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Denver & Colorado commercial landscapes

How Commercial Landscaping Can Affect Your Finances

Posted on: March 6th, 2013

Tree removal & planting helps manage risk

This may sound like a strange combination but when you give it some thought your finance balance sheet and your landscape have a lot in common. Many property managers and building owners think of their landscape as an ancillary expense. “It is something that certainly makes up a part of our budget but it is not as important as the heating system, roof repairs or cleaning costs.”


How much money could you save in winter “slip and falls” and the cost to prevent them if you eliminated the ice in the first place? Colorado ranks among the highest in days of sun shine. The winter sun is in the south. The north side of a property is in the shade for the winter months. Ice builds up consistently and is prolonged on the north side sidewalks and parking lots. Use the free power of the sun.

Swingle rarely advocates removing trees and we encourage adding plants to your landscape for many reasons. However, if a tree or tall shrub is shading the sidewalks or parking lots, you are increasing risk for accidents and potential legal foray. There may be a good argument to remove the source of the shade and allow the sun to melt the ice. You can always plant another tree in a more suitable location.

What is your cost savings in labor to otherwise battle the ice all winter long? What of the ice melt product that you are forever cleaning off your floors and carpet after it is tracked into your building? Something this simple is a very low cost solution with a very high return on your investment. You will look like a genius to your peers and owners. Hey, give credit where credit is due. Right?

Here is another landscape 101 example: Everyone has a favorite lawyer joke. Many of us have ten. Come on admit it. Some of my best friends are lawyers too. However, they are the first ones called, and with good reason, when a branch has fallen and struck a person, car or property that was hanging precariously over an entry or break area. Could it have been prevented? Who is at fault? How long was someone aware of the existing hazard? These are all good questions.

The benefits of your landscape plant material far outweigh the risk they might pose but none the less they can, in some cases, cost you an unfunded liability due to plain oversight. High winds and snow loads are two of the most common reasons trees or parts of trees fail. Quite often, the oncoming accident from the damage occurs months and even years after the tree has been affected. A visual inspection by a trained eye can, in some cases, help prevent a serious accident.

It must be noted that a visual inspection is the lowest level of risk management. However, there are times when an obvious hazard is literally hanging over your head or staring you in the face. Unsuspecting people pass by day after day until something happens and your lawyer becomes your best friend. Once again, the cost savings are intangible as a preventive measure and a real line item cost if the worse comes to fruition.

Finally, your landscape is tied to your finances in terms of property value. There are several methods to determine the actual dollars you may have on any given site. A mature landscape easily contains thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars worth of trees. Likewise, a new landscape can have an equal amount in curb appeal alone. Valuation of your landscape is a topic of its own. The right landscape is a clear justification of higher square foot pricing, retention of tenants, and is a proven advantage in stress reduction.

It’s true: Your landscape directly affects your finances.

Get a free on-site inspection from a Swingle Landscape Care Consultant today!


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