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Still a lot to be Thankful for...




Still a lot to be Thankful for...

What a long and strange ride its been this year and I am not sure I can speak for everyone else but, I CANNOT BELIVE IT IS ALREADY THE HOLIDAY SEASON!! Where did the time go?

Okay, okay so we are here and yes, it is November now and for the most part we have all accepted the new normal caused by the pandemic which is very much still happening…so what do we do now? Isolate and not see friends or family? Throw food at each other from 6 feet away? Risk it all for a warm embrace? I know that is a lot to think about for most of us after months on end of lockdowns, curfews and overall heightened anxieties. If you are trying to make that decision this year here are a few things to keep in mind.

If you should find yourself among those who have the good fortune and constitution to travel or have guests over this year, then here are some tips from the CDC to stay as safe as possible. You deserve to have a fun and relaxing holiday. Just please remember we need to do what we can to safely return to the office as cautiously and respectfully as possible afterwards. 

By this point, all of us should have the 6-feet of social distancing, hand washing, and face mask wearing memo, I will glide on to the other helpful points of precautionary plans to have a safer Thanksgiving gathering. First and foremost, communicate with all guests who made the limited invite list and clearly lay out the expectations set for this year’s event. It may seem a bit harsh to call and give guests a set of rules and expectations before warmly welcoming them to your home, but remember these are unprecedented times and you must understand these “rules” are only in place because you care deeply about every guest and their continued health. For example: 

  • it should be addressed if there is a strict guest list and to please not bring any surprise guest
  • mention that there will be “off-limits” areas of the house like the kitchen where food and drinks will be prepped
  • Send a friendly reminder text to “please bring a mask” for socializing between meals 



How about those who can’t make it this year? 

I didn’t forget about you guys, and I absolutely respect and honestly admire your difficult decision to just stay home. You may be alone this year in body but certainly not in spirit! In fact, more than ever this year will hallmark a new tradition of the virtual holiday experience. With  "Virtual Thanksgiving” quickly becoming the theme of 2020, many have already suggested some creative options to feel a bit more connected despite the distance. 

  • Virtually attend anywhere around the world by creating a free ZOOM account and inviting your friends and family! All you need is an internet connection and a free account which you can make at and viola! 
  • Drive-by caravan a relative or friend’s house who may not be able to leave the house. You may not be able to go inside or have face-to-face interaction but it is the next best thing to show up and show that you support them and their situation. Maybe you can even bring a sealed food plate to leave for them at their door! A little goes a long way this year, trust me. 
  • Plan a watch party for a tv show, movie or sports game that you can arrange to all start at the same time as your remote friends. You can all group text or chat over Facebook messenger or Google's Gmail Hangout for free while you simultaneously watch. For a brief moment in time, you may just feel like you are hanging with friends again like normal.

Whatever you choose to do this holiday season please just remember that there is still a lot to be thankful for.  I know I for one am thankful to live in a world with modern medicine and high speed internet. We can communicate news and the progression of a vaccine information immediately as it happens worldwide. I am thankful to have a table to eat on and roof over my head. I am thankful for every minute I am of free volition and strength and not afraid and alone in a hospital gasping for air like many less fortunate others are this year…to you all, my heart goes out. I am profoundly thankful this year to all the first responders, nurses and doctors in crowded hospitals who will be working on Thanksgiving. You do not even have the luxury to chose to stay home or see friends. Thank you. 

I hope you all have something you can look at this year and show thanks for despite all the negativity and loss. Loving your friends and family may just mean respectfully staying away this year. However, if you are one of the lucky few who do manage to travel, then please do what you can to be as safe as possible so that we all have a smooth return to work afterwards. All that to say, I truly wish you and yours a HAPPY THANKSGIVING DAY!  


Color Change

Color Change

Fall and Winter Color Change for Commercial Landscaping


Winter is here! I have a few tips and tricks you should know for your commercial landscaping contracts to ensure you will have beautiful pops of color all year round no matter how harsh your winters get. The name of the game is called: “Color Change,” and you want to make sure your contract has at least 2 color changes per year. 




There are some really beautiful and affordable options when it comes to cold loving flowers. The most popular I would say would be the Pansy. Not only are pansies absolutely stunning in their vast array of color options from warm yellows to vibrant almost neon pinks, purples, and blues; but they are also extremely conservative financially. You really can get any color pansy that you wish to compliment your landscaping color scheme and the install is very simple, you can plant them in almost anything! These deceivingly delicate little flowers stand their own during cold winds and even freezing ice storms. Many plant pansies in the fall around October and they last well into February/March…the only thing you really have to worry about are the squirrels getting to them (they love the pretty color flowers too!) 

In the same family as the Pansy, we have another favorite winter flower called the Viola. Resembling the Pansy in both color varieties and general shape, the Viola is basically the little sister of the Pansy. Both can survive extreme colds and freezes. 

Another great winter foliage will be Cyclamen. Resembling almost that of a Tulip, Cyclamen are feathery upright petals that pop in bright pinks and purples and white. Cyclamen do run a bit more expensive that Pansies and Violas but they really are majestic when you see them lined up in a row around the base of a tree or in a potted arrangement. As well, though Cyclamen can withstand cold and freezing temperature drops, they do need quite a bit of running water and sunlight so these tend to be better in more mild winters. 

The best thing you can do is ask your Landscaping crew what they think is the best fit for your region and your projected winter, and then don’t be afraid to get a second opinion! If you need any help deciding what is best for your landscaping, please give us a call here as Aspen Services Group! We are always happy to serve! 

How to Prevent and Treat Tree Frost Crack

How to Prevent and Treat Tree Frost Crack

Frost Crack

How to Prevent and Treat Tree Frost Crack  

Frost crack happens when there is a large drop in temperature most likely when it is a sunny day and then turns to freezing cold and wet at night. The danger of frost crack is that it will snap and sometimes even explode trees like a cold burst pipe. This can cause trees to fall on cars, homes, or worse yet on power-lines causing rolling blackouts for electricity. Frost crack is extremely dangerous but there are many things you can prepare for in your facilities’ landscaping contact that will help prevent and treat frost crack if it does happen. 




First and foremost, the best offense is a great defense when it comes to landscaping; making sure your trees are properly pruned and fed nutrients regularly ensure that not only are the excess weight of the limbs lightened but the nutrients are there to help develop and support the branches’s individual strength. Many neglect the extra nutrient packages and annual pruning when they look into commercial landscaping bids because they tend to be a bit more steep in price than landscaping without trees, however, when it comes to trees you really want to invest in their health and maintenance because replacing a dead tree is vastly more expensive and time consuming than just maintaining it’s health. As well, planting shrubs or mulch around the base of the tree will help to insulate the tree during cold drops in temperature, this step is critical.

Oklahoma City recently got struck with this phenomenon and we can all see the devastation that happens, it is almost worst in circumference of distraction than a tornado! The trees fell all at once and there have been people without power for over a week including hospitals, grocery stores, schools, and other business. It is truly devastating what nature can do to your landscaping and facility utilities. 

If you would like any help or quotes for your facility landscaping then please feel free to call or email aspen directly and we will send someone out to help!