Plant stress throughout the Denver Metro Area

Trees
Plant Stress throughout the Denver Metro Area
Freeze-injury-JS-late-2014-webMany of our trees and shrubs continue to show stress from the weather conditions of the past winter.  Several species of
close up needle dessication 2shrubs have been slow to shed last year’s leaves, and even slower to push out new growth this spring.  During our travels throughout the Metro Area, we have seen widespread needle damage in many Pine and Spruce trees.  There is no doubt that some of this plant material will need to be replaced.  It will be important this spring to be patient and allow our trees and shrubs a chance to show us if there is a chance to recover.

It is important to look for positive signs of life and take the necessary steps to promote Freeze damage showing new growthvigorous growth.  Many buds from last year may not open, but new tissue may emerge from dormant buds in the surrounding twigs and branches.  These dormant buds become active when the normal crown suffers damage.  Proper watering, high quality fertilization, and applications of beneficial soil organisms like Mycorrhizae and Rhizobacteria will improve soil conditions and supply our plants with the needed resources to begin the recovery process.  Be sure to monitor your plants closely for signs of life and recovery.

Freeze damaged Euonymus.

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May Lawn Tips

Lawn
Lee’s May Lawn Tips: 

We are right around the corner from the cooler spring weather changing over to the heat of the summer. Here are a few things home owners can do and should know about their lawns.

Watering:
Most lawns in our area consist of cool-season lawn grasses such as Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, and fine fescue. These grasses naturally slow down their growing sprinklerspatterns as the temperatures head into the nineties. A yard that is not properly watered may go dormant in the heat of summer. If something happens such as a watering issue while on vacation and the lawn goes dormant, let it stay dormant until cooler weather returns. Do not allow lawns to turn brown and then water them back to a green condition over and over, as this depletes energy reserves and stresses the plants.

Water lawns deeply, applying about 1 to 1-1/2 inches per application, depending on site variables. Water early in the day or during the evening, but while the sun is still up if at all possible.

Revive Applications:
Applications of Revive help lawns deal with less water and more heat. Revive allows for easier uptake of water and provides some micro-nutrients to help the blades of the grass handle the extra stress of the longer and hotter days of summer.

Mountain High’s Lawn Department is always available to help with lawn care needs, and we are strongly recommending Revive treatments as the hot and dry days of summer provide us with extra time to enjoy our lawns.

Mountain High offers Lawn Revive treatments which help with
trouble spots and allows for better moisture uptake by the grass. 

Weeds, Insect & Disease Activity:
Denver Lawn Weed ControlMay is also when dandelions and other early spring weeds start rearing their seed Sod-webwormgenerating heads. Weeding them or getting a weed treatment to contain them before they all go to seed is important in cutting down on their numbers later in the year.

Please note; a drought stressed lawn during the summer is a prime target for insects and fungi. The more stress a yard is under the easier it is for pests to get established and do damage before anyone notices, since a dormant yard is already brown in appearance.

Mowing:
Proper Mowing HeightMowing height adjustment is probably the most important practice to prepare lawns for hot weather. Mow at heights at least two and a half to three inches. If in doubt, set the mower as high as it will go. Lawns maintained at higher heights usually develop deeper roots and dry out slower than closely mowed turf. Lawn growth will slow as the weather gets drier and hotter.

Keeping blades sharp will allow the tips of the grass to heal more rapidly and prevent moisture loss and stress. A lawn cut with a dull blade will lose almost double the water of a yard cut with a very sharp blade.

 

 

IN CELEBRATION OF EARTH DAY

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Happy Earth Day to William Roberts School at 2100 Akron Way in the Stapleton area.  They were the recipients of an Earth Day remodel.  The ALCC organized this project in conjunction with a grant from the Home and Garden Show and mulch that was donated by Mountain High Tree, Lawn & Landscape Co.  Many other companies donated plants, supplies and equipment to make this happen.

There were several volunteers, including Ralph Bronk, (owner of Mountain High Tree, Lawn & Landscape Co.) that helped to give a large raised bed a much needed makeover.  In the process they also built and installed several raised vegetable beds that will allow the school to grow vegetables for school use.  While this is a great program, it will also teach the children how to grow their own vegetables at home.

Earth day Collage

Earth Day Collage 2

Get to know us – Jaime Astorga!

IMG_4039Jaime Astorga is a great person to work with, he always has a smile and a good word for you! Don’t you love working with people like that? Maybe that is why Jaime has worked for Mountain High Tree since 1998. Jaime “loves to climb trees” and is really superb at what he does. Jaime has lived in Denver for 26 years. He and his beautiful wife Fernandina have been married for 20 years and they have 3 children that they are very proud of. When asked what he likes to do in his spare time, of course, it is to spend time with his family. I have to add a note from all of us here at MHT, that Jaime cooks the best fried Tilapia around!

What to look for when purchasing plants

Understanding what to look for when selecting plant material can make the difference between a healthy tree or shrub and one that will struggle or die. Typically the smaller the plant, the less you have to look for. When it comes to smaller one or two gallon plants, you should be looking for firm, consistently colored foliage that is fully intact. Wilted or discolored leaves could indicate over watering or other more serious issues. Look at the underside of the leaves to see if there are any unwanted insects or diseases associated with the plant. Always make sure that the soil has a good moisture level.
rootbound5
When you are looking at larger shrubs (typically woody plant material) you will follow the same guidelines as the small perennials, but you will also have to look for damage to the bark on the trunk or stem, as well as any limb damage. Take notice of multi-stemmed plants where the stems meet the soil so that none of them have cracked or separated
from the other stems if attached. Ensure that there are minimal roots exposed at the base of the container. A large amount of roots coming out of the drain holes in the bottom of the container could indicate that the plant has been in the container for more than one season and is likely root bound.

balled and burlapped treeWith larger trees and shrubs you will follow the same procedure as the smaller plants and shrubs, but you will also want to make sure that there is no damage to the trunk of the tree. The bark on a young tree is very soft and if damaged could lead to insect infestation or rot as the tree matures; creating an unsafe mature tree or at the very least can shorten the life expectancy of the tree. You will also want to look at where the trunk meets the soil and make sure that the twine that holds the burlap in place has not been on so long or so tight that there is swelling. With a deciduous tree, not only is the inspection of all of the physical aspects important, you will also want to make sure that the tree has a uniform shape and a strong central stem. Some small broken branches that can be easily trimmed back should not be alarming, however, if a larger branch breaks back to the point of attachment and the bark lilacMissKim6172007ais ripped, that would not be a good candidate.  With balled and burlapped trees you may see some roots that will extend past the burlap. As long as it is not excessive this should not be an issue, you would need to trim the roots back to the ball prior to planting. When you are dealing with balled and burlapped trees you will want to take notice of the ball shape, whether the ball is overly wet or dry and if the stem separates from the ball when gently rocked. The ball should be mostly round without any sides that have been crushed or damaged. You want to make sure that the trunk is near the center of the ball and is vertical when the ball is level. If the trunk has any separation from the ball (you can see a gap at the ball) there could have been some damage done to the ball or the root system and this would not be a good choice.

Over all most plants and trees will survive some damage and even being mishandled and will still grow to their full potential. Following these guidelines will help minimize the mortality rate in your landscape project and will also ensure happy, healthy plants.

 

Denver Mulch Donation to Community Garden in Montclair

Lakewood Mulch

Despite the snowy foggy morning, we just delivered 10 yards of donated mulch to a Community Garden in Denver’s Montclair neighborhood this morning – check out the steamy delivery! This is our classic “natural” mulch that is locally-made with the clippings from our tree pruning jobs. We age and rotate our mulch to fully sanitize it, and it’s super loose and easy to shovel and spread on your garden beds. Did you know that mulch decreases evaporation rates by as much as 35%? Make sure to put some on your beds this spring for a healthy, beautiful landscape.

Enjoy the organic mulch, gardeners, may you have a wonderful growing season!

Looking for locally-made organic mulch?
Check out the mulch colors and pricing here: Denver Organic Mulch »

Denver Mulch

Check out our mulch colors below – view mulch pricing here »

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What Coloradans Need To Know About Emerald Ash Borer

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Emerald ash borer larva
Colorado State Forest Service

Here is a good article from KUNC.org about how Coloradans can help prevent the spread of the devastating Emerald Ash Borer, here’s an excerpt:

As spring weather gets warmer and plants start to bloom, it’s also the time for insects living within Colorado trees to awaken and emerge. One of these in particular, the invasive, tree-killing emerald ash borer is especially concerning to foresters since the insect’s target – the ash tree – is widespread along the Front Range.

Emerald Ash Borer in Denver

Click here to view a larger diagram and more info on whether or not you should protect your Ash Tree from the Emerald Ash Borer

Because the pest can go virtually undetected for the first few years of an infestation, forest authorities want the public’s help in containing the spread.

The first step to creating a plan is to identify ash trees. Next, evaluate the tree’s condition for signs of EAB infestation:

Does it have dead branches, fading foliage, thinning around the crown, or issues around pruning wounds?

Are there serpentine tunnels made by larvae under the bark, or D-shaped exit holes?

Are there new green sprouts on lower branches or lower trunk, or vertical splits in the bark?
Free Emerald Ash Borer InspectionAny increased woodpecker activity?

Should you protect your Ash Tree?

Read the rest of the article here »

Read more about the Emerald Ash Borer »


 

Meet our Plant Health Care and Lawn Crews – Great Guys, Great Crews!

Meet our Plant Health Care and Lawn Crews – They are the best!
Back row left to right:  Loftin Davis, John Martinez, Mike F, Matt Grabiananski, Nate Switt, Jason Byerly and Mike Huerena
Front row left to right:  Lee Kral, Zach Brooks, Vince Manus, Alex , Jerry Reynolds, Brad Harrison, Craig Little and Wes Klunk.
There are a few guys missing, we’ll catch them next month!

Lawn and Spray Crew edited with Lee 2

It’s not to early to think about water conservation!

LANDSCAPE
Water conservation may not be one of the hottest topics, especially when we have a winter where the mountains are well above average for snow pack or we have an exceptionally wet spring, but it should be. We live in a high alpine desert where water is certainly our most precious resource and conserving that resource is not all that difficult when it comes to your sprinkler system. There are some very simple things that you can do yourself to minimize the potential waste a sprinkler system may generate.

One of the easiest things to add to a sprinkler system is a rain/freeze sensor. This wireless device will freeze-sensorsinterrupt or delay a sprinkler program if enough natural precipitation is registered or if the weather turns and gets too cold to water. Another very simple thing you can do is monitor your lawn throughout the season and adjust the run times of each of your turf zones as the year progresses. Periodically checking the system for breaks, misadjusted heads or leaking valves will also make a significant difference in the amount of water wasted.

There are some other modifications you can make to your system that will also make a difference in the overall efficiency. Changing old sprinkler heads to more efficient spray or rotary nozzles may increase the run time of your zones. Since they put the water down on the turf much slower than traditional spray heads there is less pooling and runoff and with the larger droplets they are less susceptible to wind. A soil sensor measures the moisture in a particular area of the yard and will interrupt a cycle if the predetermined level is reached. Weather monitoring devices (site or internet based) use current conditions with recent weather history to determine what adjustments need to be made to the controller and can adjust the run times accordingly in real time.

By far one of the biggest impacts you can make towards conserving water is eliminating turf areas and replacing them with shrub/perennial beds dressed in a thick layer of mulch, watered with a drip irrigation system. Drip irrigation can be set up to water specific plant material (point source emitters) or can be laced in a bed with a large amount of perennials or groundcover and distributes the water through emitters molded into the pipe, spaced at regular intervals (Netafim). With no overhead spray hitting hard surfaces and very little evaporation, this is one of the most efficient ways to water your yard.

What a difference soil quality can make!

TREES – Soil Quality

Isn’t Mother Nature magnificent! Our landscapes are coming back to life every day! It is crucial for you to take advantage of this springtime to ensure the best results for hands holding soil
your yard’s health all summer long. Promoting soil quality should be part of your landscape care program. The benefits of improving soil quality include, but are not limited to, increased root density, improved drought resistance, vigorous growth, increased leaf density, flower retention, increased fruit production, and vibrant fall color.

In Colorado, our plants have to deal with extreme weather conditions, so it’s important to implement a program to improve the soil that supports our plants every day. Soil improvement programs should be tailored to each specific site. For example, a program for heavy clay soil with high salt levels should include amendments that focus on restructuring the soil and leaching salt. Some of the most common soil improvement products include epsom salt, gypsum, sulfur, chelated iron, blood meal, diatomaceous earth, compost tea, Revive products, humic acid, fulvic acid, Superthrive, compost, and mycorrhizae fungi.

Soil sampling and analysis is the first step in any soil improvement program. It is vital to know what you have in soil sampling
your soil before you start trying to change it. Our Arborists are trained and experienced in evaluating soil health, and we are happy to help you outline a program to ensure your landscape is as healthy and vibrant as possible. Get in touch with us anytime.