Warmer Days Colder Nights

Warmer days are coming!

Downspout with Air Gap

Warm days and cold nights are here … couple that with rain and these weather changes can spell disaster for your house.   The ground and drain pipes could still be frozen!  You need to have an air gap in the 

Sump Pump with Air Gap

downspout lines and especially for your sump pump line.  If the sump pump does not have an air gap, the sump pump could back up and flood your basement.  The air gap is not the prettiest thing to look at.  I know that, however it will  allow for the water to be outside of your house.  The area could become very muddy and messy, but that is better than having a lot of water in your basement.

If your sump pump or down spouts do not have an air gap, it is an easy thing to take care of and will be a fairly inexpensive fix given the damages that could happen.  NLD can help you with that repair.  Click here to contact us for more information on how we can help.

Winter Pruning … Is it beneficial?

Winter Pruning

Why is Winter Pruning important?  What benefit does it have?

Winter Pruning (sometimes called Rejuvenation Pruning) will actually help bring the natural shape of the plant back, as well as help with disease issues.  Ornamental trees and shrubs with with dense canopies can have more disease issues due to the fact that there is any air flow through the tree.  Better air flow through the plant means fungus and insects are less likely to turn the plant into a home. 

Winter Pruning (Rejuvenation Pruning), also helps to make the plant stronger by removing the older, less healthy branches.  The over structure of the plant is improved by winter pruning.  Since the leaves have dropped, it is much easier to see crossing and diseased branches. 

Why not do this during the growing season?  

The plant is dormant, or shut down, in the winter months.   Winter Pruning allows the customer the ability to take more off and it is FAR less stress on the plant.  During the growing season pruning should be limited to slight shaping and minor ‘control’.  Removing anything more than 15%-20% of the canopy can cause undue stress to the plant.

Some plants (such as Oak trees) can only be pruned in the winter months.  When the plant is pruned, an open wound is caused by this action.  This wound could invite insects.  Some trees (such as Maple Trees), if pruned at the wrong time of the season will produce more sap at the wound, and will not be able to transport the nutrients the tree needs as well as it could have.

Having a landscape professional, who knows the trees and shrubs, will be able to help you out and give you recommendations on how best to handle each plant.  The landscape professional preforming this pruning, can actually help improve the overall health of the plant.

Call now at 815-337-8873 or contact us here and take advantage our our reduced rates on Winter Pruning!   Check out our Facebook page for more ideas!

Winter Pruning

Left: Before Right: After Habit has been restored

Winter Prune

Thinned Canopy, Removed Suckers

Plan And Design Now … Enjoy Later!

Plan And Design Now … Enjoy Later!

Landscape Design

Backyard Landscape Plan

It may not seem like it with 2″ of snow on the ground, but this time of year is the perfect time to be thinking about your yard and the landscape design you could have!  Beat the Spring Rush for your landscaping work and get the designing and planning completed now.  Get on the list early and enjoy your beautiful property all  season long!

Our Design and Production Teams have over 90 years of combined experience!  We work our hardest to produce the best (and most amazing) landscape design and installation process you have ever been a part of.  We strive to make the process easy and enjoyable.  We also offer a variety of landscape maintenance, fertilizing and mosquito control packages for you to choose from, as well.

Take a look at our portfolio to see how NLD can help you.  There are more samples on our Facebook Page.  NLD has landscape designers on staff to help you make your landscape dreams come true.  Call us at 815-337-8873.

To water or not to water ….


When and how do I water my landscape?

To water or not to water …. that is the question!  Whether your landscape is brand new or well established, watering will always play a key roll.  As most people know, when your landscape is brand new, watering is key.  Here are a few tips for watering your newly installed landscape.

NOTE:  The information outlined below is a very simple guide for properly maintain your new landscape. Although many factors can come into play – watering2such as location (sunny-shady), soil conditions(well drained-heavy clay), individual plant requirements, current weather conditions, etc. – by using the instructions listed and a little common sense, success is guaranteed.  These instruction are also noted for the Midwest Region of the US.


Whenever watering, water thoroughly. The conventional wisdom is that most plants need 1″ of water a week. A sprinkling that doesn’t penetrate more than 1/2″ of soil will only encourage plant to keep their drinking roots near the surface and make them less able to survive droughts than if their roots had to strike deep for water. Some plants need far less, although if the soil is well-drained, they won’t mind that much water.  Watering should be done so that it goes to the roots rather than onto the foliage.  Try to water plant in the morning, so if the leaves do get wet they can dry off during the day. Watering in the evening and letting the plants sit wet over-night encourages fungi and molds to colonize on the foliage. It is especially important to water in the first half of the growing season, when most plants are doing most of their growing. As important as it is to water, it is equally important not to over-water. The way to check the need for water is to place your finger as deep as possible into the soil next to each plant. If it is wet don’t water.


Newly installed sod and seed must be kept damp/moist (but not soaked) on a daily basis until the first mowing for the sod and third mowing for the seed.  When checking moisture levels of sod, gently lift on *several pieces* of sod in different areas and examine the soil. You should find it moist and cool. You should never over-water to the point where it will rot. When you can no longer lift the sod, it is ready for mowing and regular watering practices. Established lawns should receive 1″- 2″ of water per week.  When checking moisture levels of seed, a visual inspection will suffice.  Examine
The soil to insure it is moist at all time but never has standing water. Standing water will rot the seed. Once the seed is at a height of 2 ½ – 3″ and the soil is firm, mowing can be done. Continue to water daily until the third mowing, then follow the watering instructions for established lawns as stated above. Never walk on a new lawn whether it is seed or sod until it is established. You can water by positioning a sprinkler around the perimeter of the lawn area and pulling the sprinkler across to the desired location.


Existing landscapes and turf areas will not require as much watering.  In a ‘normal’ season, watering typically will not need to be done.  In times of drought, soaking the area around the base of the plant, working the water deep into the soil, will be the best for the plant.  Getting a deep rooter feeder (available at most local stores) is a great way to get the water deep into the soil, and the best part, hardly any water is lost to run off from surface watering.

If you have more tips for watering, let us know!