The Benefits of Stump Extraction

Most people think of a stump grinder when they need to remove a stump.  However, did you know that stump grinding only removes the top few inches of a stump from the soil?  In some applications stump grinding is the best choice, but here are some conditions when you should consider a stump extraction to get the stump and roots removed completely.

When to Stump Extract

  • For new construction sites or major property renovations
  • If you plan to pour new concrete walks, drives or foundations
  • If you plan to install a future irrigation or drainage system
  • If you plan to regrade or change the grade on a property
  • When you want to plant a new tree in the same location as the original

When to Stump Grind

  • For areas where a skid steer has no access
  • For established properties with existing sprinkler systems
  • For stumps near underground utilities
  • For tight budgets
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PLANT SPOTLIGHT: Medjool Date Palm

Since we are up to our ears in palm tree installations right now at The Balmoral Lagoon, our palm experts at EARTH FIRST thought it would be helpful to share some of our knowledge of Medjool Date Palms. Medjools are date producing palms and the most luxurious palms available in the Houston area. Medjool Palms are easy to identify because their exposed trunk has a natural, diamond-shaped scar pattern. Their fronds are a silvery dark green and have a consistent, uniform and upright appearance.

Medjools require a dry heat to produce their eatable dates, unfortunately Houston's humid climate does not allow for the palms to produce it’s fruit. This doesn't mean we can't enjoy the tree though. If your property needs a statement, you just can't top the impact made by a Medjool.    

Medjools are challenging to install and require a highly experienced contractor to protect your investment. Coordination is of high importance, and they are shipped from out-of-state with a relatively small rootball as compared to the overall trunk height. Proper staking is a must from day one. Staking and bracing helps keep the tree upright until newly formed roots can grow outward into the surrounding soil.  

The most cost-effective staking is a 2x4 lumber framed support. If unsightly lumber on the tree is not acceptable, there are tree guying/strapping products which have subsurface anchors via nylon straps or coated steel cable.  

Regarding backfill soil, at EARTH FIRST, we use a combination of gravel and prepared soil mix plus a granular application of PHC Palm Saver. Our prepared soil ensures newly emerging roots will have plenty of airspace to grow laterally, and the PHC Palm Saver accelerates the grow-in time even further by adding in endomycorrhizal fungal spores and beneficial rhizosphere bacteria. These natural soil amendments work directly with the roots to restore soil fertility to the site, which was destroyed by the heavy construction processes.

Medjool palm installation pricing starts at around $4,000 per tree to $15,000 per tree depending on quantity, trunk height and installation area. They are by far the most expensive palms to install in our area, but the architectural prowess that a Medjool will bring to a property is unparalleled. 

Looking to add some Medjool Palms to your commercial property? EARTH FIRST Landscapes are the most knowledgeable and experienced installers in the greater Houston area! Click here to get started: INSTANT BID


PROJECT UPDATE: Balmoral Amenity Village

EARTH FIRST has begun transforming Balmoral Amenity Village in the master-planned community of Balmoral. Located next to the one-of-a-kind Crystal Lagoon, the Balmoral Amenity Village will be the gateway to a brand new tropical paradise in North Houston and will include a 7,500-Square-Foot Clubhouse, a state of the art fitness center, resort-style pool with Infinity Edge, splash pad, sand volleyball court, and a playground! EARTH FIRST is taking this landscaping project to the next level with the goal of transporting its residents to a faraway island paradise!

In creating this oasis, EARTH FIRST will be importing and planting hundreds of Palm Trees, many of which are triple trunk specimens from the white sands of Florida. Sabal Palms will grow up to 40 feet tall and provide a perfect beach vibe! Along with the Sabal Palms, EARTH FIRST will be planting an array of Medjool Date Palms and Jelly Palms throughout the property. So get your flip-flops and sunglasses on and have a look at some of our progress shots!

Ready to take your commercial landscaping to the next level? Click here to get started:

Meet Rob Eberle: Director of EARTH FIRST’s Construction Operations

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Growing up in South Jersey, Rob set his sites on Texas from a young age.   Starting at age 15, he made his way to Houston each summer and worked for his brother's commercial landscaping business.  It is here that Rob developed an intimate perspective of the fast-paced construction landscaping industry.  Houston summers are unforgiving and project deadlines are strict, yet Rob not only succeeded, he shined.  He landscaped his way through college, while at The University of Houston, and graduated in 1987.   After graduation, Rob's talent for landscaping was undeniable and he decided to pursue it as a career.   Now, 40 years later, Rob has excelled in every aspect of a large-scale landscape company, from laborer all the way up to Vice President. 

With a degree in Civil Engineering, several landscape oriented licenses and a vast knowledge of construction; Rob will still humbly tell you that he is “only as good as his team,” and attributes his success to being well organized, customer focused, results and production driven and bilingual in English and Spanish.

A typical day for Rob includes coordination and status meetings with supervisors, job site progress meetings with owners, new bid evaluations, job site QC inspections, materials procurement, materials and subcontractor orders, project manager mentoring, long range production forecasting, daily construction schedule updating and regular communication with the administrative staff.

When he’s not on the job, Rob enjoys traveling. As an avid scuba diver, his idea of a perfect trip includes an island in the Caribbean, his wife of 31 years by his side and an ice-cold local beer in his hand.  Scuba diving is what he enjoys most because he knows he can achieve true peace while admiring the colorful fish and reefs.

Rob's other hobbies include woodworking and household projects of all types, especially those projects that are outside.  His tool-of-choice is a nail-gun, and whenever there is a new problem to solve, he’s not one to shy away from difficult and exacting hands-on work of any kind.

“Rob’s organizational discipline, hands-on boldness and inspiring leadership ensure that all of EARTH FIRST’s projects are finished on time and on budget to the satisfaction of our clients.  Rob is there every step of the way, from proposal, to construction, to completion and we are lucky to have Houston’s most talented and selfless landscape professional on our team.” -Byron Tribe, President of EARTH FIRST Landscapes

The Right Tools For The Job

The right tools are required to get the job done right, and at EARTH FIRST; we have just the tool!

Check out our new fleet of Case TV370s! These bad boys are the perfect earthmoving, tree hauling, and boulder laying machines!  With our trained operators at the wheel, we are ready to tackle any job you have, no matter the size or difficulty!

From digging ponds to planting forests, our new compact track loaders provide a high capacity, low ground pressure and stable platform to not only get the job done, but we get it done right!

Let EARTH FIRST shape the landscape of your dreams!  Click here to get started: Instant Bid

The Balmoral Crystal Lagoon

EARTH FIRST has officially broken ground on a first of its kind project in Texas, The Balmoral Crystal Lagoons.  This two-acre Crystal Clear Lagoon serves as the crowning attraction of Balmoral’s master-planned community and EARTH FIRST is working, along side Land Tejas, to transform this land into a tropical paradise. 

With state of the art irrigation and amazingly lush tropical landscaping, resident of Balmoral will not have to leave the comfort of their home to escape to white sand beaches, flowing palm trees, and crystal clear water.

EARTH FIRST was carefully chosen as the contractor of choice for this fast-moving project. Need help transforming your commercial landscape into a tropical paradise? Click here to get started:

Commercial Landscape Irrigation - Sustainable Practices

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Commercial Landscape Irrigation-Sustainable Practices

In the last several years there has been a call for green practices to be implemented on both a consumer and commercial level. This includes landscapes, mechanical systems, and automobiles to name a few. Certain areas of the country have completely eliminated the watering of lawns and landscape due to their lack of water supply. As a commercial landscaper, we have made many changes to our own facilities and we have charged ourselves with ways to help you as well. Continue reading to discover options that might help you on your commercial or residential property.

The right system for the right landscape

When considering an irrigation system to water your landscape, it is imperative that it is designed to match the plant life established. Under or over watering can quickly ruin your landscape, wilting plants, causing the leaves to yellow or turn brown. Too often we see irrigation practices that hurt more than they help. You should consider speaking with a professional about your system and possible changes to improve water management on your property. They might be able to offer suggestions that could improve irrigation and offer sustainable practices to save you money.

Rain Sensors

We have all seen that property that has the irrigation system working during heavy rain showers. “They should turn that off”, you might have thought to yourself. As a property manager, how are you supposed to know when there is enough rain to skip an irrigation cycle? You can take away the worry with one simple, low cost upgrade… a rain sensor. With multiple options and levels of sensors, they are able to detect moisture levels and temperatures in the ground, which will alert the controller to skip a cycle. These can typically cost as little as $50.

Drip VS Sprinkler Irrigation

Sprinkler irrigation systems are commonly used on commercial landscapes but there has been a movement to drip irrigation to improve sustainable practices. Sprinkler systems have maintained popularity due to its ability to uniformly distribute water, adjust spray patterns and adapt to smart irrigation systems. Drip irrigation systems are gaining notoriety among property managers focused on sustainable practices as they can be 90% more efficient by targeting plant life. I can write a separate blog on this topic alone but it might be worth a review with a professional to see which system might work best for you.

Maintenance, Maintenance, Maintenance!

Like any mechanical system, maintenance is key to successful long term use. At the beginning of the watering season, you should have your system backflow tested, preparing a report to send to your county. Once the backflow has passed testing, a system activation should be completed which charges your system, tests each zone, and sets system clocks. Depending on the size of your irrigation system, you may want additional inspections to reset clocks (depending on season) and make sure it is in good condition. At the end of the season you will want to have a qualified technician complete a winterization by removing the backflow and blowing water from the lines to assure there is no freezing during cold weather seasons which will damage your system.

Save Water, Save The Environment
We can help you by providing affordable, sustainable irrigation solutions. 


Meet Jason Harrison : General Manager of EARTH FIRST's Maintenance Department


Born and raised in Texas, Jason has a profound love for our Texas landscape! He has worked in the green industry for over 20 years and uses his experience and vast knowledge to ensure that he exceeds our customer’s expectations, every single time. 

Jason has several licenses and certifications under his belt, including Texas Irrigators License, Texas Backflow License, Texas Department of Agriculture License and is OSHA 10 Certified. Additionally, he is multi-lingual, speaking English, Spanish and Korean. 

As General Manager of Maintenance , Jason is a man with a mission. Managing seven crews, he oversees all day-to-day maintenance for EARTH FIRST. From the planning and implementation stage - to construction of landscape and irrigation of new developments - Jason is involved every step of the way.

With a plate that full, Jason will tell you that his success is directly attributed to his attention to detail and to the environment at EARTH FIRST, where everyone works as a team and is allowed to be creative. Jason Harrison is one more reason why at EARTH FIRST we can pledge to 

“Do It Right, The First Time”.

Community Spotlight of the Week: Lakeview Retreat


At EARTH FIRST, our teams of landscape professionals know how to create and maintain eye-catching color that can endure any Texas weather conditions! This week we want to feature Lakeview Retreat, a premier neighborhood in Richmond, TX, built by DR Horton. EARTH FIRST takes pride in the fact that DR Horton has entrusted us as their premier landscape professionals and that pride is on display now!

Stop by and check out Lakeview Retreat and check back for more feature clients next week!

From DR Horton:

Lakeview Retreat is now one of D.R. Horton's latest premier neighborhoods in Richmond, TX. Located with easy access to the Westpark Tollroad and the Grand Parkway, it is ideal for commuters. The community is also zoned for Fort Bend ISD, voted one of the top rated school districts in the Houston area.

Enjoy several miles of walking trails around serenity lakes and fountains as well as a recreation center with water slides and lap pool, pavilion and playgrounds providing entertainment at all ages!

Knock it out of the PARK


At EARTH FIRST, we love  nothing more than helping you create and build community green spaces! Our newest project, a master-planned park in the Woodforest Subdivision, was managed by our very own Michael Kruse, whose commitment and hard work really made this job stand out above the rest!

The urban-inspired Kingsley Park offers several gathering spaces, including a fire pit surrounded by Adirondack chairs and a community harvest table adjacent to an outdoor kitchen. We even installed Café lights to allow for evening get-togethers.

Every detail of the park, from the custom LED lighting rings to the outdoor kitchen to the corn-hole pit, were built and installed completely by EARTH FIRST! With community and usability in mind, as well as the desire to create something that truly stands out, EARTH FIRST really knocked this one out of the park!

Here is what Stephen Barrera with Johnson Development had to say about EARTH FIRST's performance on this job.  " The attention you have provided to our team has been absolutely first class and precisely what we needed to see in order to have a successful project. You and your team have been on site daily come rain or shine and it has been very impressive to watch this project come together through all the adversity. This indeed was not an easy project as we have made many adjustments late in the game and I commend you on all your collaboration with LANDology and our Team.   The quality is exactly what we thought we would receive from Earth First and exactly what this neighborhood needs." 

This one-of-a-kind design was Installed by EARTH FIRST, meticulously created by Jason Rainosek from Landology and dreamed-up by the visions of owner Johnson Development Corp.


Need help bringing your park or neighborhood to life? 


Here We Grow Again!


EARTH FIRST prides itself on operating the safest and most environmentally conscience machines available. With our addition of the new Case TV370 compact track loader (CTL), we are staying true to ourselves while adding some serious earth moving ability. We are most impressed with this unit due to its low ground pressure, meaning we will not be damaging the very earth we are trying to beautify. We are also very impressed with this machine’s safety rating, with 360-degree visibility and excellent stability; EARTH FIRST will maintain our commitment to operator and client safety. 

ASCO Equipment was our dealer and we were very impressed with their attention to our needs.

Need help with your commercial landscaping? EARTH FIRST Landscapes is your premiere maintenance and landscape developer. 


Friday Night Lights!


Nothing is more Texan than watching our kids play sports from the stadium bleachers on a Friday night. At EARTH FIRST, we take Texas traditions to heart, and that’s why we just installed the newest biological advancement in turf grass on the Dickinson Junior High School’s sports fields. 

EARTH FIRST just completed the installation of a brand new strain of grass known as “Latitude 36™ Bermuda grass” at Dickinson Junior High.  Latitude 36™ Bermuda grass was developed by renowned Oklahoma State University and is a top quality rated NTEP Bermuda grass. It shows resistance to spring dead spot and is one of the most cold-hardy Bermuda grasses on the market. Latitude 36 offers high traffic tolerance and exceptional visual appeal. Latitude 36™ Bermuda grass is an ideal choice for southern and transitional zone applications including sports, golf, and homes.

Need help with your sports fields or commercial properties? EARTH FIRST Landscapes is your premiere maintenance and landscape developer.


EARTH FIRST Annual Open House was a Blast!

EARTH FIRST Landscapes celebrated our annual open house last month with BBQ, Pie and Putting Greens! 

Our customers were all invited over to have lunch provided by Mick's BBQ and some homemade pie from the best pie food truck in Texas! There were margaritas and ice cold beer on tap as well as fresh lemonade- it was a great Texas style picnic! 

After lunch , guests had a chance to show off their putting skills on our very own putting green located in front of our office building!  Thank you to all of our customers that attended and made our day so special! 

We hope to see you all next year!

EARTH FIRST Landscapes is Here to Help!


The team at Earth First Landscapes would like to extend our thoughts and prayers to everyone in our community that were affected by the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.  While the path of the winds and floodwaters seemed indiscriminate and random, our resolve and dedication to helping and serving our community remains quite deliberate.  We want to let you know that we have the manpower, equipment, and confidence to help where we can in our community.  Our priority is getting our community and our projects back to normal as quickly as we can so we can get back to the business of moving forward and showing the rest of the world that Texans don’t back down!

Earth First Landscapes is open for business!

Please contact Matt Brown for all of your clean up needs:

What's the reason for "purple pipe?"

What's the reason for "purple pipe?" We get that question a lot. Purple Pipe means "reclaimed water." Large property owners such as parks, municipalities and HOAs use non-potable-untreated water for irrigation purposes. The source of the water includes stormwater collection, pond-water, chiller condensate, recycled boiler water and sometimes treated sewage. DON'T DRINK THIS STUFF. Its great for our plants but not for us.

New Fleet Hitting the Streets

EARTH FIRST Landscapes is hitting the streets of Houston this week with our brand new fleet of trucks. Our state of the art modified 2017 Isuzu trucks can tackle any landscaping project you have from commercial irrigation to full scale land development.

If you spot these bad boys on the road, be sure to give them a wave!


Top 100 Landscaping Blogs and Websites for Landscapers

We are absolutely thrilled to have been so highly ranked on Feedspot’s “Top 100 Landscaping Blogs and Websites for Landscapers.” Using Google reputation and search rankings, influence and popularity on social media sites, quality and consistency of posts and an editorial review from Feedspot - EARTH FIRST has snagged one of the top spots! Thank you to all of our awesome customers for your engagement – this award goes out to you! 


Check back regularly for updates, landscaping tips and tricks or just to see what we’ve been up to!

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