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Two reports published last month evoke both frightening alarm and a glimmer of hope. The first report, released by the  United NationsIntergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, found that one million species are at risk of extinction due to climate change and loss of habitat. Sandra Diaz, co-chair of the report, said, “The evidence is crystal clear: Nature is in trouble. Therefore we are in trouble.” The second report, released by a team international scientists, lead by Tufts University professor Elizabeth Crone, found that, “When it comes to wildlife conservation efforts, urban environments could be far more helpful than we think.” Species facing climate change could be assisted by landscape planners if they focus on creating strategic ‘stepping stones’ for wildlife in urban and agricultural areas.

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May is National Bike Month, sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists and observed in communities all across the country. For the past 63 years National Bike Month has showcased the many benefits of bicycling — and encouraged more folks to giving biking a try. Lately, one of the reasons more folks are willing to give cycling a try is because of complete streets, an approach to street design that integrates landscaping to achieve safety objectives and improve a rider’s experience.

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If you spend most days in Lexington, almost all of the plants you see were planted by landscapers or homeowners (that nasty free-seeding honeysuckle and our remarkable pre-settlement oaks and ashes excepted). The trees, lawns, and hedges might seem permanent. None are. They die at the jaws of tiny beetles or by terrific bolts of lightning, then we replace them by ones and by twos. We shouldn’t do so mindlessly. Like it or not, the Kentucky landscape, be it commercial or residential, is changing rapidly and permanently. The smart person will direct the nature of that change, rather than simply react to it.

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The groundcover Pachysandra terminalis might be the most common groundcover planted around boxwood. It is attractive, hardy, and tolerant to many of the most challenging landscape conditions: shade, drought, pest, and even deer.

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Boxwood blight, or boxwood leaf drop, is a relatively new fungal plant disease that was first identified in the UK in the 1990’s. Since then it has spread to many areas of the world, and has become a disease of great concern in the U.S.

Boxwood blight is extremely contagious and affects every species of boxwood. The disease first presents itself as brown spotting on the leaves. Affected plants then form distinctive black or dark brown lesions on the stems, accompanied by leaf drop and severe dieback. Boxwood blight is often fatal, especially to young plants.

This devastating, aggressive fungal disease has already meant millions of dollars of lost material nationwide.

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At times, Klausing Group’s goal of leading the landscape industry means returning to an old practice rather than inventing a new one. Fallen leaves are a valuable resource, and the industry’s practice of removing them is often not the most practical or economical approach. Instead, we utilize fallen leaves whenever possible to improve results in the landscape.

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Should gas powered leaf blowers be banned? In a recent argument posted by 'The Atlantic,' journalist James Fallows says, “Yes, they should.”  He points out the dangerous level of noise emitted by hand-held, gas-powered blowers, and argues that there is a degree of social inequity involved as well.

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With the change in seasons naturally come changes to your commercial landscaping maintenance. In addition to final mowing, fall is the time to think about cleaning up your commercial property and preparing for the winter ahead.

These five tasks will help to protect your landscape during the winter months, allowing it to rest and be rejuvenated next spring. They will also help ensure that your property stays looking as it should throughout the year, especially during the holiday season.

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Green infrastructure (GI) refers to the use of landscape elements to improve the urban environment. This includes green spaces and urban forests as well as innovative sustainability projects such as green roofs, permeable pavers, and rain gardens.

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Boxwood Blight is a serious disease spreading through Kentucky. It is in several counties and has been identified in several locations in Lexington. It causes fast defoliation of plants, spreads through plantings quickly, and can kill in one growing season. Sadly, there are no chemical cures for this disease.

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