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American Pro-Scapes | Professional Seattle-Area Landscaping                                       seattle,landscape,landscaper,landscaping,north,bend,bellevue,kirkland,snoqualmie,issaquah,preston,fall,city,eastside,service,services,mow,mowing,design,installation,maintenance,lawn,sod,fence,arbor,yard,commercial,residentialAmerican Pro-Scapes | Professional Seattle-Area Landscaping                                       seattle,landscape,landscaper,landscaping,north,bend,bellevue,kirkland,snoqualmie,issaquah,preston,fall,city,eastside,service,services,mow,mowing,design,installation,maintenance,lawn,sod,fence,arbor,yard,commercial,residentialAmerican Pro-Scapes | Professional Seattle-Area Landscaping                                       seattle,landscape,landscaper,landscaping,north,bend,bellevue,kirkland,snoqualmie,issaquah,preston,fall,city,eastside,service,services,mow,mowing,design,installation,maintenance,lawn,sod,fence,arbor,yard,commercial,residential

 

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October 2011

 

American Pro-Scapes | Professional Seattle-Area Landscaping                                       seattle,landscape,landscaper,landscaping,north,bend,bellevue,kirkland,snoqualmie,issaquah,preston,fall,city,eastside,service,services,mow,mowing,design,installation,maintenance,lawn,sod,fence,arbor,yard,commercial,residential

As fall arrives, it's also the perfect time for over-seeding or starting a new lawn.  Grass seed loves the dropping temperatures and the increase of precipitation. In nature, most grass has gone to seed and those seeds are beginning to drop, so following the natural pattern, you want to take advantage of the best time to plant and fertilize lawns.  Use a low nitrogen fertilizer to encourage root growth not foliage growth.  You want to encourage the strongest, healthiest roots possible just before the grass goes dormant with freezing temperatures.

 

Fall is a great time to treat broadleaf perennial weeds.  The days get shorter and plants prepare for dormancy.  Be sure to use a selective herbicide and try to spray on a cool, still & dry day.  Never use Round-up or similar non-selective products on the lawn area or you'll end up with dead patches of grass.

 

New trees, shrubs and perennials you've installed this year are especially susceptible to drought stress.  Be sure they are irrigated adequately.  Mulching is always a good idea, so if you have new landscaping you've installed or all your beds are looking a little "worse for wear" water everything thoroughly and then surround plants with 2-4 inches of high quality mulch.

 

Did you know that Fall is the best time for planting trees?  Their roots have all winter to heal before spring's flush of new growth.  If you're hoping to move some smaller trees or shrubs next year, you can prepare by root pruning now; digging the spade around their root balls.  Don't actually dig them out yet.  If you root pruned last year, now's the time to move those plants.  As with all newly installed landscape plants, remember to water and mulch.

 

Get out into your yard and enjoy these last warm days as much as possible.  Winter is on its way.   If you need help with any of this work, let us know.  We would be glad to help!

 

- From the Team at American Pro-Scapes, Nathan, Glen, Bob, Elliot, & Crews

 

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August 2011

 

The "Dog Days" of summer are here.  If you don't have sprinklers, your lawn is probably toast by now.  Luckily, it will come back to life in the fall.  Hopefully everyone is able to keep some water going on their shrubs, trees and gardens.  Those of us, who DO have irrigation systems, are grateful that there is an automated way to get the job done.  On the super hot days, it helps to run the system an extra time, perhaps in the evening.  Hit the manual start button on the clock to run the system an extra time.

 

We are busy fixing broken sprinklers, adjusting clocks and installing NEW systems right NOW!  Don't hesitate to call us!

 

How about a new Arbor or Pergola?  Did you know we do Fencing and Structures as well as Patios & Decks?  Check out our website for photos of some of our projects.  If we did one for YOU, can you forward a picture to us?

 

If you need help with any of this work, let us know.  We would be glad to help!

 

- From the Team at American Pro-Scapes, Nathan, Glen, Bob, Elliot,  & Crews

 

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July 2011

 

As ever, it's a good time to keep up on the weeding as they gain a foothold and really start growing this time of year.  While you are at it, it is a good time to monitor for pests.  Put out slug bait per manufacturer's directions.  Blast aphids off roses, trees and shrubs with a garden hose.  Most aphids are wimps and using plain water seems to work just as well as spraying insecticides.  It is also worth mentioning that using ANY type of spray (even horticultural and organic-type oils) will damage plants when sprayed onto the leaves in bright, sunny or hot weather.  The droplets act as tiny magnifying glasses and will burn the leaves, even if they hang on for only a few moments.   If you must SPRAY, do so in the evening when it is cooler and shadier.

 

This is the proper time of year to prune Japanese Maples.  They have completed their spring growth spurt and their latter flush of growth is due in late July and August.  This mid-summer slow-down allows you to prune without causing excessive new growth or excessive "bleeding" that occurs in late winter/early spring if you prune them at the same time other plants need trimming.

 

Speaking of pruning, this is also a great time to prune your rhododendrons.  There are several ways to go about this depending on the age of the plant, size and your personal taste.  If you look carefully along their branches, you'll see little nodes.  These are called "latent buds" or buds which remain undeveloped or dormant for a long time, but may eventually grow.  When the stem is pruned near these buds, it will stimulate growth in this area.  New leaves will appear, but this takes a while. 

 

Some people cut back their rhodies to bare sticks.  They look terrible, but eventually will send out new growth.  If you don't care for the "bare stick" look, there is an easier way to make your shrubs smaller and more attractive.  You might try the "three-year" plan.  Start by taking the tallest branches and follow them down to a main (lower) stem.  Cut back about 1/3 of the plant in that fashion.  You will still have plenty of flowers next year (2/3's of them).  After they bloom the next year, cut back the tallest 1/3 again.  After three years, you will have an attractive and much shorter plant.  No one will even notice that you've done this.

 

Rhododendrons have beautiful trunks.  Another great way to deal with some rhodies is to prune them into a tree-type form.  Prune out some of the lower branches and shape the upper branches.  Thin out any crossing branches and improve air circulation.

If you need help with any of this work, let us know.  We would be glad to help!

 

- From the Team at American Pro-Scapes, Nathan, Glen, Bob, Elliot, & Crews

 

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June 2011

 

It is feeling like summer is upon us and it seems like it is time for everything to be done right NOW!  Vegetable gardens are starting off well, perennials are quickly maturing for their contribution to the landscape beauty, the lawn is growing like crazy and don't forget that it is time to prune flowering shrubs and trees that have finished blossoming.  With the advent of heat, it is time to start watering as well.  Worst of all, the weeds are having a hay-day!

 

It is a great time to over-seed or address lawn challenges.  Start mowing at a taller height as summer temperatures increase.  The taller blades encourage healthier, deeper roots, save water by shading the roots, and also out-compete weeds.  Hand dig or spot spray any lawn weeds with a selective weed killer (such as "Weed-be-Gone"  It will easily remove the broadleaf type of weeds (dandelions, etc.)   NEVER use Round-up or any other "non-selective" killer on lawn weeds.  It will also kill the grass.  You will have dead spots all over your lawn and your neighbors will never let you live it down.

 

This is a good time to set out sun-loving annuals around your porch or front walkway.  Geraniums, Marigolds & Petunias love the full sun.  Pansys, Fushias, & Alyssum like a little more shade.  Annuals, (meaning that they only bloom for (1) season) can provide exuberant color while you are waiting for longer-term investments such as flowering shrubs or groundcover to fill in.  They can be planted directly in the ground, in containers set on the ground or in hanging baskets.  It's important to water regularly during hot weather.

 

If you haven't planted herbs, it's not too late to do so.  It is safe to set out basil, mint & oregano.  Hardier varieties such as chives, rosemary & thyme may survive the winter.  Check out your local nursery and look for new varieties.  Many are extremely ornamental as well as edible.

 

Get a jump on pruning by taking care of the plants that have just finished blooming.  Early bloomers such as lilacs, forsythia and witch hazel should be pruned by now.  Rhodies and Azaleas are still putting on their show.  Snip off the "stragglers" and bring them in as cut flowers.  Later this summer, you can "dead head" the old blossoms (trusses) off your rhodies.  This is time consuming and mostly done for aesthetic purposes and to prevent seed production.  You can prune your Rhodies anytime.  Watch for next month's newsletter for some great tips on pruning them.

 If you need help with any of this work, let us know.  We would be glad to help!

 

- From the Team at American Pro-Scapes, Nathan, Glen, Bob, Elliot, & Crews

 

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May 2011

 

Finally...Spring Has Sprung!  First, the beautiful yellow Forsythia, next those gorgeous spring bulbs.  The tulips and daffodils were late this year, but finally showed up.  The lilacs are out now.  Remember, that THIS is the BEST time to prune your lilacs.  You'll also have the added bonus of cut flowers for yourself and friends.  Try to keep your lilac bushes under 8 ft. if possible.  Camelias, Quince, Azaleas & Rhododendrons can all be pruned immediately after blooming.

 

Gardening season is upon us.  We are noticing that we are seeing more home vegetable gardens than in the past.  Gardening is good exercise, a great opportunity to teach children, and offers a great sense of accomplishment (plus FOOD).  We've already had clients calling and asking us to build raised beds or remove sod and help them build a vegetable garden.

 

To prepare the soil, till it as soon as the moisture content allows you to do so.  Wait a couple of weeks and then do it once more.  That allows many weed seeds to germinate, but then fail to take hold when you disturb them again by re-tilling.  Use common sense when using organic fertilizers.  Some manures and composts contain weed seeds.  However, everything benefits from a dressing of organic mulch this time of year.  It keeps down weeds, breaks down into nutrients that benefit plant roots, and it also moderates water loss and root zone temperature!  Mulch is one of the greatest things you can do to benefit your landscape plants AND beautify your yard.

 

Talk to the folks at your local nursery and ask for help selecting seed varieties.  If you are a new gardener, you'll receive a lot more satisfaction when the seeds you plant actually produce something.  Skip most peppers, eggplant, melons and other warm season plants.  Tomatoes are fun to grow, but often don't ripen in the Pacific Northwest.  Purchase recommended varieties and plant them in large black pots or stacks of old tires.  They will benefit from the additional heat.  Be sure to water and fertilize often.


I
f you need help with any of this work, let us know.  We would be glad to help!

 

- From the Team at American Pro-Scapes, Nathan, Glen, Bob, Elliot, & Crews

 

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April 2011

 

It is lawn mowing time again (finally)!   This time of year it is fine to cut the grass short as this encourages thickening of the sod. The stolons (lateral stems along the surface of the soil) put out numerous new shoots in response to cutting the lawn under an inch and a half. As the heat as Mother nature increase the need for watering, gradually raise the height of your mower until it's over 2 inches during the hot part of the summer. Both you and the grass will be happier if you don't stress it unnecessarily when it's struggling in hot weather.

 

Many of the lawns in our area took a big "hit" this winter with the cold weather.  Keep in mind that we offer many services to spruce up your landscape.  Consider thatching and over-seeding this spring as well as some new bark to make your landscape "pop" and keep the weeds down.

It is still too early to plant annuals.  The soil temperature is too cold in the Pacific Northwest and we are having an unusually long winter.  It is tempting to purchase a few as the nurseries and large hardware stores already have them on display. This has been a long winter and they look so great, but the plants will do better and they are actually less expensive if you wait a bit.  Often if you plant too early, they will die or be stunted and you'll end up buying them TWICE!  It is better to wait until later in April or early May to plant Geraniums, marigolds, snapdragons, etc.  Fuchsias, begonias and other "tender" flowers should definitely be planted later.
 
TIP OF THE MONTH: Many people wonder about transplanting perennials now that the gardening season has begun. A fairly easy rule of thumb is if it blooms in spring, move it in the fall (early September up to the first frost date). If a plant blooms in the summer or fall, move it in the spring.

 

Sadly, many of us lost some of our favorite plants over the winter.  Many of the (normally) hardy palms, flax, grasses, azaleas, etc. have no future in our current landscape.  Be sure to let us know if you there are certain plants that you are looking for as replacements.  We will happy to pick them up when they become available.

I
f you need help with any of this work, let us know.  We would be glad to help!

 

- From the Team at American Pro-Scapes, Nathan, Jean, Bob, Elliot, Caleb & Crews

 

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March 2011

 

Once forsythias, pussy willows, flowering quince, witch hazel, camellias, early rhodies and some azaleas are done blooming this month and next, cut them back as hard as is necessary.  Most flowering plants begin forming the buds for next years show right after completing this year's. The only time to prune without sacrificing all of the flowers for next year is as soon as this year's flowers fade. Lilacs, and most other rhodies are bloom much later, so leave these alone now.


If you are planning to move a small shrub or harvesting "bareroot" plants from your landscape, DO IT NOW! It's going to be too late to really catch them dormant in another 2-3 weeks. Root disturbance has the least impact if you do it before the plant leafs out for the season. That way the first energy goes into re-establishing roots instead of flushing out abundant green growth. Some plants may go through the classic "sleep, creep, and leap" cycle when you move them. The first year, they do almost nothing. Then, the next year they put on a little growth as they really become established and then about the third year with proper care, they go absolutely nuts.

 

Give boxwood or arborvitae a light trim this time of year as they begin growth to encourage thicker branching. It's a completely wrong time of year to prune maples. They tend to bleed profusely as the sap rises with the temperatures. If you are doing drastic thinning or tree renovation on one of these specimens, it's better to wait until late spring or late summer when the sap has slowed. Most maples tend to go through a double growth spurt, the first in early spring and then a second just as the summer heat is setting in. Maples pruned in spring often put forth prodigious growth in their summer growth phase, nearly negating any thinning or visible shaping you might have done. The optimal time for both Japanese Maples and various other species of that family is late summer/early fall when they aren't quite preparing for dormancy, but their growth is complete for the year.


Even though the most important time to fertilize the lawn was last fall, you can dress your grass with a light fertilizer now to get it off to a strong start. You can use a higher nitrogen mix this time of year to push green growth, but holding back a little with low-nitrogen fertilizer will assure stronger roots and thicker sod.


Don't forget to tackle English Ivy that's climbing fences, other plants, or your house this time of year. Vines that head upwards, instead of along the ground seem to set the vast majority of berries and seeds, so by cutting through the stems, you are effectively killing the vines above the cut and preventing further spread of this invasive weed.


I
f you need help with any of this work, let us know.  We would be glad to help!

 

- From the Team at American Pro-Scapes, Nathan, Glen, Bob, Elliot, & Crews

 

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January & February 2011

 

Well, this is about as slow as it gets during the year for gardening.  The holidays are finally over, snow is covering landscapes in many areas, and there's not a lot to do outside. However, there are some important planning tasks that will make your time in the landscape more efficient through the rest of the year. This is the perfect time of year to consider your long-term plan and overall design. If there are plants or design ideas that you really like, repeat them or add to your design. If things have failed or don't quite look the way you'd imagined, revise your plan and replace plants that didn't perform or remove an outdated aspect in your landscape.

Once the leaves fall and you've mowed the last time, the landscape is as stark and empty as it will ever be. It's the perfect time to take a look around and brainstorm. Catalogs, the internet, neighbor's landscapes and upcoming Garden Shows are great sources for ideas you can incorporate into your own landscape. A sketchpad and pencil and a consultation with a landscape designer is a great first step.

A landscape is a living entity and changes over time. Great landscapes facilitate change and allows for flexibility.  Big changes, like a new patio, water feature, dry-stack wall, etc. require research and with the slower economy...It's time to save up for the cost of bigger projects.

Late winter/early spring is one of the best times to prune in your landscape, so if you have a lot of trees and shrubs, we're coming up on what should be a VERY busy time. Fruit trees and shrubs are showing obvious differences in leaf and flower buds by now.  Leaf buds are flat and lay against the twig, but flowering buds (that can later turn into fruit) are swollen fat with petals, sepals and all the other tiny parts waiting to make their appearance. Pruning just before bud-break has the unique benefit of allowing you to see the branches and trunk on deciduous plants without foliage in the way. Pruning is a delicate process of choosing what to take and what to leave. Seeing all the scaffolding (trunk and main branches of a tree or shrub) allows you to pick out what is dead, injured, crossing or just growing the wrong direction. Light pruning entails just trimming back growth over the entire plant, while extreme pruning can mean cutting down all the major stems or branches to encourage fresh new growth such as on a Red Twig Dogwood or an overgrown Rhododendron.

 

If you need help with any of this work, let us know.  We would be glad to help!

 

- From the Team at American Pro-Scapes, Nathan, Glen, Bob, Elliot, & Crews

 

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December 2010

 

As we wrap up 2008 most of us tend to reflect on the most memorable events.  I believe the weather was one of them.  I personally can't say I experienced any "global warming" as our summer was brief and winter arrived with a BANG!  I'm particularly worried about some of my more tender plants, since we rarely have weather in the teens and twenties.  It is too late to do anything now, but I'll be watching my Palms & Dracaenas as well as some of my other "less hardy' plants.  They may need to be replaced this year.

 

If you have a favorite plant that you like to add to your landscape or will need to be replaced, please give us a call.  We'd be happy to watch the availability lists and let you know when particular nursery stock becomes available.  Often nursery items are available only certain times of the year.

 

We are anxious to get back to landscaping. During the month of December we have been working on developing our new website with the help of Ryan Graves of IstariMedia LLC.  It will be available for viewing by the first of the year with many new pictures, testimonials, and landscape information.  We are also working on building our new division of the company, Dragonfly Nursery & Landscape Supply.  It will be located in North Bend, but will have online capability of ordering nursery stock and landscape supplies delivered right to your home or office.

 

This year will be a tight one, but we are dedicated to stick through it with you and keep our costs down.  Let us know if there is anything you need or would like to see improvement on.  We are striving to build the best company in the northwest in regards to our customer service and reliability.  You are who we rely on to keep us working, so thank you to our past, present and future customers for choosing us to help you with your landscaping needs.

 

Our mission is to provide the most complete exterior services with up-front honesty, pricing, and quick response to customer needs.  To be the one-stop shop for all landscaping needs beginning from design to installation and completed with maintenance for both residential and commercial customers.

 

Thank you for a wonderful 2010 and we hope for a great 2011!

 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

 

- From the Team at American Pro-Scapes, Nathan, Glen, Bob, Elliot, & Crews

 

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November 2010

 

It is the end of November and the temperature is still relatively warm.  By now, we generally have snow in the mountains.  It Is the time of year to do your final yard clean up.  Cut back any remaining perennials and mulch tender varieties.  Roll up the hoses and put them away.  Cover faucets that are not "frost-free".  Clean birdbaths and fountains of leaves.  Be sure to "winterize" irrigation system.  Wash up the lawn mower and tools put them away for the season.  Many people drain the gas from the engines of their power equipment.  If you store gas or gas/mix for your lawn equipment, add Stabil according to the manufacturers directions.

 

Clean your gutters and inspect your downspouts.  Make necessary repairs where needed.  In fact, why not do it while you are hanging your Christmas lights?

 

This is a great time to treat for slime algae on decks, steps or moss on the roof. There are a number of quick remedies for this bane of the Northwest.  Spray the cleaner, scrub with a stiff broom, and rinse it off.  What you do now will save slipping and cracking your tailbone a little later.  Also, get some de-icing granules now so you can be prepared and don't have to rush out (in the ice) to get them.  Being prepared is the best way to prevent winter accidents.

 

I mentioned last month that I cut my Hybrid Tea Roses back to about hip height (we will cut them shorter in the spring).  It is imperative to remove all leaves and any dead or diseased canes.  Rake up any debris under and around your bushes.  Good sanitation is your best defense against fungal diseases that can plague your plants next season.  The same goes for fruit trees, berry bushes & flowering shrubs.  I can can't stress enough how crucial this is.

 

QUESTION FOR THE EXPERTS:

 

Q: We planted some dwarf fruit trees a couple years ago and they seem to be struggling. One of them died last winter and we're worried about the others? Is there anything we can do to tip the odds in favor of them surviving a hard winter freeze?

A: One of the best things you can do to ensure winter hardiness for trees and shrubs is assuring good nutrients and protection of the root zone from penetrating frosts. Mulching with manure or good compost can accomplish both. Not only does it provide long-term fertilizer as it continues to break down, but a 4-6 inch layer can provide great insulation for the roots and base of the trunk. After selecting varieties that are particularly suited to your area, this is probably the best thing to do for their safety.

 

Please forward your gardening questions or comments to jean@americanproscapes.com

 

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October 2010

 

Fall is here and with it, shorter days, more frequent rainfall and dropping temperatures! It�s a great time to plant in the landscape or divide perennials and biennials for transplanting.  Clean up the top-growth as they "melt" with the first frost.  Keeping the dead or dying matter picked up will help minimize disease and pests.

 

Fall is the appropriate time to plant most bulbs.  If you have purchased new tulips, daffodils, hyacinths or crocus, get them in the ground right away.  Don't wait!  A good rule of thumb is plant the bulbs at a depth of two to three times the height of the bulb.  I like to dig a hole about a foot across and a few inches deep.  Add a small handful of bone meal or bulb food and arrange the bulbs in a group.  Remember the points go UP!  Water well to settle them in.  Try to avoid planting in rows (soldier-look) or the spotty look of one here & there.  If you stagger the groups (some forward, some back) it is easy to disguise the dying foliage in the spring with groups of fresh annuals.

 

It is the best time to plant trees and shrubs in the landscape.  Now that they have reached dormancy (indicated by the falling leaves on deciduous trees and shrubs), it's the ideal time of year to "disturb" their roots.  They will have all winter to slowly establish before spring growth spurts require maximum draw on their root systems.  Stake your trees (with appropriate ties) that are "threatened" by the wind.  If you have any other staked trees on your property, be sure to inspect them to make sure the ties are not too tight and girdling the tree.  Remove all stakes and ties when no longer needed.  Studies have shown that trees are stronger when allowed to sway and not remain rigid.

 

Now is the time to control both plant and animal pests.  Cultivate to control weeds or apply herbicides.  As with all pests, the fewer that make it to winter dormancy, the less problem you'll have with their offspring next spring.  Bait for slugs, mice and select insects that will start looking for places to hide from the coming cold season.

 

TIP OF THE MONTH: Top your roses to about hip height.  Shortening the stems prevents wind tatter through the winter.  Remove any dead, diseased or dying canes.  Also, remove all the leaves from the stems and around the base.  This minimizes the chance that black spot or powdery mildew will over-winter on them and spread to new growth in the spring.  We'll address later how to prune your roses next March.

 

Please forward your gardening questions or comments to jean@americanproscapes.com

 

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PO Box 1052

Issaquah, WA 98027

Tel: 425-888-6416

Fax: 866-292-9208

thepros@americanproscapes.com

www.americanproscapes.com

 


 

Contact us for your next project!

 

American Pro-Scapes | Professional Seattle-Area Landscaping                                       seattle,landscape,landscaper,landscaping,north,bend,bellevue,kirkland,snoqualmie,issaquah,preston,fall,city,eastside,service,services,mow,mowing,design,installation,maintenance,lawn,sod,fence,arbor,yard,commercial,residential  American Pro-Scapes | Professional Seattle-Area Landscaping                                       seattle,landscape,landscaper,landscaping,north,bend,bellevue,kirkland,snoqualmie,issaquah,preston,fall,city,eastside,service,services,mow,mowing,design,installation,maintenance,lawn,sod,fence,arbor,yard,commercial,residential  American Pro-Scapes | Professional Seattle-Area Landscaping                                       seattle,landscape,landscaper,landscaping,north,bend,bellevue,kirkland,snoqualmie,issaquah,preston,fall,city,eastside,service,services,mow,mowing,design,installation,maintenance,lawn,sod,fence,arbor,yard,commercial,residential

 

 

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