Did you know that there are certain types of plant debris that either plug baskets and filters, and prevent filtration from occurring properly, and or, may help destroy chlorine readings?


Palm Trees:


In the Phoenix area, certain Palm Trees put out "Pollen Fronds" during a particular time of the year. When this happens, I get a slew of calls about how their pool man is no longer doing his job properly, and that the pool is green and cloudy. I tell them, "Trim those fronds, and have all of the palm debris blown into a pile and removed, and you will get your great pool man back.


They are often amazed that I have never been in their yard, and yet I know what kind of trees they have, and that they are "blooming". I tell them that it isn't their pool man's fault (Unless he is also responsible for trimming their palms as well,), but that he should know the plants that can ruin a pool so he can tell you in advance what problems you will have, when you will have them, and what it will cost you to keep them. Note: If you have palm trees, "Do Not" cut the "Pods" on the Palm Trees until after they open, otherwise they will not release the hormone that tells the plant to stop growing them. I have had customers who rush the process, and not let them open up, that have had the pods cut off three times before they figured this out. Wait till the pods open and trim them once. Forget to schedule it done, right after they open, and within 3 weeks, your pool will be in bad shape. Note: If you live elsewhere in the country, you may have other plants that are an issue.


        Other sets of plants that cause big issues in the Phoenix area are:


            1.)  Bougainvillea (Because the red blooms regularly plug up baskets, drains, ... Yes, these can cause an extra $200-$500 a year in problems, and cause you to not be able to swim in your pool for 1/4 or more of your swim season. I had one that cost the client 1/2 of their swim season, and close to $800 extra in 1 year. Best solution, cut out the bougainvillea. If your neighbor has them, cut them off even with his side of the fence.


            2.) Mesquite trees (And other plants with small fern type leaves) These plug up the filters themselves, Sand and D.E., both, and keep them from functioning properly. I have had pools that need a sand change every year, and need their D.E. filters cleaned every 3 months, because of the damage these cause. Best solution ... cut out the offending plant. If it is your neighbor’s plant, cut it off at the edge of the lot line. Anything on your side is yours, "unless" it kills the tree/plant. Check local laws to be sure though.


            3.) Anything that overhangs your deck or pool will put debris in your pool. I tell my clients that all plants that hang over the deck must be cut back 6" from the edge of the decking minimum. This includes trees. I prefer trees be cut back at least 5 Feet from the decking, because a light breeze, blowing the wrong way, even with a 6" boundary, won't keep the debris out of the pool. The taller the tree, the further back from the deck it needs to be. 


            In case you are wondering, I ALWAYS charge 25% more, AT LEAST, for pool service with pools that have problems related to these plants. I have charged DOUBLE, or even TRIPPLE, for serious problem pools with inappropriate, or inadequate cleaning systems, and bad landscaping plants. 


If people refuse to deal with the problems their poor landscaping issues cause by properly cutting back, or removing, the "problems", cleaning systems that can’t keep up, … then they can keep their green pool, or pay the price for me to do what it takes to keep it decent. Sorry, if it is 2-3 times the amount of labor, with extra call backs, … and extra chemical costs for me to keep your pool looking "decent", you are going to pay me 2-3 times the amount paid for pools that do not have these issues. You may think this is harsh, but, if you have gone through 5 pool men in 2 months, spent $200-$300 EXTRA, beyond service costs, "each month" in additional chemicals, and the pool is still green, paying double, or triple, is still cheap.


         I know what I am doing. I know by the customers responses whether or not they are willing to do what it takes to solve the issues their pool / yard has. I also know what it will cost. Often my recommendations are as follows:


1.)          You will allow me to set whatever operating times I decide need to be set for all pool equipment.

2.)          You will put in the following cleaning system ($1500)

3.)          You will replace your filter with one I select  ($1200)

4.)          The 60’ tall tree with the 40’ canopy will no longer overhang your pool. As a matter of fact, it will be cut back so that no branches come within 10’ of the diameter of your pool, and the rest of your tree will be thinned out by a “professional top of line” tree service.

5.)          Your pool cannot be kept up, regardless of the level of service until these things are completed. Even when they are completed as listed here, your pool will still be 20% more difficult to maintain, and your monthly rates will reflect that.

6.)          You will clean out all the baskets every 3 days, and every day if there is a storm.


As an update, after 2 call backs, the tree trimming service did finish the work, as contracted, and all of the other work was completed as well. The pool has stayed in “good” condition for 2 years. Not once have we had cloudy water, not once has the pool been green. The customer is happy, and has been happy, since the work was completed.
Let me help you. I can… if you let me.