Gravel Services Midlothian and Bon Air

Why land Grading is Important before Gravel Installation

Land grading is to level a surface to create an excellent smooth surface to serve as the gravel installation foundation. Since each piece of land is different, e.g., in natural grading and soil makeup, grading may require dirt from higher up to be moved into lower-lying areas or moving in more soil from somewhere else. Each land has its unique way of grading it to complete gravel installation.

There are several benefits of surface grading before gravel installation, which include;

Improves Drainage

Ground runoffs account for much of the surface drainage. Therefore it’s essential to inspect water flows to ensure that nothing impedes the flow of water. Gravel installers often create these routes during land grading before gravel installation. The gravel installer may make a gentle slope that drains the water to a given course or ditches.

Land grading gives you a nice smooth surface.

Grading reshapes the earth and soil to make it more stable and smooth. The Land graders move the dirt from a higher section of the land to a lower region. The professionals will smooth out the ground and then install the gravel to stabilize the soil. They are smoothening the floor to result in a newly leveled surface that is easier and safer to use.

Surface Grading Enhances Transportation

Grading the surface gives you a smooth, uniform surface compacted before gravel installation. Ground Compaction ensures that the ground can handle heavy loads, vehicles, and heavy weather without breaking up.

Land Grading Improves landscape.

Grading the land before gravel installation involves removing dirt, leveling slopes, filling low spots, filling a hole, or hauling out to drop a hill. Sometimes it’s to re-grade an existing land that is not draining correctly or to create a slope. All this leads to improvement of the landscape before gravel installation.

Increase Usable Space

Slopes make parts of a landscape virtually unusable. Uneven land limits your options when you want to install gravel since it requires a flat surface. Grading eliminates hills and slopes, which prevent outdoor construction projects. Therefore when graders level the ground, there is more space for gravel installation.

Land Grading Provides a Strong Base.

Grading provides a strong foundation for gravel installation. Gravel installers limit the number of structural issues that can occur down the line while installing the gravel through compacting the ground. The control of the risk of erosion and damage to the rocks over a long time is through effective grading.


Quality surface grading in gravel installation stands the test of time, and laying a strong foundation through land grading is a vital part of that. If you are looking for help to get the fundamental right at Strattonlandscaping, we deliver a distinct quality grading level for gravel installation. Thus we ensure we exceed expectations. Your complete satisfaction is our priority when providing you with gravel installation. We will provide you with the best gravel installation services. Contact us today.

Gravel Services Midlothian and Bon Air

Five Tips for Light Grading Before Installation of Gravel Driveways

Before installing gravel, check the ground to determine if light grading of the property is professionally done. Note that if you do gravel installation on the ground that is uneven, drainage will become a major issue. In this post, we cover light grading tips to help you when preparing for gravel installation.

  1. Perform Light Grading Early

Ground preparations should be done in advance to ensure settling of soil occurs before the installation of gravel. If the light grading process is rushed, you risk installing gravel on soil that is not settled adequately. Therefore, perform light grading early to provide a considerable amount of time for the ground to settle appropriately.

  1. During Light Grading Ensure Proper Drainage

The ground should have a gentle slope that drains the water through a given route. Therefore, if the drainage routes are blocked, then expect to flood the gravel driveways. Note that ground runoff accounts for much of the surface drainage even when you install other types of in-ground drainage systems.

If the natural drainage is not sufficient, consider the installation of artificial drainage solutions. You may consider the installation of simple ditches dug several meters apart with a depth of around 90 centimeters. Alternatively, you may consider French ditches, to be constructed by filling a ditch using coarse gravel and topped up using permeable membranes or turf.

  1. Planning and Getting Rid of Potential Problems

Before you begin preparations, it is advisable that you make sure all pipes and cables buried just below the surface are removed. Therefore, do complete research before you begin excavation works. In the case of basement windows, ensure you create window wells so that you provide adequate lighting to the basement.

  1. Research the High and Low Points before Light grading

Before light grading has started, we advise that you research appropriately to determine the high and low points of the surface where gravel installation is to be carried out. Mark the high and low points before the exercise starts. Basically, you want to make sure the low points keep the water moving.

  1. Talk To An Expert

Do It Yourself practices may not give you the results you are expecting. An experienced professional shall ensure the recommended tools are used for the task. Besides, an expert will make sure no stone is left unturned. Eventually, you save a huge amount of money that would have been spent on regular repairs.


Are you planning to install gravel driveways at your home or commercial space? Talk to Stratton Landscaping and Tree Removal for professional yard preparation and installation of gravel driveways. We are the leading gravel driveway installers in Virginia. Contact us today for all your landscaping requirements.

Gravel Services

Gravel driveways enhance the appearance of your homestead. Besides,  it’s easy to maintain a gravel driveway compared to other types of driveways. If laid correctly gravel is a good quality product and your space can last for years.

Clearing all the vegetation on the space

Clearing vegetation ensures you do not experience the growth of weeds on your new driveway. However, you may choose to leave the plants that you feel shall enhance the appearance of your gravel driveway. Remember when it comes to gravel driveway maintenance, you should weed regularly to keep the ground looking as fresh as after the installation.  Regular maintenance enhances the appearance of your gravel driveway. This will ensure that the plants you want to reintroduce will grow effectively.

Break down lumps and bumps

Proper raking ensures an even surface, which is critical for your gravel driveway. Essentially, raking ensures that you don’t have areas that are higher than others.

Add compost manure or granulated fertilizer to boost fertility

incase you plan to have some vegetation around the driveway, it is important you ensure the ground where the crops shall be grown is fertile. Therefore, add some compost manure and fertilizer to that ground. Further, adding compost manure helps to loosen the soil and increase the production of soil carbon which is a source of energy for nutrients for plants. They reduce runoff and leaching in the soil.

Add a course to enhance drainage

Flooded rainwater can be a serious problem in your driveway. One of the issues brought about by flooded waters is the breaking of the ground resulting in huge potholes. therefore, adding a course will ensure that floods won’t affect you in case of heavy rains

Engage a professional service provider.

Hiring a professional is the best thing you can do when it comes to driveway installation. Essentially, the experienced professionals have handled different terrain and gained experience while improving their skillset when it comes to the installation of gravel driveways. Therefore, an expert will handle the different stages of gravel installation professionally. 

Another benefit of having a professional is that they will foresee the problems even before they occur and come up with solutions.  The professionals would have the right equipment. Therefore, you do not have to worry about hiring equipment, which you may not have the skills required to operate.


Are you planning to install a gravel driveway? Follow the steps we have outlined above to ensures the best gravel driveway. At Stratton Landscaping and Tree Removal, we offer professional gravel driveway installation. Contact us today for the best services. 


Gravel Driveway Stratton
Gravel Driveway Maintenance Procedures

If you were to take a tour of a majority of households in America, you will notice that gravel is a common material when it comes to the construction of driveways. This is compared to the usage of concrete or asphalt in the construction of driveways. Gravel driveways serve a very important purpose especially when it comes to the cost of driveway construction. To ensure the drive lasts longer, you ought to put into practice various gravel driveway maintenance exercises. Therefore, in this post, we share important gravel driveways maintenance tips.

  1. Watch out for Pot Holes

Over time, the gravel driveways develop potholes. While potholes may be an inevitable problem, you can fix it easily by picking a shovel and even out the gravel, and then tapping it down. However, this is not a permanent approach for fixing gravel driveway potholes. The approach is considered a quick fix, and you need to contact an expert to ensure a permanent solution to gravel driveway potholes.

  1. Rake the Driveway Regularly

Homeowners should get in the habit of raking the gravel driveway often to keep the surface level remove leaves and debris. Over time, leaves from nearby plants will be blown off by the wind, landing on your gravel driveway. Leaves, dust, and debris could be enough to make the driveway look neglected. Besides, the debris that gets lodged between the gravel makes it difficult to drive and walk safely on your driveway. Fortunately, a good quality rake is all you need to expel the debris and leaves off the gravel driveway.

  1. Avoid The Use of Snow Plows

Hiring a snowplowing service may feel luxurious. Unfortunately, you may not feel the same way when you can’t recognize the gravel driveway once the snow melts. However, the snowplow blades push the gravel out from the driveway, and so you will be responsible for putting the gravel back where it is supposed to be. Use of snowplow is only recommended for long gravel driveways. Otherwise, only make use of a shovel or the snowblower.

  1. Hire an Experienced Driveway Contractor

The secret to proper gravel driveway maintenance is engaging an experienced professional. Experienced gravel driveway maintenance experts come with the tools and machinery required for driveway maintenance. This includes the compaction machine to help the gravel to stay in place. Further, the gravel driveway maintenance experts ensure the potholes are filled in the correct way.


Are you planning to install a gravel driveway? For professional installation and gravel driveway maintenance, talk to Stratton Landscaping and Tree Removal. We are gravel driveway maintenance and installation professionals in Virginia.


Gravel Services Midlothian and Bon Air

What is Landscape Grading and why it is important 

Landscape grading is known as sculpting or leveling of the land to prepare outdoor spaces for elements like patios, pools, paths, plants, and more. It is the first step of designing ad redesigning your space though it is not the most visible part. It is best done by a professional because if done wrongly, it means the ground will be uneven, thus causing complications when you take another step, causing water drainage to occur. The process requires careful integration of the contours and adds more beauty to the whole place.

Importance of Landscape Grading

Landscape grading ensures a smooth landscape is in place, which provides a level base for other elements. It ensures adequate drainage occurs by the slope of the land away from the construction site. During construction, water drainage is a factor to consider. When carrying out grading without leveling, the water drainage becomes stagnant, thus flows towards the building. It poses a flood threat, which destroys the site by damaging blocks and vegetation around. Conducting a proper grading ensures you get long term drainage, stable base, and protection on topography. A good flow of water creates a healthy environment for your space. Proper landscape grading increases the stability of your land and ensures the reinforcement of aesthetics. It enables construction on the land that previously had a steep slope. Transportation along the area gets easier.

Process of Landscape Grading

It involves designing and construction. The designing step starts with carrying out research. In this, you should partner with a designer with a specialization in a residential designer who will help gather ideas and plan well. While researching, get different opinions, set a budget, try consulting multiple designers, and choose the best.  Choose how you want the lines, color, and texture. After receiving the plan with a proposal of location and materials to use, you start the construction. During construction, you should get the best contractor. Heavy machines like excavators and bulldozers prepare the area, and a grader finalizes the process. Together with the designer, they agree on the specific measures of working on your space. Depending on the project, many companies might get involved, or you can end up finishing the project with just one contractor. 

The things to remember during Landscape Grading

Landscape grading works extensively during a dry season. If conducted during the rainy period, the mud is hard to level; thus, an erosion might occur. Ensure that the land is corrosion free, especially when a rainy season is beginning. Make sure the foundation is distant. The wall cladding should be a little far from landscape grading. If there is water drainage on your lawn, the grading is the problem.  


You can do landscape grading on your own, but it is best to include experts for a perfect outcome. The foundation determines the final set of your space. Always invest well in your light grading process, so has to avoid unnecessary costs of trying to resolve it when it gets damaged. For professional landscape grading in Virginia, contact us today!


Gravel Lot Stratton

Best Type of Gravel for Driveways

Are you wondering which type of gravel is suitable for your driveway? Whether a commercial lot or residential lot. gravel makes a perfect choice when it comes to the preparation of driveways. Gravel is perfect for long driveways and is very budget-friendly. They are environmentally friendly and last long. It is ideal for keeping your car off mud and separates the yard and the parking area. There are different types of gravel, as described below.

  1.   Pea Gravel

Also referred to as the pea shingle, this type of gravel for your driveway is 3/8 to 4 sized. The pea gravel is rounded and has smooth sides, thus the soft finish. They are very eye-catchy because of the different colors, grey, brown, red, and blue.  They are naturally weathered. It is mostly preferred as a top layer.  It allows water to flow between the rocks since it is a better drain rock. You should use an acceptable form of edging to keep it in place to drive it quickly because the round shape is hard to be locked in place.

  1.   River Rock-Semi polished type of gravel

This gravel type is also known as creek stone. It is made of rounded, semi-polished stones scooped from stream beds and rivers. The gravel, has a smooth texture, thus must be edged properly using stones to keep it in place. It has an aesthetic appeal making it suitable for the top layer.

  1.   Quarry Process

This type of gravel is also known as shoulder stone, crusher run, QP, dense grade aggregate, dirty stone, and ¾ blended stone. It is made of trap rock, crushed granite, and limestone, which bind to form compacted gravel. It is strong and durable, thus good as the top layer. You should make sure that the middle part is higher than the other sides when using it. It maintains stable drainage and ensures minimal damage.

  1.   Base Gravel.

Just as the name suggests, it is suitable for the base layer of the driveway. It is a type of sizable crushed stone. The diameter is 2 inches or more.


    Washed Clean Stone

The texture is of crushed stone. It is more attractive since it is cleaner than crushed stone. The size determines if to use as the top or middle layer.


    Jersey Shore Gravel

It consists of white stones, tan gold, and slightly yellow color. the gravel type creates a welcoming atmosphere due to its tranquil feel. It is aesthetic, thus used as the top layer requires edging to put it in place.

  1.   White Marble Chips

They have grey streaks, making them suitable for the top layer.  They shine and sparkle in the sun, making them more attractive. The sparkling gives them an aesthetic and elegant appeal. They prevent a lot of heat in the area. Ensure to use the driveway edge to hold them in place.


For perfect installation, ensure to choose the right gravel for every layer. Your choice determines the outcome; thus, you should be very keen when choosing. Are you planning to install a gravel driveway in your home? Contact us today for expert advice when it comes to choosing the best type of gravel for your gravel. 


Gravel Driveway Stratton


Installation of gravel driveways is becoming a popular practice in Richmond, VA. To ensure high-quality gravel driveways, you need to hire a professional with enough experience. Hiring a professional ensures the best practices when it comes to the installation of gravel driveways. If you are interested in gravel and grading services in Richmond, VA, you are in good company.

In this post, we share important dos and don’ts when it comes to gravel lot installation. Keep reading to understand the important basics of gravel lot installation.

Spend Time on the Planning and Design Phase

You are eager to dive into the gravel lot installation, to improve your driveways. While this is understandable, you need to ensure proper planning from the onset. Do not allow enthusiasm to get you rushing through the planning and the design phase. After all, you cannot just wake up and start digging to install the driveways. Therefore, involve a professional to assist you in planning. There are several factors to take into consideration. You need to figure out where the driveway will serve you best while considering the drainage. With proper planning, you will give a better idea about how everything will be laid out and where everything will be situated. During the planning phase, ensure the project will not interfere with the underground utilities or the city ordinances. Therefore, spend some extra time in the planning phase and come up with a good layout.

Consider All Your Options

What type of gravel is suitable for your home? While homeowners may think of gravel as standard stones, there are actually multiple types of gravel available for driveways improvement. Therefore, by considering the different varieties, you may find that you enjoy a particular type compared to the others. Therefore, do not just settle on a certain variety without considering the other options.

Be Aware of Depth Requirements

Gravel driveways are not just a matter of the surface layer of the gravel. There are a couple of different layers beneath, and not all of them are suitable. To ensure the driveway is structurally sound, digging should be done adequately and filling with a sub-base and the base layer of stone to ensure firm support. Use large crushed rock and crushed stone smaller than gravel on the surface, to provide perfect support.

Ensure Use of the Right Equipment

Gravel driveways installation requires the usage of the best type of tools and equipment to make sure the driveway is built to last. We advise customers to ensure the use of excavation equipment as it saves your time.  upon completion of the excavation, soil compaction should be done to provide a firm foundation for the gravel lot installation.

Talk to Qualified Professionals

Not just any handyman will do professional gravel way installation. You need to involve a qualified expert with years of experience in the installation of gravel driveways. A local company will charge you standard rates and is always available for consultation.

Are you looking for the best company to install gravel driveways at your home or at your business park? Talk to Stratton Landscaping and Tree Removal for Professional gravel and grading services. We provide a highly skilled team saving you time and money in the long run. at Stratton landscaping, we understand the importance of quality and we are committed to ensuring value for money. Contact us today for a free estimate.

Many residential homes have driveways. Improving the driveway starts with making sure, you are using the right material. Gravel is the material of choice when it comes to the construction of driveways. There are several reasons why gravel has become the favorite material for constructing the driveways. In this post, we feature some of the advantages of using gravel for the construction of the driveways.


During the construction of driveways, porosity is a major factor. Porous material allows water to drain through the surface. Using porous material means less maintenance incase of stormwater. Gravel moderates the storm runoff keeping the debris off the public streets and the sidewalks. Gravel is good for your driveway as it reduces surface ponding.


Compared to concrete and asphalt, gravel is a more affordable driveway construction material. Thus, depending on the quality of gravel, it means fewer expenses when it comes to site preparation. According to, gravel driveway costs between $1.25 and $1.80 per square foot. Asphalt driveways will; cost between $7 and $13 per square foot. Thus, we realize much more cost-saving using gravel compared to the use of asphalt to construct a driveway.


Gravel costs less to maintain. As illustrated above, it’s a porous material, which means less damage in the case of stormwater. Further, where maintenance is required, the homeowner does not need to involve an expert. By contrast, you need a qualified professional when it comes to the installation and maintenance of asphalt driveways. This is because part of asphalt maintenance involves resealing after a few years.


On average, gravel lasts more years compared to other materials used for driveway construction. Ideally, gravel washes away or subsides enough to require periodic resurfacing. The longer lifespan can also be attributed to the fact that gravel driveways feature several different sizes of gravel. Each of the several layers is set with mechanical tamper, serving a different purpose. This includes ensuring proper strength, drainage, and a high degree of compaction. A well-maintained gravel driveway will last for decades without requiring a complete overhaul.


A gravel driveway is by far easy to install compared to other driveway types. However, it is by far a more complex and risky undertaking. I certainly would not advocate for DIY installation, especially if you have not undergone the required minimum training.

Gravel driveways add charm to the appearance of your home. However, this is when you ensure the correct choice of gravel and proper installation. Consider that the type of gravel is critical to how well it forms a solid and durable surface.

Although gravel driveways are considered much cheaper compared to asphalt and concrete, poor installation can result in much more costs.

Are you just getting into gardening? If you are looking at adding some shade or greenery to your backyard, you may consider planting some new trees. It is advisable that you familiarize yourself with the basics of tree care. Ensuring basic tree care is vital and has an impact on the health and shape of the trees in your backyard. In this post, we share important tree care basics you should not overlook. This will ensure your trees live longer while keeping your backyard attractive.


Firstly, it is imperative you pick the tree that is meant for your area. This is to make sure the environment is friendly for optimal growth. In addition, make sure you pick the right spot when planting the trees. This is where the tree will get enough sunshine and has enough space for roots to spread. Avoid planting trees under power lines or places where you have underground utility lines.


Just like the other plants in your backyard, you need to ensure proper watering of the trees. Ideally, mature trees will require at least one inch of water every week. For newly planted trees ensure they are getting a minimum of 4 gallons to a maximum of 20 gallons depending on the current season.


Mulching is important when it comes to providing insulation of the tree roots. Therefore, enough mulch will protect the trees from experiencing dry soil while it helps to reap the trees. The mulch should be spread 2 to 4 inches.

Ensure Trees are Fertilized

For trees growing in our forests, the natural plant material feeds the soil that is around the trees. In our backyard, we get rid of the leaves and grass clippings while conducting regular raking and cleaning. To provide nutrients for optimal growth of the tree, apply some fertilizer regularly. Ideally, fertilization releases nutrients into the soil, keeping the trees healthy. It is advisable that you test the soil periodically to see if nutrients are missing.


Proper tree pruning will improve the structure of the trees. In addition, tree pruning removes any deadwood that is holding the tree back. When doing pruning, make sure you are using the right tools to avoid hurting the tree. in summer, pruning should target towards tidying up and clearing any small and dead or damaged twigs.


Annual checkups help to identify pest infestations or other diseases that are detrimental to the health of your trees. In that regard, make an appointment with a qualified landscaping company to ensure proper care of the trees in your backyard. A certified arborist from the landscaping company will look out for any red flags which include discolored leaves, holes, and pest infestations. The expert will advise on the best remedy to avoid these problems in the future.

Talk to Stratton Landscaping and Tree Removal for trees maintenance in Virginia. We provide qualified experts to look after the trees in your backyard, keeping them healthy. Contact us today

Tree Removal Stratton

Trees can elevate the aesthetic value of your property and it is important to take optimal care to ensure the trees are well taken care of. Tree removal might sound like something that is blasphemous but believe it or not, tree removal can improve the overall value of your space. The wear and tear through the seasons leave some trees at a vulnerable state of being. If there is a decayed or dead tree then it does more harm than good and it is best to remove these trees. But, what is the best time of the year to remove trees?


Before you decide when is the best time to remove your tree assess the damage. Often there are three reasons why you remove trees, one because they have decaying branches, two because the stumps are dead and three because shrubs begin to surround stumps. Is your tree damaged and decaying in such a way that it poses an imminent threat to its surroundings, or can you hold off. Once you diagnose the reason for your tree removal the next step is to understand the diagnosis.


If a part of the tree that cannot hold off any additional weight is affected, you need to remove it right away. If a part that does not bear the weight of the tree is decaying then you can wait a little longer. In case you need to remove a stump, then do it at a time when it is most environmentally friendly. Winter is a time when most pruning happens so remove your stumps then for minimal trauma on the surrounding plants. Plus, even the surrounding soil and grass benefit with winter stump removal. Leaving tree stumps and roots on for too long can create a breeding ground for shrub growth. Keep this in mind and schedule a tree removal accordingly.


If the main bark is damaged, this calls for immediate attention. Once the main bark is damaged, the tree is unable to adequately take the weight of the branches, leaves and fruits. Depending on where your tree is located it can even pose a threat to your property. For example, a tree that is right by your driveway can fall on your driveway and cause further damage if you do not remove it immediately after you notice bark decay. It is important to understand the gravity of damage in order to take action accordingly. The last thing you want is further damage, so, if you are unsure, schedule an appointment with a tree removal professional immediately. Trees are often large and can be risky if left unattended and decayed.


Whether you are pruning or removing, winter is the best season. Winter is great because this is the season when your tree has the least weight, after the leaves fall during fall, and this is the time when removal causes the least trauma to the surrounding areas. Given that you have assessed your tree situation and determined that you can hold off tree removal until winter, schedule an appointment with a professional during winter and clear your space off of any tree stumps or roots. This is the best time because the tree is dormant and it poses the least threat to the ones removing and its environment. Though this is a general rule of thumb, there are different varieties of trees that require different types of care. So, it is best to discuss with a tree removal professional to avoid any complications.


Though we are concerned with the most environmentally friendly time to remove trees, the most budget friendly time to do so is an equally important consideration. So, when is the most budget friendly time for tree removal? The long answer is that there are a lot of things that are factored into tree removal such as location, size and any other specific need. Consequently, there is no time of the year that will guarantee a bargain, depending on your specific needs. But, given that people opt for tree removals during summer, the greater demand could result in a slight spike in costs. Keeping this in mind, winter is a time when business is generally slower for tree removal companies and this can result in slightly lower prices. But, given that prices vary based on specific needs there is nothing set in stone.


Tree removal is something that needs to be done for the health of your garden and your property. In case a tree is decaying it can hamper the growth environment for the surrounding flowers. But, the biggest threat is falling trees and the risk it poses on your property and you. While lower demand during the winter offers lucrative prices and higher demand during spring and summer makes it difficult to get deals on tree removals, your biggest reasons for removal cannot be just the sticker price. Make sure you fully diagnose the problem and then decide whether you can make a budget friendly decision. If your tree is at high risk, meaning if the main trunk is damaged then you need to take action immediately. If your branches are showing signs of damage then you might have a little longer. But, the best step is to consult a professional and make a smart tree removal decision that allows you to keep you and your property safe.