Landscape services design, develop and maintain the grounds around buildings, office parks, and commercial centers. They specialize in planting and maintaining trees and shrubs, designing and repairing irrigation systems, and seeding and mowing lawns. Landscape services use many different types of equipment. Examples include backhoes, tractors, mowers, rototillers, chainsaws, and pruners. Backhoes are excavators with an articulated arm that are usually mounted on the back of a tractor or front-end loader. Tractors are motorized vehicles that tow or pull mowers, seeders, and other attachments. Rototillers are used to turn and aerate the soil with tines that rotate on a shaft parallel to the ground. Landscape services that operate larger rototillers may use with a tractor with a creeper gear. Chainsaws are portable, motorized saws that landscaping services use to remove dead or low-hanging tree limbs. Pruners are long-handled, manually-powered saws with a curved blade at the end. They are designed to trim trees and shrubs.
Most landscape services seed, mow, weed, water, and repair lawns. There are two broad categories of lawn mowers: walk-behind and riding. Walk-behind lawn mowers use the motive force of an operator to steer the device. Styles include rotary, mulching, and self-propelled. Rotary lawn mowers have a metal deck and use a gasoline-powered engine or rechargeable battery. Some products start with a pull cord. Others have an on/off switch. Mulching mowers produce finely-shredded clippings that, when left in place, return nutrients to the soil. Self-propelled mowers have a bar that an operator squeezes to engine the machine. Both walk-behind mowers and riding mowers offer mulching and self-propelled capabilities. Unlike lawn tractors, which have mid-mounted cutting decks, riding lawn mowers have cutting decks under the front of the vehicle. The type of mowers that landscape services use is a function of the size of the lawn and type of terrain.
Landscape services are often able to design, install and repair irrigation systems for lawns, trees, shrubs, plants and flowers. Sprinkler systems are used to irrigate sports complexes cemeteries, parks, soccer fields, and golf courses. In arid regions with limited water supplies, drip irrigation is used to slowly apply water to a plant’s root zone. Landscape services usually rate conventional irrigation systems in gallons per minute (GPM) and drip irrigation systems in gallons per hour (GPH).