Month: July 2015

Mid-Summer 2015 Updates

Dear Hallbrook Resident:

MID-SUMMER 2015 UPDATE
EMERALD ASH BORES – PLAN

BACKGROUND:

When Emerald Ash Bores (EAB) were first discovered to have spread in the Kansas City metropolitan area, Hallbrook immediately commenced research on the infestation and guidelines recommended for treatment options for its 441 Ash trees. Hallbrook also consulted with local municipalities and other subdivisions for information. In October of 2014, Hallbrook had the Ash trees reviewed by two independent third party arborist with expertise in EAB. As presented during the Annual Home Owners meeting, the Ash trees were rated by the experts for overall health and structure. After determining the rating for each Ash tree, recommendations were to treat the highest rated and not treat the trees with lower ratings with health and structural issues. Out of the 441 Ash trees, 381 trees will be treated. The treatment will occur in two phases with the first phase targeting the majority of Green Ash, which are more susceptible to EAB. To help manage the process and Ash inventory, each Ash tree has been tagged with a numbered identification tag. A map of the location of the Ash trees is available in the Tiehen office.

With help from experts, Hallbrook compiled the detailed specifications for the bidding process. Requests for bids were sent to four arborists. Competitive bids were received and the contract has been awarded to Ryan Lawn and Tree Phase 1 trees will be treated in September, 2015 and Phase 2 trees will be treated in May, 2016. Any future treatments will occur on a two- year cycle and will be reevaluated at that time.

Homeowners residing on streets where treatment is occurring will be notified prior to the commencement of the treatment. The HOA is treating the Ash Trees within the street right of way (street trees) and median islands. Homeowner’s Ash Trees are not being treated.

Ash trees with poor ratings within the right of way (street trees) or median islands that were not recommended for treatment will be removed and new trees will be planted over a three-year period. The new trees will follow the overall design of the Street Tree Plan that is on the website for your convenient reference.

SMALL ISLAND RENOVATION

You may recall that in response to addressing the challenges of Hallbrook’s aging subdivision, we have undertaken a five-year plan to renovate the 93 islands within the development. The initial phases of the renovation plan occurred on the major islands located on Brookwood and Overbrook and were completed in 2014. This Spring approximately 15 of the 59 remaining islands to be renovated were updated. New and diverse trees, shrubs, plants with exciting patterns and colors were utilized so that our community connotes the highest standards while keeping the best long-term interests of the neighborhood in mind. Additionally, any existing shrub or perennial which has outgrown the island and that can be salvaged, has been transplanted to other common areas. All of the new plantings will take two to three growing seasons to acclimate to their new environment and establish their full potential and beauty. The next phase of the renovation will occur in the Spring of 2016.

STREET TREES

Replacement of street trees as they die due to age or damage continues. Hallbrook replaced approximately 30 street trees in 2014 and 49 street trees in 2015. The replacement plan and tree selections may be viewed on the Hallbrook website, http://www.hallbrookfarms.org. The HOA removes the trees just prior to replacing whenever possible. If a tree dies or is damaged it may be cut down and not replaced until the next planting season. Please contact the Tiehen Group if you are missing a street tree or if one has died. When a street tree is replaced, the new tree will need to be watered for the first two or three years with a slow and deep drip by a hose versus an irrigation system. Homeowners are notified when a street tree is planted near their house to assist with this watering effort since the HOA does not own or control the irrigation on those sections of the boulevard. In the event you are unable to assist in the watering of a tree near your house, please contact the Tiehen Group immediately. On a related note, if you choose to mulch the street trees near your home, please do so in a horticulturally prudent manner so that a ‘volcano’ is not created which is detrimental to the health of any tree. All your fellow neighbors thank you for doing your part in helping maintain Hallbrook’s street trees.

ANNUALS

The glorious purple and yellow pansies helped us move out of the winter doldrums into our bright and exciting summer annuals. The wonderful color display of lilac, electric orange and magenta sunpatiens with the mix of chartreus and merlot coleus were just the start to set the summer palette for a great impact on the noses and entrances. Some perennials such as boxwood, drift coral roses and ground covers were added to give bones to the planting beds. The perennials will help reduce the number of annuals planted in the future and still give color during the summer months. Hallbrook has received many complements from homeowners and outsiders and we want to thank our maintenance and landscape design team for all their efforts in design and selection of the plants this year.
BERM EROSION AND PLANTINGS

Many many hours of planning, design and execution have gone into the renovations of the berm, which efforts are evident with its fresh and appealing appearance. Soil was added in areas where erosion occurred and those areas were reseeded or sodded. Groundcover was also added to certain areas as part of the erosion control effort. The understory along the berm will take a couple of years to establish and the aged trees will continue to be shaped to maintain the clearance at the sidewalk.

The new trees will continue to establish and the addition of the shrubs and ornamentals along the midpoint of the berm has added a new layer of color during the Spring, Summer and Fall seasons.

LIGHTING AND IRRIGATION

Hallbrook has been researching the feasibility of changing the current lighting in the light poles to LED. Hallbrook owns and maintains the light poles. The City of Leawood pays for the electricity. We are currently evaluating the cost savings to Hallbrook and the City if we convert to LED lighting.

The upgrade to the irrigation system continues and should be completed by December, 2015.

DOG OWNER RESPONSIBILITIES

Please pick up after your dog and don’t leave its waste behind in the bag. It has been brought to our attention that some residents walking their dog are picking up their dog’s waste and leaving the bag on the ground under the trees or hanging in the trees for someone else to pick up. This is not acceptable. Please pick up your dog’s waste and carry it with you on the remainder of your walk to be dropped in your own trash can.

SPEED LIMIT – PLEASE SLOW DOWN

Please remember, the maximum speed limit in Hallbrook is 25 MPH. We have many walkers and small children in our neighborhood, please slow down.

We continue to be enthusiastic about the positive changes and transformations in our community. Your renovation team is passionate about keeping Hallbrook a distinguished neighborhood – let the passion be contagious!

Jim Tiehen
The Tiehen Group, Inc.
3401 College Boulevard #250
Leawood, KS 66211