Best Tree Service in Hampton Roads
26 McDonald Rd Hampton, VA 23669
Mon-Sat: 7:00AM-7:00PM
09 Apr 2019
This Week’s Hot Threads September 4, 2018

Easier Oil Changes For Your Equipment

Nobody enjoys changing an oil and filter. They certainly don’t enjoy cleaning up the mess afterwards or finding that the container housing the old oil has leaked over the workshop floor or the back of the truck. Nexcel, a BP innovation division, has brought a sealed oil cell solution to market for automotive manufacturers, which it is adapting for utilization in the commercial small engine (CSE) market.

quick oil change

Nexcel’s sealed cell being removed from its dock on a ride-on lawn mower.

“Engine technology may have moved on in the off-road equipment market, but oil changes are still carried out in the way they always have been; things have not got any quicker or cleaner,” explains Nexcel marketing and sustainability director, John Ward-Zinski. “We have identified an opportunity, using technology that was initially developed for the automotive industry, to reduce equipment downtime, ease servicing and waste oil and filter disposal and, potentially, reduce the risk associated with extended oil drain intervals.”

Put simply, Nexcel is an active oil management system that features a sealed-cell design that enables oil changes to be carried out in 90 seconds with no risk of spillage. A canister of new engine oil and filter is “plugged-in” to a dock on the engine and enables precise control over oil quality and correct volume. The system’s design also helps promote sustainability by creating a high-quality used oil feedstock for re-refining; collection of used oil in a sealed cell eliminates the risk of contamination and provides micro-segmentation of oil types.

“The environmental aspect is obviously crucial, but the Nexcel system has been developed to provide tangible business benefits to customers in the CSE market,” continues Ward-Zinski. “For example, the system is perfect for use in conjunction with small, extremely hard-working engines that require frequent oil drain intervals to ensure optimal durability and avoid accelerated wear in arduous conditions. The sealed cell significantly reduces the time required for maintenance. Machines fitted with Nexcel would no longer need workshop visits or to be worked on by qualified mechanics for routine oil and filter replacements – in fact they could even be swapped during a coffee break for ultimate efficiency.”

quick oil change

At Nexcel’s sustainability director, John Ward-Zinski, demonstrates the Nexcel technology in an Aston Martin V8 Vantage at the GIE+EXPO 2018.

“Nexcel’s automotive development has been with Aston Martin, and we exhibited a V8 Vantage at GIE (Green Industries and Equipment) 2018,” he continues. “It was a successful show for Nexcel with a great deal of interest being shown by chassis manufacturers. The show research we undertook underlines the desire for robust efficiency in CSE maintenance, and any incremental improvements that can be made to day-to-day processes could have significant advantages. The most popular maintenance improvements from the research are efficiency, flexibility, and convenience. Nexcel changes are entirely tool-free and require no specific training, providing the ultimate on-the-fly experience.”

It’s a compelling case made more impressive by the promise of drip-free oil changes that can be completed on-site, without the fear of leaving a customer’s property in a mess. Ward-Zinski says that used cells could be taken to local collection points without the need for storage, dirty transportation, or filter-disposal solutions.

The company is already working with engine manufacturers to assess series production opportunities and says that, if demand calls for it, the system may even assist in the provision of extended warranties, subject to manufacturer approval. This is made possible by Nexcel’s precise control mechanisms that ensure only the specified oil is used, the correct oil levels are maintained, and each oil change is automatically logged.

Oil management may not have advanced much in the last 50 years, but a promise of reduced downtime and a routine service procedure that is literally cleaning up its act sounds like it was worth the wait.

(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)

Tree Service Hampton Roads Service Hampton Roads
Tree Service Hampton Roads Removal Hampton Roads
Tree Service Hampton Roads Trimming Hampton Roads
Stump Grinding Hampton Roads

08 Apr 2019
This Week’s Hot Threads September 4, 2018

Custom Buffet/Water Feature Combo Fits The Bill

A backyard redesign delivers on what the client was looking for, including a custom buffet and water feature combo.

Sometimes, getting a job is simply a matter of giving the customer what he wants. Just ask Nathan Filip.

The owner of Elmhurst, Ill.-based Premier Outdoor Environments, Inc. (POE), says his firm got the job that earned it recognition from Hardscape North America (HNA) in the category of concrete paver — residential — less than 3,000 square feet for 2017 because it did just that.

“This job was a referral from another client that we previously did work with,” Filip explains. “They were already in the design process with a few other contractors. They chose our design because we incorporated everything that they were asking for as well as a few of our own touches.”

And, POE was not, he stresses, the lowest bid.

The property certainly needed help. Filip says the owners had been in the home — in a large-lot subdivision — for several years and after doing interior renovations finally decided to take on the exterior.

“They wanted to remove an old and rotting deck and gain a functional outdoor living space,” he says. “Their wish list included an outdoor kitchen, dining space, lounging spaces, a buffet and serving island, and both water and fire features.”

water feature

This backyard redesign created a 1,200-square foot outdoor living space that delivered on the clients’ wish list.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the ability of designer Kevin Barnes to fit all that into a 1,200-square-foot space is what makes Filip most proud of this project.

water feature

This “before” photo of the backyard shows the multiple door-related elevations involved in this project.

And, with good reason. While POE installed a new front entrance, softscape, and approximately 5,000 square feet of Unilock’s Camelot™ pavers in two driveways, the backyard patio is the true piece de résistance.

One immediate challenge: four varying elevations. Filip explains that the elevation changes were needed to match the doors of the various rooms which adjoined the project.

“There were three sets of doors at one height, which is the living room,” he says. “Then, there is a long set of doors which is the kitchen, which is at a separate height from the living room. The sunroom is at another height. Then, there’s the side door for the garage, which is yet another elevation change.”

To get just the right elevations for each space, POE ended up regrading the backyard, including landscape beds and berms. That process also allowed the company to address drainage issues, which included not only water from adjoining properties, but water from the home’s downspouts and sump pump.

“At the end of everything, we improved the drainage on the property for our client as well as the neighbors,” he says.

Another early stage of the job following demolition of the existing deck was the removal of several backyard trees. The company ultimately removed four trees but installed a new Redbud maple at the end of the job.

Getting To Work

Following the excavation of the site, Filip says construction was fairly straightforward, beginning with installing the foundation and concrete for the outdoor kitchen, buffet/water feature, and steps, followed by their construction, along with the fire table, seat walls, and pillars.

Filip stresses that all the features are custom and not veneer. The vertical walls are done in Unilock’s Lineo™ Dimensional Stone in Sierra. The buffet/water feature combination is his favorite part of the job.

water feature

The water feature/buffet combo is a centerpiece of the design.

“It truly was an undertaking,” Filip says. “The husband wanted a water feature and the wife wanted a buffet/serving island. We didn’t have the space for both unless the husband made a sacrifice for a small, store-bought water fountain. We designed this first and presented it to the client, not knowing how to construct it, let alone make it function the way we wanted it to.”

It also proved to be the most challenging aspect of the job. Filip says it kept him up many nights trying to figure out the best way to integrate the electrical, plumbing, and lighting. In retrospect, he says it may be over-engineered.

“In the end, we made it happen, and it will last a lifetime,” he says. “It’s even automated to turn on at certain times of the day to circulate the water and has a UV sterilizer built into it with a small circulating pump that runs constantly to keep the water crystal clear and clean.”Custom Buffet/Water Feature Combo Fits The Bill

Once the raised structures were completed, POE’s six-man crew turned to the horizonal surfaces, which are Unilock’s Artline™ pavers in Steel Mountain, bordered and accented with the company’s Town Hall® pavers in Basalt.

Lighting for the project utilizes Premier Outdoor Environments’ own house-brand of products, all of which are brass fixtures with LED lamps. Most of the lighting is ledge lights, with a handful of spotlights for the trees and some path lighting. Filip says everything is digitally automated.

Work on the approximately $250,000 project took four weeks, and Filip says his team learned several things from the project, including what it takes to complete a job of this scope, as well as strengthening the teamwork skills that made it happen.

HNA is not the only organization to see merit in POE’s work. The company is a certified Unilock installer, and it was recognized with the 2016 Unilock – Chicago Best Before and After. Nor is that all.Custom Buffet/Water Feature Combo Fits The Bill

“What every contractor hopes for… our project also made the front cover of the Unilock 2018 national catalog for the U.S. and Canada,” Filip says.

Possibly just as important, it also left the company with happy clients and an on-going relationship. After the job was completed in 2016, POE returned in 2017 and installed light fixtures on top of the pillars to provide the space with extra lighting.

“We also go back and do seasonal maintenance,” he concludes. “We service the water feature, do grill maintenance. and just general upkeep.”

(All photos courtesy Premier Outdoor Environments)

K. Schipper is a writer and editor specializing in B2B publishing. She is a partner in Word Mechanics, based in Palm Springs, CA.

(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)

Tree Service Hampton Roads Service Hampton Roads
Tree Service Hampton Roads Removal Hampton Roads
Tree Service Hampton Roads Trimming Hampton Roads
Stump Grinding Hampton Roads

05 Apr 2019
Landscape Students Compete In Annual NALP Competition

NALP Survey Looks At Consumer Love For Lawns

On April 1, the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) kicked off National Lawn Care Month by unveiling new research which finds that Americans’ love affair with their lawns is going strong. The survey, conducted by Engine’s CARAVAN Omnibus on behalf of NALP, found that 81% of all Americans have a lawn, and a vast majority (79%) say that a lawn is an important feature when renting or buying a home. In fact, when asked to prioritize home features, respondents ranked a nice size yard second, falling only behind a renovated kitchen — and well ahead of other popular features including updated bathrooms, storage, and hardwood floors.NALP Survey Looks At Consumer Love For Lawns

Perhaps most tellingly, the research found that younger generations of Americans place an even higher value on lawns than their parents and grandparents. When ranking home features, a nice size lawn was the number one priority among millennials, beating out even an updated kitchen. Eighty-two percent of millennials report that having a lawn is important when renting or buying a home (compared to 81% in Generation X and 77% of baby boomers).

“While some may assume that trends toward urbanization or the increased use of electronics and technology have resulted in a decreased interest in lawns among younger Americans, the results of our research found just the opposite,” says Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for NALP. “Overall, the results confirm what professionals in the lawn care and landscape industry have long known – Americans have a great appreciation for the value that healthy lawns bring to their lives.”

Lawn Care Month

(Photo courtesy of LoveYourLandscape.org / Greenleaf Services, Inc. Linville, NC)

The survey found that beyond valuing lawns, Americans are indeed making regular use of their yards. Forty-seven percent of Americans say they entertain in their yards at least once a month, while 57% use their yards for recreation at least monthly. Above all, the results suggest that yards are seen as a respite for Americans. A whopping 77% of respondents report relaxing in their yards at least once a month, and about one in three Americans (32%) garden in their yards multiple times a week.

Americans are also enjoying grass and green spaces beyond their doorsteps. The research found that Americans visit public parks and playgrounds more often than movie theaters, pools and beaches, bowling alleys, and museums.

“Lawns and public green spaces provide a backdrop for Americans’ memory-making moments while offering tremendous benefits for our communities and environment,” says Henriksen. “The research supports the important work that lawn care professionals do to create and maintain healthy lawns across the country.”

(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)

Tree Service Hampton Roads Service Hampton Roads
Tree Service Hampton Roads Removal Hampton Roads
Tree Service Hampton Roads Trimming Hampton Roads
Stump Grinding Hampton Roads

04 Apr 2019
This Week’s Hot Threads September 4, 2018

Landscape At iHeartRadio Headquarters Mimics Company Logo

iHeartRadio

Gosha Greens sourced local copperleaf and other plants for the radio headquarters project in Sunrise, FL.

Gosha Greens, which delivers top-quality, wholesale plants and trees to landscapers, garden centers, and retailers across Florida, recently supplied plants for the newly-constructed iHeartRadio building landscaping project. The landscape design consisted of red and white shrubs planted in the shape of the company’s logo along with satellite-like lights atop Italian cypresses. To complete the look, Gosha Greens found, purchased, and delivered local copperleaf, dracaena marginata, blue agave, and clusia plants just in time.

“The landscaper for the iHeartRadio project called me last minute in search of premium plants to finish up this large project,” explained Gosha Greens owner, Kevin Kalantari. “Within hours, we were able to find and deliver everything they needed.”

The copperleaf, dracaena marginata, and blue agave plants surround the front of the property near the heart design, while the lush clusia was installed in the back of the building. The iHeartRadio building is located at 8358 W Oakland Park Boulevard, Sunrise, FL 33351.

“Both the landscaper and iHeartRadio were more than pleased with our quick response and quality material,” said Kalantari. “Gosha Greens hopes to work with both companies in the near future.”

iHeartRadio

(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)

Tree Service Hampton Roads Service Hampton Roads
Tree Service Hampton Roads Removal Hampton Roads
Tree Service Hampton Roads Trimming Hampton Roads
Stump Grinding Hampton Roads

04 Apr 2019
This Week’s Hot Threads September 4, 2018

BioSafe earns USDA Certified Biobased Product label

BioSafe Systems, LLC announced that it has earned the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Certified Biobased Product label. The product, AXXE® Broad Spectrum Herbicide, is now able to display a USDA label that highlights its percentage of biobased content.Certified Biobased Product

“We applaud BioSafe Systems, LLC for earning the USDA Certified Biobased Product label,” said Kate Lewis, USDA BioPreferred Program. “Products from BioSafe Systems, LLC are contributing to an ever-expanding marketplace that adds value to renewable agriculture commodities, creates jobs in rural communities, and decreases our reliance on petroleum.”

Certified Biobased ProductAXXE Broad Spectrum Herbicide is formulated to deliver maximum performance and provide fast-acting results on a long list of weeds and grasses, as well as most mosses and lichens. It is an herbicidal soap product comprised of a form of ammoniated pelargonic salts. These salts penetrate the cell walls of plants, disrupting the cellular functions of the targeted weeds and killing them within hours of application. AXXE Broad Spectrum Herbicide can be used as a broadcast spray to control weeds prior to no-till planting or seedbed preparation. Spot sprays may be used in crops, ornamentals, pastures, and turf. No residue is left behind.

The USDA Certified Biobased Product label displays a product’s biobased content, which is the portion of a product that comes from a renewable source, such as plant, animal, marine, or forestry feedstocks. AXXE’s active ingredient, Ammonium Nonanoate, is a plant fatty acid that penetrates the cell wall of plants, disrupting the cellular functions of the targeted weeds and killing them within hours of application.

(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)

Tree Service Hampton Roads Service Hampton Roads
Tree Service Hampton Roads Removal Hampton Roads
Tree Service Hampton Roads Trimming Hampton Roads
Stump Grinding Hampton Roads

Call Now Button