Florence Beautification Board
- To act in an advisory capacity to the Mayor and City Council in matters relating to public improvements and beautification of the City of Florence,
- To promote and initiate public interest in the general improvement of the appearance of the City through various programs and activities,
- To assist businesses, organizations, public bodies, and individuals in their requests for beautification action and measures, and
- To grant beautification awards or letters of recognition to businesses, organizations, public bodies, and individuals for their outstanding landscape designs.
For inquiries about the Florence Beautification Board, contact
Office of the Mayor
City of Florence
110 West College Street
Florence, AL 35630
Chair: Scott Townsend
Vice Chair: Kathryn MacNeil
Secretary: David Doroh
Advisor: Craig Thompson, City of Florence
2021 Award Recipients
2021 First Place Winners
Advanced Claims Concepts, Inc.
Buffalo Wild Wings
CB&S Bank - Hough Road
Highland Baptist Church
Jack’s Restaurant - Florence Blvd
Mister Car Wash - Cloverdale Rd
North Alabama Medical Center
Norvell and Associates, PC
Honor Roll Recipients
University of North Alabama – 2007
The Assurance Group, Inc. – 2008
Bank Independent - Darby Drive – 2008
Deibert Park – 2008
Marriott Shoals Hotel & Spa – 2009
Burger King - Cox Creek Pkwy – 2012
Trinity Episcopal Church – 2013
First Southern Bank - Court Street – 2014
William A. McClanahan, DMD – 2014
Bank Independent - South Pine Street – 2015
Woodmont Baptist Church – 2016
Keestone of Florence – 2017
McCutcheon and Hamner, P.C. – 2017
Williams Funeral Home – 2017
Alliance Title and Escrow, LLC – 2018
Bank Independent - Cox Creek Parkway – 2018
First Metro Bank - Cloverdale Road – 2018
Florence Eye Center - Cox Creek Parkway – 2018
Lauderdale County Teachers Credit Union – 2018
Progress Bank – 2018
Bohannon Services - 2019
Grogan Jewelers by Lon - 2019
Arby's Restaurant - Florence Blvd - 2020
Bank Independent - Florence Blvd - 2020
CB&S Bank - Pine St - 2020
First Metro Bank - Pine St - 2020
Lambert Ezell Durham Architecture, LLC - 2020
Lauderdale Lanes - 2020
Listerhill Credit Union - College St - 2020
McDonald's Restaurant - Florence Blvd - 2020
Red Lobster Restaurant - 2020
Texas Roadhouse Restaurant - 2020
Rick's BBQ Restaurant - Cox Creek Pkwy - 2021
BBVA Compass Bank - Cox Creek Pkwy - 2021
Papa John's Pizza - 2021
Shoals Hearing Clinic, P.C. - 2021
TASUS Corporation - 2021
Teena Jeffreys McLaughlin, DMD - 2021
Teresa & Associates Day Spa and Salon, LLC - 2021
Criteria for Beautification Awards
Viewer’s first impression 1 – 5
Suitability of design to property 1 - 5
Focal points (entryways, ornaments, water features, etc.) 1 - 5
Neatness/Cleanliness, including driveways/walkways/absence of litter 1 – 5
Lawns mowed/edged 1 – 5
Flowerbeds healthy/free of weeds 1 – 5
Trees and shrubs properly pruned and maintained 1 – 5
Scale: 30-35 – Top Awards
25 – 29 Certificate
Official Flower of the City of Florence, Alabama
The crapemyrtle was adopted as the official flower of Florence, Alabama on March 1, 2000. As a result, the Florence Beautification Board has encouraged citizens and businesses alike to plant and nurture the crapemyrtle in their landscape.
Crapemyrtles come in a broad variety of flower color and size, some growing only 18 inches tall while others can grow in excess of 25 feet. Bloom time depends on the selection. Flowering occurs on the current season's growth. The flower color ranges from white to shades of pink, lavender and red. The beautiful bark is smooth but exfoliates to reveal colors of brown to gray.
It is essential to know the growth rate of any plant that is chosen for any particular spot. This is certainly true for plants in the home or business landscape. Crapemyrtles are no exception. They can grow very fast, with some varieties growing three feet a year. Always read the label that comes with the plant. This label can be so helpful in determining which crapemyrtle to choose.
Plant crapemyrtles in full sun. They grow best in moist, well-drained soil. They do not do well planted in a very wet location. Once established, they are drought tolerant. A 2 to 3 inch layer of surface mulch will help control weeds and moderate the soil temperature. Do not place mulch against the trunk of the tree.
To plant, dig a hole at least twice as wide and only as deep as the container in which it grew. If the roots are growing in a circle around the outside of the root ball, gently loosen them. The goal is to have the roots growing in an outward direction in order for them to reach out into the soil to get established. During the time following planting, it is necessary for the plant to have adequate water until the root system is well established. However, during periods of prolonged drought, supplemental watering and mulching are important. Water thoroughly and infrequently. The objective is to encourage the roots to grow deeper into the soil. Light and frequent watering only encourages the roots to stay near the surface where they dry out quickly, putting the plant in stress.
DISEASE AND INSECTS
Crapemyrtles, particularly older varieties, are often susceptible to powdery mildew, which can form during warm days and cool nights and during long periods of dry weather. Typically, such mildew is disfiguring, but when severe it might keep the plant from blooming. The best defense is to choose trees that are newer selections from the National Arboretum and therefore least susceptible to the disease. Aphids are another problem. Aphids expel a sugary substance that can stick to the leaves and cause sooty mold. Sooty mold is a black, soot-like fungus. It is ugly and needs to be dealt with using an appropriate spraying practice. There are several Alabama Cooperative System publications available for reference. The County Extension Office is also a good source of information.
Crapemyrtles do not need to be heavily pruned. The removal of dead or diseased branches, or those that cross or rub, or any that are growing inward is usually all that is needed. Keeping the interior of the plant open encourages good air movement, which helps with fungal disease control. Seed heads may be removed to show the striking bark patterns. Suckers that form from the base of the plant need to be removed as they develop. Topping a crapemyrtle is never recommended. To do so only encourages the plant to produce spindly stems that cannot hold up the flowers.
CORRECTING PAST MISTAKES
When crapemyrtles are reduced to ugly stumps there may be hope to renew them to their more natural form. With renewal pruning, the entire plant is cut to within 1 to 2 inches from the ground. When new buds break, select the best 3 to 5 shoots, removing the rest. Keep removing the new shoots as they appear. It can take 3 to 5 years for the plant to recover.
Beautification Programs and Activities – 2018-2020
The annual awards ceremony for winners of the 2019 Beautification Award and
Honor Roll recognition was held at Trinity Episcopal Church on July 11.
The City of Florence celebrated its Bicentennial Tree, which was donated by
the Florence Beautification Board, at a ceremony in Deibert Park.
The Beautification Board donated a bench to the City of Florence for
Wilson Park as a contribution to its recent renovation.
South Court Street as they took part again in the annual city-wide Clean-up
Day in March.
Resources for the Urban Landscape
Alabama Cooperative Extension System
Alabama Cooperative Extension System - Lawn and Garden
Alabama Cooperative Extension System
Get Outside with Alabama Smart Yard Series
U.S. Department of Agriculture
U.S. Forest Service
Craig Thompson, City of Florence Urban Forestry Department
Call 811 Before You Dig
Missouri Botanical Garden’s Plant Finder Database
University of Connecticut Plant Database of Trees, Shrubs and Vines
USDA Plant Database
Cornell University Woody Plants Database
Michael Dirr. Manual of Woody Landscape Plants: Their Identification, Ornamental Characteristics, Culture, Propagation, and Uses. Stipes, Champaign, IL. 6th Ed., 2009.
Michael. Dirr’s Encyclopedia of Trees and Shrubs.
Timber Press, Portland, London. 1st Ed., 2011.
USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map
Alabama Invasive Plany Council - Invasive Org
Planting and Mulching
Trees and Shrubbery
Siting and Planting Best Practices
Search: Planting Shrubs
Search: Siting and Planting Shrubbery
"Woody Shrubs for Stormwater Retention Practices" - Cornell University
Guidelines for Planting Trees and Shrubs - University of Massachusetts
Amherst UMass Extention Landscape, Nursery and Urban Forestry Program
Tree Planting Steps - Colorado State University, CMG Garden Notes #636
Trees Are Good - International Society of Arboriculture (ISA)
with USDA Tree Owner's Manual
Mulching Best Practices
"If you value trees, don't create the infamous mulch volcanoes."
City of Florence Crepe Myrtle Brochure
"Crepe Nyrtle Pruning Step-by-Step" Southern Living Magazine
"How to Prune Crape Myrtles" Fine Gardening Magazine
Search: Pruning Crepe Myrtles (Crepe Myrtles, Crape Myrtles)
Trees and Shrubbery
Woody Landscape Plants: Pruning
with USDA Tree Owner's Manual
PHS Presents Basic Tree Care: Pruning
Doug Green: Basic Pruning
How to Prune Landscape Trees and Shrubs
Search: Pruning Best Practices
USDA U.S. Forest Service - Native Gardening
Alabama Cooperative Extension System - Pollinators
National Wildlife Federation - Garden for Wildlife
National Wildlife Federation - Kids Garden for Wildlife
National Wildlife Federation - Schoolyard Habitats