Did you know that the two biggest expenses for Home Owners Associations (HOAs) are almost always #1 the community pool followed by #2 mowing the grass? Is your community spending $20,000 per year on mowing and weedwhacking? $50,000 per year? $100,000 per year? Some HOAs spend more than $100,000 per year on maintaining the grass.
Now, some of that grass serves a useful purpose near a playground or some other place for people to play. Some of it needs to be mowed for a retention pond. Some of it is necessary to maintain an edge against roads and sidewalks. So I always have to remind folks that I am not advocating you rip out every square foot of lawn. But as the cost of lawn maintenance increases and you are considering raising HOA dues, you should probably let me help you audit your landscaping. Together we will probably find that some of the grass you’re mowing serves no purpose.
Part of my job as Urban Forester is to work with homeowners and HOAs to increase the amount of trees in Union County. One alternative to mowing is to install more mulch beds with trees, shrubs, and perennials. This represents a larger cost upfront but requires less maintenance while adding more value than mowed turf. Another alternative to mowing is to just let it go. Say it with me, just let it go. Just stop mowing. This strategy is appropriate for letting an existing wooded edge creep in closer.
And there are many other strategies as well, such as converting large patches of under-utilized turf to native wildflowers. I am happy to discuss these strategies and more to help your community reduce maintenance costs and increase property values by improving your urban tree canopy. So contact me to schedule a landscaping audit in your community.