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10 Commercial Landscaping Mistakes with Permanent Damage

6 Minute Read

Hiring a commercial landscaping company can be an overwhelming and exhausting process. You spend hours researching and interviewing companies in the Houston area and finally make your selection. Through the screening process, you were careful to select a commercial landscaping company that you felt you could trust and that were true experts in the Green Industry.

Unfortunately, after a few months, your commercial property is not looking much better, and in some aspects, it seems to be even worse because frequent mistakes are being made. It can be extremely frustrating to realize the commercial landscaping services that were promised by the company you hired are not measuring up, and that there appears to actually be damage done to your landscape.

Not only can landscaping mistakes leave your property looking unattractive, but some mistakes can also cause permanent damage. Surprisingly enough, these landscape mistakes are not only made by commercial property managers that choose to DIY but by inexperienced landscape contractors as well. Let’s take a look at ten of the most common landscaping mistakes that lead to permanent damage and how to avoid them moving forward.

Damages Caused by Landscape Maintenance Mistakes

One of the areas where most commercial landscaping mistakes are made is landscape maintenance. Since these services are usually performed weekly, the same mistake being made over and over again can result in damage that lasts.

landscape maintenance team prune flowers

Turf Care Mistakes

While caring for your lawn may seem relatively easy, there are many mistakes that can impact your property. These mistakes are usually very noticeable since often a large amount of your landscape is grass. The most common turf care mistakes we see are:

1. Untimely Scalping of the Turf

This means turf is cut too short week after week or too late in the season. Cutting grass too short makes it difficult for the grass to absorb the energy it needs to grow from the sun. Overall, scalping leads to unhealthy turf and potential grass decline.

2. Lack of Proper Pre-Emergent & Balanced Fertilizer Applications

In order for your lawn to stay in a weed-free condition, pre-emergent weed control applications are a must. Without timely treatment applied at the correct strength, weeds will take hold of your grass. Weeds can be such a huge issue in the appearance of your property, we wrote an entire blog about it.

3. Cutting the Lawn in the Same Direction and Pattern Every Week

Unfortunately, it takes some time to see the negative impacts of this mistake. When your grass is cut in the same direction week after week, eventually ruts are formed in the turf. This can make the grass look uneven and unsightly.

lawn maintenance crew mows lawn at commercial property

Plant Care Mistakes

While turf care mistakes are typically the most noticeable, plant care mistakes can end up being the most costly. Mistakes made in plant care are usually due to a lack of plant knowledge and experience in the field. Check out the top plant care mistakes you should be watching for at your property:

4. Over Pruning Plantings or Improper Pruning

Most plantings need some form of regular pruning to maintain optimal plant health and appearance. When an inexperienced landscape professional prunes trees or plantings, the damage can be serious. Over pruning or pruning at the wrong location on the plant can hinder plant growth, lead to disease, and eventually cause death of the plant.

5. Failing to Remove Tree Staking

When trees are planted, many commercial landscaping companies stake the trees to support them as they establish. However, if the tree stakes are not removed, the tree can be strangled by the support material. This essentially cuts off nutrient flow within the tree and can lead to a stunted appearance or death.

landscape maintenance technician prunes tree

Damages Caused by Irrigation Mistakes

Unfortunately, commercial landscaping mistakes related to irrigation can be some of the most costly. Since irrigation impacts both your turf and plantings, an improperly functioning system can destroy a beautiful landscape quickly.

irrigation technician inspects sprinkler system

6. Not Performing a Full System Inspection

When a commercial landscaping company takes over a new account, a full system inspection should be completed. If this is not done, errors made during the initial installation, or changes in site conditions that have occurred over time are not noticed. This oversight can require many unscheduled repairs and plant replacements.

7. Forgetting to Adjust the System Over Time

As the landscape matures or new plant material is installed, your irrigation has to be adjusted accordingly. For instance, spray heads may need to be raised, added, or re-located to accommodate plant growth over time or newly-added plant material. If your system is not carefully monitored, plants can be over or underwatered, causing a decline in plant health and potentially plant death.

8. Lack of System Winterization

Even though temperatures in Texas do not frequently dip below freezing, irrigation systems must be winterized if uncharacteristically cold weather is predicted. If this is not done, water lines freeze, causing permanent damage to your irrigation system.

irrigation system waters plantings

Damages Caused by Landscape Enhancement Mistakes

Landscape design and installation projects completed improperly can cause a variety of damages. From irrigation problems to planting mistakes, a poorly installed landscape project causes costly damage as well.

9. Short-Sighted Plant Installation

Many commercial landscaping contractors plant new landscaping projects for a big impact immediately. While this looks great after installation, it can create huge problems in the future. Over planting without giving thought to the plant’s future size at maturity can result in plant decline and a messy looking landscape.

10. Improper planting

Trees are one of the largest investments on your property. Many mistakes can be made if an inexperienced crew manages your planting. Trees or shrubs planted too deep or placed in the wrong zone will die and need to be replaced.

landscape installation team stages flowers to be planted

The Danger of Commercial Landscaping Mistakes that Cause Permanent Damage

Ultimately, commercial landscaping mistakes cost you an enormous amount of money. Each of the mistakes listed above has an impact that is long-lasting. When a landscaping contractor does not think long-term nearly every area of your landscape is affected. Dead plantings, brown grass, and cracked sidewalks are obviously unsightly damages, but these commercial landscaping mistakes can also cause safety issues on your property as well.


Inexperienced landscape contractors are likely to not report issues encountered on your property in a timely manner, resulting in the problem compounding and costing more money long-term. So how do you avoid these potential commercial landscaping mistakes?

  • Be sure to carefully research the potential landscape service providers. To learn more about how to research providers, check out this blog.
  • Avoid choosing the lowest cost providers. Completing work effectively and efficiently up front just costs more. To learn more about what impacts landscape pricing, read this article.
  • Take time to develop job specifications after researching the work you want to be completed. Discuss with your contractor the potential long-term impacts of the choices you are making.
  • Ask about training, licenses, certifications, awards, and work completed at similar properties, and develop a long-term plan.
  • Inspect all work carefully after completion.
  • Inquire about policies and procedures that are in place to ensure quality work.

Selecting the Right Commercial Landscaping Company

You should be able to trust the commercial landscaping company you hire, and you deserve to feel confident that the investment in your property is worth it. A qualified commercial landscaping company should have procedures and policies in place to prevent major mistakes from occurring.

At Monarch Landscape Management, we take our commitment to you and the health and safety of your property seriously. We invest in hiring experts in the Green Industry, provide regular and frequent training, and implement an internal quality audit for each and every employee. Operating a transparent system allows us to hold our team members accountable and do exactly what we say we are going to do.

If you are ready to partner with a commercial landscape management company that offers sustainable, long-term landscaping solutions and recommendations, then we are here to help. Get started by filling out our consultation form. We’ll meet to learn more about your property and work together to protect your investment.

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Written By: Monarch Landscape Management

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