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Landscape Advisory Committee Report of 8/02/18 to HLA Board

Last report to Board was presented at 6/07/18 meeting, along with Committee Minutes of 5/21/18, the resulting Agenda of projects & goals for 2018, and a 2-page detailed list of suggested replantings of shrubs and trees. This list included specific species and site recommendations with estimated costs. The total for all 3 sites was just $505 if the Committee managed purchasing and planting. Since then, due to continued shut-off of irrigation at the clubhouse and family parks, another 4 shrubs of 3-gal size died. Two (green arb by CAMM, crinum lily by Normili) were run over by the lawn services at the ball field. Therefore, the estimate FOB nursery is now $550.

Cost to dig holes and plant these 71 replacements (14 of 7-gal, 33 of 3-gal, 14 of 1-gal) will total $380, based on actual rates per pot paid last summer of $14 per 7-gal and $5 per 3-gal. There is no reason to pay more; even in our hard rock-fill, planting a 3-gal pot requires about 10 minutes = $30/hour unskilled labor.

Since the last report, Tammy and Edward Sanz with pick-up collected the debris from corrective pruning. Tess Jenkins proceeded to buy and care for 11 cherry hedge to extend by 20-ft the shortened hedge at north entry to the boat ramp. Bruce and Bobby will continue corrective pruning at clubhouse and family parks. We were aided by CAMM, who provided a pruning and bed cleaning at both sites a week prior to its July 12-16 lawn service melt-down. Like Normili on its first service of 8/19/16, CAMM over-pruned our small palms in violation of PPines Tree Code, but its hedge trimming quality was exceptional. This week, at CAMM’s recommendation to prevent weed-whacker burn, Bruce installed 9 pvc tree collars for the staked trees planted in mid-2017. We are now at the stage where an investment in 60 bags of pine-bark mulch would be worthwhile; the best source is Lowe’s at about $2.60 per 2-cuft bag. If the Board can find a pick-up for transport, Bobby and Bruce can spread it out where needed.

Management advised the Committee that the Board had decided to defer planting shrubs and trees until “after the hurricane season.” No reason was given; neither shrubs nor small staked trees are permanently damaged by high winds; stems snapped on only 2 of 11 new staked trees due to Irma. Such delay is counter-productive for shrubs, which need lots of rain water expected Sept-Oct in addition to insufficient amounts of irrigation allowed by Broward Ordinance 2-day/week limit. However, to buy 6 new trees, a delay may yield better sizes and enhanced chance of surviving in cooler weather.

As explained 2 months ago in “Priority List of Trees to Plant,” HLA is required by PPines Tree Code to satisfy complex mitigation requirements for replacing trees that were removed for any reason. We already have experience and agreement with the City’s arborist from TR-2016-05 on numerous issues, if we replace the 6 trees timely, preferably natives with maximum shade, in line with City goals. The Board simply needs to indicate which shade species it prefers, so that the Committee can evaluate for fit with PPines Code (substitutions possible), price and availability in 45-gal size range. The lack of winter rainfall is not a big concern, because Holly Lake will need to invest in feeder lines in advance to individually water each new tree. For 2017, we reluctantly bought one feeder line & bubbler for $110; seemed pricey, but the result was clearly superior to depending on our sprinklers alone. After vetting several local sprinkler services, the best may be Angel Marquez of nearby Sunset Lakes, licensed & insured, tel 773-406-1796, email: “senor.sprinkler.service@gmail.com” He’s from Chicago, so his English is good. Recommended by NextDoor bloggers. Marquez is also ready to provide emergency sprinkler repairs, if Sanz is unavailable.

Essential Tree Trim 2018: On 4/10/18, TreeWorks Management presented an estimate # 1045 for $8,870, far over our budget, to trim more trees than exist on HLA properties. The firm is solid and its rates per tree were reasonable, so I reviewed the bid to identify what was truly needed now as top-work with a bucket truck. I suggested $2,265 as total cost to prune the following: 5 black olives at clubhouse and one at tot lot, 2 schefflera at clubhouse, 1 seagrape, 2 bischoffia at SEC of ball field, 4 queen palms, 9 melaleuca (at boat ramp and north edge of ball field), 8 of the very large black olives on our 10-ft wide strip along 241 Ave (north of NW 3 ST), and 15 medium black olives along 214 Ave. No other palms should be trimmed. Management should also request bids for same work from Bulldog Arborist at 954-444-7690, as I requested twice (May & Sept) from Ms. Castelan during 2017, only to be told that Bulldog had refused to bid, instead touting “Second to None” of Coconut Creek. Yesterday I called Lisa, owner’s wife, to learn that Next Gen had NEVER contacted Bulldog, which is ISA certified, licensed & insured, with bucket truck available for work in Holly Lake, just like TreeWorks.

Stump Grinding: In February the Board spent $2,700 for Harmony Cleaning to spend 20 hours to “remove root balls” at the rate of $135/hour. The scope-of-work seems to have been completed, but several stumps remain: 2 areca palm clumps by clubhouse pool, a large stump on 215 AVE at tot lot, and another on 214 Ave

strip (roughly in front of # 700), plus branches hanging at outfield fence of ball field, which I’ve reported at prior BOD meetings. This is ground work for a normal landscaper that does not require ISA certification. TreeWorks’ bid included stump removal at $150, but a HLA member, Johnny Krill (954-699-9025) specializes in stump grinding & hauling. He will probably bid for less. If the Board insists on licensed & insured contractors for such simple tasks, try Teresa Valencia (786-515-4351/4194, tere84@gmail.com). She has received good reviews from NextDoor bloggers in west Pines & Miramar.

New Landscape Contract: CAMM broke its contract on July 19, refusing to return after a disastrous first cut. After posting cut dates of July 13 & 14, the Saturday cut was abruptly changed to Monday, without adequate notice and despite good weather, confusing everyone. The owner blamed damage to his mowers by objects left on the lawns by homeowners. He was also upset that progress was slowed by homeowners, left “in the dark” and desperate to get their grass cut after 5 weeks, asking his crew if anyone spoke Spanish. Unlike past lawn service, his crew spoke only English. Some homeowners were unhappy that Roundup was sprayed around their trees and skirting without their permission. This was good-faith effort to avoid damage from weed-whackers. Blaming the homeowners is pointless; they pay $11/month as part of their $64 dues to have their lawns serviced to their satisfaction. The crew itself was professional and courteous. HLA lost a good service provider by failing to coach him of our situation.

The Board must now consider new bids. Careful contract language is key to a good relationship. Until 2015, we used the DynaServ contract, vetted by Andrew Black of KBR in 2008, as the model. We control the cut schedule entirely. Annual guaranteed payment, which appeared in Normili and CAMM contracts, should NEVER be accepted. A feedback loop of required cut reports gives MGT or Board the info on problems with individual residents. Exhibits A & C of the SynaServ model is available for your study.

Ball field use: The Committee awaits your direction regarding future use of the ball field park. Its turf is damaged by “donut” ruts. The site lacks irrigation, trash baskets, benches, and a lighted flag pole. PPines had proposed to take control (like Price Park from Silver Lakes) for a public exercise park, but homeowner sentiment was negative in 2016.

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