Water and Soil Erosion in your Neighborhood

As a child running, jumping and sliding down through puddles and mud left in the backyard after a downpour was as much fun as the slip-n-slide in the heat of summer.  As an adult, the mud-induced slip-n-slide is not so fun and difficult to negotiate while taking out the trash or walking the dog.

Didn’t there used to be grass there?

As an adult, we’ve seen the mud in our community start to resemble a Slip-N-Slide.  While taking out the trash and walking the dog, this can be hard to traverse.  As the neighborhood become

mud slide 1more muddy after each thunder storm, more tree roots are exposed and the turf is slipping away.  Water erosion has started.  This erosion is usually most noticeable during short-duration, high-intensity storms.

Is there anything we can do?

house clearance birmingham can help you with the collection of the waste, they make the process straightforward and hassle-free..  Although this process is “natural” it is not beneficial to our living environments.

Overtime water erosion can damage structures, pollute drinking water and cause accidents.  To prevent this contact us now at the lawn by Maple Land Works.

Solving the Problem

Developing the use of subterranean and surface drainage systems coordinated with select tree removal and canopy thinning, as well as establishing woodchip buffer areas with native plants, Blade-Runners increases the valuegreenary 1 of your property by creating a park-like atmosphere at a one time forgotten or unused or neglected part of the property and resolves your water erosion issues the right way.  Blade-Runners has solved water and soil erosion problems in communities such as Hunters Green Cluster, Bentana Park Condominiums, Oak Spring Cluster in Reston and others in Fairfax and surrounding Counties.  Blade-Runners carefully considers all requirements and recommendations of the community and area before designing recommendations and practices.  By doing this Blade-Runners can ensure their approach to erosion and drainage issues really work.  Contact us today so we can help your community.

(Learn more about A Affordable Tree Experts and their multiple tree services on their website)

lawn by Maple Land Works

Creating an Objective: Some of the most common objectives are listed below.

  • Improve structure/health
    • Improve health by establishing a structural pruning program to young trees 15’ or less on the property.  Structural pruning of young trees is the best way to ensure and improve the serviceable lifespan of trees on your property.
  • Provide a view
    • A view can be created or enhanced through crown reduction where the edge of the crown at the top of the tree is reduced or by elevation pruning where lower branches of the crown are removed.
  • Provide clearance
    • Growth can be directed away from buildings lights or parking areas. This is the most commonly request pruning item and will need to be repeated as the tree will grow back to fill the void created by pruning.
  • Reduce risk of failure
    • Risk of tree failure can be reduced by identifying and rectifying hazard conditions such in bark, dead or broken branches or large scaffold limbs. Mature trees need to be monitored to manage these risks. Recommendations will depend on the specific tree.

Types of Pruning

You may have noted several pruning terms listed in the description above. Your proposal should speak in these terms, beware of specs that simply state ‘Pruning’ We use the following terms in our proposals as they are recognized tree standards supported by the International Society of Arboriculture and the American National Standards Institute[ANSI]

Remove Deadwood Crown Cleaning Crown   Thinning Crown Reduction Crown Raising Structural Pruning
Dead limbs exceeding 1″ in caliper   will be removed in order to eliminate a possible hazard to underlying   targets. A light pruning of thinning or   lateral cuts to selectively remove dead, broken, crossing, injured,   co-dominant or diseased branches will reduce the movement of decay, insects   and diseases from dead or dying branches. Selective removal of live   branches to reduce crown density. Lateral or drop-crotch cuts to   reduce the breadth of the canopy or decrease the height and/or breadth of a   tree. Selective removal of branches to   provide vertical clearance above walkways, vehicles, signs, streets and   vistas. Removal of live branches to   establish dominant central leader, influence spacing, growth rate, strength   of attachment and size of branches.


When encouraging the healthy growth of your trees and plants it is important for you or your contractor to follow the American National tandards for Pruning (ANSI 300). Read more to see these standards and to get other hints! You should not be confused by the terminology that your contractors use. Be Pragmatic and ask Pointed Questions! Be sure they follow the appropriate terminology and have thoroughly trained staff. Your contractor will know when the best time to prune each specific plant is.

We welcome all calls to your Blade Runners Account Manager should you have any questions!




Read all about Virginia Property Owners’ Association Act requirements for new notice of pesticide application 

Many Virginia HOA Boards, Property Managers, and landscape contractors were blindsided by a Virginia Statute (§ 55-510.3 ) requiring 48 hours of posting notice for all agronomic applications.

Read the actual statue § 55-510.3. Common areas; notice of pesticide application.  The association shall post notice of all pesticide applications in or upon the common areas. Such notice shall consist of conspicuous signs placed in or upon the common areas where the pesticide will be applied at least 48 hours prior to the application

Posting Agronomic Signs & Blade Runners Approach:

While this may produce added expense for the association it really is a good idea.  Effective communication to the residents, if done properly, communicates service dates, contact phone numbers for residents with questions, and provides residents with support documentation of pesticide products to be applied, along with product labels and contact information should they have further concerns.  

Blade Runners has long provided this pesticide sign posting service as an option for HOA’s.  This not just littering the community with pesticide application flags vaguely communicating the something was applied. When you need your pest control issues taken care of promptly, call PA Pest Arrest!

We provide highly visible, solid real estate-style signs placed at specific areas of the property. It contains the dates of application along with a phone number to call with questions, as well as, our website address.

Proper implementation for both pesticide notice posting and the agronomic applications takes planning.  Adequate inventories of signs are needed to replace weathered and/or stolen signs.  Coordination planning is necessary in order to time the application after a turf mowing for maximum control along with the required 48 hour advance posting visit to place the signs. In the event of poor weather, an additional visit might be needed to alter the date.  Signs are removed from the site after the application.

 Blade Runners has a resource manual that contains

  • Product label and MSDS sheets for all products we use.
  • Phone numbers for state and government agencies should the client want addition information.
  • Questions and answers regarding the service
  • Our methods of production and the manner in which we deliver the service.

As with many things there is more to this than meets the eye. Associations should be careful that there solution is a comprehensive one that adds value.

Turn this annoyance into a positive thing for your community.

All people that apply pesticides and herbicides are required to have licensing from the Virginia Department of Agriculture. As such extending education is required each year. See the certificate for Eric Storck, President of Blade Runners, completing this requirment.

The biggest December storm in 25 years is upon us. In preparation for this, please find attached our snow bulletin.
This quick read talks about the manner in which we deliver our service. It addresses the most common questions and concerns of our clients.
Many of the concepts are shared by all snow removal contractors.
Please take a moment to review this and feel free to share with other tenants, residents, and contractors.


Snow news letter 400dpi

Hunters Green divider green

Erosion Control

~Case Study~

Hunters Green Cluster

“The combination of Rocks, Plants, and Design turned an eyesore into an attractive area!”

 20june09 002Problem  Betsy Hill, Hunters Green Cluster board member, spearheaded the initial project,”…we were looking to do an erosion project behind [the community].  It’s a shady area with no topsoil left, with trees that could definitely use trimming service, exposed roots, utilities; it’s complicated and the planting would be a big part of making the long term erosion control work.”  Hunters Green Cluster’s rear common area suffered from erosion causing back yard properties to flood, walkways constantly washing out and existing culverts unable to function effectively due to the collection of silt and runoff debris.  The cause is common;  overgrown tree canopy, either by neglect or a desire to keep shaded areas, and that’s why they need to maintain the trees in good condition, and the use of tree trimmers near me is a great option for this purpose.  Without proper canopy pruning, there is an eventual loss of turf area and exposed top soil erodes and causes various erosion problems, such as flooding.

HG Lower Swale BeforeProposal  Account Manager, Terry Turner, provided a thorough assessment of the areas affected by the erosion and found many areas of concern.  He proposed a drainage swale design utilizing River Jack stone for the swale, replace and repair existing clean-outs and create a river jack stone buffer around the existing drainage culverts.  The proposal included the necessary turf renovation and ground cover installation. The proposal was then given to the Reston Association for review.20june09 014

HG Swale After 1Solution Create drainage swales throughout rear common area. Reparations of the existing drainage culverts and clean-outs, turf restoration where turf grass is feasible, and the establishment of ground cover beds under the existing shade trees would be essential to eradicate these erosion issues.  The design included the use of woodchips and perennial ground cover to be installed as a landscape buffer to further protect the topsoil from washing into the new drainage swale.

HG Swale AfterAccolades  “The board at Hunters Green Cluster hired your company to correct an erosion problem behind my home. The landscaping crew finished the project last week and I am writing to tell you how pleased I am with the results. The combination of Rocks, Plants, and design turned an eyesore into an attractive area.” resident, Virginia Banks.  Board member, Betsy Hill, expressed her comments about the drainage swales, “Terry, this project is great!!!!”   “The work is exemplary …. the swale is beautiful…amazing!!!!”, stated long-time supporter and board member, Katherine Hunter.

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Soil erosion occurs when soil particles are carried off by water or wind. In addition to the soil, runoff can wash fertilizer and other pollutants along with it. According to topsoil in puyallup most phosphates and pesticides entering Virginia’s waters are attached to these soil particles. Nitrogen and phosphorus from fertilizers carried by runoff have been associated with many environmental problems. Streams, ponds, rivers, and the Chesapeake Bay suffer from algae growth, depletion of the water’s oxygen supply, and suffocation of aquatic organisms. Soil erosion begins with the depletion of the uppermost layer of soil: dust. And to prevent this, Dust control in Australia has almost become a mandate, in a bid to both stop erosion and keep the atmosphere clean, and the use of other home services like a mice and rodent exterminator could also help keeping your home clean and pest free.

Everyone recognizes a gully as evidence of soil erosion. Muddy water in your gutter or driveway also indicates that erosion has been occurring. It may only be visible for a time following a rain, but the damage will continue unless something is done, we recommend yo to visit Prime website if you are looking for a reliable roofing company that gives you a free estimate so we may get your project started immediately.

The following are other indications of erosion.

  • Bare spots on your lawn or property
  • Exposed tree roots
  • Small rills or gullies on slopes
  • Soil splashes on your windows and outside walls
  • Sediment that collects in low areas or on pavement. If you wish to keep the pavement in good condition.

Water always takes the easiest path. Because of this, it is important to understand how and what drainage is in order to find an alternative path for the water on your land.

What drains from your property will affect much more than your land alone. Runoff from your yard is the water that runs across your yard and all the material the water picks up and carries with it. Pollutants in water are frequently referred to as point and nonpoint source pollution. Point source pollutants come from an identified point such as an outfall pipe at an industrial operation. Nonpoint source pollutants come from many sources such as pet waste, leaking or improperly disposed auto fluids, car wash detergent or startchoosing the best soap, or fertilizers from your lawn. Pollutants are carried down into the groundwater table with percolating water draining through soil and disposed. Pollutants are also washed into lakes and streams via surface runoff. Storm drains, along streets and in backyards, lead to local streams. Home lawns and landscapes contribute to pollution when improper water management and chemical application allow fertilizer or pesticide-laden runoff to drain into our water supplies. In some areas, soils are very slow-draining and are referred to as having a high groundwater table. Groundwater tables tend to be at their highest in February and March in Virginia as a result of snowmelt and rains. Reliable


  • Wet Lawns: To help prevent surface water from standing in your property, don’t create or maintain a perfectly flat space. Maintain a slight slope that drains toward a swale, rain garden or storm sewer inlet. Even very well-drained soils may become saturated in a Virginia summer thunderstorm, so try to maintain a slope of 5 percent away from the house and 2 percent everywhere else
  • Standing water: If your yard, or some portion of it, remains wet and soggy for extended periods (two or three days following a rain), the natural drainage ways may be blocked or have settled and do not have enough grade to drain. Soggy ground and wet lawns are often the result of trapped surface water with no place to go. Most yards are originally graded so that water flows from the front to the street and from the back to a swale, ditch, or storm sewer. The existing grade of your land may have changed with an added patio, walk, or mounded planting beds (ask your deck contractors for more details), or trees may have grown significantly and their roots raised the ground surface.
  • Bare Spots: Excess water is the most frequent cause of bare spots and erosion. If the excess water is moving across your property, it will need to be redirected to a more appropriate area. The redirected water can be diverted to an appropriately planted grassy area, or a drainage swale, (A drainage swale is a shaped and sloped depression in the soil surface used to convey water run-off to a desired location). Regrading may be necessary to the surrounding ground to encourage the water to move where you want it to go.


1. Where is the water coming from? Standing rain water? Or is the water flowing onto the property from elsewhere?
2. Where should the water go? Water always flows downhill. Is something preventing the water from draining away? Is a storm drain clogged with debris? Is a drainage ditch overgrown with weeds or full of mulch? Is some man-made barrier blocking the waters natural path?
3. How much water to be handled? Is a wide drainage channel needed or will a shallow channel suffice?
4. How steep is the slope? A gentle slope will have a slow current, while a steep slope will need breaks to slow the water and prevent erosion.

To solve the erosion problem, you must identify the cause and then correct it with an alternative site design solution using BMPs (best management practices), we recommend to use topsoil to correct any damage left behind the restoration process. BMPs involve measures which accomplish two basic objectives:

  • Reduce the amount of impervious surface area, thereby reducing runoff and
  • Utilize the landscape to naturally filter and infiltrate runoff before it leaves the development site.

Recommended Site Design Alternatives…

  • Natural Drainage Swales: A drainage swale is a shaped and sloped depression in the soil surface used to convey water run-off to a desired location. A drainage swale is designed with a lining of vegetation, riprap, asphalt, concrete, or other material and is used to intercept and divert flow to a suitable outlet. It is constructed by excavating a channel and applying the appropriate stabilization. They can be used to convey runoff from the bottom or top of slope. For swales draining a disturbed area, the outlet can be to a sediment trapping device prior to its release.
  • Mulch: Mulching is a temporary erosion control practice in which materials such as grass, hay wood chips, wood fibers, straw, or gravel are placed on exposed or recently planted soil surfaces
  • Natural Landscaping: Natural landscaping approaches utilize native plants as an alternative to conventional turf grass. The principal advantage of preserving natural vegetations and utilizing natural landscape designs is the protections of desirable trees, vines, bushes, and grasses from damage caused by erosion. Vegetation provides erosion control, storm water detention, biofiltration, and aesthetic values.
  • Permeable Pavers: Permeable pavers are an environmentally friendly alternative to regular interlocking pavers. They allow for water to filter through the surface where it stays in a gravel basin while it slowly filters into the soil. By absorbing runoff, permeable surfaces help to prevent erosion and drainage issues.
  • Riprap: Riprap is a permanent, erosion-resistant layer made of stones. It is intended to protect soil from erosion in areas of concentrated runoff.

Additional Links & Resources







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Erosion Control

~Case Study~

Bentana Park

“Many thanks to Blade Runners for beautifying our community!”

Problem  “Turf , drainage and erosion problems have been areas of contention for 10 years at Bentana Park.  Many different solutions had been tried and proved unsuccessful”  stated Property Manager, Diana Fritz.  “When I requested a bid from Blade Runners last year to replace ‘XYZ’ contractor, I knew that I was getting a company that would stand behind their work and would give us the best service available.  I have worked with Terry Turner, Blade Runners Branch Manager, on several other communities and he has always been exceptional to work with.  He has given me wonderful service at other properties and I knew he would do the same at Bentana Park.”

Bentana Before Park

Proposal  Terry Turner provided a thorough assessment of the areas of erosion and found many homes were affected and there was flooding involved.  This was of major concern.  He proposed a drainage swale consisting of River Jack stone, replacing and repairing clean-outs and installing a river jack buffer around the existing drainage culverts.  Woodchips and perennial ground cover will be installed with the help of Legion Landscaping services as a landscape buffer to further protect the topsoil from washing into the drainage swale. The proposal was then given to the Reston Association for review.  According to Diana Fritz, Property Manager, “Another contractor also installed drain swales that were extremely costly, but unfortunately, Reston Association came back and told them they were not to code and needed to be ripped out.  When Reston Association finally approved Blade Runners approach and the work was complete everyone, including Reston Association was delighted with the final product.”


Solution  Creat Dry River Swale through rear common area.  A Dry Swale serves as a permanent, erosion-resistant layer, made of stones.  It is intended to protect soil from erosion in areas of concentrated runoff.  Groundcover beds to be established around and under existing shade trees.  Wood chips and ground cover perennials installed as a landscape buffer. Ground cover vegetation provides   erosion control, storm water detention, biofiltration, and aesthetic values.

Solutions 1

 Accolades  Longtime resident and board member, Kathy Ray , “I have lived in Bentana Park for 20+ years and during this time, there has been numerous attempts to handle the erosion issues behind some of the units with our community.  Within the first few months of working with Blade Runners, these areas were turned into livable, beautiful areas.  Blade Runners provided the expertise to design and a dedicated team to perform quality workmanship.  They have proven to be dependable, dedicated and provided excellent customer service.  Not only has the erosion issues been controlled, it has given the homeowners a place to finally be able to sit and enjoy the scenery.  Many thanks to Blade Runners for beautifying our community!”

The Galvin Tree Cutting for Bronx tree removal services is one of the most trusted company when it comes to tree removal. Along with removing the trees they also ensure to provide their customers a clear land so that their clients do not have to deal with any form of derbies later.

Solutions 4

Solutions 3


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Common Questions:

Is it necessary to wave a magic wand and remove every single leaf when doing a fall clean up? Is it acceptable to grind leaves and return them to the soil? Is it okay to place leaves in the surrounding wooded common area as long as they are spread evenly and not left in piles.  Are we being green??

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Traditional Methods

The traditional concept of creating huge piles of whole leaves and transporting them to a landfill is costly and not environmentally friendly. Large armies of workers using lots of noisy, smelly leaf blowers together with rakes and tarps have been the usual manner of removal.  Blowing and tarping of whole leaves and dragging them into huge piles take a good deal of time and thus heavy expense for the client. Transporting large quantities of leaves to a landfill is costly and deprives the soil and woodland areas of needed nutrients.

Modern Methods

The modern choice is to mulch and reduce leaf size using specialized equipment. This method saves time on the site, reduces landfill transportation and dump fees, as well as provides direct environmental benefit to the turf and surrounding wooded areas.

Grinding leaves on the site with precision mowers reduces the need for blowing and also the amount of leaves to be piled. The pulverized leaves are returned to the thatch layer and provide benefit to the turf with both nutrients and soil composition. Leaf reduction in rear areas allows for the pulverized leaves to be returned to the surrounding wooded areas in a fashion that is eco friendly and not an eyesore to the client. This saves valuable tarp dragging time.

With less leaves to pile there is much less quantity to transport to the landfill area, which saves dump fees. As an added benefit, the leaves that are carried away are ground in such a way as to accelerate the decomposition process. This creates rich top soil that can later be transported back to properties that would benefit from it.


Research to Support our Methods:

The modern way of leaf removal

The modern way of leaf removal



Virginia Cooperative extension endorses this approach!.  Virginia Tech,Turfgrass Specialist Michael Goatley Jr. believes:

“Leaf mulching directly into the turf. There are several university research reports detailing how leaf mulching affects turf performance. In almost every instance, the results show that chopping up deciduous leaves as part of a regular mowing schedule is an effective means of managing them without harming the turf. that in almost every instance, the results show that chopping up deciduous leaves as part of a regular mowing schedule is an effective means of managing these leaves without harming the turf.

Purdue University turfgrass researchers Zac Reicher and Glenn Hardebeck took the time to perform a study on the question and they found:

Leaves have no effect on turf visual quality or color

Leaves have no effect on turf growth  by clipping weights

Leaves have no effect on mat or thatch depth

Leaves have no effect on soil pH or nutrient availability

Leaves have no effect on incidence of red thread

Leaves have no effect on incidence of  pink patch.

Leaves have no effect on incidence of  dollar spot

Leaves have no effect on weed infestation

The Sierra Club, a non-profit, member supported, public interest organization that promotes conservation of the natural environment by influencing public policy decisions (legislative, administrative, legal and electoral) so the use of legal resources is important for this from sites as https://mirandarightslawfirm.com/law-firm/ which could really help with this.

They state that leaf mulching:

Makes nutrients more readily available in the soil and speeds up the Enrichment process.

Retains water in the soil during the summer, for drought protection.

Insulates the ground from penetrating cold during the winter allowing the underground.

Work of earthworms and soil microorganisms to create Humus

Helps reduce weeds

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