The “New” Landscape Along the Boulevard
This story began 5 years ago when we realized there was no hope for our Sycamore trees. They were infected with anthracnose, a degenerating bacterial disease that starts with premature defoliation and eventually ends up with loss of the entire tree. There is no cure. By April 2004, more that 40% of the Sycamore trees had been severely diseased and removed. For the rest, it was just a question of time. Within 3 to 5 years they would all be gone.
The Homeowners Association decided that a replacement plan should be developed. The first step was a full-scale evaluation done by the SC Department of Urban Forestry. Their recommendation was to select a variety of trees that grew well in our geographical environment, and plant them in groups along the boulevard, much as you see now.
We next decided to look at the Summit in the Northeast, which provided the closest example to our intended landscape plan. The Landscape Committee made numerous visits, measured tree and shrub locations, and identified the major varieties. A preliminary plan was then developed and presented to Clif Kinder, our developer. With his approval and support, we were able to locate a nursery that would provide the varieties needed. Mr. Kinder also made arrangements that allowed us to purchase all the trees and shrubs at once. What might have taken 3 to 5 years to complete was reduced to only one year.
The trees all had a one-year guarantee. Those that did not survive were replaced. The majority were Sawtooth Oaks and Willow Oaks. Their loss was mostly due to the intense summer heat. In November 2005, we planted 15 Willow Oaks along the Driveway to the Club House. At that time, the other trees requiring replacement were identified and replanted. In the spring of 2006 we replaced the sycamore trees at the Hollingshed entrance. The landscape appearance is similar to the boulevard area with a similar mix of Elm trees, Oak trees, Savannah Holly and Crape Myrtles. Due to budgetary constraints, we had to forgo the Savannah Holly in 2006.
In the summer of 2006, we replanted all nine (9) Median Islands with Japanese Silver Grass, Dwarf Nandina, Youpan Holly, Liriope, and Creeping Raspberry. However, extreme summmer heat, followed by a cold winter, killed off most of the Liriope and Creeping Raspberry. This spring (2008) we replanted the Liriope with a more temperature appropriate variety and replaced the Creeping Raspberry with Day Lillies. We expect the summer color this year will be a wonderful improvement.