Florence Beautification Board

Florence Beautification Board

WELCOME 

The Florence Beautification Board serves to enrich the quality of life in the City of Florence by recognizing businesses and other local entities for outstanding landscape design and enhancements to their properties and by sponsoring programs and activities to beautify the City and to raise awareness about best practices for the urban landscape.
 
 
       The mission of the Florence Beautification Board is
 
  1.  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,
  2.  To promote and initiate public interest in the general improvement of the appearance of the City through various programs and activities, 
  3. To assist businesses, organizations, public bodies, and individuals in their requests for beautification action and measures, and 
  4. 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
Tel.  256-760-6400
Email:  mmurphy@florenceal.org


crapemyrtles

 

Board Members

Officers:                                                                    
Chair:              Scott Townsend

Vice Chair:      Kathryn MacNeil    

 Secretary:       David Doroh                                   

Members:                               
                        Vivian Bulls
                        Maple Garner
                        Jay Harding
                               Dee Hubbard
                        Ralph Jones
                        Margaret McCloy
                        Drew Humphrey-Morgan
                        Brenda Tease
                        Susan Williams                                                                                                       

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
Chick-Fil-A
Highland Baptist Church
Jack’s Restaurant - Florence Blvd

Mister Car Wash - Cloverdale Rd
North Alabama Medical Center
Norvell and Associates, PC
Taziki's Restaurant
Wilson Dental

 

Honor Roll Recipients 

In 2007, The Beautification Board began recognizing properties that had won the first-place award for five consecutive years with an Honor Roll Award. The City of Florence thanks the property owners especially for their efforts in keeping their landscaping and buildings in outstanding condition throughout the years.
 

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
Trin
ity 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

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             20190821_112818    grogans (2)                 
                               

Criteria for Beautification Awards
 

 CURB APPEAL
Viewer’s first impression  1 – 5

 LANDSCAPE DESIGN 
Suitability of design to property  1 - 5
Focal points (entryways, ornaments, water features, etc.)  1 - 5

  LANDSCAPE MAINTENANCE
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

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The
Crapemyrtle

Official Flower of the City of Florence, Alabama

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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.

FEATURES

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.

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LOCATION

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.

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PLANTING

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.

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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.

PRUNING

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
 Beautification Awards2019

 
 











  

The annual awards ceremony for winners of the 2019 Beautification Award and
Honor Roll recognition was held at Trinity Episcopal Church on July 11.   
   

2018042795115443
The City of Florence celebrated its Bicentennial Tree, which was donated by
the Florence Beautification Board, at a ceremony in Deibert Park.
 
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The Beautification Board donated a bench to the City of Florence for
Wilson Park as a contribution to its recent renovation.

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                      Our 2020 Christmas tree is dedicated to Linda Van Sandt, a beloved member of the Florence Beautification Committee who sadly passed away this year.
 
                     70161513_504425557053246_2456701691081261056_n
                     Board members enjoyed working together to clean up the right-of-way along
                     South Court Street as they took part again in the annual city-wide Clean-up
                     Day in March.
 
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The Beautification Board funded a redesigned and updated brochure for local businesses and homeowners on best practices for planting and caring for crapemyrtles, the official tree of the City of Florence.
 
 
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Entrance plantings for Florence City Hall are provided by the Beautification Board.
 
 
 
                                        

 

Resources for the Urban Landscape

General Resources

Alabama Cooperative Extension System
www.aces.org

Alabama Cooperative Extension System - Lawn and Garden
www.aces.edu/blog/category/lawn-garden/

Alabama Cooperative Extension System
Get Outside with Alabama Smart Yard Series
www.aces.edu/blog/topics/landscaping/smart-yards-online-series/


U.S. Department of Agriculture
www.usda.gov

U.S. Forest Service
www.fs.fed.us/managing-land/urbanforests

Craig Thompson, City of Florence Urban Forestry Department
cthompson@florenceal.org    256-718-5027

Call 811 Before You Dig

Plant Selection

 Missouri Botanical Garden’s Plant Finder Database
www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/plantfinder/plantfindersearch.aspx

University of Connecticut Plant Database of Trees, Shrubs and Vines
www.hort.uconn.edu/plants/

 USDA Plant Database
plants.usda.gov/java/

 Cornell University Woody Plants Database
woodyplants.cals.cornell.edu/home

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
planthardiness.ars.usda.gov

 Alabama Invasive Plany Council - Invasive Org
www.invasive.org/species/list.cfm?id=71

Alabama Invasive Plant Council - Plant List PDF
https://www.se-eppc.org/alabama/2007plantlist.pdf


Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States
www.invasiveplantatlas.org/index.cfm



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
www.hort.cornell.edu/uh/outreach/pdfs/woody_shrubs_stormwater.pdf

Guidelines for Planting Trees and Shrubs - University of Massachusetts
Amherst UMass Extention Landscape, Nursery and Urban Forestry Program
ag.umass.edu/landscape/factsheets/guidelines-for-planting-trees-shrubs

Tree Planting Steps - Colorado State University, CMG Garden Notes #636
https://static.colostate.edu/client-files/csfs/pdfs/TreePlanting_636.pdf

Trees Are Good - International Society of Arboriculture (ISA)
with USDA Tree Owner's Manual
www.treesaregood.org

Mulching Best Practices

"If you value trees, don't create the infamous mulch volcanoes."
www.linkedin.com/pulse/you-value-trees-dont-create-infamous-mulch-volcanoes-kathy-thomas



Pruning

Crape Myrtles
City of Florence Crepe Myrtle Brochure

"Crepe Nyrtle Pruning Step-by-Step" Southern Living Magazine
https://www.southernliving.com/garden/grumpy-gardener/what-concerns-p
 
"How to Prune Crape Myrtles" Fine Gardening Magazine
https://www.finegardening.com/article/pruning-crape-myrtles

Search: Pruning Crepe Myrtles (Crepe Myrtles, Crape Myrtles)

Trees and Shrubbery
Woody Landscape Plants: Pruning
www.aces.edu/blog/topics/landscaping/woody-landscape-plants-pruning/

Trees Are Good - International Society of Aboriculture (ISA)
with USDA Tree Owner's Manual

www.treesaregood.org

Instructional videos:
PHS Presents Basic Tree Care: Pruning
https://youtu.be/De2OhKvmqNI

Doug Green: Basic Pruning
https://youtu.be/F4OQn6-WciQ

How to Prune Landscape Trees and Shrubs
https://youtu.be/bTYJ3oBCP1I


Search: Pruning Best Practices

Special Gardens

USDA U.S. Forest Service - Native Gardening
http://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/Native_Plant_Materials/Native_Gardening/index.shtml

Alabama Cooperative Extension System - Pollinators

https://www.aces.edu/blog/tag/pollinators/?c=lawn-garden&orderby=title

National Wildlife Federation - Garden for Wildlife
https://www.nwf.org/Garden-for-Wildlife/About/NativePlants


National Wildlife Federation - Kids Garden for Wildlife
https://www.nwf.org/Garden-for-Wildlife/Create/At-Home/Kids-Garden-for-Wildlife


National Wildlife Federation - Schoolyard Habitats

https://www.nwf.org/Garden-for-Wildlife/Create/Schoolyards