landscape maintenanceSeasonal

How to have fun with annual tasks

By March 2, 2018 No Comments

In this blog post I will show that working on annual tasks can be fun. First of all, it gives us a nice break from routine maintenance schedules and, second, it’s only done once a year. And for me, that was a new experience.


My first encounter with annual jobs was while working for a municipal parks department. At first, I couldn’t believe that some areas were only cut once a year. But it was a nice break from the usual routine. Since my job was to line trim, I loaded up on spare line (always do this!) and I made sure my jerry car with mixed fuel was close by for quick re-fuelling (another good habit).

Day one was near a mountain top and I couldn’t think of a prettier place to line trim. I just had to take some extra care because I couldn’t always see into the tall grass. This is why new workers are always encouraged to get familiar with their new lawns and identify any potential hazards.


photo 1

I line trimmed zones where the ride-on mower couldn’t reach safely.


On day two we worked at a section of the famous Coquitlam Crunch. Here it was the human scenery that was very pretty and I had to make sure passersby didn’t get hit. So here the work was a bit slower but just as fun.

Of course, the work isn’t very difficult; you just need some resolve. I was so excited about doing something new that the hours just flew by. This is why landscape workers report having good days after learning a new machine or task.

After I accidentally beheaded a small snake, the novelty wore off.



I mentioned strata “wild zones” in a previous blog. Here the issue is site size and low profile. It simply doesn’t make sense to spend a lot of time in some far corner not many people see. But, I still think that all strata sites should be maintained without discrimination, that is, all areas should be maintained regularly.




So you survey the “wild zone” and note the obvious tasks:

  1. weeding: the visible green mats are creeping buttercup (Ranunculus repens), this perennial weed is a tough weed to defeat. When you pull it out you will see many fibrous roots. I bring up buttercup when people tell me to weed with my hands. Not likely.
  2. prickly bramble:  invading from next door and growing through trees, we can’t tolerate this because it will just get worse
  3. roses out of control, both size and spread
  4. dogwood (Cornus) shrubs require pruning and thinning, since thinning requires more time it obviously hasn’t been done in a long time
  5. salal (Gaultheria shallon) pruning off the top, it’s an indestructible native so bring down to normal size
  6. Elderberry (Sambucus racemosa) invading from next door, be ruthless, Sambucus grows like a weed
  7. cedar pruning (Thuja plicata), one annual shearing will suffice here


Once you complete the above list the whole place will look transformed. And then you can concentrate on other work knowing that you will be back in twelve months. Hopefully sooner.


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