Monthly Featured Project


If your lawn appears patchy and starts to die off in the period December – March, there is a good chance it is infected with Leatherjackets. If this is the case, you need to act straight away as if left untouched, your whole lawn could be eaten away.


The symptoms of leatherjackets are :-

Grass growth slows and yellow patches appear.
Grass is easily pulled up, with little or no root growth.
Starlings peck at the grass in an attempt to eat the grubs.

To identify the pesky pest, inspect the lawn in areas of discoloration by cutting a 15cm square section of turf on three sides and peeling back the grass and examine the upper 2 inches of root zone for the presence of dark grubs. You can help to see them by shaking or breaking the sample, and by poking tthe soil and roots with a knife. Leatherjackets do not distribute themselves evenly throughout the turf, you should examine a few areas

Leatherjackets are about 2.5cm / 1″ long, greyish black in colour, legless and with no distinct head.

In August many people report clouds of daddy long legs emerging from lawns in early morning and this is a sure sign of leatherjacket infestation. If you have a well drained lawn, chances are they will die off and not affect your grass


Leatherjackets are the larval stage of the European Marsh Crane Fly, commonly known as Daddy Long Legs. In late summer, adult crane flies emerge from the soil, mate and lay their eggs. The eggs hatch within two weeks. The eggs require moisture and a temperature of at least 14 degrees Celsius before hatching into the larval stage.

Many leatherjackets do not survive the winter especially if exposed to cold, dry conditions. They cause damage to roots, mainly grass, by feeding on them in late Autumn and early Spring when they enter the final larval growth stage. This will continue until early summer when they enter the pupal stage. Adult crane flies then emerge approximately two weeks later.



Leatherjackets can be removed manually, using a net, rake or by handpicking. Either crush those collected or place them in soapy water. Good lawn care will also aid in control. This includes frequent mowing and at the correct height (they like to lay their eggs in long or wet grass), addition of fertiliser to help in the recovery of damaged turf. A slow release nitrogen fertiliser is also useful. As damp conditions are necessary for egg and larval development, drainage improvements should be considered, particularly where a clay based topsoil is present.

The removal of wet conditions will reduce optimum conditions for the development of populations of the European Marsh Crane Fly. For established lawns, additional drainage (e.g. forking over or aerating) will lower the numbers of leatherjackets present.


If physical control measures are not effective, pesticides or nematodes can be used. Garden centres will be able to give advice on suitable pesticides available to the public.


Leatherjackets have ideal conditions to develop when we have a wet and mild autumn and winter. Sites with poor drainage caused by clay topsoils are particularly susceptible. It is a natural occurrence and can often be prevented by good maintenance procedures, and if infestation has already occurred, rectified by following the above advice.


The warmer and lighter evenings have finally arrived and with it comes a newfound energy. If we look, we can start to see the display of spring colours, daffodils and blossoms. Spring is here and the gardens are suddenly beginning to look green and vibrant.  We know for sure that these sights start to fill many of us with plenty of encouragement and enthusiasm for the summer ahead.

It’s no secret that being outdoors in the fresh air and sunshine is good for mental health and working in the garden is good for physical health. This all works out well, because it’s time to get out there and take care of the plants currently in your garden and prepare for the upcoming season. Here is our list of things to be busy with this month:

Things to do:

Now is the time to start mowing the lawn regularly, a weekly task from now on. After the initial cut the lawn sets off the rest of the garden. The weather can still be quite fickle at the time of year with one day having clear blue skies and the next April showers.


February is a month of anticipation. Spring feels like little bit closer and the easing of the national lockdown fills us with hope. As January moves into February and the nights are getting lighter, we can also notice the changes in wildlife behaviour.

Winter is often associated with nature bedding down and hibernating until spring, but for some British wildlife, the cooler, darker months are actually when they are at their most active. Mountain hares, starlings, red squirrels, robins, great spotted woodpeckers, foxes, mistle thrushes, redwings, waxwings, and fieldfares can all be spotted this time of year.

Winter Watch has begun on BBC giving us more insight into the winter animals and what to look out for. Have a look at the link to get some more detailed information on the Winter Watch checklist.

Not only can we spot wildlife but look out for Snowdrops that have started to emerge. Despite the cold weather they are one of the first to bloom. Gorse flowers will be around all year round too so have a look to see if you can find them. They have a distinctive coconut scent.

Weatherwise, we’ve already seen the first flurry of snow, even asking our Facebook followers to submit their favourite snowy photos. February can be very cold with frosts and a lot of rain. Its not all doom and gloom, there is still plenty to be getting on with in the garden or even from inside the cosiness of the house.

You could start planning what you want to do with your garden in the months to come, now is the perfect time to order seeds and plants. You could plan your vegetable plot, considering crop rotation and get ahead of your garden plans.

Other jobs you could be doing in the garden this February:

Plant bare-root roses, shrubs, hedging and ornamental trees, as long as the ground isn’t frozen
Take root cuttings of fleshy-rooted perennials such as oriental poppies, acanthus and verbascums
Clear away soggy, collapsed stems of perennials and compost them
Check that small alpines don’t become smothered by fallen leaves and other wind-blown debris
Deadhead winter pansies and other bedding regularly, and remove any foliage affected by downy mildew
Repair wobbly or damaged fences, and treat wooden structures with preservative during dry spell

For the birds:

Other jobs:

Remember to keep off the grass when there’s a frost, as the blades are more susceptible to damage. Later when the grass thaws out footprints will show up as yellow patches on the lawn where the grass has been damaged.

Here at Elmtree we have been busy planting trees on our sites. The conditions have been very wet for the team working outdoors at the moment but we really appreciate their hard efforts and dedication. We have also completed landscaping the show home for Crest Nicholson in Keynsham and we have two other show homes to landscape in February so watch out for photos on our Facebook page.

To help ensure the safety of our team members with the stronger strain of the COVID virus is wearing of masks when on the company premises. All of our office staff are now wearing face masks when moving around the office, only removing the masks when at their desks which are spaced over 2m apart.

Several of our team members have had the virus now, but it was caught outside work and thankfully did not spread to anybody else in the workplace due to our strict safety measures.

With the vaccine now rolling out we are hoping there is light at the end of the tunnel and the hope of spring will fill us with renewed energy and health. We have booked a boat for a cruise around Bristol docks in August so our team have something to look forward to after the challenging year we have all had had.


To our Clients: Our response to current lockdown/Covid update Nov 2020;

In March, in response to the global pandemic we immediately ceased a number of our operations and carried out essential health and safety tasks, since this time we have steadily built up, in line with national government guidance, input from health authorities and industry advice to a continuing full service for our clients.

Since this time Elmtree have worked hard to manage the day to day staff contact to a point that it does not adversely affect our work or impact the health and safety of our customers and staff. Despite coming out of lockdown and in and out of tier restrictions our staff have continued to follow the guidance despite relaxation of some rules.

We are providing an update today on our actions to date as we continue to focus on health, safety and business continuity to ensure our continued service to you.


We believe that following the guidance given by the government, our own restrictions and those site rules outlined by our client we can continue to provide an exceptional ground maintenance service during this second lockdown period and beyond.

For our landscaping and fencing teams, currently all of our client construction sites are staying open. We will continue to provide out services to customer projects whilst continuing to take the extra COVID Safe precautions that our team are now so used to.

Normal works operations will continue and we will maintain your sites to standard, maintaining open areas and green spaces so as they are attractive places to use for those who may be isolating, working from home or who have need for an outside space to visit.

Many Thanks

Daniel Brown

Operations Manager


The end of October is here already, and we can’t quite believe how fast the months seems to be going. This month has flown by and we are really seeing the seasons changing. As autumn turns to winter, the nights are drawing in and the temperature dropping there is still plenty to do in the garden and outside.

This month we have seen the richness of colour, clear sunny days, night frosts and the beautiful display of the landscape changing around us with fantastic shades of warm reds and oranges.

Factory No 1 Project

October for Elmtree saw the completion of the first phase of planting and the construction of planters on the roof areas at Factory No 1, in Bedminster for City and Country. The planters were constructed using solid Oak sleepers. Factory No.1 is a new and exciting residential development located at the gateway to Bedminster, formerly the first tobacco factory. The newly built apartments are set around a beautiful terraced landscaped central courtyard together with a range of restored retail units and workspaces. We were excited to be able to get some photos of the newly developed area for you all to have a look at.

Our Competition

We also ran a photography competition this month and challenged our Facebook followers to take some photos capturing what ‘Autumn’ means to them. Anything from scenic walks to pumpkin spiced lattes were suggested. Graham Robbins was our winner, we loved his photo of the autumnal squirrel with fantastic colours. We felt it truly captured the word ‘Autumn’ in a photo.

Bristol Young Heroes Awards

Elmtree were also excited to be able to announce our involvement again in the Bristol Young Heroes Awards. This year it will be very different being an online celebration, but it is fantastic to still be able to acknowledge and celebrate the great work of young people in Bristol. Life is very different at the moment which makes us even more determined to attend the show virtually where they hope to lift the spirits of the whole city and ensuring that the young heroes get the recognition they deserve. For anyone wanting to attend for an evening to remember on 16th Dec please register at

A Sucessful October

October was a very successful month for winning new work. We were awarded over £1 million worth of landscaping and contracts for new projects, across new build and commercial sites for companies including Bellway Homes, YTL Developments, Linden Homes and ENGIE. This is exciting for us to secure and sets us up for a strong and busy year ahead.

So what next in the November garden? As winter approaches you can take advantage of the cool days and the slower pace of gardening to prepare your plants and gardens for winter. Typically November can be damp. Flowers may be scarce in the garden but look out for berries and evergreen foliage to add interest on the dullest of days.

Things To Do in November

Wash or discard of any old pots and trays that you are not intending to use.
Clean out nesting boxes and put food out for the birds on a regular basis
Check for hibernating hedgehogs before lighting a bonfire
Keep off the lawn in frosty weather
Protect all tender and newly plants and shrubs from frost and wind
Clear up fallen leaves
Raise Container onto pot feet to prevent waterlogging
Plant tulip bulbs for a spring display next year
Plant out winter bedding
Insulate pots that remain outside during winter

Sowing and planting

Bulbs should ideally be planted in autumn, but there is still time in November for tulips, daffodils and crocuses. These can be planted right though until the end of the month if the weather is mild and before the soil loses the heat from the summer.

Bedding plants such a pansies, violas and wallflowers can still be planted if you are experiencing mild weather. Make sure you plant winter bedding plants on a dry day in rich moist soil.

Tidying your garden

November is your last chance to prepare your soil before winter sets in. Protect any bare patches of soil with mulch, compost, leaf mould or even plastic sheeting. This will make the soil easy to plant or sow into next spring. Perennials should be divided and pruned to soil level now to ensure they return next spring as healthy as ever. Work from the middle outwards, pruning back quite harshly, especially if the plants are looking over-crowded.

Garden Maintenance

Leaves are a commodity in any garden, perfect for adding to both mulch and compost once your leaf pile has transformed into mould. Firstly, separate your leaves and keep them in a garden container, bag or create a heap in a quiet corner of your garden. The bacteria that break the leaves down to mould needs oxygen to work, so make sure you puncture any bags you collect your leaves in.

Raise any patio containers by adding bricks or feet underneath, this will protect your plants and soil from becoming waterlogged during winter showers. If you are expecting an especially harsh winter, it’s best to insulate any outside plant containers with bubble wrap to protect them from frost.


Autumn is here! September has seen the change in season and with that a change in temperature. It’s certainly feeling much cooler over the last few weeks and the beautiful burnt orange colours are starting to appear again.

There are so many exciting things about Autumn but before we go into that let’s just do a quick round up of the month.

As ever Elmtree’s Ground Maintenance team has continued to be hard at work, keeping on top of grass cutting on our many sites. We have also commenced construction of planters on the roof areas at Factory Number 1, in Bedminster for City and Country. The planters are being constructed using solid Oak sleepers. Our skilled landscapers have had a busy September working on these and we are excited to get some photos showing completion as early as next week!  Factory No.1 is a new and exciting residential development located at the gateway to Bedminster, formerly the first tobacco factory. The newly built apartments are set around a beautiful terraced landscaped central courtyard together with a range of restored retail units and workspaces.

Keeping Bristol in mind, this month Elmtree’s very own Woody the Bear joined in with #brizzleweek. We took him to our favourite Bristol landmark to show him the sights of his home town. Brizzle week was a celebration of all things Bristol, hosted by the M Shed.

The week was filled with online talks exploring the identity, local lingo, and what Brizzle is known for. Have a look for yourself at

Elmtree was also invited to and is very much looking forward to attending #futurescapevirtual2020 event this year. The best landscaping trade show. It will be different to attend the show virtually but we are confident that the Pro Landscaper team will ensure it’s a success.

The RHS launched ‘Grow at home this Autumn’ which provided some excellent resources. They started off with a ‘bulb’ themed week which aimed to help over a half of UK adults (61%) who don’t know you should plant tulip and daffodil bulbs in autumn.

Sue Biggs, RHS director general, said:  “Helping people to the garden is core to the RHS’ being, especially for the environment and their health, happiness and wellbeing. With the recent growth in gardening, many don’t know that autumn is arguably the most important gardening season, which is something we’re committed to changing by promoting and sharing the benefits of gardening now.’

October is a real month of transition and one of the most spectacular months in terms of nature’s display. Autumn colours are at their best and the leaves on trees begin to fall. Mornings often bring the first front and dew while there are still days of bright sunshine making it the perfect time to enjoy being outdoors. There is still plenty to do in the garden this month.

As we move into October it is an ideal month for planting large shrubs and trees, giving them plenty of time to get roots out before the next growing season. It’s also a good time to plant spring-flowering bulbs like allium and tulip varieties.

Things to do:

Autumn Wildlife Tips: Hedgehogs: the hedgehog is the UK’s most familiar wild animal. They love long grass full of insects to feast on once the sun has set. Hedgehogs hibernate over winter from around November to April, usually choosing to nest in piles of leaves or logs. Towards the end of autumn, hedgehogs consider the best places to build nests.

Autumn juveniles

An autumn juvenile is a hedgehog that has recently left its mother in the autumn and is too small to hibernate. Autumn juveniles are very vulnerable. As the weather turns colder and their natural food supply becomes scarce they often struggle to reach the hibernation weight of 650 grams. They are picked up by members of the public who come across them during the day foraging for food, they quite often have a heavy intestinal worm infestation and lung worm. These little hogs need to be picked up, kept in the warm and passed to a local hedgehog carer, as soon as possible to maximise their chances of survival. Rescues can administer the specialised care they require and these hedgehogs are then treated and supported all the way through the winter by carers and released in the spring when the weather is mild and their natural food supply is in abundance. Any hedgehog under 450 grams in October will need to be rescued and overwintered. These hedgehogs are kept warm through the winter and released (usually where they were found) when the weather warms up in the spring and their natural food supply is plentiful.


Do not

October is one of our favourite months for many reasons; the beautiful colours, crispy leaves, autumn walks, pumpkins, the start of cosy jumpers and scarf season, cosy nights and of course Halloween. October brings a richness of colour to the garden, there are many gardens open to the public that are famous for their autumn show, such as Westonbirt Arboretum in Gloustershire. We even took a trip there to have a look and plan to go back over the next few weeks once the leaves have really started to change colour. Its also pumpkin season so a visit to a pumpkin patch may also be on the cards!


August has seen all of our new build sites progressing at a rapid pace. House builds are going well on our client sites and the ground maintenance teams have been actively working to keep show homes and communal areas on all our sites looking tidy and fresh.

Ground Maintenance teams have also been keeping busy, winning a considerable amount of new work in different types of sites from Industrial and Commercial to New Build and large private estates. The last two weeks of August have shown considerable rainfall, so grass and weeds were growing much quicker.

Our website is continuing to be updated, the social responsibility section was the latest page to be completed this month. Have a look over the new content and images if you haven’t already;

We have also been busy at Strawberry Gardens, a new care home in Yatton, throughout August. Strawberry Gardens provides much needed accommodation for local people over the age of 55. The development offers 60 two-bedroom apartments for affordable rent and shared ownership. Strawberry Gardens has been designed to promote independent living in a community setting, with a care team on-site 24/7 to deliver planned care packages if needed. We are excited to be able to now send our photographer to the site and get some images to show you all. Keep a lookout on our social media pages for further updates of the project and across our website too. For more information on the Carehome follow the link.

As August draws to a close we anticipate a much cooler month ahead and the start of late summer turns into Autumn. Throughout September we will see the rich autumn colours developing. Already there is a distinct chill in the air. One of the things we love most about Autumn is the crisp mornings and low sun and making the most of the warmth while we can!

While there’s not as much to do in the garden at this time of the year, fruit and vegetable patches will be developed and crops will be ripening now ready to harvest. Apples and pears in a particular flourish at this time.

Top Tips for September:


Tips for sowing and planting outdoors during the month ahead:



July has been a fantastic month for us at Elmtree. We now only have 2 members of staff on Furlough out of 55, nearly back up to full strength. We have had work booked in on existing sites, as well as tendering for and winning new work. The outlook ahead is looking good and we are feeling confident that we will have a busy season in front of us.

The Ground Maintenance team is in full swing and as busy as ever. Stuart Hollingsworth, one of our managers has just come back from paternity leave as he and his partner Pippa have recently had a beautiful baby girl (a massive congratulations to you both!!). Dan Brown and John Leigh were working hard managing the ground maintenance side of things, with support from customer care manager Leigh Naden who is carrying out regular audits and site visits.

We have installed a one-way system for the lads to enable them to come safely in and out of the yard when loading the vans up in the morning and have also now taken delivery of our very own Elmtree branded face coverings for our team to wear.

This month we also completed a job at Juniper Homes in Lansdown, near Bath and planters at Fairfield school. Both sites are looking lovely and fresh.

Blackberry Hill Hospital, one of our sites for Vistry Partnerships was in the news this month. The new housing development will include 32 ‘flat-pack’ homes built by Modular housing company. The homes will form part of a wider regeneration project of the 21-acre site, which will include a total of 346 homes as well as retail and start-up business units, a community building and green spaces. Elmtree are delighted to be on board with this project delivering landscaping, whilst working with our client and other partners to help create an exciting new community within Bristol.

Click here for flat pack houses, bristol.

In other news: Some of you may know ‘Gaz’ Gary Atkinson who has worked at Elmtree for several years now as a fencing supervisor. He is well liked by all of the Clients he has come into contact with, whether it be Site Managers, Directors, and indeed other trades. He has a great sense of humour, infectious laugh and memorable Brummie accent

He has terminal cancer. His daughter very bravely had her beautiful golden locks shaved off to raise money for Bristol BRI Oncology Unit and to help towards a bucket list for Gaz.

Annaliza’s ponytail will also be donated to The Little Princess Trust to be made into wigs for children with cancer. We know that are many good fundraising causes at the moment but if you have any spare change then Annaliza, Konnie, Gaz and all of us at Elmtree would really appreciate it. There is still time to donate.

Click here for just giving

What about the next month? As always read our top tips for the August Garden:

August is traditionally a hot month and one of the main priorities is to make sure that the garden can cope with the summer heat. August also is traditionally the holiday month but with the restrictions in place due to Covid-19 the garden may well be the destination of choice this year. With this in mind here are some of our tips to keep you enjoy your gardens all month long.

Things to do:


Work has really picked up for us this month and we now have most of the Elmtree team back in work. It seems as time goes by that the Building Industry is gaining confidence and we are trying new ways of getting more people back on site. We even have some of our landscaping team working across the Grounds Maintenance department to assist during this busy period. We are of course taking all the extra precautions necessary to ensure safety including PPE, fogging vehicles and a maximum of 2 people per vehicle.

So what have we been busy with!? We have been planting lots of summer bedding on various client sales areas and replacing mangers and hanging baskets ensuring that the sites look vibrant. The grounds maintenance team are out every day ensuring all sites are well looked after, grass freshly cut and hedges and pruned to keep sites looking smart.

The sales area of a site we are working on at Blackberry Hill has also been upgraded and refreshed. We have selected a few photos for you to view here but keep your eyes peeled on our Facebook page to see the finished project.

images credits to Jack Fleming

As most of you will know, giving back is so important to us at Elmtree and as part of our social responsibility, we try to do what we can to help. We were able to join forces with a team of amazing partners and donated a selection of materials for the creation of a wellbeing garden for the University Hospitals Bristol – BRI. Staff and patients from dementia, stroke, cardiac and ICU wards will now be able to enjoy this tranquil garden, with peaceful and restorative views of nature around the winding path which is now wheelchair accessible.

Not only that but it is an exciting time for us at the moment with more work planned at BRI Hospital. We can’t reveal all just yet but watch out for further updates on our Facebook page.

The Wild Place Project reopened its doors on 19th June and they have introduced timed tickets and a strictly limited number of tickets each day to ensure the safety of all. Remember if you want to visit it is now essential to pre-book including Annual Pass Holders.

This month we also ran a competition for a bit of fun and for our way to show a bit of kindness by challenging our Facebook audience to “Beat The Boss” for a chance to receive a donation of up to £250 to a charity of their choice! The skipping challenged was lots of fun and we had a fantastic response with great entries. Thank you to all that took part. We were pleased to announce Lestyn our winner who managed a staggering 430 skips and a donation of £250 was made to MS Trust Charity on his behalf. If you don’t already, follow us on Facebook so you can take part in future competitions and see our regular updates. We have plenty more exciting things planned over the course of July and by following us on Facebook you will be the first to see all of our updates.

You can view the winner’s video in the comments here

As we end June and move into July here are our top tips for the month ahead.

July Top Tips for your garden:

The July garden will be looking great by now (in theory!) and the garden should reach its peak for the year during this month. Earlier sowed plants and vegetables will be flourishing. Although there is always plenty to be doing in the garden be sure to enjoy the long summer evenings.

Things to do:

Plant autumn flowering bulbs.


May was the month when we really started to return to work with all of our sites now open. There are lots of additional safety measures in place and we have created Risk Assessments to ensure staff are safe on site. We are all maintaining Social Distancing at work and are driving separate vehicles where possible. If we have to share a vehicle masks are worn at all times. Our team have also been reminded not to sit in a vehicle together during Lunch Break! Either they sit outside if it’s good weather maintaining 2m distancing or have their lunch at staggered times. We have also invested in a fogging machine, which fills the vehicle with disinfecting fog, this kills off any bacteria still left in the vehicles. We are following Government and BALI guidance on ensuring the workplace is safe for our staff.

Our Grounds Maintenance department are busy as ever and we even have the Landscaping division helping with grass cutting to help with the sudden influx of work.

We are currently pricing lots of different types of work and we are confident of having a busy summer and Autumn ahead. House sales seem to be going well on our Housebuilding client sites so at the moment the fallout from Lockdown is minimal, although time will tell. Build progress is slower, although fortunately with landscaping it is quite easy to maintain social distancing.

We are extremely excited to be back at work and looking forward to Elmtree continuing to deliver quality landscaping, maintenance and fencing with the best employees we have ever worked with.

As we move into June things really start to hit their peak. Boarders are looking perfect and summer vegetables and soft fruits are at their best.  Summer certainly feels like it’s here. We have had some fantastic sun and some brilliant weather to enjoy. It is the time of year where you can really enjoy being outside and seeing the fruits of your labour in your gardens.

Quick Summary of things to do in June:

Harvest lettuce, radish and other salads and early potatoes.

If you have planted any trees, shrubs or perennials in your garden this Spring, you should water it minimum twice a week to ensure the roots have sufficient water for growth and photosynthesis. If you fancy refreshing yourself on how plants grow (remember school science lessons?) have a look here

Deadheading, both annuals and perennials, is always worthwhile as the removal of spent flowers from the plant prolongs the flowering season. Plants produce flowers as part of their reproductive process from the flowers come to seed. Once the seed is set the cycle is complete and generally, a plant will reduce and eventually stop flowering. To keep plants flowering for as long as possible nip off the spent flowers.

June is planting time. Keep sowing and planting each fortnight until late in the season depending on the vegetable. Seed packets will give a guide for last planting dates but always adjust dates by your garden aspect. The South has a longer growing season than the North of England. Some veg grows more quickly and can be sown again late in the season, such as radish and lettuces others, for example, squash needs the whole season to come to fruit and are usually sown at the beginning of the year.

Don’t forget to keep an eye out for any Japanese Knotweed in your gardens. It’s fairly easily identifiable by the heart-shaped leaves and hollow stems, but if you’re not sure you can send us a photo and we will let you know if it looks like Knotweed!!