Stay Green Inc.’s tree care experts have reported the first local sightings of the shot hole borer, a destructive Southeast Asian bark beetle that kills trees by infesting them with a devastating fungus that cripples a tree’s vascular system.
This past weekend, a Stay Green account manager was checking on a landscaped common area in Valencia and noticed a sycamore tree that appeared to have a shot hole borer infestation. Arborists from Stay Green and the city of Santa Clarita confirmed the infestation, and four more nearby sycamores were also found to be infested.”This is alarming news for numerous varieties of trees,” Stay Green CEO Chris Angelo said. “These pests have already caused the death or removal of thousands of trees throughout Southern California, and this is the first evidence we’ve seen that the shot hole borers have infiltrated the Santa Clarita Valley.”
The shot hole borers are “polyphagous,” which means they are capable of feeding on various kinds of food. This makes them a threat to many different species of trees, although some trees are more vulnerable than others. In addition to sycamores, other trees that are especially vulnerable to the shot hole borers include oaks, avocado trees, castor bean and box elders.
“If you have a tree that’s been infested by shot hole borers, you may not even know it,” Angelo said. “They are tiny beetles, just a bit smaller than a sesame seed, and they make very small holes in a tree’s bark. By the time you see visible evidence of their presence, there’s a good chance they have already done their damage to the tree.”
The shot hole borers are an invasive, non-native species that experts believe arrived to the Southland via international cargo packing crates, as far back as 2003. Over the past year, they have been rapidly spreading throughout multiple Southern California counties.
Angelo said prevention is the best way to address bark beetles.
“Our tree care experts can provide treatments to battle infestation, but even more importantly, they have developed preventive treatments that protect trees from bark beetles for a year to two years at a time,” Angelo said.
He added that treatment is more cost-effective than tree removal. “The best way to fight a shot hole borer infestation is to prevent it from happening in the first place.”
Download our printable Bark Beetle Invasion flier: Click Here
When the Sand Fire sparked up on July 22 in Santa Clarita Valley, it was the beginning of several days of devastation as the fast-moving fire scorched more than 30,000 acres. We all watched as hundreds of fire personnel worked around the clock to battle the blaze and we’re thankful for their efforts.
“Is it harmful?”
“Is it going to destroy my landscaping?”
The good news is, other than a bit of a mess to clean up, you don’t have much to worry about.
Phos-Chek is the brand name for a biodegradable fire retardant that’s been around since the early 1960s. It is about 75 percent ammonium phosphate, which functions as the active fire retardant compound and eventually acts essentially as fertilizer. Phos-Chek is dropped onto areas of threatened vegetation before the arrival of an approaching fire.
While it can have a negative effect on fish when dropped over water, no serious lasting effects on vegetation have been found, other than some minor photosynthesis inhibition due to the dye. As far as human contact, the biggest risks are inhalation hazards when preparing the mixture for deployment, or contact with the eyes or skin after it’s been spread.
Think about this: Over the years, fire crews have dropped literally millions of gallons of Phos-Chek on fire areas, and we have yet to see serious negative effects on plant mortality. For those of us in the landscaping industry, that is very reassuring.
As property owners work to get things back to normal after this wildfire, the trained professionals on our Stay Green team are working with them to ensure their property is cleaned and cared for properly. Because Phos-Chek can be a skin or eye irritant, it’s important to exercise care when cleaning up areas where it’s been dropped. Click here to contact us and find out how Stay Green can help you clean up your landscaping.
While on the subject of wildfires, I want to stress how important it is to make brush clearance a priority for your property. Stay Green provides brush clearance services for a number of clients, and I can tell you that we’ve seen firsthand what a difference can be made to protect a property by investing in clearing back overgrowth. By clearing overgrown brush now, your property stands a better chance should a wildfire flare up. Click here to contact us today or call (800) 858-5508 and schedule your consultation. We are here to help you.
And, as we’ve seen with the Sand Fire, we could be in for a very difficult fire season.
Click Here to download an informational one-sheet.
Things have been coming up roses for the team at Stay Green Inc., after the Santa Clarita-based landscaper brought home seven awards from the San Fernando Valley chapter of the California Landscape Contractors Association’s (CLCA) 57th annual Landscape Beautification Awards.
The awards were presented at the 57th annual Landscape Beautification Awards Banquet, July 9 at Sportsmen’s Lodge in Studio City.
Founded in 1970, Stay Green provides landscape services for commercial, industrial and residential properties throughout Southern California.
Stay Green received the following first-place awards:
- Medium Commercial Maintenance for The Commons of Calabasas
- Public Works Maintenance for the City of Burbank
The company also received the following Outstanding Achievement awards:
- Small Commercial Maintenance for Grace to You in Santa Clarita
- Medium Commercial Maintenance for The Lakes at Thousand Oaks
- Small HOA Maintenance for Camino del Sol in Oxnard and Alta Vista HOA in Santa Clarita
- Large HOA Maintenance for Fair Oaks Ranch in Santa Clarita
“If you ask anyone on our team why we put so much effort into our work, they’ll tell you it has nothing to do with winning awards,” Stay Green CEO Chris Angelo said. “The awards are a wonderful validation, but ultimately we are committed to delivering the highest level of service for every client because it’s what they deserve. Whatever the size of a client’s property, we truly do want to be the natural choice for professional landscape services.”
Stay Green began as a truly one-man operation when it was started by Richard Angelo. Over nearly 50 years, it has flourished into a multiple award-winning landscape firm that serves clients throughout the Los Angeles region and Ventura County. Stay Green specializes in areas such as landscape maintenance, plant health care, sustainability and water management.
Stay Green stands out in large part because of their leadership, said Nelson Colvin, a member of the CLCA San Fernando Valley chapter’s board who said he has known Richard Angelo since he started the company.
“What makes them stand out starts at the top with Rich and Chris, their management style and their interaction with the people in the field.” he said. “The company has a very strong family attitude and that shows in the work that’s done.”
The CLCA is a nonprofit trade organization of landscape contractors. The association’s members include landscape contractors and public officials.
About Stay Green
Founded in 1970, Stay Green Inc. provides award-winning landscape maintenance, tree care, and plant health care services for premiere residential, commercial and industrial properties throughout Southern California. Stay Green serves clients throughout Southern California, and exercises environmental stewardship through its Sustainability Practices, which are applied across all service lines to help customers protect the environment as well as the bottom line. Stay Green Inc. is recognized as a leading provider of high-quality landscape services, having achieved a 95 percent customer retention rate, along with receiving the industry’s most prestigious awards.
This year, we saw the best turnout yet for our picnic, with nearly 500 employees and their families in attendance. Highlights of the day included a mariachi band, face painting and games for the kids, a taco bar, and some great raffle prizes including a 40-inch TV and a Los Angeles Dodgers baseball package worth $500.
“Stay Green was started 46 years ago as a family business, and despite our growth through the years it still feels very much like a family,” Stay Green CEO Chris Angelo said. “Our annual picnic is always a great time of enjoying a day together and thanking our team members for their dedication and quality work.”
The picnic is also our time to present milestone awards for employees who have been with us for a certain number of years. This year, we had 11 employees celebrating five years, six celebrating 10 years, three celebrating 15 years and two celebrating 35 years. Juan Perez and Jose Pelayo Guzman have worked loyally with Stay Green founder Richard Angelo since the company was still a small operation.
“It’s difficult to overstate how much we value the loyalty and dedication of our employees,” Richard Angelo said. “Their commitment to excellence has helped make Stay Green what it is today. This company has flourished in ways I never imagined when I started the business.”
This year’s picnic set another record, with more than $10,000 in sponsorships from our fantastic equipment partners. This year’s sponsors included Bishop Co.; BOSS; Bruce Wilson & Company; Dubbs Technology; Enterprise Fleet Services; Ewing; Harris Office Products; Hunter; Hydro-Scape Products, Inc.; Lockton; Mellady Direct Marketing; PDQ Rentals; Poole & Shaffery, LLP; Sol Print Solutions; Stern, Kory, Sreden, & Morgan; Stotz Equipment; and Village Nurseries.
“We couldn’t do the work we do without excellent partners, and we really appreciate all they do to support us as well as their support that takes our annual picnics to the next level,” Chris Angelo said.
Click here to see more photos from the 8th annual Employee Appreciation Picnic.
About Stay Green Inc.
At Stay Green, we believe a strong workforce is one that continually sharpens its skills. That’s why on April 12 and 13 we brought together 270 team members from throughout the Southern California regions we serve to focus on training. Over the course of the two-day event, we provided a combined 2,000-plus hours of training. All employees who attended received training certification at the end of the event.
The 1st Annual Training for Safety and Success event was split between our northern Los Angeles County yard in Castaic and one of our yards in the city of Los Angeles. In attendance were Stay Green employees who work throughout Los Angeles County and Ventura County.
“We don’t view training as a task, we believe it is an investment,” Stay Green CEO Chris Angelo said. “By investing in training that focuses on absolute safety and successful work practices we ensure that we are constantly improving.”
The training event was sponsored by several of Stay Green’s valued equipment partners: Bishop, CAT, CAT-Quinn Rentals, Ditch Witch, John Deere, Stihl, Stotz, Target Specialty Products, and Vermeer. Representatives from the companies were on hand for the training.
The event was broken up into a number of training modules focused on proper use, maintenance, and safety for a variety of equipment including:
Hand tools (saws, pruners, etc.)
Sprayers and fertilizer spreaders
Standing and ride-on mowers
Tractors and excavators
The training also included a module focused on prevention of heat-related illness, of particular importance in our Southern California climate.
“Stay Green places a high priority on ensuring our team members have the resources and education they need to do their best, and to do it safely,” Angelo said. “This inaugural training event went very well, and it is just one of the many ways we strive to ensure Stay Green continues to be a leader in the landscape industry.”
This was another award-winning year for Stay Green Inc., after we brought home seven state awards from the California Landscape Contractors Association (CLCA) annual trophy awards gala, plus three awards from the National Association of Landscape Professionals.
The CLCA is a nonprofit trade organization whose members include landscape contractors and public officials. The awards were presented at during the organization’s annual convention, Nov. 13 at the Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort and Spa.
Stay Green received three first-place state awards at the gala reception:
- Small Commercial Maintenance for McDonalds, Santa Clarita;
- Medium Homeowners Association (HOA) Maintenance for Cornerstone HOA, Santa Clarita;
- Large HOA Maintenance for Valencia Mayfair, Santa Clarita
“This company was started by my dad as a truly one-man operation, with a commitment to the highest-quality service. After nearly 50 years of growth, those core principles have not changed,” Stay Green CEO Chris Angelo said. “Receiving these awards is a great affirmation of the quality of the work done by our team.”
Stay Green also received four Outstanding Achievement awards in the CLCA Trophy Awards:
- Public Works, for T-2 Old Orchard in Santa Clarita;
- Large HOA Maintenance for Burbank Hills in Burbank;
- Medium HOA Maintenance for Devonshire Village in Northridge;
- Condos/Townhomes/Apartments for the Sonoma Apartments in Porter Ranch.
“The judges were impressed by Stay Green’s technical prowess and attention to detail, noting ‘Very well done; excellent craftsmanship,’” CLCA Communications Manager John Sassaman said. “Stay Green’s water-management skills also earned accolades.”
- The Merit Awards received in the 2015 Awards of Excellence, presented by the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) include:
- Commercial Landscape Management (Housing), for the Siena Villas HOA in Santa Clarita;
- Commercial Landscape Management (Retail) for The Commons at Calabasas;
- Commercial Landscape Management (Retail) for The Promenade at Westlake.
- Commercial Landscape Management (Housing), for the Siena Villas HOA in Santa Clarita;
Projects entered in the NALP awards range in size and scope from under $25,000 to more than $1 million. The organization represents approximately 100,000 landscape industry professionals across the U.S.
We’ve seen the results of drought-driven water restrictions all around us. Once lush and green, lawns and turf have gone dry and yellow. In all the concern about water conservation, however, sometimes trees get lost in the shuffle. Four years of a punishing drought and restrictive watering is also taking its toll on trees in several ways. Click here to read more and learn about the Stay Green solution for your trees.
In this issue of the Stay Green Bark, we provide a warning about deadly pests that are infesting Southern California’s trees. Click here to read more about the impacts of the polyphagous shot hole borer and other bark beetles — and learn how Stay Green’s team can help save your trees.
Check out the new edition of the Stay Green Bark e-newsletter. In this issue, we take a look at the state’s new water use restrictions and the ways in which the Stay Green team helps clients not only comply with the new regulations, but also retain beautiful landscapes even as the record-setting California drought continues.