Landscape - Is time on your side?

Posted by Andrea Monico on Thu, Mar 31, 2016 @ 07:00 AM

Oh, how the days are packed!  You are possibly a parent, a grandparent, a cook, a chauffer, an employee, an employer, a coach, a volunteer and an all-around, master-mind scheduler.  The thought of it all is just exhausting!  Do you really have time to be a landscape designer, general contractor and crew too? 

See how CM’s was able to work with Mike and Paula’s hectic schedule to install a project that can be a gathering place to create memories with family and friends for years to come. 


Fossum_1Visit www.cmscustomlawn.com to see how CM's has worked with other homeowners to build their outdoor living spaces.

At CM’s, it’s our job to create the best project for you without placing a burden on your time.  CM’s can create a design for you to review at your own pace, help with selections, pull permits, serve as the general contractor and reduce the amount of time you need to spend on the project.

Schedule A Consultation

Topics: CMs A Cut Above, landscape

Plant of The Week-Goldenrod

Posted by Lacey Martinez on Mon, Mar 28, 2016 @ 09:22 AM

Nebraska became a state nearly 150 year ago on March 1, 1867.  We'd like to kick off our Plant of the Week blog by featuring the state flower, the Goldenrod.  

goldenrod goldenrod

Ideal Growing Zone: anywhere from 4-9

Plant Description: 3-5 feet tall, spans 2-6 feet, produces a yellow bloom from July to August

Growing Conditions: needs full sun exposure, can tolerate deer, drought, clay soil, and dry soil, low maintance, good drought tolerance

Uses:  rain gardens, border fronts or foundations. Also can be used as an edger.

Plant Care:  Cut back flowers after initial bloom to encourage a second fall bloom.

Pests and Disease: No serious insect or disease problems. Rust may occur. Watch for powdery mildew and leaf spot.

If you want to know more about this plant, have a plant you want to be featured next week, or have general questions about trees, shrubs or plants, please contact us!

Ask the Arborist
According to the USDA plant hardiness zone map, Omaha is considered to be in plant zones 4b-5b.


Topics: CMs A Cut Above, landscape, Plant of the Week

Plant of The Week-Daylily

Posted by Lacey Martinez on Fri, Mar 25, 2016 @ 07:30 AM

 This week we are featuring the Daylily as the Plant of the Week.

Daylily daylily

Ideal Growing Zone: 3 to 10

Plant Description: 0.75 to 1.00 feet tall, spreads 0.75 to 1.00 feet, blooms from May to August

Growing Conditions: Grows best in full sun to part shade, tolerates rabbit and erosion.  Low maintenance required.

Uses: Provides color and contrast to the perennial border when grown in clumps or when massed over larger areas. Also appropriate for the rock garden. The fountain-like leaves provide elegant foliage, color and texture for your landscape when the flowers are not in bloom. Daylilies can crowd out weeds and form a rich looking ground cover.

Plant Care: Daylilies do well in a wide range of well-drained soils, but prefer a deep, fertile balanced soil. Deadhead spent flowers daily for neatness and remove scapes(the flower stalk) when flowers have completed bloom. Daylilies should be divided to maintain vigor when the clumps become overcrowded.

Pests and Disease: No serious problems. Daylilies are extremely adaptable perennials. They are easy to grow, quick to multiply and virtually pest-free.

If you want to know more about this plant, have a plant you want to be featured next week, or have any questions in general, please contact us or check out other blog posts!

Contact A Licensed Arborist

According to the USDA plant hardiness zone map, Omaha is considered to be in plants zone 4b-5b.


Topics: CMs A Cut Above, landscape, Plant of the Week

Landscape Projects - When the Best Laid Plans Go Awry

Posted by Christine Nelson on Mon, Mar 14, 2016 @ 05:00 AM

At the beginning of each new season we enjoy looking back at landscape projects our clients have entrusted us with and we look forward to the new relationships and the new projects we will build in the future.  



Giles_before_1_Photo_Jun_03_12_47_18_PM Giles_before_3_Photo_Jun_03_12_47_56_PM Giles_before_2_Photo_Jun_03_12_47_47_PM


During: In order to fix the issues, the subgrade needed to be excavated to the frost line in order to pour proper deck footings as well as to create a suitable subgrade for the remainder of the new patio area.



Giles_after_3_Photo_Oct_27_4_26_17_PM Giles_after_2_Photo_Oct_27_4_26_04_PM Giles_during_Photo_Sep_08_11_05_29_AM

Giles_after_1_Photo_Oct_27_4_25_29_PMOnce the underground work was completed, we were able to install the paver patio and retaining wall.  The extent of the these repairs is uncommon.  However, when issues arise, it is vital to take the time to properly correct this issues for the project to be durable.  This project is a great example of the importance of working with a knowledgeable and professional contractor, such as CM’s, that is able assess and remedy the unexpected.  Thank you to our crews for their hard work on this project and to our clients for their patience.  Contact CM’s for your landscaping needs.


  Schedule A Consultation

Topics: CMs A Cut Above, landscape, paver patio

Tree Care- What is an effective way to eliminate sucker growth?

Posted by Rachael Monico on Tue, Aug 18, 2015 @ 06:00 AM


Tree sucker growthSucker (basal shoot):
  • A fast growing shoot or stem that grows underground from a plant that causes the tree to weaken by draining water and nutrients 


Why do they occur?

  • Suckering is a tree's self-defense mechanism in response to stress to the following:
    • Drought
    • Over fertilization
    • Excessive watering 
  • Due to an exposed graft union (the area where 2 plants have grown together for hardiness benefits)


Tree sucker growth


Prune shoots after they are identified as they grow rapidly and become large quickly 

  • Remove small suckers by hand using a twisting motion. The lack of clean cut makes it more difficult for new suckers to grow
  •  Larger shoots may require hand pruners, loppers or even a hand saw.  Be careful not to damage the bark. When making a cut, get as close to the ground or even underground if possible. Open wounds exposed to sunlight can trigger more sprouting
  • For shoots that are sprouting feet away from the base of the tree, mow over slowly or use a sharp spade to dig out the tree root that is causing the issue. Be careful not to damage nearby healthy roots
  •  Mechanical ways of shoot removal are the safest and most effective methods. If you prefer chemical controls, contact a licensed arborist for a recommendation



Tree sucker growth


Most trees are susceptible to suckering if they are exposed to stress but you will find certain trees are prone to suckering such as Crabapple, Linden, Maple, Lilac, and any fruit trees that are grown on a graft union. Although suckering is inevitable for some trees, there are steps you can take to help minimize suckers, prevent them all together, and improve your tree care.

  •  Check the root ball of the tree when you are purchasing it to be sure the tree is planted at the proper depth.
  •  Make sure new trees do not have sucker growth already
  •  Water and fertilizer at recommended levels.
  •  Keep two inches or more of mulch around the tree to help stop sprouts from coming up through the ground.

  Contact A Licensed Arborist

Topics: CMs A Cut Above, Tree Care, Ask The Arborist, landscape, pruning

Will Jack Frost be Nipping at Your Nose? It is Holiday Lighting Time!

Posted by Andrea Monico on Mon, Oct 13, 2014 @ 09:49 AM

Just the thought of winter is enough to send shivers down your spine. Brrrrr!  Will you be on your roof hanging Christmas lights in the cold weather?  Grab a cup of hot chocolate, a blanket, and stay inside.  Let CM's A Cut Above take care of the holiday lights chore for you.

Whether you are considering outlining your home, decorating your trees or including an animated array, CM's is your holiday lighting contractor.  We offer state-of-the art designs, installation, removal, and storage for residential and commercial properties with energy efficient LED lights in a variety of colors and styles for any decorating plan.  CM's installs both linkables and traditional C9 strands.  Some popular linkable choices include icicles, starbursts, snowflakes, stockings and holly, but many more are available.  Remember that linkables are not just for the roof!  They can also be installed on stakes in the yard just like the starbursts, trees, gifts, trains, toy soldiers, and other displays.

Christmas LightingA CM's representative will assist you in selecting the lights you would like for your display.  The purchase of your Christmas lights is included in the contract price for the first year we install them.  In future years, you will only pay for installation, removal and storage. Repairs and any additional Christmas lights you add in the future will be billed as applicable.

Will you be left out in the cold this fall?  Skip the ladder, tangled lights, and the cold this year.  We have our premier installation teams ready to turn your home into the envy of the neighborhood this holiday season!  Contact CM's to set up your design and installation sessions.

Request A Quote Today!

Topics: CMs A Cut Above, Christmas Lights, Holiday Lighting

4 Key Steps to Planning a Successful Landscape Project

Posted by Andrea Monico on Tue, Aug 26, 2014 @ 11:25 AM

omaha paver patio"I want to add landscaping to my house, but I don’t know where to start!"  This is a common statement we hear when clients call us to start a landscape project.  Deciding on how to landscape your yard can be a very challenging process, and understandably so!  Creating an entire outdoor living space is a unique process for every project.  We hope you find the following guideline helpful to form ideas and make the most out of your consultation visit.



Step 1:  Prioritze the Features You Would Like 

  • water feature

    Will your landscape occur in the front or back yard, include features such as a patio, water feature, or landscape lighting, address an issue such as drainage, or a combination of everything?

  • If you are unsure of what you are interested in, look through books, magazines, or make your own sketch to come up with ideas for your project.  It may help you determine the desired size of your landscape, the features to include, how you would like to use the space, as well as your general likes and dislikes.  Be sure to share what you have found during your consultation visit

Step 2: Prepare a Budget  

  • outdoor patio Landscapes encompass a wide array of features and are customized for every project.  We will work with you to propose a plan that will fit your budget.

  •  If the project is a bit more than you are planning to spend this year, revisit the priorities of your project and discuss the possibility of completing the project in phases, such as: This year install the new patio and expand the driveway, next year install the retaining wall and plants.

  • Inquire about available financing.  Visit CM’s website to see our current financing options, which currently includes several no interest paid options with regular payments through the Wells Fargo Outdoor Solutions Card.

  •  Be prepared to provide a down payment for 1/3 of the total project upon agreeing to the proposal.

Step 3: Explore Options 

  • landscape lighting

    There are many factors that need to be considered that may affect a project.  The CM’s Team will help you determine the appropriate plants and structures to install for your property when considering such factors as sun and shade exposure, grading, and water flow.

  • Sprinkler systems do not have to prevent landscape projects from taking place.  Heads, lines, valve boxes—they can all be moved!  Drip irrigation zones can also be added to systems to help provide proper irrigation for new plant materials.

  •  Consider new features such as, landscape lighting.  It will not only accentuate features of your project, but it also adds safety and can extend the use of the area into the night.

Step 4: Consider Timing 

  • MIXA7625comp

    Try to find time to have all decision makers present at the consultation so everyone has the same expectations for the project.

  • Call at least one month before you would like the project to be completed.  This will allow time for the initial consultation, designs and revisions, and estimates to be prepared.
  •  If you would like an early spring or summer install, don’t be afraid to call in the winter to get the process started.  Our designers and sales managers are available year-round.

  • Consider late summer or early fall installations to allow for greater flexibility in scheduling.

Schedule A Consultation

Topics: CMs A Cut Above, Best Practices, landscape, Omaha turf care, Lawn Care, contractor, decision

7 Ways to Water Wisely - Sprinkler Systems Omaha

Posted by Andrea Monico on Mon, Jun 30, 2014 @ 06:30 AM

SIM Logo Color


According the Irrigation Association (IA), “Smart Irrigation Month is an IA initiative to increase awareness of the value of water use...and grow demand for water-saving products, practices and services.”  In the “Water Wisely” article below, the IA shares some simple tips to improve water efficiency for your turf.


Today’s irrigation systems include sophisticated controllers that allow you to easily adjust watering schedules to fit different needs.


Get in the zone. Schedule each individual zone in your irrigation system to account for type of sprinkler, sun or shade exposure, and soil in that section. Different zones will almost always need different watering schedules.


Consider soil type. Type of soil determines how quickly water can be absorbed without runoff. Watering more than soil can absorb causes runoff and waste.


Don’t send water down the drain. Set sprinklers to water plants, not your driveway, sidewalk, patio or buildings.


Water only when needed. Saturate root zones and let the soil dry. Watering too much and too frequently results in shallow roots, weed growth, disease and fungus.


Water at the best time. Watering during the heat of the day may cause losses of up to 30 percent due to evaporation. Prevent water loss by watering when the sun is low or down, winds are calm and temperatures are cool - typically early morning.


Water more often for shorter periods. For example, if you have 4 zones and you typically water for 15 minutes each zone with a start time at 5 AM, you might change your system start times to 4:00 AM, 5:00 AM and 6:00 AM and have each zone only run 5 minutes.  In both scenarios, the system runs for a total of 60 minutes that day, however, using shorter intervals lets soil absorb more water.


Adapt watering to the season. Familiarize yourself with the settings on your irrigation controller and adjust the watering schedule regularly based on seasonal weather conditions. Or invest in a smart controller so your system can make these changes automatically.


Contact CM's A Cut Above today for an evaluation of your sprinkler system!


Topics: CMs A Cut Above, Best Practices, irrigation, sprinkler, Water flow

Omaha Lawn Care - Final Fertilizer Application

Posted by Chuck Monico on Mon, Nov 11, 2013 @ 08:01 AM

Year-end is a time for waxing philosophical, being thankful, assessing the ups and downs of the year and so forth.  We were spared the devastating heat of the past two seasons, something for which we can all be grateful.  Customers who experienced severe damage during those seasons had  the opportunity to re-establish a healthy stand of turf.  More customers are opting for aeration twice a year.  Still others are recognizing the benefits of more frequent overseeding.

lawn care omahaWe have increasingly better information about all things turf because of the work conducted by UNL’s Department of Agronomy, the Department of Entomology and the statewide system of Extension Offices.  As lawn care professionals, we could not ask for a more supportive group of people with whom to work as we continue to look for ways to improve our profession and the service we offer you.

Our last round of fertilizer began October 24.  It’s not too cold, we have even applied it in the snow.  We do plan to finish by Thanksgiving. We sometimes get pushback on this last application.  We can only tell you that it is a valuable tool in getting your lawn off to a good start next spring.  The bulk of the nitrogen for the year goes down in the fall.  You do not want to skimp now.






Topics: CMs A Cut Above, Best Practices, Turf Care, fertilizing and weed control, Omaha turf care, Lawn Care

Omaha Tree Care - Why do leaves change color in the fall?

Posted by Rachael Monico on Tue, Nov 05, 2013 @ 08:30 AM

CM's Ask the Arborist

Why do leaves change color in the fall? Why is fall color better in some years than others?

Green leaves actually contain colorful pigments all season, but during the growing season those colors are masked by an abundance of green chlorophyll.  Chlorophyll is used in photosynthesis, the process in which the tree uses sunlight to produce food.  The shorter fall days signal to the trees that winter is coming and it will soon be time to shed its leaves.  At this time the tree stops producing Chlorophyll and the colorful pigments that have been there all along are finally revealed.


October Glory Maple

The brilliance of fall color is affected mostly by the sunlight; however, temperature fluctuation and soil moisture also play a role.  A series of warm sunny days, followed by cold, but not freezing night time temperatures will produce the best fall color.  If the trees experience a fall with a lot of cloud cover and moderate temperatures, the color will be dull.  In addition, a wet spring followed by a moderate to dry summer and fall will produce the best fall color.  During late summer and early fall, if a tree is under a slight amount of stress due to dry soil conditions, it will have more brilliant color.

If you are interested in finding out more about the science behind tree color in the fall, visit the following link from the UNL extension office. 

Topics: CMs A Cut Above, gardening, Tree Care, Ask The Arborist

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