Reef Tropical Pool & Landscape

5 Landscaping Tips and Tricks that Will Help Your House Sell

Apr 25, 2018 5:51:00 AM / by Claude Kershner IV posted in Landscaping

Outdoor living spaces on Florida properties can be as much of a selling point as a remodeled kitchen - if you know how to showcase your landscape at the time of sale. Buyers expect to spend their time relaxing on the back patio with views of the water, or kicking up their feet poolside while they gaze at the golf course beyond their property.

Landscape enhancements that spruce up a landscape will help a house sell. Whether you are a homeowner who wants to move on quickly, or a realtor who’s focused on closing, you’ll want to partner with a landscape provider that can prepare the grounds for sale time, then maintain the property prior to showings. What should you expect? Here are 5 ways to improve the landscape - and the chances of selling.

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Now Is The Time To Add Landscape Enhancements To Your South Florida Property

Dec 8, 2017 11:18:27 AM / by Claude Kershner IV posted in Landscaping, Landscape Maintenance

Now is the time when snowbirds are planning their escape—they’re preparing for warmer days, balmy evenings by the pool, and plenty of time outdoors in the Florida sun. South Florida property owners who winter here want to make the most of their experience during the season.

Landscape enhancements that are performed now roll out the welcome mat. That includes putting down fresh mulch, replacing plants that have weathered damage, cleaning up the landscape (leaves, debris), and popping fresh flowers into beds. Not to mention, South Florida got hit hard in early fall with tropical storms, so some properties might require more attention than usual to prepare the landscape for time in South Florida this winter.

Not sure where to begin? Here are some practical landscape enhancements for your South Florida property that will get your grounds in shape so you can relax and enjoy your outdoor paradise. (We recommend doing these landscape enhancements now so you can enjoy them while you’re here!)

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The Best Flowering Trees for South Florida

Jun 13, 2017 10:21:20 AM / by Claude Kershner IV posted in Landscape Design, Landscape Maintenance, Landscaping, Tree and Shrub Care

Vibrant blooms are a focal point in the landscape, and there are a range of flowering trees that thrive in South Florida and introduce color, texture and shape to your property.

Which flowering tree is best for your property? That depends. Are you looking for a specific color of flower to complement existing plants or to establish a theme? Do you need a flowering tree that is salt-tolerant because your property weathers ocean breezes? Do you prefer a tree that is compact to preserve views from your site—or, do you want to establish a natural screen with a flowering tree that offers coverage?

These are all questions to think about as you consider which flowering trees suit your needs and taste. Here is a list of our favorite 7 flowering trees for South Florida.

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Navigating Landscape Restrictions in the Florida Keys Native Hammock

Jan 13, 2017 6:03:00 AM / by Claude Kershner IV posted in Landscape Design, Landscaping, Landscape Maintenance, Tree and Shrub Care

The owner of a home in the Florida Keys called us because he wanted to install a driveway. The request seems simple enough—but because the project would mean removing trees that are part of a hardwood hammock, there was much more involved.

The fact is, there is a lot of protected land in the Florida Keys, including native hammock and other conservation easements. Tropical hardwood hammocks are canopy forests with a diverse range of native species. Hammocks are located throughout southern Florida, and in concentrated areas of Monroe County. Native hammocks are carefully protected land because of their importance in sustaining wildlife.

The Keys hammock area is attractive to some homeowners because of its natural beauty. However, the Florida Keys hammock has been threatened by development, so there are regulations on how one can alter the land. It’s important to know before you buy a property on the Florida Keys that the hammock is protected land.

Going back to the driveway example, the property owner did eventually get approval to remove some vegetation to build. But first, a biologist had to conduct a vegetative survey at the owner’s expense. Then, rat, snake and snail surveys were performed to determine how removing some of the hardwood hammock from the property would impact this wildlife. The whole process took about nine months, and in the end the homeowner had to pay about a $10,000 mitigation fee for removing the trees—and that’s before the driveway project could begin.

If you purchase a home or build in the Florida Keys hammock, here’s what you need to know about landscape restrictions and how owning land in the hammock or on a conservation easement could impact your ability to change the landscape. 

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The 7 Best Landscapers In South Florida: A Candid Look

Dec 16, 2016 11:43:41 AM / by Claude Kershner IV posted in Landscaping, Landscape Maintenance

Your landscape’s health and appearance should increase the value of your South Florida property and enhance your outdoor living experience. The quality of your landscape matters. To look its best, even a simple landscape requires regular maintenance from a knowledgeable professional.

But what landscape company should you hire? Who are the best landscapers in South Florida, and how will they serve your property’s needs?

We know that investing in your landscape can positively impact property value.

  • In a study by the National Association of Landscape Professionals, 84% said landscaping would affect their decision about whether or not to buy a certain home.
  • Meanwhile, a National Home Improvement survey found landscaping to be a top five recommendation realtors make for improving home value—and homeowners can expect an average 215% return on their investment in landscaping.  

The company you choose to care for your South Florida landscape can deliver that return on investment, or not. And, because we enjoy our outdoors year-round in South Florida, the beauty and health of our landscapes impacts our everyday life. That’s why this is a decision you should not take lightly.

So, let’s take a candid look at the seven best landscapers in South Florida, including Reef Tropical. We’ll compare services and expertise, and offer some insight on how these landscape companies stack up.

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Landscaping and Personal Style

Aug 18, 2015 1:47:00 PM / by Claude Kershner IV posted in Landscaping

Landscaping as an Extension of Personal Style

This article is an interesting inside look into South Florida's Landscape Design, Installation and maintenance industry. Reef Tropical's head designer and landscape manager, Tim McKernan describes a unique view on landscapes from both designers and high end home owners perspectives.
It was published in Distinctive Properties Magazine by Russell Post Sotheby's and Ocean Sotheby's International Realty. It was written by Jill Zima Borski about a year and a half ago.

Creating landscapes that blur the line between the natural and manmade environments are Tim McKernan’s artistic signature. A landscape designer for Reef Tropical with more than 15 years experience in the field, McKernan is known for blending his interest in the visual arts and the outdoors with a strong design. Through his designs, he respects diverse interests, preserves the beauty and value of natural resources, and maintains vibrant, viable outdoor spaces.

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What to do with Landscaping and Irrigation during Hot & Dry Weather

Jul 21, 2015 3:32:00 PM / by Claude Kershner IV posted in Landscaping

According to the South Florida Water Management District, rainfall is well below average, close to drought conditions and this past May-June period was the ninth driest period since record keeping began in 1938. The average arrival date for the rainy season is May 20th. Yet, so far this year, the rainy season has not taken effect and it has been the hottest and driest past three months that I remember since moving to South Florida in 1998. Ocean Reef has been particularly dry. With this said, it is important to note your investment in landscaping and irrigation.
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Landscape Lighting is Fun, Beautiful & Simple

Mar 13, 2015 1:17:00 PM / by Claude Kershner IV posted in Landscaping


Landscape lighting is fun:

Your landscape lighting consultant should show you just how enjoyable this process can be. Lighting adds a completely different character to your property at night. You can shape your property into a night time artistic pleasure for both you and your neighbors to enjoy. As a commercial property or business, it is a no brainier and attracts the right kind of attention. 

The fun aspect is the drawing board. Once a system is laid out, you can change color's, positions, bulb strength, focus, add or take away lights, incorporate focal points and display architecture. Every system we have set up, we spend one or two nights walking the property and tweaking the system into perfection. 

Landscape lighting is beautiful:

Landscaping needs to be appreciated at night. The colors and shadows can be magnificent and when done the right way it can be discrete yet flashy. My favorite palm's to light up are Bismark and Date

Palms. The character of the trunks and fronds are magnificent and highlighted in a way that can't be done during the day. Understanding and appreciating lighting opens up a whole new world of beauty. 

Landscape lighting is simple: 

You should be able to contact a landscape consultant, design a lighting system, install the system and start appreciating your lighting within a week and within a reasonable budget. Typical systems sell for between 6k and 10k.

Reef Tropical Landscape only specs one unique brand of lighting with Coastal Source. Coastal lighting is revolutionizing the lighting business. The fixtures are reliable, aesthetically pleasing, easy to change and fun to install. Reef Tropical has two Coastal Source certified landscape lighting designers and installers. Keys landscaping and lighting is improving every day. 

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Tim McKernan teaches FIU Horticultural Professional Workshop

Mar 10, 2015 11:22:00 AM / by Claude Kershner IV posted in Landscaping

Everyday I learn something new about landscaping and teaching people about the art in which they are surrounded and the beauty of South Florida landscape is a magical concept. Two weeks ago, Tim McKernan, head designer at Reef Tropical Landscape, taught a workshop on a Saturday at FIU's certificate program. The course provides core horticultural information appropriate for employees and owners of landscape nurseries, landscape maintenance businesses, botanical gardens, farms, parks and golf courses.  
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