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Omaha Lawn Care - Final Fertilizer Application


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

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

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






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


CM's Ask the ArboristWhy do leaves change color in the fall?  Why is fall color better is some years than others?

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

October Glory Maple

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

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

Hanging Christmas Lights- A Cautionary Tale

Christmas lighting cold

Twas an eve in November when all through the house,
Mother was stirring, concerned about her spouse.
The ladder was leaned against the house with care,
While Dad was on the roof with a chill in the air.

The children were testing the lights colored red,
While Mother was wondering if she had something to dread.
Hoping Dad didn’t fall, Mom folded her hands in her lap,
While Dad shivered and shuffled, adjusting his cap.

When outside the window we saw something splatter,
It was the holiday lights, landing with a shatter.
Outside Mom sprinted, a quick little dash,
Not hesitating a moment to toss the lights in the trash.

Holiday cheer It was then that Mom took over the show,
 Calling CM’s A Cut Above, who usually mows.
 It did not take long for CM’s to appear,
 To lay out a plan for which Mom gave a cheer!

 With CM’s everything happened smoothly and quick,
 Mom knew in no time, this would turn out pretty slick!
 The design was every bit as cool as they claim,
 The lights, so pretty, put up by these names:

There’s Scott and there’s Matt and Paul is there too.
There’s Ryan and Josh to just name a few.
From your initial call to the final install,
They’ll be there to meet you, come one and come all!

Those lights, how they twinkle! How this made Mom and Dad merry!
icicle led christmas lightsTo think how this normally is so frightful and scary!
These beautiful lights put up by a pro,
Will then be removed by CM’s to stow.

Gone are the years, when on the roof we would crawl
From here ‘til forever it is CM’s we will call.
How happy we are with lights gorgeously bright!
Happy holidays to all, and to all a good-night!

Based on "Twas the Night Before Christmas,"published anonymously by the New York Sentinel in 1823.
Contact CM\u0026#39\u003Bs for a quote don\u0026#39\u003Bt wait!Call in November before it\u0026#39\u003Bs too late!

Ask the Arborist - Caring for Trees During the Winter Months


Omaha Tree Care




There are some steps you can take to prepare your tree to deal with the harsh winter conditions that we experience here in Nebraska.

Water: Watering through the fall months is always a good idea, but it is particularly important if we have experienced drought conditions during the summer months. The tree’s root system is still active and will take up Maple, Red Sunset fall 5water well into winter, so making sure water is available is vital to the health of the tree. It is also a good idea to water several times over the winter months, as long as the soil and air temperatures are above freezing.  Visit our blog for more information about watering trees in the winter and checking soil temperatures in your area.

Fertilize: The tree’s root system is still very active during the winter and will be using and storing nutrients that it takes up from the soil.  A fall deep root fertilizer application benefits the tree by making sure it has the necessary nutrients to get through the winter and to be ready to put on new growth in the spring.

Pin Oak

Tree Wrap: Extreme temperatures or hungry bunnies and squirrels can cause permanent damage to the tree’s trunk during the winter months.  Extreme fluctuations between day and night time temperatures can cause frost cracks on the trunk of the tree. If we have temperatures below freezing at night followed by a sunny, mild day, the bark can split when the sun heats up the south and/or west side of the tree.  This can cause the bark to expand too quickly. The wound caused by frost cracks can make the tree susceptible to disease or insect infestation.

Bunnies and squirrels like to snack on tree bark during the winter when food is sparse. They particularly like younger trees and trees with softer bark like Crabapple trees. 

Clump River BirchUsing tree wrap can protect the tree from harmful temperature fluctuations and animal damage.

Mulch: Mulch will act as a blanket for the tree’s root system. It will protect the root system from extreme cold temperatures. It will also help to keep moisture in the soil.  Typically, 2-3” will do the trick.  However, do not add mulch right up against the trunk as it is important to keep good airflow around the base of the tree to avoid rotting.


Our arborists are available year-round, so please continue to submit your questions to Ask the Arborist!


Give CM's a Jingle - Christmas Lighting Season is Here!

(to the tune of Jingle Bells by James Lord Pierpoint, 1857)

tangled Christmas LightsDashing to the roof
In the wind I start to sway
Hoping not to goof
Trying to do it all my way.
The Christmas Lights don't work
No matter how I try.
I can't stop seeing that big wide smirk
As she's on the ground and dry.

Jingle Bells
Oh, "Call CM's - A Cut Above now!"
Is the advice I didn't heed.
Oh, how easy it would have been
To get rid of this disastrous deed!
Oh, "Call CM's - A Cut Above now!"
That is what my wife did say.
Oh, if I had listened, I would have been
Inside and warm to stay.

LED Snowflake linkables with Train.croppedA design will be the start
To the fanciful install.
How it warms the heart
To only make one call.
As you sit back and relax.
The lights will shine so bright.
More time to make delicious snacks
And enjoy your lovely night! 

Wreaths and Icicles  Oh, "Call CM's - A Cut Above now!"
  The lights will be put up by a pro!
  Oh, how easy it will be now
  And the lights we'll even stow!
  Oh, "Call CM's - A Cut Above now!"
  It's the gift you'll give yourselves.
  Oh, just think of CM's as your
  Holiday lights elves! 


snowmanOh, "Call CM's - A Cut Above now!"
A choice you won't forget!
Oh, how easy it will be now
Your home will be a hit!
Oh, "Call CM's - A Cut Above now!"
It's one less thing to do.
Oh, what fun it is to say,
"Happy Holidays to you!" 

Request A Quote Today!

Tree Care Omaha - What Kind of Tree Should I Plant in My Yard?

Omaha Tree Care


There are a few important issues to consider when choosing a tree to plant.

What will be the mature size of the tree? 
All too often we see a tree that looked great close to the house when it was first planted but over the years grew too large for the site and had to have major limbs removed or even needed to be cut down.   If you

Japanese Lilacare looking to plant a tree near the foundation of your house, choose a tree with an appropriate smaller mature size. You could also choose a tree with an upright, columnar growth habit, such as a columnar white pine.

Are there any obstructions above the tree? 
While you are considering size, don’t forget to look up!  If there are power lines above your planting site, you will need to either choose a different planting site, or choose a tree that will not interfere with the power lines when it reaches its mature height.


Evergreen tree

What is the condition of the planting site?
Site conditions include the amount of sunlight that the tree will be exposed to, the moisture level of the soil, and if the site is protected from or exposed to extreme Midwest elements. For example, a Japanese maple tree will do much better in a protected shady location as opposed to a site that is exposed to harsh winter winds and hot summer sun.



What purpose will the tree serve?
Are you looking for a large tree to provide your house with afternoon shade or are you looking for a small tree to add ornamental value to your landscape? Many trees will offer more than one benefit. A large evergreen tree, for example, can provide a windbreak that protects a house from strong winter winds while providing shelter and nesting sites to birds like chickadees, cardinals, and finches.

Oak treeMany homeowners are looking for a fast growing shade tree so that they can enjoy the energy saving benefits as quickly as possible. It is important to keep in mind that fast growing trees tend to have softer wood than the slower growing trees and will not be as long lived as the hardwood trees. So, if you are looking for a tree that will provide shade for many years to come, you may be better off with a hard wood tree such as an oak as opposed to a soft wood tree like a birch.

Fall is a great time for planting trees! If you are interested in seeing how a tree will look when it has matured, the OPPD Arboretum has many examples of trees that do well in Nebraska.  If you would like more information about selecting the right tree for your property, please contact us!




Ho! Ho! Ho! or "I Don't Think So!" - LED Christmas Lights


Does the annual task of hanging the holiday lights have you saying, “Ho! Ho! Ho!” or is it more “I Don’t Think So!”?  Regardless of which group you fall into, this is one chore you can cross off your holiday to-do list with the help of CM’s A Cut Above!

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

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

LED Christmas Lighting

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







Omaha Tree Care - Fall webworm


tree diagnosis omaha I've been told my trees have fall webworm.  Does this mean I will lose my tree?

 The damage done by the fall webworm looks much more devastating than it actually is. The webbing in the tree usually appears in late July or early August. The webbing starts at the ends of the branches and expands toward the trunk of the tree. Small black caterpillars are found devouring the foliage in and around the web. This activity leaves the tree looking very unsightly but not permanently damaged. In extreme cases, an entire tree may be defoliated. A healthy tree can withstand a fall webworm infestation for several consecutive years without suffering any major effects. A tree that has already been stressed or weakened by another pest may require action.

Generally speaking, fall webworms will favor fruit trees and ornamentals such as crabapple and pear trees. If the webbing is within reach, simply remove it with a stick, broom, etc. The areas of the tree that have been defoliated should leaf out with the rest of the tree next spring.

Tent caterpillar and Gypsy moth caterpillar are two types of pests that are very similar to fall webworm, but they are active beginning in the spring and will continue through the fall. Webbing usually begins in the forks of branches and expands toward the ends of the branches. These caterpillars can produce several generations during one season and should be removed when first noticed. 

If the webbing is out of reach or the tree is heavily infested, chemical control may be required. As always, we invite you to contact one of our licensed arborists for any tree care concerns you may have.

Free Tree Care Analysis



Omaha Turf Care - last third of the growing season


In the last third of the growing season, it is important to focus on what keeps a healthy lawn healthy and what can improve a lawn challenged by climate and/or disease.

The first thing we encourage is vigilance.  At this time of year, there is a tendency to tire of the turf care practices of mowing, watering, and so forth.  It is a long season, and the enthusiasm of spring gives way to the fatigue of the hot days toward the end of summer.  People spend less time outside.  Consequently, they do not pay attention to changes in their turf, missing opportunities to ward off problems or improve a lawn’s situation. 

Insect damage, particularly grub damage, typically shows up about the first week of September in our experience.  We have confidence in the preventive products we use; but if there is a weak area of the lawn, even a grub population below treatment levels can cause some damage.   If you see suspicious areas in your yard, we are happy to check them out for you and provide whatever treatment may be necessary.  We encourage you not to pull back sod if you have damage.  With treatment and some intense irrigation, we have seen smaller damaged areas come back nicely. 

omaha lawn careIf heat or disease has thinned out parts of the lawn, the window for overseeding or restorative work closes by mid-September.  Even if you believe your turf to be healthy, aerate.  Aeration-twice a year-is important in keeping the turf healthy.  Continue to mow at highest setting throughout the growing season which can extend well into November. 

As a reminder, the very helpful website we frequently quote is  You can sign up to receive every posting or browse specific topics.  Turf info and Backyard Farmer are two great resources for all Nebraskans. 



Smart Irrigation


Have you found yourself watering the streets or your driveway?  Do you have an irrigation system that is out of date or waters in the middle of a down pour?  According to the Irrigation Association (IA), “using an automated irrigation system is one of the best ways to keep your lawn and landscape beautiful and healthy, while minimizing water waste.”  IA offers some strategies to water more efficiently, saving both water and money:

Consider “smart” controls, such as a rain sensor, that will adjust water based on rainfall.  Hire a contractor, who is licensed and insured to be sure the system is installed correctly.  Installing a high quality system now and maintaining it will minimize the total lifetime cost of the system.  Occasionally, water utilities will actually offer rebates for water-efficient products, such as the MUD rain sensor rebate.  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) not only echoes the IA’s recommendations regarding “smart” controls, but also recommends drip irrigation for landscape beds.  Drip irrigation waters at a lower volume and goes directly to the plant root, minimizing wasted water due to wind, runoff, and evaporation.

If you already have an irrigation system, zones should be set to water for the particular needs of that area based on the sun and shade exposure, slope of the yard, and type of sprinkler head.  Water only when needed as overwatering will lead to poor roots, weeds, disease, and fungus.  According to the IA, “Watering during the heat of the day may cause losses of up to 30 percent due to evaporation.” They also recommend watering in the morning when the sun and winds are low as well as when the temperatures are cooler.  Sound familiar?  That’s because in previous newsletters and blogs we’ve shared similar recommendations from the UNL Turfgrass Science Program.  Also remember to winterize!  Winterizing will push water out of the system that could freeze, causing costly damage. 

When planning a landscape, the IA suggests choosing plants that thrive in the climate you are in and have lower water requirements, planting them in groups with other plants with similar watering needs, and planting them according to their sun and shade exposure requirements.  It is also recommended to mulch around plants and trees as it reduces evaporation, moderates temperatures, increases water retention and controls weeds.

Did you notice how some of these suggestions seem to deal more with turf care and landscape design than an actual irrigation system?  A well maintained turf and landscape as well as irrigation efficiency involve all of the components working together.

Chuck Monico, President of CM’s, is 1 of only 5 people in Nebraska to be a Certified Irrigation Contractor, Irrigation Association Member, and an EPA Irrigation Partner!  Contact CM's to install an irrigation system or maintain or renovate your existing system.


Additional Resources:

Smart Irrigation Month

EPA watersense

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