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

Renovation Landscape Update

Below is an update on the recent renovations in the main median islands and berm.

LANDSCAPE UPDATE

The renovations for the median islands along Brookwood and Overbrook and the berm occurred over the Summer.  New nose island plantings were installed during the month of June and beginning of July along Brookwood and Overbrook.  The berm received new pockets of plants both in the Fall, 2013 and Spring, 2014 with plant installations up through mid-July.  The Summer was an unusual one for the weather which has been a blessing and a curse for the new landscape.  The cool weather kept the theme shrubs from blooming along Brookwood and the large tree installation along the berm took its toll on the existing grass.  The landscape is in a state of flux and will continue to improve as time allows.  The new plantings will take 3 years to establish and flourish. The shrubs and perennials will continue to fill in and acclimate to their new location.  As they fill in and acclimate, they will also begin to flower consistently.  Below are specific descriptions of the new landscape along Brookwood, Overbrook and the berm.  The renovation will continue through Spring of next year.

LANDSCAPE DESIGN ALONG BROOKWOOD

The hypericum (St. John’s Wort, Sunburst) is planted in an “S” shape and will provide a blue green color throughout the season and yellow flowers in Summer that appear to be a sunburst, hence its name.  The swoop of the juniper will provide the soft texture change and year-round interest.  Annual displays will continue to evolve each season and will add the pop of color during the Summer.  The liriope border is the unifying theme that is repeated throughout that ties the landscape together along Brookwood.

The fountain area is the center focal point for the development.  The new wall plantings of boxwood and Forest Pansy Redbud with liriope in front of the walls provide framework to the stone walls and allow for the stone to be appropriately featured as originally intended.   New benches and stone urns add interest to the center fountain island.

LANDSCAPE DESIGN ALONG OVERBROOK

Median island nose plantings along Overbrook provide a backdrop to the perennial plantings at the nose tips.  The colors harmonize with the flowering Big Bang Spirea which is the theme shrub planted in an ”S” shape along Overbrook.   The Big Bang Spirea is the largest, most showy blooming spirea available today.  This spirea has been genetically improved over the traditional spirea and will provide multi-season interest with red new growth in Spring, huge pink flowers throughout the Summer and red and orange color in the Fall.  The juniper groupings provide the light feathery texture and Winter interest and the planting is framed with liriope.

New understory plantings of groundcover add a pop of whimsy to the pattern along Brookwood and Overbrook.  This addition replaces the juniper beds that had died because of age and shade.  These new plantings are clean and future maintenance will be reduced without needing to prune the aged junipers.

BERM RENOVATION

This has been an ongoing challenge as the berm is where the majority of the Imprelis damage took its toll.  The new landscape has been interspersed throughout the existing plantings along the berm.  The introduction of new ridge plantings along the top of the berm with evergreens and then a middle zone of flowering shrubs and ornamental trees can be seen as one approaches from the west along 119th Street.  This pattern will be extended the entire length of the berm and will add the screening that was beginning to be lost with the age and deterioration of the existing evergreens, both from the Imprelis damage and the deteriorated utility of the trees due to age.

The evergreens that were removed from the berm were replanted in areas of open zones so that the new plantings had the necessary sunlight that was needed to grow.  The new trees will take 3 to 5 years to re-establish and grow.

The flowering ornamentals that once graced the berm were at the end of their life span and have been replanted with new flowering trees to continue the Spring flowering and seasonal interest.

Shrub plantings were a new addition to the berm to provide more seasonal interest.  It will take 3 years for the new shrubs to reach their mature size.

As each area of the berm is replanted, the turf areas can be restored once appropriate trees have been removed and new trees added to the ridge line of the berm.  In some areas where there is bare dirt now and existing trees with no sunlight, groundcover will be added to stop the erosion.

The State Line berm has been planted in pockets where holes were visible and homes were losing their screening.  Additional plantings will be added to fill gaps along State Line next Spring.

Homeowners along the berm have been encouraged to add plants along their rear property line so that there is double screening along 119th Street and State Line.

Your renovation team is working hard to keep Hallbrook a premier property in the Kansas City Metropolitan area.  We’re excited about the changes and look forward to watching the transformation take place as the plants mature to show off the neighborhood to its full potential and glory.

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

Hallbrook Renovation Update

Hallbrook Residents,

We wanted to give you an update with regard to the renovation of the common areas. We have made substantial progress. We still have much to accomplish.

Work is continuing on the following areas for installation this Spring:

The Brookwood Islands
The Overbrook Islands
Circle/Fountain
The Berms and Entrances
The Summer Annuals (To be installed at the Island noses/tips as installation is completed)
Street Trees

Some of the installations have been delayed due to weather and limited availability of certain plantings. We are still optimistic that the foregoing areas will be installed before the weather turns too hot for prudent planting. The Design Renovation Committee have been working tirelessly to ensure the execution of the design plan. The Team has done and continues to do a fabulous job and we owe them our many thanks.

Richa Saha – Board Member – Chair
Kim Sorenson – Ochsner Hare & Hare
Robyn Schmitz – High Prairie
David Stolberg – Raintree Lawn & Irrigation
Chi Chi Puhl – Board Member

We have received numerous favorable and appreciative comments from the residents and outside visitors. We believe the improvement have a positive impact on the Hallbrook community as a whole, and also will help improve home values, which are still struggling from the real estate downturn experienced over the past few years.

We believe the overall design and renovations creates an excitement in Hallbrook. We have observed that some of you have caught the fever with lots of activity at some of your homes with spruce up/clean up projects. Any landscaping projects you have for review and approval of the Design Review Committee, please know that we will work with you to get your home and surrounding area updated as quickly as possible. We are thrilled to see the activity. Catch the fever!

Thank you.

Jim Tiehen
The Tiehen Group

Common Area Renovations

Hallbrook was impacted by the application of Imprelis, a herbicide manufactured by DuPont, to the common areas, and as a consequence over 650 of our trees were damaged. As a follow-up to the presentation at the Annual Homes Association meeting last Fall, the exciting renovations to the common areas are continuing. As you may recall, some of the plantings associated with the renovation commenced on the berm last Fall; and the planned renovations will continue on the berm in Spring 2014, as well as renovations at the circle/ fountain area, the islands along Brookwood Ave. and, potentially, other common areas depending on the weather.

Your Design Renovation Committee has been diligently working to expedite implementation of the overall design and plan over the next planting seasons, including Spring and Fall 2014 and 2015. The members of the Design Renovation Committee are listed here.

As you drive through the neighborhood and particularly around the current areas where work is being done, please slow down so that the installation can be completed safely.

Again, we believe the renovations will energize the neighborhood and create excitement in our subdivision to help keep Hallbrook one of the premier properties in the Midwest.

Berm Updates

Emerald Ash Borer

emeraldashborerHallbrook is monitoring trees that may have been affected by Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), which is an invasive, non-native insect that feeds on Ash Trees, and ultimately causes them to die. The beetle is metallic green in color and approximately one half-inch in length. Hallbrook is currently working on a plan to deal with its 400+ Ash Trees in the common areas.

Hallbrook’s approach is consistent with the City of Leawood’s EAB plan. Please see this link for more information.