We’ve been in this business a long and have seen our share of landscape mistakes. Whether people aren’t sure how to best do things themselves or they follow bad advice, mistakes do happen. Here are some common ones we have seen- and some simple solutions to avoid making them in the future!

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1. Planting Trees Too Deeply

tree root flare

Planting a tree too deeply can kill it- plain and simple. Many people think that putting lots of soil around a tree’s base will help it grow. But this can choke a tree to death and potentially rot the roots. You can avoid this sad fate by identifying the tree’s crown (or collar) before you plant. The crown is a visible ring around the tree’s base where it meets the roots. Look for this- and then don’t bury it! Keep that just above the surface, and you will have larger success. A good rule of thumb is digging the hole slightly deeper than the container the tree came in. If you need help, contact Frontier Tree Service for help.

2. Over or Under-Watering


It can be tricky to know how much water plants need. And it is very tempting to give your whole landscape the same amount of water at the same time. But, the truth is, different plants have different watering needs. Over-watering AND under-watering can cause a multitude of problems for plants. Most need consistent weekly watering to maintain proper health and growth. Most lawns need just about half an inch per week! A sure-fire way to take care of your landscape plantings (and your investment) is with an automatic sprinkler system. We install and maintain smart irrigation systems that have timers and are responsive to rain, so you save time, money and water! Visit our irrigation page to learn more.

3. Improper pruning

How not to Prune1

Tree and shrub pruning can occasionally be delicate work. Different plants need to be pruned in different ways AND at specific times of the year. Pruning cuts can be tricky to make but the biggest thing we see is people topping trees or lopping off huge sections of them just to try and keep them at bay. In many cases, this will lead to disease and/or lots of suckers or new branches coming out of the place you cut. Trees and shrubs need precise and timely pruning especially in their first few years of life. Fruit tree pruning is essential for production and health but all trees and shrubs benefit from regular cutbacks. Talk to the experts at Frontier Tree Service to get the best in pruning.

4. Planting in the Wrong Place

landscape planting Vancouver

Some may be inclined to stick any plant where they think it might look good. But not paying attention to the soil quality and the plants’ growing requirements can lead to sickly plants in the future. Plants can also get overcrowded or block each other’s light. Do your homework before you plant! Pay close attention to the light and soil requirements as well as the plant’s mature height and width. Imagine a planting bed or space totally filled in when the plants are mature and take that into consideration. Be sure to give enough space from a wall or building for the plant to spread as well! Need more planting ideas? Check out our blog for inspiration.

5. Ignoring the Seasons or Climate

tree leaves

Go with the flow of nature for the best success in your yard. Don’t make the mistake of planting all spring-flowering plants or planting something that doesn’t do well in our region. Take a year-round approach to make sure your landscape looks beautiful all the time. Populate your landscape with interesting foliage plants, Northwest natives and evergreens to extend the life and beauty of your landscape. Make sure to select plants that are well-adapted to clay soil, rainy winters and dry summers. For the best results, consult the professionals!