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Landscape

Specification
Guidelines 6th edition

Exterior Landscape Installation


1.0 General Conditions 1.5 Substitutions: Pre-bid
It is the landscape contractors responsibility to make
1.1 Scope of Work every reasonable effort to find the material specified by
A. The landscape contractor shall provide all materials, the architect. The landscape contractor is responsible
labor, and equipment to complete all landscape work for qualifying his/her proposal to document any plant
as shown on the plans and specifications. suitability or availability problems. The landscape
B. Total number of plants shall be drawn on the contractor may offer substitutions to the landscape
landscape plan. The landscape contractor shall architect for his/her consideration. The landscape
state the total number of each plant with the contractor will notify the landscape architect if there
contract price. The plant list submitted with the are known diseases or insect-resistant species that can
bid will automatically become part of the contract be substituted for a selected pest-prone plant. The
documents. contractor shall submit a base bid as per plan, plus price
clarifications for all recommended substitutions.
NOTE: If the contractor bids according to the Plant
List, he/she should thoroughly check the plant list
1.6 Substitutions: Post-bid
quantities with the symbols drawn on the plan to be
sure there are no discrepancies. It is the landscape The intent is to eliminate post-bid substitutions.
architects responsibility to be sure the plant count is However, in the event that the contract material has
correct on both the plan and the plant list, if used. become unavailable, an appropriate substitution must be
Each plant grouping shall be labeled with the total approved by the owners representative.
number of plants per grouping by the landscape
architect. If quantities are specified on a plant list, 1.7 Utilities and Underground Features
that list shall be accurate. If there is a discrepancy A. The landscape contractor shall notify utility
between the drawing and the list on the plans, the companies and/or the general contractor in advance
contract between the owner and the contractor shall of construction to locate utilities (Miss Utility:
take precedence. www.missutility.net for MD, DC, and DE or http://
va811.com for VA)
C. The owner shall furnish a certified land survey of the site.
B. Street lighting and other private utilities, including
1.2 Standards cable TV, communication lines, etc., shall be located
A. All plant material will conform to the current by the owner or general contractor.
issue of the American Standard for Nursery Stock C. If there is a conflict with the utilities and the
published by the American Nursery & Landscape planting, the landscape architect shall be responsible
Association (ANLA).Plant material must be selected for relocating plants prior to the planting process.
from nurseries that have been inspected and certified Any costs due to relocating after planting shall be
by state plant inspectors. borne by the owner.
B. Collected material may be used only when approved D. Underground features, including, but not limited
by owners representative. to, existing irrigation, septic systems, drain
C. Nomenclature will be in accordance with Hortus III, systems, invisible pet fencing, landscape lighting,
by L.H. Bailey. underground natural gas, and security systems shall
be located by the owner or general contractor.
1.3 Submittals
1.8 Concealed Contingencies
When requested by the owner or owners representative,
samples of all materials other than plants shall be The correction of undisclosed subsurface conditions,
submitted to the owners designated representative for including, but not limited to, rock, roots, stumps, water,
approval. clay pan, soils contaminated with toxic substances, or
other obstacles encountered in excavation work, that
are not apparent at the time of estimating will result
1.4 Approvals
in additional costs to the owner. Upon discovery of
All approvals shall be in writing. undisclosed conditions, the landscape contractor shall
notify the owner, with written approval regarding any
additional costs, before corrective measures are taken.

Landscape Specification Guidelines 2 Exterior Landscape Installation


1.9 Drainage A. Stress Chart for B&B Deciduous Material
If plants are to be installed in areas that show obvious Lowest Risk 1. Deciduous plants dug and planted
poor drainage, and the plants are inappropriate for that while dormant in spring or fall except
condition, the landscape contractor shall notify the for those listed in G. below.
landscape architect and owner. If deemed necessary, the
plants shall be relocated, the contract shall be adjusted to 2. Deciduous plants dug during
allow for drainage correction at a negotiated cost, or the dormancy and planted after
plant selection shall be modified by the landscape architect producing leaves, provided they have
to accommodate the poor drainage situation. been properly stored.
3. Deciduous plants dug after leaves have
1.10 Workmanship fully expanded and hardened off.
A. During delivery and installation, the landscape 4. Deciduous plants dug in the spring
contractor shall perform in a professional manner, during newly expanding leaf
coordinating his/her activities so as not to interfere Highest Risk production.
unduly with the work of other trades, and leaving
his/her work area(s) clean of litter and debris at the All woody plant material dug in full foliage between the
close of each workday. months of May and September shall be handled in one
B. During planting, all areas shall be kept neat of the following ways to harden-off:
and clean, and precautions shall be taken to 1. Properly harden-off in the field 710 days prior
avoid damage to existing plants, large trees, turf, to digging by a gradual process of trenching and
and structures. Where existing trees are to be soaking, leaving the bottom surface of the ball
preserved, additional precautions should be taken attached to soil until shipping.
to avoid unnecessary accumulation of excavated
materials, soil compaction, or root damage. See the 2. Condition under irrigation in partial shade or sun
specification on Tree Preservation. for at least four days prior to shipping.
C. Upon completion, all debris and waste material C. Container-grown and B&B deciduous material can
resulting from planting operations shall be removed be planted year-round, provided it receives adequate
from the project and the area cleaned up. irrigation for the first growing season.
D. Any damaged areas caused by the landscape D. Herbaceous perennials and summer flowering bulbs
contractor shall be restored to their original condition. can be installed as soon as the ground is workable
in spring until November 15. Plants installed after
1.11 Water Supply November 15 require protective, supplemental mulch
applied after December 15 and removed March 1.
The owner shall supply water on site at no cost. If the
landscape contractor has to supply water to the site, it E. Cold-sensitive annuals can be installed after danger
shall be at an additional cost. of frost has passed.
F. Spring-flowering bulbs can be installed between
1.12 Planting Seasons September 15 and December 31.
A professional horticulturist, nursery professional, or
G. Field-grown, balled and burlapped Red, White,
arborist shall be consulted to determine the proper time,
Willow, and Scarlet Oaks; Dogwood; Sweet Gum;
based on plant species, climate, and weather conditions,
Leyland Cypress; and White Pine, and all broadleaf
(e.g. frozen ground, oversaturation) to move and install
evergreens should be planted between March 1 and
particular plant material to minimize stress to the plant. It
October 30 based on normal climatic conditions.
is safe to plant year-round if certain criteria are followed.
Plant material moved out of the normal planting season
1.13 Inspection and Acceptance
may require special treatment and will result in additional
expense to the owner. The following guidelines should A. Inspection: There should be a verification of
aid the landscape contractor and landscape architect in performance for work by contract documents,
determining what and when to plant: to be conducted by the architect or owners
representative on site and in the presence of the
landscape contractor, for the purpose of acceptance.
Inspection shall be made within two (2) weeks of

Landscape Specification Guidelines 3 Exterior Landscape Installation


written notification from the landscape contractor. plant material that has been damaged by vandalism,
Failure of the owner to inspect the work shall fire, removal, relocation, wildlife, theft, or other
void the guarantee. During inspection for initial activities beyond the landscape contractors control.
acceptance, the landscape contractor should have Plant losses due to abnormal weather conditions,
an acceptance form to be signed by the owner or such as floods, excessive wind damage, drought,
owners representative. severe freezing, or abnormal rains will in no way be
the responsibility of the landscape contractor.
B. Initial acceptance: There should be an approval of
the work inspected. Acceptance can be on partially I. Existing plant material transplanted shall not be
completed work under the contract, if approved guaranteed unless otherwise stated by the landscape
by the landscape architect or owner. If, for reasons contractor.
beyond the landscape contractors control, work
has stopped, inspection shall be made on partially
completed work. Warranty shall begin after 2.0 Plant Materials
landscape inspection and acceptance. Maintenance 2.1 Scope of Work
after initial inspection and acceptance shall be
The landscape contractor shall be responsible for
the responsibility of the owner, unless an optional
furnishing and installing all plant material shown on the
maintenance contract has been specified.
drawings and plant list, as submitted with the contract.
The landscape contractor should periodically inspect The landscape contractor shall have investigated the
the site during the warranty period and notify the sources of supply and satisfied himself/herself that he/
owner in writing if proper maintenance is not being she can supply all the plants specified on the drawings
performed. in the size, variety, quantity, and quality noted before
submitting the bid. Failure to take this precaution will
C. Final inspection and acceptance: The landscape not relieve the successful bidder from the responsibility
contractor shall conduct a final inspection with the of furnishing and installing all the plant material in
owner or owners representative at the end of the strict accordance with the contract requirements.
one-year period.
2.2 Standards
1.14 Warranty
A. Plants will be in accordance with the current
A. The standard warranty is for a one-year period,
ANLAs standards and conform in general to
excluding bulbs, sod, and annuals, commencing
representative species.
on the date of initial acceptance. All plants shall
be alive and in satisfactory health at the end of the B. Bare root
guarantee period. 1. Bare-rooted shrubs shall be dug with adequate
B. Any material that is 25% dead or more shall be roots and root spread
considered dead and must be replaced at no charge. 2. Roots shall be protected during handling and
A tree shall be considered dead when the main planting to guard against drying out and damage.
leader has died back, or 25% of the crown is dead. C. Balled and burlapped (B&B)
C. Perennials shall be guaranteed for one year after 1. Balled and burlapped plants shall be dug with
initial acceptance. firm root balls free of noxious weeds. There
D. Warranty may be void if proper care, by owner or should be no excess soil on top of the root ball or
owners maintenance contractor, is not maintained. around the trunk.

E. Replacements shall be made during the next 2. Ball sizes shall be in accordance with ANLA
planting period. standards.
3. Caliper and height measurement: In size grading
F. The landscape contractor shall be responsible for a
B&B single-trunk trees, caliper shall take
one-time replacement only.
precedence over height. Caliper of the trunk
G. Replacements shall be of the same type, size, shall be taken 6" above ground level (up to and
and quality as original species unless otherwise including 4" caliper size) and 12" above ground
negotiated. level for larger trees. For multiple-trunk trees,
height measurement shall take precedence over
H. The landscape contractor will not be responsible for
caliper.

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D. Container-grown stock B. Plants damaged in handling or transportation can
be rejected by the owner or owners representative.
1. The size of container-grown shrubs is measured
by height and width of plant. Herbaceous C. Plants with soil excessively covering the root flare,
perennials shall be measured by pot size, not if not removed, can be rejected by the owner or
top growth. The root system of container- owners representative.
grown plants shall be well developed and well
D. Any plant material inspected at the place of growth,
distributed throughout the container.
accepted, and tagged by the owners representative
2. All container-grown trees and shrubs that have that has not been damaged during transportation
circling and matted roots shall be treated in the cannot be rejected at the site as long as the tag
following manner prior to planting: using a knife remains attached to the plant.
or sharp blade, make 4-5 cuts, 1" deep, the length
E. State nursery inspection certificates shall be
of the root ball, to cut all circling roots. See 6.3
furnished to the landscape architect upon request.
Planting Procedures For All Container-Grown
Trees & Shrubs in this section.
3. All container-grown plants should be grouped
3.0 Products
and watered adequately until they are planted 3.1 Fertilizer
in the landscape. To properly acclimate to new A. Perform a soil test to determine nutrient
conditions after being planted in soil, soil must requirements. Apply fertilizer based on soil test
remain moist. Water twice weekly or at four- results and recommendations.
day intervals until the equivalent of one inch of
rainfall or supplemental irrigation is received. B. Slow-release fertilizer should be the preferred type.
The technical data sheet or label on the fertilizer
E. Root control bagstrees and shrubs: Plants grown should show that a minimum of 50% of the
in root control bags may be slightly larger than root nitrogen source is water insoluble (WIN) and the
ball sizes identified by ANLA standards. Before salt index is less than 50. (Note: Salt index is relative
transplanting these into the landscape, the geotextile to sodium nitrate, with a salt index of 100.)
bag must be completely removed from around the
root ball and the tree properly staked. See Section 3.2 Mulch
5.2, Typical Upright Staking Detail. Adequate
irrigation is essential to root control bagged trees A. Organic material including shredded hardwood bark
and shrubs. and ground wood waste shall be composted and
mature. (Ref: Soils 2.1A)
F. Trees shall be nursery-grown unless otherwise
B. Organic material shall be uniform in size and free of
specified. Pruning shall be done before planting
foreign matter.
or during the planting operation. See section 4.4,
Pruning Detail For Trees. C. Pine bark, pine needles, cypress bark, redwood bark,
and cocoa shell do not need to be composted.
G. All plant material in transit shall be covered to keep
material from drying out. The covering shall comply
3.3 Stakes
with state and local laws pertaining to the transport
of materials. Stakes shall be 2" x 2" hardwood or approved equal.
See section 5.7 Tree Support Schedule for proper stake
2.3 Inspection
length.
A. Plants may be subject to inspection and approval
3.4 Guying Material
by the owner or owners representative at the
place of growth or holding yard for conformity to A. Wire: 12 or 14 gauge galvanized steel or acceptable
specification requirements as to quality, size, and equal, depending on size of tree.
variety. It is the landscape contractors responsibility B. See section 5.7 Tree Support Schedule.
to know his/her sources. The landscape contractor C. Non-wire tie: Flat, woven, smooth, elastic tie
shall select plants ahead of inspection visits to material (e.g., ArborTie).
prevent rejection of materials delivered to the site.
Cost of inspection visits shall be borne by each 3.5 Turnbuckles
individual party.
Turnbuckles shall be galvanized steel or zinc-coated. See
section 5.7 Tree Support Schedule.

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3.6 Hose 4.2 Placing Tree in Pit
Hose shall be corded rubber, uniform in color and either A. Identify the root flare and remove excess soil if
1/2" or 3/4" depending on the size of the tree. Other necessary.
methods, such as straps or plastic chain locks, may be
B. Place the tree in the pit carrying the ball and then
used where acceptable. See section 5.7 Tree Support
lower it into the pit. Never lift the tree by the trunk
Schedule.
or branches.

3.7 Clamps C. Set the tree straight and in the center of the pit with
the most desirable side facing toward the prominent
Clamps shall be galvanized, zinc- or vinyl-coated, and
view.
large enough to hold the wire or cable used.
D. For bare-rooted trees, set the tree in the pit so that
all roots, when fully extended, will not touch the
3.8 Cable
walls of the planting pit and the uppermost root is
Cable shall be galvanized steel. Level of strength and just below the original grade.
diameter depend on size of tree. See section 5.7 Tree
Support Schedule. E. Remove containers from all container-grown
trees. Slash the edges of the root balls from top to
bottom, at least 1" deep, as described in section
3.9 Twine
6.3 Planting Procedures for All Container-Grown
Twine shall be 23-ply jute or an approved equal and Trees and Shrubs. The slashing of roots may not
biodegradable. be required for plants grown in a Cellugro system,
in root containment bags, or in air-root-pruned
3.10 Prefabricated Tree Support Systems containment systems.
Steel anchors. See section 5.7 Tree Support Schedule.
4.3 Backfilling Tree Pit
A. Each site is unique. Soil tests should be used to
3.11 Tree Wrap
identify special conditions. Backfill mixture for trees
It is recommended that smooth bark trees be wrapped
and shrubs shall be 3/4 existing soil mixed with 1/4
during dormant installation and removed when canopy
organic material, plus granular fertilizer. If compost is
is in leaf.
used, omit the granular fertilizer.
B. If any other additives are found to be needed at the
4.0 Planting Procedure for Trees time of planting, it shall be with the approval of
the landscape contractor, landscape architect, and
4.1 Preparing Tree Pit
owner or owners representative at an additional
A. Walls of tree pit shall be dug so that they are vertical
negotiated cost.
or sloping outward in heavy soils, and scarified.
C. Backfill tree pit with a soil mixture stated in the
B. The tree pit must be wide enough to adequately specifications, except where existing soil is suitable
compact soil on every side of the trees rootball. according to soil test results.
C. The tree pit shall be deep enough to allow 1/8 of D. At the time of installation, you must cut and remove
the ball to be above the existing grade. Plants shall rope or wire back to the edge of the ball. Remove as
rest on undisturbed existing soil or well-compacted much burlap, woven products, and twine as possible.
backfill. All plastic or synthetic film or twine must be
D. Pits for bare-rooted trees shall only be broad enough removed from the rootball. Cut all twine away
to accommodate the roots fully extended and only from trunk. It is recommended that all materials
deep enough so that the uppermost roots will be just be removed or pulled back 12" below the top of the
below the original grade. rootball.
E. If poor drainage is suspected, a percolation test may E. The tree must remain straight during backfilling
be required. A 12-inch wide by 18-inch deep hole procedure.
must be filled with water, and eight hours later, the F. Thoroughly mix soil amendments, if needed, either
hole should be empty. Sub drainage may be needed prior to filling pit or as pit is being filled.
if the hole does not drain properly in eight hours.

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G. Backfill sides of tree pit halfway with soil mixture D. Cut pieces of hose or nylon strapping material long
and tamp as pit is being filled. Do not over compact enough to loop around the trunk of the tree.
top 2/3 of planting mixture.
E. Place the hose around the trunk at the height
H. Finish backfilling sides of tree pit and tamp firmly. required to provide optimum support. Interlock
I. Never cover top of rootball with soil. hoses. Thread the wire through the hose and pull
both ends horizontally 2' beyond the stake.
J. Form a saucer above existing grade, around the
outer rim of the tree pit, especially on slopes and in F. Twist the wire at the rubber hose to keep it in place.
heavy soils. Wind both ends of the wire together around the
stake twice and then twist wire back onto itself to
K. Mulch top of root ball and saucer to a minimum secure. Cut off excess wire. The wire shall be 26"
depth of 2", not to exceed 3". Do not place mulch from the top of stake.
against the trunk.
G. The above procedures are to be followed for each
L. Water thoroughly on the interior of the tree saucer stake, keeping the tree straight at all times. For best
until it is filled, even if it is raining. A second establishment, there should be 13" sway in the tree.
watering may be necessary to ensure saturation
of the root ball and elimination of air pockets. H. It is the owners responsibility to remove stakes,
An alternative watering method is to backfill wire, and hose one year after planting unless
half the pit, flood the pit, and completely backfill growing conditions warrant otherwise.
afterwards. Slow-release watering devices or
automatic drip irrigation systems will improve 5.2 Typical Upright Staking Detail
survival.
M. Remove all tags, labels, strings, and wire from the
tree, unless otherwise directed.

4.4 Pruning Details for Trees


A. Pruning should be restricted to corrective pruning
only, including, but not limited to, dead/dying and/
or crossing branches.
B. Do not cut main leader.
C. Make all cuts back to a lateral branch or bud. Cuts
should be perpendicular above branch collar. See
Exterior Landscape Maintenance specification.
D. Final pruning shall be done after tree is in place.

5.0 Bracing Procedures


5.1 Tree Staking
A. The decision to stake should be made on an
individual tree basis and should not be required for
all plantings. It is recommended that all container
and root control bag trees be staked.
5.3 Tree Guying
B. Choose the correct sizes of stakes, hose, and wire
A. The decision to guy should be made on an
according to section 5.7 Tree Support Schedule.
individual tree basis and should not be required for
Staking shall be completed as soon as possible after
all plantings.
planting the tree.
B. Choose the correct sizes of stakes, hose, and wire
C. Space stakes evenly and vertically on the outside of
according to section 5.7 Tree Support Schedule.
the tree ball and drive firmly into the ground. Never
Guying shall be completed as soon as possible after
drive a stake through the rootball, as it will damage
planting the tree.
the trees root system.

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C. Cut lengths of staking hose to extend 2" past tree 5.5 Guying With Prefabricated Cable Systems
trunk when wrapped around. A. The decision to guy trees should be made on an
D. Space stakes evenly on outside of the tree saucer individual tree basis and should not be required for
and drive each firmly into the ground. Stakes shall all plantings.
be driven at a 30 angle, with the point of the stake B. Choose the correct sizes and numbers of anchors,
toward the tree. turnbuckles, and clamps and correct size of braided
wire (cable) according to section 5.7 Tree Support
E. Place the hose or nylon strapping material around
Schedule. Anchoring shall be done as soon as
the trunk, just above the lowest, stoutest branch.
possible after planting.
Interlock hoses.
C. Drive anchors into ground to manufacturers
F. Thread the wire through the hose and pull down the recommended depth at final desired angle. Do not
wire to extend 2' beyond the stake. drive anchors straight into ground.
G. Twist the wire at the rubber hose to keep it in place. D. Set each anchor by inserting drive rod through cable
Wind both ends of the wire together around the loop attached to anchor by manufacturer, pulling
stake twice and then twist wire back onto itself to cable upwards a distance slightly longer than the
secure. Cut off excess wire. The wire shall be 2" anchor body, thus rotating anchor approximately
from the top of stake. If necessary, twist wires to 90 into load lock position. Large anchors may
tighten guy. require use of a come-along, jack, or post puller.
H. The above procedures are to be followed for each Attach wire from anchor to the turnbuckle into a
stake, keeping the tree straight at all times. For best fixed position using clamps.
establishment, there should be 13" sway in the tree. E. Loop wire from top of turnbuckle through 1/2"
I. Flag the guy wires with surveyors flagging tape or hose, around tree, and back through turnbuckle into
approved equal. a fixed position using clamps. Tighten turnbuckles
to allow a 13" sway in the tree.
J. It is the owners responsibility to remove stakes,
F. Flag the guy wires with surveyors flagging tape
wire, and hose one year after planting unless
or approved equal. G. Owner should be notified
growing conditions warrant otherwise.
in writing to remove wires and hose one year after
planting unless growing conditions warrant otherwise.
5.4 Typical Tree Guying Detail
G. It is the owners responsibility to remove cables
and hose one year after planting unless growing
conditions warrant otherwise.

5.6 Typical Tree Guying With Prefabricated Cable


Systems

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5.7 Tree Support Schedule F. The shrub must remain straight during backfilling
NOTE: General guidelines are as follows. Evergreens are procedure.
more likely to require stakes or guying. Flowering/shade G. Backfill sides of the pit halfway up with soil mixture
trees not exceeding 8' shall be staked at the landscape and tamp as the pit is being filled.
contractors discretion. The landscape contractor shall be
responsible for maintaining trees in a straight, upright H. Cut and remove rope or wire off the top of the
condition throughout the warranty period. rootball. Cut and remove as much burlap, woven
products, and twine as possible. All plastic or
Tree Tree Size Stake # Wire or Turn- Hose synthetic film or twine must be removed from the
Size Caliper (in) Cable buckle rootball. Cut all twine away from trunk.
Height
68' 11" 5' 2 14-gauge - 1/2" I. Finish backfilling the sides of the shrub pit and
upright wire tamp firmly.
810' 1"2" 5' or 2 14-gauge - 1/2"
6'upright wire J. Form a saucer above the existing grade and
1012' 22" 78' 2 14-gauge - 1/2" completely around the planting pit.
upright wire
1214' 23" 2' guy 3 12-gauge - 1/2"
K. Mulch top of rootball and saucer a maximum depth
wire of 2". Keep excess mulch away from the trunk flare.
1416' 34" 2' guy 3 12-gauge - 3/4" To avoid insect/disease problems, mulch shall not
wire come in to contact with woody plant material.
1620' 46" 30" guy 3 12-gauge - 3/4"
wire L. Water shrub or shrub mass thoroughly, even if it
20' 6" Anchor 3 3/16" 3/8 x 3/4" is raining. A second watering may be necessary to
cable or as 6" ensure saturation of the rootball and elimination of
appropriate
air pockets. An alternative watering method is to
backfill half of the pit, flood the pit, and completely
backfill afterwards. Slow-release watering devices
6.0 Planting Procedures For Shrubs or automatic drip irrigation systems will improve
6.1 Planting Shrubs
survival.
A. For a single shrub, the pit shall be dug 1' wider than M. Prune out any dead or broken branches. Prune
the diameter of the rootball and deep enough to hedge as directed by landscape architect.
allow 1/8 of the rootball to set above existing grade. N. Remove all tags, labels, strings, wire, etc. from the
B. For a shrub mass planting, the entire bed area plant, unless otherwise directed.
shall be tilled 46" deep, except within the critical
root zone of existing plant material or where 6.2 Planting Bare Root Material
underground utilities are present. Tilling should A. The pit shall be only broad enough to accommodate
only be done in moist soil to avoid compaction. If the roots fully extended and only deep enough so
the soil is in clay or silt or loam, organic material that the uppermost roots will be just below the
should be added. Each shrub pit shall be excavated original grade.
for the proper setting of the rootball. (Reference:
Soils specification) B. Set the plant in the pit so that all roots, when fully
extended, will not touch the walls of the planting
C. Place the shrub in the pit by lifting and carrying it pit, and the uppermost roots are just below the
by the rootball or container. Remove containers from original grade.
all container-grown shrubs, slash the edges of the
rootball from top to bottom, at least 1" deep. The C. Spread out the roots properly and work backfill mix
slashing of roots may not be required for containers among them. Prune off broken roots in a natural
pre-treated with copper coating or plants grown in a position. Water thoroughly while backfilling.
Cellugro system or in root containment bags. D. Complete the planting operation as detailed in
D. Set the shrub straight and in the center of the pit section 6.1 Planting Shrubs.
with the most desirable side facing toward the
prominent view. 6.3 Planting Procedures for All Container-Grown
Trees and Shrubs
E. For individual shrub planting, use a backfill mixture A. Remove the plant either by cutting or inverting the
as stated in section 4.3 Backfilling Tree Pit. container.

Landscape Specification Guidelines 9 Exterior Landscape Installation


B. For untreated plastic container-grown plants with C. Spacing of plants shall be installed as noted on the
circling roots, use a sharp knife to make four or five landscape plan or contract.
1" cuts the length of the rootball.
D. The entire planting bed shall be thoroughly watered.
C. Plant shrub or tree a minimum of 1/8 of the height
E. Treat the planted bed with a pre-emergent, soil-
of the rootball above existing grade.
applied herbicide, per label instructions, unless
D. Apply no more than a 2" thick layer of approved otherwise directed by the owner or landscape
mulch. E. Plants grown in root containment bags architect. Apply the pre-emergent herbicide only
must have the bags removed during the planting when all foliage is dry to prevent foliar burn.
operation. No additional slashing of the rootball is
necessary.
8.0 Planting Procedures for Bulbs
8.1 Preparation of the Planting Bed
7.0 Planting Procedures for
A. The planting bed shall be loosened prior to planting
Ground Cover, Perennials, and by tilling when the soil is moist, except within
Annuals the critical root zone of existing plant material or
where underground utilities are present. Depth of
7.1 Preparing Ground Cover, Perennial, and Annual Beds
loosening depends on bulb species. See section 8.3
A. The planting bed shall be loosened by tilling Bulb Planting Chart.
when the soil is moist prior to planting. Soil shall
be loosened to a depth of 46"except within the B. Organic matter shall be spread over the bed to a
critical root zone of existing plant material or where depth of 2" after the soil has been loosened. The
underground utilities are present. organic matter shall then be worked into the bed by
tilling.
B. Organic matter shall be spread over the bed to a
depth of 2" after the soil has been loosened. The C. Fertilizer shall be incorporated into the soil, except
organic matter shall then be worked into the bed by when compost is used, to the planting depth of
tilling. (Reference: Soils specification) perennials and bulbs. The fertilizer rate will be based
on the results of the soil test. Annual bulbs do not
C. Fertilizer shall be top-dressed over annual bed area require fertilizer.
(except when compost is applied) based on soil test
results. In the establishment stage, liquid fertilizer D. The entire bed shall be mulched to a minimum
may be applied to annuals, as directed by owner or depth of 1", 2" maximum, with approved mulch.
landscape architect.
8.2 Planting Bulbs
D. The entire bed shall be mulched to a minimum
depth of 1", 2" maximum, with approved mulch, A. Bulbs shall be installed by one of the following
such as pine fines, pine needles, or unscreened methods:
compost. 1. The bulb-planting hole shall be dug through the
mulch with a hand trowel, bulb planter, or power
7.2 Planting Ground Cover, Perennials, and Annuals auger.
A. Before planting, biodegradable pots shall be split, 2. Excavate to the recommended planting depth. Set
and non biodegradable pots shall be removed. out the bulbs and then cover the bulbs with soil.
Root systems of all potted plants shall be split or 3. Bulbs used as a single season display may be
crumbled. planted at a lesser depth.
B. The plants, either potted or bare root, shall be B. Bulbs shall be planted so that the basal plate faces
installed so that the roots are surrounded by soil down in the planting hole.
below the mulch. Potted plants shall be set so that
C. Spacing of bulbs shall be installed as noted on the
the top of the pot is even with the existing grade.
landscape plan or contract.
The roots of bare root plants shall be covered to the
crown. D. Treat the planted bed with a pre-emergent approved
for bulbs, as per label instructions.

Landscape Specification Guidelines 10 Exterior Landscape Installation


8.3 Planting Chart
See chart below.

8.4 Bulbs, Perennials, Tubers, Corns, Rhizomes

9.0 Mechanical Tree Planting


9.1 General Conditions
A. Mechanical tree planters may be used for
transplanting trees and other large plants whenever
practical.

9.2 Selecting Size of Mechanical Digger


A. Determine the size of the plant to be moved.
B. Use caliper inch as per ANLA standards to measure
all trees.
C. The size of mechanical digger used will be based on
trunk diameter, species, time of year, and condition
of tree and site factors. Ref: ANLA ANSI-Z60.1-2004

D. Use the mechanical digger that will give a root F. During the active growing season, a larger rootball is
equivalent to 9" or 10" of soil per inch of trunk recommended to reduce transplanting shock.
diameter. Example: A 4" caliper tree should be dug
with 36" or 40" tree spade to ensure proper root area 9.3 Equipment
during transplanting. For trees, this rule of thumb
A. Mechanical diggers shall be in good condition to
is generally used up to 10" caliper. Larger trees
ensure a successful transplant.
are generally dug with a backhoe, burlapped, and
moved with a crane. B. All blades shall be aligned, free of damage, and
sharpened on a regular basis.
E. Balled and burlapped specifications: Ball sizes
should always be of a diameter and depth sufficient C. The hydraulic system shall be leak-free to avoid
to encompass enough of the fibrous and feeding damage to plants and property.
root system as necessary for the full recovery of the
plant. It is recognized that balling of nursery grown 9.4 Procedure
stock can be accomplished by hand digging or by A. It is recommended that field-grown stock be root-
using mechanical devices especially designed for pruned 6 to 12 months before removal from the
nursery conditions. The use of digging machines is nursery.
an acceptable nursery practice. See chart below for
root ball sizes. B. Before digging the tree, skim off any weeds and
excess topsoil from the ball. Avoid damaging any

Reprinted by permission from Landscape Designer & Estimators Guide. (Revised Edition) written by National Landscape Association

Landscape Specification Guidelines 11 Exterior Landscape Installation


roots or trunk. Match the size of the rootball to the Support Schedule and section 9.5 Mechanical
hole excavated for transplanting. Tree Planting Detail on Level Grade.
C. Digging 6. Remove all string, tags, and seals, and prune any
broken branches, unless otherwise directed.
1. Prepare tree for digging:
7. Thoroughly water tree.
a. Tie branches up or down to allow good access
to the tree by the mechanical spade. 8. It is the owners responsibility to remove stakes,
wire, and hose one year after planting, unless
b. Prune only those branches interfering with
growing conditions warrant otherwise.
the digging process.
c. Prepare and protect site as directed by the 9.5 Mechanical Tree Planting Detail on Level Grade
owner or landscape architect.
2. For digging trees on existing slopes, refer to
section 9.7 Mechanical Tree Planting Detail for
Sloped Areas.
3. Drop spades one at a time, alternating from one
side to the other, to ensure even penetration and
clean root cutting. Water injection is helpful
at this point, if available on the machine.
Presoaking the area 24 to 48 hours prior to
digging is recommended.
4. After lifting the tree from the hole, using
sharpened hand tools, cut any roots protruding
from the spades.
5. If the tree is moved off site, it must be tarped to
prevent water loss from leaves and stems.
6. Remove any loose debris and, if possible, tarp
bottom of rootball before transporting.
D. Setting 9.6 Details on Transplanting Trees From Sloped Areas
1. Scarify sides of the hole to remove glazing. Plant to Level Areas Using a Mechanical Tree Spade
tree into hole dug by tree spade at the same Operator shall inspect the degree of slope where the tree
elevation as the trees original grade. Up to 1/8 of is growing before digging the cavity.
the rootball can be higher than the trees original
grade but never deeper. Level and adjust tree to
straighten it as blades are being removed.
2. Should voids exist between the hole and the
rootball, fill with good grade of topsoil or clean
existing soil.
3. Use a long, slender tool (e.g., shovel handle,
digging bar) to pack excess soil tightly around
the edge of the rootball and create a saucer
around the tree as if hand planting.
4. Shave certain areas of the rootball, if necessary,
in slope situations. Use extreme caution to
minimize root disruption. Refer to section 9.7
Mechanical Tree Planting Detail for Sloped
Areas.
5. Staking and mulching procedures shall follow
those for B&B trees. See section 5.7 Tree

Landscape Specification Guidelines 12 Exterior Landscape Installation


9.7 Mechanical Tree Planting Detail for Sloped Areas 10.4 Products
A. Filter fabric (i.e., soil separator) and drainage board
are used in the bottom of the container to prevent
soil from plugging drainage and/or weep holes.
B. Unless otherwise specified by the owner/owners
representative, topsoil shall be sandy loam in
texture, with a mechanical analysis of 5060%
sand, 1525% silt, and 1015% clay. The soil must
be homogeneous throughout to ensure adequate
drainage. C. Organic matter shall be composted
pine bark, mature compost, or approved product.
Organic material added to the topsoil must be
uniformly mixed throughout the entire soil profile.
D. The contractor should perform soil testing
before the soil mix is installed into the planter to
correct any nutrient deficiencies or perform any pH
adjustment that may be necessary. The landscape
architect should be on site to review all stages of
planting in above structures and in raised planters.

10.5 Procedure
10.0 Planting Above Structure
A. Drainage
And In Raised Planters
1. Install drainage material in all planting areas over
10.1 Scope of Work structure, as per plan. Areas to be planted must
A. Furnish all labor, materials, tools, equipment, and be clean of extraneous material and debris. Do
services necessary to complete the following for on- not damage planter waterproofing or protection
structure planters as specified on drawings. board. Ensure that planter drains are operable
and free of debris. The landscape architect may
1. Installation of all drainage material.
review the installation of the drainage systems
2. Installation of planter soil mix.
prior to placing any backfill mixes.
3. Installation of plant materials.
2. Install filter fabric or drainage board along
B. The landscape contractor shall be familiar with the
planter bottoms. Make sure filter fabric or
project premises and how the existing conditions
drainage board does not slip during the backfill
will affect his/her work.
installation.
10.2 Related Work B. Soil placement
Soils (See Previous Section) 1. Place soil in 12" layers and lightly tamp to
1.0 General Conditions eliminate air pockets and minimize settling. Care
2.0 Plant Materials should be taken when placing soil so as to not
3.0 Products compact and restrict drainage. Due to anticipated
4.0 Planting Procedures For Trees settling, soil fill may exceed final grade.
5.0 Bracing Procedures
6.0 Planting Procedures For Shrubs Prior to planting, the landscape contractor shall
7.0 Planting Procedures For Ground Cover, re-grade and repair any areas that settle or are
Perennials, And Annuals uneven.
8.0 Planting Procedures For Bulbs C. Planting operations: See sections 2.0 through 8.0 for
10.3 Testing planting materials and procedures.
The landscape contractor shall test all planters for D. Bracing operations: See section 5.4 for selection
positive drainage after all waterproofing and protection of bracing techniques. In some cases, galvanized
board is installed, but prior to installation of drainage steel eyebolts can be imbedded into the sides of the
material. planter to allow the connection of guy wires.

Landscape Specification Guidelines 13 Exterior Landscape Installation


11.0 Green Roofs 30% (volume)
Ref: Maryland Department of the Environment 2.5%
2000 Maryland Stormwater Design Manual, Volume 315% (dry wt.)
II Stormwater Design Appendices, Appendix B.4 6.58.0
6 mmhos/cm
Construction Specifications for Environmental Site
10 meq/100 g
Design Practices, Section B.4.A Green Roof Specifications
0.05 in/min
www.mde.maryland.gov/programs/water/ 0.30 in/min
stormwatermanagementprogram/soilerosi Mineral Fraction Grain Size Distribution
onandsedimentcontrol/documents/md%20swm%20 (ASTM D422):
volume%202.pdf Single Media Dual Media
Clay Fraction (2 micron) 0 % Passing #200
www.mde.maryland.gov/programs/water/
Sieve 5% 5 5%
stormwatermanagementprogram/soilerosi on % Passing # 60 Sieve 10% 1025%
andsedimentcontrol/documents/md swm volume 2.pdf % Passing #18 Sieve 550% 2050%
% Passing inch Sieve 2070% 5590%
B.4.A Green Roof Specifications % Passing inch Sieve 75100% 90100%
1. Material Specifications Appendix B.4. Construction Specifications
Because there is significant variation in green roof for Environmental Site Design Practices
assemblies and methods, providing comprehensive Supp. 1 B.4.2
specifications is not feasible. Material specifications
3. Green Roof Layers
for green roofs will vary based on each roofing
Root barriersshould be thermoplastic
system, and specific information should be obtained
membranes with minimum thickness of 30 mils.
from the appropriate manufacturer or retailer.
The following information and specifications, Membranes certified for use as root barriers are
which include acceptable materials for generic recommended. However, only FLL currently
applications, are not exclusive or limiting. offers a recognized certification test. Many FLL-
certified materials are locally available.
2. Planting Media
Planting media should be a soil-like mixture Granular drainage mediashould be a non-
with an organic content of 15% or less. The carbonate mineral aggregate meeting the following
grain size distribution is necessary for attaining specifications:
proper moisture content, permeability, nutrient Saturated Hydraulic Conductivity 25
management, non-capillary porosity, and soil inches/minute
structure. Grain size guidelines vary for single and Total Organic Matter (by wet combustion) 1%
dual media green roof assemblies. Abrasion Resistance (ASTM C131-96) 25% loss
Soundness (ASTM C88 or T103 or T103-91)
The planting media shall be tested and meet the 5% loss
following criteria: Porosity (ASTM C29) 25%
Alkalinity, CaCO3 equivalents (MSA) 1%
Non-Capillary Pore Space at Field Capacity, 0.333 Grain Size Distribution (ASTM C136)
bar TMECC 03.01, A) Percent Passing #18 Sieve 1%
Moisture Content at Field Capacity Percent Passing inch Sieve 30%
(TMECC 03.01, A) Percent Passing 3/8 inch Sieve 80%
Maximum Media Water Retention (FLL)
Alkalinity, CaCO3 equivalents (MSA) Separation fabricshould be a lightweight, non-
Total Organic Matter by Wet Combustion (MSA) woven geotextile that is easily penetrated by roots,
pH (RCSTP) while providing a durable separation between
Soluble Salts (DTPA saturated media extraction drainage and growth media layers.
RCSTP) Separation fabrics should meet the following:
Cation Exchange Capacity (MSA) Unit Weight (ASTM D3776) 4.25 ounces per
Saturated Hydraulic Conductivity (FLL): square yard
Single Media Assemblies Grab Tensile Strength (ASTM D4632) 90lbs.
Dual Media Assemblies Mullen Burst Strength (ASTM D4632)
15% (volume) 135lbs/inch
12% (volume) Permittivity (ASTM D4491) 2 sec-1

Landscape Specification Guidelines 14 Exterior Landscape Installation


Landscape
Specification
Guidelines 6th edition

Exterior Landscape Maintenance


1.0 General Conditions Keep records of fertilizer applications:
Date
1.1 Scope of Work Location
A. The landscape contractor shall provide all materials, Rate (e.g., 4 lb/1000 ft2)
labor, and equipment required to complete all Total amount used
landscape maintenance work as specified in the Analysis of fertilizer
contract.
Do not apply fertilizer to impervious surfaces.
B. The landscape contractor shall be familiar with the
project premises and how the existing conditions Nitrogen Limits
will affect his/her work. No more that 0.7 lb/1000 ft2 of soluble nitrogen may be
applied in any one application.
1.2 Standards
A. All landscape maintenance services shall be No more than 0.9 lb/1000 ft2 total nitrogen may be
performed by trained personnel using current and applied in any single application, unless you are using an
acceptable horticultural practices. enhanced efficiency fertilizer.

B. All operators of power equipment shall conform to


Enhanced Efficiency Fertilizer
OSHA regulations.
Defined as not having a release rate of more than
C. All work shall be performed in a manner that 0.7lb/1000 ft2 per month of nitrogen.
maintains the original integrity of the landscape
design. If using enhanced efficiency fertilizer, keep
manufacturers documentation of release rate. May not
D. All chemical applications shall be performed in
be applied after November 15. May not apply more than
accordance with current county, state, and federal
2.5 lbs/1000 ft2 of nitrogen using an enhanced efficiency
laws, utilizing EPA registered materials and methods
fertilizer. May not apply more than 80% of annual
of application. These applications shall be performed
recommended rate for nitrogen.
under the supervision of a licensed certified pesticide
applicator. For turfgrass fertilizer applications
in Maryland, there is a Nutrient Management Phosphorus
Certification required. All fertilizer applications Organic Turf Fertilizer:
made to turf must be made under the certified May not contain more than 5% P2O5.
individuals supervision. Selection of chemicals May not have an application rate greater than 0.25
shall be in accordance with the following current lb/1000 ft2 of P205 per application or 0.5 pound/1000
University Extension Publications: ft2/year.

May not be used if soil test phosphorus level is optimum


In Maryland:
or excessive.
Maryland Fertilizer Use Act of 2011 For Professional
Fertilizer Applicators Timing Restrictions

Certification
No application of N or P2O5 to turf before March 1 or
after November 15, except that between November 15
Beginning October 1, 2013, anyone who applies fertilizer and December 1, pound of soluble N may be applied.
to turf as part of his or her job must be certified, or work No application of N or P2O5 when the ground is frozen.
under the direct supervision of someone who is certified. Lime, K, and other nutrients are not regulated.

General Requirements
Setbacks
Take soil test using an approved lab, initially and then No application of N or P205 within 15 feet of water.
every three years thereafter.
If using a drop spreader, rotary spreader with deflector
Follow the recommendations of UMD Extension: shield, or targeted spray, the setback may be reduced to
TT115 for turf maintenance; TT-116 for seeding; or 10 feet.
TT118 for golf courses.

Landscape Specification Guidelines 1 Exterior Landscape Maintenance


Additional Information: 1.4 Soil Testing
Landscape IPM Guidelines for Integrated Pest Refer to the Soils specification, section 1.7 (Soil Testing).
Management, Bulletin 350.
Total Crop Management of Herbaceous 1.5 Workmanship
Perennials, Bulletin 359.
A. During landscape maintenance operations, all
Lawns and the Chesapeake Bay, Fact sheet 702.
areas shall be kept neat and clean. Precautions shall
Fertilizing Landscape Trees and Shrubs, Fact sheet
be taken to avoid damage to existing structures
HG 23.
and plant material. All work shall be performed
Fact sheets (printed and electronic) on specific
in a manner that ensures the safety of operators,
insects, mites, and disease control.
occupants, and any pedestrians.
Fact sheets (printed and electronic) on turf disease
and weed control. B. All fertilizers remaining on paved surfaces must be
Other updated University of Maryland Extension removed.
printed and electronically published literature:
C. Upon completion of maintenance operations,
Nursery News, Green Industry News, Agronomy
all debris and waste material shall be cleaned up
Please visit www.mda.maryland.gov/fertilizer to and removed from the site, unless provisions have
download the Nutrient Management Manual for been granted by the owner to utilize onsite trash
turfgrass fertilizer applications. receptacles or to compost on site.
D. Any damage to the landscape, the structure, the
In Virginia: irrigation, and/or electrical systems caused by the
Pest Management Guide, Horticulture and Forest Crops landscape contractor shall be repaired by the landscape
Bulletin 456-017 contractor without charge to the owner.

Electronic pest management guides can be accessed at 1.6 Warranty


http://www.ext.VT.edu/pubs/pmg/
The landscape contractor shall make every effort to
Fertilizer regulations can be accessed at www.dcr. maintain the health and growth of all plant material and
virginia.gov/stormwater_management/nutmgt.shtml turf. The landscape contractor shall not be responsible
to guarantee the plant material or turf, except when
In D.C.: that landscape contractor was obviously negligent in the
The District of Columbia does not have any fertilizer performance of his/her work as outlined in the contract.
regulations.
All organic gardening shall not use synthetic chemical 2.0 Products
pesticides or synthetic fertilizers. Pesticides, fertilizers, lime, and other such products used
in landscape maintenance operations shall be selected
All companies using IPM shall have regular monitoring
based on the most current information provided by
and tracking of pest populations as a central part of their
the University of Maryland or Virginia Polytechnical
program. Alternative methods to broad spectrum pesticide
Institute (VPI) and currently labeled by the EPA for its
applications such as biological releases or selection of
proposed use.
pest resistant plant material will be used where practical.
Selective biorational and botanical insecticides will be
used in controlling pest populations when possible. 3.0 Turf
3.1 Mowing and Cleanup
1.3 Approvals A. Prior to each mowing, all trash, sticks, and other
A. Any work performed in addition to that outlined unwanted debris shall be removed from lawns and
in the contract shall only be done upon written all areas to be mowed.
approval by the owner or the owners representative. B. Cool season grasses, including blue grass, tall
B. All seasonal color selections, if not originally fescue, perennial ryegrass, and others, shall be
specified by the landscape architect, shall be maintained at a height of 3" to 4" throughout
approved by the owner or the owners representative the growing season.
prior to ordering and installation. C. It is not recommended to mow during extremely dry
or wet conditions. During the mowing season, all

Landscape Specification Guidelines 2 Exterior Landscape Maintenance


lawn areas shall be mowed every 7 to 10 days or as 2. A post-emergent (foliar-applied) herbicide shall
weather conditions dictate. This is best determined be applied, if necessary, around mid-May to
by blade growth, as only 1/3 of the blade should be help prevent the growth of broadleaf weeds. A
removed at any one cutting. Caution shall be used second application may be applied, if necessary,
to avoid any flying debris. Safety glasses and ear in late September to early October to help
protection shall be worn during this operation. control fall weeds.
D. The mowing operation includes trimming around 3. A non-selective pre- or post-emergent (soil- or
all obstacles, removing excess grass clippings, and foliar-applied) herbicide shall be applied, only
removing debris from walks, curbs, and parking areas. when necessary, to walks, curbs, and other paved
areas to help control the growth of weeds.
CAUTION: String trimmers shall NOT come in
contact with the bark of the tree. 4. Selection and proper use of herbicides shall be
the landscape contractors responsibility. All
E. When possible, on all maintained lawns, mulching chemical applications shall be performed under
mowers should be used. the supervision of a licensed certified pesticide
applicator. Read the label prior to applying any
3.2 Edging chemical.
Edging of all sidewalks, curbs and other paved areas B. Non-Chemical Alternatives to Herbicides
should be performed once every other mowing. Debris 1. Perennial weeds: The creeping-type of weedy
from the edging operations shall be removed and the grasses such as Bermudagrass, Roughstalk
areas swept or blown clean. Caution shall be used to Bluegrass, Nimblewill, and Quackgrass cannot
avoid any flying debris. Safety glasses and ear protection be successfully removed by digging unless they
shall be worn during this operation. exist in very small, isolated patches. Because
bunchgrasses have few, if any, stolons or rhizomes,
3.3 Fertilization they can be controlled effectively by digging. Using
a spade or shovel, cut around clumps of weed
Operating in Maryland
grasses. The cut should be outside of all plant parts
Nutrient management laws passed by the Maryland and at least 2" deep. When digging small patches
Legislature in 1998 require that University of Maryland of creeping-type grasses, the outside edge should be
nutrient management guidelines are followed on 612" outside plant parts and at least 6" deep.
commercially managed turfgrass sites larger than 3 acres.
3.5 Insect and Disease Control
Fertilizer regulations can be accessed at www.mda.
maryland.gov/fertilizer A. The contractor shall be responsible for monitoring
the site conditions on each visit to determine if any
Operating in Virginia insect pest or disease problems exist. The contractor
shall identify the insect pest or disease, as well as
Fertilizer regulations can be accessed at www.dcr.
the host plant, and then consult the most current
virginia.gov/stormwater_management/nutmgt.shtml
edition of the University Extension Services Pest
Management Recommendations for Turf for
Operating in District of Columbia control. The certified pesticide applicator shall be
Presently, the District of Columbia does not have familiar with the label provided for the selected
nutrient management laws, but it is still environmentally product prior to application.
responsible to follow the guidelines used in Maryland or
Virginia. 3.6 Irrigation
Refer to the specification on Irrigation, section 1.15
3.4 Lawn Weed Control (Maintenance).
A. Chemical
3.7 Renovation
1. Based on the previous years performance, a pre- All turf renovation shall be considered an extra to the
emergent (soil-applied) herbicide may be applied, contract. Renovations may include disking, tilling,
consistent with soil temperature requirements for aerating, and/or topdressing. If required, this work
the product being used and the state law, to help shall be performed in accordance with the most current
control the germination of crabgrass and other industry standards. Information about lawn renovation
annual weed seeds. can be accessed at www.ipmnet.umd.edu.

Landscape Specification Guidelines 3 Exterior Landscape Maintenance


4.0 Trees, Shrubs, Herbaceous 2. Prune those that flower in summer or autumn in
winter or spring before new growth begins, since
Perennials, and Ground Cover these plants develop flowers on new growth.
4.1 Pruning 3. Hollies and other evergreens may be pruned
A. Please refer to the following for laws governing each during winter so their branches can be used for
jurisdiction: seasonal decoration. However, severe pruning of
www.dnr.state.md.us evergreens should be done in early spring only.
www.ddot.dc.gov 4. Broadleaf evergreen shrubs would best be hand-
www.dof.virginia.gov pruned to maintain their natural appearance.
www.fairfaxcounty.gov
5. Hedges or shrubs that require shearing to
B. All ornamental trees, shrubs, and ground cover maintain a formal appearance shall be pruned
shall be pruned when appropriate to remove dead or as required. Dead wood shall be removed from
damaged branches, maintain the natural form of the sheared plants before the first shearing of the
plant, and create the effect intended by the landscape season. See diagram below.
architect or designer. Except for desired hedges, or to
conform to design intent, all pruning and thinning of
plants shall be done to retain their natural shapes. If
previous maintenance practice has been to shear and
ball, then a natural shape will be restored gradually.
See diagram.

Plant Shapes

6. Conifers shall be pruned, if required, according


to their genus.
a. Conifers should never be pruned to bare wood.
b. Yews, junipers, hemlocks, arborvitae, firs,
spruces, and false-cypress may be pruned any
time of the year. If severe pruning is necessary,
it must be done in early spring.
c. Pines may be pruned within five weeks
following total candle elongation by reducing
the candle length. See diagram below.
7. Ground cover shall be edged and pruned as
needed to contain them within their borders.
8. Thinning: Remove undesirable branches and
water sprouts and suckers by cutting them back
to their point of origin on parent stems. This
method results in a more open plant, without
stimulating excessive growth. Thinning is used
on crape myrtle, lilacs, Viburnums, Smokebush,
and others. See diagram below.

C. Pruning Guidelines
1. Prune those that flower before the end of June
immediately after flowering. Flower buds develop
during the previous growing season. Fall, winter,
or spring pruning would reduce the spring
flowering display.

Landscape Specification Guidelines 4 Exterior Landscape Maintenance


9. Renewal pruning: Remove oldest branches of The technical data sheet or label on the fertilizer
shrub at ground, leaving the younger, more should show that a minimum of 50% of the
vigorous branches. Also remove weak stems. nitrogen source is water insoluble (WIN) and the
On overgrown plants, this method may best be salt index is less than 50.
done over a three-year period. Renewal pruning
may be used on Abelia, forsythia, deutzia, Slow-release fertilizers should be applied at a rate
Mockorange, Spiraea, and others. See diagram between 1 and 3 lbs of actual nitrogen per 1000 sq.
below. Some plants, like Smokebush, Vitex, ft. per application and shall not exceed 3 pounds
Abelia, and Buddleia, may be cut down close to of actual nitrogen per 1000 sq. ft. annually. Quick-
the ground in late winter and will regenerate. release fertilizer should only be used when the
objectives of fertilization cannot be met with slow-
D. Plants overhanging passageways and parking areas release fertilizer. Rates are between 1 and 3 lbs of
shall be pruned as needed. actual nitrogen per 1000 sq. ft. per application and
E. Shade trees that cannot be adequately pruned from shall not exceed 3 lbs of actual nitrogen per 1000 sq.
the ground shall not be included in the Maintenance ft. annually. A soil test shall determine if phosphorus
Contract. This type of work shall be performed by a and potassium are required. In Maryland, a soil test
Maryland Tree Expert under a separate contract. is required to be done every three (3) years for turf
and landscape beds. Follow the guidelines for other
F. For more detailed information regarding the jurisdictions.
pruning of specific plants, refer to www.ipmnet.
umd.edu. B. Fertilization area
The fertilization area shall be defined prior to
4.2 Cleanup
application. Consideration shall be given to root
Plant beds shall receive a general cleanup before accessibility, root location, fertilization objectives,
fertilizing and mulching. Cleanup includes: and plant species. The area to be fertilized for shrubs
shall be the area under the drip line of the plant.
A. Removing debris and trash from beds.
For trees, an area 1.5 times the drip line area can be
B. Cutting back herbaceous perennials left standing fertilized. Inaccessible surfaces shall not be included
through winter (e.g., ornamental grasses, Sedum in the rate of application. Overlapping fertilization
Autumn Joy). Established beds may require dividing areas shall be calculated once.
and thinning. See section on perennials.
C. Fertilizer guidelines for fertilization of trees, shrubs,
C. Thoroughly weed area by manually removing and ground covers
all weeds, chemically treating all weeds, or a
combination of the two. 1. Trees. The fertilization of trees should be based
on plant age, vigor, and maintenance program.
D. Cultivate existing mulch and/or remove excess soil Young trees that are producing 12" or more of
and/or mulch to expose the root flare and so that new growth per year have an adequate supply
when new mulch is applied, there is no more than a of nutrients. This is especially true if the trees
total depth of 2" of mulch. are growing in a well-fertilized lawn or garden
E. Edge previously mulched beds to create a 90-degree area. The soil around young trees that are
edge with a depth of 2" to 3", and remove resulting producing less than 12" of new growth per year
debris. Single tree plantings in turf shall have should be tested and fertilized according to
the trunk of the tree located in the center of the recommendations. Generally, the application of 2
mulched area (tree ring). to 3 lbs of a complete 50% organic fertilizer per
inch caliper is recommended for both deciduous
F. If necessary or specified, a pre-emergent herbicide and evergreen species. The fertilizer is best
may be applied to the soil to inhibit the growth applied by drilling 1" to 2" diameter holes drilled
of future annual or biennial weeds. Organically 8" to 10" deep at 2' to 3' intervals starting near
maintained gardens shall not receive any pre- the edge of the original root ball and extending
emergent herbicides. 1/3 the distance beyond the drip line. One should
avoid top-dressing shade trees by applying an
4.3 Fertilizing excess amount of nitrogen on turf growing under
A. Fertilizer selection the shade of trees.
Slow-release fertilizer should be the preferred type. The fertilization of mature trees should be limited

Landscape Specification Guidelines 5 Exterior Landscape Maintenance


to maintaining vigor and color. If mature trees fertilization area. Holes should be 1"2" in
have good color and are producing a minimum of diameter, spaced 12"36" apart and 4"8" deep.
8" to 10" of new growth, they have an apparent The fertilizer should be evenly distributed among
adequate supply of nutrients available. Many the holes. The fertilizer should not be closer than
species of mature trees generally respond well to 2" to the soil surface.
fertilizing or vertical mulching at 4- to 6-year
intervals. The fertilization rate for mature shade For subsurface liquid fertilizer injection, the
trees is 3 to 4 lbs of a complete 50% organic injection sites shall be evenly distributed within
fertilizer per inch diameter at breast height the fertilization area. For liquid injection systems,
(DBH), starting at half the distance between the the pressure should not exceed 200 lbs per square
drip line and the trunk of the tree and extending inch. Fertilizer should be evenly distributed
1/2 the distance beyond the drip line. The 1" to between holes.
2" diameter holes should be 8" to 10" deep and at
Foliar applications, injections, or fertilizer
2' to 3' intervals. When vertical mulching, drill
implants shall only be used when soil application
3" diameter holes 10" to 12" deep at 2' intervals
of fertilizer is impractical or ineffective in
and fill the holes with screened compost.
achieving fertilization objectives.
2. Calculation of area for fertilizer application.
5. Shrubs should only be fertilized when they lack
Example:
good color and/or are not growing properly. Yearly
A crabapple with a 20-ft branch spread will fertilizing of shrubs results in excessive growth
receive fertilizer. The area of a circle is calculated of many species, resulting in increase need for
as r2. Using 3.14 as the value of and having a pruning to maintain size and shape. Fertilizer
radius (r) of 10 ft., the area of this circle would be needs should be based on soil test results and
= 3.14 x 102 = 314 sq.ft. cultural practices. Excessive use of mulch or
repeated application of hardwood bark mulches
If the tree is to receive 2 lbs of actual N/1000 sq. can create nutrient deficiency symptoms by
ft. then, applying fertilizers. If the shrubs appear to have
2 lbs of actual N/1000 sq. ft. = x lbs of N normal growth and color, they are best left alone.
1000 sq. ft.
314 sq ft. x 1000 = 2 x 314 6. Ground covers: Newly planted ground covers
x 1000 = 628 often benefit from being fertilized with a 50%
organic complete fertilizer at the rate of 2 to 3
x 1000 = 628 lbs. of fertilizer per 100 sq. ft. during the first
1000 1000 two to three years following establishment,
especially if the soil was not properly prepared.
x = .628 actual N/1000 sq ft. is applied to 314 sq. ft. Once the ground covers are well-established,
yearly applications of fertilizer can create
3. Application rate of fertilizer per tree status:
conditions for invasion by disease-causing
Status Rate/Year organisms. The need to apply fertilizers to
Newly planted 01 lb N/1000 ft2/year established ground covers should be based on
Established plants 24 lb N/1000 ft2/year color, vigor, and soil test results.
Mature trees 1 lb N/1000 ft2/year
4.4 Mulching
4. Fertilizer Application Methods The use of mulch should be limited to a maximum total
For surface application, all fertilizer shall be depth no greater than 2" and applied only where the
uniformly distributed within the defined area of existing mulch has been either cultivated into the soil or
fertilization. Surface application shall not be removed. Only composted hardwood bark mulch, pure
made where surface runoff is likely to occur. pine bark mulch, composted mix pine bark mulch, or
Where turf or ground cover exists, subsurface unscreened compost shall be used in beds containing
fertilization should be the preferred method of shallow rooted woody species, herbaceous perennials,
fertilization. or annuals. The use of shredded wood, wood chips,
and colored shredded wood waste should be limited
For subsurface dry fertilization holes, they to uses such as around well-established deep-rooted
shall be evenly spaced within the defined species, walkways, or play areas. Repeated applications

Landscape Specification Guidelines 6 Exterior Landscape Maintenance


of double-shredded hardwood bark mulch should be If the contractor notes an especially insect- or disease-
minimized in order to avoid the accumulation of toxic prone plant species in the landscape, he or she will suggest
manganese in soils. replacement with a more pest-resistant cultivar or species
that is consistent with the intent of the landscape design.
If annual or biennial weeds are the primary reason
for mulching, they are best controlled with the use of NOTE: For identifying plant-damaging insects and
pre-emergent herbicides applied before the weed seeds mites, a reference textbook that can be utilized is
germinate or with the use of post-emergent herbicide Insects That Feed on Trees & Shrubs, by Johnson &
applied with a wick applicator or by spray applied to the Lyon, Cornell University Press. For plant pathogenic
foliage of the growing weeds. If there are perennial weeds diseases, three references are suggested: Scouting &
that exist, physically remove or spot treat chemically Controlling Woody Ornamental Diseases in Landscapes
with an herbicide before mulching or else they will grow and Nurseries, authored by Gary Moorman, published
through the pre-emergent barrier. by Penn State College of Agriculture; Diseases of Trees
and Shrubs by Sinclair, Lyon, and Johnson, published by
Special care shall be taken in the mulching operation Cornell University Press; and Total Plant Management
not to over mulch or cover the base of trees and shrubs. for Herbaceous Perennials, a joint effort of the University
of Maryland, Virginia Tech, and Cornell University and
4.5 Weeding their specialists in various environmental fields. This
A. All beds shall be weeded on a continual basis publication is available at www.ipmnet.umd.edu.
throughout the growing season to maintain a neat
appearance at all times. 4.7 Trash Removal

B. Pre and post-emergent (foliar applied) herbicides The landscape contractor shall remove trash from all
shall be used where and when applicable and in shrub and ground cover beds with each visit. All trash
accordance with the products label. shall be removed from turf areas prior to mowing.

4.6 Insect and Disease Control 4.8 Leaf Removal


The landscape contractor shall be responsible for Fallen leaves shall be mulched or removed from
monitoring the landscape site on a regular basis. The maintained areas on a contractual basis. If requested
monitoring frequency shall be determined by joint by the owner, supplemental leaf removals shall be
consensus between the customer and contractor. Trained performed by the landscape contractor at an additional
personnel shall monitor for plant damaging insect cost to the owner.
activity, plant pathogenic diseases, and potential cultural
problems in the landscape. The pest or cultural problem 4.9 Watering
will be identified under the supervision of the contractor.
A. If an irrigation system exists, the landscape contractor
Monitor for weeds throughout the season, especially for
shall be responsible for monitoring its effectiveness
invasive species. If any invasive species are found, take
and reporting any problems to the owner.
immediate action to remove.
B. The landscape contractor shall not be responsible for
For plant damaging insects and mites identified in the any hand-watering of the trees, shrubs, or ground
landscape, the contractor shall consult and follow the cover, except where feasible and at an additional cost
recommendations of the most current edition of the state to the owner.
University Extension publications on insect and disease
control on landscape plant material. (Refer to section 1.2 C. In drought years, it is advisable for contractors to
of this specification.) recommend watering to prevent damaging stress to
landscape plants.
Plant pathogenic disease problems identified by the
contractor that can be resolved by pruning or physical 4.10 Espaliers
removal of damaged plant parts will be performed as Espaliers may be formal or informal. Wires may be run
part of the contract. For an additional charge, plant horizontally across the structure, and branches may be
pathogenic diseases can be resolved through properly attached to the wires or individually to masonry nails,
timed applications of fungicides when the customer screw eyes, or similar hardware. See diagram below.
authorizes. Fungicides are effective when applied before
the symptoms are present on the plant and are applied A. Attach tie, covered wire, tape, or treated string to
on a preventative basis. masonry nail, wire, or screw eye.

Landscape Specification Guidelines 7 Exterior Landscape Maintenance


B. Tie open end around stem. Do not make tight. The installation of perennials, annuals, and bulbs, unless
Leave room for stem to grow in diameter so it does specified herein, shall be performed by the landscape
not become girdled. contractor at an additional cost to the owner.
C. Prune so that branches protrude no more than Refer to the specification on Exterior Landscape
1218" from side of structure. Selectively prune Installation, sections 7.0 Planting Procedures for Ground
branches to maintain desired shape. Cover, Perennials, and Annuals and 8.0 Planting
D. Check ties annually. Procedures for Bulbs

5.2 Seasonal Color Maintenance


A. Perennialization of bulbs
1. After flowering, cut off spent flower heads.
2. Allow leaves of daffodils and hyacinths to remain
for a minimum of six weeks after flowers have
faded. Cut off at base.
3. Allow leaves of other bulbs to yellow naturally
and then cut off at the base.
B. Flower Rotations
1. Bulbs: Remove the entire plant and bulb
after flowers have faded, or at the direction
4.11 Vines of the owner. Install new bulbs if included in
Vines usually have an indeterminate habit of growth. contract. See section 8.3 Planting Chart in the
Most need to be restrained or restricted. specification on Exterior Landscape Installation.

A. Prune vines away from windows, doorways, and 2. Annuals


other openings. a. Dead heading: Pinch and remove dead flowers
B. Restrict vigorous vines from clambering over other on annuals as necessary.
plants (e.g., wisteria, trumpet vine, Boston ivy, sweet b. Fertilizing: Perform a soil test every three
autumn clematis). Some vines can be permitted years. If phosphorus is optimal then apply a
access to other plants (e.g., clematis x Jackmanii). slow-release fertilizer with a 1-0-1 analysis,
such as a 20-0-20.
C. Prune to maintain integrity of design. Do not
permit vines to escape through the landscape. c. Removal: If fall plants are to be installed,
Understand the vines growth habit. summer annuals shall be removed in early fall
when fall plants are available for installation. If
4.12 Miscellaneous not, summer annuals shall be left in the ground
The following items shall be done one year after installation, until the first killing frost and then removed,
if appropriate, at an additional cost to the owner. unless otherwise directed by the owner.
C. Perennials
A. It is the owners responsibility to remove stakes,
wire, and hose one year after planting unless 1. Following the first growing season:
growing conditions warrant otherwise. a. Fertilize perennials with a slow-release
B. Remove excess soil from soil rings. fertilizer or any 50% organic fertilizer; or
mulch perennials with compost 1" deep.
C. All dead or unhealthy plant material out of warranty
shall be replaced upon the approval of plant b. Cut all deciduous perennials flush to the ground
selection and price by the owner. by March 1 (if this was not done the previous
fall) to allow new growth to develop freely.
c. Mulch the perennial bed once in early spring
5.0 Seasonal Color: Annuals and at a 1/2"1" depth. If soil is bare in late fall, re-
Bulbs mulch lightly after ground is frozen to protect
5.1 Seasonal Color Installation
perennials.

Landscape Specification Guidelines 8 Exterior Landscape Maintenance


d. Inspect for insect or disease problems on
perennials. Monitor and control slugs on
Hostas and Ligularias. Powdery mildew on
Phlox, Monardas and Asters can be prevented
with properly timed fungicides or use of
disease resistant varieties.
e. Weed perennial bed as specified in 4.5
Weeding in this section.
f. Prune branching species to increase density.
Cut only the flowering stems after blooming.
DO NOT REMOVE THE FOLIAGE.
2. The following fall cut back deteriorating plant
parts unless instructed to retain for winter interest,
e.g. Sedum Autumn Joy, ornamental grasses.
3. Long-term care:
a. Perennials will be divided when the center
of the plant begins to die out or when plants
display less vigor or flowering. Plants will be
dug with a spading fork and divided by hand,
nursery spade, or a sharp knife. Strongest
divisions will be kept for replanting. Divisions
will be large enough to make a good display
for the following season.
Divide plants that overcrowd the space
provided. Divide according to the species.
Some need frequent dividing (e.g., Asters and
Yarrow every two years), others rarely, if ever
(e.g., Peonies, Hostas, Astilbe).

b. For detailed information regarding the care


of specific perennials, refer to All About
Perennials by Ortho; Perennials: How to Select,
Grow & Enjoy by Pamela Harper and Frederick
McGourty, H.P. Books Publisher; Herbaceous
Perennial Plants by Allan Armitage, Varsity
Press, Inc.; Total Plant Management of
Herbaceous Perennials, www.ipmnet.umd.edu.

Landscape Specification Guidelines 9 Exterior Landscape Maintenance


Landscape
Specification
Guidelines 6th edition

Interior Landscape Installation & Maintenance


1.0 General Conditions acclimatization period shall not be less than six
months. During the acclimatization period, the light
1.1 Scope and Coordination levels made available to the plant shall be gradually
A. The landscape contractor shall recognize and reduced to approximately 250-foot candles. The
perform in accordance with all stated intents, acclimatization process shall include consideration
specifications, drawings, and stipulations contained of temperatures, humidity, watering intervals, and
or referenced herein. fertilization schedule.
B. The landscape contractor shall be familiar with the
1.3 Guarantee and Maintenance Period
project premises and how the existing conditions
will affect his/her work during both the installation A. The landscape contractor shall maintain and
and maintenance phases of this section. guarantee all plants for a one-year period beginning
on the date of installation. Maintenance shall consist
C. Except as otherwise stated herein, the landscape of a regularly scheduled maintenance program
contractor shall furnish all plants, materials, tools, carried out by trained service technicians.
equipment, and labor necessary to complete the
work described herein. Further, it shall be the B. A log or other written record of service shall
landscape contractors sole responsibility to make be provided with each service visit. The service
all arrangements for all required procurements, technician shall enter the date and maintenance
transportation, storage, and preparations. tasks performed for each visit.

D. All plants, materials, and other products to be C. Service procedures shall be as follows:
supplied by the landscape contractor under this 1. Notify the owner of the service technicians
section shall be subject to inspection and approval arrival and departure from the project premises.
by the landscape architect prior to their installation.
Such inspection may be made at the landscape 2. Inspect soil moisture levels and replenish as
contractors facilities or at such other location(s) as necessary.
may be designated herein. 3. Trim and clean all foliage, remove debris, and
E. All materials and hardware to be supplied by add soil or topdressing, as required.
the landscape contractor that is not specifically 4. Maintain proper nutrient levels in the growing
described herein shall be of suitable construction/ medium.
composition and quality to achieve their intended
function within the interior landscape. 5. As possible, rotate plants to evenly expose all sides
to an equal amount of light.
1.2 Foliage Plant Standards 6. All measures, whether specifically referenced or
A. The landscape contractor shall provide plants, not, that may be required to ensure the health
as specified, of a quality and size equal to or and vitality of the plant material.
surpassing Foliage No. 1 grade, as described in the D. The implementation of control measures for pest
Interior Plant Specifications section of The Guide and disease infestations shall be in strict compliance
to Specifications for Interior Landscaping, current with all federal and local regulations. A Certified
edition, published by the Professional Landcare Licensed Pesticide Applicator shall be familiar with
Network, hereinafter referred to as the PLANET the label provided for the selected product prior to
Guide. application.
B. All plants provided under this section shall have E. The owner agrees that plants will not be moved
been established in their present growing containers without the landscape contractors consent and that
for at least six months prior to installation. the landscape contractor will not be responsible for
C. No plant(s) provided under this section that require damage to the plants caused by the owner.
staking in order to maintain an upright position F. Replacement:
shall be accepted.
1. The landscape contractor shall replace,
D. All plants shall be acclimated at the nursery or at throughout the guarantee period, any plants that
a designated storage area not less than two months die or, in the opinion of the landscape architect
prior to installation if originally grown under or owners representative, are in an unhealthy
shade conditions. If grown under full sun, the or unsightly condition. Replacements shall be

Landscape Specification Guidelines 1 Interior Landscape Installation & Maintenance


made promptly after direction from the landscape specification, or below those existing at the time
architect or owners representative. The cost of of the initial quotation for the maintenance
such replacements shall be borne by the landscape contract. A measured level of 65 foot-candles at
contractor at no additional cost to the owner. It desk height for 10 hours per day is considered an
is understood that routine replacements should absolute lower limit for most plants.
occur automatically.
10. Introduction of any liquids, such as cleaning
2. Plants that have deteriorated within the chemicals, alcohol, or surgery fluids, into the
guarantee and maintenance period shall be plants soil, or the use of toxic gases, such as strong
replaced with a plant of the same size and variety ammonia from floor cleaning and stripping.
unless the landscape contractor can show that
this is reasonably impossible. In such a case, a
substitute, as approved by the landscape architect
2.0 Products
or owners representative and that represents 2.1 Plants and Planting
comparable value, will be allowed. There shall A. Sterilized, soilless growing medium shall contain
be no additional costs for replacement of any approximately 50% Canadian sphagnum peat,
materials except for changes in size or value 35% composted pine bark, and 15% sand. Use of a
of the replaced item(s). Written approval of premixed, proprietary planting medium specifically
the change shall be secured from the owners formulated for interior plants is acceptable, provided
representative and the landscape architect before that it is approved by the landscape architect or
the replacement is made. owners representative. A list of ingredients and the
percentage of each by volume shall be submitted and
1.4 Waiver of Landscape Contractors Plant approved in writing by the landscape architect or
Replacement Guarantee
owners representative.
A. In the event of any of the below listed situations, the
owner shall release the landscape contractor from B. Pine bark: shredded and well decomposed.
his plant replacement guarantee, as specified, and C. Peat moss: shredded sphagnum peat with a fiber
any resulting plant replacements shall be made at length of 1/8" to 1/4" and a pH range of 3.1 to 5.0.
additional cost to the owner.
D. Inorganic soil additive: perlite (coarse texture),
1. The occurrence of significant changes in plant vermiculite, or approved equal.
location(s) without the landscape contractors
prior knowledge. E. Planting medium

2. The occurrence of vandalism or theft. 1. Basic considerations: When selecting a soil media
for interior plantings, various criteria should be
3. Extended heat or power failures of sufficient considered:
duration to damage plant health.
a. Permanency of the planting
4. The absence of hot and cold running water at the
b. Moisture retention needed
project premises.
c. Light level of the planting
5. The occurrence of temperatures outside the range
of 55F to 85F. d. System of irrigation to be used

6. Lack of access to the project premises. Lack of e. Size of plant material being installed
access to all plants for maintenance purposes f. Compatibility of rootball soil type to planting
during regular service visit, unless negotiated media
otherwise.
g. Physical support required to keep plants stable
7. Watering or other well-meaning care by any
2. Characteristics of Growing Media
clients or owners employees.
a. Well drained, but not so coarse that water
8. Accidental or malicious damage to plants or retention and distribution is inadequate
containers by employees, cleaning crews, or other
personnel. b. Relatively low in nutrients avoid excess
soluble salts
9. Lowering of lighting levels below those that
were originally specified as a basis for plant c. Free from soil pests such as fungus disease
organisms, nematodes, insects, and weed seeds

Landscape Specification Guidelines 2 Interior Landscape Installation & Maintenance


d. Uniform from batch to batch K. Topdressing: shredded pinebark mulch, 1/2"
e. Favorable pH range (i.e., 6.06.5). All maximum size, or as specified by the landscape
planting media shall be amended with architect or owner for specialized uses (e.g., pinebark
dolomitic limestone to adjust pH. nuggets, sheet moss, decorative gravel).
f. Free from after-sterilizing toxicity (i.e., low in L. Plant material
ammonia, nitrates, salts, and other detrimental 1. Plant list: The landscape contractor shall be
substances). responsible for furnishing and installing all plant
3. Options material shown on the drawings. The landscape
contractor shall have investigated the sources
a. Media with sterilized soil (e.g., 2-1-1 mix: of supply and satisfied himself/herself that he/
2 peat moss, 1 topsoil, and 1 perlite or she can supply all the plants specified on the
vermiculite). Good with high light levels and plant list in the size, variety, and quality noted
large plant material. before submitting his/her bid. Failure to take
b. Soilless media: a light, airy, well-draining this precaution will not relieve the successful
media of neutral pH. Soilless mixes are used bidder from the responsibility of furnishing
in many situations (e.g., with sub-irrigation and installing all the plant material in strict
systems, low-light level plantings, and smaller accordance with the contract requirements
plant material). Soilless media is commercially and without additional expense to the owner.
available under many trade names. Most Substitutions will not be permitted. If proof
soilless mixes have a nutrient charge added is submitted that any plant specified is not
to the mix along with a wetting agent. Ratio obtainable, a proposal will be considered for use
of bark-peat moss-inorganic additive shall be of the nearest equivalent size or variety with an
specified for the particular project. equitable adjustment of contract price. Such proof
c. Either soil mix shall have a final wetted pH of shall be substantiated and submitted in writing to
6.06.5. the landscape architect or owners representative.

F. Gravel: Gravel for interior planters shall be 1/2" to 2. Canes, trunks, stems, and branches
1" washed stone. a. Must be free of pests and pathogens which
G. Drainage board: Shall be composed of expanded could, by their presence, induce or contribute
polystyrene (EPS) beads averaging 3/8" diameter, to the decline of the plant.
with not more than 10% being 1/8" diameter or b. Must be free of conspicuous scarring
less. The EPS beads are then bound together with a evidence; scars, conspicuous or not, must be
waterproof adhesive binder and molded into blocks, substantially healed, providing no point of
usually 4 x 4 x 2". It shall have 2.0 PCF-nominal entry for deleterious harmful pathogens or
density, and the coefficient of permeability shall be boring insects. There must be no splitting of
1.24 cm/SEC (ASTM D-2434). canes or trunks at branching points.
H. Filler board: Meant to be used above the drainage c. Dead wood and branches must be removed.
board layers as a filler where full depth of soil is not
d. All canes or trunks must be well-formed.
required. Filler board shall be EPS, a closed cell,
resilient, lightweight, foamed plastic having a density e. Plant height: Overall plant height shall be
between 1.0 and 3.0 PCF. The manufacturers of measured from the base of the growing
the filler board and drainage board shall participate container to mean foliage top.
in a certification program, as recommended by the f. Cane heights: With some cane varieties, size
Society of the Plastics Industry. is determined by the height of rooted canes.
I. Subsurface drainage matting: two-layer composite, Cane heights shall always be measured from
consisting of a polyester, non-woven filter fabric the base of the growing container. Overall
heat-bonded to a compression-resistant nylon height of the plant shall be from the base of
matting of open, three-dimensional construction. growing container to the mean foliage top.

J. Filter fabric: nonwoven, heat-bonded geotextile fabric 3. Foliage


made of 100% polypropylene. The fabric is used to a. Must be free of pests and pathogens which
separate the soil from the drainage materials and shall could, by their presence, induce or contribute
extend up the sides of the planter walls at least 6". to the decline of the plant.

Landscape Specification Guidelines 3 Interior Landscape Installation & Maintenance


b. Must be free of any chlorosis, yellowing, C. Balled and burlapped (B&B) plants shall be dug
or poor chlorophyll formation; turgid and with firm, natural balls of earth of sufficient
substantially erect; and substantially free of diameter and depth to include the fibrous and
blemishes resulting from mechanical, chemical, feeding roots. No plants will be accepted if the
pathological, or pest-induced damage. ball is cracked or broken before or during planting
operations.
c. Must be cleaned of all dust and waterborne
pesticide and fertilizer residue at the time of
3.2 Plants and Planting
project acceptance. Foliage shall be cleaned
throughout the maintenance and guarantee A. The landscape contractor shall coordinate all
period. delivery and installation activities and he/she
shall inform the owner at least 48 hours prior to
4. Root system and soil mass commencement of work at the project premises.
a. The root system shall be well-developed and, B. All transport of plants shall be via enclosed and
upon inspection, shall be found to be free of environmentally controlled vehicles by personnel
pests and/or pathogens. Development shall be experienced in handling live plants.
adequate to:
C. Unless otherwise stated herein, it shall be the
1. Be well distributed throughout the container, landscape contractors responsibility to protect plants
such that the roots visibly extend on all sides from adverse environmental conditions during all
to the inside face of the growing container. phases of delivery and installation. Further, the
2. Conversely, the root formation within landscape contractor shall be responsible, except as
the container shall not have developed to otherwise stated herein, to protect all plants stored at
the point where it becomes excessive (i.e., the project premises during installation from any and
pot bound) and prohibits water from all damage or deterioration of health or appearance.
permeating to the fine water-absorbing root D. During delivery and installation, the landscape
hairs. contractor shall perform in a professional manner,
b. The growing medium shall be composed coordinating his/her activities so as not to interfere
of such constituents as may be necessary to unduly with the work of other trades and leaving
provide: his/her work area(s) clean of litter and debris at the
close of each workday.
1. Thorough drainage and satisfactory aeration
of the root zone. This soil mass should be as E. The landscape contractor shall maintain a qualified
uniform as possible. planting foreman at the project premises.
2. Adequate moisture and nutrient retention F. Upon completion of the installation, the landscape
as may be necessary to promote vigorous contractor shall so notify the landscape architect or
but controlled plant growth. owners representative and schedule an inspection of
the work.

3.0 Execution G. The landscape contractor shall promptly correct any


deficiencies found in the installation as a result of
3.1 Procurement and Inspection of Plants the inspection. Upon final approval by the landscape
A. In the event that the owner chooses to be involved architect or owners representative, the installation
in a trip(s) to the source of plant material for the phase of this agreement shall be declared complete.
purpose of locating, selecting, or approving plants,
it will be at the expense of the owner. The landscape 3.3 Planting
architect may accompany the landscape contractor A. For major installations, the landscape architect or
to his previously determined sources and inspect owners representative shall be notified at least four
plants and growing conditions. Specimen plants may (4) days in advance of the plants arriving on the job
be tagged by the landscape architect prior to any site. Having arrived, the plants shall be handled and
digging, root pruning, top pruning, or preparation protected so as to maintain their condition until
for shipment. planted. The poor condition of a plant or group of
B. Digging and handling major plant material: All plants may cause rejection by the landscape architect
material shall be inspected and approved by the or owners representative. All rejected material shall
landscape architect or owners representative. be removed promptly from the site.

Landscape Specification Guidelines 4 Interior Landscape Installation & Maintenance


B. Planting tree pits 3. Install soil separator over the drainage material.
1. Backfill tree pits with 8" of washed stone1/2" Be sure to extend the soil separator up the planter
to 1" diameteror with drainage board. walls 4" to lock in place.

2. Install 2" diameter black corrugated plastic pipe 4. Backfill and compact with approved planting
with black cap for inspection and siphoning. medium.

3. Install soil separator on top of the stone or 5. Set plants flush with the top of the bed, at 2"
drainage board. Be sure to extend the soil below the top of the planter wall. Large trees, 10
separator up the sides of the planting pit 4" to tall or greater, shall be planted 10% above the
lock in place. finished grade.
4. Backfill with soil mix, as specified, to a depth 6. Install a 2" layer of pinebark, shredded hardwood
that allows the top of the root ball to sit 4" below mulch or material approved by landscape
the top of the adjacent paving. architect or owners representative.
5. Install the tree in the pit. Remove burlap from D. Fixed planting beds: Generally such beds shall be
top of rootball on B&B trees prior to backfilling. directly planted, removing nursery pots from plants.
Backfill around the ball as appropriate. Follow procedure outline in C. above for raised
planters.
6. Place 2" of shredded bark mulch over the top
surface of the tree pit, bringing the finished grade E. Movable decorative planters (i.e., floor planters, file-
of the bed to 2" below the top of the pavement. top, and hanging planters):
C. Planting raised planters To achieve aesthetic and horticulturally sound
plantings, the landscape contractor shall employ
1. Place drainage material to within 6" of the
methods as indicated on the drawings. Both
bottom of the rootball of the plant material.
double- potting and direct planting are
2. Install 2" diameter black corrugated plastic pipe, acceptable methods of planting. Plants are to be
vertically, with black cap for inspection and placed plumb and secure within planters.
siphoning.

Landscape Specification Guidelines 5 Interior Landscape Installation & Maintenance


F. Seasonal and other: For frequent rotational
plantings (fixed or movable planter), when foliage or
seasonal potted flowers are to be changed frequently,
triple- potting can both facilitate the removals
and installations and allow for an extreme variety of
watering requirements.

Landscape Specification Guidelines 6 Interior Landscape Installation & Maintenance


Landscape
Specification
Guidelines 6th edition

Irrigation
1.0 General Conditions 1.2 Standards
A. The contractor shall obtain and pay for all permits
1.1 Scope of Work and inspections required by outside agencies.
A. The intent of this specification is to define
contractor/owner responsibilities and specify B. All materials shall meet minimum industry
minimum standards for materials and workmanship. standards.

1. Any residential system over 24 zones shall be C. The system shall be installed as per manufacturers
considered commercial for the purposes of these recommendations by qualified, trained personnel.
specifications.
1.3 Quality Assurance
B. Irrigation layout/design shall meet the following A. Commercial Projects
parameters:
1. The company engaged in the project must have
1. Head to head spacing to ensure 100% coverage. three years of experience with projects of similar
2. Matched precipitation rates within a zone. size and scope.
3. Pipe sized to stay at or below 5 feet per second. 2. The company must employ at least one full-time
4. Separation of zones by different types of plant individual who maintains a current Certified
material (e.g., turf, trees and shrubs, annuals). Irrigation Contractor designation by the
Irrigation Association.
5. Rain sensor shall be included.
B. Residential Projects
6. Commercial projects must be designed and
stamped by a Certified Irrigation Designer as 1. The company engaged in the project must
designated by the Irrigation Association. employ an individual with one year of irrigation
installation experience.
C. Furnish all labor and materials, appliances,
tools, equipment, facilities, transportation, and
1.4 Submittals
services necessary for and incidental to perform all
operations in connection with the installation of the A. For commercial projects, prior to the start of
irrigation system. installation, the contractor shall submit for approval
to the owner or owners representative a materials
D. All local, municipal, and state laws, rules, and list indicating the name of the manufacturer, model
regulations governing or relating to any portion of numbers, and performance data for the following:
this work are hereby incorporated into and made a
part of these specifications. 1. Sprinkler heads
E. Work noted N.I.C., existing, or to be supplied 2. Valves and valve boxes
and/or installed by others is not part of this section. 3. Controllers and appurtenances
F. Due to the scale of drawings, it is not possible 4. Pumps
to indicate all offsets, fittings, sleeves, and other
materials that might be required. The drawings are 5. Backflow
generally diagrammatic and indicative of the work 6. Drip equipment
to be installed. The work shall be installed in such
a manner as to avoid conflicts between irrigation 7. Wire and electrical connection waterproofing
system, planting and architectural features. Work method and materials
called for on the drawings by notes or details 8. Grounding equipment
shall be furnished and installed whether or not
specifically called out in the written specifications. 9. Pipe and fittings
G. If discrepancies exist between drawings and 10. Water harvesting and storage components (pre-
specifications, and no specific interpretation is filters, post-filters, storage vessels and associated
issued prior to bidding, the decision regarding control systems)
any interpretation will rest with the owners B. At completion of the installation, the contractor
representative. The contractor is to act on shall submit a minimum of four (4) individually
this decision as directed. In the event that the bound copies or a PDF file of the irrigation system
installation deviates from the direction given, it shall Operation and Maintenance Instructions, including
be corrected at the contractors expense.

Landscape Specification Guidelines 1 Irrigation


a materials list, As-Built drawing, suggested 1.10 Primary Electrical Supply
operating schedule, seasonal shut-down procedures, A. Unless noted on the drawing, the primary electrical
and the name and phone number of the installing source shall be a 120V AC, single-phase circuit.
contractor.
B. Electrical circuits required for additional devices
1.5 Approvals
shall be noted by the contractor in the drawings and
contract documents.
All approvals shall be in writing from the owner or
owners representative prior to installation.
1.11 Product Handling
A. Materials used in the system shall be new and unused.
1.6 Substitutions
It is the contractors responsibility to make every B. Store materials at a location directed by the owners
reasonable effort to use the material specified by the representative. Store materials in an orderly manner
designer. The contractor may offer substitutions to the and avoid interference with other construction
owners representative for consideration. activities.
C. Protect all materials to prevent the intrusion of dirt
1.7 Existing Utilities and moisture.
A. Prior to excavation, utility companies shall be
1.12 Workmanship
notified in accordance with local codes and
ordinances. A. During delivery and installation, the contractor shall
perform in a workmanlike, professional manner,
B. The contractor shall immediately notify appropriate coordinating installation activities so as not to
utility of any inadvertent damage caused by the interfere unduly with the work of other trades on site.
contractors operation.
B. During installation, all areas shall be kept neat and
C. The contractor shall not be responsible for private clean. Precautions shall be taken to avoid damage to
utilities unless accurate as-built drawings are existing plants, turf, and structures. The contractor
supplied prior to the commencement of work. shall notify the owner in writing of potential
damage to all trees and other plant material that
1.8 Concealed Contingencies may be destroyed or damaged beyond repair during
The contractor shall not be liable for additional construction. Such notice shall relieve the contractor
excavation expenses resulting from undisclosed of responsibility for said damage. Failure to notify the
subsurface conditions, such as, but not limited to, rock, owner of potential damage may make the contractor
water, clay pan, soils contaminated with toxic substances, liable for tree and plant replacements. Replacements
or other obstacles encountered in excavation work that shall be included in the one-year warranty.
are not apparent at the time of estimating.
C. The contractor shall park all employee or company
vehicles only in areas designated by the owners
1.9 Water Supply representative.
A. The location and size of the water supply shall be as
per the drawing and installed in accordance with all 1.13 Inspection and Acceptance
applicable codes and ordinances. A. Inspection: There should be a verification of
B. An irrigation isolation valve shall be installed as the performance for work by contract documents,
first component of the system on the exterior of the to be conducted by the architect or owners
building. This valve shall be a bronze or PVC ball representative on site and in the presence of the
valve. irrigation contractor, for the purpose of acceptance.
Inspection shall be made within two (2) weeks of
C. All piping above ground shall be copper written notification from the irrigation contractor.
(see section 2.3). Failure of the owner to inspect the work shall
D. Copper piping shall terminate and transition to void the guarantee. During inspection for initial
PVC with a copper female adapter and a schedule 80 acceptance, the irrigation contractor should have
PVC nipple. Copper male threaded connections are an acceptance form to be signed by the owner or
not acceptable. owners representative.
B. Initial Acceptance: The approval of work inspected.

Landscape Specification Guidelines 2 Irrigation


Acceptance can be on partially completed work times. A written report of work completed and/or
under the contract, if approved by the landscape necessary repairs and recommended modifications
architect or owners representative. If, for reasons shall be provided after each service.
beyond the irrigation contractors control, work
D. The frequency shall be as stipulated in the
has stopped, inspection shall be made on partially
maintenance contract.
completed work. The warranty period shall begin
after inspection and acceptance. Maintenance
1.16 Record Drawings
after initial inspection and acceptance shall be
the responsibility of the owner, unless an optional A. The owner shall provide an electronic copy of the
service contract has been specified. landscape plan in AutoCAD or PDF. In the absence
of a landscape plan, a site plan shall be provided.
1.14 Guarantee B. The contractor shall, during the progress of work,
A. The contractor shall guarantee all labor, keep an accurate daily record of all changes and
workmanship, materials, fixtures, and equipment corrections to contract drawings.
covered by the contract documents to be free of
C. As Built drawings shall indicate point of
defects for a period of one (1) year from the date
connection; control valve wire routing paths;
of substantial completion and acceptance of the
controller location; electric, isolation, drain, and
project. The contractor shall replace any part(s)
quick coupling valves; piping; and sleeves. For two-
found to be defective within the period of the
wire systems, locations of switches, decoders, and
guarantee at no cost to the owner, except repairs or
surge arrestors shall be noted.
replacement necessitated by damage by others.
D. Accurately locate all dimensions from a minimum
B. Backfilling of all excavation shall be guaranteed. If,
of two permanent reference points (buildings,
at any time during the one year guarantee period,
monuments, sidewalks, curbs or pavements). Do not
trenches should settle, the contractor shall repair any
use these prints for any other purpose.
settling at no cost to the owner.
E. When record drawings have been approved by the
1.15 Maintenance owners representative, the contractor shall provide
During the warranty period, the installing contractor drawings as an electronic PDF. The quality and
must perform all maintenance of the system. Unless presentation of the completed reproducible shall be
called out in the contract, maintenance of the system acceptable to the owners representative.
shall be addressed under a separate contract. Negligence F. The irrigation legend must be changed to accurately
on the owners part to properly maintain the system or reflect the irrigation equipment installed, if such
service to the system by another contractor may be used equipment is not the same as originally specified.
as grounds to void all warrantees.

A. Fall maintenance shall include (but not be limited 2.0 Materials


to) draining of the system by compressed air.
2.1 General Conditions
B. Spring maintenance shall include (but not be limited The materials chosen for incorporation in the irrigation
to) the closing of all manual drain valves, inspection system may have been recommended by a specific
and realignment of all heads, operational check/test manufacturer to enable the owner to establish the level
each zone for proper operation, and inspection and of quality and performance desired. Substitution of
adjustment of controller and run times. A written equipment of another manufacturer may be allowed only
report of work completed and/or necessary repairs after submittal to and approval by, the owner or owners
and recommended modifications shall be provided representative. Refer to section 1.7.
after each service.
2.2 Copper Pipe and Fittings
C. Periodic maintenance may be scheduled throughout
the season to verify the proper operation of the A. Pipe: Minimum Type L
system and to maintain the warranty within B. Fittings: Wrought or cast copper, solder, flared, or
the warranty period. Maintenance shall include threaded joint type
inspection and realignment of all heads, operational
check/test of each zone for proper operation, and C. Joints shall be soldered in accordance with
inspection and adjustment of controller and run current NSF (National Sanitation Foundation)
requirements.

Landscape Specification Guidelines 3 Irrigation


2.3 Brass Pipe and Fittings b. Gasketed: Gasket material and lubricants as
A. Brass pipe shall be 85% red brass, American recommended by manufacturer of pipe and
National Standard Institute (ANSI), schedule 40 fittings.
threaded pipe. c. Threaded connections: PVC male adapters
B. Fittings shall be medium brass, threaded 125 pound shall be used in plastic-t to-plastic connections.
class. PVC-to-metal connections shall be metal
female adapters and schedule 80 PVC nipples.
2.4 Plastic Pipe, Fittings, and Adhesives 8. HDPE
A. PVC Pipe and Fittings: Manufactured from virgin
a. Pipe: DR 13.5
polyvinyl chloride compound in accordance with
ASTM D 2241 and ASTM D 1784. b. Fittings: butt fusion, socket fusion, or electro
fusion
1. Identify all pipe with the following indelible
markings: c. Mechanical fittings: Pack joint fitting = grip
joint fitting with set screw
a. Name of manufacturer
b. Nominal pipe size 9. Polyethylene pipe and fittings: Manufactured
from virgin polyethylene, in accordance with
c. Schedule or class ASTM D 2239 and PE 2306
d. Pressure ratings psi a. Fittings: Manufactured in accordance with
e. NSF seal of approval ASTM D 2609, PVC type I
f. Date of extrusion b. Clamps: Stainless steel screw or crimp clamps
2. Minimum class or schedule
2.5 Valves
a. 1/2", schedule 40. A. Remote control valves shall be normally closed, 24-
b. 3/4" +, Cl. 200-SDR 21. volt electric with plastic or bronze body. Valve shall
be equipped with a bleeder valve to permit operation
3. Sizing
in the field.
a. Maximum velocity in pipe shall be 5 feet per
second. B. Isolation valves

4. Pipe type 1. 2" and smaller, shall be domestic bronze gate


valves with non-rising stem (bronze cross
a. 2" and smaller shall be bell ended, solvent weld. handles or bronze wheel handles used below
b. 3" and larger shall be gasket joint. grade) meeting MSS SP-80 or PVC ball valves
constructed from Type I PVC, ASTM D1784
5. Fittings: with EDPM O rings and full bore flow.
a. 2" and smaller PVC pipestandard weight, 2. Isolation valves 2 and larger, unless noted on
schedule 40, injection molded PVC. Comply the drawings, shall be resilient wedge, epoxy
with ASTM D 1784 and D 2466. coated, 250 psi rated working pressure, cast iron
b. 3" PVC pipePVC or ductile iron gasketed gate valves with non-rising stem and conforming
fittings for all applications. to AWWA C509.
c. 4" and larger PVC pipeductile iron gasketed C. Quick-coupling valves
fittings at all changes of direction and ends of 1. Valves shall be hinged cover, brass body, 150 lb
pipe lines. PVC plastic gasketed fitting for all class with female threads at the base. Valve design
other applications. shall permit operation with a special connection
6. Threaded nipples: ASTM D 2464, schedule 80 device (key) designed for this purpose.
with molded thread(s), TOE or TBE. 2. Swing joints shall match inlet size of quick
7. Connections coupler and be a triple O ring, pre-fabricated
triple swing joint, having an integral metal
a. Solvent weld: Joint cement and primer as transition fitting and having the ability to be
recommended by manufacturer of pipe and anchored for stability.
fittings.

Landscape Specification Guidelines 4 Irrigation


D. Unless otherwise noted, manual drain valve shall be 4. Multiple schedules to include odd/even, calendar,
a bronze or PVC ball valve. interval
E. Valve boxes shall be provided for all manual valves, 5. An integral sensor terminal and circuit
electric valves, air relief valves, decoders, two-wire
C. The controller shall be grounded as per
switch devices, drip flush valves, ground rods, and
manufacturers recommendations.
wire splices.
2.10 Sleeves
2.6 Sprinkler Heads
A. SDR 21, CL 200, bell ended, solvent weld.
A. Sprinkler heads shall be as shown and/or as required
to coincide with the needs of the landscaping. Do B. Size of sleeve shall be a minimum of two pipe sizes
not exceed the maximum or minimum spacing larger than the pipe.
indicated by manufacturer.
2.11 Backflow Devices
B. All heads within a zone operated by the same valve
shall have matched precipitation rate. Backflow prevention devices shall be installed on all
irrigation systems at the point of connection to the water
C. Sprinkler bodies may be brass or plastic material. source. Device shall include unions unless otherwise
Connections to lateral lines shall be either flex-swing dictated by local codes. The device shall conform to
pipe over barbed fittings or 3-ell swing joints. all local codes and be installed as per manufacturers
D. Nozzles may be brass or plastic material. recommendations. All devices shall be approved by
UPC, ASSE & AWWA, C-506. Installation must be
2.7 Water Conservation Devices performed by an individual or company licensed to do
such work by the local governing authority.
A. Rain sensors shall be devices adjustable to react to
rainfall from 1/8" to 1" by temporarily shutting
down the automatic operation of the system. 2.12 Drip Components
Each drip zone shall include an electric valve, pressure
B. Moisture sensors shall be adjustable and compatible
regulator and filter.
with the controller installed. The sensor, in
conjunction with the controller, shall be capable A. Filter shall be in-line model constructed of
of automatically stopping and restarting irrigation noncorrosive material. Screen or disc shall be
watering based upon a set moisture level. sufficient to eliminate debris and particulate matter
as required (120 mesh or 75600 microns). Size
2.8 Wire based on manufacturers recommendations with an
A. Control wire shall be UL/UF direct burial, sized operating pressure from 20140 psi.
as indicated or as required by valve and controller
B. Pressure regulators shall be in-line type constructed
manufacturers recommendations.
of noncorrosive materials and capable of handling
B. Wire splice connectors shall be waterproof, made for designated flow at discharge pressure indicated on
direct burial, UL listed and rated for at least 30 volts. drawings.
C. Wire and splices for two wire systems must be as C. Emission devices shall be constructed of
specified by the manufacturer. noncorrosive materials capable of delivering
measured volumes of water to designated areas. An
2.9 Controller emission device shall be classified as:
A. The controller shall be as indicated, UL-approved 1. Single emitter
for indoor or outdoor installation as required, with
2. Multi-outlet distribution manifold
low voltage output (i.e., <30 Vac).
3. Polyethylene tubing manufactured with in-line
B. The controller shall be fully automatic and have the
pressure emitters
following minimum features:
4. Micro-spinner or spray
1. Capable of operating the number of remote
control valves indicated on drawings 5. Pressure-compensating, self-flushing and having
an integral check valve
2. Three programs
D. Drip staples shall be minimum 11 gauge with
3. Rain delay U-shaped top. Square-top staples shall not be used.

Landscape Specification Guidelines 5 Irrigation


E. Fittings shall be insert or compression type and shall drawing(s) and make any minor changes in location
not require clamping below 45 psi. as may be necessary due to actual site conditions. As
necessary, authorized, licensed trade professionals shall
2.13 Pumps be used to conform to local codes.
A. Provide pump with capacity, total dynamic head,
and electrical characteristics, as noted on drawing. 3.3 System Layout

B. Pump enclosure, if applicable, as noted on drawing. A. All piping and equipment is shown
diagrammatically on drawing(s).
C. Pump fittings as per drawing details and as
recommended by pump manufacturer. B. Lay out sprinkler heads and make any minor
adjustments required due to differences between
D. Pump start relay, flow switch, pressure transducer, actual site conditions and the drawings. Minor
pressure switch, or other control devices, as adjustments shall be maintained within the original
recommended by pump manufacturer. design intent.
C. Lay out each system using staking method, as
3.0 Execution approved by owners representative.
3.1 Site Reviews
3.4 Pipe Installation
A. Before any work commences, a conference shall be
held with the owners representative and contractor A. Pipe assembly (PVC)
to discuss general requirements of the work and 1. Pipe shall be sized so that the water velocity in
coordinate the installation process. pipe shall not exceed five (5) feet per second.
B. The contractor shall examine surfaces for conditions 2. Routing of all irrigation lines as indicated on
that could adversely affect execution, permanence, the drawings is diagrammatic. Install lines (and
and quality of work. The contractor shall also verify various assemblies) to conform to details provided
that grading has been completed and that the work on drawing(s).
of this section can properly proceed.
3. Pipe shall be kept free of dirt, rock, shavings, and
1. Notify the owners representative in writing, other debris. Pipe ends shall be cut square and
describing unacceptable conditions. true with either a saw or pipe-cutting tool. When
2. Do not proceed with work until unacceptable site a saw is used, shavings must be removed from
conditions are corrected. pipe ends.

3. Locate existing utilities. 4. Use primer and solvent to join pipe and fittings
in a manner recommended by the solvent
C. The contractor shall notify the owners representative manufacturer regarding pipe size, air temperature
in writing for the following reviews, allowing 48 and humidity. Allow pipe connections to cure
hours for compliance by the owners representative. as per solvent manufacturers recommendations
1. Submittal review. before pressurizing pipe. Wipe all excess glue
from pipe after joint is made.
2. Pressure supply line installation and testing.
5. Service tees and service elbows installed in piping
3. Final review at substantial completion. shall be oriented so FIPT outlet is on side of pipe.
D. The contractor shall provide radio communication, 6. Gasketed connections shall be installed per
remote control, and/or personnel to maintain manufacturers recommendations.
communication from the review area to automatic
controllers. 7. Thrust blocks or joint restraints shall be provided
for gasket pipes.
E. The contractor shall provide up to date as-built
drawings and acceptance forms for authorized Thrust blocks or joint restraints shall be provided
signature. whenever PVC pipe:

a. Changes directions.
3.2 Utility Services
The contractor shall make connections to the provided b. Stops (as at a capped end).
power and water sources at locations indicated on c. Joins a valve where thrust may be expected.

Landscape Specification Guidelines 6 Irrigation


Thrust blocks shall be made of concrete Pressure Lines Non-Pressure Lines
and are to be installed between the fittings In Under In Under
and undisturbed soil of the adjacent trench Landscaping Vehicular Landscaping Vehicular
Paving Paving
wall in accordance with current ASAE
Residential 12 18 8 12
recommendations. Pipe and fittings shall
Commercial 18 24 12 18
be protected from concrete by wrapping in
polyethylene film or fabric cloth.
C. Sleeves under walks shall be at a 12" depth.
8. Threaded fittings shall be assembled as follows: Sleeves under drives and parking lots shall be at
a. Using Teflon tape applied to male threads an approximate 18" depth. Sleeves under roadways
only. No more than two wraps. should be at an approximate 36" depth, or as
mandated by governing authorities.
b. Using metal female adapters with schedule 80
PVC nipples as transitions. D. Pipe plowing may be permitted by the owners
representative in favorable soil conditions. When
c. Do not use schedule 40 female adapters except plowing is permissible, depth of pipe shall be the
for swing pipe connections. same as for trenching.
B. Copper pipe shall be installed as required by local
plumbing codes. Underground copper lines shall be 3.6 Backfill
type K soft copper tubing. Depth of bury shall A. The first 6" of backfill material shall be free of rock
conform to this specification. Aboveground copper or foreign matter 2" in diameter or larger and hand
shall be type L. tamped. The remainder of backfill shall be laid-up in
maximum 6" lifts and tamped to a dry density equal
C. Polyethylene pipe may be used only on residential
to adjacent, undisturbed soil until the finish grade is
lateral lines that are not under constant pressure.
reached.
1. Connections to insert fittings shall be installed B. When more than one pipe is installed in the same
over barbs. Pipe shall extend beyond the last trench, separate pipes with a minimum 2" of soil.
barb on the fitting. Install two clamps per joint
directly over barbs on all connections. C. Disturbed grade shall be restored to be free of
dips, depressions, humps, or other irregularities.
2. Internal double O ring connection fittings may Compaction by truck or other vehicle is not
be used that have an integral lock mechanism acceptable.
and a minimum 400-psi burst rating.
3. Saddles used for service tees must be all plastic 3.7 Existing Pavements
and have a locking mechanism to hold in place A. Piping under existing pavements may be installed
during on/off cycles and freeze/thaw cycles. by jacking, boring, or hydraulic driving, except
as otherwise specified or directed. For minimum
4. All mainlines shall be pressure tested.
depths, install pipe at a depth equal to 12" per inch
See section 3.19.
of diameter of bore below finished grade.
3.5 Trenching B. Secure owners permission prior to cutting or
A. Excavate trenches to required depths. Follow breaking existing pavements. Refer to section 3.5 for
approved layout for each system. minimum depths.
C. At locations where cutting is approved, make all
Maintain bottom of trenches flat to permit all piping
cuts clean using power saws. Make cuts at approved
to be supported on an even grade for entire length of
locations only.
run, with recesses as required for pipe bells.
D. Replace and restore all disturbed surfaces to match
B. The minimum depth of soil cover shall conform adjacent undisturbed conditions, including grades
to local codes, or shall be as shown or listed in and landscaping.
the drawings, details, or specifications. Generally
accepted practice is as follows: 3.8 Automatic Valves and Valve Boxes
A. Automatic valves shall be installed plumb within
valve access box with all handles, bolts, connections,
and electrical splices accessible through the valve
box opening.

Landscape Specification Guidelines 7 Irrigation


B. Clearance between the highest part of the valve and D. Connections to piping:
the bottom of the valve box lid shall be 2" minimum 1. Flex pipe may be used for heads with flows of 6
and 18" maximum. gallons or less. Pipe length shall be a minimum of
C. Clearance between the valve body and the sides of 1 foot and a maximum of 4 feet.
the valve box shall be a minimum of 3". Clearance 2. For flows over 6 gallons per minute and on all
between the valve bodies shall be a minimum of 2". sports fields, pre-fabricated triple O ring swing
Valves shall not be stacked within a valve box. joints shall be used. Swing joint size shall match
D. Valves or valve boxes shall not be installed within head inlet. Lay length shall be such as to allow a
12" of paving or structures. 3045 degree angle from pipe to lay nipple.

E. The valve box shall be supported so that it does not 3.11 Quick-Coupling Valves
rest directly on any irrigation piping. A. Quick-coupling valves: Install downstream from
backflow preventer on a swing joint assembly. When
3.9 Control Wiring installed as a blowout connection, install as close to
A. Control wiring shall be installed as follows: the point of connection as possible.
1. When in common trench with mainline, wiring B. Install quick coupler valve in a 10" round valve box
shall be laid beside or at the same invert as the at a depth that will allow quick coupler key to turn
mainline. freely when inserted.
2. Use minimum number of splices, and make all C. A swing joint manufactured for use with quick
splices in valve or splice boxes. Splice connectors couplers shall be used to connect valve to piping. A
shall be UL approved for direct bury. swing joint shall, as an integral brass male threaded
3. Provide 24" expansion coils at all valves and at nipple matching the inlet size of the valve, have
300 intervals between valves and directional the ability to be stabilized and have the proper lay
changes. Wire shall at no time be installed taut. length to allow for a 3045 degree angle from the
pipe to lay riser.
4. Tape, or cinch with cable cinches, wires at
maximum of 25 intervals.
3.12 Drain Valves
5. Aboveground wire is to be installed in conduit Manual: Install at low points on main and laterals when
and/or in accordance with electrical codes. specified. Provide valve box for access and 2 ft3 gravel
6. Common, or neutral, wire shall be WHITE sump with soil separator.
on single or multi-conductor wire. If single
conductor wire is used, valve wires and spare 3.13 Drip Irrigation
wires shall be of a different color consistent
A. Six-inch (6") soil staples shall be placed every 3 on
throughout the system.
tubing and at every elbow, tee, and cross if tubing is
7. Valve wiring shall be the same color from installed on soil below mulch. Staples not required if
controller to valve. tubing is buried.
8. Two wire control systems shall use wire approved B. Tubing shall be installed below mulch layer in plant
by controller manufacturer. beds or buried up to a 4" depth. Tubing in turf shall
9. Grounding wire shall be single-strand, solid, be installed at a uniform depth of 4".
bare copper, at least two wire gauges larger than C. Each zone shall have a supply and exhaust header
largest control wire used in the system. sized so total flow does not exceed 5 feet per second.

3.10 Sprinkler Heads


D. In-line emitter tubing dripper interval and row
spacing shall be as recommended by manufacturer,
A. Sprinkler heads shall be set perpendicular and flush taking into account plant type, soil type, slope, and
to grade or at elevations noted on the drawings. emitter flow rate.
B. Pop-up heads shall be set 4" from paved surfaces. E. In-line emitter tubing shall be installed as a looped
Rigid risers shall not be permitted adjacent to paved grid system.
surface or other traffic areas.
C. All heads shall be tested to verify proper coverage. 3.14 Sleeves
See section 3.20.

Landscape Specification Guidelines 8 Irrigation


A. Sleeves are to be installed beneath all paved surfaces 3.18 Surge Arrestors (Two-Wire Only)
as indicated on the drawing. Installation is to be A. Arrestors shall be located in valve boxes.
coordinated with project general contractor.
B. Arrestors shall be grounded to rods/plates per
B. If sleeves are to be installed by others, an accurate manufacturers recommendation following ASIC
as-built drawing is to be provided to the irrigation standards.
contractor prior to the commencement of work. The
C. Arrestors shall be installed at distances and locations
end of the sleeves shall be indicated with a visible
on two-wire path as recommended by manufacturer.
marker.
C. Wiring shall be installed in an individual sleeve, 3.19 System Flushing
separate from sleeves designated for piping. A A. All mainlines shall be flushed prior to testing.
wiring sleeve may be installed within a larger sleeve
containing other irrigation pipe. B. After all pipe and flexible risers have been installed,
and prior to the installation of control valves and
D. The size of a sleeve shall be a minimum of two pipe sprinkler heads, thoroughly flush all lines with a full
sizes larger than the pipe enclosed. head of water.

3.15 Controller 3.20 Pressure Tests


A. Controller shall be located as generally noted on the A. If required by owner, the contractor shall provide all
plans in an accessible location. Controller should equipment to test the system, including a force pump.
be level and properly anchored to the wall, or in the
B. All mainlines under constant pressure shall be
case of a pedestal, version to a concrete pad.
filled with water at designated pressure for at least
B. Zones shall be ordered as directed on the plan or in 24 hours and proven tight by visual inspection.
consecutive geographic order. The system shall then be tested under hydrostatic
pressure of 150 psi for a period of two hours, unless
C. Controller shall be grounded per manufacturers
otherwise approved. Leaks shall be repaired and the
recommendations.
system shall again be flushed and retested.
D. Wiring inside controller shall be neat with external
jacket of wire (multi-strand and two-wire) removed. 3.21 Adjustment

E. Control wire shall be installed inside conduit from A. Install sprinkler bodies and nozzles. Adjust radius and
below grade to controller cabinet. arc for optimum performance. Make any necessary
adjustments in head locations to achieve 100%
F. Zone charts as described in Section 3.22 shall be left coverage of landscaped areas designated to be watered.
at controller location.
B. Adjust flow controls and pressure-reducing valves
3.16 Sensor Devices to attain the required pressure for optimum
performance at the sprinkler head.
A. A rain sensor shall be installed in an area exposed to
direct rainfall but out of sprinkler coverage. 3.22 Coverage Test
B. Sensor wires shall not be spliced and shall terminate A. After sprinkler system is completed, test the system
inside controller at sensor terminals. to ensure that all lawn and planting areas are
C. All devices shall be installed per manufacturers watered completely and uniformly.
recommendations. B. Make any necessary adjustments as required by the
owners representative to provide proper coverage.
3.17 Decoders (Two-Wire Only)
A. Decoders shall be from the same manufacturer as 3.23 Operating and Maintenance Tools
the controller. A. The following items shall be delivered to the
owner when work is completed and prior to final
B. Decoders shall be located in valve boxes for service
acceptance of work.
access. Decoders shall be mounted to sides of valve
boxes. 1. Two keys for each automatic controller.
C. Connections to two-wire path shall be made with 2. Two sets of any specialty adjustment or
UL-approved, direct bury splice kits rated for disassembly tools required for each type of
submersion. sprinkler head supplied.

Landscape Specification Guidelines 9 Irrigation


B. The following items shall be delivered to the owner
if applicable to the system.
1. 30" valve keys for operation of manual drain valves
2. Two keys for opening lockable valve boxes
3. One 72" steel tee wrench for operating gate valves
with square nut
4. One 72" steel tee wrench for operating bar handle
stop and waste valve
5. One (1) quick-coupler key per three (3) quick
couplers with matching swivel hose Ls
C. Provide owner instruction in operation of system.
D. Provide zone charts to owner that include:
1. Zone geographic location
2. Head type
3. Type of landscape covered
4. Required run time

3.24 Cleanup
Upon completion of all work, the contractor shall restore
all ground surfaces disturbed during the irrigation
installation to their original condition to the satisfaction
of the owners representative. Remove all excess irrigation
material, waste, debris, and equipment from the site.

Landscape Specification Guidelines 10 Irrigation


Landscape
Specification
Guidelines 6th edition

Non Tidal Wetland Planting


1.0 General Conditions appropriate planting season and construction schedule.
Often if large quantities of one wetland plant species are
1.1 Scope of Work required, the material will have to be contract-grown. A
A. The landscape contractor shall provide all materials, list of potential plant suppliers may be provided by the
labor, and equipment required to complete all wetland designer or listed on the Wetland Planting Plan
wetland planting work as shown on the plans and for the landscape contractors use.
specifications.
If plant materials are to be collected from the wild, any
B. Plant quantities, size, spacing, and condition shall be requisite permits must be obtained from appropriate
stated on the Wetland Planting Plan. The plant list government agencies regulating such collection.
submitted with the bid will automatically become Collection may not be acceptable in some areas
part of the contract documents. due to the potential damage to the natural wetland
C. The landscape contractor shall bid according to the environment. If circumstances exist where collection is
plant list. It is the wetland designers responsibility appropriate, digging should be done by hand in such a
to be sure that the plant count is correct, and that way as to minimize visual and physical impact to the
each plant grouping is clearly labeled on the plan site, and be in a staggered fashion to avoid mutilation
with the total number of plants per grouping shown. of large areas of wetland. See Section 2.2 for details on
handling and storage of collected plant material.
D. If applicable, the owner shall provide to the
landscape contractor a copy of all wetland permits
1.4 Approvals
and an approved wetland mitigation plan or an
approved letter together with the mitigation plan. All approvals shall be in writing.

1.2 Standards 1.5 Substitutions: Pre-Bid


A. All plant material should be indigenous to the It is the landscape contractors responsibility to make
eastern region of the United States and grown every reasonable effort to find the material specified
within the same USDA Hardiness Zone as the by the wetland designer. The landscape contractor is
wetlands site. responsible for qualifying his/her proposal to document
any plant suitability or availability problems. It is the
B. Container-grown, bare root, and seedling tree and
landscape contractors responsibility to provide a list of
shrub plant material shall conform to the current
proposed plant substitutions in the bid response for the
issue of the American Standard for Nursery Stock,
wetland designers approval. The contractor shall submit
published by the American Nursery and Landscape
a base bid as per plan, plus price clarifications for all
Association.
recommended substitutions.
C. Collected material may be used only when
approved by the wetland designer, owner, or owners 1.6 Substitutions: Post-Bid
representative.
If a substitute is selected, it must be approved by the
D. Nomenclature will be accordance with the most owners representative prior to award of contract.
recent edition of Reed, P.B. Jr., National List of Plant
Species that Occur in Wetlands: Northeast (Region 1). It is the intent to eliminate post-bid plant substitutions.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Biol. Re. 88 (26.1). However, in the event that the contract material has
become unavailable, the owners representative must
E. It is the wetland designers responsibility to specify approve an appropriate substitution.
the need for wet-cultured plant material. If wet-
cultured plant material is specified by the wetland
1.7 Utilities
designer, the material shall be grown in a saturated
soil condition for a minimum of three months A. It is the landscape contractors responsibility
during the growing season. Otherwise, wetland to notify utility companies and/or the general
plant material is not required. contractor in advance of construction to locate
utilities (www.missutility.net for MD, DC, and DE
1.3 Wetland Plant Availability or http://va811.com for VA).
Wetland plant species are not always readily available in B. If there is a conflict with the utilities and the
quantity. It is the landscape contractors responsibility to planting, the wetland designer shall be responsible
verify the availability of specified plant material for the for relocating plants prior to the planting process.

Landscape Specification Guidelines 1 Non Tidal Wetland Planting


1.8 Concealed Contingencies 1.13 Planting Seasons
The landscape contractor shall not be liable for delays in The recommendations below are only general guidelines.
planting, relocating plants, or damage to plants resulting There are many other factors that play a role in
from undisclosed, subsurface conditions such as, but not determining whether a plant will survive. Planting may
limited to, rock, clay pan, or soils contaminated with toxic need to be delayed to accommodate soil conditioning
substances or other obstacles encountered in excavation procedures or the removal of invasive species at the
work that are not apparent at the time of estimating. planting site. Wetland permits often contain planting
windows.
1.9 Unsuitable Conditions
A. A Planting shall not occur if the ground is frozen.
If plants are specified to be planted in conditions
that would be detrimental to growth and/or plant B. Tubers, sprigs, bulbs, and rhizomes must be
survivability as determined by the landscape contractor, transplanted before new growth emerges. Therefore,
the landscape contractor shall notify the wetland they are best planted in the fall after dormancy, or
designer or owners representative. If the wetland in the winter before dormancy breaks.
designer concurs with the landscape contractors C. Most of the sedges and grasses are best planted
assessment, any associated costs due to the relocation of immediately after dormancy breaks in the spring.
the plants or other site modifications will be at additional
cost to the owner. D. Woody and herbaceous peat-potted/container
nursery stock may be planted at any time of the
year, including plugs. All woody material shall be
1.10 Soil Testing hardened off or fully dormant when planted.
Unless otherwise noted in the plans or specifications, the
E. It is recommended that woody plant species
wetland designer prior to plant selection should conduct
be planted in the fall or early winter, after the
a soil test, and if soil amendments are required, type and
onset of dormancy. However, if winter flooding
quantity shall be identified in the bid package. The soil
is anticipated, species selection and water level
test shall be performed for the soil that will be exposed
management are crucial to seedling survival.
following excavation, or for whatever soil will be used as
the growing medium. F. Growing bare root and field-collected plugs shall be
planted during the early growing season.
1.11 Workmanship G. Bare root trees and shrubs are to be installed while
A. During delivery and installation, the landscape dormant when weather allows.
contractor shall perform in a professional manner
and leave the work areas clean of litter and debris at 1.14 Inspection and Acceptance
the close of each workday. A. Inspection: An onsite inspection of the work
B. During planting, all areas shall be kept neat identified in the contract documents is to be
and clean, and precautions shall be taken to conducted by the wetland designer and owner
avoid damage to existing plants, trees, erosion or owners representative in the presence of the
and control devices, and structures (e.g., water- landscape contractor for the purpose of acceptance.
control structures, headwalls, aprons). If a limit of Inspection shall be made within two weeks of
disturbance boundary is delineated in the field, this written notification from the landscape contractor.
line must be adhered to diligently. Failure of the owner to inspect the work shall
void the landscape contractors guarantee. During
C. Upon completion of planting operations, the inspection for initial acceptance, the landscape
landscape contractor shall remove all debris and contractor shall have an acceptance form to be
waste material resulting from planting from the signed by the owner or the owners representative.
project area, at his/her expense, and restore any areas
damaged by his/her equipment and workers. B. Initial Acceptance: There should be an approval of
the work inspected. Acceptance can be on partially
1.12 Water Supply completed work under the contract, if approved
by the wetland designer or owner. If, for reasons
The owner shall supply water on site at no cost. If the
beyond the landscape contractors control, work
landscape contractor has to supply the water or watering
has stopped, inspection shall be made on partially
equipment to the site, it shall be at an additional cost to
completed work. Warranty shall begin after
the owner.
landscape inspection and acceptance. Maintenance

Landscape Specification Guidelines 2 Non Tidal Wetland Planting


after initial inspection and acceptance shall be E. Collected and transplanted materials are not
the responsibility of the owner, unless an optional guaranteed, unless agreed to otherwise in contract
maintenance contract has been specified. documents.
1. The landscape contractor shall periodically F. The landscape contractor will not be responsible
inspect the site during the warranty period for plant losses due to abnormal weather conditions
and notify the owner in writing if proper such as floods, excessive wind damage, drought,
maintenance is not being performed. severe freezing, or abnormal rains.
C. Final Inspection and Acceptance: The landscape
1.17 Maintenance
contractor shall conduct a final inspection with the
owner or owners representative at the end of the If the owner or wetland designer desires maintenance,
warranty period. the details should be outlined in separate Specifications
and made a part of the contract documents.
1.15 Warranty
A. The term and extent of the warranty for wetland 2.0 Plant Materials
plant material usually differs from that of upland
balled and burlapped plant material, since site 2.1 Scope of Work
conditions are not as predictable. A warranty The landscape contractor shall be responsible for
period shall be agreed upon between the owner and supplying and installing all plant material represented
landscape contractor for each individual wetland on the Wetland Plant Schedule as submitted with
planting project, and made a part of the contract the contract. The landscape contractor shall have
documents. investigated the sources of supply and satisfied himself/
B. The warranty shall commence on the date of initial herself that he/she can supply all the plants specified in
acceptance by the owner or owners representative. the Plant Schedule in the size, variety, quality, quantity
and condition stated or as specified in the contract.
C. All plants listed in the warranty shall be in Failure to take this precaution will not relieve the
satisfactory health at the end of the warranty period. successful bidder from the responsibility for furnishing
D. Warranted plant material that is 25% dead or more and installing all the plant material in strict accordance
shall be considered dead and must be replaced at with the contract requirements and without additional
no charge. A tree shall be considered dead when the expense to the owner.
main leader has died back, or if 25% or more of the
crown is dead. 2.2 Standards
All material shall be nursery-grown unless otherwise
1.16 Replacements and Conditions specified.
A. Plant replacements shall be made during the next
appropriate planting season unless the landscape A. Bare root seedlings and older plants (woody)
contractor agrees to an earlier date. 1. Bare root trees and shrubs shall be dug with
B. The landscape contractor shall be responsible for a adequate, well-developed fibrous roots, pruned to
one-time replacement only. a length of approximately 8" to ease planting, if
the pruning does not result in more than 25% of
C. Replacement plants shall be of the same size and the root system being removed.
species as the original, and fertilizer and backfill
mixture the same as originally used, unless specified 2. Seedlings shall have a minimum top length of 18".
otherwise by the wetland designer. If replacement 3. The diameter of the root-collar shall be at least 3/8".
plant material is not identical to the original
4. Plants shall have an abundance of well-developed
material at the request of the wetland designer or
terminal buds on the leaders and branches.
owner, the difference in cost will be borne by the
owner. 5. The stems and branches of all plants shall be
turgid and the cambium healthy.
D. The landscape contractor will not be responsible for
plant material that has been damaged by vandalism, 6. Plants that are in leaf or that show signs of leafing
fire, removal, relocation, animal predation, or other out shall not be acceptable.
activities beyond the landscape contractors control.
B. Growing bare root plants (herbaceous)

Landscape Specification Guidelines 3 Non Tidal Wetland Planting


1. Plants shall show new roots that are clean and F. Un-rooted cutting
white in coloration.
1. Hardwood cuttings (whips) shall be 3055 cm
2. Plants shall appear healthy with no foliage spots, long and between 8 and 13 mm in diameter.
discolorations, wilting, or other evidence of the
2. The cuttings must be alive, fresh, and with bark
presence of disease or insect damage.
intact.
C. Container-grown stock (woody and herbaceous)
3. Cuttings should have at least two bud scars near
1. Plants shall be in accordance with the current the top to facilitate development of branches.
issue of American Standard for Nursery Stock,
4. The larger or thicker butt ends should be cleanly
published by the American Nursery and
cut at a 45 degree angle for easy insertion into the
Landscape Association.
soil, and the top should be cut square or blunt.
2. The root system of container-grown plants
G. Dormant propagule (herbaceous): These may be
shall be well-developed and well-distributed
bulbs, tubers, or rhizomes.
throughout the container, such that the roots
visibly extend to the inside face of the growing 1. Propagule shall be a single stem (culm) of grasses
container. or sedges and associated roots, basal shoots, and
any short rhizome sections left intact. Old or
3. If in leaf, the plants shall appear healthy with no
new top growth should be clipped to a length of
leaf spots, leaf damage, leaf discoloration, leaf
6 to 12".
wilting or evidence of insects on the plant.
2. Bulbs and tubers shall be hard.
D. Peat-potted nursery stock (herbaceous)
3. Rhizomes shall be resilient.
1. Peat-potted nursery stock shall be contained in
13/4" to 21/4" pots. H. Collected plant material
2. Each pot shall contain at least four stems having 1. Excavated material shall meet the above
a minimum of 6" of active growth. requirements for the appropriate condition, at
a minimum. Plants should be transported and
3. Roots shall be sufficiently well-developed through
replanted within 24 hours. The plants must be
the peat-pot surfaces so that plants are firmly
kept moist and protected from the wind during
contained in the pot.
transport.
4. If growing, the plants shall appear healthy with
no leaf spots, leaf damage, leaf discoloration, leaf 2.3 Inspection
wilting, or evidence of insects on the plant. A. Plants may be subject to inspection and approval
E. Plugs (herbaceous, woody seedling, or rooted cutting) by the owner or owners representative at the place
of the growth for conformity to specification
1. The width and depth of plugs shall be at least 4" requirements as to quality, size and variety. It is the
for grasses, rushes, and sedges. landscape contractors responsibility to know his/her
2. Plugs shall have a solid soil/root mass with the sources. Costs of inspection visits shall be borne by
soil in place. Roots shall appear clean and white each individual party.
in coloration. B. Plants damaged in handling or the owner may
3. If growing, the plants shall appear healthy with reject transportation or improper storage or owners
no leaf spots, leaf damage, leaf discoloration, leaf representative on-site.
wilting, or evidence of insects on the plant. C. Plants with excessive soil above the root flair may
4. If dormant, new healthy shoots (herbaceous) shall be rejected by the owner or owners representative
be apparent, or stems (woody) shall be supple and on-site.
exhibit a healthy cambium. D. Any plant material inspected at the place of growth,
5. Plugs (herbaceous) containing shoots that are accepted and sealed by the owners representative
soft or mushy or otherwise appear rotten and that has not been damaged during transportation or
plugs (woody) containing brittle stems or having handling or has not been improperly stored, cannot
unhealthy cambium shall not be accepted. be rejected at the site.

Landscape Specification Guidelines 4 Non Tidal Wetland Planting


2.4 Plant Transport, Handling, and Storage than 10% sapwood must be composted through the
A. Plants shall be transported in a covered vehicle, and first heat stage.
if the weather is very hot, protected from the heat. C. Peat Moss Type 1 sphagnum peat moss; finely
B. Plant material shall not be exposed to high winds. divided with a pH of 3.1 to 5.0.

C. Large quantities of plant material shall be shipped 3.3 Topsoil


by express packing source, picked up by the
landscape contractor, or delivered by the supplier. The practice of over-excavation and then backfilling
with topsoil for wetland creation projects are usually not
D. Large quantities of plant material shall be shipped necessary. Most substrates will support the establishment
as several partial shipments in quantities that match of vegetation. Exceptions to this would be gravel or
planting rates to reduce onsite storage requirements bedrock and dense clays, as well as soils that contain
and limit plant mortality. toxic materials or high or low pH readings. A medium
E. All plants shall be stored in a cool, shaded texture soil, with 20% to 35% clay or organic matter is
environment and watered routinely so that the soil considered an ideal soil medium.
and roots are kept moist at all times until planting. If wetland soils are to be used for topsoilingmucking
F. Preferably, bare root seedlings shall be planted then the wetland designer shall provide separate
immediately. Otherwise, bare root seedlings shall be specifications for the procedure of stripping, storing, or
stored, still wrapped, in a cool, dark place, ideally a stockpiling; maintaining; and spreading of the wetland
cold- storage unit set at 34 to 39 degrees Fahrenheit. soil. If this method is specified, the host soil should be
However, an enclosed structure will suffice for a few tested before stripping to evaluate the species in the seed
days if the roots are not allowed to dry out or freeze. bank, in order to check for the presence of invasives.
G. Cuttings shall be fresh and must be kept moist.
Cuttings should not be stored more than one day 3.4 Fertilizer
before planting; to increase the rate of survival, they Perform a soil test to determine nutrient requirements.
should be planted the same day. Apply fertilizer based on soil test results and
recommendations in accordance with current Department
H. The root system of emergent species shall be kept in
of Agriculture regulations or applicable jurisdictions.
water or in contact with a saturated mulch material.
I. If plugs are not shipped in a growing container, and 3.5 Backfill Mixture
will not be planted immediately, root masses shall be
A. The planting of herbaceous plant material does not
protected by covering them with straw, compost, or
normally require soil amendments.
other suitable material.
B. Backfill mixture for trees and shrubs shall be
J. Floating-leaved and submerged aquatics must be
equal parts of existing soil and organic material,
kept continuously wet and are best transported in
plus fertilizer. Assuming that the planting hole is
water. They shall not be stored more than a day or
approximately twice the size of the plant container,
two. The wetland designer shall specify if frequent
the following equation may be used to estimate the
water changes are necessary.
amount of compost required:
(# of plants)(Ctr. size in gal.)(0.005) = # of cubic
3.0 Products yards of compost
3.1 Quality Assurance
C. If any other additives are found to be necessary at
Manufacturers certified analysis shall accompany the time of planting, it shall be with the approval
packaged standard products. of the landscape contractor, wetland designer, and
owner or owners representative at an additional
3.2 Organic Matter negotiated cost.
A. Leaf mold thoroughly shredded, well-composted
leaf material, free of trash. 3.6 Stakes

B. Pine bark potting-grade pine bark screened Stakes shall be 2"x 2" hardwood or acceptable
through a 3/4" screen and containing less than 10% equivalent. See section, 5.7, Tree Support Schedule in the
sap wood fibers. Any pine bark containing more Exterior Landscape Installation specification for proper
stake length.

Landscape Specification Guidelines 5 Non Tidal Wetland Planting


3.7 Guying Material the topsoil or subsoil has been prepared uniformly in
A. Wire: Wire shall be 12 or 14 gauge galvanized steel the designated areas to within the specified grading
or acceptable equal, depending on size of tree. See tolerances in the contract documents or plan. Any
section 5.7, Tree Support Schedule of the Exterior undulations or irregularities in the surface resulting
Landscape Installation specification. from fertilizing, tilling or other causes shall remain to
provide a beneficial micro- topography throughout the
B. Non-wire tie: Flat, woven, smooth, elastic tie material site. Flooded, washed out or areas otherwise damaged
(e.g., ArborTie) shall be reconstructed and all grades re-established
by the landscape contractor in accordance with the
3.8 Hose drawings and/or as specified by the construction
Hose shall be corded rubber, uniform in color, and supervisor in the field.
either 1/2" or 3/4", depending on the size of the tree.
Other methods such as straps or plastic chain locks 5.2 Cleanup
may be used where acceptable. See section 5.7, Tree
Prior to planting and/or seeding, the surface shall be
Support Schedule of the Exterior Landscape Installation
cleared of all trash, debris and stones larger than 11/2"
specification.
in diameter or length, and of all roots, brush, wire,
grade stakes, and other objects that would interfere with
4.0 Soil Preparation planting or seeding operations.

4.1 General Conditions


5.3 Acceptance
If the planting area is covered with a temporary cover
The onsite construction supervisor, upon completion
crop of invasives, this growth must be eliminated at the
of each planting section, shall give acceptance for final
expense of the grading contractor or owner. Work shall
grading or area as indicated on the plan or as otherwise
proceed only after rough grading has been completed
specified. Final grade shall be within the specified
and the sub grade is within the specified grading
grading tolerances in the contract documents or plan.
tolerances in the contract documents or plan.

5.4 Maintaining the Final Grade


4.2 Topsoil Installation
The grading contractor shall be responsible for
If topsoil installation is necessary, the wetland designer
maintaining the final grade in the accepted areas that are
shall provide separate specifications.
to be planted or seeded until the effective date to begin
planting or seeding operations. The effective planting or
4.3 Tilling seeding date shall be specified in a written notice from
After the planting area has been brought to grade, the the grading contractor or owner.
substrate shall be deconsolidated by disking, ripping,
plowing, or tilling to a depth of 4" to 6". If deeper
deconsolidation is required by the wetland designer (e.g., 6.0 Planting Procedures
for woody areas), it shall be specified on the plans or in 6.1 Planting Procedures for Container-Grown
the contract documents. Material
A. Remove the plant either by cutting or inverting the
4.4 Acceptance container.
Acceptance for soil preparation shall be given by B. Use a knife or sharp blade to make four to five 1"
the wetland designer upon satisfactory completion cuts the length of the root ball; loosen the roots
of each section or area as indicated on the drawings from the outside of the rootball.
or as otherwise specified in the field. Installation by
the landscape contractor prior to said acceptance by C. A pit shall be dug large enough for the proper
the wetland designer indicates acceptance of soil by setting of the rootball (1 wider than the root ball)
contractor. and deep enough to allow 1" to 2" of the rootball to
set above existing grade. Plants from flat-bottomed
containers shall not be planted in V- shaped pits,
5.0 Final Grading such as produced by a dibble bar or pointed spade.
5.1 General Conditions D. Set the plant straight and in the center of the pit.
The landscape contractor shall proceed only after

Landscape Specification Guidelines 6 Non Tidal Wetland Planting


E. Use a backfill mixture and fertilizer as specified in C. Either hand planting or a tree planting bar or tile
Section 3.5 and 3.4, respectively. spade may be used to make a slit in the substrate,
insert the propagule, and firmly pack the soil around
F. Backfill the sides of the pit with soil mixture and
the propagule.
tamp firmly as the pit is being filled.
G. Make sure the plant remains erect during the 6.5 Planting Procedures for Peat-Potted Plant
backfilling procedure. Trees shall not have more A. Using a trowel or similar digging equipment, dig a
than a 10% lean following backfilling. hole large enough to accommodate the potted plant,
H. Leftover soil from the planting pit excavation shall while allowing space to backfill around it.
be raked around the plant, being careful not to alter B. Crush, crumble, slice, or otherwise attempt to
the existing grade significantly. A saucer shall not be disjoin the peat pot before planting in order to speed
formed around the plant. up decomposition of the peat pot.
I. Water the plant thoroughly until the soil is C. Place the plant in the hole so that the top of the soil
saturated, even if it is raining. ball is even or slightly higher than the surrounding
J. Remove all tags, labels, strings, etc. from the plant. grade.
D. Complete the planting process as outlined above in
6.2 Planting Procedures for Bare Root Material section 6.1 E through J.
A. The pit shall be only broad enough to accommodate
the roots fully extended and only deep enough so
that the uppermost roots will be just below the
7.0 Seeding Procedures
original grade. 7.1 Products
B. Set the plant in the pit so that all roots, when fully A. For purposes of stabilizing and establishing side
extended, will not touch the walls of the planting pit slopes or areas where standing water or moving
and the uppermost roots are just below the original water are not to occur, the following may be
grade. Seedlings should be planted erect. applicable:
C. Spread out the roots properly and work backfill mix 1. Mulching materials
among them. Prune off broken roots in a natural a. Straw shall be bright in color, free of rot and
position. Water thoroughly while backfilling. mildew, small- grained, free of all noxious
D. The plant shall be heeled into the ground, firmly weeds.
packing the soil around the roots. b. Cellulose fiber: Cellin-K, recovered cardboard,
E. Complete the planting process as outlined above in is the preferred type for hydro-seeding because
section 6.1 E through J. of ease of incorporation into slurry. Cellin,
recovered newspaper.
6.3 Planting Procedures for Unrooted Cuttings 2. Stabilizing materials
A. Tamp the cutting into the soil in an upright
a. Chemical tacking
position, with buds up, and no more than half of the
total length of the cutting above ground. b. Twine: binder twine used for small areas.
B. Soil shall be firmly packed around the cutting. c. Netting: nylon netting used with metal staples
or wooden pegs.
C. Do not split the cutting during tamping.
d. Crimping: mechanical, tractor-drawn
D. An iron bar can be used to make the hole; tamping
implement for stabilizing mulch.
is best accomplished with a dead-blow hammer (i.e.,
a hammer with a hollow head filled with shot). e. Cellulose fiber: as detailed above.

6.4 Planting Procedures for Propagules 7.2 Standards


A. Whole plants shall be installed with the root down. A. Collected seed should only be used when approved
by the owners representative and wetland designer.
B. Plant to a depth that allows the root collar,
evidenced by a dark line or a line dividing two color B. The supplier of the seeds shall supply the
zones, to be flush or slightly above existing grade. germination test results (within the last three

Landscape Specification Guidelines 7 Non Tidal Wetland Planting


months) and the percent purity of the seeds upon 3. Drill Seeding: For fine seeds, firm conditions are
delivery to the site. Specifications should indicate needed to attain the correct seeding depth. Plant
seeding rates using pure viable seed. All seed the seed at the depth four times the diameter of
must be cleaned, processed, analyzed for purity, the seed or based on seed requirements. Mulching
stored, and germination tested before being used. or stabilizing is not necessary for this procedure.
Every seed variety contains different germination
4. Hydro-seeding: Often a slurry mix and useful
rates and requirements, and it is the wetland
when seeding steep slopes. Consideration should be
designers responsibility to specify the germination
given when applying within wetland areas, which
requirements of the seed variety specified.
may receive frequent water flow or experience
ponding, as the water flow may wash the seed away
7.3 Seed Availability
or the seed and slurry may float away.
Large quantities of various native seed species may not
be available commercially unless they are collected from 5. Wet Seeding: Seeds are soaked until they sink
the wild. If specifications require the collection of seed and then are broadcast. This process is only
from native (local) plant communities, caution should suitable for seeds that absorb water and can
be taken not to exhaust the seed supply of that native tolerate standing water to germinate and survive.
plant community. Authorization from the appropriate
agencies and property owners should be granted prior to 7.7 General Seeding Application
collecting native seeds. A. When seeding a cover crop for wooded or scrub
shrub sites, if the planting of the woody species
7.4 Related Work occurs first, care should be taken not to disturb
the root mass of the tree or shrub. Otherwise, time
1.10 Soil Testing
should be given, if practical, for the cover crop to
3.3 Topsoil
germinate and begin growth.
4.0 Soil Preparation
5.0 Final Grading B. Prior to sowing, the finished grade shall be of a
friable, non-compacted nature to ensure good soil
7.5 Planting Season to seed contact. The area may be deconsolidated
Herbaceous seeds will have the best germination rate through disking, roto-tilling, or ripping to a depth
if planted in the fall or very early spring. Based on the of at least 4" to 6".
seed requirements for germination, the seed may need
C. Planting rows should traverse the narrow axis of the
to be planted in the late fall for stratification to occur.
wetland mitigation area rather than the longer axis
The seed may be manually stratified and planted in the
of the wetland mitigation area.
beginning of the growing season if the wetland designer
feels it is appropriate. The wetland designer shall specify D. For smaller seeds (greater than 500,000 seeds per
the appropriate planting season for each individual seed pound), dilute and mix with sand or cat litter to
species. provide an even seeding distribution. Press the seed
into contact with the final grade and cover with a
7.6 Seeding Procedures thin film of silt or mud 1/8" thick.
A. The following are various seed applications E. Wet-stored seeds should be mixed with clay-based
that may be applied when sowing seed in the cat litter, dry sand, or other active dry agents to
wetland mitigation areas. The wetland designer provide de-clumping of the seeds and suitable flow
shall determine the method of seed application of the seed during distribution.
appropriate for the site. F. Larger seeds (less than 500,000 seeds per pound)
B. It is important to evaluate the terms of suitability should be subsurface sown to various depths
of the seeded wetland species to the site conditions. depending on the size of the seed, unless the
Before specifying the seed, the designer should wetlands designer allows hydro-seeding. Larger
consider the capability of performing a successful seeds should not be pre-dried.
seeding and the suitability of the species for the site. G. Apply 8- to 9-month release, 18-6-12, or comparable
1. Aerial Seeding: Generally useful when applying fertilizer at a rate of 300 pounds per acre.
seed to a very large area. H. Seeding applications shall occur using one of
2. Broadcast Seeding: May be applied by hand or the methods specified above, ensuring that even
using equipment from the ground or boat. coverage has been achieved.

Landscape Specification Guidelines 8 Non Tidal Wetland Planting


I. If site conditions allow, seeding may be
accomplished with a tractor and cultipacker.
The cultipacker should be set to just scarify the
sediments in order to avoid the placement of the
seeds more than 1/8" deep. Traverse the site three
times with the tractor using different patterns to
ensure soil to seed contact.
J. Mitigation areas with water control structures
should be maintained in a moist condition with less
than 1" of standing water until seed germination is
complete and the seedlings are 2" to 3" tall. Based
on seed requirements, standing water deeper than 1"
may be acceptable during the germination process.
K. Return the designed hydrology to the site that is
appropriate for the seeding species.

Landscape Specification Guidelines 9 Non Tidal Wetland Planting


Landscape
Specification
Guidelines 6th edition

Seeding & Sodding


1.0 General Conditions C. Any damaged areas caused by the landscape
contractor shall be restored to their original condition.
1.1 Scope of Work
A. The landscape contractor shall furnish all labor,
material, and equipment required to complete the
2.0 Products
work described herein in strict accordance with the 2.1 Quality Assurance
drawings and/or terms of the contract. All previously Manufacturers certified analysis shall accompany
established grades shall be in conformance with the packaged standard products.
drawings and/or other specifications.
B. The landscape contractor shall be familiar with the 2.2 Organic Matter
project premises and how the existing conditions A. Sedge peat: Decomposed peat containing no
will affect his/her work. identifiable fibers.
1.2 Submittals B. Leaf compost: Screened and free of trash.
When requested by the owner or owners representative, C. Composted sewage sludge: Approved, screened,
samples of all materials shall be submitted to the owners polymer-dewatered sewage sludge with a pH of 6.2
designated representative for approval. to 7.2.

1.3 Soil Testing


D. MSW (municipal solid waste) compost with pH of
6.2 to 7.2 that is screened and contains less than 1%
A soil test shall be made to determine soil texture, pH, man-made materials.
magnesium, phosphorus and potassium. Additional
tests for soluble salts and organic matter should also be
2.3 Topsoil
made. Soil tests shall be conducted by a state laboratory
or recognized commercial laboratory. The landscape A. Topsoil shall meet acceptable soil test levels as
contractor shall perform one (1) soil test using a specified in the Soils specification. A certificate of
representative sample of on-site soils. If existing soil soil test analysis must be submitted to the landscape
has been undisturbed and is suitable as determined by architect for approval before any topsoil is delivered
soil test, no additional amendments are required. If the to the project.
owner does not accept the soil test results as submitted B. Topsoil installed on grade shall attempt to match
by the landscape contractor, the owner is accepting existing soil texture, except for situations where clay
full responsibility and thereby voids the landscape subsoil exists. Where clay subsoil exists, use loam or
contractors guarantee. Adjustments should be made silt loam topsoils.
based on soil test results.
C. Topsoil shall be free of stones, lumps, plants, roots,
Acceptable Soil Test Results and other debris over 11/2". Topsoil must also
be free of plants or plant parts of Bermuda grass,
pH range Bluegrass 6.0- 7.0, Fescues 5.5-7.0
Quack grass, Johnson grass, Mugwort, Nutsedge,
Organic matter >1.5 %
poison ivy, Canada thistle, or others as specified.
Magnesium - Mg 35 pounds per acre
Phosphorus - P205 100 pounds per acre D. Topsoil shall not contain toxic substances harmful
Potassium - K20 85 pounds per acre to plant growth (e.g., pesticide residues).
Soluble salts not to exceed 900 ppm
2.4 Fertilizer
Refer to the Soils specification, section 1.7 Soil Testing, All fertilizers shall be uniform in composition, free
to determine how to raise and lower pH. flowing, and suitable for application with approved
equipment. Fertilizers shall be delivered to the site
fully labeled according to applicable state fertilizer laws
1.4 Workmanship
and shall bear the name, trade name, or trademark
A. During sodding/seeding, all areas shall be kept neat and warranty of the producer. Applications shall be
and clean and precautions shall be taken to avoid determined by soil test recommendations.
damage to existing plants, turf and structures.
B. Upon completion, all debris and waste material 2.5 Lime
resulting from sodding/seeding operations shall be Lime material shall be ground or pulverized limestone
removed from the project and the area cleaned up.

Landscape Specification Guidelines 1 Seeding & Sodding


that contains at least 50% total oxides (i.e., calcium will provide adequate nutrients to supply the needs of
oxide plus magnesium oxide). Limestone shall be ground the plants through the first growing seasons.
to a fineness such that at least 50% will pass through
D. Tilling: As soon as the compost has been applied, it
a 100-mesh sieve and 98 to 100% will pass through a
shall be incorporated into the top 4" to 6" of soil by
20-mesh sieve. Granular or pelletized lime may be used,
either roto-tilling or cross disking.
but it must follow the same specifications as above prior
to being granulated or pelletized. Applications shall be
3.3 Final Grade Preparation With Topsoil
determined by soil test recommendations.
A. General conditions: The areas to which these
specifications apply shall be clearly indicated on the
3.0 Soil Preparation drawings or as otherwise specified. The landscape
contractor shall furnish equipment, labor, and
3.1 Subgrade Soil Preparation
materials necessary for preparing the specified areas.
A. General conditions: Work shall proceed only after Work shall proceed upon acceptance of the subgrade
rough grading has been completed and the subgrade by the landscape architect or the owner.
is within 2/10 of 1 (i.e., 2.4") from final subgrade.
If the graded area develops volunteer weed growth, B. Grades: Grades in the specified area shall conform to
the growth must be eliminated at the expense of the the drawings and/or other applicable specifications
general contractor or the owner. and shall be maintained true and even.

B. Grades: Grades that have been previously established C. Materials: Topsoil shall be as stated above in section
in conformance with the drawings and/or other 2.3 Topsoil. Topsoil on the existing site may be used
applicable specifications shall be maintained in a but must meet standards.
true and even grade. D. Topsoil installation: Topsoil shall be uniformly
C. Liming: Limestone shall be spread based on soil distributed on the designated areas to meet final
test recommendations. Lime shall be distributed grades. Spreading shall be performed in such a
uniformly over designated areas and worked into manner that sodding or seeding can proceed with a
the soil in conjunction with an expanded tillage minimum of additional soil preparation and tillage.
operation, as described below. Any irregularities in the surface resulting from
topsoiling or other operations shall be corrected
D. Tilling (Scarifying): After the areas have been in order to prevent the formation of depressions or
brought to grade, the subgrade shall be loosened by water pockets. Topsoil shall not be placed while in
disking or scarifying to a depth of 2" to 4". This is a frozen or muddy condition, when the subgrade is
especially critical when topsoil is to be added. excessively wet, or in a condition that may otherwise
be detrimental to proper grading or proposed
3.2 Final Grade Soil Preparation With Compost sodding or seeding.
This specification applies only when compost is used to E. Fertilizer: Fertilizer application rates shall be
amend existing subsoil to make it suitable for sod or for determined by topsoil test recommendations.
sowing seed. The use of compost shall be noted in the
contract agreement. F. Liming: Liming shall be based on topsoil test
recommendations.
A. General conditions: The areas to which these
specifications apply shall be clearly indicated on the G. Tilling: If 3" or less of topsoil is added to the site, it
drawings or as otherwise specified. The landscape must be incorporated into the subgrade by tilling.
contractor shall furnish equipment, labor, and All amendments must be incorporated to at least a
materials necessary for preparing the specified areas. 3" depth.
Work shall proceed only after the subgrade is within
1" of final grade. 3.4 Finish Grade
A. General conditions: The landscape contractor shall
B. Grades: Grades in the specified area shall conform to
proceed only after the topsoil or subsoil has been
the drawings and/or other applicable specifications
prepared uniformly in the designated areas to within
and shall be maintained true and even.
1/4 of 1". Any undulations or irregularities in the
C. Applying compost: The compost shall be uniformly surface resulting from fertilizing, liming, tilling,
applied at a level not to exceed 4 cubic yards per 1000 or other causes shall be leveled prior to sodding or
square feet, 1" thick layer. This level of application seeding.

Landscape Specification Guidelines 2 Seeding & Sodding


B. Prior to sodding or seeding, the surface shall be controllable broadleaf weed per 1,000 square feet,
cleared of all trash, debris, and stones larger than the color may be slightly off, or the insect and
11/2" in diameter or length, and of all roots, brush, disease levels may be slightly higher than those
wire, grade stakes and other objects that would allowed for certified sod. The sod must meet
interfere with sodding or seeding. published state standards and bear an official
Maryland or Virginia Approved Sod label on
the delivery receipt. The purchaser should require
4.0 Sod: Products and Procedures such labels when sod is delivered.
4.1 Scope of Work
3. Other sod
The landscape contractor shall furnish all labor, material,
and equipment required to complete the work described Turfgrass sod that meets and exceeds the
herein in strict accordance with the drawings and/or standards of state certified and state approved
terms of the contract. All previously established grades sod and is approved by the owner or owners
shall be in conformance with the drawings and/or other representative.
specifications.
B. Specifications for sod materials

4.2 Products 1. Class and composition: Class of turfgrass


sod shall be creeping bentgrass, Kentucky
A. Classes of MD/VA turfgrass sod
bluegrass, turf-type tall fescue, Bermuda grass, or
1. State certified sod (labeled) Zoysiagrass.
Certified turfgrass sod is a superior product 2. Thickness of cut: Sod shall be machine cut at a
grown from an approved mixture of certified uniform soil thickness of 1/2", plus or minus 1/4",
seed. The mixture is made up of individual at the time of cutting. Measurement for thickness
varieties that have been evaluated for at least five shall exclude top growth and thatch.
years at up to eight different locations throughout
3. Pad size: Individual pieces of sod shall be cut
Maryland and Virginia and are readily available
to the suppliers standard width and length.
in certified form. The mixture is evaluated,
Maximum allowable deviation from standard
mixed, tagged and sealed under the supervision
widths and lengths shall be 5%. Broken pads and
of the Maryland or Virginia Department of
torn or uneven ends will not be acceptable.
Agriculture. The mixture is planted in fields that
have been inspected by the Maryland or Virginia 4. Strength of sod sections: Under ideal conditions,
Department of Agriculture and declared free of standard size sections of sod shall be strong
all noxious weeds prior to any plowing or tillage enough to support their own weight and retain
operations by the Department of Agriculture. their size and shape when suspended vertically
The fields are periodically inspected throughout from a firm grasp on the upper 10% of the section.
the year to ensure: genetic purity; uniformity in NOTE: Younger tall fescue will not be strong
density, color and texture; pleasing appearance; enough to pass this test but is still okay to use.
free from all noxious weeds and other crop and
5. Sod viability: Sod shall not be harvested or
weed contaminants; proper mowing height;
transplanted under drought conditions.
satisfactory root development; relatively disease,
insect, and nematode-free; and numerous 6. Time limitations: Under optimal conditions, sod
other requirements for certification. Once the shall be harvested, delivered and installed within
fields are brought to the desired conditions, the a period of 36 hours. Because sod is a perishable
Department of Agriculture issues certification commodity, however, if high temperatures and
labels that must be permanently attached to low moisture extremes occur, its viability declines
each bill of lading or delivery ticket. One label and installation should occur within 24 hours
is required by law on each and every load of sod, from harvest. Sod not transplanted within this
regardless of size. The purchaser should require a period shall be inspected and approved or rejected
certified label upon delivery. by the owner, owners representative, or general
contractor prior to installation.
2. State-approved sod (labeled)
Approved turfgrass sod follows the exact same 4.3 Installation Procedures for Sod
procedure as above, except that it may have one A. Site approval: The landscape contractor shall inspect

Landscape Specification Guidelines 3 Seeding & Sodding


the site to approve final grading and preparation upper 4" of soil to promote deep root growth.
prior to installing the sod. Once sod is well rooted, less frequent, deep
watering should be maintained to encourage
B. Moistening the soil: During periods of high
deep root growth. The total should equal the
temperature, lightly irrigate the soil immediately
equivalent of at least 1" of water per week. This
prior to laying the sod.
can be accomplished through a combination of
C. Starter strip: The first row of sod shall be laid in a rainfall and irrigation.
straight line, with subsequent rows placed parallel
C. Mowing
to and tightly against each other. Lateral joints shall
be staggered to promote more uniform growth and 1. The first mowing shall be as soon as top growth
strength. Care shall be exercised to ensure that the warrants it. No more than 1/3 of the grass
sod is not stretched or overlapped and that all joints leaf shall be removed by the initial cutting or
are butted tightly in order to prevent voids, which subsequent cuttings.
would cause air-drying of the roots.
2. Grass height shall be maintained at 2" to 3" for
D. Sloping terrain: On sloping terrain where erosion Kentucky bluegrass and 21/2" to 31/2" for tall
may be a problem, sod should be installed fescue.
perpendicular to the slope when possible, with
staggered joints and secured by sod staples driven to 4.6 Disclaimer
ground level. If staples remain above ground level The landscape contractor shall not be held liable for
during sod establishment, either remove or drive to damages incurred to sod caused by deicing compounds,
ground level once sod is rooted. fertilizer, pesticides, other unauthorized chemical
E. Watering and rolling: The landscape contractor applications, vandalism, and/or acts of God.
shall lightly water sod during installation to prevent
excessive drying. As sodding is completed in any 4.7 Guarantee
one section, the entire area shall be rolled. It shall The landscape contractor shall guarantee that all
then be thoroughly irrigated so that the underside installed sod shall be Maryland/Virginia certified or
of the new sod pad and soil immediately below the approved sod, or sod that exceeds the standards for state
sod are thoroughly wet. The general contractor shall certified and state approved sod, as approved by the
be responsible for having adequate water available at owner or owners representative. All sod shall be uniform
the site prior to and during sod installation, unless in color and reasonably free of visible imperfections at
otherwise stated. acceptance. The landscape contractor shall guarantee the
establishment of the sod, only if adequate watering by
4.4 Acceptance the contractor has been approved by the owner.
Acceptance of the installed sod shall be made by the
general contractor, landscape architect, or owner within
24 hours of completion of an area or section. After 5.0 Seeding: Products and
acceptance, the owner is responsible for follow-up Procedures
maintenance.
5.1 Scope of Work

4.5 Maintenance The landscape contractor shall furnish all labor, material,
and equipment required to complete the work described
A. Upon acceptance, maintenance becomes the
herein in strict accordance with the drawings and/or
responsibility of the owner unless otherwise specified
terms of the contract. All previously established grades
in the contract.
shall be in conformance with the drawings and/or other
B. Watering specifications.
1. First week: Sod shall be kept moist at all times.
In the absence of adequate rainfall, watering shall 5.2 Related Work
be performed daily or as often as necessary and 1.3 Soil Testing
in sufficient quantities to maintain moist soil to a
depth of at least 2". 3.0 Soil Preparation

2. Second and subsequent weeks: Water the sod as


5.3 Products
required maintaining adequate moisture in the

Landscape Specification Guidelines 4 Seeding & Sodding


A. Mulching materials fiber may be mixed with water. The mixture
shall contain a maximum of 50 pounds of
1. Straw shall be free of rot, mildew, and noxious
cellulose fiber per 100 gallons of water, or refer to
weed seeds and shall be a small grain, such as
manufacturers recommended rates.
wheat, barley, or oats.
3. Wood fiber hydraulic mulch products shall
2. Wood cellulose fiber mulch shall consist of
consist of specially prepared wood that has
specially prepared cellulose processed into a
been processed to a uniform fibrous state. The
uniform fibrous physical state. The fiber mulch,
wood fibers of wood fiber hydraulic mulch
including dye, shall contain no germination or
products shall have a length of approximately
growth-inhibiting factors. The mulch material
0.5" and a diameter of approximately 0.0625".
shall be manufactured and processed in such a
It shall contain no materials or chemicals in
manner that the cellulose fiber mulch will remain
concentrations that inhibit the germination or
in uniform suspension in water under agitation
growth of grasses, forbs, meadow flowers, or
and will blend with seed, fertilizer, and other
other seedlings when they are applied according
additives to form a homogeneous slurry. The
to the manufacturers label directions. It shall be
mulch shall cover and hold grass seed in contact
capable of remaining in suspension with water
with the soil without inhibiting the growth of the
under agitation so that such products shall readily
grass seedlings.
blend with seed, fertilizer, and limestone to form
3. Wood fiber hydraulic mulch products shall a uniform slurry.
consist of specially prepared wood that has been
4. Liquid mulch binders should be applied more
processed to a uniform fibrous state, and shall
heavily at the edges, where wind catches the
be packaged for sale as a hydraulic mulch for use
mulch.
with hydraulic seeding equipment. The wood
fibers of wood fiber hydraulic mulch products 5. Lightweight plastic netting should be staked
shall have a length of approximately 0.5" and a over the mulch according to manufacturers
diameter of approximately 0.0625". The wood recommendations. It is recommended that stakes
fibers shall be dyed green, or the wood fiber be driven to ground level or removed once seed is
hydraulic mulch product shall be mixed with established.
a dye in a separate operation that will provide
C. Seed mix. Prior to specifying the composition of the
appropriate color to aid visual inspection of the
certified seed mix or blend and application rates,
material when it is spread. Wood fiber hydraulic
contact the University of Maryland Extension or
mulch products shall have a pH range of pH 4.0
refer to www.ipmnet.umd.edu.
to 8.5, and an ash content that shall not exceed
7% of the product by weight. It shall contain
5.4 Installation Procedures for Seed
no materials or chemicals in concentrations that
inhibit the germination or growth of grasses, One of the two following methods shall be used for
forbs, meadow flowers, or other seedlings when seeding after final soil preparation has been completed.
they are applied according to the manufacturers The regular seeding seasons are March 1 to May 15
label directions. It shall be capable of remaining and August 15 to October 15. Establishment is not
in suspension with water under agitation, so guaranteed when the seeding is done out of season. No
that such products shall readily blend with seed, seeding shall be done on frozen ground or when the
fertilizer, and limestone to form a uniform slurry. temperature is 32 F or lower. Optimum seeding time is
late August to mid October.
4. Erosion control blankets shall be woven and may
contain lightweight plastic netting on one or both A. Dry application
sides.
Seed installation
B. Stabilizing materials a. Cultipacker seeder: This method applies seed
just below soil surface and covers the seed in
1. A mulch-anchoring tool is a tractor-drawn
a single operation. Seed should be applied
implement designed to punch and anchor mulch
within the top 1/4" of the soil in two different
into the soil surface a minimum of 2".
directions for best results.
2. Cellulose fiber may be used for anchoring straw.
b. Drop-type/broadcast spreader: Apply
The fiber binding shall be applied at a net dry
seed within the top 1/4" of the soil in two
weight of 750 pounds per acre. The cellulose

Landscape Specification Guidelines 5 Seeding & Sodding


directions for best results. To improve soil/seed B. Watering: During the first two to three weeks, the
contact, use a landscape rake to make one pass seed shall be kept moist at all times to allow for
over the seed bed. germination. In the absence of adequate rainfall,
light, frequent watering shall be performed to keep
1. Mulching: Apply mulching material to retain
the seedbed moist.
moisture and minimize erosion. Rate for straw:
1/2" to 1" thick layer or 60 to 80 bales per acre.
5.8 Guarantee
Rate for cellulose fiber: 1,500 pounds per acre.
The landscape contractor shall guarantee germination for
2. Stabilizing: Stabilize the mulch by using a mulch seed installed during the regular season, provided that
anchoring tool, cellulose fiber, liquid mulch watering is performed by the owner.
binders, or mulch netting.
B. Hydro-seeding: Two methods can be used. The first 5.9 Disclaimer
method gives the best results. The landscape contractor shall not be held liable for
1. Water, seed, and fertilizer method: The mixture damages incurred to seed caused by deicing compounds,
shall be sprayed on the previously prepared fertilizer, pesticides, other unauthorized chemical
seedbed in the form of an aqueous mixture. All applications, vandalism and/or acts of God. Any need
mixtures shall be constantly agitated from the for overseeding or regrading attributed to this shall be an
time they are mixed until they are finally applied addition to the contract.
to the seedbed.
If the fertilizer is mixed into the slurry, no more 6.0 Crown Vetch
than 30 minutes should lapse before it is applied to
Please refer to the Maryland Seeding Association
prevent the fertilizer from burning the seed. Care
Guideline Specifications for information about
shall be exercised to ensure uniform coverage.
procedures for using Crown Vetch at www.
Straw shall be applied by hand or with a straw marylandseeding.org.
blower and stabilized. The same rates and
procedures shall be followed as detailed for dry
application above.

2. Seed, fertilizer, water, and cellulose fiber method:


The application procedure for this method is the
same as for the first method above. The rate of
cellulose fiber is 50 pounds per 100 gallons of
water. Follow manufacturers recommended rates.

5.5 Cleanup
Excess and waste material shall be removed daily.
All pavements shall be left broom cleaned, and all
damaged areas in existing turf shall be restored to their
original condition. Responsibilities should be based on
contractual agreements.

5.6 Acceptance
Acceptance of the seed installation shall be made by the
general contractor, landscape architect, or owner upon
completion of an area or section. After acceptance, the
owner is responsible for follow-up maintenance.

5.7 Maintenance
A. Upon acceptance, maintenance becomes the
responsibility of the owner, unless otherwise
specified in the contract.

Landscape Specification Guidelines 6 Seeding & Sodding


Landscape
Specification
Guidelines 6th edition

Soils
1.0 General Conditions and is to be mixed and air-dried prior to
submittal to the testing laboratory. Do NOT
1.1 Site Analysis mix upper layer and lower layer soil samples;
A. Prior to developing recommendations for soil they need to be tested separately.
modifications, an analysis of existing soil conditions 4. Compaction analysis
shall be made. All information shall be recorded
on a scale drawing of the site. The soil section of a. Based on historical, vegetative, and
the specification guidelines is dependent on the topographic analysis, determine areas of the
site analysis being completed prior to determining sites that may have been compacted. For any
recommendations for soil modifications. It is area of the site where compaction potential
the responsibility of the landscape contractor to has been identified, perform multiple soil
perform the analysis, unless the owner provides penetrometer tests to determine degree and
soil modifications in the bid package. If the owner extent of compaction.
refers to the specification guidelines and makes b. Conduct a penetration resistance test as
specific soil modification recommendations, the follows:
landscape contractor can assume that the owner has
undertaken this analysis prior to preparing the bid Penetration reading must be taken when soil
documents. It is necessary to comply with all local moisture is at field capacity (several days after
codes regarding disturbance and sediment control free drainage). Using a cone penetrometer),
requirements. apply slow, even pressure so that the
penetrometer advances in the soil at a rate of
B. The analysis shall include the following: 4 seconds per 6". Record pressure readings at
1. Analysis of historical land use to determine 04" depth (surface soil) and at 1014" depth
previous development activity and soil (subsoil).
disturbance at the site. The historical land
use analysis shall include consideration of Pressure in psi shall be as follows:
construction activity at the site that will occur <110 psi surface soil (all textures);
between the time of the analysis and the time of
the installation of new plantings. <260 psi subsurface soil loamy sand, sandy
loam, sandy clay loam, sandy clay, loam, silt
2. Analysis of existing vegetative cover and loam, silty clay loam, and silty clay;
topography that may indicate variability in soil
conditions. <225 psi subsurface soil clay loam

3. Sampling of existing soils, as follows: c. A bulk density test shall be performed if the
results of the penetrometer are outside the
a. Identify areas with different soil conditions acceptable range. The contractor is to notify
based on historical, topographic, and owner if this is needed.
vegetative analysis.
5. Drainage analysis:
b. For each area, take a minimum of one
composite soil sample (1 cup) that consists of a. Determine areas that are suspected to be
five (5) core samples. Each core sample shall be poorly drained based on the site analysis and
taken at a depth of 68" after first removing the topography.
the upper duff layer, if any. The five (5) core b. Soils that exhibit the following characteristics
samples are to be mixed and air- dried prior to shall be considered poorly drained:
submittal to the testing laboratory.
Standing water
c. Soil testing shall be as per section 1.7 Soil
Testing. Anaerobic soils (may have objectionable odor)
Gray soils (hydric)
d. If the soil in the top 68" of soil indicates a
pH level two or more units above or below the Presence of wetland species
optimum pH level desired, additional testing C. Definitions of soils and planting mixes are as follows:
of subsoil pH is recommended.
1. Existing soils are soils that are present on the site
e. A second sample at a depth of 18-24 inches is at the time of estimating.
advisable to test for subsurface soil conditions

Landscape Specification Guidelines 1 Soils


2. Imported soils are soils that are brought onto the considered harmful to plant growth.
site during the course of the job. Onsite stockpiles b. Soils suspected of containing harmful
of soil that may have been present at the time of chemical contaminants.
estimating shall also be considered imported soils.
c. Soils suspected of containing naturally
3. Planting soils are the prepared and often amended occurring compounds harmful to plant
soils, whether they are existing, imported, or a growth that are not easily mediated.
blend of both existing and imported soils, that
d. Subsoil conditions that require modifications
will be at the surface of the soil profile when
beyond basic drainage and subsoiling.
planting begins. The goal of this specification is
to help create excellent planting soils that more e. Soils not classified as a type of loam (e.g., clay,
effectively support healthy plant growth. clay/silt, sand, sandy clay) using the USDA
soils classification.
4. Planting mixes are blends of soils; sand/soil/
compost; and soil-less media used to grow plants. 1.2 Scope of Work
A typical use of planting mixes is to fill planters
located above structure. A. The landscape contractor shall provide all materials,
labor, and equipment to complete all soil and/
5. Subsoil is soil that, in an undisturbed soil or drainage work as shown on the plans and
profile, would be the B horizon. In many cases, specifications.
developers have removed the A or C horizon from
the site, so the surface soil is actually a subsoil. B. All soils and drainage work within the critical root
zone of any tree to remain shall be undertaken
D. Based on the above analysis and definitions, in such a manner so as to comply with the tree
prepare a composite drawing identifying the soil preservation requirements specified in the Tree
characteristics based on the following categories. Preservation Section.
1. Minimum soil modification required to create
planting soils, as follows: 1.3 Submittals

a. Nutrient and pH adjustments less than 0.5 When requested by the owner, samples of all soil,
pH units, in either direction on the pH scale, planting mix, and drainage materials shall be submitted
to existing soils. The range is based on the pH to the owner or owners designated representative
tolerance of the plants being placed in that for approval. For soil, planting mix, and organic
location. amendments, submit 1-pound samples and the required
soil testing results. For other materials, submit the
b. Addition of organic amendments to the manufacturers product literature.
existing soils.
c. Tilling of existing soils. 1.4 Approvals
All approvals shall be in writing.
2. Significant modification(s) required to create
planting soils, as follows: (in addition to the
1.5 Utilities and Underground Features
requirements of paragraph D.1)
A. The landscape contractor shall notify utility
a. Subsoiling to reduce compaction below
companies and/or the general contractor in advance
planting soils.
of construction to locate the utilities. Please contact
b. Installing subsurface drainage. Miss Utility at www.missutility.net for Maryland,
c. Regrading to improve surface drainage. D.C., Virginia, and Delaware.
d. Significant pH adjustment to existing soil or B. Private underground features, such as irrigation
subsoil of more than 0.5 pH units. systems, septic systems, drain systems, invisible pet
e. Adding imported soils or planting mixes. fencing, landscape lighting, underground natural
gas, and security systems, shall be located by the
3. Significant modifications beyond the scope of owner or general contractor.
these specifications.
C. If there is a conflict with the utilities and the
The following conditions require consultation with proposed soil work, the owner shall be responsible
a soil specialist to determine appropriate action: for changing the design requirements. Any costs
a. Soils containing quantities of man-made incurred for changing soil design requirements shall
inerts, such as drywall material (Gypsum), be borne by the owner.

Landscape Specification Guidelines 2 Soils


1.6 Concealed Contingencies are optimally available. However, some species, like
The correction of undisclosed subsurface conditions, ericaceous plants (e.g., Rhododendron, Azaleas,
such as rocks, roots, stumps, poor drainage, water, Pieris), require low pH soils, whereas others (e.g.,
clay pan, soils contaminated with toxic substances, or Cercis sp.) may require higher pH soils. Avoid placing
other obstacles encountered in excavation work that are plants with different pH soil requirements together.
not apparent at the time of estimating or indicated on
the soil analysis, may result in additional costs to the Suggested Ranges
owner. Upon discovery of undisclosed conditions, the Nutrient Parts per Million Concentration
landscape contractor shall notify the owner of any items Depending on CEC*
to be corrected and the associated costs, if any, before Calcium 400 to 4,000
corrective measures are taken. Notification, change Magnesium 60 to 450
orders, and approval shall be in writing. Potassium 91 to 250
Phosphorus 30 to 50
1.7 Soil Testing
If the following nutrients are analyzed
A. Soil tests shall be made of existing soils, imported
(suggested for sandy soils)
soils, and planting mixes to determine soil texture,
Iron 5 to 20
pH, total calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, Manganese 5 to 20
potassium, soluble salts and percent organic matter. Copper 0.3 to 1
Each sample to be submitted for testing shall be Boron 0.5 to 1
extracted from a composite sample representing a Zinc 1 to 3
minimum five (5) core samples for each soil area. **SS 0.2 to 1/5 mmhos/cm
Soil tests shall be conducted by a state agricultural pH 6.0 to 7.5
soil testing laboratory or by a commercial
*Ca, K ,and Mg optimal ranges depend on the ability of a soil to hold cations
agricultural soil testing laboratory.
(Cation Exchange Capacity). Nutrient levels shall be as recommended by the
B. All soil testing costs shall be borne by the landscape soils lab for the types of plants and soil conditions.
contractor. If the owner has already tested the **Soluble salts or electrical conductivity (EC) depend on the type of test being
existing soil prior to the preparation of bid performed. The recommendation is for a 1:1 soil/water extract. The EC units
documents, the soil test results shall be provided of mmhos/cm, dS/m, and mS/cm are interchangeable.
to the landscape contractor so that they may be
D. These additional tests are required when the
included in the composite soil analysis plan.
following conditions exist:
C. Each soil test shall examine the following chemical
Condition Test Required Acceptable Results
and physical attributes. Any soil that falls within
the indicated range of results shall be considered sandy soils boron 0.52.0 ppm
provisionally acceptable. Soil that falls outside of any hardwood forest manganese 1540 ppm
of the indicated ranges may be amended, retested, soils or history of
and resubmitted for approval by the owner. Once continuous mulching
with hardwood bark
a soil is considered provisionally acceptable, its
seaside and bay side sodium *
pH level should be examined for suitability with
imported soils, mechanical analysis, Requirements
the plants that are to be grown on the site. Special planting mixes including particle vary dependent
attention should be paid to the pH tolerances of size analysis of sand on application and
fraction may require the
plants that require acidic soil for healthy growth. recommendation of
a soils expert.
The following nutrient recommendations are for
turf but may include a variety of landscape plants. * Soils relatively high in sodium (Na) and low in other base cations (calcium,
Recommended nutrient ranges vary widely, and potassium and magnesium) are considered sodic soils. Proportionally high Na
can lead to plant toxicities or nutrient deficiencies. Sodic soils usually have
depending on soil characteristics and laboratory high pH above 8.5. Sodium can start to be a problem if its % Base Saturation
nutrient extraction methods, test results can is greater than 5%, especially in clay soils. Electrical Conductivity should be
also vary greatly. Nutrient availability is soil pH below 4 dS/m (mmho/cm) or you may have saline soils (a mixture of many
nutrients). Corrective actions to remove Na from soil include application of
dependent. Some nutrients, like iron, zinc and, calcium, usually by calcium sulfate (gypsum). Gypsum should not be used if
manganese, are minimally available in high pH soils soil EC is above 4 dS/m (mmho/cm).
and are very available in acidic soils.
E. In the event that pH is higher than the limits of the
Plant requirements for pH vary. Most plants do well plants specified, the plant type shall be changed to a
in a pH between 6.0 and 6.8, where most nutrients plant that is adaptable to the pH of the soil.

Landscape Specification Guidelines 3 Soils


F. In the event that the owner rejects the Compost shall comply with the following
recommendations of the soil test and requires the parameters:
landscape contractor to proceed with planting
in soils that otherwise require amendments, the a. pH 5.58.0
landscape contractor may void the guarantee for b. Salt concentration (electrical conductivity)
plantings or lawns. In the event that the contractor maximum 5 dS/m (mmhos/cm).
voids the guarantee, the owner shall be notified in
writing of such action prior to the installation of c. Moisture content %, wet weight basis 30
any plantings or lawns. No consideration of changes 60%.
to the conditions of the guarantee will be allowed d. Particle size % passing a selected mesh size,
without written notification prior to planting. dry weight basis 98% pass through 3/4" screen
or smaller.
1.8 Workmanship
e. Solvita maturity test 6 or higher.
A. During the delivery and installation of soils and
drainage, the landscape contractor shall perform in a f. Physical contaminants (inerts) %, dry weight
professional manner, coordinating his/her activities basis <1.
so as not to interfere unduly with the work of other g. Chemical contaminants mg/kg (ppm) meet or
trades and leaving his/her work area(s) neat and clean exceed U.S. EPA Class A standard, 40 CFR
of litter and debris at the close of each workday. 503.13, Tables 1 and 3 levels.
B. Upon completion, all debris and waste material h. Biological contaminants select pathogens fecal
resulting from soil and drainage operations shall be coliform, bacteria, or salmonella, meet or
removed from the project and the area cleaned up. exceed U.S. EPA Class A standard, 40 CFR
C. Any damaged areas caused by the landscape 503.32(a) levels.
contractor shall be restored to their original condition. 3. Animal manure mature compost made from
poultry, swine, cattle, or equine manures
2.0 Products composted with bedding, wood waste, or yard
debris.
2.1 Organic Amendments
4. Pine Bark potting grade pine bark screened
A. The following is a list of types of organic
through a 3/4" screen and containing less than
amendments that may be used as soil amendments.
10% sapwood fibers. Any pine bark containing
1. Sedge peat decomposed peat containing no more than 10% sapwood must be composted
identifiable fibers. through the first heat stage.
2. Yard debris mature compost (e.g., Leafgro) 5. Pine Fines a product derived from the
leaves, grass clippings, and prunings screened processing and composting of pine bark mulch
through a 3/4" screen and containing less than containing a minimum of 75% sawdust size and
1% man-made inerts. dust- sized particles.
Compost: Organic blended material, properly
composted at temperatures sufficient to break 2.2 Imported Soils
down all woody fibers, seeds, and leaf structures; A. Imported soil shall meet acceptable soil test levels as
free of toxic and nonorganic matter. Source specified in section 1.7, Soil Testing. A certificate of
material shall be yard waste trimmings blended soil test analysis, soil source location, and list of crops
with other organic material designed to produce grown in the soil over the past three years must be
compost high in fungal material. submitted to the owner for approval before any soil is
Compost shall be commercially prepared delivered to the project. Submit a 1-pound sample of
compost and meet U.S. Compost Council STA/ soil source of each soil to accompany soil test.
TMECC criteria, or as modified in this section B. Imported soils shall be loams of textural
for stable, mature compost intended for landscape classification specified for each application. Unless
backfill mix component. otherwise indicated, imported soil installed
http://compostingcouncil.org/admin/wp-content/ on grade shall be suitable for the plants to be
plugins/wp-pdfupload/pdf/191/LandscapeArch_ grown. In extreme clay or sandy subsoil, follow
Specs.pdf recommendations of a soil specialist.

Landscape Specification Guidelines 4 Soils


C. Imported soil shall not contain toxic substances test recommendations. Limestone shall be ground to
harmful to plant growth. The total volume of stones, such fineness that at least 50% will pass through a 100-
green plant parts, fibrous root mats, man-made inert mesh sieve and 98100% will pass through a 20-mesh
material and wood or woody roots in the soil shall sieve. Granular or pelletized lime may be used but it
not exceed 5%. Soil shall not contain sharp glass must follow the same specifications as above prior to
or metal objects. Imported soil shall also be free being granulated or pelletized.
of Bermuda Grass, Quack Grass, Johnson Grass,
Mugwort, Nutsedge, Poison Ivy, Canada Thistle, 2.6 Acidifying Amendment
and other invasive weeds.
Acidifying amendments shall be flowers of sulfur,
D. Imported soil shall not be harvested, transported, pelletized sulfur, granular sulfur, or iron sulfate. The
and/or graded when soil moisture exceeds field application rates of these materials will be determined by
capacity or when the material is frozen. soil test recommendations.
E. Protect imported soil stockpiles from erosion,
saturation, or weed growth using plastic sheeting or 2.7 Subsurface Drain Lines
tarps. Subsurface drain lines shall be perforated, corrugated
polyethylene plastic drainpipe with manufacturers
2.3 Planting Mixes standard connectors such as tees, elbows, caps.
A. The recommendations of mix requirements is
application specific and beyond the scope of this 2.8 Gravel
specification guideline. Consult a soil specialist for Gravel shall be pea gravel or AASHTO #57 crushed stone.
planting mix specifications.
B. To minimize volume reduction over time, only the 2.9 Filter Fabric
following organic sources shall be permitted: milled Non-woven, continuous filament polyester fabric with
pine bark, pine fines, mature yard debris compost a weight of 4.0 oz. per square yard, minimum grab
(e.g., Leafgro) or manure compost. strength of 100 lb., and a water flow rate of 100 gpm per
C. Planting mixes shall be blended mechanically using minute.
a commercial mixer or shredder. Ingredients shall be
uniformly incorporated to obtain a consistent blend. 2.10 Coarse Sand
D. Protect plant mix stockpiles after mixing by using Coarse concrete sand, ASTM C-33 Fine Aggregate.
plastic sheeting or tarps.
E. Prior to mixing any planting mix, prepare sample 3.0 Soil Preparation
mix ratios and submit to the owner for approval
along with test results. If the sample does not meet 3.1 Minimum Modifications to Create Planting Soils
the mix criteria, resubmit alternative mix ratio A. General conditions
samples with test results.
1. Identify utilities and underground utilities (see
section 1.5). All areas on either side of the utility
2.4 Fertilizers
marking, where the distance is dictated by the
All fertilizers shall be uniform in composition, free local jurisdiction, shall be amended by hand.
flowing, and suitable for application with approved
equipment. Fertilizers shall be delivered to the site fully 2. Prior to amending soils, the general contractor
labeled according to applicable state fertilizer laws and or owner shall clear the surface of all trash,
shall bear the name, trade name, or trademark and debris and stones larger than 11/2" in diameter
warranty of the producer. Application rates shall be or length, and of all roots, brush, weeds, grass,
determined by soil test recommendations. wire, grade stakes and other objects that would
interfere with soil preparation. Installation of
all utilities and irrigation mainlines shall be
2.5 Lime
completed prior to beginning soil work.
Lime material shall be ground or pulverized limestone
that contains at least 50% total oxides. The use of either 3. The soil shall not be tilled or amended when
dolomitic lime (lime with magnesium) or calcitic lime the soils moisture level is above field capacity or
(lime without magnesium) shall be determined by soil when the soil is frozen.

Landscape Specification Guidelines 5 Soils


4. Grades after amendment, tilling, and fine marking, where the distance is dictated by the
grading in the specified area shall conform to the local jurisdiction, shall be amended by hand.
drawings and/or other applicable specifications
2. Prior to amending soils, the general contractor
and shall be maintained true and even.
or owner shall clear the surface of all trash,
5. Rototilling shall not be performed within the debris, and stones larger than 11/2" in diameter
critical root zone of existing trees. or length, and of all roots, brush, weeds, grass,
wire, grade stakes, and other objects that would
3.2 Modifications to Existing Soils interfere with soil preparation. Installation of
A. General conditions all utilities and irrigation mainlines shall be
completed prior to beginning soil work.
1. Amendments shall be applied uniformly based
on the following recommendations and soil test 3. The soil shall not be tilled, re-graded, amended,
results. Thoroughly incorporate the amendments or otherwise worked when the soils moisture
into the upper 6" of soil. After adding level is above field capacity or when the soil is
amendments, retest planting soil to confirm that frozen.
the soil has responded to meet the design criteria. 4. Grades after amendment, tilling, and fine
Submit the test results to the owner for approval. grading in the specified area shall conform to the
a. Soils with optimum nutrient concentration drawings and/or other applicable specifications
but with excessively high pH levels shall and shall be maintained true and even.
be amended with pine bark or pine fines 5. Work to add soil shall proceed only after rough
and acidifying amendments to lower pH to grading of the subsoil has been completed
desired level. Soils with adequate levels of and the subgrade is within 1" to 2" from final
nutrients and organic matter shall be amended subgrade, as indicated on the drawings. If the
with lime or acidifying agents (if necessary) rough-graded area develops volunteer weed
depending on the pH requirements of plants. growth, the growth must be eliminated prior to
The contractor may also suggest changing the spreading the imported soil at the expense of the
plant(s) to those that meet the existing pH general contractor or owner.
conditions.
6. Rototilling shall not be performed within the
b. Soils with an acceptable pH but low levels critical root zone of existing trees.
of potassium or low organic matter shall be
amended with yard debris compost or animal 3.4 Subsoiling to Reduce Compaction
manure compost.
A. Subsoiling shall be done using a trencher (e.g.,
c. Soils with an acceptable pH and with adequate Ditchwitch), backhoe, mini- excavator, or rotary
amounts of organic matter but low in nutrients spader. Do not use a vibratory plow. Subsoiling may
shall be amended with fertilizers based on the be performed when soil is neither wet nor dry. If a
soil test results. shovel cannot be forced into the soil, it is too dry. If
the surface is sticky or muddy, it is too wet.
d. To reduce the bulk density of clay loam soils,
in the upper 6" of soil, amend with pine B. The subsoiler shall penetrate the soil to a depth of
fines or compost. For example, on a typical 24" at a maximum 24" interval with two passes
landscape clay loam soil, place a 2" layer of in each area at 90 degrees to each other. In sloped
compost and till to a 6" depth. areas, the first pass of subsoiling equipment shall
be across the slope. The second pass of subsoiling
e. To reduce bulk density deeper than 6", subsoil
equipment shall be up and down the slope.
using a back hoe bucket or ripping bar to the
depth of the compaction or to a minimum of C. If the soil being subsoiled is a loam, silt loam, or clay
30" depth. Then add compost to the surface and loam, spread a 4" to 6" layer of pine fines, pine bark,
till the soil using a rototiller to a depth of 6". or mature compost.
D. Use a backhoe rear bucket or similar equipment
3.3 Significant Modifications to Create Planting Soils
with a tined bucket to break up the compacted soil
A. General conditions and incorporate the compost. Work backwards
1. Identify utilities and underground utilities (see away from excavated soils so that treated soil is
section 1.5). All areas on either side of the utility not trafficked by the equipment. Insert the bucket

Landscape Specification Guidelines 6 Soils


through the compost layer and into the subsoil to a points of the system to the outfall or connection
depth of 24" and raise a bucket of soil at least 24" point to a storm sewer. Eliminate dips or rises that
above the soil surface. Tip the bucket and allow soil will trap water. The invert of the pipe shall be a
to fall. Repeat this procedure until no clumps of minimum of 4" below the depth of the top of the
compacted soil larger than 12" in diameter remain. subgrade soil.
The tines of the bucket can be used to break apart
D. Install the drain lines using one of the following two
larger clumps if necessary. 50% of the soil shall
options.
be in clumps 6" or smaller. No clumps shall be
greater than 18" in diameter. The subsoiling is not 1. Sand filter option (preferred): Install the drain
intended to homogenize the compost and soil, but lines in a bed of coarse sand. Provide a minimum
rather loosen the soil to a 24"depth and create veins of 2" of coarse sand on the bottom and sides
of compost down to that depth as well. To ensure of the drain line and a minimum of 4" on top
that subsoiling reached the appropriate depth, a and sides of the pipe. Place the pipe with the
push tube soil sampler shall be used to verify that perforations facing toward the bottom of the
compost is present at 24" depth. trench. In the case where pipe is used that has
perforations on all sides of the pipe, place a 10"
3.5 Installing Subsurface Drainage wide strip of 4 ml plastic over the top and sides of
A. All subsurface drainage work should be completed the pipes before adding sand to the sides and top
as indicated on the drawing or as described in the of the trench.
contract. The plan shall identify the location of all 2. Gravel/filter cloth option: Install the drainage
drain lines, the desired slope of the drain lines and gravel to the depths and profiles shown on the
the depth they will be set, the materials and details drawings. Provide a minimum of 2" of gravel
to be used, and any required connections. The on the bottom and sides of the drain line and
recommendations of the plan should be provided by a minimum of 4" on top of the pipe. Wrap the
the landscape contractor, preferably with the advice gravel in filter fabric according to the drainage
of a soils expert, or from drawings provided by the details. Provide a minimum of 8 of overlap
owner or owners representative. where the filter cloth comes together. Phase
1. Absent a plan developed prior to bidding, the the construction to keep the gravel from being
following minimum standards shall apply to any contaminated with soil.
area where subsurface drain lines are requested by E. All connections and splices shall use the pipe
the owner or required by field conditions. manufacturers standard fittings. All joints shall be
a. Provide one drain line at the lowest portion of secure.
each turf or planting soil area that is aligned F. When the top of the sand or filter cloth is below
parallel to any walk, property line or structure depth of the planting soil or bed preparation,
that defines the edge of the planting soil bed. backfill the trench with coarse sand or gravel to the
b. Provide additional lines at a minimum of 20 elevation of the top of the subgrade soil.
feet on center throughout the turf or planting
soil area. The alignment of the lines shall be 3.6 Adding Soils or Planting Mixes
such that they flow at a minimum slope of 1% A. Add imported soil or planting mix when required on
when set approximately parallel to the final the drawings. The limits and depths of the soil to be
grade contours. added shall be as indicated on the drawings. Depths
shall be as measured from the top of the subsoil to
c. All lines shall be terminated in a location that
the fine graded soil level for mulched and seeded
allows the water to flow onto the surface or be
lawn areas and to the bottom of the sod for sodded
connected to a storm drain where available.
lawn areas. All soil depths are to be as measured
B. Provide horizontal field engineering at all times after initial compaction and 12 months settlement.
when drain lines are being installed to ensure that
B. All subsoil modification, installation of drain
the slope on all perforated drain lines is positive
lines, planter drainage and rough grading shall be
toward itsintended outfall and also remains at the
completed prior to adding soils. All subgrades shall
correct depth as shown on the drawings.
be inspected by the owner or owners representative
C. Excavate a trench a minimum of 8" wide to a depth and approved prior to adding soils.
required to provide positive drainage from the high
C. Till the subgrade to a minimum depth of 6" or

Landscape Specification Guidelines 7 Soils


scarify to a depth of 4 inches using the teeth of a 3.9 Soil Compaction Testing
back hoe just prior to adding the first lift of soil A. Following grading or soil installation, test the soil
or planting mix. This is in addition to any other compaction with the penetrometer.
required subsoiling. Leave the subgrade rough to
receive imported soils and break soil interface lines. B. Prior to testing the soil with the penetrometer,
Tilling may be accomplished with a rototiller, the check the soil moisture. Penetrometer readings are
teeth of a backhoe bucket, an agricultural plow, or impacted by soil moisture, and excessively wet or
other suitable equipment. dry soils will read significantly lower or higher than
soils at optimum moisture.
D. Add imported soil or planting mix in lifts not to
exceed 12" in depth. C. The penetrometer readings shall be within 100250
psi to the full depth of the installed soil or to a
1. Compact each soil lift using a plate vibrator or depth of the amended or tilled soil, whichever is
light roller to a density between 100 and 250 psi greater, when moisture levels are consistent with soil
reading with a penetrometer. moisture during time of installation.
2. Soil that has been compacted should drain water D. Any areas that fail to meet the above criteria shall,
at the rate of 1" per hour. Soils that drain less if requested by the owner, be reworked to attain the
than 1" per hour are considered over-compacted required compaction.
and must be tilled and rolled again.
E. Make the penetrometer available to the owner for
3.7 Significant pH Adjustment of Planting Soils and/
use in observing the soil compaction. The owner
or Subsoils may at any time check the compaction in the soil.
A. If the pH of the subsoil is more than 0.5 pH units
3.10 Cleanup
above or below the desired range, amend with
the recommended amount of lime or acidifying A. Immediately following each days work, clean all
amendment and incorporate into the upper 4" to 6" dirt, excess soil, debris, and trash from the job site.
of the subsoil prior to establishing the sub- grade. Store additional soils in stockpiles protected from
If the subsoil is more than 2 pH units above the erosion and contamination by other contractors with
desired range, till a 2" layer of pine fines into the top tarps.
6" of the sub-grade soil. B. At the end of the installation of all soils, leave the
B. If the pH of the existing soils is more than 2 pH site in a clean and clear condition. Dispose of all
units above or below the desired range, amend with dirt, excess soil, debris, and trash in a legal manner
the recommended amount of lime or acidifying off site.
amendment and incorporate into the upper 4" to
6" of the existing soil prior to fine grading. If the 3.11 Protection
existing soil has a pH that is more than 2 units A. Maintain grades and protect soil from erosion,
above the desired range, incorporate a 2" layer of compaction and contamination until planting/
pine fines in addition to the acidifying amendment. seeding/sodding operations begin.
B. Restore any erosion washes, break compaction by
3.8 Grading
tilling, and remove and replace any contaminated
A. All grading to improve surface drainage shall soils.
be done according to an agreed- upon plan. The
plan shall identify the location, slope, and details 3.12 Restoring Settled Grades
of any areas that are to be graded or swales to
Soil that settles below the design grade as a result of work
be created. The recommendations of the plan
completed by the landscape contractor shall be re-graded
should be provided by the landscape contractor or
12 months after completion by removing the mulch or
from drawings provided by the owner or owners
sod and adding additional soil. Soil that settles as a result
representative.
of work performed by other trades (examples include,
B. Provide horizontal field engineering to ensure but are not limited to, backfilling of utilities, walls, and
appropriate slopes of the swales and final grades. foundations and the lack of compaction thereof) shall
C. Avoid unnecessary compaction of the soil during not be the responsibility of the landscape contractor.
grading.

Landscape Specification Guidelines 8 Soils


Landscape
Specification
Guidelines 6th edition

Tree Preservation
1.0 General Conditions An FCP must be prepared by a Maryland Licensed
The Maryland Forest Conservation Act was passed by Forester, Maryland Licensed Landscape Architect, or
the General Assembly in 1991 and was subsequently other qualified professional. A stamp or certification by
amended to conserve the states forest resources during the preparer shall appear on the submission.
development activities. The Act requires identification
of existing forest stands, protection of the most desirable
forest stands, and establishment of areas where new
2.0 Definitions
A. Caliper: The diameter of a tree trunk less than 12"
forest can be planted.
measured at 4" to 12" above the ground. From 1" to
The Forest Conservation Act establishes standards for 4" it is measured 6" above the ground, and from 4"
local authorities to enforce during the development to 12" it is measured 12" from the ground.
process and is a means to protect not only forests and B. Champion Tree: The largest of its species, as
trees in developing areas, but also any sensitive areas determined by the Maryland Department of
identified during the local planning or comprehensive Natural Resources.
land use plan adoption process.
C. Critical Root Zone: A circular region measured
outward from a tree trunk representing the area of
1.1 Basic Planning Requirements
the roots that must be maintained or protected for
The Maryland Forest Conservation Act of 1991 requires the trees survival. Usually it is 1 ft of radial distance
that prior to the approval of any public or private for every inch of tree diameter (DBH) measured at
subdivision, project plan, grading plan permit, or 4.5 ft above the ground, with a minimum radius of
sediment control permit on a unit of land 40,000 square 8 ft. For specimen trees, the critical root zone shall
feet or greater, applicants shall submit a Forest Stand be 1.5 ft for every inch of tree diameter.
Delineation (FSD) and a Forest Conservation Plan (FCP).
These plans shall be approved by the local authority under D. Diameter Breast Height: The height at which a
a locally adopted forest conservation program, or the tree is measured that is over 12" in diameter. This
Department of Natural Resources where no local program measurement is taken 4.5 ft above the ground.
is in effect, before other approvals are given. E. Landscaping Plan: A plan, drawn to scale, showing
dimensions and details for re-vegetating an area
1.2 Forest Stand Delineation 2,500 ft2 or greater in size and at least 35 ft wide,
The FSD is an inventory of existing site conditions and including maintenance and protection measures.
forest and shall be used during the preliminary review F. Reforestation or Reforested: The creation of a
process to determine the most suitable and practical biological community dominated by trees and
areas for forest conservation during development. Only other woody plants containing at least 100 live trees
qualified professionals approved by the Department per acre, with at least 50% of those trees having
of Natural Resources, Forest Service, or, for local the potential of attaining a 2" or greater diameter
applications, an adopted and approved local forest measured at 4.5 ft above the ground, within seven
conservation program, may prepare a an FSD Plan. years. Reforestation includes landscaping of areas
under an approved landscaping plan that establishes
1.3 Forest Conservation Plan a forest at least 35 ft wide and covering 2,500 ft2 of
The FCP details the amount of the forest that will be area. Afforestation is the establishment of a forest
retained, reforested, or afforested; the locations where this in an area on which forest cover has been absent for
will occur; proposed protection measures taken during a long period of time, or the planting of open areas
development, such as location of devices and limits of that are not presently in forest cover.
disturbance; construction scheduling, maintenance, and G. Seedlings: An un-branched woody plant, less than
monitoring procedures; long-term protection measures; 24" in height and having a diameter of less than
and other measures that may be required. The plan can 1/2" caliper measured at 2" above the root collar.
be divided into five principal topics:
H. Selective Clearing: The careful and planned removal
1. Determining Priority Forest and Priority Areas of trees and plants using specific standards and
2. Retained Forest and Tree Protection protective measures under certain conditions, as
3. Forest and Tree Planting established in an approved FCP.
4. Maintenance and Monitoring I. Specimen Tree: Trees having a diameter of 30" or
5. Enforcement more measured at 4.5 ft above the ground, or trees

Landscape Specification Guidelines 1 Tree Preservation


having 75% or more of the diameter of the current 3.2 Forest or Tree Protection Procedures
State Champion of that species. Also includes Forest or tree protection procedures can be summarized
Champion trees. in the following steps.
J. Temporary Tree Protection Devices: Structural
A. Field-locate the proposed retention boundary as
measures, such as fencing or berms, installed prior to
shown on the preliminary FCP.
construction for the purpose of preventing access to
forest retention areas or afforested or reforested areas B. Field-locate the proposed limit of disturbance. If
during construction. this does not agree with the preliminary approved
retention area, revise the FCP map and calculations
K. Tree: A large, branched, woody plant having one or
to show adjusted retention areas, if needed.
several self-supporting stems or trunks that reach a
height of at least 20 ft at maturity. C. Evaluate tree conditions and critical root zones.
L. Tree Line: The boundaries of existing forests, as D. Field-adjust and stake the retention boundary.
determined by the most recent aerial photography In general, if more than 30 percent of the critical
and field verification. root zone is to be disturbed, the tree should not be
included in the retention area. Some soil disturbance
M. Understory Trees: Trees with crowns entirely below
may be mitigated by selective stress reduction
the general level of the canopy, receiving little or no
pruning or other methods.
sunlight from above or the sides.
E. Obtain final FCP approval, if not obtained earlier.
N. Whip: An un-branched woody plant greater than
Notify approving authority for inspection approval
24" in height and having a diameter of less than 1"
or installed devices.
caliper measured at 6" above the root collar.
F. Proceed with construction, subject to final
approvals.
3.0 Forest and Tree Protection
The final FCP map shall locate and describe any Notify approving authority following completion of
protection mechanisms to be installed to protect construction for final inspection.
retention areas during and after construction. These
mechanisms shall be field-located and approved by
inspection prior to the start of construction. 4.0 Construction Techniques
The FCP not only locates the forest retention boundary,
Any clearing, grading, or construction within 50 ft but also includes details and specifications for forest
of the retention area will require protection devices, protection. As a construction document, it directs
including, but not limited to, fencing or adapted construction contractors and others in the correct design,
sediment and erosion control devices and signs, as installation, timing, and placement of specific protection
indicated in the approved FCP. All protection devices devices and protection measures. Strict adherence to the
shall remain in place until construction completion, final FCP details and specifications will be enforced. If plans
inspection, and issuance of an occupancy permit, unless have not been prepared, the owner is responsible for
waived by the approving authority. contacting a qualified professional to prepare an FCP.
All plans shall include identification of the individual
3.1 Critical Root Zones
trees to receive tree care as per these guidelines. If
any deviation from the approved plan details and
The Critical Root Zone of a tree is the zone in which specifications occurs, the contractor shall notify the
most of the roots live. Ninety-five percent of the roots qualified professional to determine what action should
of most trees will be found in the upper 12" to 18" of be taken.
the soil. Most of the roots that supply the nutrients
and water to the tree are found just below the soil Prior to any site disturbance, it shall be the responsibility
surface. The total amount of a trees roots is generally of the contractor to install tree preservation measures in
proportional to the volume of the trees canopy. accordance with plans and specifications prepared by a
Therefore, if the roots only penetrate a thin layer of soil, qualified professional. It is the contractors responsibility
then the roots must spread far from the tree, beyond to safeguard the trees designated to be preserved.
the extension of the canopy. When delineating forest Throughout planning and construction, applicants
retention lines in the field, consider not only the visible should monitor the effect of the proposed activities on
portion of the treethe trunk and canopybut also the the forest or tree retention area.
belowground portion as well.

Landscape Specification Guidelines 2 Tree Preservation


4.1 Concerns attachment on the proposal to the contractor from the
Following is a list of concerns that should be monitored: owner or owners representative. Items listed in these
specifications are examples of what should be done for
1. Soil and root compaction proper tree preservation. All of these items may not
2. Root injury be necessary; therefore, a list of activities to be priced
3. Limb or trunk injury and performed must be on the FCP or included as an
attachment to the pricing document.
4. Too much water
5. Too little water
5.2 Industry Standards
6. Disease
All work performed shall meet or exceed industry
The following must not occur within the tree protection standards approved by the International Society of
area: Arboriculture (ISA), American National Standards
Institute (ANSI), or the Tree Care Industry Association
1. Stockpiling of soils (TCIA).
2. Operating or storing construction equipment
3. Burning in close proximity to protected areas 5.3 Professional Arborist
4. Re-grading causing runoff, flooding, or change of The developer shall retain a professional arborist to
elevation ensure the proper implementation of the FCP. A
5. Parking vehicles and storing supplies professional arborist is defined as an arborist who
has demonstrated his/her proficiency by obtaining
6. Spilling of toxic materials
a certification through the International Society of
7. Spraying of herbicides in close proximity to Arboriculture.
protected areas

4.2 Fines 6.0 Implementation


Fines for noncompliance with the FCP and penalties 6.1 Tree Inventory
for any trees lost or damaged due to negligence will
be assessed according to the local governing agencys 1. Tagging the tree with a numeric tree tag
regulations or the existing contract or agreement with 2. Location identified on design plan
the owner. 3. Identify the species
4. Size, diameter, crown size and critical root zone
4.3 Forest and Tree Planting 5. Condition rating
The Forest Conservation Act also requires that the FCP 6. Additional information on any tree or groups of
include an afforestation or reforestation plan when tree or plants
appropriate. After techniques for retaining forest on a
7. Identify defects such as decay, structural
site have been exhausted, afforestation and reforestation
deficiencies, etc.
may be required on the site or, if demonstrated as
necessary, off the site. A final alternative may be a fee- 8. Recommendations for preservation
in-lieu paid to the Forest Conservation Fund of the 9. Recommendations for mitigation activities once
approving authority if an applicant demonstrated that development plans are finalized
the requirements for reforestation or afforestation on site
or off site cannot be reasonably accomplished. 6.2 Demarking Limits of Disturbance
The limits of clearing and grading shall be accurately
Specifications for the afforestation or reforestation will
flagged prior to any construction activity on site.
be on the FCP. The following scope of work and details
will pertain mainly to tree preservation.
6.3 Clearing Operations
Trees to be removed shall be felled in such a manner as
5.0 Scope of Work to preserve the trees that are to remain. Trees directly
5.1 Tree Preservation Activities adjacent to the limits of clearing and grading, but within
the limits of clearing and grading, shall be felled by
For pricing purposes, all required tree preservation
hand, with a chain saw. If stumps must be removed,
activities shall be outlined on the FCP or made as an
root prune around the back side (tree preservation side of

Landscape Specification Guidelines 3 Tree Preservation


stump) before removal. Trees within the tree preservation size and spacing, and backfill material (if any) shall be
areas, which are individually identified by the project determined by the project arborist.
arborist to be removed, shall be felled by hand, with
a chain saw, and the stumps shall remain in place. If 6.8 Fertilizer Application
necessary, to ensure that the removal of these trees does
Fertilizer application shall be performed in accordance
not damage the trees designated to be preserved, some
with ANSI A300, Tree, Shrub, and Other Woody
trees may need to be climbed and cut down in sections.
Plant Maintenance Standard Practices (Fertilization).
Trees designated for preservation as indicated in the
6.4 Root Pruning Tree Preservation Activities Schedule shall receive
Root pruning shall be performed whenever grades will fertilization. Specifications and the schedule should
be altered within the root zone of a tree to be preserved be developed by a person familiar with soils and plant
and shall be conducted at the limits of disturbance. nutrient requirements for that specific geographic area.
Root pruning shall be performed using an air spade, Fertilizer should be a slow-release formulation.
vibratory plow, or trencher. If a trencher is used, the
roots shall be clean-cut using the appropriate tool (i.e., 6.9 Tree Pruning
hand saw, loppers, or hand pruners), and the trench shall
Pruning shall conform to ANSI A300, Tree, Shrub
be backfilled immediately to prevent root dehydration.
and Other Woody Plant Maintenance Standard Practices
Where cuts are to occur, root pruning shall be to a depth
(Pruning). Pruning prescriptions should be developed
of 24 inches or to the depth of the excavation, whichever
by a person familiar with tree species for the specific
is less. Root pruning the trench may be used for the
geographic area. Trees shall be pruned as indicated in
installation of a silt fence, if one is to be installed at the
the Tree Preservation Activities Schedule. Maintenance
limits of disturbance. Root pruning shall be overseen by
pruning shall consist of crown cleaning to remove all
a certified arborist or their designated individual.
dead, damaged, and weak branches. The removal of
selected conflicting branches shall be included. Under
6.5 Tree Preservation Fencing no circumstances shall the interior of trees be stripped.
Fencing shall be installed at the limits of clearing and Interior branches shall be selectively pruned to reduced
grading wherever clearing and grading is to occur conflict or where branches are damaged. Hazard reduction
within critical root zones of trees designated to be pruning shall consist of the removal of any dead branches
preserved. Fencing shall be installed prior to demolition and the correction of any other problems related to safety.
or construction to prevent land-disturbing activities Items not correctable by pruning shall be brought to the
within the tree preservation area. Signs prohibiting owners and project arborists attention in writing.
entrance should be installed every 30 feet along fencing.
Signs should read, TREE PRESERVATION AREA 6.10 Cabling and Bracing
KEEP OUT. The type of fencing required needs to be
Support systems are used to provide supplemental
specified: 2"x4" welded wire on T posts with orange
support to leaders, individual limbs, and/or the
flagging ribbon for safety or 6 chain link fence attached
whole plant. Objectives for support systems shall be
to ground driven posts.
defined prior to installation. All prescriptions and
recommendations should be provided by a person
6.6 Wood Chips or Mulch familiar with tree growth habits, weights, and wood
Chips or mulch that is produced as a result of clearing strength. The implementation shall be in accordance to
operations on site may be used for this purpose. No the ANSI A300 Standards Tree, Shrub, and Other Woody
engine-driven machinery may be used within the tree Plant Maintenance Standard Practices (Support Systems).
preservation area to place chips or mulch unless proper
precautions are taken to protect critical root zones. Chips 6.11 Lightning Protection
or mulch shall not be placed at a depth of more than six
Lightning protection systems are used to safeguard trees
inches within the preservation areas.
from damage due to lightning. Much expense and effort
is provided to preserve trees, and select specimen trees
6.7 Vertical Mulching should be considered for protection against lightning.
Trees designated to receive vertical mulching treatment These systems should be installed in accordance
shall be treated as soon after clearing and grading as with ANSI A300 Tree, Shrub and Other Woody Plant
weather permits. Vertical mulching should not be Maintenance Standard Practices (Lightning Protection
performed when soil is wet. Areas to be treated, hole Installation for Trees).

Landscape Specification Guidelines 4 Tree Preservation


6.12 Insect and Disease Control
A pest management program should be developed to
protect plants that may have been weakened due to
land-disturbing activities. These plants may be more
susceptible to disease and insects. Many trees have had
roots removed, grades changed, and drainage patterns
altered. These trees should be monitored for changes in
condition, and proper prescriptions should be developed.

6.13 Watering
Supplemental watering may be necessary during drought
conditions or when adequate water is not available. Trees
that have roots and rooting areas damaged, changed,
or removed must have a schedule for proper watering.
Trenching for irrigation within the critical root zone
shall be avoided to prevent further damage.

6.14 Monitoring/Follow-up Inspections


The amount of monitoring on site by an approved
arborist during construction or the number of follow-up
visits required after construction shall be detailed in the
pricing document.

7.0 Construction Details


Please see the diagrams on the following pages. All of the
details may not apply to your condition, so see your FCP
for use of these details.

The drawings on the following pages are reprinted


with permission of the Maryland Department of
Natural Resources Forest Service from the State Forest
Conservation Technical Manual, 3rd edition, 1997.
To purchase a copy of this manual, call the Maryland
Division of State Documents at (410) 974-2486.

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