Fall is the best time to plant!

Fall is the best time to plant.. I know it doesn’t seem like the most likely time to get out and garden, but the cooler weather and damper air in the Northwest makes for the perfect time to plant, especially trees and shrubs. An added benefit of this time of year is that most growers are able to dig the larger specimens when the cooler weather comes on, making for more available variety and larger sizes for your yard. During the summer months its too hot and dry for most growers to dig plant materials so that gorgeous shade tree you wanted in August just wasn’t available, but it is NOW!

The range of trees and shrubs is at its highest point and with the gorgeous fall colors coming on now is the time the plant! 

Here are just a few of the best fall color trees and shrubs for our area.


Pink flowering Dogwood. This tree has gorgeous large bright pink flowers in the spring accompanied by bright lime green foliage which turns to a showy Russet orange in the fall. Excellent for shade these trees do very well in our climate and are inexpensive as well as staying a nice size for the garden.


Euonymus or Burning bush is a lovely shrub that can be planted as a specimen plant, in groupings or as thick deciduous hedge.


They can be trimmed into shapes or let go for a free flowing natural look. They have a bright green leaf in the spring with bright red berries with the leaves turning to a deep red and then finally an almost Hot pink making them appear to be ‘on fire’ thus the name burning bush. They perform excellently in the Northwest’s cooler wetter climates and are very manageable in our landscapes.





Ginko Biloba or Maiden hair tree is another plant tree for excellent fall color. The Ginko has spectacular golden fall color and interest leaf different from any other tree type. 


They do well in our area and aren’t all that prevalent so they make for a unique and interesting addition to the landscape.







Liquidambar styraciflua or American Sweet gum is THE premiere choice for fall color. Often seen as street tree the sweet Gum has amazingly vibrant and varied fall color. Ranging from bright orange to red to an almost glowing pink the sweet gum is perfect for the garden.

SweetGum2Growing in a fastigate or upright form, this tree is easy to fit into a tighter space, as well is being perfectly suited for our weather. The American Sweet gum can be used as a specimen tree alongside evergreens, making this color really pop or in grouping, along a driveway or as seen here planted en mass as lining a Sherwood Neighborhood.






Maples come in a HUGE variety of sizes colors and forms, all with their own unique aspects to recommend them, this tree though is THE most spectacular of the maples for fall color. The Acer Palmatum ‘Sango Kaku’ or Coral bark Maple is a deciduous tree native to Japan that is fairly small in stature, growing to a maximum height of 20 feet over a very long period of time. The palm like leaves give this tree a lacey airy look but the most spectacular aspect of this tree is the bark which in young specimens is bright reddish coral color giving it it’s name of ‘Coral bark’ maple. All of the new growth throughout the trees life with present as bright red color giving the tree interest in every season. But the best season for this tree is by far and away fall. All of the fall colors are represented in this one tree, from Bright glowing yellows to oranges and radiant reds and pinks this tree encompasses everything we love about fall. Used mostly as a specimen tree this tree can also be planted en mass to create a spectacular display of natures best!



Nandina Domesica also known as Heavenly bamboo or just Nandia is a shrub that is used often here in the Northwest. With its bamboo like leaves and low slow growing habit these plants are often used as a hedge or planted in groupings of three or more. When used against evergreens and with accent boulders these shrubs really put on a s how of fall color! With bright red berries and colors ranging from dark green to gold, to Bright red Nandina is one of the Northwest’s best!

Hey Portland! Your Porch, Patio or Yard say more than you think!

Wanna to know the secret to a great landscape? Look at everybody's elses for ideas. Tour any neighborhood in the Portland, OR metro area and take some time to REALLY notice the porches, patios and yards. Yes, some are a mess but you'd be surprised by how many people are really taking the time to get their yard looking its best.

Look at the colors.
Do they complement and compliment each other? Are they loud and garish, or soft and earthy. Do the natural colors blend and lend to relaxation, party time!, or simply look accidental?

Check out the lines.
Look at the hard and soft lines. Do they flow together and lead the eye harmoniously, or are they angular, misshapen or broken. Walls, fences, walkways and the materials used to create these can really add or subtract fromHOME...1920...baber-path the overall lines of a landscape.

Read the Greens
Foliage says a lot about a landscape. Are they accidental or on purpose. Do they frame the space, define it or detract. Utilitarian foliage is key. Can you eat it? Does it all make sense.

Rate the space
Was the landscape memorable? Was it inviting or forgettable?

These should help you get started for more ideas check out our web site at Superior Landscaping Services in Portland web site at http://exstreamlandscaping.com/.


Let your imagination grow, Portland! Your landscape will thank you!

HOME...1920...Mature-landscapeWhen planning your new landscape, think ahead. 

What will it look like next year, in 5 years, 10? 

As your landscape grows and matures, you'll begin to notice how well the colors blend, how the birds and bees enjoy your setting. It's a patchwork that requires careful thought and planning. And the up side is, if you no longer like something you can either move it, replace or cover it up with something else.

Established gardens have their own character. They take time but are well worth it!

This home in NW Portland was going for a Thomas Kinkade cottage style look with an abundance of color, texture and fullness.

To achieve this look we planted a variety of shrubbery, perennials and both deciduous and evergreen plantings including trees. We kept the planting space close together with larger plantings toward the back and interspersed with medium and smaller plantings through out. This helped to frame the structural elements in the garden. Additionally, both natural stone and manufactured stone pavers were used to create intimate flagstone patios, crushed stone pathways, split basalt retaining walls and a cobble stone courtyard, giving the yard a hidden garden appeal. See more pictures, here!

Plant it Portland! Want a Lush green lawn next Spring? Plant it now!

NOW is the time to plant! The cooler weather and rains of the Pacific NorthWest Autumn lend themselves to a thriving luxuriant lawn. Our weather conditions allow new plantings including trees, bushes and lawns to establish and thrive for a gorgeous spring 2014! Exstream Landscaping offers both sod and seed lawns as well irrigation systems for a trouble free Spring and summer. Planning ahead really does pay off. Give us a call at 503-654-1953 or 503-522-9174 to get on our fall planting schedule!

Lawn area

Southwest Portland Home – Before and After Landscape!

Before After

Before and after photos of a Southwest Portland home Landscape Project.

Exstream landscaping turned this southwest homes backyard into an beautiful retreat from the hustle and bustle of the work-a-day world. After, grading the yard for optimal drainage and flattening the patio area, we then created planting mounds with large mature trees, built natural stone retaining walls with flat surfaces for additional seating, then installed the 24X24 paver stones to create the patio, then completed the project with a custom fence (complete with doggie door!) an arbor and a soothing bubble rock fountain!  Magnificent!

Eat your landscape Portland!

VICTORYGARDENThe victory garden was started during world war I and world war II in an effort to boost vegetable, fruit and herb production in the U.S as well as to boost morale of those left behind during the war effort. 

A modern take on the victory garden is taking hold in the U.S and especially here in the Pacific Northwest.  


ROSEMARYA few great examples of plantings that are both edible and beautiful serving dual purposes as ornamental plantings as well as helping to feed your family and communities are Rosemary. Not only is rosemary a beautiful plant to add to your garden but it makes a lovely hedging plant with woody stems that withstands the rain and occasional snows here in the Portland area. Rosemary can be added as herb straight off the plant to enhance your BBQing and also infused in vinegars and oils as well as baked into breads or used in canning pickled vegetables.

STRAWBERRIESStrawberries are another common N.W plant that are both attractive and useful in the landscape.  Strawberries can be used as a hardy ground cover providing both an attractive alternative to Ornamental plantings, bark dust or gravel. Strawberries have a multitude of uses from jam to pies to just eating off the vine!

GRAPESGrapes are another N.W favorite. Both our N.W. weather and soils contribute to robust crops in our area.  Grapes look beautiful cascading over an arbor or as a focal point in any garden. There are many varieties that do well in our area. Wine or juice, a fine table grape is great to munch in your picnic lunch!

HUCKLEBERRYThe Huckleberry is a dense, woody, slow-growing shrub that has attractive copper–colored new growth and delicious blue/purple berries. The berries are generally harvested in late summer or early fall. These hardy plants not only look nice in your yard but offer berries that make fantastic tart-sweet jams, jellies, syrups and pies!  They grown well in our slightly acidic soils and  cool damp weather.

The Blueberry is another common plant for the N.W. but it is not often seen in the front yards of our homes which is unfortunate because in addition to being delicious, blueberry plants make a fantastic hedge!  The blueberry is also amenable to being trained onto trellises or over arbors as well as being an attractive landscape plant in its own right. BLUEBERRIESBlueberries are used in everything from Pies to jams and jellies to juices, salads, smoothies and even atop your N.W. Chinook salmon with a butter demi-glaze!

LAVENDERLavender is another of herb plants that are often added to our summer garden patch but not thought of as landscape worthy… When used  in mass planting lavender gives the eye a stunning display of dark violet to lighter purple blooms. Exstreamely hardy, the lavender plant can be trimmed into shapes or used as an attractive hedge as alternative to traditional wood fencing.

APPLEFruit trees have been used for years as a addition to your families food budget but did you know that there are many new cultivars and grafted varieties!  This apple tree boasts 6 different varieties all on the same tree! These trees are often dwarf in habit making them easier to incorporate into your landscape or as in this case espaliered to grow against a fence, a wall of your home or a trellis. Apple trees provide much needed summer time shade, have beautiful spring blooms and gorgeous fall colors in addition to boasting a delicious, multi-use fruit!

There are many other plants that can be used in the kitchen as well as the garden, the only limit to creating your own pantry in the landscape is your imagination!

Picking the Perfect Landscaper in Portland, OR – Be Picky!

planOne of the greatest pleasures of homeownership is making it your own, both inside and out. If you are really invested in making your yard your own, some of the best advice you can get is to call a professional landscape contractor.
Picking a landscape contractor isn’t just about price. Yes, cost is an important factor to take into consideration when planning your landscape project but it isn’t and shouldn’t be the only one. When shopping for a contractor it’s important to make sure that they’re licensed by the state in which they operate, bonded and fully insured. This way if there are any mishaps you, as a consumer, have recourse.  
Another great idea is cruise the internet and check out your candidates. Most will have their own web pages. Yes, they will be "tooting their own horns" on their web site but there are ways to check them out and be objective. Look at their before and after photos, read their customer reviews (if they have any) and check out their experience. How many years have they been in business? What caliber of jobs have they done? Do they have experience with ALL facets of landscaping or do they just mow lawns.
Now that you are down to one or two candidates, be sure to check out independent reviews from services like Yelp, Google or Angie's List. Are they accredited with the Better Business Bureau? Make sure they have no complaints and have a superior rating. Ask people. Landscape Contractors that are worth their salt, have quality reputations. Ask around and see if you know of anyone who has used them before.
And finally, don’t discount your gut feelings. Your emotional responses to a potential contractor can spell the difference between a great working experience and a potential disaster.

Landscaping 101: Creating rock walls that really ROCK!!!


The choices of materials when you add a rock wall as part of your landscape are endless. One of the latest trends in Landscaping in Portland is the clean and natural look of "real" rock. The colors really complement your landscape and they can be built for many different reasons.

We like real rock because not only does it look prettier than the man-made stuff but it is usually is much less expensive. It's also more amenable to drainage and it's much easier to install. 

May we suggest varying the look of the boulders, mixing and matching various colors, shapes and sizes? Pat will spend the time required to make sure your rock wall looks like it "belongs" there and that it is as natural as possible.

Contact Exstream Landscaping today for your FREE QUOTE

See other examples of our Rock Walls in the Walls and Fences section of our web site.

Landscaping in Oregon: Which path will you follow?

PATIOS...928...Flagstone-walk-3As we age, we see and experience new people, new places and new things and we create new memories. Children and grandchildren come and they go. Things change. And, like you, your yard is changing. Growing. Evolving. It's a path everyone follows.

At Exstream Landscaping, we know that with new ideas, new experiences and new memories, your yard may need an overhaul or simply a refocus. Maybe you need new pavers, a statue, a fence or a wall or a grassy area? Maybe you want more or less shade? Maybe you want a pond, a stream or a fountain? We can help. If your landscape in Portland needs some work, give us a call. We provide superior Landscaping service in the Portland, Oregon and Metro area.