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What do you picture when you think of industrial warehouses and buildings? Maybe you imagine long buildings surrounded by concrete and busy loading docks? Industrial sites and big warehouses have their own landscaping needs. Typically, building owners want them to look good while also being easy to maintain, tough, and resistant to drought. It can seem like a hard list of needs to meet if you aren’t familiar with this kind of landscaping. Thankfully, we’ve created a list of landscaping tips for industrial settings to help you come up with some ideas for your space.

Industrial Landscaping Tips…

#1: Plant Trees

When you plant trees, you add a vertical element to oversized, low factories and buildings. This creates the illusion that the buildings are taller than what they are. At night, these buildings are typically well lit. Trees cast unique shadows upon them creating interesting shadows on dull walls. What kinds of trees are best for this? Blue Atlas Vedas, Deodar Cedars, and Japanese Maples are great choices. Not to mention, the cedars are evergreens, so they stay green even during unfavorable, wintry conditions. Large shrubs are a great option for a low maintenance, elevated look. You might also consider using your landscaping to add a pop of color to your landscape. Often, these buildings are plain so adding a plant like a Red Twig Dogwood will brighten up those dull colored walls.

#2: Creating A Good First Impression

Other commercial properties don’t look as bare as factories, processing plants, and distribution centers. Take the time to pay extra attention to your entrance landscaping as this is the place that will create a first impression.Your entrance way is the perfect spot to add some seasonal color. Boxwoods create an elegant backdrop for flower beds that are filled with vibrant, welcoming colors.

#3: Landscaping To Highlight Your Signage

Your signage is what you use to share your brand and welcome visitors to your location. Good landscaping is hard to miss– and is a real head-turner. Color is sure to impress but even your signage landscaping has to be easy to maintain and durable. For a lush and intriguing look, layer plants around your signage using trees, perennials, shrubs, and ground flowers. A good perennial to add is nepeta as it is tough, drought tolerant, easy to maintain, and blooms well with lavender during the dry, summer months. Catmint is also known to attract butterflies but is resistant to deer. Variegated liriope as a ground cover will add vibrant yellow stripes to your landscape while keeping the interest all year since it is an evergreen. Want to make your sign look bigger? Plant shrubs on each side to really make it stand out.

#4: Keep The Rodents Away

Unfortunately, rodent issues are pretty common. If they have become a nuisance around your industrial site, avoid planting dense ground cover near your building as this is the perfect place for them to nest and hide. Instead use river rock, gravel, or woody perennials as they aren’t as dense and have less to offer a pesky rodent.

#5: Trim Your Branches For Safety

Industrial landscaping tends to stay unchanged for years, even decades. If you have trees that have been on site and not routinely maintained for 25 years, they are probably overgrown and blocking the line of sight for visitors and employees. This poses a major safety risk for industrial sites, especially those with frequent truck deliveries and security vehicles patrolling the property. Constant movement on grounds could already lead to an accident so it is important that you make sure they can see clearly when they drive through your lots. Prune and thin your trees out annually to help avoid safety issues.

 #6: Dealing With Drainage Issues

Drainage issues exist everywhere, and it is important that they are addressed. Landscaping at industrial parks is no exception. A slope in your property will encourage water to pool in the low areas, which can lead to flooding at the entrances or even in the parking lots. If water is draining into a low spot near your building’s foundation, it can seep in and can lead to some costly repairs. By installing river rock, retention or detention ponds, or bioswales are good solutions to help redirect water. You can also consider adding plant slopes with a terraced system, ground covers, and native plants. These will help break up your slope while slowing down water and soil erosion. Another idea to consider is a rain garden that consists of deep-rooted grasses and plants in the lower regions of your property. These are great for getting storm water to absorb slowly into the ground. There are several solutions to consider if you have drainage issues. Each can be customized to meet your exact needs.

#7: Parking Lot Islands 

To break up the asphalt, parking lot islands of green are needed in industrial parks. But because they lack built-in irrigation, anything planted in them has to be tolerant to drought-like conditions. People tend to use these islands as a shortcut, so they are frequently stepped on. Not to mention they are blasted with heat from car exhausts and then piled with snow and ice in the winter. Grass just won’t do here. Instead, you should consider an easy to maintain ground cover such as liriope or creeping juniper. Both of these are hardy, affordable, and can withstand heavy foot traffic. Trees are great for adding shade to these hot, asphalt covered lots, so they are well welcomed in parking lot islands. Choose native trees as they help birds, caterpillars, and pollinators do their job in the ecosystem. Redbuds and Red Maples are great options and will add vibrant color in the fall.

#8: Add Color To Your Landscape

Pops of color are a sure way to catch eyes and make your property looks well-maintained. Keep your landscaping colorful all year with seasonal, vibrant plants. In the spring, it’s all about bright bulbs. Summer is great for stunning purple and pink petunias. Mums or dwarf nandina plants are good options in the fall. Winter is great for evergreens and other shrubs that can withstand the weather.

#9: Keep Your Employees Engaged

Give your employees a space to escape. An outdoor patio offers your employees a place to enjoy their lunch, get some fresh air, or host an outdoor meeting. Investing in a break space that will make them feel good and refreshed before returning to work is an ideal way to increase productivity. Include benches, tables, and large pots with colorful plants to make the space inviting and a place employees can enjoy and appreciate.

#10: Landscapes And Lighting

For industrial parks, landscaping includes adding basic lighting during the process. Provide enough lighting to keep the space safe. Aside from safety needs, use lighting to highlight any interesting architectural features and landscaping. These are great ways to make your property look more intriguing.

#11: LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Needs

More and more buildings are making the shift to obtain their LEED certification. How can you include these standards in your landscaping? Replace your turf with native plants. They are able to handle the heat from the parking lot, require minimal water, and reduce your need for mowers which minimizes emissions from your lawn gear. Many large commercial businesses are looking for ways to shrink their carbon footprint. Even when they aren’t pursuing LEED certification, they are practicing ways to use less energy.

Contact us (859-292‐8556) today for a free consultation!

About First Green Landscaping

First Green Commercial Landscaping is a locally owned leading provider of lawn care and landscaping services in the Cincinnati/ Northern Kentucky area. We provide superior customer service and strive to build long term business relationships with our clients.

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