Winterizing Sprinkler Systems in Denver

Denver Sprinkler Winterization and Blow out

If it is expected to freeze and you haven’t winterized your sprinkler system yet, wrap towels or blankets around the exposed irrigation pipes, then cover with a plastic bag and secure in place with string or duct tape. This will help keep your pipes from freezing until properly blown out for the winter.

Preparing your Sprinkler System for Winter in Denver:

Preparing your sprinkler system for the winter must be done correctly to assure there are no costly repairs and replacements to make in the spring at system start-up. The process consists of expelling all the water from the irrigation system and equipment. This is necessary because water freezes in the irrigation system and will break pipes, fittings, valves, sprinklers, pumps, and other system components.

To minimize the risk of freeze damage, you’ll need to winterize your irrigation system. In areas where winterization is needed, irrigation systems are installed using one of three types of water removal; manual drain, auto drain, or blowout. If you don’t know your system type, it is best to use the blowout method.

Mountain High Tree, Lawn & Landscaping is in the process of scheduling sprinkler blowouts in October 2014. If you want us to come out and perform this service for you, please call our irrigation department at 303-457-5857 and ask for Elisha Harwood. We will drain the system, winterize the backflow device if your system is attached to domestic water, turn off the water supply, drain pumps, drain the PVB, and make sure all zones are properly blown out. You can also send us an estimate request online for sprinkler winterization.


Emerald Ash Borer Predator Introduced in Boulder, Colorado

Adult Emerald Ash Borer - Photo: Pennsylvania Dept. of Conservation and  Natural Resources - Forestry Archive •

Adult Emerald Ash Borer
Photo: Pennsylvania Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources – Forestry Archive •

Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is an exotic beetle that was discovered in southeastern Michigan in 2002. The adult beetles only nibble on ash foliage, causing little damage. The larvae are the problem – they feed on the inner bark of Ash trees, disrupting the tree’s ability to transport water and nutrients, resulting in the demise of tens of millions of Ash trees across the nation.

In September 2013, the City of Boulder Forestry staff discovered and confirmed that an Ash tree in northeast Boulder was killed by the Emerald Ash Borer. Since then, the Arborists and Forestry departments across the state have been working together to figure out solutions to this devastating pest.

Emerald Ash Borer attacks only Ash trees – there are an estimated 98,000 total Ash trees in Boulder, and Denver has an estimated 1.45 million Ash trees, and all of the susceptible   trees will die from EAB if not treated with pesticides or in someway protected.

The Colorado Department of Agriculture has announced that they are experimenting with a stingless parasitic wasp that preys on the Emerald Ash Borer. Read the article below regarding this interesting direction to help save our Ash trees in Colorado:

Emerald Ash Borer in Colorado

Tetrastichus planipennisi adult wasps will be released to see if they can help control the Emerald Ash Borer –Photo courtesy USDA – APHIS

EAB Predator Introduced 

According to a September 29, 2014 news release, from the Emerald Ash Borer Team with the Colorado Department of Agriculture a stingless parasitic wasp will be released in Boulder to assist in the control efforts directed at the emerald ash borer (EAB). EAB was discovered in Boulder in September of 2013. Here are some excerpts from that news release.

  • Over a thousand Tetrastichus planipennisi adult wasps will be released on the East Campus of the University of Colorado. Female wasps locate EAB larvae under ash bark and lay eggs in the larva. Eggs hatch in the larva and consume it before it can complete its life cycle.
  • The Colorado Department of Agriculture worked with the City of Boulder, the University of Colorado, and the USDA Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to acquire these wasps from the EAB Biological Control Production Facility located in Michigan.
  • This particular parasitic wasp is one of three parasites of EAB that were identified in China. EAB was introduced into the U.S. from China, most likely on wood packing material. EAB was positively identified in 2002, but not until it had become established in the native ash forests around Detroit, Michigan.
  • Following the initial release of wasps on September 29th, there could be two more wasp release events.
  •  The wasps focus on EAB larvae and are not attracted to people or pets.

Beneficial Insects 

In their native range all tree insect pests have one or more parasitic insects that will affect their population numbers. These beneficial insects have varying degrees of notoriety and effectiveness. One of the most famous predators is the lady beetle (aka – ladybug). The adults and larvae are voracious eaters of soft-bodied insects like aphids that feed on many plant types. The more common predators focus on garden insect pests with some crossover to tree insect pests. Here are other examples of predatory insects and their food source:

  • Green lacewing larvae; small caterpillars, beetles, aphids
  • Syrphid fly larvae; aphids
  • Mantids (aka – praying mantid); all insects

The Palisade Insectary,, operated by the Colorado Department of Agriculture, provides numerous insect pests of noxious weeds like tamarisk, leafy spurge, puncture vine, and spotted knapweed. These insects are effective in suppressing invasive weeds. However, most of the state’s citizens don’t know that the insectary has provided a biological control for the oriental fruit moth with the parasitic wasp Macrocentrus ancylivorus (aka Mac) since the 1940’s. Each year over a million wasps are released in western Colorado peach orchards to suppress the destructive oriental fruit moth.

Researchers are always on the lookout for bio control agents like predatory insects to control invasive pests. In the long run, bio control insects are cheaper than chemical pesticides, provide a safe to human health alternative, and are usually self-propagating. Adding beneficial insects to the pest control palette is always an environmentally effective technique, but it must always be accompanied with other IPM (Integrated Pest Management) efforts, as well as the promotion of tree diversity in the community forest. Planting and promoting tree diversity is a necessity for tomorrow’s urban forest.

Source: Tree E-News” October 2014 document from the Colorado State Forest Service.

Colorado Springs Arborist wins 3rd Place in Tree Climbing Championship

Colorado Springs Arborist

Kevin Kelley, Colorado Springs Arborist wins 3rd place!

We are proud to announce that our talented tree climber and Arborist from our Colorado Springs location, Kevin Kelly, took 3rd Place overall in the SA-RMC Tree Climbing Championship that was held on Saturday, Sept 27th. The competition events included Aerial Rescue, foot lock, belayed seed climb, throw line/setting an access line and work climb.Congrats to Kevin and all of the rest of Mountain High Tree’s climbing team – great work guys!! We’ll post more photos soon!

Denver Arborist

Here’s some words from Kevin about the event:
“One thing I would like to mention is the comradery during the competition. Every year without fail no matter the weather all the contestants, judges, techs and volunteers always have a great attitude and put in a wonderful effort towards the whole event. Everyone is chatting about each event and how well/terrible it went giving advice to one another. This is the main reason why I love this competition and look forward to it every year. There are several guys/gals there that I see once a year and each time we meet up its hugs and handshakes asking one another how their year has been. It is as if we had been in contact with each other the whole time.”
Colorado Springs Arborist“The events that take place during the preliminaries are: Aerial rescue, foot lock (49 feet), belayed seed climb, throw line/setting an access line and work climb. Each one is scored individually and the score/times are recorded, added up then posted on a board. Out of 41 people to compete the top 3 who have scored the total highest points over all in the preliminary events gets to go on and compete in the masters challenge later in the day. The masters challenge consists of doing a pre-climb inspection, setting an appropriate access line, ascending the tree and reach each individual stations, getting to the ground safely and pulling all your gear out of the tree before the time is up. The scoring is based off of time/innovation/techniques/safety and completion of each individual station.”

Colorado Springs Arborist“Luke Glines won it this year and will be representing the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture in Tampa Bay Florida this year to compete against all other chapter winners. This includes Europe, Australia, Canada and several other countries. Charly Wagner took second and I took third (three years in a row… I will get them one day).”
~ Kevin Kelly, Supervisor (13 years), ISA Certified Arborist

Does your tree need trimming in Colorado Springs or Denver? Contact us below:

Tree trimming in Colorado Springs: 719.444.8800 or click here »
Tree Trimming in Denver: 303.232.0666 or click here »


Denver Arborists – Tree Climbing Championship!

Denver Arborists - Tree Climbing

Come help us root for our Mountain High Tree Climbing Team at the SA-RMC Tree Climbing Championship on Saturday, September 27th from 7am-6pm at City Park, at 20th & York Street, just west of the Pavilion.

This should be a good time for all to watch all the expert tree climbers do their thing! Bring a picnic and enjoy the festivities while you watch the climbers in action. Good luck guys!


Tree Trimming

Tree trimming is very important to the long term health of your trees in Colorado. Tree trimming helps improve health and structure while reducing hazards and improving the appearance. Tree pruning is most often done in the winter months, when trees are dormant and structure is easy to see, and the possibility of spreading  disease is lowest. Plus, Mountain High Tree offers a 10% winter discount on tree trimming! Pruning this winter will help prevent tree limbs from breaking in spring snow storms, and will also help improve the health and beauty of your trees.

Our Arborists at Mountain High Tree are here to help keep your trees healthy. Never hesitate to contact us at 303.232.0666 send us an estimate request below to have one of our arborists evaluate your trees and recommend treatments.  Don’t worry, we don’t sell unnecessary services or try to up-sell you, so you can trust that we’ll recommend only what is best for your trees – because we LOVE trees!

Estimate Request

Lawn Fertilization in Colorado Springs

Lawn Fertilization in Colorado Springs

Great news, our Colorado Springs location, Mountain High Tree Care & Consulting, is going to start offering Lawn Fertilization Programs starting in spring 2015. Their Lawn Service Programs include Nature’s Way, a locally produced organic fertilizer; Extended Release fertilizers, which slowly feed the lawn to keep it green all season; a Conventional Program which keeps lawns green and lush, and also Weed Control, to help combat the especially hard to eliminate weeds such as dandelions. All of the lawn treatments are specifically created for our Colorado Springs climate and soil type, to ensure that you will have a super healthy green lawn!

Learn more about the Colorado Springs Lawn Care Service programs here:


Denver Lawn Care Tips for Fall

Denver Lawn ServiceHere are some good tips on how to keep your Colorado lawn healthy this fall:

Mowing Your Lawn
It’s important to keep your grass 2 to 2-1/2 inches tall throughout the fall. If your grass gets much longer (more than 3 inches) it will mat, leading to winter lawn disease problems such as snow mold. If you cut it shorter than 2 inches, you’ll severely limit its ability to make and store food for growth in the spring.

Raking Leaves
Lawn raking in the fall removes excess organic debris, and can help maintain water quality. In winter, freezing and thawing can cause leaves, dead grass plants, and other organic debris to mat and cause snow mold under snow packed areas

Recycling Leaves
There are several environmentally friendly options when it comes to disposing of fallen leaves. The preferred way is to compost them, because composting keeps leaves out of streets and storm sewers. You can also use fallen leaves, whole or chipped by a power mower, as winter mulch around rose bushes and landscape plants. Whatever method you use, remember that the cleaner a lawn is going into the winter the quicker the recovery will be when spring hits.

Watering Your Lawn
Even though temperatures might be cooler than in summer, your lawn still needs water. Since lawn grasses continue to grow throughout the fall, watering is still important to sustain growth. Go ahead and water as needed, usually about an inch to an inch and a half per week, until the ground is cold and beginning to freeze. If you have an automatic irrigation system, avoid damage by having it blown out with compressed air before water freezes in the pipes and sprinkler heads.

A quick note on winter watering: Even dormant grass needs some moisture. In addition, winter watering of exposed areas of the lawn, particularly south and west facing areas, can cut down on winter mite damage. For yards with a history of mite damage, Mountain High does offer winter mite sprays, but even with chemical control, winter watering may be needed in dray areas.

Keep in mind Mountain High has sprinkler technicians for all your watering needs.

Fertilizing Your Lawn
Applying a final dose of fertilizer in September or October will set your lawn up for a quicker recovery. This winterizing fertilizer provides your grass with nutrients that will be absorbed and stored until needed for spring growth. Lawns that have received late-season fertilizing are often the first to begin growing in the spring. (This is not the case with our Meister Fertilizer Program)

Broadleaf Weed Control
Fall is a good time to control perennial broadleaf weeds such as dandelions, plantain, clover, and mallow. If your weeds are few and scattered—or confined to a few small areas—spot-treating them with herbicide is usually sufficient. Weed-control products sold in ready-to-use spray containers make spot treatment easy. We make sure to complete treatments when temperatures are still warm enough to be effective. Herbicide are only effective when the weeds are still actively growing, so application beds to be done before winter cold sets in.

Seeding and Sodding Your Lawn
Fall is normally the best time of year to repair lawns by seeding or sodding. Seeding should be completed before the end of September. Cool temperatures usually make fall seeding or sodding successful. However, this year, the extreme drought conditions will make seeding less effective since soil moisture content is low and watering restrictions make getting daily water to keep soil moist both tough to do and expensive. Spring seeding may be a better option for many people.

An application of Revive from Mountain High can help spur some growth and recovery, and is a good option for yards with some summer drought damage.

2014 Colorado Fall Home Show Coupon!

Colorado Home Show Coupon

Visit us at Booth #4085!

Come see our Mountain High Tree Landscaping team at the 2014 Colorado Fall Home Show from Sept 19-21 at the Convention Center in Denver.

We’d love to talk to you about creating your dream landscape! We design waterfalls, patios, outdoor kitchens and more, so come tell us your ideas and let’s start a project together!

Download a coupon for $2 off the Colorado Home Show, click below:
Coupon for 2014 Colorado Home Show »



Denver Tree Company since 1974!

Founded in 1974, Mountain High Tree, Lawn and Landscape Co. began as a family-owned, full-service company dedicated to nurturing and preserving Colorado’s urban forests and landscapes. Over forty years later, owner Ralph Bronk’s vision of pairing superior lawn and plant care expertise with environmentally responsible programs has been realized. Recycling 100% of its tree debris, establishing sustainable practices, using local products, and educating customers to be eco-friendly has helped Mountain High grow into one of the largest independent landscape care companies in the region.

Here are some photos from the good ol’ days when we first got our start! Boy have we come a long way!

Denver Tree Service

One of our first trucks!

Denver Tree Company

The shop back on 7700 E. Iliff Ave. back in the day!

Denver Tree CompanyDenver Tree CompanyDenver Tree Service


Lawn Fertilizing Service Deal

Lawn Fertilization Service in Denver

Mountain High Tree, Lawn & Landscape offers Lawn Fertilizing in Denver and Lakewood areas. We offer a variety of lawn fertilization options, including organic lawn fertilization, extended release fertilization, weed control, and insect and disease control for lawns. We have programs that are just right for our high plains climate in Colorado.

If you’re looking for a lawn program discount, check out our Seasonal Specials for deals available this month, click here »