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I first created this site back in 1998 to document the wild plants that I encountered.  But it has grown into a clearinghouse of information on landscaping, backyard birds, butterfly gardening, plant identification and making paper from plant fiber. After leaving Kansas, I thought of deleting the site. But realize it has a wealth of information that people rely upon.

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Services > Property Evaluation

Property Evaluation


Why get your property evaluated

  • To determine what native plants you already have;
    • You don't want to purchase plants that are already located on your property.
  • To get recommendations for making your property better for wildlife (e.g. birds & butterflies);
    • There are specific species of plants that are the best for certain wildlife.
  • To learn what species are invasive on your property;
    • These are the most damaging plants to native plants and wildlife
  • To get recommendations for maintenance efforts;
    • One of the greatest efforts goes into maintenance and my recommendations will save time and get results

What is involved in a property evaluation

YOU get to CHOOSE the option that is best for you

Site Visit

With a Site Visit,

  • I identify your existing plants, trees, & shrubs.
  • I make recommendations for changes.
  • You take notes while we survey the property.
Inventory Only
  • I visit the site with you
  • I indentify & record all plant species we encounter. This includes trees & shrubs, grasses, and herbaceous plants like wildflowers or "weeds".
  • I produce an Inventory spreadsheet report of all plant species seen.
  • Included for each plant is its Scientific & Common Name, Plant Family, Coefficient of Conservatism, Longevity, Growth Habit, and Native Status
  • From the inventory is calculated a Floristic Quality Assessment (FQA)
  • You follow along and may take notes, take picture, or just learn

This option is best for people that own a native prairie and want a list of all species on their property

Full Evaluation
  • Includes everything from the "Inventory Only"
  • Furthermore an Evaluation Report is produced. It is described later.

What is involved in a property evaluation

  • Determine what plants you have growing on your site. This includes trees, grasses, and herbaceous plants like wildflowers and weeds. Five reports in spreadsheet form are provided.
  • Determine which alien species are most invasive and should be controlled. Offer control techniques.
  • Suggest new plantings or enhancements to the existing established plants
  • Offer management techniques to control unwanted plants such as weeds, tree seedlings, and invasive plants.

What is contained in the Inventory report?

It is a spreadsheet of all species found on the property. This spreadsheet is divided into 5 worksheets. The worksheets are:

  1. Inventory: It contains scientific name, common name, family name, nativity, coefficient of conservatism (CoC), growth habit, and longevity for all plants seen on the property
  2. FQA: It summarizes the plants found with counts by nativity, CoC, growth habit, and duration as well as calculating the Floristic Quality Index
  3. Surveys: It lists date(s) when the property was surveyed for plant species.
  4. Property: It describes the property owner, size, and location
  5. Glosarry: It defines the columns found in the inventory

What is the "Evaluation" report?

It is an evaluation of the property. The property is normally divided into areas.

  • For large properties you may have a native grasslands, ponds, creeks, woodlands, old fields, or pastures.
  • For small properties (like a city lot), you may have a backyard, side yard, front yard all with different amounts of sun. There may be a wet area, a slope, or a hillside - all which require different plants.

This report is composed of the following sections.

Evaluation Introduction

The Evaluation Introduction identifies the owner, explains the inventory, and summarizes the evaluation. It includes:

  • Describes the inventory spreadsheet
  • Summarizes the evaluation
  • Describes the sections of the report
Introduction to Native Plants

The Introduction to Native Plants section explains the importance of native plants in our landscapes. The following topics are covered.

  • The importance of native plants in our landscape
  • The use of scientific names in naming plants
  • The importance of plant and habitat diversity
Property Divisions

The Property Divisions breaks your property into smaller areas and details the changes to be made to each one.

For each area of the property the following information is included

  • Description of the area
  • Any plants that need to be removed
  • Recommended plants to add
  • A planting plan specifically for beds
  • Interesting plants found (edibles, rare, unique)
Reference Topics

The Reference Topics section details various information, such as sources for plants & maintenance of your property

The following topics are covered.

  • Sources for buying native trees, plants, and seed
  • Killing woody plants like trees and shrubs so that they don't regrow after cutting
  • Invasive species found and techniques for controlling them
  • Perennial bed preparation, planting, weed control, and maintenance
  • Techniques for hand planting seeds of native seed to encourage germination
Recommended Books

The Recommended Books section lists books on the following topics

  • Plant identification (trees, grasses, wildflowers, weeds)
  • Wildlife Identification (birds, butterflies, insects)
  • Ecosystem Restoration (prairies, woodlands, wetlands)
  • Ethnobotany (edible & medicinal plants)
Prairie Information

The Prairie Information section describes prairies and includes the following topics

  • About Prairies
  • About Prairie Grasses
  • About Prairie Forbs
  • About Burning Prairies
Prairie Planting

Those with larger properties often want to plant a prairie of grasses and wildflowers. This section details the preparation, planting and maintenance of a prairie.

The following topics are covered.

  • Describing and explaining the general composition & growth of plants found on a prairie
  • Preparing a site to eliminate existing vegetation such as brome & fescue
  • Species of grasses & wildflowers to plant specific to the site
  • Recommended seeding rates for grasses & forbs (wildflowers)
  • Short term maintenance (first few years)
  • Long term maintenance
Prairie Maintenance

Those who own property that already has original native prairie this section offers strategies for maintaining and enhancing the prairie.

The following topics are covered.

  • Use of burning, haying and resting to increase diversity & health of the prairie
  • Establishing wildflowers & other forbs in plantings dominated by grasses
  • Controlling invasive species such as sericea lespedeza, brome, & fescue
  • Grazing techniques such as patch burning, timely grazing, and resting

Types of properties that are evaluated

I can do an evaluation on any size property such as...

  • A small city lot
  • A larger suburban lot
  • A small acreage (under 10 acres)
  • A larger parcel of property (10 acres or more)

Existing native vegetation

You may already have a remnant of a native plant community such as ...

  • a native or restored prairie
  • or native woodland.
  • a pond or wet depression
  • a creek or river flood plain
  • agricultural land with no natural vegetation

These remnants already have a diverse array of native plants growing on them. The land just needs some proper management so that the plants can prosper. I will identify what you already have growing in these remnants & give management advice.

What is the cost of an evaluation

To keep the evaluation affordable for people, I charge an hourly rate of $30. This includes ...

  • Travel to and from the site
  • Visiting the site
  • Preparing the Species Found report
  • Preparing the Evaluation report

The cost of most evaluations runs between $300 and $400 plus travel time.

Request an Evaluation

Contact me if you would like to consider getting an evaluation.

DISCLAIMER: This page contains affiliate links in the right hand panel, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission. This helps support my website and allows me to continue to add new content. Thank you for the support!