In the spring, 2018, the two entry islands at College Boulevard and Brookwood Avenue, as well as the first long island at the State Line entry were renovated. Many of the original evergreens on these two islands were lost over the years and the remaining trees were past their useful life.
Members of the Landscape Committee worked this fall to identify which of the islands still needed to be renovated. There are 33 islands to be updated for landscape renovation over the next three years. The Committee has worked throughout the year to evaluate and prioritize the islands to be renovated in 2019 and this work will be refined throughout the fall and winter. The islands are prioritized with the ones in the poorest condition having the highest priority. The evaluation of the island includes the assessment of the original plant material, the overplanting of shrubs and trees in the original design, root girdling of trees, lifespan of trees, aesthetics and needed updates to a 30-year old landscape. After the design and priority is finalized, Hallbrook will obtain competitive bids prior to spring 2019 so that plant material may be ordered and, weather permitting, be ready for installation in April. The wholesale nursery industry has experienced a lot of consolidation and procuring plants and trees for the Hallbrook community continues to be challenging. An extraordinary amount of time and effort is done during this process to continue to maintain Hallbrook as a premier community and to enhance home values.
TREES AT THE STATELINE ENTRANCE & STATELINE & 119TH
The Committee has noticed a decline in the health of many spruces and some pines throughout the common area, and one particular example is the deterioration of one of the majestic blue spruce at the Stateline entry island. Initial evaluation of the tree indicates the presence of either the ips beetle or a canker, which likely cannot be treated and will eventually kill the tree. These four spruce trees are now on a watch list for future replacement.
The amur maples located behind the Hallbrook sign wall at the northwest corner of 119th and Stateline are in severe decline and will need to be replaced. The committee is finalizing the design and needed installation of a swale with a pipe for proper drainage behind the wall.
STREET TREES AND WATERING
It is anticipated that 24 street tree replacements will occur in 2019. In an effort to assist in the survivability of the newly planted street trees, the committee has a plan, which, among other things, addresses timing of planting and watering. In regards to watering, the plan is to utilize tree diapers at the time a new tree is planted. These bladders are similar to the bags utilized throughout Johnson County where new trees are planted to help in the establishment of new trees. The bladders to be used are placed at the base of the trees and may be covered with mulch so they are not visible. They will be filled with water weekly by Raintree and will stay in place for the first year during the establishment of any new street trees. The bladder can be reused for any future tree replacements.
During the next three years, the street trees will be pruned to remove the dead wood, which will open canopies, help improve the shape of the trees and lengthen the trees’ lifespan. There are approximately 1,438 street trees within Hallbrook, (exclusive of the villas and country club.) In 2017 this process was started with the removal of deadwood from the pin oaks.
In May 2018, Ryan Lawn completed the scheduled treatment of the ash trees. Per the Hallbrook plan regarding the emerald ash borer (EAB) treatment, certain ash trees with health and structural issues are not treated for EAB. Replacement of those ash trees as they die due to age or damage continues as part of the street tree replacement program.
BERM – TREES, EROSION AND PLANTINGS
Bermudagrass had infiltrated the berm over the last few years and an eradication was completed in August and September. Where the bermudagrass was removed, turf-type fescue is being established via new seeding. The reestablishment of the turf and ground cover areas will continue for the next couple of years in an effort to control the erosion and provide a vegetative cover for the bare dirt areas on the berm.
The newer trees and shrubs on the berm continue to thrive and Hallbrook and passersby enjoyed the beautiful blossoms of some of the trees and plantings during this past spring and summer.
The committee does continual assessments of the plantings on the berm. Many of the original trees are in decline and it is projected that in the next three to five years, 88 trees will need to be removed and replaced.
RESIDENT LANDSCAPE OVERHANG
It would be helpful if all residents checked their trees and shrubs for overhang into the right of way and sidewalks. The overhang impediments negatively impacts walkers, runners and visitors. If your trees or shrubs overhang or obstruct the sidewalks, please prune back or remove, as appropriate. Your attention to this issue is very much appreciated.
Fall planting of the pots around the circle and the pots located at two of the entrances occurred the week of October 22nd to add interest to the common area as we move into the fall and winter months. The landscape committee will work through the upcoming months to compile the palette and plantings for the seasonal color for spring and summer 2019. We are optimistic that the weather in 2019 will cooperate so that the color from the annuals will continue to be a wonderful addition to the boulevards and help make Hallbrook an exciting and special neighborhood.
While the Japanese beetle appeared to be worse this past summer, the common area experienced only minor damage with the exception of the linden trees, which had noticeable late season foliage damage visible to the canopies. Hallbrook has also been treating for the sawfly on the moneywort ground cover (aka creeping jenny).
The severe cold temperatures last winter and the drought took a toll on some of the shrubs and plantings within our community. In particular, some of the roses, caryopteris, and butterfly bush did not survive the winter and those that did, were slow to take off this last spring and summer. Any lost plantings will be replaced in 2019.