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Drought: What does it mean for my property?

We as Californians are resilient, resourceful and need to be respectful of our land and all that it gives us. I believe most Californians take seriously the privilege and obligation to keep our great state beautiful and healthy.

When we purchase a home, we buy into a neighborhood, and we have an obligation to beautify our homes and gardens for ourselves and the community.

Research has shown that Californians overwater their gardens by 25% or more. So, what does that mean to you as a homeowner?  As a top landscape contractor in Orange County, Prunin Arboriculture and Landscapes, has spent the last couple of years educating homeowners on how they can have the yard and garden they love (and keep their neighborhood beautiful) while reducing the water they use.

When I see billboards, slogans and mailers from our local water municipalities that say, “brown is the new green” it has the feeling of giving up and letting everything die. Californians never give up, so why start now?  California has been through many hardships and will always rise to the occasion that best serves the state. We live in one of the most beautiful states in the country and we have a responsibility to keep it that way while being reasonable with its resources.

Here at Prunin Arboriculture and Landscapes we don’t believe that giving up and accepting that “brown is the new green” is how we deal with the stewardship of our state. As a responsible landscape contractor, arborist and Californian, I would like you to know that is doesn’t have to be that way.

Our team at Prunin Arboriculture and Landscapes has pulled all of our resources together to give California options:

  • Home consultations/evaluation for water-wise landscaping/gardening
  • Landscape design services
  • New irrigation systems and irrigation maintenance plans to lower water usage
  • A large selection of beautiful, blooming plants that are drought tolerant for homeowners to choose from to upgrade their landscape
  • E-Newsletter tips for landscaping/gardening responsibly

I hope this summer you’ll allow Prunin Arboriculture and Landscapes to show you how brown is not the new green, but planting, watering, and gardening responsibly is.

If you would like more information on drought tolerant landscaping please contact Prunin at: or 714-236-9887, or visit our website at:


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14 Simple Gardening Tips and Tricks

Here are the latest tips and tricks from Prunin Arboriculture and Landscapes:

1. To remove the salt deposits that form on clay pots, combine equal parts white vinegar, rubbing alcohol and water in a spray bottle. Apply the mixture to the pot and scrub with a plastic brush. Let the pot dry before you plant anything in it.

2. To prevent accumulating dirt under your fingernails while you work in the garden, draw your fingernails across a bar of soap and you’ll effectively seal the undersides of your nails so dirt can’t collect beneath them. Then, after you’ve finished in the garden, use a nailbrush to remove the soap and your nails will be sparkling clean.


3. To prevent the line on your string trimmer from jamming or breaking, treat with a spray vegetable oil before installing it in the trimmer.


4. Turn a long-handled tool into a measuring stick! Lay a long-handled garden tool on the ground, and next to it place a tape measure. Using a permanent marker, write inch and foot marks on the handle. When you need to space plants a certain distance apart (from just an inch to several feet) you’ll already have a measuring device in your hand.


5. To have garden twine handy when you need it, just stick a ball of twine in a small clay pot, pull the end of the twine through the drainage hole, and set the pot upside down in the garden. Do that, and you’ll never go looking for twine again.


6. Little clay pots make great cloches for protecting young plants from overnight frosts.


7. To turn a clay pot into a hose guide, just stab a roughly one-foot length of steel reinforcing bar into the ground at the corner of a bed and slip two clay pots over it: one facing down, the other facing up. The guides will prevent damage to your plants as you drag the hose along the bed.


8. To create perfectly natural markers, write the names of plants (using a permanent marker) on the flat faces of stones of various sizes and place them at or near the base of your plants.


9. Got aphids? You can control them with a strong blast of water from the hose or with insecticidal soap. But here’s another suggestion, one that’s a lot more fun; get some tape! Wrap a wide strip of tape around your hand, sticky side out, and pat the leaves of plants infested with aphids. Concentrate on the undersides of leaves, because that’s where the little buggers like to hide.


10. The next time you boil or steam vegetables, don’t pour the water down the drain, use it to water potted patio plants, and you’ll be amazed at how the plants respond to the “vegetable soup.”


11. Use leftover tea and coffee grounds to acidify the soil of acid-loving plants such as azaleas, rhododendrons, camellias, gardenias and even blueberries. A light sprinkling of about one-quarter of an inch applied once a month will keep the pH of the soil on the acidic side.


12. Use chamomile tea to control damping-off fungus, which often attacks young seedlings quite suddenly. Just add a spot of tea to the soil around the base of seedlings once a week or use it as a foliar spray.


13. If you need an instant table for tea service, look no farther than your collection of clay pots and saucers. Just flip a good-sized pot over, and top it off with a large saucer. And when you’ve had your share of tea, fill the saucer with water, and your “table” is now a birdbath.


14. The quickest way in the world to dry herbs: just lay a sheet of newspaper on the seat of your car, arrange the herbs in a single layer, then roll up the windows and close the doors. Your herbs will be quickly dried to perfection. What’s more, your car will smell great.


Happy gardening from Prunin Arboriculture and Landscapes!

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Expert Tips on Caring for Your Trees

An Interview with Rob Biehl of Prunin Arboriculture and Landscapes

Please tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

Prunin is a licensed, bonded and insured landscape contractor. As an industry leader in superior landscaping, tree service and maintenance, we take customer service to a new level. We have been servicing Orange County’s landscaping, tree service and maintenance needs for over 20 years.

Conveniently located in Orange County, Prunin provides homeowners and businesses with dozens of landscaping services, including new installations of irrigation systems, low-voltage lighting, hardscapes, softscapes, ponds, and the maintenance of lawns, trees and shrubbery. We have an arborist trained tree staff to maintain and beautify your trees and to diagnose health and pest issues. Prunin provides commercial and estate weekly landscape maintenance programs that are comprehensive; we do not “mow and blow and go.” Prunin has brought together the top talent to provide our customers with best when it comes to their landscape, trees and outdoor areas.

What is one of the most common trees your arborists are asked about tree care?

We are asked every day, “Why doesn’t my tree look good anymore? It used to look really nice and in the last year or so has gone downhill.” The answer is almost always something with the environment: water, soil, sun. These items must be correct for each type of tree to flourish.

Can you briefly explain some of the signs that your trees do not have the right growing environment?

We can usually tell by the size and coloring of the tree foliage. In the wrong environment, the foliage of any tree suffers. If your tree looks a little yellow, wilted or the leaves are smaller than normal, there is a good chance you have a problem with your environment.

What are some of the biggest factors for optimum tree health?

I always say that the right tree, in the right location with the right sun, water and soil makes for a happy tree. It seems very basic, but this is the issue we deal with in almost every single landscape we enter. One or more of these issues are present in every yard. Many times the tree was in the right location when it was first planted, but as the landscape grows and matures, it gets squeezed out. We also see that the soil in the area is naturally very poor. It is extremely important to be amending your soil every single year.

What do you recommend for the proper care of trees that have just been planted?

Newly planted trees need a little extra care for the first year or so. They need more water initially to get established. Newly planted trees need extra fertilizer at the beginning. Then a couple more times during the first year, and they need to be properly staked for the first year or two.

What advice do you have for people in Orange County who want to plant trees that aren’t native to the environment (or naturally live in a different environment)?

If the tree grows naturally in an environment similar to ours then it will probably be okay, but If the tree’s native environment is not similar to Southern California then I would recommend another tree.

What is one of the biggest challenges that Southern California homeowners have when it comes to tree care?

Besides improper trimming by a local gardener who is not a tree expert, I think water and soil are the two biggest problems we have when it comes to tree care. We consistently find trees every day that do not have the right soil and are not receiving the right amount of water. Surprisingly, I find more trees that are receiving too much water than trees that are not receiving enough.

What’s the best way for people to contact your company?

Prunin Arboriculture and Landscapes can be reached on the web at:, via email at: or at 714-236-9887.

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Preparing for Santa Ana Winds

Now is the time to start preparing for the ‘Santa Ana Winds’, which typically blow late September through mid-December. Safeguard your home against the danger of falling branches and debris from your trees, be aware of wildfire dangers, make sure you have plenty of clearance around your home and be aware of evacuation plans if you live in fire prone areas.

Being proactive this time of year can save you time, money and heart ache. Have a visual ‘Tree Inspection’ to spot actual or potential hazards and recommend any hazard control measures that may need to be taken.

Then, for example, we can prune any heavy branches that are directly over your house, driveways, garage, fences, play areas, walkways, picnic tables, or any other potential problem areas. This is especially important if the branches or trunks show any signs of disease, insect infestation, decay or other physical damage (perhaps from vehicles, lawnmowers or storm damage). Or if there is significant damage to a tree we can inform you of your options.

Keeping your trees pruned and free of any unwanted debris is the first step to keeping your home and family safe during the ‘Santa Ana Winds’.

The second step is making sure your property is clear of any dry brush near your home if you live in fire prone areas. California has been hit hard by the lack of rain and our ground is extra dry this year. The vegetation around homes and properties has become kindling to fire and it is urgent to make sure that your property has the proper clearance to maintain fire safety as we head into the ‘Santa Ana Wind’ season.

Third, the U.S. Forest Service unveiled a website, for the Santa Ana Wildfire Threat Index, which it developed with meteorologist at San Diego Gas & Electric, UCLA researchers and the Desert Research Institute, which is the environmental research arm of the Nevada System of Higher Education. The public now has access to the same daily predictions of wildfire danger that fire agencies have used for years, allowing residents to safeguard their homes.

The index rates how likely Santa Ana winds are on a particular day to rapidly spread a fire based on wind speed, humidity and moisture in plants and trees. The color-coded ratings are none (gray), marginal (yellow), moderate (orange), high (red) and extreme (purple).

With the new system, visitors to can click on one of four regions: Orange-Inland Empire, L.A.-Ventura, San Diego and Santa Barbara – and view the threat level for that day, as well as a five-day forecast.

Clicking on the region will reveal icons for weather stations. Clicking on a station will provide visitors with air temperature, wind speed and direction, humidity and elevation for that area.

Now is the time to get prepared before it’s too late. It’s just a matter of time before the first of many strong ‘Santa Ana Wind’ storms will hit the area. The health of your trees is essential to keeping your home, your property, family and pets safe year around.

Don’t get blown away by the Santa Ana’s! Take the first step and call Prunin Arboriculture and Landscapes for your FREE tree evaluation.

714.236.9887 | |

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Protect Your Family, Your Home and Yourself from Wildfires

The Orange County Fire Authority is asking residents of fire prone canyon, urban, and coastal areas to take the necessary steps to ensure that their properties meet the, ‘Vegetation Management Maintenance Guidelines’.

Many of the high wildfire risk areas are also some of the most beautiful areas in Orange County and throughout other areas of California too.  In many cases the scenic beauty is the exact reason why people choose to live where they do. Each year, thousands of acres of wild land and hundreds of homes are destroyed by wildfires. It is up to you, the property owner, to take responsibility by preparing your home/property. By taking the appropriate step with Vegetation Management, you will be closer to ensuring your home’s survivability and your family’s safety.

What is Vegetation Management?

Vegetation Management is the controlling of plant materials for the prevention of fire spread. Vegetation Management is simply removing dead and dying fuels, thinning heavy brush, and trimming trees that could contribute to a fire’s spread toward your home.

Vegetation Management practices includes:

  1. Increasing the moisture content of the vegetation.
  2. Decreasing the vegetation within 100′ of your home.
  3. Shortening plant height. Keeping plants within 10′ of a building to below 2′.
  4. Altering the arrangement of plants.
  5. Installing plants that use less water.

Four Rs in Vegetation Management:


  • Remove all dead vegetation with 100′ of your home.
  • Remove all plants found on the undesirable plant list.


  • Reduce the amount of vegetation by pruning and thinning within 100′ of your home.
  • Trees and shrubs need to be pruned to provide separation.
  • Plants within 10′ of your home should be 2′ or lower to prevent flame length.


  • Remove highly combustible plants within 100′ of your home.
  • When installing new plants make sure to install them with proper spacing and mature plant size in mind.


  • Use fire resistive plants whenever possible.
  • Keep in mind that if you are using the recommended plants, it is still imperative that you still reduce the amount of plant material by thinning by utilizing the spacing guidelines for both vertical separation and horizontal separation.

Many people do not view the plants that grow on their property as a threat. But in terms of a wildfire, what is growing adjacent to your home or dwelling can have considerable influence on the survivability. All vegetation, including naturally occurring native plants and ornamental plants in the residential landscape, is a potential fuel for a wildfire. If the vegetation is properly spaced and maintained, a wildfire can be slowed down, the flame lengths are reduced, and the amount of heat reduced, all of which contribute to your house or dwelling surviving a wildfire.

The success of wildfire preparedness, ‘Vegetation Maintenance’ and more importantly, its ability to reduce multiple structure loss and the high probability of fatalities, depends on each property owner’s aggressive participation in the removal of vegetation around their property. It’s not a question of ‘if’ but ‘when’ the next wildfire will occur in Orange County. Through advanced planning and preparation we can all be ready for wildfire.

Prunin Arboriculture and Landscapes can assist you with each step of this process. Our certified Arborists can assist you with assessment of current trees, shrubs and plants that you have on your property, and make the proper suggestions to ensure that you meet the recommends guidelines. We have crews standing by to assist you with your ‘Vegetation Maintenance’ and to ensure that your property is prepared.

Call today for a FREE consultation and for more information on how Prunin Arboriculture and Landscapes can help you with your, ‘Vegetation Maintenance’.

 Phone: (714) 236-9887  |  Email:  |  Website:

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2014 Best of Cerritos Awarded to Prunin Arboriculture and Landscapes

Prunin Arboriculture and Landscapes, Inc. received the, 2014 Best of Cerritos Award!


Cerritos Award Program Honors the Achievement of Prunin Arboriculture and Landscapes, Inc. for their outstanding work in our community and Shrub Services!


CERRITOS June 11, 2014 — Prunin Arboriculture and Landscapes, Inc. has been selected for the 2014 Best of Cerritos Award in the Shrub Services category by the Cerritos Award Program.

Each year, the Cerritos Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing, service and success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Cerritos area a great place to live, work and play.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2014 Cerritos Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Cerritos Award Program and data provided by third parties.

About Cerritos Award Program

The Cerritos Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Cerritos area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

The Cerritos Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community’s contributions to the U.S. economy.