Friday, May 23, 2008

Landscape Standards for The Ramble

The following information is from Amy Fahmy, Biltmore Farms Horticulturist regarding current standards for landscape work done in The Ramble; one of the developments of Biltmore Farms. This information is shared to merely inform local landscapers of the changes to the standards of The Ramble and is not to be perceived as a reflection of any guidance from, or the opinions, of agents of the NC Cooperative Extension or any other state agency.

"To ensure that all residential landscape work in The Ramble meets minimum standards for quality, Biltmore Farms will require landscapers to be pre-qualified beginning September 1st , 2008. The List of Qualified Landscapers will be distributed to the builders who work in the Ramble, and will be available at the Preview Center. If you are interested in working in The Ramble, we would like to hear from you! Please submit copies of the documents listed below to Amy Fahmy, Biltmore Farms, 100 Town Square Blvd., Suite 330, Asheville, NC, 28803. Fax 828-209-2150. Please include your phone number, fax number, and email.

Basic Qualifications
The owner, or his representative assigned to The Ramble, must provide proof of all of the following qualifications:
Licensed Landscape Contractor (Certificate Number)
Certified Plant Professional OR Certified Landscape Technician (Copy of Certificate)
(Information on certification is available at
Ground Pesticide Applicator's License (License Number)
Liability Insurance and Workers Compensation (Certificate of Insurance from Insurer)

The Ramble Planting Requirements
In the event that the Landscaper receives contract specifications that require less than is specified here, the Landscaper must meet The Ramble requirements listed below. If contract specifications exceed the Ramble requirements, the Landscaper must meet the terms specified in that contract. Any Landscaper who fails to comply with these requirements will be removed from the List of Qualified Landscapers.

1. Storm water Management:
It is the responsibility of the builder to ensure that the rate of runoff leaving the property does not exceed pre-development rates. Concentrated discharges onto adjacent properties are not allowable unless a natural drainage way exists. If the design plan provided to the landscaper does not address drainage issues on the site, the landscaper must notify the builder that a solution is required.
2. The Landscaper must pre-till any compacted clay (except around tree roots)to a depth of 5", then till a minimum of 3" of compost/Nature's Helper thoroughly into the soil along with required amendments – including superphosphate, fertilizer and lime per soil test.
3. Plants must meet the American Nursery and Landscape Association's Standards for Nursery Stock.
4. Planting containerized plants: Roots must be loosened before planting. Plant holes must be twice the size of the root ball. Plant holes must be amended with at least 30% compost.
5. All Rhododendron, Kalmia, and Pieris are to be planted high, in well-drained, amended soil.
6. Excess burlap must be cut from the top of b&b root balls.
7. For all plants that require good drainage, plant holes must be tested for drainage and problems resolved before planting.
8. All plant materials must be guaranteed for at least 1 year."

The above standards are for The Ramble only but do reflect a similar trend that many gated communities are following.

For more information regarding training opportunities to assist you in achieving any one or all of the above certifications contact your local Cooperative Extension Center and ask for the Commercial Horticulture Agent.