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What’s the loud boom I hear in my lawn? Frost quakes

That’s right, your lawn isn’t wrestling with eating too much over the holidays, but it is making strange, loud and unusual noises, deep down below.
They are actually called a cryoseism or also commonly referred to as “frost quakes”. So rest assured it’s not going to explode!

The Greater Toronto areas has been experiencing extreme cold lately, and because of that, we’ve also had extreme temperature shifts.  (like when it went to a balmy +2 or +3 deg C. last week, allowing us to scrape the 2″ of ice off our cars and driveways and kill our backs!-ugh).  This was in addition to the damaging ice storm experienced through Dec 21-23rd 2013. (see more on the tree damage in another blog)

The “above-freezing” temperatures (snowmelt, rain or sleet) allows water to seep into the soil, and when we are followed by extreme cold, this water freezes and expands creating the sound that many people are witnessing.  Really, its a big stress relief for the soil.  The sound isn’t much different than the the ice cubes cracking in your drink as you pour a warmer liquid, or its exposed to warm air (although its scale outside makes it much louder!)

Will it cause damage to my lawn or trees?  It’s possible, but that is due to the natural frost heaving that occurs every winter that many are unaware of, the more frost heaving, the more potential for shifting soils and the ripping and tearing of roots, (which could cause some damage to your lawn’s and tree’s root systems.) That’s another reason why its best to keep them properly cared for with the right amount of nutrition and overseeding to repair the damage each year.

Whats interesting to those of us interested in soil structures, is that these are thought to be most common in sandy or gravel soils which leads me to wonder- what area did you hear a cryoseism in this winter?

Let us know in your comments.

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  • Coping with Covid Update: (updated 05/08/20)

    Hi Everyone, 

    I’m happy to share some good news during these crazy times. LawnSavers has resumed servicing lawns in all areas and lawn care services that provide for lawn health are officially on the Provincial list of essential services due to the fact we can provide this service safely and with no personal contact!

    If you haven’t seen us yet, you will see us within the next 7-10 days. We do not expect any delay in our regular timing of applications (except from the wintry weather).  We put together an easy to read lawn care service timeline that you can use to know when to expect us for each scheduled service in your package. 

    I want to reassure you that in every decision we make around COVID-19, our number one priority remains the health and safety of our employees and customers.  Safety and honesty are our two most important core values.  We will continue to follow strict safety guidelines that ensure “zero touch”.  We will not let our guard down on exercising our safety protocols!

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    Please be patient with us, we will get back to you as fast as possible.
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    Thank you all for your understanding and patience during these challenging times. Our team works hard, so if you are met with our exceptional service from our technicians or office team members- please give them a thumbs up to make them smile or let me know through a quick email to feedback@lawnsavers.com

    We thank you for supporting a family owned local business of 30 years, we genuinely appreciate each and every one of you and promise that we will do our part to ensure our mutual safety and be on your lawn as soon as possible.  

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    Kyle Tobin
    Chief Environmental Officer