Kudos from Park Glen Heights HOA

Eric and Raul –
Just wanted to send you a quick note regarding Park Glen Heights HOA. I know this is still a very new contract but I had a meeting with the Board President this morning and she just couldn’t say enough nice things about Blade Runners and the awesome work the crew has been doing in the association. The entire board and members of the community are incredibly satisfied with the work that has occurred this year and they feel that they definitely made the right decision on choosing you as the landscaping contract.
I wanted to pass this along, as I know in this business, too often the only time emails are sent are when there are issues or problems or concerns. As a manager, I try to make sure I pass along “good emails” to vendors as well.
I hope the both of you have a great rest of the day!
Katie M. Kight, CMCA, AMS
Community Association Manager, Park Glen Heights HOA

Blade Runners White Grub Fact Sheet

What are White Grubs?
White grubs can devastate your lawn.  White grubs (European chafer, Japanese, May and June Beetles) are small plump white larvae which actively feed on grass roots.  They live below the soil surface and actually chew off the roots of the grass plants.  They are C-shaped, have a brown head, and have 3 large pairs of legs
After they destroy the grass roots, the lawn will appear unhealthy, weak, or possibly yellow in patches–as if the lawn is drying out.  Other symptoms to watch for include:  animals like skunks and raccoons digging up the lawn and birds feeding on grubs leaving pencil-sized holes.  Often the damaged turf will roll back like a carpet, as the root system has been eaten away.
Combo pic
Life Cycle of the Grub
Some grubs complete their life cycle in one year and others require three years to complete. White grubs survive in the winter as larvae in the soil.  In the early spring they begin to feed again.  Later in the spring, they enter a resting stage (pupae), then hatch into adult beetles.  A lot of beetles can mean a grub problem later–as there will be higher populations to reproduce. (The beetles do not damage lawns.)  Beetles lay their eggs, which hatch into grub larvae.  The larvae feed voraciously which results in significant stress to your lawn.  Serious damage can occur in spring, summer, and fall.  Left undiagnosed, grubs can devastate a lawn in a short period of time.
How can I treat Grubs?
Promptly treating potentially devastating white grub infestations can help protect the investment you have made in a lawn care program and your property.  If you notice suspicious brown patches starting to appear in the lawn, DO NOT HESITATE!  Call your Blade Runners account manager. Treatment is usually not required until the white grub population exceeds 4-6 feet.  At this level, the white grubs are feeding on the roots faster than they are able to regenerate.  Consult with your Blade Runners account manager to discuss all options with respect to dealing with insects in your lawn.
If you have any further questions about your lawn, please visit our website:

Thanks to the Blade Runners crew from Mt. Woodley Manor community

Morning, Karen.
Wanted to let you know the Mt. Woodley community is looking GREAT thanks to your crew! Nice job on cutting back the nandena and lirropa.  Fresh mulch got put down on Friday and the huge bushes at the front entryway are cut way back and appear to be growing back nicely.  Just need to keep them at this reasonable size/height.
Many thanks for the work estimates. Regards…Angela
Angela Layman, President
Mt Woodley Manor HOA

Hillcrest Cluster HOA Thanks Blade Runners for Awesome Erosion/Drainage Project

Hi Terry –

I am writing on behalf of the Hillcrest Cluster board to say thank you for a very awesome job on our erosion/drainage renewal project. We are really pleased with everything, and anxiously await the grass germinating, the plants maturing, and the first downpour so we can see how well everything holds up ;-)

Thanks again to you and the crew for making sure our requirements were met and having done so in a timely fashion.

Laura Sharon, Manager
Hillcrest Cluster HOA


Concrete Damage and De-Icing Products…What are the answers?

Concrete walkway repair is an important element in the maintenance of your property.  Property Managers must scrimp, save, and otherwise plan for this work.  Below find some information Blade Runners feels is important to achieve success.


It is no secret that all saline based ice control products are a threat to concrete surface. Property managers must strike a balance between the safety benefits and potential damage. Blade Runners uses Ice B’gone Magic Salt that is easily the safest product in the industry. With that said, there are some important steps to be taken with new concrete installations.

Spalling 2


Hire the right contractor:  There are many corners that can be cut with this service. Regardless of the price, you should make sure that the chosen contractor fully understands the procedures and standards. Please see the video below that talks about the basics. It is important that the terminology is contained in your bid specifications.

In addition the American Concrete Institute (ACI) has a resource for further information (item 301-10,Specifications of Structural Concrete).    www.concrete.org/store/productdetail.aspx?ItemID=30110                                                                            
  Apply a penetrating sealer (Silane, Siloxane, or Silicate):  This should be applied after the installation and the following year after installation. This will reduce the water penetration and protect the freeze thaw cycles that spall the concrete.

Sealing 2

See a list of products below (there may be others)


Pressure wash: It is important to remove any salt residue at the close of the season.

Mark areas: Place markers in areas to avoid ice control application.

Repair: With or without these efforts, spalling can occur. See the video below that discusses how to make a repair.


Learn how to use the MIG welder for home repair needs.

Unwanted Warm Season Grasses Invading NOVA

Having a beautiful, lush lawn is our desired goal in the DC Metro area BUT warm season grasses have become an increasing problem.  These unwanted turf varieties are infesting the preferred fescue lawns with varieties that include:  Dallis Grass, Chain Grass, Goose Grass, Couch Grass, Devil Grass, Wire Grass, Dog Tooth Grass and Bermuda grass. We have already ordered a few remedies from our favourite home, garden, and baby items website to control the damage which is being caused it the healthy beautiful grass. Usually those funny sounding invasive grasses attract pests, turn brown with the first frost, and make an ugly contrast with green turf.

Dormant in Fescue

What is Warm Season Grass?

Warm Season Grasses were introduced into the United States in the 1800s as fast growing forage plants that could survive in southern climates. They thrive in sandy or clay soils, prevalent in our area. But areas that are excessive in sand or sediment start to choke the grass and prevent it from germinating. If you plan on lending your garden a green hue by planting this, then you better first use a sand volume calculator. They love nitrogen fertilizer and grow twice as fast as regular turf grasses, which can create unsightly tufts for homeowners. Dallis grass leaf appearance is very similar to crabgrass but much harder to control.

different grasses

With their aggressive spreading habits, warm season grasses gradually crowd out the desirable fescue grasses, creating an unsightly contrast between turf types. This has become the nastiest of turf weed problems to control.  Another issue is that it turns brown very quickly once any frost hits it, creating a sharp contrast particularly with tall fescue grasses which stay green all winter. They also attract serious insect pests that feed on it, even cockroaches (more cockroach facts).  These include armyworms, cutworms, sod webworms, Bermuda grass mites, and rhode grass scale (mealybug). The latter two insects cause damage by sucking juices from the stems and stunting the normal growth of the grass.  Nuisance type insects found on bermudagrass include:  chiggers, ants, and ticks. Not all ants cause damage to the crops, and anyone with an iota of regard for insects would first care to read an Ant Guide before deciding to torch them. 

Can Warm Season Grass Be Controlled or Prevented?

Due to its extensive root system, Bermuda grass is very difficult to control or even eradicate completely from a lawn where it has been growing vigorously.  The underground roots and the above ground runners spread everywhere.  As a result, even flower bed and other adjacent areas can become affected.  Post-emergent herbicides that are used to remove crabgrass can work, although they must be applied several times at higher levels to complete the treatment and prevent regrowth.

What Can Blade Runners Do About Warm Season Grass?

 As is the case with broadleaf weeds and crabgrass, annual attention is needed and complete eradication is not possible. At home routine sanitation with EZ Bed Bug Exterminator is needed on an annual basis. The same refers to outer spaces. Blade Runners makes a single application in the summer that service to slow and control infestation. We do have an enhanced service with applications  made in August, over 3 applications that are ten days apart. Aggressive seeding to follow is needed. Even with these efforts it is likely that the problem will return if the site is not irrigated.

It can be persistent and expensive to control.  In some cases, clients make the commitment for eradication and others are willing to accept the appearance result.  If you would like to make the effort in control, Blade Runners can provide you with a specific estimate.

Cicada Killer Ground Bees

Cicada picture and dirt mound
July and August can bring the ugly, scary looking Cicada Killer ground bees to your property.  Don’t despair…Blade Runners has some information and an action plan.
What is a Cicada Killer?

 The Cicada Killer is one of the largest digger wasps.  They grow over 1.5″ long and are robust wasps that burrow in the ground in search of cicadas.  They create dirt patches in the landscape and hover around their areas.

Are Cicada Killers dangerous and what damage can they cause?
Cicada Killers use their sting to paralyze the cicadas.  Unlike most social wasps and bees, they do not sting unless handled roughly.  Cicada Killers are generally non-aggressive towards humans, usually flying away when swatted, instead of attacking.  Adults feed on flower nectar and other plant sap exudates.  The wasps are often seen in groups, vigorously challenging one another for position on the breeding aggregation from which they have emerged.  Adults emerge in summer, typically beginning in late June or early July and die off in September or October. They are present in a given area for 60 to 75 days, usually until mid-September.
Cicada killer infestation picture 4

Aside from being rather intimidating, they can cause damage in the landscape in the form of unsightly burrows.

How do we control Cicada Killers?
To control these pests we must treat the holes in the late night or early morning, while they are resting.  This needs to be completed each week for three weeks.  Contact Blade Runners if you need help in controlling them.

Danbury Forest HOA thanks Blade Runners for Job Well Done!

“I would like to thank you so very much for all of the time, effort, and support you especially have given us over the years and I hope we can continue the partnership onward. Blade Runners has truly helped Danbury Forest thrive and be a beautiful place to call home!
Thanks again…Mike…it has been a pleasure working with you, Eric, Johni and your staff.”

Jenni Hopkins
Danbury Forest Community HOA

HOA Appreciates Quick Response Time & Thorough Clean-Up

“Our HOA has a contract with your company. With the recent wind storms, we have had a lot of fallen small trees and LOTS of dead branches.  Terry and his crew were out here today and did a spectacular job!  Our community is so pleased with his (your) work.  We still have more work to do with the recent storms, but really appreciate Terry’s quick response.  Our HOA has worked with your company for several years for our annual contract, and people like Terry remind us of why we stay.  The clean up area looks great. Thank you, Terry, and thank you, Blade Runners.”

–From a satisfied Blade Runners HOA customer

Seeding Season Is Upon Us

Blade Runners Seeding service  

Our goal is to produce meaningful results with our seeding service. We are certainly at the mercy of mother nature in terms of temperature and moisture. However we want our process to be progressive and effective when the conditions are right.  We achieve this in one of two processes listed below.  Please check with your account manager if you have any questions.  

Square foot approach

This approach arms the seed with the needed tools for success. It also identifies seeded areas to future mowing visits,  so it is not disturbed. 

a) Your contract will stipulate a specific number of sq ft we are seeding.

b) We identify areas on the property that need attention the most.

c) Core aerate the areas selected in 2-3 directions to create maximum seed soil contact.  

d) Apply Hydro seed that contains seed, lime, fertilizer and a stabilization agent ALL AT THE SAME TIME!  
hydro 3





Full core aeration and over seeding approach

a) This is used for small properties with less than 30,000 square feet of overall turf.  

b) Sometime used for larger properties that have specific compaction problems where full aeration is needed.

c) Seed is applied with a spreader

d) Property is fully core aerated.     

Mt. Woodley HOA Praises Blade Runners for Great Communication Efforts

I just received my second “task posting” marked complete for the yard work done yesterday.  This is GREAT!   No more guessing as to what was done and when.  Many thanks for the notification and keep the postings coming!!!

Angela Layman, President

   Mt. Woodley Manor HOA

Blade Runners Long Range Planning Program Can Revitalize Your Community

Once your property was fresh, young, and new.  All you needed was grass cutting and routine maintenance.  Now there are overgrown trees in need of tree pruning services, over-sized landscaping, erosion issues, dilapidated walls, and drainage concerns.
delipdated associationdrainage 4

This can be a real challenge to an association’s budget!
worried dollar 2

Blade Runners helps you make an extraordinary first impression. We’ve helped homeowners, condo and homeowners associations create a positive, refreshed, and inviting look to their communities.  How do we make this possible?

1)  We assess the entire property and consider what is needed.  We separate what can be salvaged from what needs full replacement.

2)  A budget is submitted for the entire project on a building by building basis.  Priorities are established and a budget is created to stretch from a 3-5 year period.

 Long range right2long range left 4

 3)  Detailed proposals are presented for projects as they are ready for completion.

With a good plan from Blade Runners, your property can be completely transformed in 3 to 5 years. 

Blade Runners Transforms Foundation Plantings of a Mature Condominium Property

Plants have a life cycle like everything else.

It is wonderful when all is new…new properties, kitchens, even floor plans!  Yes, everyone likes fresh surroundings.  As properties mature, so do their plantings. They become overgrown and encroach over windows that once provided sunshine and brightness.  All too often, dense bushes block walkways, creating dark and sometimes dangerous paths to doorways. As time passes, condominium properties suffer from age like everything else.A1 Right corner before2Over grown there was a window at some timeHow do you deal with an outdated landscape that needs to compete with newer properties?  Do you remove everything? Do you plant or remove something here or there? Where will the needed money come from?

Blade Runners was called to revitalize the Bentana Park Condominium complex in Reston, VA.  Residents voted for a foundation facelift to update the property and help protect their real estate investment.  The Bentana Park Condo board president said, “We’re so glad we hired Blade Runners to restore and renew our community.  We once again have bright walkways, sun shining through windows, and a welcome environment for our residents!”

  Scroll down below to see the before and after pictures and the positive first impressions created by Blade Runners.              

A1 Top before2A1 top after2A2 before2A2 after2A1 Right corner after2A1 Right corner before2AI Halfway Before2A1 Halfway after2

President of Forest Hills of Fairfax HOA Applauds Beautiful Landscaping Work


Hi Terry,


Thank you for the extra effort you and your workers took to make the landscaping at Forest Hills of Fairfax Community look really good for the Fun Run fund raiser for the Fairfax County Park Authority held in the community common area on 7 June 2014.  The community looked the best ever.  The Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and numerous other participants in the fun run commented on how good the community looked. 


Please pass the thank you along to the workers who were here on 6 June and performed the hands on work.




Drummond Taylor

President, Forest Hills of Fairfax Homeowner’s Association

Blade Runners Creates Landscape Islands to Enhance Your Property’s Common Areas

Messy Island 1Those dirty rings…you try scrubbing them out, rinsing them out, and you STILL have “Ring Around the Collar!” Those bare dirt-ridden islands. Seeding and watering just create a muddy mess. Where can you place your trash cans for pick-up? Blade Runners has created countless island transformations that eliminate the mud, lower maintenance bills, and provide safety zones for your children and attractive landing areas for trash receptacles.Island Solution d2

Here’s a safe spot for children awaiting their school bus.

island solution B2 An excellent location for trash receptacles        Island solution A.jpg2

 Blade Runners will create appealing curbsides and enhance the beauty of your community.


Sudley Village Commends Tree Removal Service

Sudley Village!
Tree GONE! That fast!
You guys are AWESOME!!
Thanks AGAIN for all your hard work!
I’m sure you appreciate hearing when you do a GREAT job, too!

Sudley Village HOA   Manassas, VA



Brittany Parc Says Blade Runners Excels at Customer Service

I do appreciate your efforts this past year and indulging the board members by hearing their concerns and addressing them. This goes a long way in keeping them happy customers. That is one area that I think B.R. excels at – you and your staff are always willing to give your time and attention to the customer and quickly respond to their concerns. It is a pleasure doing business with you.

Carol Stirner, Manager
Brittany Parc HOA

Blade Runners and Magic Salt are Making Television News!

BLADE RUNNERS is the only contractor in the Washington, DC region to use MAGIC SALT. There are countless reasons to make use of this product…BUT…don’t believe us!  See what 8 different national news television stations are saying about it.

Click on the images below to our MAGIC SALT video website

eyewtness graphic

Snow Removal Service Makes Providence Park HOA a Satisfied Customer


Your team has done an outstanding job cleaning up all the snow this year!! They have also done a great job cleaning up the sidewalks.  I know it must be pretty hard juggling all the areas you have to clear up.  Take care and thanks again.  Cheers.

James C. Brett, President

Providence Park HOA


Hillcrest Cluster HOA Cheers Blade Runners for Great Snow Removal Service

Hi Eric.
Just wanted to let you know Blade Runners has done a great job with the snow removal in Hillcrest Cluster this winter. We are receiving feedback from residents saying thank you, and I wanted to let you know we have been very pleased with our service.

Thanks so much from your friendly neighborhood Hillcrest Cluster Board

Quality Lawn Maintenance Applauded by First Choice Park

Eric and Mike,

I told your crew yesterday that working here, that I was going to call
you, but decided an email to both of you would be better.
I thanked them for the good job they are doing here and wanted you also
to know that we appreciate their efficiency and conscientiousness. They
are doing a very good job.
They certainly are good employees for your firm.

Jack Arnold
1st Choice Park, 8300 Arlington Blvd.

Blade Runners really IS better

Are commercial contractors the same? Do they all operate with the same level of safety and quality?

At Blade Runners we do not think so!

 The photos below might seem humorous but really are not funny.  This irresponsibity can create damage on your site and expose your property to unneeded liability.


What are looking at

Maybe I should be using a push mower with a bagging attachment here

Big Mowers are fronts save time. But they cause damage to turf, plants and light posts.
Ummm, Look at this track damage
Gas in water bottle in back pocket- Whats with the bandana

Tree badness1 REDONE

tree badness 2 redoneBlade Runners Knows How To Get the Job Done…Safely and Correctly!



It would be misleading to state that aeration offers no value…but is it worth the bang (or core) for the buck?

man and his aeratorLawn aeration is a staple of the green industry.  Year after year, Mark from Yard Care Guru’s and other professionals recommend aeration as an absolute necessity.  It is often sold in conjunction with the word “seeding”–implying that seeding and aeration are inextricably linked.

Consider for a moment the industry that stands behind the equipment & delivery of the service.  If there was wisdom that, perhaps, pointed away from aggressive aeration practice, would it be met with open arms?

On a 3″ X 4″ spacing with 1″ aerification tine (7/8″ inside diameter), one would expect to remove 5% of the surface.  Clients are spending hundred and thousands of $$$ to bang holes and affect only 5%  of the area!?!?

 Seeding/Establishment are not the goals nor the benefits of aeration. It is true that if you seed with aeration, some seeds will fall into the holes and germinate–while the lions’ share of the seed is spread over the remaining 95% of the unprepared areas.



Enhanced fertilization products and micronutrients to improve soil chemistry and composition

Surgical strikes of aeration to only compacted areas along walks and high traffic foot areas

Seeding in conjunction with scarification and removal of unwanted thatch

 Micro nutrientsorganic micronutrients

These steps should not cost additional funds as compared to the conventional full “Aeration Seeding Service.”

This process and Landscaping Culpeper VA will bring far more meaningful results to your landscape.

Blade Runners wonders… Do you believe in Magic Salt?

Do You Believe in Magic?

Here at Blade Runners,  MAGIC is our best friend during the cold and snowy wintry season… MAGIC SALT that is.

2-18-2014 11-03-12 AM

MAGIC SALT is a highly efficient solid granular de-icer effective down to temperatures reaching -35. It can burn off up to 1-2″ if snow with NO plowing AND sustains a residual effect lasting longer than ordinary de-icers.

edited photo 3

MAGIC SALT is the only product of this kind recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for being biodegradable, less corrosive for machinery and concrete, AND, most importantly, safe for people, pets, and plants.  Blade Runners cares about YOU–your family and pets, your home, and your environment. This is why MAGIC SALT is the singular product used by Blade Runners for snow and ice removal.  These photos are a testament to the effectiveness and success of MAGIC SALT .  

We have MAGIC to do…join us!      

Marriott Courtyard Fairfax Fair Oaks Thrilled with Grounds Maintenance

Courtyard by Marriott Fairfax Fair Oaks Blade Runners was pleased to hear from Ross Davis, General Manager, Courtyard Marriott Fairfax Fair Oaks.  He commented patrons loved the Curb Appeal of the property.  Additionally, Regional Marriott management were very complementary and thought the property looked great.  Always a pleasure for Blade Runners to do business with clients who demand quality grounds maintenance.

President of Cedar Grove Fairfax Praises Work Ethics of Grounds Maintenance Service.

Hello Eric,

I am the president of the home owners association at Cedar Grove in Fairfax and I wanted to pass on to you the fact that we have been very pleased with the work ethic that we have seen so far. This is true in particular with Mike Dollard. There have been a few times when there have been glitches in one thing or another, I do understand that sometimes things can go wrong but what is important is the manner in which they are resolved. There has not been a time so far that Mike has not moved very quickly to resolve any problems we have had. This hasn’t been our experience in the past and it speaks volumes about we can rely on the service we now have. Mike has always responded to any of our inquiries in a timely and efficient way. We are grateful to have him as our point of contact with Blade-Runners. As things stand at the moment we look forward to having your services in our future.
Gail Conley
Cedar Grove, Fairfax, VA

Excellent Service received from West Village of Shirlington

Blade-Runners performs a very good service here and their crews have gone
over and above several times to help our residents.

I’ve copied the President of Blade-Runners and again, thank you.

Please let me know when the repairs are completed.

Tiger Keathley, AMS
Interim General Manager
West Village of Shirlington, An Associa Managed Community
4161 South Four Mile Run, Unit 101
Arlington, VA  22204
703-271-5488 phone
703-271-2688 fax

Lawn Care Chemical Concerns Eased by Knowledgeable Staff

I just wanted to praise the efforts of Rosa, who answered my inquiry regarding weed control spraying occurring in my HOA community of Beauregard Manor. I have young children and pets, so I called the number on the sign placed in our community notifying us of the application and left a couple detailed messages with our account manager. Since it was a Friday, I was concerned when I did not receive a call back after leaving a morning and afternoon messages with our account person, Raoul Chavez. So, I called the main line. Rosa was apologetic and fantastic- even tracking down the person who knew more information on the application used. I just want to be sure and let you know when one of your employees does right. Thank you to Rosa! I tried to mention this to Raoul, but for some reason, our phone call connection ended abruptly. Thank you!

Blade-Runners Helps Reston Community with Water Erosion

Water and Soil Erosion in your Neighborhood

As a child running, jumping and sliding down through puddles and mud left in the backyard after a downpour was as much fun as the slip-n-slide in the heat of summer.  As an adult, the mud-induced slip-n-slide is not so fun and difficult to negotiate while taking out the trash or walking the dog.

Didn’t there used to be grass there?

As an adult, we’ve seen the mud in our community start to resemble a Slip-N-Slide.  While taking out the trash and walking the dog, this can be hard to traverse.  As the neighborhood become

mud slide 1more muddy after each thunder storm, more tree roots are exposed and the turf is slipping away.  Water erosion has started.  This erosion is usually most noticeable during short-duration, high-intensity storms.

Is there anything we can do?

Early blooming imageAs the river develops after each thunder storm we see top-soil wash away and the need for good rain boots increase due to the mud after each rain.  Tree roots are slowly being exposed and receding or lost turf areas are getting.  Isn’t there anything we can do?  Isn’t this nature’s way?  Water erosion is a natural occurrence that reshapes the earth over time and changes the landscape.  The soil moves and runs off into local waterways, carrying with it pollutants such as oil from cars and waste from animals.  Although this process is “natural” it is not beneficial to our living environments.  Overtime water erosion can damage structures, pollute drinking water and cause accidents.  To prevent this contact us now at the lawn by Maple Land Works.

Solving the Problem

Developing the use of subterranean and surface drainage systems coordinated with select tree removal and canopy thinning, as well as establishing woodchip buffer areas with native plants, Blade-Runners increases the valuegreenary 1 of your property by creating a park-like atmosphere at a one time forgotten or unused or neglected part of the property and resolves your water erosion issues the right way.  Blade-Runners has solved water and soil erosion problems in communities such as Hunters Green Cluster, Bentana Park Condominiums, Oak Spring Cluster in Reston and others in Fairfax and surrounding Counties.  Blade-Runners carefully considers all requirements and recommendations of the community and area before designing recommendations and practices.  By doing this Blade-Runners can ensure their approach to erosion and drainage issues really work.  Contact us today so we can help your community.

(Learn more about A Affordable Tree Experts and their multiple tree services on their website)

lawn by Maple Land Works

Seminary Walk thrilled with HOA landscaping!

I just want to thank you. I have never seen the property looking so nice. This morning a resident in 206 happily shared his opinion of the courtyard near my office. He said “I have never seen the courtyard in all the years I have lived here, looking as good as it does now.” I thanked him for saying so and told him that Bladerunners are our new landscapers. He said he had already known Bladerunners Inc. because his brother was in the business also.

I have introduced my self to your crew chief (Rodas I believe?) and some of the other guys. Eric, I want you know how impressed I am with their work so far. I am also excited to see the subtle but important care the guys take in their work i.e., shaving-off and or removing the old mulch “humps” that have accumulated over the years, the perfectly cut mulch beds and the quality of the mulch in general. Great work, keep the foot on the gas. I love it.


Thank you, Kevin.

Maintenance Manger

At Seminary Walk


Landscaping Chemicals

EverywheChemical picturere you turn there is a debate about the use of pesticides and fertilizers.  Are they poisonous? Do they work?  In our society, the prevailing trend is to automatically believe that the word “Organic” always means better.  The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) debunked some myths surrounding the use of organic pesticides and fertilizers The purpose of this blog entry is to help put our customer’s minds at ease with an old fashioned, tried and true method: sharing the facts.

The facts in this instance are straight forward:

  • Blade-Runners uses chemicals that are safer than commonly used household items and
  • There are good reasons to use these pesticides and fertilizers.

It is important to remember why we use pesticides and fertilizers. For years now we have benefitted from the use of pesticides and fertilizers.  Many of our eating habits, prices, and health benefits come from the advantages of pesticides and chemicals.  For example:Your family's safety is out first concern.

  • In many circumstances pesticides are the only successful means of  controlling weeds and disease carrying insects
  • There is a wider selection of food and clothing sold at lower prices
  • Pesticides protect private, public, and commercial dwellings from structural damage associated with termite infestations

Please feel free to examine these issues even further using our chemical research book provided online to all customers.  In the future, the book will permanently appear under, “Why is Blade-Runners Better” on the website. Give preference to natural fertilizers, benefit from best uses for worm castings. Ensure pest and bug control with Pestkillersofraleigh.com.

We also offer an LD50 chart for all our chemicals comparing them to common household products.  LD50 is the lethal dose in kilograms of a chemical provided to other animals, such as rats and hamsters, that kills them. The lower the LD50 number, the lower the dose required for death, the higher the score the more needed for death.

Remember: The lower the score the higher the danger.

Household Product Landscaping   Maintance
Borax (LD 2660) Barricade (LD 5000)-Used to prevent crabgrass
Tide Pods (LD 600) Talstar [bifenthrin] insect control (LD 623)
Frontline (LD 2995) Glphosate (LD 5600) Used to kill weeds in the pavement
5 Hour energy with caffeine (LD1129) Merit (LD 1858) Control insects

The debate over the use of chemicals by landscaping companies such as Blade-Runners, will and should continue for years to come.  The most important thing to know is that we here at Blade-Runners have you, your family, your pets, and your property’s safety in mind.  Look for future entries to explain run-off into the water, effects on our ocean life, danger to our food supply and inhalation dangers.

Proper Pruning

Creating an Objective: Some of the most common objectives are listed below.

  • Improve structure/health
    • Improve health by establishing a structural pruning program to young trees 15’ or less on the property.  Structural pruning of young trees is the best way to ensure and improve the serviceable lifespan of trees on your property.
  • Provide a view
    • A view can be created or enhanced through crown reduction where the edge of the crown at the top of the tree is reduced or by elevation pruning where lower branches of the crown are removed.
  • Provide clearance
    • Growth can be directed away from buildings lights or parking areas. This is the most commonly request pruning item and will need to be repeated as the tree will grow back to fill the void created by pruning.
  • Reduce risk of failure
    • Risk of tree failure can be reduced by identifying and rectifying hazard conditions such in bark, dead or broken branches or large scaffold limbs. Mature trees need to be monitored to manage these risks. Recommendations will depend on the specific tree.

Types of Pruning

You may have noted several pruning terms listed in the description above. Your proposal should speak in these terms, beware of specs that simply state ‘Pruning’ We use the following terms in our proposals as they are recognized tree standards supported by the International Society of Arboriculture and the American National Standards Institute[ANSI]

Remove Deadwood Crown Cleaning Crown   Thinning Crown Reduction Crown Raising Structural Pruning
Dead limbs exceeding 1″ in caliper   will be removed in order to eliminate a possible hazard to underlying   targets. A light pruning of thinning or   lateral cuts to selectively remove dead, broken, crossing, injured,   co-dominant or diseased branches will reduce the movement of decay, insects   and diseases from dead or dying branches. Selective removal of live   branches to reduce crown density. Lateral or drop-crotch cuts to   reduce the breadth of the canopy or decrease the height and/or breadth of a   tree. Selective removal of branches to   provide vertical clearance above walkways, vehicles, signs, streets and   vistas. Removal of live branches to   establish dominant central leader, influence spacing, growth rate, strength   of attachment and size of branches.


When encouraging the healthy growth of your trees and plants it is important for you or your contractor to follow the American National tandards for Pruning (ANSI 300). Read more to see these standards and to get other hints! You should not be confused by the terminology that your contractors use. Be Pragmatic and ask Pointed Questions! Be sure they follow the appropriate terminology and have thoroughly trained staff. Your contractor will know when the best time to prune each specific plant is.

We welcome all calls to your Blade Runners Account Manager should you have any questions!



HOA Providence Park pleased with Blade Runners Mulching

Just wanted to let you know that I feel your crew did an outstanding job on the mulch this past week!!  They did a nice job edging the beds, cleaning up the old mulch, and putting fresh mulch down.  The black mulch really looks nice and it was a good suggestion you and your team had.   Great Job!! Cheers, James C. Brett

To Salt or Not to Salt

This is a note to thank you for your good judgement in not spreading salt on our roads the evening of 3/6/13, in view of the weather developments.  I’m sure that these are tough decisions and I want to compliment you on your decision-making.  McLean Mews are most appreciative!  Bill Grove McClean Mews

Townes of Waterford HOA praises Blade Runners Snow Removal Services and Magic Salt

We have been very happy with the Bladerunner’s snow removal service (and all of their service for that matter). They are always rapid to clear the road during any storm. We never seem to wait for them to show up and I can’t think of any time in the last 8 years that I have lived here where I have felt stranded because they haven’t started to plow. One of the great services they offer is to send email notifications before, during, and after a snow event telling you their plan and giving you the opportunity to decline or add services (examples attached). The Board gets the notices and then we post them to our website, or you can forward it to the cluster (I would remove the bladerunners contact info so you don’t have a bunch of homeowner’s contacting them directly). When there is a snow event it seems everyone at Bladerunners is committed to it, right down to the President as most of the notices come from him.

One of the “extra services” that we have to add from time to time is for a front end loader to remove the snow piled up in the 14 visitor spaces or the mounds of snow from large accumulations. The basic service only covers a plow coming through and pushing the snow into piles. If there is a 6+ inch event, there is only so many places you can push snow before it begins to block edges of the roadway, corners, and general parking areas. The only way to get these areas cleared is with a front end loader and smaller Bobcats. When you order this service there is an extra fee which is by the hour but worth it.

There are really never any complaints about their service. One year someone that lives on a corner complained that when the truck came by there was too much left in front of her driveway versus getting right up to the curb. She lives on a corner that is hard to get and since then they always get closer to her driveway. She complains about everything and hasn’t complained about this in the past 3 years so that is a good sign. Also the Magic Salt does appear to work as the road is never slippery.

I am sure you can find cheaper alternatives; however, I don’t think you will find anyone as thorough, reliable, and RAPID. The last thing I would want to do is change services and then find out 12 hours into a snowstorm that they don’t do snow removal anymore, or their ONE truck has broken down. Good luck in your search!

Jack MacNeil


Towns Of Waterford Hoa

Reston VA

Legum & Norman Praises Blade Runners Landscape for their “Going Green” Efforts.

Dear Manaager, Heights of Penderbrook:

Glad you mentioned BladeRunners. They are included in our landscaping bidding process. How is your experience with them?

They do a good job and very knowledgeable in the field. I would definitely consider them if your Board is looking for a landscaping company concentrating on going green, in regards to the environment. BladeRunner are on the cutting edge on this movement. Even their grounds men are wearing blue shirts with the “going green logo” so in short they have my endorsement.

Derrick Springfield

Site Manager

Legum & Norman, Inc.

An Associa® Member Company

Virginia Property Owners’ Association Act New Notice of Pesticide Application Requirements


Read all about Virginia Property Owners’ Association Act requirements for new notice of pesticide application 

Many Virginia HOA Boards, Property Managers, and landscape contractors were blindsided by a Virginia Statute (§ 55-510.3 ) requiring 48 hours of posting notice for all agronomic applications.

Read the actual statue § 55-510.3. Common areas; notice of pesticide application.  The association shall post notice of all pesticide applications in or upon the common areas. Such notice shall consist of conspicuous signs placed in or upon the common areas where the pesticide will be applied at least 48 hours prior to the application

Posting Agronomic Signs & Blade Runners Approach:

While this may produce added expense for the association it really is a good idea.  Effective communication to the residents, if done properly, communicates service dates, contact phone numbers for residents with questions, and provides residents with support documentation of pesticide products to be applied, along with product labels and contact information should they have further concerns.  

Blade Runners has long provided this pesticide sign posting service as an option for HOA’s.  This not just littering the community with pesticide application flags vaguely communicating the something was applied.

We provide highly visible, solid real estate-style signs placed at specific areas of the property. It contains the dates of application along with a phone number to call with questions, as well as, our website address.

Proper implementation for both pesticide notice posting and the agronomic applications takes planning but  visit Drake Lawn & Pest Control  will be done in no time.  Adequate inventories of signs are needed to replace weathered and/or stolen signs.  Coordination planning is necessary in order to time the application after a turf mowing for maximum control along with the required 48 hour advance posting visit to place the signs. In the event of poor weather, an additional visit might be needed to alter the date.  Signs are removed from the site after the application.

 Blade Runners has a resource manual that contains

  • Product label and MSDS sheets for all products we use.
  • Phone numbers for state and government agencies should the client want addition information.
  • Questions and answers regarding the service
  • Our methods of production and the manner in which we deliver the service.

As with many things there is more to this than meets the eye. Associations should be careful that there solution is a comprehensive one that adds value.

Turn this annoyance into a positive thing for your community.

Blade Runners is using a new NO-Phosphorus Fertilizer Product

Read the rest of this entry »

Blade Runners Landscape is “Perfect” says a Resident from Chancery Square HOA in Woodbridge


Blade Runners have been here all morning. I have been outside since 9:00 working on a patio and side garden project so I had an opportunity to observe the workers. Here is my assessment: Perfect. There is not a leaf on the property and these young men work very hard. I even asked them to be careful not to blow towards my garden and they were extremely respectful and courteous. From my perspective, Blade Runners hit a home run today.”

Chancery Square Resident

A Post-Hurricane Irene Thanks to Blade Runners Lawncare from Stonehurst I of Fairfax


Please give your mowing crew a big thanks from SHA (Stonehurst Homeowners Association). The grounds look awesome! There were loads of small twigs, broken branches and leaves all over the neighborhood- looked like a hurricane had come through our neighborhood. LOL So make sure they get our thanks- they just left now-7pm-

Mary Foster
Stonehurst Homeowners Association

Oakton Manor Praises Blade Runners Landscape Customer Service

I have thoroughly appreciated Blade Runner’s service to our community, both in landscaping and snow removal. Your customer service has been impeccable and consistent. As an example, last week I was pruning my next door neighbor’s front yard tree for her. One of your crews arrived to perform a mowing and before I had to ask, one of your men came over to me and asked me to pile the branches in the street so that they could remove them. That is customer service.

Thanks again for the great work you do to keep Oak Manor looking well-maintained.

Best regards,

M. Russ

Board of Directors

Glen II HOA in Lake Ridge, VA looks forward to working with Blade Runners Landscape and Grounds Maintenance Company

“I have to tell you, your team is very impressive as is the excellent customer service you’re providing! Thanks so much and looking forward to working with Blade Runners more in the future!”

Sabrina Barnhart

Board President


Lake Ridge, VA

Sycamore Ridge Condo Association of Arlington Praises Blade Runners Lawn Care E-mail Notification System

Dear Eric,

Your e-mail notifications are among the Blade Runners features I most treasure, after you, Mike, Raul and our several crews. Your e-mail notices help me monitor our contract, and I want them to continue to enter my mailbox. Previously, Elaine Ely was my colleague on the Grounds Committee, but she quit a few years ago, so she does not need to receive your notices anymore. I think I asked Raul to cancel e-mails to her sometime last year, and it appeared that had happened. So if you can pick up from there, that would be good. Otherwise, leave me on your list and delete Elaine. She still cares, but she has chosen not to be involved on the “responsible” level, so she should be off the list.

I also hope you got your billing situation straightened out. For the first three 2011 payments, you billed Sycamore Ridge Condo Association at the 2010 rate. We have since paid the arrearage, so I hope billing is now on track too.

Not that it matters, but I got two of the appended e-mails from you. Identical. I just thought you’d want to know.

Jo Allen

President, Sycamore Ridge Condominium Association

Blade Runners Landscape Contractor Drivers are CPR Certified

Osha has a requirement that all drivers have cpr training. This is often overlooked by contractors and clients should really ask about it.

First-aid and CPR training in Toronto shall be conducted using the conventional methods of training such as lecture, demonstration, practical exercise and examination (both written and practical). The length of training must be sufficient to assure that drivers understand the concepts of first aid and can demonstrate their ability to perform the various procedures contained in the outline below.

 The following Blade Runners Staff members have recently completed CPR training and certification:

Carlos Rodas                                                   

Andy Montejo

Henry Carranza

Brigiido Azpetia

Cesar t Pu

Carmona Durantes

Edwin Lorenzo

Alexis Majano

Johni Gomez

Carlos Portillo

Amancio Flores

Hugo Lemus

Walter Martinez

Carlos Carcamos

Carlos Lemus

Ever Martinez

Ever Maldanado

Jaun Beccera

Luis Guillen

Andy Montejo

Henry Carranza

Brigiido Azpetia

Cesar t Pu

Carmona Durantes

Edwin Lorenzo

Alexis Majano

Johni Gomez

Carlos Portillo

Blade Runners Landscape Contractor Complies with VA Dept of Agriculture Pesticide Licensing

All people that apply pesticides and herbicides are required to have licensing from the Virginia Department of Agriculture. As such extending education is required each year. See the certificate for Eric Storck, President of Blade Runners, completing this requirment.

Oak Manor HOA of Oakton VA Compliments Blade Runners Landscaping


I want you to know that I am getting nothing but compliments from our residents about the landscaping work. Even the biggest complainer in the HOA began his latest whine with the qualifier that “the common area looks much better.”

I know first-hand from my own career that quality service delivery doesn’t “just happen.” It takes a lot of hands-on supervision and attention to details. We appreciate very much the successful efforts your company is making to keep our neighbor looking first class.

BTW, we are having our first social event of the season this Sunday starting at 5 PM. It is a very informal wine party at the gazebo with some snacks. I don’t want to impose on your weekend, but if you and/or Mike want to stop by with your wives and meet some of our residents then you are most welcome to do so.

Thanks much,

Merle Russ

 President and Grounds Chairman Oak Manor HOA

Stonehurst IV Community Association of Fairfax tries Magic Salt Snow Melt for 1st time

We are a small homeowner community serviced by Blade Runners. This past winter we were asked to try a new de-icer compound called Magic Salt. We were impressed with the treatment on our roads and sidewalks. It was a very effective first treatment and continued to provide a level of protection after the initial covering of snow was removed. It does not appear to have stained streets or resulted in any damage to grass areas adjacent to our sidewalks. We would recommend its use to others looking for an effective de-icer treatment for roads and/or sidewalks.


Paul Antsen

Stonehurst IV Community Association

Fairfax, VA

Stonehurst HOA of Fairfax Happy with Magic Salt Snow Melt

The Stonehurst Homeowners Association has used Magic Salt to assist in removing snow and ice from our streets and sidewalks last winter. We have found Magic Salt significantly improved the removal of snow and ice from our sidewalks and prevented ice accumulation from melting snow. The plowing of our streets was also enhanced when Magic Salt was used in treating the streets before the snow began to fall. We are very pleased with the improvement we achieved by using Magic Salt in lieu of other deicing materials. Most importantly, Magic Salt provided protection on our new sidewalks from spoliation as compared to deicing materials we used in the past.

Robert Peter


Stonehurst Homewoners Association

Blade Runners Landscape and Tree Care Sends Staff to Arborist Seminar in Manassas


 Mid Atlantic, Inc hosted a seminar for arborists March 16th which provided training in Personal Protective Equipment, Tree Climbing Techniques & Equipment, Arborist Rigging Techniques, Fundamentals of Tree Access with an emphasis on Safety, Skill and Productivity.

The following Blade Runners personnel earned a 6.5 ISA Certified Arborist CEU for their attendance:
Terry Turner
Carlos Lemus
Ever Rivas
Jose Orellano 
Julio Calix
Carlos Nunez
Daniel Maldonado
Carlos Portillo
Alexis Majano
Francisco Jimenez
Ever Carpio
Luis Guillen

At Blade Runners Lawn and Tree Care in Fairfax we take safety seriously!

Any work place has some potential danger, yet little is more evident than the dangers of tree work. Workers risk potential falls, equipment accidents and poisonous plants and snakes. Weather can also have an effect on the job site from the quick on-set of severe weather conditions to extreme heat or cold.

At Blade Runners we take safety seriously. Our team of tree work experts log in significant hours of safety and equipment training and Blade Runner’s maintains this financial commitment year after year to insure we do everything to prevent accidents.

Recently, Carlos Carcamos, Carlos, Lemus, Ever Martinez and Ever Maldanado successfully underwent safety training and earned a Certificate of Training in Emergency Response and Aerial Rescue from North American Training Solutions.

Source: https://smithjonessolicitors.co.uk/accidents-at-work/.