by Lyle Dickey, IHCA Landscape Manager
Fall in the Issaquah Highlands is a very pretty season, when all the leaves are changing colors on the trees and plants. It is a great time of year to take a walk and enjoy all there is to see. Fall is also a very busy time in the Highlands for the landscape crews that keep this place looking so nice. The crews will all be involved in leaf cleanup on all the streets, neighborhoods, as well as the many trails and parks.
With all the cleanup, you may notice more noise from blowers and other machines that are used to make the leaf cleanup and removal more efficient. This part of the cleanup will last about two months from mid to late September until the mid or end of November. The landscape crews try to address the street cleanup at least once per week and will address main trails and parks once per week as well.
There are also some trails and parks that are not heavily used. These we try to be service once per week, but some may be skipped due to cleanup in other heavily used areas. These areas will be addressed on the next maintenance visit. There are approximately 4,000 trees and 60,000 shrubs in the Highlands. This is a lot of plant material but without it, the Highlands would not be the same beautiful place it is today. I love all the trees and plants here and take great pride in the care and maintenance of them; please get out and enjoy it all.
Fall is also a great time to do tree and shrub pruning, as well as plant and tree replacements. The IHCA in-house crew and other contractors will start to do tree and plant replacements throughout the community beginning in October and working through the end of November. They will be involved in tree and groundcover replacements in many areas. We replace approximately 60 to 80 trees per year and this will continue for the foreseeable future.
There are many reasons some trees need to be replaced. This year we will be replacing several trees that have been damaged by vehicles, storms, or did not survive last winter or this summer. We also have several trees that need replacement due to weak root systems or tree disease. The other trees we replace are trees that have caused major infrastructure damage and need to be replaced with an appropriate sized tree for the area. The trees in the Highlands are a very important part of this wonderful community. It takes a lot of work to care and maintain them but it is all worth it for the shade, the beauty and the enjoyment they provide us all.
There are also many shrubs and groundcovers that will be replaced. There are many reasons we have to replace the plants and groundcovers, some are the same as the trees. The two main reasons for replacements are age of plant material and foot traffic. Some of the plants have reached their lifespan or simply do not do well here anymore. The foot traffic also can destroy groundcover, but we are trying to come up with different ways to deal with that, so it is a work in progress. Through our efforts we will keep the Highlands looking at its best for years to come.
Remember: Please use extra caution and reduce speed while driving around the landscape crews.
Have questions about fall cleanup? Ask the IHCA