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Sunrise Landscaping and Design is your Premier Landscape Maintenance company in Northern Virginia.

Pruning Trees in Winter

There IS a benefit to your trees being bare and somewhat desolate-looking during this time of year:  your dormant trees are gathering up strength to really put on a spectacular show when the warmth of Spring finally arrives.  However, this is when you should lend a helping hand in the form of pruning; new growth has to be encouraged, and when the trees are bare, the branches are easier to see and to handle, not to mention the harder ground allows for easier access to the tree.   Though its usually best to wait until the coldest part of the Winter has passed, (February through March is usually the best time to prune trees), it is not imperative to do so only in that window.  For flowering trees, it’s critical that you prune while the tree is still dormant.  If you prune after blooms have started to form, you could be limiting its blooming potential in the Spring.  Some species, such as maple, walnuts and birches, may excrete sap.  While this is not dangerous to the tree, it can be unsightly, so it’s best to prune when the weather is colder and the sap is not as likely to “bleed.” It’s important to remember that every branch should be removed for a reason.  Each cut has the potential to change the shape of the tree substantially as well as its ability to bloom if it’s a flowering tree, so pruning should not be done without a “plan.”  Dead, diseased and damaged branches should be removed as soon as possible, both to prevent the spread of potential disease and for safety’s sake.  Dead branches can easily fall in the slightest crosswind and cause personal injury or

Looking back – The Sunrise Story

Sunrise Landscape + Design have been part of the Northern Virginia community for over 27 years. Originally formed in 1986 as Sunrise Lawn and Landscaping Services in a small shop in Reston, the company has grown to over 40 employees and an assortment of equipment and vehicles. The Sunrise name has been synonymous with the owner, Joe Markell's family for over 60 years. Sun Rise Dairy, located in Reston, was owned by Joe's great grandparents and Sunrise Amoco located off Baron Cameron Avenue, was owned by his father and grandfather. As Northern Virginia developed and changed, Sunrise Lawn and Landscaping Services evolved into Sunrise Landscape + Design. However, the commitment to deliver quality products, timely service and provide an outstanding experience for each client has remained the same for all of these years. The” Sunrise Way” is built on the principles of honesty and integrity. Just like a handshake was a contract and your word was a bond, Sunrise Landscape + Design stand behind their products, promises and service. Being a leader in their industry, Sunrise focuses on sustainable landscape solutions for both residential and commercial clients.  When creating landscape designs, they use plantings that are native and thrive in the climate and soil of Northern Virginia. They also focus on being "green" by recycling material used at each installation, install LED lights in their holiday and outdoor lighting systems and use and install water runoff systems to maximize rain water. Being earth friendly is another component of the "Sunrise Way" to reduce their carbon footprint and create environmentally friendly landscaping systems. Their commitment to their community, environment and clients are the reasons Sunrise Landscape + Design have been part of Northern Virginia for over

Crape Murder!

Around this time of year, Crape Myrtle fever strikes Northern Virginia. This colorful tree has become a favorite for residential and commercial landscape; lining streets and office complexes as well as adorning front yards everywhere. What’s not to love? The Crape Myrtle has a pageant of colors from dark purple, to red, white and pink, which blooms for months on end throughout the summer. These trees showcase their beautiful petals against the pink and orange sky of summer sunsets. Not all people love the Crape Myrtle. For some reason, this tree turns ordinary people into Edward Scissorhands. Typically in March or early April, you will see these Crape Murderers removing mature branches in an effort to cut the tree back; hindering its growth. In fact, when removing the mature branches, you are disfiguring the tree and causing it to decay. No one knows when this murderous trend began or even why this tree is the victim of over-pruning every year. Some landscape crews, as well as homeowners, chop away at these trees because they think the tree has outgrown its space. Regardless of the reason, Crape Myrtles can be pruned to reduce their size without committing Crape Murder. At Sunrise Landscape + Design, we employ a technique called crown reduction to scale the tree in size without over-pruning. We gently remove specific upper branches and shorten remaining branches where they meet an outward-facing bud or a branch lower to the ground. We work with the organic structure of the tree to foster natural growth and keep the Crape Myrtle’s appearance intact. You know who these Crape Murders are. It is time to put down the shears, step away from the Crape Myrtle and contact the

What are Invasive Plants?

The temperatures are warm and new growth is exploding throughout the Northern Virginia region. However, not all new growth is good for your landscape. Invasive plants can cause havoc on native and introduced species and overtake your entire landscape. The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation's Division of Natural Heritage currently identifies 90 invasive plant species that threaten our natural landscape in the mountain, piedmont and coastal areas of Virginia. Invasive plants are species that grow in a geographic area by accident or with the intention of destruction to natural plants and resources natural to the area. For example, two common invasive plants in Northern Virginia are The Tree of Heaven and the Canada thistle. The Tree of Heaven is native to China and is known to be a rapidly growing deciduous tree with large compound leaves. This invasive tree spreads an ample amount of seeds and can reproduce through the root system. The Tree of Heaven releases a chemical that can harm or destroy plants nearby. The Canada thistle is a sneaking perennial that is difficult to control due to its vast root system. This invasive plant reproduces vegetative buds in the actual root system from its seeds. It can colonize an area up to six feet in just two years. Attempts to cut or control this plant are futile as it can recover from control attempts; infesting plants, crops, pastures and non-crop areas. It is important to know what plants, trees and shrubs in your landscaping are meant to be there and those that are there to harm and destroy native and introduced plants. The landscaping professionals at Sunrise Landscape + Design provide landscape maintenance as well as proper plant installation for both

Do You Have Mulch Volcanoes?

Spring is finally here and both home and commercial properties are starting to come alive. You can see daffodils blooming, grass growing and trees showing signs of life with new growth on every branch. Something that you also start to see this time of year is mulch in flower beds and around the bases of trees. Mulch is a material, such as decaying leaves, bark, or compost, that is spread around or over a plant or tree to enrich or insulate the soil. This added nutrient is essential to assist in the growing process. However, over mulching is a serious and common problem through Northern Virginia; especially around the base of trees. Have you walked through your neighborhood or around your office complex only to see mulch piled up around the base of trees, entirely covering the roots? This is known as a mulch volcano and what this is doing is chocking the life out of the tree. When you walk through the woods, you can see the root flare as the soil and base of the tree meet. The tree is growing, and does not have piles of compost surrounding the roots. The roots of the tree take nutrients and chemicals out of the soil and use them to produce what they need for the tree's growth, development, and repair. With a mulch volcano, this process is interrupted at the very least and can cause “suffocation” of the living tree. Sometimes you still end up with trees that have piles of mulch around them.  If over-mulching has been going on for a long time; the roots begin to grow in this mulch layer and it becomes more difficult over time to get these piles down.