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Sustainable Company Lets Residents 'Landscape Better'

Hillsborough-owned company creates plans that reduce impact on homes and plants.

With a larger emphasis than ever today on environmental awareness and sustainability, one local landscaper has taken it upon himself to take a more educated approach to his landscaping business.

Judd Mandell, the owner and operator of Landscape Better in Hillsborough, is a 24-year veteran of the landscaping industry who started the company in September. His primary goal is to create sustainable landscapes that are done the right way, without too much impact on homes or the plants themselves.

“The reason I started a more responsible landscape company is because I believe that proper landscaping lets shrubs and trees have room to grow, and it also keeps home drier,” said Mandell. “I’ve seen so many landscapes gone bad over the past decade plus, so I wanted to establish myself as a nationally-recognized landscaping company who is doing the right thing for homeowners.”

Mandell, who is certified by the Cloud Institute to educate people on sustainability and holds several degrees in topics ranging from environmental studies to architecture, uses his education to do what’s best for the entire property with each project he undertakes. His designs often include features to carry water away from homes and into plants, and Landscape Better also focuses on sculpting the land to create “useful” space on the property while focusing on sustainability.

“What I put out there for sale for Landscape Better is a landscape plan,” said Mandell. “These are the guidelines to adhere to.”

The ability for homeowners to reasonably maintain their landscape once it is completed is not lost on Mandell, who stated that his company sets all trees and shrubs at least six feet away from the house to ensure that the plants will be able to grow naturally with limited homeowner maintenance.

“Really, what we try to achieve, and what I recognize, is the fact that they can enjoy their landscape more when they don’t have to maintain their landscape,” said Mandell. “Maintenance is a big deal; I have a lot of clients in Hillsborough that have had us move trees and shrubs away from houses. That’s what we’re recommending, so they don’t have to cut them back every year.”

“People are like, ‘why doesn’t every other landscaper do that,’” Mandell continued, “and I tell them, ‘it’s because they don’t know any better.’”

Increasing sustainability in the community is also important to Mandell, who recently visited fourth grade classes at Woodfern Elementary School to teach them a value that goes far beyond sustainability and landscaping; planning and implementation.

“Through that, they made a pledge to recognize and protect something important to them, and they had their friends and family sign on to that pledge,” said Mandell. “The point of that was to recognize that they could only get something done by doing something.”

Between its customer service and community outreach, Mandell seems determined to have Landscape Better leave its mark on Hillsborough as more than just an ordinary landscaping business.

“We’re doing it better, which is why I started the company Landscape Better,” said Mandell.

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