Why Native Plants Matter (and What’s Native for Your Area)

Restoring native plant habitat is vital to preserving biodiversity. By creating a native plant garden, each patch of habitat becomes part of a collective effort to nurture and sustain the living landscape for birds and other animals.

Over the past century, urbanization has taken intact, ecologically productive land and fragmented and transformed it with lawns and exotic ornamental plants. The continental U.S. lost a staggering 150 million acres of habitat and farmland to urban sprawl, and that trend isn’t slowing. The modern obsession with highly manicured “perfect” lawns alone has created a green, monoculture carpet across the country that covers over 40 million acres. The human-dominated landscape no longer supports functioning ecosystems, and the remaining isolated natural areas are not large enough to support wildlife.

Native plants are those that occur naturally in a region in which they evolved. They are the ecological basis upon which life depends, including birds and people. Without them and the insects that co-evolved with them, local birds cannot survive. For example, research by the entomologist Doug Tallamy has shown that native oak trees support over 500 species of caterpillars whereas ginkgos, a commonly planted landscape tree from Asia, host only 5 species of caterpillars. When it takes over 6,000 caterpillars to raise one brood of chickadees, that is a significant difference.

Unfortunately, most of the landscaping plants available in nurseries are alien species from other countries. These exotic plants not only sever the food web, but many have become invasive pests, outcompeting native species and degrading habitat in remaining natural areas.

Landscaping choices have meaningful effects on the populations of birds and the insects they need to survive. The bottom line is this—homeowners, landscapers, and local policy makers can benefit birds and other wildlife by simply selecting native plants when making their landscaping decisions. To do your part, you can use Audubon’s handy database to discover native plants in your area and which types of birds they’ll attract. Just enter your zipcode, and it’s as easy as that.


How Well Does Cleary Bros. Compete in Terms of Price?


We provide premium service that is an outstanding value.  Most landscape companies that offer low-priced services may end up costing more in a surprisingly short amount of time. Deferred maintenance and unresolved issues can add up quickly by year’s end.  With Cleary Bros. you get more for your landscape dollar.  We’re a full-service company and we have the right equipment to get the job done right the first time. Our highly trained staff fix nuisance problems before they become major headaches. We take a holistic approach to landscape management that we call Integrated Landscape Management. To us the whole of your property is much greater than the sum of its parts. Let us show you why “Service from the Ground Up” is more than just our motto; at Cleary Bros. it’s our way of life.

Right Tree Right Place

Thinking of a new tree?  Make the right choice and enjoy that tree for many years.

Here is some advice from arbor day.org:

Any Friend of Tree City USA can list the many bene ts of trees — shade, beauty, windbreak, privacy, cleaner air, less noise, less glare, and higher property values to name a few. But the key to these bene ts is to select
the right tree and plant it in the right place. The right tree in the right place not only ensures a lifetime of satisfaction, it also keeps maintenance costs low.

 If you are going to be planting a tree in the SF Bay Area, consider having is done by a professional that can warranty that tree and give it a good start.  Cleary Bros. Loves Trees.



Bay Area Tree Care


Time to reduce irrigation and clear away fire hazards

The autumnal equinox is behind us, and winter looms. Time to do some clean up in the Bay Area garden, get the winter planting done, and get ready to ease into the slow lane.  Commercial or Residential

  • Although we sometimes have downright hot days, the overall evaporation rate is slowing as the days grow shorter and the nights cooler. That means you can start reducing your irrigation schedule or, depending on what you’re growing, cut it off completely.
  • If we don’t have any rain in the next few weeks, water your trees and shrubs to a depth of about 12 inches, once this month.
  • You probably don’t need any more incentive after watching the destruction of Wine Country, but you really need to do some fire protection around your home. Prune low-lying branches on shrubs, and clean the eaves to remove leaf buildup. If you have flammable plants close to your home, you might want to get rid of them.
  • Shred pine needles, and use them as mulch beneath irrigated, acid-loving plants, or compost them. Trim away dead woody plant parts, and while using oak and redwood leaves beneath those trees as mulch is a good idea, you’ll need to shred them first if you live in a high fire danger zone.
  • Plant spring bulbs — daffodils, hyacinths, grape hyacinths — this month and next. Chill tulips before planting.
  • This is the week to plant garlic and shallots for harvest next summer.
  • Remember, Cleary Bros is your commercial landscaper serving the Bay Area
  • If you aren’t growing winter crops this year, considering planting a cover crop to protect your beds and improve their fertility. Plant legumes or grains, or a combination of both.Cleary Bros gardening tip

Source: Time to reduce irrigation and clear away fire hazards

5 Lawn Care Myths Debunked

There are so many lawn care myths floating around it’s hard to separate fact from fiction. Here are the top 5 myths we hear from our customers that need to be cleared up, once and for all.

Lawn Care Myth 1: It’s a good idea to remove grass clippings after mowing

Reality: A common misbelief is that grass clippings contribute to thatch, but in reality clippings act as a natural fertilizer for your lawn. Clippings are mostly water and will easily break down into your lawn’s soil. Save yourself the extra work by leaving the clippings and using them to fertilize your lawn.

Lawn Care Myth 2: You need to water your grass every day

Reality: Watering too frequently is just as bad for your lawn, if not worse, than not watering at all! Watering daily creates a mushy, shallow-rooted lawn that needs more and more water to survive. Lawns are heartier than we think – you really only need to water once a week. Just make sure your entire lawn gets an equal amount of water (about one inch).

Lawn Care Myth 3: Wearing spiked shoes helps aerate your lawn

Reality: While it’s incredibly convenient to just walk around your yard and have all your aerating done, it’s also incredibly false. Spiked shoes simply don’t dig deep enough into the soil and cover too small of an area to be of any use. Don’t waste time and money – aerate your lawn right the first time.

Lawn Care Myth 4: The best time to replace your lawn is in spring

Reality: Spring seems like the perfect time – after all, that’s when just about everything starts blooming. In reality, sowing seeds in spring is a fantastic way to end up with a brown lawn in the summer as your seedlings struggle to compete with heat and weeds. Fall is actually the best time to do your seeding – most weeds are dormant and the temperatures are more consistent.

Lawn Care Myth 5: Cutting grass short means you don’t have to mow as often

Reality: Seems tempting to just lower your blades…but beware! Lowering your blades actually causes more damage to your lawn – cutting too short can leave your lawn’s roots exposed to the harsh sun. Suddenly your beautiful green lawn turns into a patchy brown nightmare. In fact – guidelines actually recommend raising your blades in summer by one inch, to help your lawn stay healthy.

Parkway Lawn Services, Minnesota