“We’ve had many contractors come out to diagnose our water problems coming from the hill behind our house. Every one of them wouldn’t call back because they were afraid of the problem. There is a constant spring that floods most of our backyard. Rafael came out gave me a flat rate charge and just took care of the problem! He also re-landscaped our front and backyards and we now own the nicest yard on the block, by far.”
“They did a tremendous job on my landscaping project. The crew was courteous and hard working and did a great job. I would definitely hire them another project and would recommend them to a friend.”
By Stephen J. Kotz
After a long and tough winter, Mr. Dodds said he is anticipating a very short window this spring to prune storm-damaged trees, clean up and prepare gardens for the season, repair damage to driveways and curbs caused by snowplows, and get irrigation systems up and running, all jobs his full-service company handles.
“Everybody is going to be really busy,” he said of the trade in general during an interview in his Southampton office. “So if you want to get on the schedule, don’t wait a month because we’re going to have a really condensed season.”
Every spring seems to bring a different challenge, said Mr. Dodds. Last year, it was damage from Hurricane Sandy. This year, ‘it’s been a brutal winter, and the deer damage is obscene,” he said. “A lot of deer-resistant plant material has been completely defoliated.”
Mr. Dodds, who grew up on what today is the Wolffer Estate Vineyard in Sagaponack, said he always wanted to “work outside” and the East End was one of the few places that offered the opportunity “where you could be a landscaper and still make a living.”
“I started dragging brush right of high school,” after landing a job with Ray Smith and Associates 19 years ago, where he was soon made a partner, Mr. Dodds said, adding that he was proud that he was the youngest certified arborist in New York State at age 18 and today is the vice president of the Long Island Arboricultural Association.
Mr. Dodds attended both Alfred State College and the State University of New York at Delhi before later completing his education at Farmingdale State College, where he received degrees in landscape design and turf management with a minor in business. “Farmingdale is a great school on Long Island for horticulture,” Mr. Dodds said.
Three years ago, he made the break to form his own company. Today, Jackson Dodds and Company has 14 employees, spread over four divisions, landscape design and installation, tree pruning and removal, irrigation and lawn care and planting.
During his career, Mr. Dodd said he has seen everything, including a trend that started in the mid-1990s before pausing for a few years when the economy tanked in 2007: the removal of full-size specimen trees from one property to be planted on another property, where the homeowner wants an instantly mature landscape.
“They say, ‘the first year it sleeps, the second year it creeps and the third year it leaps,’” Mr. Dodd said about tree transplants, although he quickly added that mature trees sometimes take a couple of more years to recover. “The after-care is everything,” he said. “That is where we carve out a niche, watching the plant’s health and care, prepping the soil and feeding.”
And how big are these trees? Last year, Mr. Dodds said his crew used a 110-ton crane to move a tree that had a 108-inch root ball. “Some of my clients move trees like they move furniture,” he said. “Nothing is too big.”
Fruit orchards are another specialty. “Fruit trees require a very specific timing on when you apply fungicide to the leaves,” he said. “You have to do everything to keep the leaf healthy to keep the fruit healthy. If you miss the timing, your fruit turns into a shriveled up prune.”
Mr. Dodd smiles when asked about organic plant care. It doesn’t work on orchards, he said, and the problem with it is “it typically doesn’t give the kind of results people expect out here.”
That’s not to say he is an advocate of wholesale applications of chemical pesticides and fertilizers. Mr. Dodd said he used integrated pest management system and coordinates the applications with the temperature at which they will do the most good and the least harm. “We all have to drink the same water here,” he said, “so we’re by the book when it comes to that.”
Along with the expertise they have provided in the care and health of our trees, lawn and beds, the time they take to listen to our requests and work through projects of different varieties, makes for a stress free and enjoyable experience.
Completed projects include: the removal of a large and outdated concrete fountain, replacing it with a large Weeping Copper Beech tree; forming a grove of River Birch; and planting a new bed of shrubs, grasses and perennials. All have been performed with care. Whether it’s Jackson or one of his team, the follow-up on maintenance and plantings has always been taken care of and questions are always answered promptly.
Property Manager, Shelter Island
- American Dog Tick:
- Rocky Mounted spotted fever
- Lone Star Tick:
- Human Monocytic Ehrlichiosis
- Anaphylaxis or Urticarial reaction to red meat
- Black-legged Tick (Deer Tick):
- Lyme Disease
- Human Granulocytic Ehrlichiosis
- Borrelia miyamotoi infection
As winter approaches it’s time to consider your evergreen trees and shrubs. Because these plants maintain their foliage throughout the winter, they can continue to lose moisture during this time. With this moisture loss, temperature fluctuations and frozen ground, it can be hard for evergreens to keep up with water demands. This often leads to needles and leaves starting to turn brown and die. This is often called “winter burn” or “desiccation” – a dehydration of the plant due to water loss from the leaves through transpiration. Some broadleaf evergreens such as holly, rhododendrons, laurel and boxwood are even more susceptible to winter drying and long-term damage. In addition, newly installed plant material that is still trying to establish itself is also susceptible to desiccation.
To avoid winter damage to your evergreen trees and shrubs and also your newly installed plant material, anti-desiccant applications can be made. An anti-desiccant is a material which, when applied to the plant, adds a protective waxy cover to leaves which helps reduce moisture loss.
If you want to ensure that your newly planted trees and evergreens are protected this winter, contact us and we will determine the number of anti-desiccant applications that best suit your property.