Mahoney Associates Ensuring a Landscape Vision Is Realized for 25 Years

Mahoney Associates
One of Mahoney Associates’ projects
Courtesy of Mahoney Associates LLC

Mahoney Associates, a full-service landscape firm based in Southampton, has become synonymous with excellence in residential landscape installation and maintenance throughout the Hamptons. The company, now celebrating 25 years in business, provides a proactive and holistic approach to landscape maintenance, including plant healthcare, turf, arborcare and horticulture.

“Our aesthetic is as varied as our clients’ visions, the architecture of their homes and their landscape designs,” says Don Mahoney, the firm’s founder and a lifelong Southampton resident.

Even though there are a myriad of homes on the South Fork, there is that quintessential Hamptons look and Mahoney Associates knows how to achieve that aesthetic.

“The signature look of a Mahoney property is manicured, clean, and professional. Some clients have a more natural look with native plants and a more natural aesthetic, but even those properties have a well-tended appearance,” Mahoney explains.

High-degree of Expertise

Mahoney has a unique approach to managing landscape maintenance and installation. There are several key contributing factors, but investment in their employees, equipment, technology and facility, in ways usually seen with much larger companies, is at the top.

The firm boasts in-house expertise. The management team consists of certified arborists, horticulturists, New York State-certified nursery and landscape professionals, plant health care applicators and individuals with degrees in turf care management, according to Suzanne Wilutis, the executive vice president and partner at Mahoney Associates.

“Each client works with a dedicated account manager who has a detailed knowledge and understanding of the property history and the client’s vision.

That individual attention, combined with the breadth of the team’s expertise, brings a wealth of knowledge and professionalism to every property we service,” Wilutis says.

The firm maintains properties based on “a detailed agronomic calendar and a maintenance master plan to ensure that the right treatments and the right care are provided at the right time” so that the landscape flourishes, she adds.

Mahoney Associates
Summer flowersCourtesy of Mahoney Associates LLC

How to Realize the Vision

Mahoney Associates works closely with landscape architects to bring their designs to fruition, keeping them engaged throughout construction and even maintenance to help fully realize their design intent. “We believe the client is best served by having a seamless design/installation team with the designer at the helm,” says Mahoney. “Our role is to support and strengthen that bond as the project vision is realized.”

Each project is, of course, different. The process for Mahoney Associates depends on the preferences of the landscape architecture firm and the scope of their relationship with the client, he adds. Some landscape architects are very hands-on, are on site often, even place plant material themselves and remain engaged throughout maintenance, he explains.

“The strength of Mahoney’s processes and procedures means we can be flexible and work with various approaches. We have an especially collaborative process and enjoy working with multiple renowned landscape architects from throughout the country and our local builders,” Mahoney continues.

Recent projects the firm is proud of includes an extensive construction installation project in Water Mill that was done in collaboration with Brian J. Mahoney Landscape Architecture (no relation to Don Mahoney) and builder Mark Sirico of Caliburnus Consulting. The project included a large al fresco vegetable and herb garden, espalier fruit tree orchard, privacy screening, and installation of mature specimen trees.

“It was a pleasure working with Brian and Mark. We’re excited to sustain their vision for the property with Mahoney’s full-service maintenance and plant health care services,” Don Mahoney says.

He explains that his company has seven pre-construction planning steps to construct an accurate budget, so there are no surprise change orders for clients or designers.

It is one of the many reasons why Mahoney has reached this milestone.

“Our team is very proud of hitting the 25-year mark. Longevity is a direct reflection of our unwavering commitment to our clients and our team, dedication to detail, and delivering projects on time and on budget,” Mahoney adds.

Mahoney Associates
Flowering shrubsCourtesy of Mahoney Associates LLC

Longevity Began With a Dream

“Mahoney Associates started as a dream of an 8-year-old,” he remembers. He launched the firm in 1999, when he was fresh out of college at the age of 22 and with just two employees.

“I’ve been so fortunate to live out my dream surrounded by a great team serving great clients,” Mahoney says. “We’re proud to say that several of our first-year clients remain with us today!”

It’s not just the clients who are loyal, but the employees too. Many of Mahoney’s employees are long-tenured. “My first-ever employee retired two years ago at 72 years old. He’d been with me 23 years,” Mahoney recalls. Another employee has worked part-time for him since the start.

Though the management team has grown significantly over the years, there are several 10- and 15-year veterans on the team, Wilutis says.

“An important element of our culture is appreciation for everyone on the team, frequently recognizing them and their hard work,” Mahoney says.

“Part of that culture is having a support system, other team members you can rely on. No one is left on an island.”

“I think it’s a multitude of factors that have contributed to longevity — including culture, continuing education opportunities, the opportunity to grow a rewarding career, professional advancement, professional development and having team members who all support each other,” Wilutis says.

“There’s a career path at Mahoney Associates,” she adds. “Several members of our management team began at field level and now are part of our leadership team.”

Mahoney Associates
A planting bedCourtesy of Mahoney Associates LLC

Standing Behind Their Products

Mahoney offers a lifetime warranty on all trees and shrubs installed as long as the company maintains them.

“We are happy to extend that commitment to our clients” Wilutis says. ”The lifetime warranty demonstrates our confidence in the services we provide and rewards the loyalty of our clients.

“We can do this, as well,” adds Mahoney “because we take the time to ensure we’re sourcing quality plant material before a project even starts.”

They undertake extensive site preparation that provides them with “100% confidence that the trees and shrubs will thrive,” he adds.

“Our integrated pest management program (IPM) focuses on early detection of pests and diseases to prevent plant stress and decline,” he continues, noting that plant health care (PHC) treatments and fertilization keep trees and shrubs healthy and thriving.

There is an ever-growing concern about the environmental impacts of landscaping products, especially in an area so close to water.

“We share our neighbors’ concerns about preserving our families’ health and the environment,” the founder says, explaining the company offers complete organic programs for lawn care, plant health care, and tick, flea and mosquito control.

“By proactively inspecting plants and timing necessary treatments for the times specific pests are most vulnerable, the amount of treatment is minimized. Plus, healthy plants can co-exist with a certain level of naturally occurring pests, so treatment is not recommended unless infestations exceed certain thresholds.”

The firm encourage clients to incorporate native plants into their landscapes, as they are more disease- resistant, drought tolerant, and require less irrigation, he adds.

Since 2023, Mahoney Associates has been part of the Diamond Landscaping family of companies, a premiere firm in California that services Beverly Hills, Bel Air and Malibu.

“The Diamond Landscaping partnership has been a great thing for the Mahoney team and our clients. We have more resources that allow us to better service our clients and greater combined expertise within the Diamond Landscaping companies,” Mahoney says. “We’re very much still the same local team—that hasn’t changed. We’re able to grow the divisions we have and increase the resources for our team members. For our clients, it means that Mahoney Associates will be here on the East End growing and thriving for another 25 years.”