OCTOBER 2011 1 The TC Notes is the official news source of the Travis Country Community Service Association. BOO FEST IS ON OCTOBER 31 – 4:30-6 PM - BLUE VALLEY Food - Drink - Costume Contest - Activities - Spooky Fun!! VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: [email protected] THINK FIREWISE! FIREWISE TIP OF THE MONTH By: Candy Goodrich, FIREWISE COMMITTEE [email protected] EVEN PRIOR TO THE DEVASTATING LABOR DAY WEEKEND FIRES, Travis Country residents, including those on the Firewise Committee were growing more and more concerned about the increasingly dry areas around the neighborhood. For this reason, the Firewise Committee held a special meeting in early September, focusing primarily on the Hilltop amenity along Republic of Texas where much dead wood, downed cedar trees, and dead bushes are directly under cedars (ashe juniper). They also discussed efforts to heighten fire prevention awareness throughout the neighborhood. The Firewise Committee took their recommendations to the HOA Board of Directors who, in turn, allocated funds to implement fire prevention practices at both TC amenity areas. Board members agreed that even though the Association is insured, a catastrophic loss of TC facilities would impact homeowner use and enjoyment of them for an extended time while assessment and rebuilding took place. Additionally, loss of the office would greatly affect operations. There is a Travis Country Firewise process through which concerned homeowners may obtain a Firewise Management permit to take action to protect property beyond their property lines. The issue, however, is the prompt and safe disposal of so much dry debris. The Travis Country Manager, Bill Sigler, checked with the City of Austin to inquire about the possibility of setting up a special debris pick-up day for residents. The City stated that they will do additional bulk pick-ups for $100 per house, and this cost could increase if they feel there is too much to pick up. The next bulk pick-up is in January, and the City feels that two annual pick-ups per neighborhood are sufficient. Alternatively, TC could obtain a temporary dumpster for disposal. Interested owners should contact the TC office at [email protected] so the staff can compile a list of interested participants. The Board discussed a “Firewise Cleanup Day” in the greenbelts bordering TC homes if a sufficient number of homeowners show interest. Both mid-November and midJanuary were mentioned as possible times. Residents are asked to contact the office if interested. The Firewise Committee requested that funds be set aside in the new budget for the Association to take future action to help protect all residents against the possibility of wildfire, as the drought is expected to continue through next summer. For related articles, see pages 5, 7, and 8. Check the Travis Country website for updates and links to additional helpful information: www.traviscountry.c G m NATIONAL NIGHT OUT OCTOBER 4 6-8 pm HILLTOP RECREATIONAL AREA Pizza - Drinks - Games - Firetruck Take this opportunity to meet your neighbors and learn how to keep Travis Country safe -TOGETHER! Man oh Man... It’s dry out there! This “Drought Man” photo was sent to the TC Notes by resident Gail Karwoski. While conserving water at your home, remember that it's important to water around the perimeter of your yard because a green grassy area could halt the spread of a wildfire before it enters your property. Dead, dry grass could allow a wildfire to easily advance toward your home. Most wildfires begin on the ground and spread on the ground. X ADDITIONAL PRECAUTIONS - Do not park on dry grass. - Take care when mowing or using power tools and have a hose ready in case of fire. Even hitting a rock with a mower could spark a fire in dry grass. Use hand tools, if possible. - Consider refraining from outdoor cigarette smoking or grilling or have a hose available. - As leaves fall, continuously clean dry leaves from your roof and gutters and around your yard. TRAVIS COUNTRY NOTES PAT EPSTEIN EDITOR & DESIGN TCCSA BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING SEPTEMBER 15, 2011 By: Pat Epstein, TC NOTES REPORT This report does not represent the official minutes of the meeting. Minutes are available at the website and at the TC Office. CONTRIBUTORS Richard Cain Pat Epstein Dan Flannery Dennis Jistel Betty Mading Jim McNabb Ruth Schwab Bill Sigler Charlie Wilcox Cynthia Wilcox PHOTOGRAPHY Pat Epstein (AISD Trash) Jim McNabb (Brush & Snake) Chris Roach (Lemonade Stand) PROOFREADERS Candy Goodrich - Sue Maras Lindy Siegismund DISTRIBUTION 60+ Amazing TC Residents PRINTING Oak Hill Printing - On Recycled Paper TCCSA BOARD OF DIRECTORS [email protected] Anthony Peterman PRESIDENT Leonard Saenz VICE PRESIDENT John McCulloch SECRETARY Paul Salazar TREASURER Mark Carroll - Kay Colvin Tom Curran - Wendy Primeaux George Stokes TRAVIS COUNTRY OFFICE 892-2256 (O) 891-9554 (FAX) 289-1616 (After Hours Emergency) [email protected] www.traviscountry.com With respect to information available from the Association's website and/or information found in TC Notes, neither the Travis Country Community Service Association Inc. (the Association), nor its officers, directors, employees, or agents make any warranty, express or implied, concerning any information referenced therein, or assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information set out therein or the quality of the services provided by any person or business identified therein. The presence therein of information on any specific products or services shall not be construed as, and does not constitute or imply an endorsement or recommendation of such products and/or services by the Association and/or its officers, directors, or agents. Z 2 - TC Notes DIRECTORS PRESENT: Kay Colvin, Tom Curran, John McCulloch, Anthony Peterman, Leonard Saenz, Paul Salazar, and George Stokes. Absent: Mark Carroll. Wendy Primeaux arrived late. MOTIONS APPROVED (U=Unanimous) 1. To assign the Firewise recommendations to the Manager and set aside $5,000 to cover an estimate of costs. (U) SEE PAGE 4 FOR COMMITTEE REPORTS. HOMEOWNERS' COMMENTS. The following visiting homeowners addressed drought/fire concerns for Travis Country: Stan Evans, Lynne Fahlquist, Candy Goodrich, and Frank Krystopher. Comments centered on making firewise activities a priority, i.e., 1) removing brush from the greenbelts and trimming trees to six feet high so fire would not be able to jump to the tree tops (Evans); 2) encouraging more residents to apply for a Firewise permit; 3) clearing the Copperwood stub so firetrucks can get through if necessary; and 4) there is no reason the HOA cannot get a brush hog on the common areas to knock down the small debris. It needs to be cleared so it won't flare up. The following visiting homeowners thanked the Board and the residents for their support of the very successful AISD pledge drive (see related article page ___): Cynthia Wilcox, Leigh Ziegler, Thomas Boxer, and Theresa Rutz. COMMENTS ON OTHER TOPICS Candy Goodrich: Consider mold remediation before jumping into a plan to replace the office building. Consider talking to your attorney about developing a letter to remind people that the HOA has the ability to foreclose on their home for non-payment of HOA dues (even if you don't plan to do so). Frank Krystopher: Copperwood traffic has quieted down this year. Leigh Zigler: Has a friend who offered to review the contract for the pond work at no charge, if the Board is interested. BOARD COMMENTS Kay Colvin, Paul Salazar, George Stokes, and Leonard Saenz all thanked the residents for their "impressive" efforts on the AISD pledge drive initiative. OTHER BOARD COMMENTS. Paul Salazar: We should consider a greenbelt brush clean up day instead of a greenbelt trash day. The "illegal trespassing violation" has been resolved. George Stokes: We need to make the Firewise information more noticeable at the website. Advises people to water their trees at the roots, not up high. Leonard Saenz: Sees folks flicking cigarettes; we need to start calling 311 and providing license plates when this is observed. Hopes the Longhorns beat UCLA (THEY DID!!!). MANAGER’S REPORT & ACTION ITEMS The new email system has been developed, but it will take about 30-60 days to update the emails. If anyone has a problem with office emails, please contact the office staff. Greenbelt inspections will begin soon (as authorized at the August HOA Board meeting). The new pool repair company took pictures of the Hilltop pump room and took an oral history of the problems at the pool. The previous engineer never produced a report. The arborists advised that TC wait until spring to treat for oak wilt, so the Blue Valley trees were not treated as recommended at the August meeting. The manager has a recommendation for product to seal the crack in the office's ceiling to help control the ancillary mold issues. The product will be tested this winter and if it works, the ceiling will then be painted. The goal is to make air a little healthier. This expense comes out of the regular office budget. (Editorial Note: There was a brief Board discussion about developing a contingency plan should the HOA office be deemed uninhabitable.) UNFINISHED BUSINESS The speed sign motion was tabled again while the Safety Committee determines if the HOA can do the maintenance. Irrigation meter: There is still only one bid of $21,100. The savings will pay for the installation in just a few years. The bid does not include the recovery fees. The motion was tabled until a spreadsheet showing costs and savings is developed. COMMON AREA ENCROACHMENT AND ENFORCEMENT Board member Paul Salazar confirmed that the Dawn Song sports court encroachment issue has been successfully resolved. The sports court has been removed from Travis Country property. AISD BID REPORT Cynthia Wilcox attended the bid opening at AISD on September 15. She reported that there were three bids submitted: 1) the Native Prairies Association of Texas/NPAT (which is comprised of the money raised in the pledge drive and matched by the HOA); 2) RME Holdings (Russell Eppwright); and a broker who recently formed an LLC in order to bid on the property. The AISD Trustees have 120 days to make a decision. The earliest they will discuss the bids is at their 10/17 meeting, and this will be in Executive Session. Bid amounts: NPAT $253,674 (contingent on changes in bid form); RME $800K (also contingent); and the LLC (Nick Dean acting as broker for Universal Gas Utilities) for $980K, with no contingencies. FINANCIAL REPORT There was a large payment for the pool monitors due to four months of service. The invoices had to be redone due to pool calendar changes. These charges drop off after September. 44-- Trail Crest was foreclosed. There was discussion on whether the HOA can recoup past dues after a bank foreclosure (no). TCCSA has some homeowners who owe as much as $3,200 in past dues. Management states it can cost more to begin foreclosure process than is retrieved. Budgeting time is coming soon. Committees need to consider their expenses and submit them to the Board. Austin’s first environmentally planned neighborhood. 3rd ANNUAL TC OCTOBER 22, 2011 - BLUE VALLEY PARK - 8:30 am ARBOR DAY CALLING ALL VOLUNTEERS! By: Dennis Jistel, GROUNDS COMMITTEE WANT TO ENJOY SOME FRESH AIR and get a little exercise at the same time? The Grounds Committee (GC) is seeking volunteers -individuals, families, scout groups, etc. -- to help plant 25 native trees in our lovely Blue Valley Park. Due to the initiative of GC volunteers, Travis Country is once again the recipient of the Keep Austin Beautiful (KAB) grant. This award takes the form of 25 native trees and 13 cubic yards of compost. All that's needed is the manpower to get these jewels in the ground. The plan is to replace the cluster of ten dead live oaks near the children's picnic table and wagon and those by the dive pool. In the words of Dr. Alex Shigo, former Chief Scientist for the U.S. Forest Service, let's not "…just plant 'a' tree, [let's] plant a forest of trees." Dr. Shigo recommends planting trees in groups or clusters as they then have a better chance of survival and protection during storms and droughts. The holes will be pre-dug; however, volunteers are needed to dig out the loose material and plant the trees in the ground. GC member Dennis Jistel will provide a demonstration in proper tree planting techniques. Volunteers will be planting, providing the initial watering for, and installing protective cages around the newly planted trees (to protect them from deer). They will also help spread the compost, and (if time permits) will assist in removing some invasive plants from the Sycamore Creek bank with a weed wrench. So… bring your gloves, water bottles, shovels, rakes, and wheel barrows (if you have them -- if you don't, tools will be provided). Let's work together to reforest Blue Valley. J J J J Sapling days Story from Information Provided By: Betty Mading, TC RESIDENT TREE FOLKS STARTED “SAPLING DAYS” over ten years ago to dispel the inaccurate notion that trees should be planted in the spring (along with the tomatoes, peppers, and marigolds). In reality, the best time to plant trees in Texas and the Southwest is autumn giving them the fall, winter, and spring to establish strong root systems to help them make it through Austin’s dreadfully hot and dry summers. Saplings are little baby trees, usually just a year old, that are easy to plant and easy to water. Saplings often grow faster and stronger than larger trees because their minimal root systems don't experience much transplant shock compared to larger trees. This year Tree Folks will give away free Escarpment live oak and Texas redbud saplings (see inset box below right for locations and times). Sapling Days Locations PLANTING TREES DURING A DROUGHT IS IT SAFE TO PLANT YOUNG TREES DURING THIS DROUGHT? TreeFolks says, “Yes!” Fridays, October 7, 14 & 21 “The severe conditions experienced this spring and summer are exactly why you, and your neighbor, Downtown along Congress and your mom should all plant a young tree this fall.” Many mature trees have been or will be lost due to the exceptionally hot and dry season, and the time to plant their replacements is approaching. Young trees Avenue at Noon recover from transplant shock quicker and grow faster than their larger counterparts that have sat in pots for several years. Saturday, October 15 Native trees two inches or less in diameter require a mere 10 to 20 gallons of water a week during Howson Branch Library warm weather and every two weeks during cold weather -- for two years after planting. Such a small 1:30 pm amount of water can easily be provided using a five-gallon bucket with a few holes drilled in the bottom. This method allows water to soak into the soil with zero runoff and minimal evaporation loss. Tree Folks recommends intercepting water that normally flows down the drain when washing your hands or cleaning vegetables and reusing the water from your kiddie pool to water a young tree. According to Tree Folks, “Planting a young tree is an act of hope and an investment in the future that someone other than you will likely enjoy the benefits of many years down the road.” So... head out to Sapling Days and get your “baby trees”... and be sure to come down to the TC Arbor Day to help reforest Blue Valley for generations hence! NOTE: See the online version of your TC Notes for a copy of TreeFolks “Native Tree Growing Guide for Central Texas.” 9 TRAVIS COUNTY MASTER GARDENERS SEMINARS ARE FREE UNLESS STATED OTHERWISE - MASTER GARDENERS HELP LINE: 854-9600 BIO-INTENSIVE GARDENING October 8, 2011 10 am-2 pm Blackshear Neighborhood Garden, 2011 East 9th St. Learn techniques to optimize planting to maximize yield in a small garden space at this outside event. Good garden practices also covered. TC Notes - 3 COMMITTEE JD C JD C JD C JD C All TCCSA Committee meetings are open to residents. Please see the Community Calendar or Message Board for meeting dates, times, and locations. Committee reports not appearing were not submitted to the TC Notes. Q REPORTS ARCHITECTURAL COMMITTEE (ACC). Submitted by Frank Krystopher Sixteen designs (fourteen permits) reviewed: Six fence projects, three patios, two house paintings, one pool, one ground solar installation, one garage door, one shed, and one gate replacement. Thirteen permit approvals; one is pending info for approval. ACC October Tip: The current ACC Rules are being revised to comply with 2011 legislation. If not resubmitted, pending and/or disapproved permits lapse by the next ACC meeting and will be filed as disapproved. Please provide all information and log your permit with the TC office prior to the next Design Review: Wednesday, October 12, 2011, 7 pm at the TC Office. POOL COMMITTEE. Submitted by Diane Wright RECOMMENDATIONS: The impact of Stage 2 watering restrictions and aquifer restrictions on our pools was discussed. Since pools can only be filled with hand-held water hoses, the PC will ask for volunteers to fill the BV pool. PC recommends closing the BV pool to all swimmers MF, leaving access only on weekends due to water rationing/water levels. A drop in the water level presents a health and safety hazard as the pumps will not function properly. DISCUSSION ITEMS: Possibility of a full-time pool monitor, including developing a job description. Further discussion will take place at the October meeting. Federal ADA requirements for pools. Bill Sigler is researching what needs to be done to the HT pool while it is being renovated. SAFETY COMMITTEE. Submitted by Janet Ngo Regents traffic has been diverted through Travis Country since the start of school and numerous complaints have been made. The City of Austin is aware and will work with the SC to place traffic counters in a few weeks to collect data to investigate if there is an increase in traffic and speeding through the area. If data supports such complaints, then the committee will attempt to approach the Regents Board and Headmaster to discuss solutions in the best interest of Regents, the City of Austin, and Travis Country. (See related article on page ___.) The new APD representative for TC is Officer Richard Paez. National Night Out: See flyer in this TC Notes. TENNIS COMMITTEE. Submitted by Dan Flannery Congratulations to TC residents Nancy Nitardy and Camden Bobek. Their 4.0 team, the "Rockin Racquets" won championship honors at the USTA Sectionals and will advance to the National Tournament in the fall. The team is co-captained by Nancy and Camden and has been working with Coach Kevin Clark. Coach Jason Hufford has been working with Lisa Gross and her team "Double Trouble" who just won the "Hit for Hope" tournament! Congratulations to her, and to the stars in the junior program, Charlie Waggoner (who was invited to the top 8 Grand Prix for all of Austin and won second place) and Emily Clarke (who has just superchamped qualified, meaning national ranking in girls 16s!). Group Lessons and individual instruction are available for all levels of play in Travis Country on the Blue Valley Courts. Take advantage of a unique neighborhood resource available to players of all ages and abilities. Fall Junior Team tennis starts now! Contact Coach Jason to sign up! Travis Country Fall 2011 Tennis Program - 4 4 - TC Notes 4 week sessions Jason Hufford, 924-4389 Kevin Clark, 788-2777 [email protected] http://tennis.traviscountry.com SESSION 2 BEGINS OCTOBER 3, 2011 - ALL CLASSES AT TRAVIS COUNTRY BLUE VALLEY COURTS 5&6 Register Online: http://tennis.traviscountry.com Contact Coach Jason and Coach Kevin at [email protected] for more info! i Austin’s first environmentally planned neighborhood. TC SPEEDING STUDY By: Charlie Wilcox, TC SAFETY COMMITTEE ON NOVEMBER 1, 2010, AT 3 PM, a vehicle traveling southbound on Republic of Texas struck and killed a pedestrian and her dog. The vehicle was traveling 65mph at the time of the collision. Eyewitnesses reported that the pedestrian had been standing at the corner of Travis Green Lane and Republic of Texas, preparing to cross the street when her dog ran into the road after a squirrel. The pedestrian ran into the road after her dog and was struck. She was thrown an estimated 25 feet. Both she and her faithful dog were pronounced dead at the scene. It has been learned that the driver of the vehicle, former Travis Country resident Your Name Here, was distracted by texting at the time of the collision. The driver, charged with vehicular manslaughter, was recently convicted by a Travis County jury. Your Name Here is currently serving five years the Texas State Prison in Huntsville. Relatives of the victim have been trying to recover from the loss of their Your Relative Here and wondering how such a thing could have happened in Travis Country. The speed limit on that part of Republic of Texas Boulevard is 30 mph. According to the police investigation and a measurement of the tire marks at the scene, had the driver been driving at the posted limit, the accident would have been avoided. According to investigators, the high speed of the vehicle made this accident "unavoidable." Believe it or not, this story is partly true. Thankfully, there was no loss of life that day in Travis Country. There may have been a resident and dog at the corner of Travis Green and Republic of Texas at that time… or perhaps there were schoolchildren walking home after school. But there definitely was a vehicle traveling 67.6 miles per hour just 152 feet north of Travis Green Lane. At 8 am that morning, there was also a vehicle traveling between 65 and 70 mph at that same location. According to a traffic count/speed study conducted by the APD on both the north and southbound lanes of the 5200 and 5700 blocks of Republic of Texas, there were also two cars going over 55 mph, and six traveling over 45 mph. Over 60% of the vehicles traveling in the southbound lane of Republic of Texas were speeding that day. The highest speeds were recorded on the southbound lane; however, the statistics for both lanes were similar. While we may want to think these speeding drivers are an anomaly, it is important to keep three facts in mind: 1) This study represents just one day out of 365 days; 2) this "anomaly" is driving a 4,000-5,000 pound vehicle; and 3) TC residents are doing the driving and the speeding. It is obvious there is a speeding problem in Travis Country, and the Travis Country Safety Committee is asking for your help in resolving it. Please take the time to read the entire traffic study at the TC website (traviscountry.com). Then ask yourself if you want to see Your Name Here? Remember, this is your neighborhood. Please slow down and enjoy it... and ensure that everyone lives to do so as well! chip-c chipping away By: Jim McNabb, TC NOTES The scream of chainsaws and roar of wood chippers echoed from normally peaceful Blue Valley in early September. A small army of arborists attacked targeted damaged and dying trees around the pond and pool. The hot and high winds of this record-breaking summer had torn off branches, creating both safety hazards and fire dangers. The crew also cleared away some low limbs hanging over the playground and a couple seating areas. This work was the result of a motion passed by the HOA Board of Directors in August, 2011, to spend $5,000 "for removal of certain trees in the Blue Valley park and pool area." Conscious of the hazards of oak wilt in the area, the crew carefully painted over the pruned portions of live trees. Additionally, workers picked up and chipped stacks of dead limbs west of the tennis courts that were another potential fire danger. The chips were then sprayed into the nearby greenbelt to become mulch. Top: Moving mulch to the greenbelt. Bottom: Dry brush by the BV playground. TC Notes - 5 GOODNESS GRACIOUS, GREAT SNAKES ALIVE! U By: Jim McNabb, TC NOTES TRAVIS COUNTRY RESIDENT Scott McCracken killed a baby rattlesnake near 5713 Hero on Sunday, September 25. That means there may be ten more or so little rattlers nearby. "The snake was in the middle of their driveway close to the sidewalk. My wife and I came upon it as we were walking our dog," McCracken says. "I ran home with the dog and returned with a shovel while my wife kept her eye on the snake." Chances are, the snake was searching for respite from the searing heat. "It was acting sluggish and didn't move until I approached it with the shovel; however, even then it did not coil or rattle. I pinned him with the blade of the shovel and stomped on his head," McCracken says. According to www.desertusa.com, now is the time when baby rattlers are born. "The young are born between August and October. The newborn rattlesnake is about 10 inches long and has a small horny button on the tip of its tail. Rattler babies have venom, short fangs, and are dangerous from birth." The snake on Hero was about 13 inches long. A female rattlesnake may have up to 25 eggs, but only ten or so survive. "Many newborn rattlesnakes do not survive their first year, either dying of hunger or being eaten by birds and animals," according to desertusa.com, but it is quite possible there are more little vipers in the area. "Young rattlers are completely independent of the mother. They remain in the area of their birth for the first seven to ten days, until they shed their first baby skin and add their first rattle. The litter will begin to disperse as they venture out in search of food," the site says. McCracken got a closer look at the rattler on Hero after it was dead. "I examined the tail and saw that he had one rattle." That first segment of a rattle is called a "pre-button," but the number of rattles does not reflect the age of the rattler. The length of the body is a better indicator. The western diamondback rattlesnake is the most common and venomous in Texas, according to Texas Parks and Wildlife. The pit viper is well camouflaged, blending into our dry underbrush with its brown, diamondshaped markings along the middle of the back and alternating black and white rings on the tail. Parks and Wildlife advises against killing rattlesnakes. Avoid them instead. They offer these rattlesnake safety pointers: - Snakes like tall grass. Keep the lawn around your home trimmed low. - Remove any brush, wood, rock, or debris piles from around the residence - they make great hiding places for snakes and their prey, i.e., rodents. - Always wear shoes while outside and never put your hands where you cannot see them. - Be careful when stepping over fallen logs and rock outcroppings. - Take care along creek banks and underbrush. Snakes do not prey on humans and they will not chase you. in fact, they usually retreat or escape if given the opportunity. The danger comes when they are either surprised or cornered. (Source: Texas Parks and Wildlife, http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us.) See this edition in color at www.traviscountry.com 6 - TC Notes RESIDENT SEEKS INFORMATION ON LIKELY AIR RIFLE INCIDENT By: Pat Epstein, TC NOTES On Friday, September 2, 2011, at about 8 pm, someone from a neighboring backyard fired a gun, probably an air rifle, that shattered the rear door glass pane at 4008 Crystal Water Cove. The resident, Richard Soja, immediately filed a report with the police. He also talked to his neighbors the following day to find out if they had seen or heard anything, but no one had information. Based on the position of the bullet hole in the glass (which is close to eye level), the likely target appears to have been a squirrel or possibly the Soja’s cat that was perched on top of the backyard fence. Mr. Soja expressed concern for his family’s and other neighbors’ safety. As was reported in the August 2010 edition of the TC Notes, the use of firearms, air guns, pellet rifles, BB guns, bows and arrows (or other projectile devices) is prohibited by Austin City Code Chapter 9-6-7. Mr. Soja is asking that anyone with information about this incident contact him at [email protected] TC RESIDENT SEEKS HELP FOR BASTROP FIRE VICTIM By: Marion Mlotok, TC RESIDENT An individual who was renting a house in Bastrop lost all of her meager belongings in the recent Bastrop fires. She has minimal resources, but is fortunate to be moving into a home in East Austin the weekend of October 1. At this time, she does have a queen bed, but she needs other household items, e.g., a small table and chairs for the kitchen, kitchen things for eating and cooking, a blender, lamps, bedside table, and bedding for a queen-sized bed. She also needs clothes in sizes 34-5. If you have any of these items and can donate them, please contact Marion Mlotok at 358-0042 or [email protected] TC HOME SCHOOLERS MEET & GREET Friday, October 14, 2011 1:30-3:30 pm Blue Valley Park Stop by and meet other Travis Country Homeschoolers. Find support, fun, and friendship right here in the neighborhood. QUESTIONS? Jenny Leeds 892-8888 or [email protected] Samantha Smith 891-9503 or [email protected] AISD LAND UPDATE Austin’s first environmentally planned neighborhood. By: Cynthia Wilcox, TC RESIDENT Thursday, September 15 was the deadline for submitting bids to AISD for the 12.45 acre native savanna at the heart of Travis Country. 298 households all over Travis Country pledged a total of $126,837 to the Native Prairies Association of Texas’ (NPAT) Travis Country Prairie preservation campaign, the majority of which was pledged in the final three weeks. That is almost Emory Roach(6), Annaliese Roach (3), $40,000 more than the Ladybird and Maggie Nichols (6) took a “stand at Johnson Wildflower Center raised in its the lemonade stand,” raising almost recent pledge drive! $100 for the AISD land pledge drive. It was wonderful to see so many different groups coalesce in support of preserving the green space at the heart of Travis Country. HOA Board and Committee members joined in with homeowners and green space advocates from throughout Travis Country to identify a viable alternative for AISD as they make a decision about the parcel. Even our youngest residents got into the spirit of things by setting up a lemonade stand and dedicating their proceeds to the AISD land/NPAT pledge drive. With the pledges that were made, NPAT was able to place a bid of $253,674 for a perpetual conservation easement on the property on September 15. The conservation easement allows AISD to retain valuable development offsets that they can apply toward existing schools that need to be expanded or remodeled or for new construction. For the neighbors in close proximity to the land, it was heartwarming to see how many people from throughout Travis Country care enough to pledge, volunteer, and help in other ways with this community effort to protect the environment, Austin's watershed, and our TC quality of life. It's hard to imagine a better outcome for this property. Two other bids were submitted – one for $800,000 by Russell Eppright, the builder Waterloo Development brought to the August HOA Board meeting, and one for $980,000 by broker Nicholas Dean on behalf of a newly formed entity called Independent Realty, LLC. AISD has a maximum of 120 days to make a decision about which bid if any to accept. In the meantime, let's all just take a collective moment to pat ourselves on the back! / Is this yours? Do you know who did this? 0 BOO!!!!!! If you have info on who dumped a broken basketball backboard on the AISD land and/or and who thought it would be funny to toilet paper trees on the land, please either ask them to clean up after themselves or contact the TC Office at [email protected] Please help keep Travis Country beautiful and clean! A number of Travis Country residents wrote the TC Notes to voice their concerns about negligence by some here in the neighborhood. Multiple people have been observed cavalierly flicking their cigarette butts out car windows or when walking near our prized -- yet extremely dry -- greenbelts. Some residents have begun writing down license plates numbers and calling 3-1-1. WANTED New Firewise Committee Members Quarterly Meetings Interested: Contact Candy Goodrich [email protected] or 892-4101 PLEASE BE EXTRA CAREFUL. If you smoke, make sure your cigarette butts are fully extinguished. Our land is parched, and a single ember could start a fire with the potential to destroy the entire Barton Creek Greenbelt. If you see someone flick their cigarette out of a car, call 3-1-1. If you see someone flicking ashes into dry areas, stop them and educate them. LET’S KEEP TRAVIS COUNTRY SAFE!!!! TC Notes - 7 SURVIVING A WILDFIRE Z By: Cammi Klier, TC RESIDENT EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is reprinted in its entirety with permission of TC Resident Cammit Klier. We have been shocked and saddened by the damage caused by the Central Texas fires this month. Our sincere thoughts and prayers are with everyone who has been affected by the fire. We are very grateful for those who were on the front lines fighting fires and for so many in our communities helping people. Now that a few weeks have passed, my company took the opportunity to catch up with a few former clients who experienced the trauma of a fire in their homes and to talk about thier experiences. Brad and Gina Harper lost their Travis Country home to fire about eight-and-one-half years ago. I remember in the early days of our discussions, Gina said that she didn't want to rebuild unless there were big improvements. They did rebuild with the improvements that they desired and have been happy in their new home. Mark and Jane Stein lost their Northwest Hills home to fire last summer and they have just recently moved back into their newly constructed home. Brad and Gina both said that in losing their home, they experienced the typical stages of grief with the added process of building a home. This seemed overwhelming at first. Gina said, “I was still in shock in the early days while we began working with the insurance adjuster. Once we made up our mind that we were going to stay and rebuild, it became an opportunity.” Mark said that one of the biggest surprises was the insurance process. “The level of detail in recollection to get your full claim value was overwhelming. We thought they would take a look at the square footage of the damaged home and just cut a check.” The Steins said that anyone in this situation should be prepared for a lengthy process. They are still today working the claim and submitting receipts for replaced items. Brad said that they were also unprepared for the insurance process. “Don't think it can't happen to you.” Check your insurance policy and add insurance riders for special items that might not be covered. Take inventory of your contents and make it easy for yourself by walking through your home with a video camera. He also said in the process of replacing contents, be thoughtful about what things you might replace versus refurbish. In the Harper's case, there were some items that were only damaged by smoke and water. “You are dealing with a fixed pot of money.” Brad suggests taking time to decide if something is worth refurbishing or if it’s possibly cheaper to just replace the item. One of the best things the Steins said they did was to hire a public adjuster. This is someone who knows the ins and outs of the process and can represent you to the insurance company to get the maximum claim benefit allowed. A public adjuster's fee is based upon the percentage of recaptured funds. Mark said he was sure that they were able to get far more out of their claim than they would have without the adjuster. Mark also suggested checking references and carefully considering the professionals you will work with. He was happy to find a CPBD building designer with realistic fees and a competent builder; both with personalities he could enjoy working with. He also said in hind sight, he would create a time line as a framework to help the planning and construction be in sync with the schedule of the insurance company. Jane said one of the things that surprised her was the time it took for the City to approve of their permit. There is no way to get around this except to simply expect delays. “Don't be in a hurry,” was Brads best advice. While keeping on track with the insurance company's time frame, don't feel rushed and skip through decision making. “Take a step back, make thoughtful decisions. Be a wise and careful shopper.” The Harper's and the Steins' both have the same perspective after this experience: the end result was worth the effort. Neither family had a loss of life, only a loss of property. “There was trauma, but it was not permanent,”said Jane. To those who are going through this now, Mark and Jane both offer, “You are going to be OK.” Both families now live in homes that are better than what they had before, and that they gained perspective on what is important. Rebuilding or relocating after a fire is a personal choice. If you choose to rebuild, here are some suggestions that we think are important to Rebuild it Better.; - Hire an engineer to survey the damage and evaluate the conditions of the remaining structure to find out if any parts of the wall, roof or foundation structure is salvageable. - Build a more energy efficient home by creating a better design and better construction methods. A home that is designed right for you and your site and the salvaged home. Even if you are able to salvage parts of the damaged structure, it is possible to create a better design with what is available. With any remodeling project, you have an excellent opportunity to build a home that is sealed tight, better insulated and protected. - Use fire-resistant materials such as hardi-board siding and metal roofing. Seal all gaps or lay siding so that there are no gaps and cracks that can allow sparks to get through. - Seal your home and your attic air tight. A sealed home and attic is not only more energy efficient, but will help keep sparks and embers from penetrating into your attic and through the cracks in your home. - Build concrete decks instead of wood decks. Wood decks on the back of a home are very vulnerable to fire. Concrete decks can be built over wood framing wrapped and sealed with hardi-panel or other fire-resistant materials. - Install lawn sprinklers Consider which side of your home might be most vulnerable to fire such as a prairie or hillside and install lawn sprinklers. If the event of fire, the sprinklers could keep the ground wet and hold off a fire potentially until firefighters can arrive. -Create a 30 foot to 30 yard defensible area around your home that firefighters can drive up to. Continued on page 9 8 - TC Notes Austin’s first environmentally planned neighborhood. Surviving a Wildfire, continued from page 8 As long as drought conditions remain, we are all at risk of fire and this fall we will have many other opportunities for north winds. Not a neighborhood in the Austin area is less than a few miles from a road side, green belt, or natural area where a fire could be started. Here are some other helpful and interesting links: Contact your realtor to help you find a temporary residence or talk about relocating. Go to the Austin Board of Realtors Austin Home Search site specifically created for disaster relief: http://www.austinhomesearch.com/Info/disasterrelief.aspx 1) This is a great list of things to protect your family from fire that every home owner should do: http://www.kvue.com/community/blogs/smart-money/What-to-do-before-and-after-a-fire-129431763.html 2) The HBA of Austin published a very informative article on how to choose a reputable builder. http://hbaaustin.com/associations/1360/files/HBA-selecting-a-reputable-builders-remodeler-090711.pdf While we wait for rain, here are some really great links to help our lawns and trees: 1) Caring for Trees in a Dry Climate: http://www.coopext.colostate.edu/4dmg/Trees/caring.htm#3.%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20Tree%20Watering%3A%20Amount%20of%20water %20needed%20and%20methods%20to%20use. 2) Landscape Conversion Incentive: Lawn Remodel Option http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/water/conservation/watercon_news.cfm?nwsid=4017 (See page 10 for more information. The TC Notes would like to follow residents who make this transition.) 3) Free Soil Moisture Meters http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/water/conservation/soilmoisturemeters.htm Read more about the Landscape Conversion Incentive, including forms, in the online edition of the October TC Notes. X www.traviscountry.com U TC Notes - 9 Style H H LIFE AND LIVING IN TRAVIS COUNTRY Austin’s first environmentally planned neighborhood. TC LIFE Do you have an idea for our TC Lifestyle section? Email [email protected] Landscape Conversion Incentive: Lawn Remodel Option Welcome to TC’s Newest Residents! By:Bill Sigler Carrie and Timothy Eger Richard and Evelyn Lawrence Terra J. Nuss William J. Brown Laura Tyson Thad Williams Steven Crosley & Emily Matthews 4801 Cap Rock Drive 4425 Twisted Tree Cove 5201 Bandera Creek Trail 5244 Concho Creek Bend 5712 Travis Green Lane 4824 Canyon Bend Circle 4500 View West DOWNLO AD YOUR TRAVIS C OUNTRY WELC OME PA CKE T at www.traviscountry.com What a Great Kid! TC Student Collects for Bastrop Fire Victims There were undoubtedly many, many people here in Travis Country who joined the relief efforts for victims of the recent fires in Central Texas. But one really stands out: TC resident Colin Molloy. Overcome by the struggle faced by victims, Colin created fliers seeking donations and rode his bike around Travis Country, distributing them directly to doorsteps. A couple of days later, Colin (with a little help from his parents) drove around the neighborhood filling an entire FJ Cruiser with donations left on residents’ porches. The donations ranged from clothes and shoes to bottled water and hand cleaner, plus other useful items. They then drove to the Bastrop Volunteer Fire Department and delivered the goods. What a great kid! What a great neighborhood! In addition to the existing incentive for customers interested in conserving water by converting their lawns to native beds or nonirrigated areas, for a limited time Austin Water is offering residential customers the opportunity to replace their water-thirsty turf with grasses that are more likely to survive the next drought. Participants in the program commit to stop watering stressed turf in front and/or back yards until the drought has ended and a sustained recovery is projected. At that time, Austin Water will contact participants to request a design plan that may include selected turf varieties, native plants, and non-irrigated areas. - Commit: To stop watering stressed turf. - Calculate: How your new landscape will look with plants that are more likely to survive the next drought . - Conserve: By avoiding irrigation during the drought, and using less water on your future landscape. To apply, complete the application, send by fax, mail or email application as an attachment to [email protected] by October 14, 2011. The TC Notes would like to follow your progress. Let us know if you apply for this program! See online edition for more information. OHE Classrooms & Cafeterias Fill with Dads at “Bring Your Dad to School Day” OHE is seeking neighbors young, old, and in-between who would like to volunteer for the 2011-2012 reading tutoring programs. QUESTIONS: Bridget Brown, 301-0235/[email protected] Photo: Colin making the delivery at the Bastrop Volunteer Fire Department. Liddy Zierer, 891-9845/[email protected] Additional pages and information in the online edition: www.traviscountry.com 10 - TC Notes FALL SAFETY TIPS FOR PETS (From the Editor’s Vet Newsletter) CLUBS & EVENTS Austin’s first environmentally planned neighborhood. BOOK CLUB FLEA AND TICK PREVENTION Although temperatures are cooler in the fall, it won't be cold enough to keep your pet safe from fleas and ticks. Keep pets on year round prevention to protect from transmissible diseases. RODENTS Fall is the season when rodents start looking for warmer shelter, including your house! If you are considering using rodenticides around the house or in your yard, remember that these products are highly toxic to pets. It is not safe to have any rodenticide around your pet's living areas. Additionally, your pet could get Leptospirosis from rodents, so be sure to keep them current on vaccines. Rodents can also cause tapeworms if ingested by your pet. CAR COOLANT Do you change your car's engine coolant in the fall? Ethylene glycol-based coolants are highly toxic, so make sure to clean up any spills on your driveway. Although propylene glycolbased coolants are not completely non-toxic, they are much safer than the ethylene glycolbased ones. Some signs your pet may have ingested them are lethargy, stumbling, vomiting, and seizures. MUSHROOM DANGER If you love mushrooms, you probably know that fall is mushroom season! About 1% are highly toxic and can be life threatening. Poisonous mushrooms can cause mild gastrointestinal problems to severe hallucinations and death. Keep your pet away from any areas where mushrooms are growing. In case of ingestion of a poisonous mushroom, contact your veterinarian immediately as your pet may need immediate medical attention. SNAKE DANGER In the fall, snakes start preparing for hibernation. During this period these reptiles tend to be more irritable, increasing the chance for your pet to be bitten in an accidental encounter. Supervise your pet when outside and keep them out of the areas where snakes are more likely to be found. BACK TO SCHOOL The kids are back to school and this often translates in a house full of pens, pencils, glue sticks, and markers, all of which can be very harmful to your pet if ingested. Gastrointestinal upset or blockages can occur, putting your pet's life in danger. Keep them from your pets’ reach. OUTDOOR LIFE If you enjoy hiking, remember to always have a first aid kit with you and to carry plenty of water. Even though temperatures are cooler, your pet will need to stay hydrated. If you're walking your dog, especially in crowded areas, always keep him/her on a leash. Make sure your pet is wearing identification tags and consider microchipping him/her. DATE: October 29 LOCATION: 3977 Sendero BOOK: Adrenaline, by Jeff Abbott The author will be present. This will also be a Halloween party. Guests are encouraged to bring treats. 9 KNIT WITS In September, there will be two KnitWits gatherings: Tuesday, October 11, 2-4 pm at 3957 Sendero; and Tuesday, October 25, 24 pm at 4024 Travis Country Circle. All knitters and crocheters welcome! Questions: Marion Mlotok at 358-0042 or [email protected] OCT. EVENTS CALENDAR o Compiled by Ruth Schwab, TC NOTES 10/01 & 02 COMMUNITYWIDE GARAGE SALE 10/04 NATIONAL NIGHTOUT 6-8 pm Hilltop Recreation Area 10/04 TCLP COMMITTEE 7 pm TCCSA Office 10/05 GROUNDS COMMITTEE 7 pm TCCSA Office 10/13 SAFETYCOMMITTEE 6 pm TCCSA Office 10/10 POOL COMMITTEE 7 pm TCCSA Office 10/11 TENNIS COMMITTEE 6 pm TCCSA Office 10/12 ARCHITECTURAL (ACC) COMMITTEE 7 pm TCCSA Office 10/20 BOARD OFDIRECTORS MEETING 6 pm TCCSA Office 10/21 TC NOTES DEADLINE 6 pm TCCSA Office 10/31 BOO BASH! 4:30-6 pm Blue Valley Park HALLOWEEN is such a fun holiday, but it could turn into a nightmare for pets. Here are some tips to keep your pet safe and keep the party going! - Maybe tricks, but definitely NO treats. Chocolate and xylitol (an artificial sweetener contained in candies and sugar free gums) are highly toxic to pets. Keep your pet away from any kind of candy, as even a very small bite could threaten your pet's life. Also, glow sticks and glow jewelry are toxic if eaten. - Secure all the wires and cords from the lights and decorations. If chewed, they could cause burns to your pet. - Skip the use of candles. Dogs, and especially cats, can easily knock over the candles and start a fire in a matter of seconds. Choose battery operated candles instead. - Not all pets love costumes like we do. Make sure your pet is comfortable in that cute outfit and that the costume is safe. If your pet shows signs of discomfort, do not force him/her to wear something that could cause unnecessary stress. - If trick-or-treaters upset your pet, keep him/her in a separate room. BUNCO CLUB TC Bunco is welcoming fall with open arms and expecting more fun playing our favorite game! We will once again meet at the TC Office on Oct. 3, at 7:30 pm to eat, drink, play and be merry! Come join us! Questions: Lindy at 892-3116. TC Notes - 11 TRAVIS COUNTRY REAL ESTATE UPDATE TRAVIS COUNTRY REAL ESTATE SNAPSHOT Richard Cain, TC NOTES Home buyers are still realizing that Travis Country may be one of the best values in Austin. There hasn't been a slow down in sales in "the hood," even though we sometimes see a slight shift this time of year due to our city's cyclical market. The numbers for this month look very similar to those in last month's update. As of September 24, there are eight homes for sale, five of which came on the market within the last ten days. There are five homes in pending status, and they took an average of 57 days before accepting a contract. The average days on market for the currently offered homes is 23, and the average asking price is $344,157. The two condos in The Woods have an average asking price of $199,999. The five pending homes are once again spread between the original and newer sections. The average list price for the homes under contract in the original sections is $256,600 and were on the market for an average of 55 days. The average price for the homes under contract in the newer sections is $317,400, averaging 62 days on the market. The homes that sold since the last update are also split across all sections. Three homes sold in the original sections for an average price of $269,500 ($160.70 per square foot). They were on the market an average of 50 days. The homes that sold in the newer sections commanded an average price of $385,863 ($147.74 per square foot) and were on the market an average of 38 days. Rates are still at historical lows, and the local real estate market here in Austin remains one of the best in the nation. Unfortunately, most people are focusing more on the national market. Next time you find yourself in a conversation with someone saying how bad the real estate market is, ask them how the national temperature looks for today! Remember, real estate is and always has been local. Travis Country is an established neighborhood. You need an established real estate agent. Call me and ask me why. 512.732.3820 Sherri Williams Visit me at www.SherriWilliams.com Keller Williams Realty Licensed Realtor in the State of Texas TRAVIS COUNTRY RESIDENT TC Notes - 13 CLASSIFIEDS WANTED Someone to help drive 5th grade student from Pease Elementary School (12th and Rio Grande) to Travis Country any weekday(s) between 2:45 and 3:15 pm. Perfect for ACC Rio Grande campus or UT student. Sara at 917-1560. FOR SALE Camper shell for six-foot bed truck. Silver-grey, excellent condition, best offer. 797-4311. Coleman stove and tent, $29. 797-4311. Pre-Lit 6.5 foot Christmas Tree with storage bag. Used once, $39. 797-4311. Beveled glass table/desk top, 30"x58"- $19. 797-4311. Antique-Collection etched glass plate with metal stand. From 1988 Austin Aqua Festival (plate made in France), $15. 797-4311. Noritake China, Winterbrook Pattern. Service for 12 plus serving pieces, $150. Call Sue at 512-293-4082. Garage Sale: Saturday October 8, 8am - Noon. Household items/electronics/furniture/clothing etc. 4800 Woodside Drive. Also: Solid cherry executive desk with two hutches (can become 2 desks), $900. Two matching full-sized chairs for entry area or executive office. $175. Six foot cabinet, matching solid cherry, $200. Matching cherry dry erase board, $100. Dialta 650 copier, $500. HP Laser Jet 2200 printer/scanner, $75. New oak coffee table, $40. Miscellaneous Christmas decorations and Halloween costumes. 658-2257. 14 - TC Notes Austin’s first environmentally planned neighborhood. STUDENT SERVICES A G hJ W O 1 n A G hJ *CPR Training +Red Cross Course Certified #First Aid Training CLASSIFIED AD POLICY: The Classifieds are open to TC residents only. Free service ads for students ages 18-and-under all year, and for college students from June through August. College students must be attending a college or university during the regular year, and living at home--in Travis Country--during the summer months. Services cannot be conducted on TC Common Property or use TC facilities. ALL ADS EXCEPT STUDENT SERVICES ADS MUST BE RENEWED MONTHLY. The Editor must be notified when a student is 18 and graduates from high school. Non-service ads can be run for a maximum of three months. We reserve the right to edit ads. For information about paid advertising for businesses and services provided by adults, go to www.traviscounry.com. Advertising for businesses and services for individuals 18+ can be placed at the Travis Country website inder Classifieds for no charge. You may also ask the TC Office (892-2256) to add your name to the list they maintain. Questions or to advertise: [email protected] TC Notes - 15 Molly Austin 512.771.0721 [email protected] www.blackburnre.com VOLUME I ISSUE NO. 12 Molly’s 2¢ (on Throwing a Party) Along with the much needed cooler plenty of paper supplies, soap and First Impressions – Greet your weather, fall is a time of clean hand towels. guests from the moment they arrive celebrations and get-togethers. by having the path to the front door Throwing a party is always a great well lit and inviting. This is also reason to give your house and yard another area where a professional a little extra care. Clean House – A house party is a good reason to give your home a thorough cleaning. In fact, why not leave it to the professionals? A house full of guests is a wonderful New Listings! 4835 Calhoun Canyon Lo op 4703 Trail West Drive Call me to come take touch is a good idea by having the yard mowed and edged the week of the party. White lights in the trees or around the edge of the patio will not only help guests to recognize a look! opportunity to professionally clean the party house, but also create a special look. the windows, drapes and get all the Scent-sational – Your home should Refreshing Reminders – Nothing cobwebs out of the corners. As have a pleasant aroma that breaks the ice better than being party host, you’ll be busy sending welcomes your guests without served an ice cold beverage upon invitations, planning menus and overwhelming them. Lightly arriving. Have the bar easily organizing the evening. scented candles or fresh flowers can add to the ambiance and create assessable and display three or four choices. Put snacks throughout the subtle scents. Also, spritzing seating area, this way everyone is couches and chairs with linen spray not crowded into one little spot. can help keep the room fresh. Also, don’t forget your vegetarian Even if you don’t have the time for a total house cleaning, a sparkling bathroom is a key component to hosting a party. Be sure there are or vegan guests and offer plenty of fruits and veggies. Tip of the Month Some great party themes are wine tastings, donation parties where a can good gets you in the door, and a fun girls night is a clothes swapping party. 16 - TC Notes All about Austin Join us for the 2nd Annual “Around the World Beer Block Party” on Oct. 29th at 6pm, in the Creek Ridge cul-de-sac. Admission is canned goods for the Capital Area Food Bank. Line up your babysitter now! Email me for further information. FREE PIZZA from Double Dave’s! TRAVIS COUNTRY Austin Fire Department guys with big trucks and sirens! Target is handing out FREE STUFF! Talk to Concentra Urgent Care about your sprained ankle! Games for the kids! Date: October 4th Time: 6pm - 8pm Where: Hilltop Recreational Area Come on out and meet all your neighbors. Landscape Conversion Incentive: Lawn Remodel Option Applicant Information Name (applicant must be the property owner) _______________________________________________ Installation Address & Zip Code ______________________________________________________________ Mailing Address & Zip Code __________________________________________________________________ Email Address _______________________________________________________________________________ Primary Phone Number ______________________________________________________________________ Secondary Phone Number ___________________________________________________________________ Austin Water Account Number (only direct Austin Water customers are eligible) ________________ Which section of your yard are you applying to replace? Front Back Both Approximately how much area (square feet) are you applying to replace? ____________________ Participation is not appropriate for certain properties or customers. Please check the boxes below to indicate that you understand and attest to the following: This property is not creekside or at a slope where erosion is a concern This property is not subject to HOA restrictions that conflict with program requirements My property has a soil depth of 6” or I am able to increase the soil depth to 6” I am willing to accept an indefinite time period with dead grass I am willing to accept an indefinite delay on the new installation I will be willing to allow my new lawn, once planted, to go dormant in the winter This lawn is currently stressed due to drought conditions (this program is not appropriate for landscapes, including established St. Augustine, that have remained healthy under current watering restrictions) This area receives 6 or more hours of full sun daily Participant Agreement By checking the boxes, I acknowledge the statements below: I certify that the information I have provided is accurate and that I have read and understand the program guidelines. I understand that Austin Water reserves the right to cancel or modify the program without notice and that rebates are subject to funding availability. I agree to: Stop watering – by hand or through automatic irrigation – the turf grass being replaced, and will water other landscaping in the area by hand only. I understand I may continue to irrigate areas not being replaced, but that a violation of the Water Use Management Ordinance anywhere on the property will result in disqualification. Not install my new landscape until I've received approval. I understand that installations made before that time are ineligible. Allow Austin Water to track my water use, reference my project in outreach material, and contact me regarding participation in public viewings or promotional tours. After completion, go to the final menu (top left) click save as and save this file to your computer and email it as an attachment to [email protected] by October 14, 2011. Please call 974-2199 to request a paper application. Landscape Conversion Incentive: Lawn Remodel Option FAQ How is this different from the Landscape Conversion Incentive? The existing Landscape Conversion Incentive doesn’t allow for the installation of new turf while the Lawn Remodel Option does. I haven’t watered my grass since June, can I still apply? Yes. This program is intended to replace turf that is suffering during the current drought. Can I replace my drought-tolerant grass through this program? No. If your Buffalo or Bermuda grass is struggling, we suggest you consider other factors, such as whether it’s receiving enough sunlight or has gone dormant. Do I have to submit a design plan? Not yet. Once the drought is coming to a close, we’ll request design plans. What if I decide later to install native plants instead of turf? Not a problem. By enrolling in the Lawn Remodel Option, you’re automatically eligible to participate in the other Landscape Conversion Incentive options. How long will I have to wait to install new grass? A drought of this degree will not quickly be recovered from. Until a sustained recovery has begun and is projected to continue, replanting will not be permitted. This may be in a year or even longer. If you are not prepared to accept an indefinite time period with dead grass, this program isn’t right for you. Why don’t you typically offer incentives to install native grasses? While Buffalo and Bermuda grasses are more drought tolerant than most varieties of St. Augustine, property owners often attempt to keep these grasses green during their natural dormant periods making water savings not as reliable as we would typically like. But, the severity of this drought coupled with the growing public interest in native turf grasses warrants the short-term inclusion of a turf option in the Landscape Conversion Incentive. How can I let my neighbors know why I have dead grass? Participants in the program can request yard signs explaining that your yard is undergoing a water-saving remodel. These signs may not be displayed in the right-of-way, and display is optional. What happens if my HOA fines me? Program participation does not supersede agreements between homeowners and HOAs. Properties subject to HOA restrictions that conflict with the program requirements are not eligible. It is your responsibility to verify that you are not subject to conflicting HOA restrictions prior to enrolling in the program. Continued on next page My landscape is doing fine on the current watering schedule, but I’d like to install buffalo grass – can I apply? Lawns (including established St. Augustine) that have remained healthy under current watering restrictions are not eligible. This program is intended to incentivize WaterWise landscape choices for customers who are likely to replace grass lost to the drought. We will monitor the results of this program to evaluate broader turf-replacement incentives in the future. Does this mean I have to let my trees and shrubs die? Absolutely not. Trees and shrubs in areas being converted may be watered by hand. If you are enrolling for only the front or back of your yard, you may continue to use automatic irrigation systems in the area that is not enrolled; e.g., if you are replacing your front lawn, you may continue to water your back lawn using the automatic irrigation system and in accordance with watering restrictions. What if I already started planting new drought-tolerant turf? The program is not retroactive; any installations started prior to receiving approval do not qualify. What should I do in the shaded areas on my yard that supports St. Augustine but not Buffalo or Bermuda grasses? St. Augustine is the only warm season turf grass in our region suited for shade. If your yard receives less than six hours of full sun per day, this program isn’t for you. If there are a few shaded areas in your yard that currently has St. Augustine, you will need to stop irrigating that area along with the rest of your front and/or back yard you’re planning on converting. If the St. Augustine in the shaded areas dies without supplemental irrigation, it is best to replace it with a shade or non-irrigated bed. Can I combine the turf, native bed and non-irrigated bed rebates to reach the 500 square footminimum? Yes, as long as all other conditions are met. Isn’t this going to result in a bunch of rocks-and-cacti yards? That is not the program’s intent. Crushed granite and gravel can be integrated into an overall landscape plan, and may be particularly appropriate for “dry creeks” in the landscape, walkways or utility areas along the side of a home. Mulched areas are an ideal solution for shaded areas under tree canopies, and there are numerous flowering plants native to Central Texas that can be used in a colorful, textural and attractive landscape. Why is this only for owner-occupied properties? Because this program requires a long term commitment, and because education is critical to the success of the program, our pilot program requires that the owner occupy the property. Native Pecan American Smoke Tree Cotinus obovatus Bald Cypress Taxodium distichum Carolina Cherry Laurel Deciduous wetland native that can grow higher than 100 feet. Pyramidal shape, fall color and adaptability make it a favorite in the South. Mature Height: 60' to 80' Prunus caroliniana Small, oval-shaped tree that flowers in spring and has dense, green foliage which is ideal for screening. Mature Height: 25' to 40' Carya illinoinensis This State Tree of Texas is a superb shade and nut tree, but is very slow growing when located in dry or shallow soils. When properly placed, this large tree can reach 65 feet or higher at maturity. Mature Height: 50' to 70' Outstanding small tree or multi-trunked shrub with masses of smoke-like flowers in the spring and great fall foliage color. Mature Height: 15' to 25' Yaupon Holly Ilex vomitoria Very picturesque, upright evergreen for southern gardens. Adapts to varied soils. Multiple uses including screens, barriers and takes to pruning well. Mature Height: 15' to 20' Mesquite Prosopis glandulosa Yellow, fragrant flowers in spring and summer. North American native with spreading, rounded canopy and many drooping, crooked branches low on trunk. Mature Height: 25' to 35' Carolina Buckthorn Rhamnus caroliniana Native to most of eastern and midwestern U.S., this small, bright green, fruit-bearing tree attracts wildlife. Showy yellow-orange or red fall color. Mature Height: 12' to 15' Prunus serotina var. eximia White flowers appear in early spring with new leaves. Lustrous green leaves turn a beautiful golden yellow in the fall. Mature Height: 35' to 50' Texas Ash Fraxinus texensis Mexican Buckeye Drought tolerant, medium shade tree. Stunning orange, yellow and purple fall color. Mature Height: 40' to 50' Texas Persimmon Ungnadia speciosa This multi-trunk tree is noted for its clusters of pinkish, orchid-like flowers in the spring and yellow foliage in the fall. Mature Height: 15' to 25' Escarpment Black Cherry Desert Willow Diospyros texana Chilopsis linearis Fragrant and orchid-like with shades of lavender and pink trumpet-shaped blooms at tips of branches. Regularly visited by hummingbirds. Mature Height: 15' to 25' Easily identified by its smooth, gray trunk, peeling bark and dark green deciduous leaves. Edible fruit matures to a dark black and is a great wildlife food source. Mature Height: 15' to 20' Anacacho Orchid Tree Lacey Oak Quercus laceyi A small oak tree good for limestone soils. Unusual smoky, blue-gray foliage and compact, round canopy. Mature Height: 15' to 25' Bauhinia congesta Fragrant and showy white blooms appearing in the spring. Occasionally blooms intermittently in the fall. Mature Height: 15' Chinkapin Oak Quercus muhlenbergii Grows best in full sun on well-drained soil. Leaves turn red, yellow, orange and brown before dropping in fall. Acorns are edible. Mature Height: 40' to 50' Possumhaw Holly Western Soapberry Sapindus drummondii This excellent shade tree is well suited to the urban environment. Name derives from Native American use of crushed berries to make soap suds. Showy fall color. Mature Height: 40' to 50' Ilex decidua Anaqua A small and generally multi-trunked tree, this holly loses its leaves in winter to display a multitude of red berries (female trees). Ehretia anacua Fragrant white flower clusters, and fleshy fruit. Nectar attracts wildlife. Mature Height: 30'-40' Texas Pistache Pistacia texana Leaves are relatively small, shiny, and usually evergreen with a bronze color at the growing tips. Small, white flowers bloom in spring and summer. Mature Height: 12' to 20' Mature Height: 15' to 20' Bur Oak Quercus macrocarpa Huge tree, with impressive crown, massive trunk, stout branches and coarse texture. Very large acorns are covered with furry, bur-like cap. Mature Height: 70' to 90' Bigtooth Maple Acer grandidentatum A Hill Country native with spectacular fall color when growing conditions and weather permit. Mature Height: 40' to 50' Eastern Red Cedar Juniperus virginiana Will grow almost anywhere including sandy soils. Has an open and widespreading habit. Mature Height: 30' to 45' Cedar Elm Ulmus crassifolia Native to the Hill Country and southern central U.S. Very adaptable deciduous tree for the urban environment. Makes a great shade or street tree. Mature Height: 50' to 70' Texas Mountain Laurel Sophora secundiflora Native evergreen indigenous to Hill Country. Small, multi-trunked tree with dark green leaves with purple, fragrant flowers. Mature Height: 15' to 20' Eve’s Necklace Sophora affinis Drooping clusters of pinkish blossoms in the late spring form necklace-like chains of black beans in late summer through fall. Mature Height: 15' to 25' Gum Bumelia Escarpment Live Oak Quercus fusiformis Large, wide-spreading evergreen with massive, horizontal, arching branches. Mature Height: 60' to 80' Sideroxylon lanuginosum The fruit is eaten by birds, and white-tailed deer browse the leaves and fruit. The flowers provide early season nourishment for honey bees. Mature Height: 40' to 50' Small deciduous, understory tree with delightful pink blossoms in early spring before leaves emerge. Mature Height: 15' to 20' Mexican Plum Prunus mexicana Very showy white flowers in early spring. Small, tart plums. Mature Height: 20' to 25' Texas Red Oak Quercus texana Texas Redbud Native to Texas. Stately tree with narrow, open and rounded canopy. Mature Height: 35' to 45' Cercis canadensis var. texensis 80' 60' 40' Approximate Tree Heights At Maturity 20' American Anacacho Carolina Orchid Buckthorn Smoke Tree Tree SMALL TREES Desert Willow Mexican Buckeye Mexican Plum Possumhaw Texas Mountain Holly Laurel Eve's Necklace Texas Persimmon Yaupon Holly Texas Pistache Texas Redbud Bigtooth Maple Carolina Cherry Laurel Chinquapin Oak Eastern Red Cedar Escarpment Black Cherry Anaqua Lacey Oak Mesquite Texas Red Oak Texas Ash Western Soapberry Gum Bumelia Bald Cypress Bur Oak LARGE TREES MEDIUM TREES Illustrations by Robert O’Brien Cedar Elm Escarpment Live Oak Pecan VL L M VL L VL L L L VL L-M VL L L L L L-M VL VL VL L L L L L-M No Yes No No No Yes No No No Yes No No No Yes Yes No Yes No Yes Yes No Yes No No Yes 50' + 15'15' 25'-30'25' 25'-50'25'-35' 50' + 25'25' 45'25' 25'-50' 25'-50' 25'25' 45'50' 20'-30'25' 25'-35'25'-35' 15'-20'15'-20' 25'25' 50' + 15'-20'15'-20' 50'30' 15'-20'12'-15' 25'25' 20'-30'20' 15'-20'15'-20' 25'-50'25' 25'-30'25'-30' 25'25' Rapid Slow Moderate Slow Moderate Rapid Rapid Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate Slow Slow Moderate Moderate Slow Moderate Rapid Slow Slow Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate Deciduous Deciduous Evergreen Deciduous Deciduous Deciduous Evergreen Deciduous Evergreen Deciduous Evergreen Deciduous Deciduous Deciduous Deciduous Deciduous Deciduous Deciduous Evergreen Deciduous Evergreen Deciduous Deciduous Deciduous Evergreen Bur Oak Carolina Buckthorn Carolina Cherry Laurel Cedar Elm Chinkapin Oak Desert Willow Eastern Red Cedar Escarpment Black Cherry Escarpment Live Oak Eve’s Necklace Gum Bumelia Lacey Oak Mesquite Mexican Buckeye Mexican Plum Pecan Possumhaw Holly Texas Ash Texas Mountain Laurel Texas Persimmon Texas Pistache Texas Redbud Texas Red Oak Western Soapberry Yaupon Holly 50' + 50' + 25' 25'-50' 50' + Mulch 2-4 inches deep in circle around tree. Position the top of the rootball level with or slightly above the ground. Keep mulch away from trunk. Alternate 8. Fill until the hole is half full. Flood the hole with a slow hose or tamp gently with your foot to firm the soil. Repeat until the hole is full. Press only firm enough to hold the tree upright. The best soil for root growth has spaces for both air and water. Large air pockets can cause problems. 7. Backfill with original soil. Mixing fertilizer, compost, or other material with the soil is not recommended. 6. For balled and burlapped trees, rest the rootball in the center of the hole. Reshape the hole so the tree will be straight and at the proper level. After adjusting the tree, pull the burlap and any other material away from the sides and top of the rootball. Gently remove the material from the hole. Build soil dam 3-4 feet from trunk. None Sucker Growth Susceptible To Oak Wilt None None None Poisonous Seeds None None None None None Thorns None Sucker Growth, Small Thorns None Susceptible To Oak Wilt None None None None Pollen Drop None None None None Surface Roots Susceptible To Freeze Damage None None CONCERNS Remove competing stems to develop a single trunk. Shorten low branches to develop trunk thickness. Watering slowly by hand gives you a great opportunity to monitor your trees for problems such as disease, insects and broken or dead limbs. You will be amazed at how well your trees will respond to your care. Regular watering is the single most important factor in the success of your new tree. New trees need about one inch of water per week for about two years. This is true for all trees, even though they may be native or drought tolerant. Be careful not to drown the roots; they need air as well as water to grow. Remember: a good mulch layer will provide a natural source of nutrients to the tree and it will help cool the soil and conserve moisture. Maintain a 3-4 inch mulch layer within the planting area. Check the thickness of your mulch mid-summer and renew it as needed. Keep mulch away from the base of the trunk to avoid potential rotting of the bark. Do not add fertilizer at planting. Have your soil analyzed to consider amending soil. Fertilizer may injure the tree. Half an inch of compost under the canopy is recommended. Care Of Your Tree Remove root suckers and sprouts. Do not leave branch stubs. Remove limbs that turn inward towards the trunk. Remove dead, broken or crossing limbs. Remove limbs that extend beyond the natural crown of the tree. Dotted lines indicate branches that have been removed: 3. The final cut should be just beyond the branch collar, without cutting into it. Support the stub so that it does not tear the bark. 2. Make the second cut from the top all the way through the branch, 2-3 inches above the first cut. 1. Undercut the limb 12-24 inches from the branch collar. This stops the bark from tearing. Second cut Branch collar Remove root suckers. Remove dead or broken branches. Three-Step Pruning Method Remove low branches. Remove sprouts. Remove rubbing branches. Mature Tree Pruning Females hold bright red berries through winter. Very hardy. Bushy unless pruned. Large amber berries fall through winter. Several red oaks available. “Texana” best for our area. Known as Quercus shumardii var. texana. Several redbuds available. “Texensis” best for our area. Eastern variety does poorly. Glossy foliage, small, white flower clusters, maintains shrub-like shape. Drought-tolerant native with attractive exfoliating bark. Small, edible black fruit. Excellent drought-tolerant tree. Outstanding fragrant spring blooms. Needs good drainage. A very attractive alternative to Arizona Ash. Darker leaf color & denser, more upright growth pattern. Striking native plant. Bright red berries in late fall and winter. State Tree of Texas. Plant with plenty of room! Grows slowly until well-established. Bright white flowers and edible fruit. May need protection from winter winds. Good as a multi-stemmed specimen. Extremely drought tolerant with desirable light, filtered shade. Thornless varieties available. Native oak unusual for its bluish foliage. Resistant to Oak Wilt disease. Blue to black berries, edible, ripen in fall. Highly adaptable to soil types, drought resistant. Attractive flower in spring and fruit through fall and winter. Tolerates light, wet soils. Limit use to areas with few live oaks. Allow plenty of room. Oak Wilt disease a problem. Attractive, upright tree with showy fall color & interesting bark. Not for heavy, clay soils. Fast growing, adaptable evergreen for screening & shade. Showy flowers through summer. Needs good drainage. Good for limestone soils. Attractive, light-colored bark. Well-adapted shade tree for Austin. Some problems with aphids & powdery mildew. Makes a good screening hedge. Requires good drainage. Attractive fall color and fruit. Excellent tree; not utilized enough. Plant with plenty of room! Native to Hill Country; good for well-drained limestone soils. Excellent fall color. Hard to find. Well-adapted to many soil combinations and moisture. Handles wet areas well. Deep shade; spring blooms look like the tree is covered with snow. Also called Sand Paper Tree. Very attractive small tree that will flower in full or part sun. High drought, heat and cold tolerance. COMMENTS Young Tree Pruning *Water guidelines are for established trees. Freshly planted trees require 15–20 gallons of water every 7-10 days. See the 'Planting Your Tree' section in this guide for more information on watering your new tree. Wildlife, Fruit Fall Color Wildlife, Bark, Fall Color/Acorns Flower, Fall Color Attractive To Birds, Deer Resistant Color, Wildlife, Bark Texture Wildlife, Flower Wildlife, Fall Color Wildlife, Fall Color Fruit, Wildlife, Fall & Winter Color Wildlife, Flower, Fall Color, Bark Wildlife, Bark Texture/Color Wildlife, Flower Texture, Color Wildlife, Fragrant Flowers Flower, Fruit Wildlife Wildlife, Flower, Fruit Wildlife, Aromatic Wood Wildlife, Flower Wildlife Wildlife, Fall Color Wildlife, Flower Wildlife, Fall Color, Fruit Unique Leaves and Acorns Fall Color Wildlife, Fall Color Attractive, Showy Blooms Attractive, Aromatic Flowers Color, Wildlife Benefits with 3. In the center of Dig hole original the planting area, no deeper soil & water dig a hole at least than the when filling rootball. hole. 2-3 times the diamPlace bottom of rootball on solid soil. eter of the rootball Make hole 2-3 times wider than rootball. and no deeper than the depth of soil in the rootball. The bottom of the ball should rest on solid undisturbed 9. Construct a small dam or berm three feet in diamsoil when finished, the soil at the base of the tree should eter around the tree. This dam will help hold water be as high on the trunk as it was in the container. until it soaks into the soil, rather than it running off across the surface. 4. Make sure the sides of the hole are rough and uneven. In very hard soils, a rough edged hole may help allow new 10. Cover the entire loosened area of soil, including roots to grow out into the surrounding soil. the berm, with 3-4 inches of mulch. For example, you can use shredded wood or bark, compost, or dry 5. Place the tree in the hole. If the tree is in a container, leaves. Mulch will slow water loss, reduce weeds and pull the container away from the rootball. Don't pull grasses, moderate soil temperature and provide small the tree out by its trunk. Place the rootball in the center amounts of nutrients. of the hole. Adjust the tree so it sits straight and at the proper level. Stand back and look at the tree now before you put the soil back into the hole. You can make careful adjustments to the hole at this point without seriously harming the rootball. 2. Mark out a planting area 2-5 times wider than the rootball diameter (wider is better). Loosen this area to about an 8-inch depth. This will enable your tree to extend a dense mat of tiny roots well out into the soil in the first 1–10 weeks in the ground. 1. Select the right tree for the right place. Proper tree planting begins with good planning. Determine your planting goals and match the mature size, soil and moisture requirements of your trees to the site. (Refer to the Tree Selection Chart.) Planting Your Tree VL - Very Low (Water occasionally during very dry conditions). L - Low (Water thoroughly ever 3-4 weeks if no rainfall). M - Medium (Water thoroughly every 2-3 weeks if no rainfall). H – High (Water thoroughly every 5-7 days if no rainfall). Semi- Semi- VL 25'-50'25'-35' No Moderate Deciduous L Bigtooth Maple 25'-50' No 50' + Moderate Deciduous M No Bald Cypress 45' 30' Slow Evergreen Anaqua VL Yes 15'10' Moderate Deciduous Anacacho Orchid L-M Yes 25'20' Slow Deciduous WATER* American Smoke Tree LINES Near Utility Height |Spread Growth The Austin Climate Protection Program is dedicated to making Austin the leading city in the nation in the fight against climate change. To learn more, visit www.coolaustin.org. TreeFolks is a non-profit organization dedicated to growing the urban forest of Central Texas through tree planting, education, and community partnerships. Our award winning programs have planted nearly 200,000 trees in city parks, preserves, schools and community gardens. To learn more visit www.treefolks.org or call 512-443-5323. This poster is printed on acid-free archival quality paper. The pulp used for this paper is elemental chlorine free or totally chlorine free. It contains 30% recovered all post-consumer fiber. Austin Energy recognizes the intrinsic value of trees and works to maintain the health of the urban forest. To learn more, call 512- 494-9400 or visit www.austinenergy.com. Wildlife Habitat Trees provide food, nesting sites and protection to a wide variety of birds and animals. Water and Land Conservation Trees and other landscape plants help slow surface water runoff and reduce soil erosion. The soil absorbs more rainwater, so less potable water is needed on your landscape. Urban Heat Island Mitigation Cities often experience higher temperatures than the surrounding countryside. This urban heat island effect is reduced by planting trees that shade hard surfaces like roads and sidewalks. Trees also literally cool the air around them through the natural process of evapotranspiration. Whether alone or together evapotranspiration and shading can cool your yard, your street and ultimately the city. Climate Protection and Air Quality Through the shading of homes, offices, air conditioning units, and by lowering localized temperatures through evapotranspiration (where the air is cooled by the release of moisture from the surface of leaves), the amount of related energy is reduced including its associated air pollution and greenhouse gases. Trees don’t just help us avoid making more air pollution; they actively absorb it. They sequester carbon dioxide, remove particulates and disrupt ozone particles. Property Value Mature trees beautify and help reduce crime in neighborhoods. They can add a significant percentage to the value of a typical Austin home. Energy Conservation Properly placed shade trees can reduce home energy consumption, by providing shade for roofs, walls and air conditioners. Large deciduous trees on the south and west sides of your home shade the roof and walls in the summer and help conserve energy. In the winter when they drop their leaves they allow the sunlight through to warm your home. Planting evergreens on the north side of your home can help you save energy too and keep your home warmer by blocking cold, northerly winter winds. Why We Plant Trees Central Texas native trees have adapted to this climate over thousands of years and are better able to withstand extreme weather events. Native trees generally require less watering, are more resistant to insect and disease attack, and provide superior native wildlife habitat. There is also a link to our Central Texas natural heritage. Why Native? Do not plant large trees within 50 ft of utility lines. Plant smaller trees under and/or within 20 ft on either side of power lines. Plant fruit trees for edible fruit and to attract wildlife. Plant evergreens to screen undesirable views. Plant flowering trees for accent and beauty. Tall trees: 40 ft. or taller in height Medium trees: 25 ft. to 40 ft. in height Small trees: 25 ft. in height or less Type Plant deciduous trees to shade your roof, walls, windows and air conditioner. Shade the west and south sides of your house to help lower your utility bills. Plant large trees at least 50 ft. from pole. Name Native THIS GUIDE was created to answer some of the most commonly asked questions about tree planting and care in Central Texas. It provides a selection of native large and small trees, and their characteristics and growing needs. The tree illustration foldout can also be used as a wall poster. Please share or recycle the guide when you are finished with it. Resources City of Austin Grow Green Program www.austintexas.gov/growgreen City of Austin Tree Programs www.austintexas.gov/trees/programs.htm City of Austin Urban Heat Island Mitigation Program www.austintexas.gov/urbanheatisland Tree Folks www.treefolks.org Fruit & Nut Tree Guide for Central Texas www.treefolks.org Managing Trees Near Power Lines www.austinenergy.com/go/trees Texas Forest Service http://txforestservice.tamu.edu Green Building Program www.greenbuilding.austinenergy.com Austin Urban Forestry Program www.austintexas.gov/parks/forestry.htm Plant medium trees 20 to 50 ft. from pole. Tree Selection Chart For Central Texas What to Plant There are many kinds of trees available for planting in your yard. The tree listings and illustrations in the Native Tree Growing Guide can help you decide what to plant. We recommend planting only native trees for shade and ornamental purposes. Also, consider the size of the planting hole you are willing to dig before you buy a tree. You must dig no deeper than the rootball depth of your new tree and two to three times as wide. Besides being less expensive to purchase younger trees, they require less water to get established than older trees. When to Plant Plant your new tree(s) as early as possible during the Central Texas planting season (October 1st through March 31st). Planting in the cool, wet season allows the roots of your new tree(s) to become established before the trees are subjected to our hot, dry summers. Where to Plant Plan before you plant. Make a sketch of your property showing existing trees and landscape, sidewalks, driveways, building outlines, compass directions and overhead or buried utility locations. Play it safe and call Dial Before You Dig (8-1-1) three days before you plan to dig. They will come out and mark the ground where all of your underground utilities are located. Planting Site Selection Consult the Tree Selection Chart to determine the mature height and spread of your tree(s). Make sure you give your tree(s) adequate room to grow. Trees and shrubs should not be planted where they will eventually interfere with utility lines or equipment. Plant small trees within 20 ft. of pole.
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