Services > Property Evaluation

Property Evaluation

Why get your property evaluated

  • To determine what native plants you already have; You don't want to purchase plants that are already located on your property.
  • To get recommendations for making your property better for wildlife (birds & butterflies; There are specific species of plants that are the best for certain wildlife.
  • To learn what species are invasive on your property; These are the most damaging plants to native plants and wildlife
  • To get recommendations for maintenance efforts; The greatest effort goes into maintenance and these recommendations will save time and get results

What is involved in a property evaluation

  • Determine what plants you have growing on your site. This includes trees, grasses, and herbaceous plants like wildflowers and weeds. Five reports in spreadsheet form are provided.
  • Determine which alien species are most invasive and should be controlled. Offer control techniques.
  • Suggest new plantings or enhancements to the existing established plants
  • Offer management techniques to control unwanted plants such as weeds, tree seedlings, and invasive plants.
  • Upon completion of an evaluation, the client receives an "Evaluation" report and "Species Found" report.
    • The Evaluation report contains descriptions of the property along with changes and maintenance suggestions.
    • The "Species Found" report is a spreadsheet of all plants found on the property,

What is contained in the "Species Found" report?

It is a spreadsheet of all species found on the property. This spreadsheet is divided into 5 worksheets.

  1. Species (grouped by plant family)
  2. Species by state rank (most rare to most common)
  3. Species by coefficient of conservatism (most weedy to most conservative)
  4. Alien species by alien status (least invasive to most invasive)
  5. Species by growth habit (e.g. woody plants, annuals, etc)

What is the "Evaluation" report?

It is an evaluation of the property. The property is normally divided into areas.

  • For large properties you may have a native grasslands, ponds, creeks, woodlands, old fields, or pastures.
  • For small properties (like a city lot), you may have a backyard, side yard, front yard all with different amounts of sun. There may be a wet area, a slope, or a hillside - all which require different plants.

This report is composed of the following sections.

Introduction

The introduction section explains the importance of native plants in our landscapes.

The following topics are covered.

  • The importance of native plants in our landscape
  • The use of scientific names in naming plants
  • The importance of plant and habitat diversity
Property Section

The property section breaks your property into smaller areas and details the changes to be made to each one.

For each area of the property the following information is included

  • Description of the area
  • Any plants that need to be removed
  • Recommended plants to add
  • A planting plan specifically for beds
  • Interesting plants found (edibles, rare, unique)
Reference Section

The reference section details various information, such as sources for plants & maintenance of your property

The following topics are covered.

  • Sources for buying native trees, plants, and seed
  • Killing woody plants like trees and shrubs so that they don't regrow after cutting
  • Invasive species found and techniques for controlling them
  • Perennial bed preparation, planting, weed control, and maintenance
  • Techniques for hand planting seeds of native seed to encourage germination
  • Recommended reference books on plant identification, wildlife (birds, butterflies, insects) identification, ecosystem restoration, and ethnobotany (edible & medicinal plants)
Report Section

This section summarizes the plants found on your property and describes the health of the plant community based on the plants seen.

It also summarizes each report found in the spreadsheet of plants found on your property.

Prairie Planting Section

Those with larger properties often want to plant a prairie of grasses and wildflowers. This section details the preparation, planting and maintenance of a prairie.

The following topics are covered.

  • Describing and explaining the general composition & growth of plants found on a prairie
  • Preparing a site to eliminate existing vegetation such as brome & fescue
  • Species of grasses & wildflowers to plant specific to the site
  • Recommended seeding rates for grasses & forbs (wildflowers)
  • Short term maintenance (first few years)
  • Long term maintenance
Prairie Maintenance Section

Those who own property that already has original native prairie this section offers strategies for maintaining and enhancing the prairie.

The following topics are covered.

  • Use of burning, haying and resting to increase diversity & health of the prairie
  • Establishing wildflowers & other forbs in plantings dominated by grasses
  • Controlling invasive species such as sericea lespedeza, brome, & fescue
  • Grazing techniques such as patch burning, timely grazing, and resting

 

Types of properties that are evaluated

I can do an evaluation on any size property such as...

  • A small city lot
  • A larger suburban lot
  • A small acreage (under 10 acres)
  • A larger parcel of property (10 acres or more)

Existing native vegetation

You may already have a remnant of a native plant community such as ...

  • a native or restored prairie
  • or native woodland.
  • a pond or wet depression
  • a creek or river flood plain
  • agricultural land with no natural vegetation

These remnants already have a diverse array of native plants growing on them. The land just needs some proper management so that the plants can prosper. I will identify what you already have growing in these remnants & give management advice.

What is the cost of an evaluation

To keep the evaluation affordable for people, I charge an hourly rate of $25. This includes ...

  • Travel to and from the site
  • Visiting the site
  • Preparing the Species Found report
  • Preparing the Evaluation report

The cost of most evaluations runs between $300 and $400 plus travel time.

Request an Evaluation

Contact me if you would like to consider getting an evaluation.