Our Award of Excellence

treescapes pool installation awardWe recently told you about attending a conference where we got to meet with other people in the industry, and where we received an award. The APSP International Awards of Excellence program distinguishes and rewards spas, hot tubs and pool installation, plus other water features that showcase the most attractive and creative work within the industry.

Our official award was the 2014 APSP International Award of Excellence merit award in the “Freeform” category. It was truly an honor to be recognized as one of the best in the industry of water features and pool installation, as there were many companies that put together great scenes for the competition.

But the best part is that this award is giving us some great tools to better serve our customers. In the coming months, you will see some videos and mailings from us with some of the great information and products we learned about while we were in Orlando.

Winner photos can be viewed at www.aqthemagazine.com. Come on down and see our plaque and pictures from the event, and see what we can offer you to be our next award winning backyard.

Five advantages to planting container gardens

Outdoor Living Center in Andover KSThe art of container gardening dates back thousands of years and shares ties to ancient Rome, Egypt, and the Orient. From hanging gardens to rooftop gardens, the use of containers and pots gave people in the cities the opportunity to grow vegetation. You’ll see some plant containers perfect for your patio at Treescapes Outdoor Living Center.

Today, whether you choose to grow vegetables, mixed flowers or succulents on your patio, a container garden gives you the opportunity to better control your plants’ environment. And it gives you the chance to make the most of your patio, deck and landscape.

Our staff at Treescapes Outdoor Living Center will explain that there are several benefits to choosing container gardens:

  1. Water conservationWhile a pot may dry out more quickly than a landscaped planting, the water you use is controlled and will quickly reach the roots. This will eliminate the opportunity for wasted irrigation which often happens when watering large gardens.
  2. Disease controlNot only does growing plants in a container garden help prevent the spread of plant disease and fungus, it can be easier to treat the plant if it is isolated from the others. You also can control the potting soil mix used, which can be beneficial in keeping your foliage healthy.
  3. Portability for weather changesGrowing your plants in pots allows you to bring the plants into the house during harsh weather conditions. With a little effort, you can maintain your garden indoors (depending on the plant species) throughout the winter and then move it back outside in the spring. This can help make gardening more economical. We at Treescapes Outdoor Living Center will be happy to tell you more about this.
  4. Less strenuousContainer gardening is also a convenient option for older people or those with mobility challenges as it requires less bending and laborious work. The limited surface area within the pot also avoids the need for heavy weeding which makes it especially appealing to people with physical limitations. You will also have no need for heavy tools or garden equipment when caring for your container garden.
  5. Kid friendly – because of its size and portability, a container garden provides an excellent opportunity to introduce a small child to the wonders of gardening. You never know, you may create a future gardener in the process.

Please give Treescapes Outdoor Living Center a call at 316-733-6388 or drop by our showroom at 1202 N. Andover Road if you have questions about creating your own container garden. 

Caring for Swimming Pools – A few tips

maintaining swimming poolsWho doesn’t love the cool, refreshing waters of swimming pools on hot, summer days? Whether you cherish your time relaxing with family and friends on the weekend or rely on your pool for exercise, a sparkling clean swimming pool is a superb addition to any home. Keeping it in top shape throughout a season confronted by bacteria, environmental pollutants, and body oils can be a challenge, however. Whether you have an in ground gunite pool or a vinyl liner pool, here are five tips to preserving the life of your investment:

  1. Routine maintenance – Maintenance is key. Swimming pools need to be tested and cleaned at least once per week, whether or not they are used. This maintenance includes skimming the leaves and debris from the water and emptying the baskets. If you don’t own an automatic vacuum, be sure to remove any debris from the bottom using a manual pool vacuum.
  2. Brush down the pool – It’s important to apply surface cleaner to the waterline on the pool walls and use a pool brush to remove any recent discoloring or residue. This will keep your pool looking sparkling clean and help prevent staining. It’s also vital to use a pool brush on the bottom of the pool to help prevent algae buildup and help disperse chemicals and improve circulation.
  3. Check pH and chlorine levels and treat accordingly – The pH and chlorine levels on swimming pools need to be checked at least twice a week using a commercial test kit. It’s best to keep chlorine levels at 1.0 to 3.0 parts per million (ppm). The pH should stay in the range of 7.4 to 7.6. Pool experts recommend you test your pool water at least four hours after swimming and eight hours after rainfall or a storm. For best results, experts suggest testing at dusk. If you are uncertain of your results, many local pool care businesses offer advice and free testing services.
  4. Shock the pool – In an effort to eliminate containments and algae, experts recommend you super chlorinate your pool water at least once a week, also known as “shocking” the water. This process helps keep your pool water safe as it requires the use of three to five times the normal amount of chlorine or chemical sanitizer to drastically raise chlorine levels. This process kills anything organic. It’s best to shock the pool at dusk and avoid swimming for at least the following 24 hours.
  5. Run a filtration system regularly – While running a filtration system can get costly, the process is vital to the health and longevity of swimming pools. A pool pump helps remove debris from the water and keeps chemicals well-mixed.  Experts recommend running the filtration system as often as possible for best results.

Please give Treescapes a call at 316-733-6388 or drop by our showroom at 1202 N. Andover Road if you have questions about how to effectively maintain swimming pools, or if you need a professional pool service.

Four ways to create a cozy patio space

patio furniture by Treescapes Outdoor Living CenterYour patio or lanai space should be your refuge, the place you and your family head to unwind after a long day. It needs to be inviting and give you the opportunity to entertain your family and friends comfortably.

There are several design elements to remember when pulling together a cozy patio. Whether you are building it from scratch or revamping an outdoor space with patio furniture, keep the following factors in mind:

  1. Select a style that complements the architectural details of your home – In an effort to make your patio space seem comfortable and inviting, choose a patio furniture style of that complements the architectural details of your home. If you live in a Victorian style home, for example, you might want to select more old-fashioned style pieces, such as wrought iron or wicker pieces. If you have a country-style home, look for charming, wooden furniture. If you’re your home is more modern and contemporary, choose more sleek, streamlined pieces.
  2. Invest in quality outdoor patio furniture and accessories – If you are trying to create an outdoor room, you will need to select additional furnishings and accessories to pull the space together. Comfort and quality should be key when shopping. Nothing is worse than finally making it outside to your private oasis and finding your outdoor furniture is too wiggly or not comfortable. Experts recommend you look for aluminum loungers made with long, unsegmented framing pieces and patio furniture assembled with stainless steel screws for longevity.Make sure you select lawn or patio furniture and accessories that are meant for the outdoors and are mold and mildew resistant, fade resistant and UV protected. Choose wisely — it’s worth the investment.
  3. Create a gorgeous space with planters – Your patio should reflect your personality while creating a relaxing environment. Planters are an excellent way to connect your patio space with the outdoors. You can bring in a pop of much-needed color to an otherwise drab area or create a custom wall of privacy using taller plants and pots.  And it’s simple to change out your planters according to the season, making your patio inviting throughout the spring, summer and fall.
  4. Choose colors that complement your surroundings – Be sure to keep your overall design in mind when selecting a color scheme. Not everything has to match exactly; you can mix colors and textures as long as they complement one another. Select big and bold accent pillows in red and orange, for example, if you have a beige or white patio furniture palette. Mix floral or striped prints with plain colors to give the space some pop. Don’t go overboard, however, as this space needs to evoke tranquility.

Please give Treescapes a call at 316-733-6388 or drop by our showroom at 1202 N. Andover Road if you have questions about creating a cozy patio space.

Healthy, green grass – Some tips by Treescapes

treescapes lawn careProducing and maintaining a green lawn requires a commitment to lawn care. Whether you take on the arduous task yourself or hire a lawn care professional, it’s important to create a custom seasonal regimen as it doesn’t take long to go from lush green grass to a brown mess. Keep the following Treescapes guidelines in mind when caring for your lawn:

  1. Hydration is keyThe amount you need to water depends not only on where you live but on the time of year. Providing enough water at the right times will help promote growth and keep your grass green. Be sure to provide slow watering as too much water at once will wash right over the land and not be absorbed by the root beds. Experts like Treescapes, as well as water conservationists, agree a lawn does not need to be watered daily. In mild weather, an inch of water a week is recommended, whether it is supplied by a rainstorm or your sprinkler. They say the ideal time of day to water is in the early morning and if you have a timer for your sprinkler, around 3:00am is best as the water has time to soak in without too much evaporation. Avoid the evening, if possible, as this can easily lead to lawn disease and fungus.
  2. Use a mulching lawn mowerYour grass cuttings contain vital nutrients which can be returned to your lawn to help keep it healthy and green. When you use a mulching lawn mower, the clippings are not sent to the catcher, they are held suspended under the deck until they are a fine consistency. These tiny clippings can return a good 15 percent of the lawn’s required nutrients, which can reduce the amount of feed you purchase and apply. We at Treescapes would also like to remind you to make sure you don’t leave long clipping on the grass as it will harm the existing lawn.
  3. Apply fertilizers and weed controlGarden pests and parasites will destroy your lawn if you let them. There are numerous products available to help combat these menacing insects as well as lawn services to help you maintain a lush lawn. If you decide to apply products on your own, it’s important you determine the appropriate levels of fertilizer and weed control necessary for your grass zone and the variety of grass you have in your yard. It’s also essential you prevent weeds from taking over your grass. Quite often, these two steps can be integrated into the same task.
  4. Protect it year roundJust because it’s not summer doesn’t mean you can take a total break from caring for your grass. Once the leaves fall, be sure to remove them from the ground. Depending on where you live, you can lower the height of your mower during the fall and winter to eliminate having too much young growth that will be destroyed by harsh temperatures. Be sure to select a fall and winter fertilizer to nourish the grass and make sure you water it before the ground freezes.

Please give Treescapes a call at 316-733-6388 or drop by our showroom at 1202 N. Andover Road if you have questions about keeping your grass healthy and green.

Three tips for selecting grills

selecting grillsWe know it’s tempting when you enter a store that showcases various grills, to head straight for the biggest and baddest grill on the showroom floor. It’s so shiny and it has multiple grilling surfaces, fancy gauges and side burners — it’s an outdoor chef’s dream. And, chances are, this grill has a pretty hefty price tag. It’s important, however, to keep in mind the size grill you need and the space your have available for outdoor cooking. You want to get the most bang for your buck.

  1. Consider quality firstExperts say gas grills are not priced solely by size, but their quality. Just because a grill is huge, doesn’t mean it is made of quality materials. Typically, grills are made from cast aluminum, cast iron, sheet metal or stainless steel. Stainless steel is a popular choice but make sure you take a good look at the frame as many manufacturers use other materials which can rust easily. Bring a magnet with you to test which parts of the grill are stainless steel. Experts advise that if you can afford the expense, cast aluminum will outlast stainless steel.
  2. Select the right size grill for your needsThere are so many grills to consider, from your classic black grill to top of the line stainless-steel grill with an attached rotisserie burner, so it’s important you have an idea what you need before you go shopping. Will you be grilling burgers for your family of four or do you typically hold backyard parties for 25 people in the summer? Do you need a smoker box, side burners to boil corn on the cob or do you like to warm sauces? Perhaps you need extra grilling space to toast your buns? Keep these needs in mind when shopping.
  3. Understand the BTU ratingMany manufacturers promote their BTU (British Thermal Unit) rating when trying to sell their grills. This measurement indicates the amount of heat created by the burner. It’s easy to think a higher BTU means you have a more powerful grill when really the size of the grill and how well it distributes heat that determines its merit.

Please give Treescapes a call at 316-733-6388 or drop by our showroom at 1202 N. Andover Road if you have questions about selecting the right grill for your outdoor needs. 

Three ways to protect your plants from freezing temperatures

landscaping tips for winterLandscaping experts, like Treescapes, will tell you that your plantings play an important part in your environment for they not only help provide much-needed oxygen through photosynthesis, they provide long-term beauty to your landscape. Throughout the summer you most likely care for them by providing water on hot, dry days and perhaps specific feedings, but what should you do when freezing temperatures are in the forecast? How can you increase the chances of preserving your special plantings in the event of frost?

What causes frost injuries?
Ice crystals can form in plant cells when the temperature goes down significantly, causing frost injuries. Because of the damage, water becomes unavailable to the plant tissues. You can identify frost-damaged plants easily because they will appear water-soaked and then shrivel and eventually turn brown or black. Not all plants are hardy enough to survive frost.

How can I protect my plants when freezing temperatures are in the forecast? This is a question our landscaping experts at Treescapes will be glad to answer, as seen below:

Water your plants before nightfall
Experts recommend you water the surrounding soil thoroughly during the day because wet soil can maintain heat better than dry soil. This helps protect the roots and also warms the surrounding ground air.

Cover the plants before dusk
Landscaping professionals will also advice you to create protective covers using bed sheets, blankets and/or drop cloths for your more vulnerable plants. Stakes can be used to keep the material from touching the plants. Burlap-type bags loosely tied at the base can help larger plants/bushes from damage. Be sure to remove the coverings once temperatures rise the next day so the plants can breathe. Use caution when using plastic or vinyl coverings as they can trap moisture and cause further damage.

Add mulch to your landscape
Not only does mulch help make a garden or landscape look complete, it acts as an excellent insulator, holding in heat and moisture when the temperatures drop. Applying a layer two to three inches thick of shredded pine or bark or even pine straw, can help trap heat.

What do I do if my plants freeze?
If you notice signs of frost damage, resist the temptation to prune the plant or immediately dig it up. It’s important to wait until warmer temperatures and the risk of frost is gone to remove damaged parts. Once you see new growth you can prune.

Part of the list of landscaping tips is for you to also consider raising planting beds to help protect against frost damage and place more cold sensitive plants close to the house or in pots that can be moved inside.

Choose your plants wisely
It’s important to know the high and low temperatures your plants can tolerate and choose ones for your landscape that are suitable for your growing zone. While damage may be minimal for some plants at 32 degrees, delicate plants will die. Be sure to choose species hardy enough for your landscape.

Please give Treescapes a call at 316-733-6388 or drop by our showroom at 1202 N. Andover Road if you have questions about preventing frost damaged plants, or if you need landscaping assistance.

Which swimming pool type is right for you?

pool construction typeThere’s nothing better than coming home from a long day at work and entering a backyard filled with luscious landscaping and a cool swimming pool. Perhaps a quick dip in the sparkling waters could help reduce your stress. Or, perhaps your family could use some quality time together. Maybe it’s time for pool construction!

Before you call the experts, for instance Treescapes, you have to think about whether you can afford to build a private pool, and if so, how you could begin to decide which type of pool is right for your budget and location?

There are many styles of pools available with differences in pool construction, cost and lifetime maintenance. Two of the most common, the vinyl liner and the gunite pool, are very popular in the United States and each carries disadvantages and advantages.

Pool Construction

  • Vinyl Liner Pool
    A vinyl liner pool is not actually made of vinyl, it’s really a concrete or steel-sided pool which uses a vinyl lining as its membrane. You can design a vinyl pool in virtually any shape you want and construction turnaround is usually a matter of weeks. These pools are very popular as vinyl pool construction is less expensive than gunite pools and can last for several decades.
  • Gunite Pool
    The most popular design in the United States, the gunite pool is constructed using a framework grid with steel reinforcing rods. A heavy coating of cement and sand (gunite) is sprayed around the rebar which is then smoothed by hand. A final finish is added to the rough surface about a week later and the pool can be decorated with tile. Similar to the vinyl pool, you have a lot of design freedom with the gunite pool.


  • Vinyl Liner Pool
    While it can be repaired with a quick and inexpensive chemical weld, it is possible to cut or tear a vinyl liner which could cause a leak. Full replacement runs $3,000 to $5,000 depending on your pool size. Not every backyard is a contender for a vinyl pool, especially if there is a major slope in the property or there is the presence of ground water.
  • Gunite Pool
    Depending on where you live and your climate, construction of the gunite pool can take a few months to because of the curing of the concrete. While very durable, the gunite pool may need to be replastered every 12-15 years, depending on the level of pool care.


  • Vinyl Liner Pool
    In addition to being more cost effective to construct than gunite, vinyl liner pools are said to provide better insulation and there are endless liner patterns and colors available. The non-slip finish is popular with swimmers and the liners are treated to help discourage algae growth. Depending on maintenance, the estimated life of a liner is about eight to 10 years and a replacement takes only a couple of days.
  • Gunite Pool
    The sky is the limit when designing the gunite pool. You can add all sorts of customized finishes from decorative tile to pebbles and glass to make your pool unique. You can add a variety of features such as custom steps and waterfalls. These pools are highly durable and can be enjoyed for decades.

Please give Treescapes a call at 316-733-6388 or drop by our showroom at 1202 N. Andover Road if you have pool construction needs, or if you have questions about pool maintenance.

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