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Landscape Conversion Project Shapes Up On Crawford Road
A Grover Landscape crew member works at planting and irrigating new trees on Crawford Road last week. The new Chinese Pistache trees replace the Raywood Ash trees removed earlier this year because their root system was ruining the sidewalks next to them. Ric McGinnis/The News

The Crossroads Landscaping and Lighting District made some long anticipated changes to the irrigation system and plants along Crawford Road last week.

James van Niewunwenhuyzen managed the Grover Landscaping crew making the changes up and down both the central divider of the street, and also where trees had to be removed on the southwest end of the street, last March.

Early last week, the crew was finishing up installation of an updated, drip irrigation system for the shrubs on the median, between Oakdale Road and Roselle. The work replaced a sprinkler system that ultimately sprayed unnecessary water onto the pavement, albeit early, early in the morning.

The system installed featured brown main PVC piping, both longitudinal and crossovers, and a closed water system that results in higher water pressure. The installation includes four courses in the wider portions, and just two, going down the sides, where the divider is narrow.

Once that was completed, ending at Roselle Avenue, the crew switched to the other end of Crawford, where destructive Raywood Ash trees had been originally planted, when the subdivisions were built, about 10 years ago. The Ash trees have pushed the sidewalks so they’re up, down and sideways.

The Grover crew removed the old irrigation system, along with the turf and the old trees back in mid-March, with the project requiring detours through adjacent neighborhoods while the work was being done.

In the intervening months, the concrete was repaired somewhat, but the 100-plus degree temperatures in recent weeks have not been conducive to new plantings.

Along with the new Chinese Pistache trees, crews installed a drip irrigation system and plants creating ground cover, replacing expanses of grass usually found between the sidewalk and the street in subdivisions in many cities, according to van Niewunwenhuyzen. The ground cover is similar to the plants found in the tree wells installed in the redeveloped area of downtown Riverbank, along most of Third Street.

The crew chief added that the Pistache trees also feature beautiful bronze colored leaves in the fall.