slow down short term settling within the area.  Regardless, expect slight soil settling within the area over the first few years.  Additional soil may need to be added to fill in low spaces that form over time.  The majority of soil settling takes place in the first 5 years +/- following a tree/stump removal.Pacocha - Tree Stump Removed 2

5). After additional soil has been added and raked to meet the surrounding grade, plant premium grass seed, apply a granular starter fertilizer and cover with either peat moss or seed germination blanket to complete the repair.

Please be sure to contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. with any questions or service requests you may have.  Thank you for visiting our site and have a great day!

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Oh no…… my lawn has SNOW MOLD!!

Now that the snow has finally melted and warmer temperatures are upon us, many lawns are showing signs of a common fungal disease called snow mold (gray snow mold in particular). Pacocha - Snow Mold 2Snow mold occurs when spring conditions allow warm unfrozen ground that was recently covered by melting snow to activate an existing pathogen.  The issues start when a pathogen is present, spring temperatures are between 30-40 F and the soil/turfgrass is fairly saturated.  Snow mold may be found in lawn areas where drainage and air-movement is poor and especially where snow has been piled and/or is slow to melt. Damage can be as minimal as just a few small circular shaped yellow/matted down lawn areas or more widespread (conditions dependent).  As the lawn dries and warmer weather moves in the disease becomes dormant until the next opportunity arises (late fall/early spring). Pacocha - Snow Mold 1Damaged lawn areas should be repaired by first raking the problematic areas (very important), add a light layer of topsoil (as/if needed), plant a premium disease resistant grass seed blend and finally cover the repaired lawn areas with a light layer of peat moss to complete.  After the lawn repairs have been completed and soil temperatures warm beyond 50 F your lawn will rebuild its lost density and look as if a problem never existed.

Please be sure to contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. with any lawn related questions or concerns you may have.  We would be very happy to help!

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Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. – Commercial Snow Removal Services


Please contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. to learn more about our extremely reliable commercial snow and ice management services.  Thank you for visiting our site!

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Excellent Winter Weather and Snow Accumulation Forecasting Websites

Here are a few fantastic websites that provide very detailed winter weather forecast information so you can prepare well in advance for winter’s worst.

1). Weather Underground 

2). National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) 

3). AccuWeather

4). The Weather Channel

Please be sure to contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. with any snow or ice removal service request you may have for your greater Chicagoland property.

Thank you for visiting!

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A few tips to further improve your next treated wood timber landscape installation project

Even though concrete block seems to be the most commonly used construction material for raised beds and retaining walls in the residential landscape, I personally find wood (treated wood timbers in particular) to be superior in many ways.

For starters, not only is wood a completely renewable resource, but a properly installed treated wood structure (including adequate drainage) will easily last 20-25 years.  In my opinion, a beautifully designed and constructed wood timber planting box, retaining wall, etc. is far more natural in appearance and complementary to adjacent plant material than its concrete counterpart.  I realize that an argument can be made in that concrete block installations are more expensive because they are to be considered “forever” where wood will eventually deteriorate over time.  This point is absolutely correct in that the concrete block itself will likely outlast it’s owner!  Pacocha - Wood Preservative Freshly Applied to Cut Timber EndsHowever, it is my experience that even a professionally installed concrete block wall (with suitable drainage) will eventually shift from long term exposure to seasonal water freeze/thaw cycles, nearby expanding tree root growth, nearby excavation/digging, etc. making it’s segmented formal installation approach somewhat less desirable both visually and structurally when failure finally occurs.  Even though treated wood timbers do not easily lend themselves to curved type/designed landscape installations like segmental block units can, they still get my unabashed vote in the landscape design process whenever possible.

Here are a few tips to extend the life and improve the quality of your next wood timber installation project.

Pacocha - Soil Excavated - Ready for Stone Sub Base– Use properly treated wood timbers rated for direct soil contact according to the American Wood Protection Standard (UC4A – Ground Contact General Use)Pacocha - Ground Contact AWPA U1 UC4A Wood Timber Tag

– Use large dimensioned properly rated/treated wood timbers whenever possible.  By choosing a minimum sized 6″ x 6″ treated wood timber (in lieu of 3″ x 5″, 4″ x 4″ or 4″ x 6″ timbers) will be less likely to warp and twist over time.

– Apply a suitable preservative to all end cuts made during the installation process.

– Prevent “always wet” soil conditions below/around wood timber structure by installing suitable drainage improvements wherever necessary.

Pacocha - Applying Wood Preservative to Cut Timber– Use a suitable stone sub-base below initial course of wood timbers to further improve water drainage and to strengthen the overall installation.

Please be sure to contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. for assistance with your next wood timber installation project.  Thank you for visiting our site and have a great day!

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