Category Archives: SNOW REMOVAL

snow removal

Why Now is the Time to Find a Commercial Snow Remover for Chicago’s Tough Winter

With summer officially being over, now is the time to start dealing with the snow that is falling around your commercial property. Although it may sound depressing to have to think about snow removal, it is still not too late to secure the services of a reliable commercial snow remover for your business property.

1. You will have More Time to Obtain Snow Removal Estimates

Although it is not recommended that you obtain an estimate from dozens of snow removal contractors, it is a good idea to request a few. Obtain a full property assessment from each of them and inquire about how they will be able to cater to your unique snow and ice removal requirements.

2. Visibility for assessing your Property is Better

If you wait until the snow has become too deep, it will not be that easy for contractors to fully identify all areas of your property that will require removal. It is also far better to inspect the property before too much snow has fallen and it makes it easier for contractors to identify potential safety issues that will need to be addressed when performing snow removal in Chicago.

3. Secure your Spot on the List

Regardless of the size of a snow removal company, their equipment and time are all limited – meaning that there are only so many clients that they will be able to service each day that it is snowing. Reputable companies will normally have client lists that fill up quickly, with repeat clients usually being given priority. As a result, it is recommended that you search for and hire the services of a snow removal contractor before they will actually be needed.

4. Inquire about Securing Salt and Having the Necessary Resources Allocated to your Property

Before signing a contract with a snow removal contractor, it’s recommended that you inquire about the type of equipment that will be used on your commercial property. Also ask whether they will have the crew capacity to service your property as the need arises – after all, you want to ensure that they will be fully prepared to handle your snow removal requirements with ease, especially now that it has started snowing.

It is also essential to have your chosen contractor confirm whether they will be able to secure the supply of sufficient amounts of salt and ice-melting products to suit a property of your size.

In Chicago, it is not a matter of ‘if it is going to snow,’ it’s a matter of ‘when it will snow’ and how much snow will fall. This means that as a commercial property owner or resident, you should start having this service performed right away. If you would like to obtain an estimate from us for snow removal, get in touch with us as soon as possible. You certainly don’t want to wait too long into the snowy season and not be able to secure the services of a contractor.

Winter Curb Appeal

Want to Ensure that your Property Survives the Deep Winter? We Can Help

With winter having arrived, many homeowners will be thinking about cozy evenings by the fireplace or being able to enjoy hearty meals with family and friends. However, this is also the time for them to be preparing their yards and outdoor spaces so that they will be able to withstand the harsh winter weather conditions as best as possible. Below are some aspects that we can assist you with that will help prepare your home to withstand the cold weather.

1. Planning Ahead and Getting an Early Start

The earlier you get started with winterizing your lawn, other plants, trees, shrubs, and irrigation system, the sooner you will be able to have your yard looking good when spring arrives. Your lawn and plants will also be able to absorb more nutrients this way. Waiting until there is snow on the ground to do this could result in your lawn and plants looking less than their best later on, or even dying in some cases.

2. Finding the Right Lawn Winterizer

Your lawn and garden will more than likely not survive the harsh winter months without having the correct winterizing products applied. Although most winterizing products contain similar ingredients to those found in other lawn food products, it is essential to obtain a product containing the correct ingredient ratios for your lawn. Our professionals will be able to advise you regarding which products will be best for your lawn and plants.

3. Removing Plant Debris

When left on your lawn for extended periods of time, leaves and other plant debris will cause dead and dry spots to develop. Allowing our team to assist you regularly with raking everything off your lawn and removing it from your property will help ensure that it remains aesthetically appealing and healthy.

4. Covering Flower Beds

While preparing your lawn to survive the cold winter months, it is recommended that your flowerbeds be covered with burlap sacks or fabric. This will provide your plants with much-needed protection against the cold and if you have not already done this, you should do so right away.

5. Taking Small and Fragile Plants Indoors

Some herbs, smaller pants, and delicate bulbs may not be able to survive to be out in the cold. Our team will be able to help you move these indoors so they can continue growing. However, you will need to act quickly if any are still outdoors at this time.

6. Preparing your Irrigation System

Chicago’s winter temperatures often drop to well below freezing, meaning that any water remaining in pipes, valves and other working parts of your irrigation system can suffer substantial damage if they are not correctly drained. In most cases, they will also need to be blown out with high-pressure air to ensure that no water remains anywhere. We will be able to advise you in this regard or perform this service on your behalf.

Our team is committed to helping you to keep your lawn and garden looking beautiful all year round. If you would like to find out more about the various landscaping and other services we offer, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team today. We look forward to hearing from you.

Shoveling Safety

5 Shoveling Tips to Prevent Aches and Pains

Once the holidays are over, it often feels like we will be digging our way out of winter forever. Dragging ourselves outside to shovel the sidewalks and driveways is never fun. And what can make this chore even more dreaded is how we feel after we clear the snow.

Shoveling can take a toll on the body. Aches and pains from lifting heavy loads of slush can leave you worn, tired or even immobile for a period of time. For those with pre-existing issues, it can exacerbate an already tough situation making it even worse.

But luckily there are techniques you can start doing today to lighten the load! Here are five expert tips on how to prevent post-shoveling aches and pains:

1. Warm Up

You wouldn’t run a mile without warming up first. And you wouldn’t go golfing without taking a few practice swings to get loose. Approach shoveling the same way. Warm your arm and leg muscles up before you head outside for a better recovery after.

2. Use the Right Tools

If you are still using that old, beat-up shovel… it’s time to say “goodbye”. To do a job quickly and effectively you need the right tool for the job. There are many great ergonomic shovels on the market today that help reduce the strain on your back while efficiently clearing the snow.

3. Lift with Your Legs & Don’t Twist

It’s time to start paying attention to how you pick-up and drop those heavy loads. Always make sure to lift the shovel with your legs rather than heaving using your lower back. And don’t twist the torso to throw the snow off to the side! Lift first, turn your body and then dump the load off the shovel.

4. Brace Your Back

Back pain is the most common injury people experience from shoveling. If you are prone to lower back pain aches wear a brace belt while you shovel. It will help give your back the support it needs so you can finish the job.

5. Know Your Limits

Not everyone can handle the straining task of removing tons and tons of snow. Know your limits! The time might be right to hire a professional to keep your pathways clear for the winter season. They can quickly and easily finish the job before you could even clear a small section.

Winter doesn’t have to wreak havoc on the body. Using the right techniques to shovel your driveway and sidewalks can mean the difference between a pain-free season or one with aches and injuries. Martin John Company is there to help when the load becomes too much. We offer affordable and professional snow removal services and are there right when you need us. Around the clock care is how we give our customers the best service in the Chicago area. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you stay pain-free all the way until spring!

Snow Removal

Make Your Commercial Property Ready for Winter

Owning a commercial property comes with a lot of responsibilities including maintaining both its interior and exterior.  Not practicing due diligence can leave you exposed to lawsuits, liability concerns and more.  Before winter is here, make sure to get your commercial property winter-ready.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Get overgrown branches away from the roof and electrical wires. Give them a good trim so that they don’t become iced-over turning into a hazard.
  • Shut off exterior faucets. After making sure they are completely drained, turn off the water supply to hoses, sprinklers and more.  This prevents pipes from bursting when the water freezes and expands.
  • Want a great lawn come spring? Now’s the time to aerate, reseed and apply a winter fertilizer to your green spaces.  This will ensure you have better root growth next year.
  • Clean soil out of planters and move fragile planters inside.
  • Check that all handrails are secure and look for potential hazards around mailbox areas and other common spaces.
  • Create a snow removal plan. Know how you are going to handle the snow and who’s going to handle it.

Fall can be a great time to prepare your commercial property for the upcoming winter.  For assistance in crossing this task off your winter checklist, contact Martin John Company.  As the leading landscaping firm in the Lake Forest area, we help property owners take care of all their outdoor needs.  We offer a comprehensive list of services all designed to help you maintain a healthy, beautiful lawn.  Contact us today to learn more.

snow removal

Have You Put Together Your Snow Removal Plan Yet?

Whether you are a single residence property owner or manage a sprawling apartment complex, it’s always smart to have a plan for your snow removal needs.  And it’s even smarter to have that plan in place before winter arrives.

Cleaning driveways, melting the icy spots and reducing hazards are all essential components of a good snow removal plan.  You have to consider the when, how, and who when you create your own strategy for controlling the heavy loads of snow we receive in the Midwest.  Doing so helps you prepare for whatever the season brings.

To start crafting your perfect snow removal plan, it’s first important to ask yourself a few questions:

  • What worked or didn’t work last year with your snow removal?
  • How much time do you have to dedicate to snow removal?
  • What tools and equipment do you have on hand to tackle the job?

Once you have considered these questions, it’s time to start planning your approach.  You can keep the process simple by addressing each individual aspect of the process.  Begin by devising a plan for these specific areas of snow removal.

When will the snow be removed?

What is your schedule like?  Are you able to run the snow blower before you head to work?  How quickly do you want the area clear?  Are there any community or city guidelines which require you to have the area cleared by a certain time?  Much of this is determined by when the snow actually comes but it can still be helpful to think of when you have time to complete this often lengthy task.

How will the snow be removed?

What type of equipment do you already have at your disposal to clear the snow?  Is that equipment in proper working order?  If you handle a large complex, do you have the manpower to run those machines as long as needed to clear the areas?  Snow removal is never easy but having the right tools for the job can help.

Who will remove the snow?

When time becomes limited or your equipment is less than adequate, you may want to consider hiring a professional team to remove the snow for you.  Partnering with a snow removal company can make creating (and following) your snow removal plan easy.  And it is much more affordable than you may think.

If you are looking for a safe and reliable snow removal team in the Libertyville area and beyond, look no further than Martin John Company.  We offer 24 hour service and a fully-staffed crew ready and waiting to help with whatever winter brings.  Keeping our customers and their properties safe is our top priority.

Contact our team today to begin putting together your own snow removal plan.

Fall Leaves

How to Prepare your Chicago Landscaping for Fall

While we may still have a few warm days left for the season, the cooler days of autumn are just around the corner.  When it comes to your Chicago home, you may already be thinking of the hours of raking you have ahead or even the mounds of snow you’ll soon be shoveling.

But don’t think too far ahead.  Late summer is a great time to begin preparing your lawn for the coming months and even for next year’s spring!  In fact, there are many ways you can enhance your current property leading up to October.

Below are a four of our best tips from the experts at Martin John Company on how to prepare your Chicago landscaping for fall.

Tip 1: Replace Your Annuals

Now is a great time to pull out the summer annuals and replace them with cool weather varieties.  Mums, pot marigolds and many types of greens are all good options.  Adding in these new plants will give your window sills and pots that much-needed color to enhance the beauty of fall.

Tip 2: Divide Overgrown Plants                                                                                                                                                           

Are your hostas getting out of control?  Or maybe you need to divide up those asters?  Breaking them into two is never a good job for a sunny, hot day.  This task is best done on cooler days with rain in the forecast.  Dividing perennials can also help rejuvenate them come spring.

Tip 3: Fill in Soil & Mulch                                                                                                                                                      

Heavy rains and windy days can make your soil and mulch seem to disappear.  You want to amend the soil in areas where there are bare spots or where you have removed annuals.  You also want to fill in mulch where it’s needed and add compost or peat moss to replace nutrients lost over summer.

Tip 4: Plant Evergreens

September is an excellent time to plant evergreens.  In fact, deciduous trees can be planted all the way until November.  If you were considering adding more shade to your yard, now is time to look into planting some larger trees and bushes.                                                                                                                             

Getting your property ready for the changing seasons is the best way to keep a healthy lawn all year around.  If you want an attractive backyard but don’t know when you’ll find the time to work on it, contact the professional landscaping team at the Martin John Company.  We provide expert lawn care services to homeowners throughout the North Shore area and surrounding Chicago suburbs.

Contact us or call 847-634-2184 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Martin John Vernon Hills Landscapping

Just Moved? How to Get to Know Your Landscaping

The housing market is moving fast these days. People are buying and selling like crazy in the Chicago area. If you just moved into a new home, it’s never too early to get to know your landscaping. Whether you have a well-manicured property or one that hasn’t been touched in years, there are a few things you can do to help familiarize yourself with the new surroundings.

Start with these four tips to get your new Chicago home’s landscaping off to a healthy start:

Inspect the Property

You should always start by inspecting your new property. Check for dead trees and plants that may cause trouble during heavy storms. You also want to look closely at your hardscapes including driveways, decks and patios. Look for cracks or signs of damage. Determine what needs to be addressed right away and what you can wait on.

Pruning & Weeding

If you are moving during spring, summer or fall, take time to prune the bushes and pull any obvious weeds. This can help create instant curb appeal while taming down any invasive species. It also can breathe new life into overgrown shrubbery and plants.

Notice Sun & Shade Spots

Before choosing new plants, grass, and flowers for your Chicago landscaping, you need to know where your sun and shade spots are. Take a peek outside during various times of the day so you can familiarize yourself on where and when the sun hits your home. This will help to determine not only which plants to buy but also where to place them.

Learn Your Region’s Climate

If you have moved from one regional climate to another, you’ll want to research your new climate. Knowing when the first frost occurs and when the ground begins to thaw is critical to protecting both new and old landscaping. If you plan to garden, you will also want to know when to plant and harvest your vegetables.

Many Chicago homeowners find it helpful to hire a professional landscaper to inspect their newly purchased home. Martin John Company offers landscaping consultation services for homes of all sizes throughout the North Shore area and beyond. We assess both your softscapes and hardscapes to determine the best ways to take care of your new property. Our crew members can advise you on what needs to get addressed right away and what to plan for the future. For those moving in winter, we also provide reliable snow removal services.

Call us today to learn more about our Chicago landscaping services.

Libertyville Lawn Care

4 Tips for Hiring the Right Landscaping Team

You wouldn’t trust your kitchen renovation or roof replacement to just anyone.  You’d want to see their other work and ensure that the contractor is both experienced and professional.  So why would you expect anything less from your landscaping partner?

Not all landscaping companies are created equal.  Some, such as Martin John Company, have a proven track record of success with years of experience in the industry.  They are invested in the communities they live and work in.  Others though are less interested in serving their neighbors and more interested in getting paid.

Who you hire for your landscaping matters.  It can mean the difference between a job that will last for years to come and one that only looks good for the next couple months.

Here are 4 questions to ask yourself when searching for the right landscaping team:

  • Do they have a history of performing quality work? A good landscaper should be able to provide past examples of completed work.  References from former clients and a good portfolio offers insight into what you can expect.
  • Are they licensed and insured? What happens if something goes wrong while the landscaper is working on your property?  Are you liable for any injuries or damages?  You want any company you hire to be both licensed and insured.
  • Have they completed projects similar to yours? Not all projects require the same level of expertise.  Those that require drainage installation or hardscape work warrant more expertise.  Check that the landscaping contractor you’re considering has completed projects similar to your own.
  • How long have they been in the landscaping business? Hiring a partner that has years of experience in the field can be a smart move.  They are more likely to complete the work on time and within budget.  And, while there are no guarantees, a seasoned landscaper is more apt to offer the quality and care you expect.

Finding the right landscaping team for your next project shouldn’t be a chore.  Consider Martin John Company for the job!  Our expert crew members are trained to handle any job.  Experienced in both small residential work and large-scale commercial developments, we can take on any size project you have in mind.  Contact us or call 847-634-2184 for more information or to schedule an appointment.



Snow Removal

How to Best Protect Your Plants during an Ice Storm

Did you know that ice can increase the normal weight of branches by as much as 30 times?  Few things can be more damaging to your plants and trees than an ice storm.  As the thick layers of freezing rain accumulate, they can snap branches, weigh down bushes and cover your entire landscape in a sheet of ice.  To better protect your vegetation from these types of storms, it is important to know what you should and shouldn’t do when ice strikes.

Below are some tips on how to best protect your plants during ice storms:

  • Always let the ice thaw on its own. Trying to remove it while still frozen can cause more damage and breakage.
  • Adding mulch to the base of most plants will help keep their roots moist.
  • Covering plants can help protect them from the cold and elements.
  • Don’t panic! While ice storms can kill some trees, many that are damaged will survive and come back to life in the spring.
  • Choose hardy vegetation varieties when planting. They are more able to withstand the harsh Midwest winters compared to less resilient options.
  • You may want to consider hiring an experienced landscaper such as Martin John Company to help clean-up fallen debris after the storm.

Powerful ice storms are nothing new to the Lake Forest and surrounding areas.  In fact, we often seen at least one powerful storm each winter season.  When disaster strikes, trust the team at Martin John Company to ensure your landscaping is protected.  Whether you need snow removal in the winter or plant replacement in the spring, we have landscaping services to fit every unique situation.  We are proud to be the local landscaping company Lake Forest residents trust for their property needs.

Contact us today to learn how we can help you maintain a safe and healthy property all season long.


Hot Landscaping Trends for 2017

If there is one term to describe what the 2017 landscaping world has to offer its “Back to Basics”. As consumers start yearning for a more simplistic lifestyle, outdoor trends will follow in the materials and plants chosen. Creating a comforting outdoor space that offers both natural beauty and basic upkeep will be important along with a more organic feel to the backyard. Hardscapes will still be popular but so will free-form patios, edible gardens and native planting.
Here just a few of the hottest trends for 2017:
Water Features – Small ponds, fountains and other water features will be welcomed back into the backyards this year as people look to create more calm in their outdoor space. Even those in the Midwest will be wanting to create their own tropical oasis just steps from their home. Natural rock waterfalls will also be big as consumers look to create unique focal points within their landscape design.
Small, Edible Gardens – Many people will be hoping to grow their own vegetables, herbs and more in 2017. Small, edible gardens will help them achieve that dream. Choosing an area of the yard best suited for gardening is the key to success. The area should receive ample sunlight, be protected from strong winds and have access to sufficient water and drainage.
Easy Upkeep – Homeowners will be wanting to spend less time maintaining their yard in 2017. Expect many to hire local landscaper provides such as Martin John Company to provide the upkeep for them. There will also be a big demand for easy-to-maintain plants and vegetation.
Want to update your outdoor living space in 2017? Start planning your dream yard with Chicago’s leading landscaper – Martin John Company. We offer expert lawn care, snow removal and landscaping design for both residential and commercial clients throughout the North Shore area. Contact us today to learn how we can help your landscaping really “wow” in the New Year.