A landscape walk-through or inspection is conducted for several reasons. The most important reason for a walk-through is to determine compliance with the landscape maintenance specifications. All parties present at the walk should be familiar with the specifications and what is required of the contractor. Walk-throughs are also conducted for other purposes such as landscape renovation, tree trimming needs or drainage problems.

The contractor should take his own notes and forward a typed copy to the management company. If any price quotes for additional work are required, they should also be noted along with the maintenance items.

Here are some tips on what to look for on a landscape walk-through:


Lawns should be green, mowed and edged. Most discoloration will be from lack of fertilizer. A lawn disease will probably affect most lawn areas in a patchy random streak of discoloration. Check for weeds. A weed in a lawn is anything other than the intended grass.

Ground Cover / Slopes

Ground cover areas should contain only the intended ground cover and plants. Any bare areas in the ground cover should be replanted after the irrigation has been inspected and repaired, if necessary. Poor soil conditions could also contribute to bare areas in ground cover.

Shrub Areas

Determine if the customer desires formal or informal shrub trimming and rate compliance accordingly. The ground beneath the shrubs should be free of debris and weeds. Do not allow a contractor to trim the bottom of shrubs up too high.


The most important item to look for when inspecting trees is the tree tie. Check to see that the tie is not so tight that it is cutting into the tree. The contractor should inspect tree ties regularly. Look for low hanging branches that should be trimmed off of sidewalks and streets to allow for pedestrian traffic.


Look for areas of standing water. Contractors are notorious for over watering. Stressed plant material in a dry planter area is a good sign of an irrigation problem. The most common irrigation problems are broken heads, clogged heads and valves that do not operate automatically.