Autumn tree outside office

It is often assumed that commercial grounds maintenance is not required during the colder, Winter months due to the lack of growth. While it is true that plants are less lively during lower temperatures, opting for regular grounds maintenance remains vital in maintaining both on-site safety and the health of your plants, lawn and trees.

Commercial Grounds Maintenance For The Colder Months

We’ve all noticed the sudden drop in temperature over the past few weeks meaning that its time to start making Winter arrangements. As a business or commercial property owner, it is under your responsibility to ensure that both the workplace and exterior of the building is adequately prepared for ice, snow and heavy rainfall.

To kickstart planning, we’ve put together a list of why commercial grounds maintenance is vital during the Winter and how it can benefit your business in the long run.

Slipping Hazards

During the Autumn leaves continuously fall from trees and cover pathways and carparks with old, decaying leaves. Technically, according to Weather.com, Autumn does not finish until the 21st December meaning that leaves will continue to fall until this time of the year.

Leaves alone cause little hazards, however, when submerged in water or covered with a layer of ice or snow, suddenly become incredibly dangerous. Slipping on leaves or debris is one of the leading causes of injury in the workplace during the colder months, and can also discretely hide tripping hazards such as potholes.

If failing to clear your premises of fallen leaves and debris causes an injury, it will be seen as negligence of the workplace. This is enough to not only be faced with a huge claim but also enough to be sent to court and potentially lose your business.

frost on leaves

Avoids Broken Branches

Trees require pruning during the Spring and Summer due to extra growth and to stop branches overlapping, however, is also important during the colder months to prevent them from breaking off.

Ice and snow quickly accumulate on branches, which over time will cause the branch to break due to excess weight that they cannot hold. This also applies to stormy weather, high winds and heavy rainfall can damage a tree internally. A clean cut on branches will not cause an issue, whereas a tear is incredibly unhealthy for the tree. It puts the tree under immense stress to repair itself and begin branch regrowth, which is made even harder during the Winter when it is not in its growth period.

To avoid forcing a tree to start its regrowth early, it is highly recommended to opt for regular pruning to cut back all branches they appear weak and may tear when additional weight is added. All trees should be cut back at the beginning of Winter, so they are ready to regrow and bloom healthy as the Spring approaches.

In addition, broken branches also make it trickier to guarantee on-site safety for both employees and visitors. It will only take one gust of wind for a branch to fall onto a person, car or even through a window of your building.

snow on branches

Removes Disease

Although disease spreads at a faster rate during the Summer in warm temperatures, it can also harbour throughout the Winter under collected debris and fallen leaves. As mentioned previously, enlisting the help of a grounds maintenance team to carry out regular leaf clearance is vital for safety, but it also allows experts to keep a careful eye out for any disease, so it can be dealt with before it causes an issue.

Diseases are also a common health problem in trees, particularly in old branches that are starting to rot. Removing limbs that appear unhealthy will stop it spreading throughout the tree and into the roots.

If you spot any changes in your tree, particularly disease, it is crucial to enlist the help of a tree surgeon Milton Keynes. For more information on the main plant and tree diseases and how to spot them, take a look at this helpful ProFlowers article!

Minimise Salt Damage

As a commercial property, it is essential to maintain utmost safety for everyone on-site. During freezing temperatures, you will have to regularly spread salt across the grounds of your premises to avoid slipping hazards on pathways and skidding dangers in car parks. Depending on the size of your premises, you may opt for hiring a gritter machine, or merely enlist the help of your caretaker to spread salt over all surfaces.

Similarly to humans, excess salt causes plants to become dehydrated, and once it has evaporated all salt from the surface, it will move to the roots which can be potentially fatal for the health of plants and trees. Of course, you cannot avoid spreading de-icing rock salt, which means that extra care has to be taken to the life surrounding pathways and car parks.

Your chosen grounds maintenance team will ensure that all plants and trees remain adequately watered and that salt will not cause dehydration.

spreading salt on ice

Simpler Spring Jobs

Continuing your grounds maintenance Milton Keynes contract over the Winter months will make plant growth and overall landscaping jobs easier over the Spring.

Many weeds only grow in colder temperatures, such as clover and nettles, which smothers all other surrounding plants and disrupts their growth when they reach the blooming period. Maintaining weed control over the Winter means that you will not be faced with a large weeding job and have to re-plant smothered flowers when they weather begin to become warmer and sunnier.

Commercial Grounds Maintenance

There are many different benefits that professional grounds maintenance as a whole brings, from creating an ongoing positive first impressions to increasing on-site safety, and this also applies during the Winter. Visitors will not expect to be an array of vibrant, colourful flowers when there is heavy rainfall and freezing temperatures, but this is not an excuse for neglecting your business premises. Cutting back trees, shrubs or plants and preparing your property for the colder months will make the areas not only look neater but grow better as the Spring approaches.

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