ISLAND LANDSCAPE RENOVATION UPDATE
The Hallbrook Landscape Committee continued their work for renovation of the islands not completed in 2014 and 2015. The Committee identified 15-17 islands for renovation and has prepared detailed designs to be completed this Spring. As part of the process, the Committee met several times since October, 2015 and made numerous site visits to assess the issues and needs of each island and prioritized them based on need, as well as overall health and structure of existing trees and shrubs. The Committee includes Kim Sorensen, Landscape Architect with Olsson Associates (formerly, Ochsner Hare & Hare) and Robyn Schmitz, owner and horticulturist at High Prairie Landscape Group, Carol Gurba (resident), Tina Bender (resident) and Chi Chi Puhl (Chair & resident). This process will continue for the next 3 years until all of the remaining landscape islands have been updated. An extraordinary amount of time and effort was put into the renovation design over the Fall and Winter months with the goal set on identifying needed landscaping in Hallbrook for it to remain a premier community and to enhance home values. Additional items assessed include tree crowding, original over planting, root girdling, life span of tree, aesthetics and needed updates to a twenty-five-year-old landscape.
All of the proposed work for the islands to be renovated in Spring, 2016 was sent out for competitive bids, and the work will begin in the next few weeks and completed by the second or third week of June, 2016. While too voluminous to include in this newsletter, there is a complete set of plans for the island renovations for the Spring, 2016 available in the office of The Tiehen Group if you desire to review them. The HOA continues to work diligently and prudently to bring high-quality and exciting updates to our aging community to ensure that our subdivision provides the highest standards and that necessary changes are implemented keeping the best long-term interests of the neighborhood in mind.
Replacement of street trees continues as they die due to age or damage. Currently, 29 street trees were replaced during the early Spring. The new street trees require supplemental watering after they are planted. If you as a homeowner received a new tree this Spring, we would ask that you water your new tree. To promote the overall health of the tree, this needs to be done weekly with a hose at the base of the tree, set to a trickle. The stream of water should be less than the width of a pencil and should run for thirty minutes to an hour or until the ground around the tree can’t absorb the water and its run off, if you have more than one new tree, move to the next tree and repeat the process. When all the trees have been watered repeat the process again for each tree to ensure that the water penetrated deep enough. The recommended amount of water is twenty gallons per week per tree. The water from your irrigation system will not be sufficient to promote the root growth needed for the overall health of the tree and why we are recommending the supplemental watering.
If for some reason you are not able to water the tree, please contact the Tiehen Group so that we can ensure that the trees are properly watered. Hallbrook is diversifying the tree selections in an effort to maintain the quality of trees within the development and ensure future years of survival. The replacement plan and tree selections may be viewed on the Hallbrook website, http://www.hallbrookfarms.org. Additionally, please do not create a ‘Mulch Volcano’ around any of the street trees, which can severely damage or kill the tree. Make sure there are several inches between the trunk of the tree and the beginning of the mulch circle.
BERM EROSION AND PLANTINGS
The new trees and shrubs on the berm continue to thrive and blossom and the ornamentals made an impressive show with their Spring blooms. Currently, the berm is getting the ground plane reestablished with new areas of seed, sod and groundcover plantings which continues to be added where there is too much shade for grass to grow. This effort is underway to help stop the erosion of soil from the berm and to decrease the areas of bare dirt. This is a work in progress and will take a season or two to establish. We are continuing to establish the lush areas of lawn with seed and sod and introduce groundcover as understory in areas of deep shade.
PANSIES ARE HERE AND ANNUALS WILL FOLLOW
The planting of the spring pansies is complete and the annuals will follow in mid-May. The beautiful purple, blue and yellow pansies planted for early Spring color will be maintained until it gets too hot and then summer heat-tolerant annuals with tons of color impact will be planted for the Summer months. The pots will continue to have a stimulating flower display to maintain excitement around the fountain area and entries. The design team has put together an outstanding design for the subdivision and the color will be a wonderful addition to the boulevards. We are very excited about the introduction of color to the neighborhood and anticipate another wonderful year of bright beautiful flowers for all to enjoy.
ASH TREES – EMERALD ASH BORERS
Hallbrook has treated the first half of the Ash trees for Emerald Ash Borers and the remaining Ash trees scheduled for treatment will be treated once the Ash trees have leafed out in May, 2016. As previously reported, Hallbrook has 444 ash trees. All of the ash trees have been analyzed by third party arborists for structure and overall health, and have been tagged to help Hallbrook manage the Ash tree inventory. Hallbrook will not treat the poorest rated Ash trees of which there are approximately 75, leaving 369 Ash trees to treat. The eventual replacement of the poorly rated trees will be scheduled over a three-year plan.
OTHER COMMON AREAS
The landscape planted in 2014 along Brookwood and Overbrook will continue to fill in this Summer. The shrubs have been recently shaped to establish a more uniform appearance and consistent massing from island to island. The understory plantings continue to add a variety of color and texture. These new plantings will take at least one more year to establish and flourish to their full potential. Overall maintenance is ongoing to maintain Hallbrook’s 93 islands, 34 monuments and walls, 60 stone mailboxes, 6 security cameras, 444 light poles, the guard house and the fountain.
LIGHT POLES – LED
The work to change the current lighting in the light poles to LED has begun and is due to be completed in June, 2016. Please drive cautiously when approaching the workers and equipment performing this work.
EMAIL ADDRESSES & COMMUNICATION
A reminder that communication with residents will primarily be done by email and the Hallbrook website at http://www.hallbrookfarms.org. If Hallbrook does not have your current email address, please contact Kristen Cheek at Kristen@tiehengroup.com or 913 648 1188, Ext 20.
SLOW DOWN/SPEED LIMIT
Please have all the occupants of your residence slow down. The maximum speed limit in Hallbrook is 25 MPH.
The Tiehen Group, Inc.
3401 College Boulevard #250
Leawood, KS 66211