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Patio and Walkway Repairs – Fairfax County and Loudoun County, VA

 

Hardscape Herndon and Reston, VA

Winter weather can exacerbate issues with patios, walkways, and other hardscapes on your property. Take a look at how your Fairfax County or Loudoun County hardscapes are holding up this winter and see if you might need patio or walkway repairs to prepare for a nice spring outdoors.

Frozen weather is hard on patios and walkways and can cause issues that require repairs. Water, in the wrong place, can freeze and thaw in a cycle that creates movement, leading to problems with materials above and below the surface. This motion can cause settling of improperly installed base materials, leaving sunken pavers or concrete walkways separated from front landings. If water has any opportunity to infiltrate into the wrong place within your hardscape, it will.

Signs of trouble are typically easy to spot, but it’s a good idea to start looking for problem areas before the spring rains arrive. If you do uncover issues, a professional can assess the severity of the damage and implement patio and walkway repairs that can prolong the life of your hardscape. With the right repair solution, you’ll be able to enjoy your investment as soon as spring in Loudoun and Fairfax counties makes its debut.

Signs of Patio, Walkway, and Other Hardscape Issues

Walkway repair in Fairfax County and Loudoun County VA

Indications of patio, walkway, and hardscape problems are usually easy to see. Take a walk around your property and look for these warning signs that may require repair:

Retaining walls, firepits, and fireplaces:
  • Cracks
  • Crumbling
  • Loose bricks or pavers
  • Movement (e.g., bowing or leaning (unlevel), signs of separation)
Patios and walkways:
  • Areas that appear to be sinking
  • Pavers that are moving or shifting
  • Cracks in concrete or mortar joints, space developing between pavers
  • Pitting
  • Spalling (i.e., pieces are chipping off)
  • Pooled water
  • Loose step treads

Patio, Walkway, and Other Hardscape Repairs

While it may seem like you can repair your patio, walkway, or other hardscaping on your own, it’s best to have an expert fix any problems. Sometimes issues that seem minor are more significant and extensive than you think. A skilled professional will be able to diagnose the cause of the patio or walkway damage and suggest repairs that will prevent further issues down the road.

Paver issues:
  • Just like with concrete, shifting pavers is often a sign of the ground below moving – either due to settling or erosion. One misplaced paver may just need new joint sand. If there are dips or indications of sinking though, the whole area may need to be re-leveled with a focus on solving whatever is causing the earth to move.
  • Chipped, cracked, or pitted bricks should be replaced not only for safety, but to avoid more widespread issues in the future.
Wall cracks and movement:
  • Problems in any standing feature, like a retaining wall or fireplace, pose serious safety concerns and should be addressed immediately. Small issues may be able to be repaired or patched, while more extensive ones may require the hardscaping to be completely redone.
Concrete troubles:

Patio repair in Fairfax County and Loudoun County VA

  • Cracks must be sealed or patched using a special concrete-repair caulk. If left untreated, water will permeate the cracks and freeze, creating more pressure on the area and making the damage worse.
  • Pooling water is a sign of drainage issues. Your expert will suggest a drain to effectively channel water away from your home and its foundation.
  • Pitting and spalling needs to be addressed by resurfacing or patching.
  • Sinking is a sign of a major issue. The slab may need to be lifted so that the ground underneath can be re-leveled with sand or gravel and then tamped down. If the earth is eroding under the concrete due to water, then a drainage solution will also be needed. Because concrete tends to have issues with water damage, often removal and replacement with a more tolerable material is the best course of action.

Tips for Maintaining your Hardscape During the Winter

  • Refrain from using rock salt or ice-melting chemicals on any surfaces during the winter. Instead use sand or kitty litter.
  • Seal/re-point any cracks immediately.
  • Remove snow as quickly as possible. If water is able to seep into hardscaping and then refreeze, it can cause significant issues.
  • Make sure water is properly running away from your home and any hardscaping.

If you see any signs of damage to your hardscape this winter, contact Sunrise Landscape and Design. We will identify the root of the problem and take steps to repair your patio, walkway, or other hardscape properly.

Our knowledgeable team can work with any hardscape material, and we have experience solving complicated hardscaping and drainage issues in Fairfax County, Loudoun County, and across Northern Virginia. Don’t hesitate; a few repairs now will translate into an entire year of beautiful and functional outdoor living.

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Lawn Maintenance – Loudoun County, VA

Lawn maintenance Loudoun County, VA

As the end of the year approaches, it’s time to think of New Year’s resolutions. Why not make lawn maintenance a part of your plan for 2020 in Loudoun County?

Winter is the best time to start

Winter is actually the best time to sign up for a lawn maintenance contract. Now is the time to get organized and commit to activities that will enhance and enrich your life. Establishing a lawn maintenance contract now will put your mind at ease for the rest of the year. Your Loudoun County lawn and landscaping needs will be taken care of, and you can enjoy results without worrying about the time and effort required to maintain the landscape you want.

Lawn maintenance includes seasonal clean-up

A lawn maintenance contract may offer multiple levels of lawn care. As you begin to plan your year, think about the types of service you will want. Seasonal clean-up is a very labor-intensive and time-consuming task that really enhances the beauty of your landscape.

Seasonal clean-up is usually in the spring and fall in Loudoun County and may include removing debris from mulch beds such as leaves, branches, spent perennials, and weeds, as well as edging, mulching, and cultivating the beds. As you lay out your plans for the year, be sure to include what you need to meet the goals you have for your landscape.

It’s more than just mowing

Lawn care involves more than just mowing. The maintenance of a well cared for Loudoun County lawn may include core aeration and overseeding, trimming, edging, weed control, lime application, and more. Again, think about the goals you have for your lawn and how a lawn maintenance contract will help you to meet those goals.

Contact us for a quote!

Sunrise Landscape and Design is more than happy to help you lay out your plans and select a Loudoun County lawn maintenance contract to meet your landscaping goals for the year. We make it easy for you by breaking your payments into 12 equal installments over the course of the year. You can rest easy knowing your 2020 goals for your landscape and lawn will be taken care of. Simply enjoy the results.

View our year-round lawn maintenance packages here.

Looking for a custom landscape maintenance plan? Contact us for a personalized quote. Happy 2020!

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Prepare Your Lawn for Winter – Reston, VA

Winter lawn preparation Reston, VA

As the temperatures fall and the days get shorter, many of us prepare ourselves to stay warm indoors. But before we do, here are some tips from Sunrise Landscape and Design to prepare your lawn for winter in Reston and across Northern Virginia.

Fertilize

Now is a great time to fertilize trees and shrubs and cultivate existing mulch. Before the ground becomes frozen, root systems can still take up nutrients so that plants are healthy and ready to grow in the spring. Apply lime and a late-fall fertilization to prepare your Reston lawn for winter. The grass will look better through the winter months and increase root development for a better and earlier spring appearance.

Mix Up Mulch

Over time mulch becomes compacted and doesn’t let water through. Mix it to break it up. As a bonus, it will also look like you put a fresh layer down.

Prune and Protect Plants

Examine your plants and prune out damaged or broken branches. Any damage will only become worse with heavy snow or ice. Just like us, plants can be sensitive to the cold. Newly established landscapes and less-hardy plants can be wrapped with burlap to protect them from cold temperatures and wind.

Keep Deer Away

With less green in the landscape, deer are even more likely to become permanent fixtures in your Reston lawn. Now is the time to start applying deer repellents.

Fill Bird Feeders

Plants aren’t the only things that need attention. As you prepare your lawn for winter, fill up your bird feeders if you don’t keep them replenished year-round.

Clean Gutters

As you are putting up Christmas lights, clean the debris out of gutters so snow and ice can melt and run off the roof properly.

Mow One Last Time

Mostly likely you will soon be mowing for the last time of the season. If you have a mulching mower, you can mulch up the few remaining leaves in the turf. Also, cut the turf a little shorter so that blowing debris doesn’t get caught in it.

Store Your Tools

After your fall yard work is done, winterize your mowers, blowers, and trimmers so they are ready to go when spring arrives.

If it sounds like too much of a task to prepare your lawn for winter, contact us for a personalized quote. Sunrise Landscape and Design has a team of professionals who are more than happy to do the hard work for you in Reston and across Northern Virginia!

You can also check out our full lawn service maintenance packages to prepare your lawn for winter!

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Holiday Decorating Tips Using Your Winter Landscape – Vienna, VA

Winter landscape holiday decorating tips Vienna, VA

Holiday decorating using your winter landscape is a natural, sustainable, and cost-saving way to decorate your Vienna, VA home for the holidays. You already have all of the ingredients! Just follow our DIY holiday decorating tips below to bring the outdoors indoors and create a cozy, festive home this holiday season.

Take Inventory: What Do You Have?

First things first: take a look around your landscape and see what you have that could work indoors. Consider what stands the best chance of surviving indoors. Keep in mind that the heat and lack of humidity of central heating can dry natural decorations out prematurely.

Greenery and Branches

If you have holly, ivy, pine trees or spruce, or magnolia trees around your Vienna home, these make great candidates for holiday decorating using your winter landscape. However, make sure to choose greenery that looks healthy to begin with. Pruning correctly is critical; make sure you cut where they start growing. Keep in mind, it’s not only greenery that can work. Bare branches can look lovely clustered in vases as well, so don’t limit yourself. You might find the perfect vase fillers laying on the ground!

Berries

If you love the look of berries, keep a close eye on whether they shed. Quite a few berries can be poisonous to children and pets. It’s often safer to opt for artificial berries that can be attached with green floral wire to your cut stems or branches.

Keep It Fresh

If you plan on decorating with green cuttings from your Vienna winter landscape, make sure you keep them fresh as long as possible by keeping the ends dipped in tepid water. Inserting them in moist floral foam when displaying them on your mantle and keeping them out of the way of your heating vents will also prolong their life for the holiday season. If you decide to use magnolia cuttings, spraying with metallic spray paint can camouflage the creeping browns when your cuttings are reaching the end of their shelf-life. Spray paint also adds an extra shine to the holiday decorating festivities.

Keep It Safe

Once you have cut and tied your arrangement materials into a wreath, swag, or other display, may sure to place them out of a direct draft from your heating system, to keep the leaves from drying as quickly. Remember to stay safe and never put fresh cut plants anywhere near a fireplace or lit candles, which could fall over and cause your arrangement to catch fire.

Extend Your Decoration’s Lifespan

Consider keeping some of your fresh-cut decorations outside in a cool, protected area out of direct sunlight, and bring them indoors only when needed for special occasions. This works with decorated potted plants such as clipped rosemary topiaries and live Christmas trees as well. Otherwise, regularly check your arrangements for excessive drying out of leaves or berry-dropping; remove or replace what you need to.

Take a Look at Your Landscape

So, take a walk outside, look beyond your front door and get busy decorating with some of the very best nature has to offer. Your landscape can continue to delight you in the winter months in new and unexpected ways, so take advantage and enjoy what you’ve nurtured all year long.

For more holiday-inspired landscaping, read our holiday lighting tips for some outdoor decorating advice. Sunrise also provides Northern Virginia commercial snow removal services for when the winter really hits.

Contact Sunrise Landscape and Design for all of your Vienna and Northern Virginia landscaping and design needs, this season and year-round!

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Small Yard Design Tips – Leesburg and Ashburn, VA

Small yard design tips Ashburn and Leesburg, VA

Create an outdoor oasis in a small space with our small yard design tips.

Tiny homes and spaces are becoming more popular in a time when people are trading large for small in order to have more money for travel and other life experiences. While Sunrise provides lawn maintenance and design services for yards of all sizes, we recognize that many people in our area are living in retirement communities and communities where large yards are not the focus, but that doesn’t mean you can’t create an outdoor oasis even in a small space.

We asked our amazing landscape designer, Alex, to share a few tips with our followers on ways to maximize a small yard and we have shared them below.

  1. Consider how you want to use your space.

    Do you entertain? Do you want a quiet place to read? Do you enjoy gardening? Are you looking for more privacy? All of these questions can be used to help hone in on what your ideal outdoor space should look like, and how it should function. Once you have a clear vision for HOW you want to use your space, the next step is planning.

  2. Make sure you do your homework.

    Small yards tend to have more utility lines running through them, so ALWAYS make sure you have lines marked before starting work and consider challenges such as drainage; watch for downspouts, and your neighbors’ downspouts, so that you can accommodate for how that may impact your small yard design plans.

  3. Plants are your friend.

    Sometimes a fence is not an option, or not in the budget, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have some privacy. Evergreens such as Emerald Green or Degroot Arborvitaes give great, quick privacy screening without a huge permanent footprint. Consider mixing in an evergreen hedge using Laurels or Boxwoods and for a splash of color, sprinkle a flowering tree (such as the Crape Myrtle) into your small yard design plan.

  4. Consider hiring a professional.

    While designing an outdoor space can be enjoyable for some, it can often lead to feeling generally overwhelmed with the number of options that are out there, and the challenge of overload when looking at Pinterest or other design sites. A professional landscape designer can work with you to bring your vision to life by providing helpful drawings for HOA approval, while making suggestions that will maximize your space and budget. Landscaping services don’t have to break the bank and working with a professional can often save you money in the long run with helpful recommendations.

Ready to start creating an oasis in your small Ashburn or Leesburg yard? Contact us for a personalized quote and small yard design from our team of experts.

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Landscape Drainage Solutions – Fairfax, VA

Drainage control solutions Fairfax, VA

If you own a home, chances are at some point weather conditions, perhaps too much rain, ice melting, or even wind, have caused drainage and erosion issues on your property. Quality drainage and erosion solutions are especially important during the heavy summer rains we get here in Fairfax, VA and throughout Northern Virginia.

How do you know if you have drainage and erosion issues? Exposed roots, gutted out areas on your lawn, or swampy and puddled sections are a clear sign that it’s time to act and stop the damage from getting worse.

This is where a professional landscaping company can help. It’s crucial to assess the issue as soon as possible to come up with the best plan for preventing further damage. The professionals at Sunrise Landscape and Design can provide an accurate diagnosis of the damage and help you make the right decision, saving you time, money and your landscape.

Add Plants

The easiest and possibly the most cost-effective way to battle an eroding yard is to plant, plant, plant! Flowers and trees act as a shield, lowering the impact of rainfall, ice, and wind that can wash away the soil. These plants and trees also help hold the dirt in place with roots that anchor the soil and soak up excess water. Be sure to plant flowers and trees native to Fairfax and Northern Virginia (we can help with that too) so you can be sure they’ll do well. Wild flowers, herbs, and shrubs are also good for blanketing areas prone to soil erosion.

Once you plant, it’s a good idea to add a layer of mulch and fertilizer. This will help the ground absorb water. Frequent mulching is key, not only because it adds an extra layer of protection and insulation, but also because it contributes higher levels to the PH of the soil.

Redirect the Water

A major hazard to your lawn’s health is when your home is on a slope and has poor drainage. Inadequate pitch or a slope in your yard will allow the water to pool and not be piped away from your property. Find where the issue might REALLY be originating before you dive deep into the solution. The solution might be as simple as redirecting a down spout or running the discharge pipe from your sump pump to a different location.

There are many creative ways to correct Fairfax drainage issues and Sunrise Landscape and Design has the experience and vision to solve the problem and at the same time enhance the beauty of your landscape.  Some of our favorite solutions include retaining walls, rain gardens, and dry creek beds.

Retaining Walls

Retaining walls can be both aesthetic and functional. While their primary purpose is function, a well-designed retaining wall can be a beautiful element in landscape design. Flower beds, terraces, stone work, and many other options are all creative drainage solutions.

Rain Gardens

Rain gardens can be created by covering a low, wet area with water tolerant plants. Perennials and shrubs that tolerate pooling water and can withstand drought are perfect for rain gardens. Make sure to locate the garden at least 10 feet away from the home to prevent water seepage into the basement.

Dry Creek Beds

Dry creek beds are an attractive way to channel water from heavy down pours and prevent those gutted out areas in your landscape. Attractive river rock, 1-1/2 inch in diameter is a great start and can be enhanced with larger decorative rocks.

Contact Us

If you suspect you have any of these issues contact us for a personalized quote. We’ll be happy to come by and help you either prevent any impending damage or stop the progress of existing wear and tear on your valuable landscape investment.

Read more about our Fairfax and Northern Virginia Drainage and Erosion solutions. 

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Summer Garden Care – Ashburn, VA

summer garden planter ashburn virginia

Gardening isn’t just a spring activity, several tasks can still be done in your garden to keep you busy all summer long. Check out our summer garden care tips to keep your Ashburn garden happy and healthy this summer.

Watering

Although we’ve had plenty of rain in Ashburn this season, it’s always a good idea to keep a look out for water stressed plants.  They’ll be the ones with turned down, curled, and limp leaves.  A lawn is dry when you walk across it and the grass blades don’t pop right back up and you can see your footprints.

It’s best to water trees, shrubs, and small plants at ground level whenever possible.  Soaker hoses are great for slowly watering your plants.  It’s better to water heavily once a week than a little every day.  This exposes roots to some dryness which makes the plants tougher and able to withstand the extremes throughout the year.  If you have an irrigation system, now is the time to turn it on and run it on a regular schedule.  Insect populations explode in the summer, especially after rain, so be sure to eliminate standing water in your yard.  This could mean turning over empty plant pots and saucers, but could also involve better drainage around your home.

Pruning and Fertilizing

Rain affects your summer garden care routine even further by causing the growth of shrubs and trees. Most, but not all, shrubs can benefit from summer pruning to reduce the amount of leaves the plant maintains and to help them air out from the center which discourages fungal problems.  Pruning benefits trees by making the leaf canopy thinner and more open to reduce the risk of storm winds pulling down the tree.  Pruning can involve removal of dead flowers which usually results in another round of flowers.  You can fertilize your annuals, herbs, and vegetables just about every time you water to keep them healthy and fed all summer long.

Sunrise Landscape and Design offers summer garden care services in Ashburn and across Northern Virginia, including garden maintenance and visits and tree and shrub care.

Contact us to schedule your summer garden care and maintenance. After all the work, don’t forget to sit back and enjoy your landscape on one of our cooler summer nights!

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Pond Design Tips – Herndon, VA

Pond water feature Herndon, VA

Integrating a pond into your Herndon, VA landscape is a large investment. Pond construction requires meticulous planning to ensure proper drainage and filtration. All elements of your pond, such as water lilies and other water plants, as well as goldfish and other small pond fish need to be taken into consideration for all elements of your pond to thrive. If done right, a beautifully designed pond can transform your landscape and create a peaceful retreat for all to enjoy. Below are some pond design tips from Sunrise Landscape and Design.

Choose the right location

Fish ponds need partial sunlight in order for the water plants that the fish feed on to grow. Avoid building your pond under trees. Tree debris can clutter a pond with leaves as well as change the chemical composition of the water which can affect the fish.

Decide on the size

The most important function of size is making sure the pump is strong enough to keep the pond water moving and filtering properly.

Decide on depth

Some features of your pond design may require a specific depth. Fish require a deeper pond to keep them safe from natural predators. The types of water plants will also determine depth. Some plants thrive in deeper water.

Identify garden runoff

Garden runoff from rain or lawn watering often contains fertilizer chemicals, lawn clippings, and other debris that may enter and mix with your pond.  Closely inspect your landscape to ensure that garden runoff into the pond will not be an issue.

Check soil stability

Make sure your soil is stable enough to support a pond in your desired location.  Once the pond is filled with water, it will become very heavy. If the soil is not well compacted, it could damage the pond.

Identify appropriate location for electrical outlet

The pond pump will require a GFCI protected electrical outlet. Make sure to locate your pond with easy accessibility to the outlet.

Enlist the help of Sunrise Landscape and Design

Let us design, build, and maintain your pond and transform your landscape to the water garden of your dreams! Contact us for more information – we’d be happy answer any questions about pond design and construction. You can also visit our Pools and Water Features page to learn more about our pond design and pond installation services in Herndon, VA and throughout Northern Virginia.

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Benefits of Landscape Lighting in Great Falls

outdoor lighting on rock wall and walkway in great falls

As the long winter nights continue, now is the perfect time to consider installing landscape lighting. Sunrise has helped clients across Northern Virginia, particularly Great Falls, create a warm and welcoming home to come back to at the end of the day. Landscape lighting can fit any budget and makes a dramatic impact on your home at night. Take a look at some reasons to make your Great Falls home glow with landscape lighting from Sunrise:

1. Extend your living space.

Add patio lighting and a fire pit to enjoy your beautiful outdoor space year-round.

2. Spotlight your home’s best architectural features.

3. Focus on special decorative items, like fountains or statues.

4. Target a unique tree trunk or special garden feature.

We suggest using a bullet light, which is like a small spotlight.

5. Show some love to the details.

Bring focus to small landscape details, like your favorite little plants, by illuminating them overhead.

6. Beautify the functional.

Even structures like a retaining wall can become a focal point when glowing with light.

7. Be safer.

Simple pathway markers illuminate paths and direct your steps in the dark.

8. Protect your home.

A flood light is a great safety feature. Burglars stay away from well-lit homes.

9. No visible hardware required.

Well lights can be buried underground to light the underside of features with no hardware above ground.

10. Save effort.

Outdoor lighting systems are very low maintenance, just keep fixtures free of leaves and debris, and replace bulbs when needed.

11. Save money.

Even though they cost a little more, outdoor LED lights can last 40,000 hours (about 20 years) and reduce power usage by up to 20%.

12. Save time.

You can set your system to go on with an automatic timer.

13. Enjoy your efforts.

After putting so much work into making your Great Falls landscape beautiful, it only makes sense to appreciate it both day and night.

14. Increase your Great Falls home’s value.

Experts say that the value landscape lighting adds to your home is longer lasting than a kitchen upgrade or new flooring.

15. Stand out.

There’s not much better for curb appeal than a beautifully lit home.

If you are interested in adding value to your home, enhancing its security, and setting your house apart from the crowd – all with little to no maintenance – contact us today for a customized quote or visit our landscape lighting page for more information on our services in Great Falls and throughout Northern Virginia.

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The Best Time for Tree Trimming and Pruning

woman trimming pruning plants in Loudoun County

Winter is a great time for tree trimming and pruning in Northern Virginia. Believe it or not, there is a benefit to your trees being bare and desolate this time of year: your dormant trees are gathering up strength to put on a spectacular show when spring finally arrives. Now is the time to lend a helping hand by trimming trees to encourage new growth. Winter is also a good time for tree trimming because bare branches are easier to see and handle, and the harder ground allows for easier access to trees.

When to Trim in Northern Virginia

February through March is the best time for tree trimming. Though you should usually wait until the coldest part of the winter has passed, you can trim outside of this window. For flowering trees, it’s critical that you trim while the tree is still dormant. If you trim after blooms have started to form, you could limit the tree’s 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 trim or prune when the weather is colder and the sap is not as likely to bleed.

Trim with a Plan

When trimming trees, you should remove every branch for a reason. Each cut has the potential to change the shape of the tree substantially and affect the ability of a flowering tree to bloom, so you should always trim and prune with 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. Dead branches can easily fall in the slightest wind and cause personal injury or property damage. Any branches that interfere with visibility on your street or driveway should also be cut. Take time to access where issues will arise once leaves begin to grow again. Have a critical eye as you walk among your trees and determine whether tree trimming is necessary. Remember that thinning for the sake of it does not necessarily improve the health of a tree.

Benefits of Trimming

Trimming isn’t just beneficial in encouraging bloom growth in the spring, it can also save you money and time by managing insects and disease. Removing dead branches can help prevent disease-carrying organisms from entering your branches and spreading disease. Thinning a tree’s canopy can increase the amount of sunlight and air to your tree and landscape, also resulting in less disease.

Professionals at Sunrise Landscape and Design are carefully trained to trim trees according to advanced trimming and pruning techniques, with the uniqueness of each tree species in mind. Hiring Sunrise for your Northern Virginia tree care will leave your trees healthier, structurally sound, and beautiful for years to come!

Contact us for a tree trimming quote or to discuss other Northern Virginia landscaping needs. For more information on our tree trimming and pruning services, visit our Tree Trimming and Shrub Pruning page.