Free Landscape LED Lighting this Winter!

Landscaping Design Company in Denver - Free LED Lighting

Forget the jewelry…
GIVE THEM A REAL ROCK THIS YEAR!

How about giving your family a backyard water feature this year? Or, how about a new patio design with a fire pit and outdoor kitchen?

Mountain High Tree’s talented Landscaping Design/Build Team is ready when you are! Let’s wrap up a real rock and put under your tree for the surprise!

Get your dream landscape project underway this winter and enjoy it this spring! Winter is the perfect time to design and build your dream landscape.

Call our Landscaping Design Team at 303.457.5857 or send us an estimate request online, click here »

Watering your Lawn in December

We recently had a Facebook post from one of our Denver lawn customers who was asking if she should water her lawn in the winter. Yes, you should, read on to find out why…

Watering your lawn in Winter in Denver

Denver’s dry winter weather can cause damage to lawns.

Sprinkler and irrigation systems have been turned off for a few months now, temperatures have been higher than normal (setting several record highs) and there has been little to no rain or snow precipitation. This has set up a “perfect storm” scenario for lawn mites.

Our lawn department manager, Lee Kral, said “I have never seen mite infestations this bad. Some properties even have them moving onto the outer walls and facings.”

Areas of west and south facing turf are particularly susceptible to Lawn Mite damage and drought stress. As the winter sun beats down on these areas it provides extra heat for the mites to actively feed while at the same time drying out the ground so there is no moisture to replenish what the mites are removing from the grass. Other areas hard hit by mites are areas where the sun reflects down from windows, off of light colored fences, rock walls and under evergreens.

So yes, you need to water during the winter months – during dry periods, water your lawn 15-20 minutes per area, twice a week.

December Mite Alert

Mites are high in numbers this season! Learn more about how mites damage your lawns in our December newsletter »

The Many Benefits of Trees

Denver Tree Planting Service

We just came across a great post on the TreePeople.org website that talks about all the great benefits of trees – what a great list! It’s amazing all the things that trees provide us, read on:

Trees combat the greenhouse effect

Global warming is the result of excess greenhouse gases, created by burning fossil fuels and destroying tropical rainforests. Heat from the sun, reflected back from the earth, is trapped in this thickening layer of gases, causing global temperatures to rise. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a major greenhouse gas. Trees absorb CO2, removing and storing the carbon while releasing the oxygen back into the air. In one year, an acre of mature trees absorbs the amount of CO2 produced when you drive your car 26,000 miles.

Trees clean the air

Trees absorb odors and pollutant gases (nitrogen oxides, ammonia, sulfur dioxide and ozone) and filter particulates out of the air by trapping them on their leaves and bark.

Trees provide oxygen

In one year an acre of mature trees can provide enough oxygen for 18 people.

Trees cool the streets and the city

Average temperatures in Los Angeles have risen 6°F in the last 50 years as tree coverage has declined and the number of heat-absorbing roads and buildings has increased.

Trees cool the city by up to 10°F, by shading our homes and streets, breaking up urban “heat islands” and releasing water vapor into the air through their leaves.

Trees conserve energy

Three trees placed strategically around a single-family home can cut summer air conditioning needs by up to 50 percent. By reducing the energy demand for cooling our houses, we reduce carbon dioxide and other pollution emissions from power plants.

Trees save water

Shade from trees slows water evaporation from thirsty lawns. Most newly planted trees need only fifteen gallons of water a week. As trees transpire, they increase atmospheric moisture.

Trees help prevent water pollution

Trees reduce runoff by breaking rainfall thus allowing the water to flow down the trunk and into the earth below the tree. This prevents stormwater from carrying pollutants to the ocean. When mulched, trees act like a sponge that filters this water naturally and uses it to recharge groundwater supplies.

Trees help prevent soil erosion

On hillsides or stream slopes, trees slow runoff and hold soil in place.

Trees shield children from ultra-violet rays

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. Trees reduce UV-B exposure by about 50 percent, thus providing protection to children on school campuses and playgrounds – where children spend hours outdoors.

Trees provide food

An apple tree can yield up to 15-20 bushels of fruit per year and can be planted on the tiniest urban lot. Aside from fruit for humans, trees provide food for birds and wildlife.

Trees heal

Studies have shown that patients with views of trees out their windows heal faster and with less complications. Children with ADHD show fewer symptoms when they have access to nature. Exposure to trees and nature aids concentration by reducing mental fatigue.

Trees reduce violence

Neighborhoods and homes that are barren have shown to have a greater incidence of violence in and out of the home than their greener counterparts. Trees and landscaping help to reduce the level of fear.

Trees mark the seasons

Is it winter, spring, summer or fall? Look at the trees.

Trees create economic opportunities

Fruit harvested from community orchards can be sold, thus providing income. Small business opportunities in green waste management and landscaping arise when cities value mulching and its water-saving qualities. Vocational training for youth interested in green jobs is also a great way to develop economic opportunities from trees.

Trees are teachers and playmates

Whether as houses for children or creative and spiritual inspiration for adults, trees have provided the space for human retreat throughout the ages.

Trees bring diverse groups of people together

Tree plantings provide an opportunity for community involvement and empowerment that improves the quality of life in our neighborhoods. All cultures, ages, and genders have an important role to play at a tree planting or tree care event.

Trees add unity

Trees as landmarks can give a neighborhood a new identity and encourage civic pride.

Trees provide a canopy and habitat for wildlife

Sycamore and oak are among the many urban species that provide excellent urban homes for birds, bees, possums and squirrels.

Trees block things

Trees can mask concrete walls or parking lots, and unsightly views. They muffle sound from nearby streets and freeways, and create an eye-soothing canopy of green. Trees absorb dust and wind and reduce glare.

Trees provide wood

In suburban and rural areas, trees can be selectively harvested for fuel and craft wood.

Trees increase property values

The beauty of a well-planted property and its surrounding street and neighborhood can raise property values by as much as 15 percent.

Trees increase business traffic

Studies show that the more trees and landscaping a business district has, the more business will flow in. A tree-lined street will also slow traffic – enough to allow the drivers to look at the store fronts instead of whizzing by.

 

Voles in Denver Lawns – Extreme vole Activity

Once again the Front Range is dealing with extreme vole activity.

Over the summer of 2014 vole activity was at near record high levels according to CSU. As the colder weather sets in voles are focusing on plants close to their dens. This means damage to junipers and other woody plants is increasing.

The very cold weather of early November has further complicated this, and has forced to voles to go looking for food closer to their dens earlier than normal. This means damage to plants close to their dens will be heavier this winter.

Voles in Denver

What are voles?

Voles are small, mouse-like rodents that exist throughout Colorado. Though commonly called meadow or field mice, their short tails, stocky build, and small eyes distinguish them from true mice. Voles feed on vegetation. Because of this, voles cause problems by damaging lawns, gardens, trees, junipers, and other plants.

Vole Facts:

Voles are small with adults weighing just an ounce or two. Their overall adult body length varies from about 3.5” to 6” Though voles may differ in size and color; most are dark brown to near black and have very short tails.

Voles, like mice, have many predators including foxes, snakes, hawks, owls, coyotes, and badgers. While Voles can live for a year or more, most fall victim to predators within a few months. Unfortunately as more predators (such as foxes) are pushed out of urban areas, vole populations have exploded. Damage to urban landscapes is at an all-time high in the Denver area.

The breeding season for voles encompasses most of the year, with peaks occurring in the spring and fall. Most voles have multiple families per year. Some voles have been shown to produce upwards of 10 litters of two to five young in one year. The normal is three to five litters a year.

According to the University of Nebraska, vole populations often are cyclic and can increase from 10 to 250 voles per acre. In North America, vole populations peak about every four years. Occasionally, high vole populations last about a year before predator populations increase. These peaks to vole populations occasionally result in severe damage to crops and landscapes. At this time it appears the Front Range of Colorado is heading into one of these peak times.

Voles do the worst and most costly damage during the winter when food supplies are low. This leads them to lawns and evergreens. The chewing at the bases of these plants (especially junipers and other shrubs) can kill them.  However, with large populations, damage to wanted plants can continue year round.

Identifying damage:

Many voles leave characteristic surface trails in lawns and other dense vegetation. These trials consist of close to the ground/root level chewing of vegetation, about one to two inches wide. Small holes can often be found at the end of the trials. These holes lead to the nests.

Denver-Lawn-Vole-damage-trails-in-grass

Denver Lawn Damage – Vole Trails in Grass

Denver-Vole-Damaged-Juniper

Vole Damaged Juniper bush in Denver

 

Voles usually damage woody plants during late fall through early spring. Voles may chew woody planting leaving girdled areas. Tiny teeth marks may be visible; the chewing marks are about an eighth of an inch wide and regular in appearance.

Vole treatments, including mouse traps, can help reduce populations, but for a heavily damaged area professional treatment can save thousands of dollars with landscape damage prevention.

Mountain High offers free vole control estimates!
Call us at 303.232.0666 or send us an vole control estimate request below:
Estimate Request

Tree & Plant Health Starts With Your Dirt

So many things in Colorado make it difficult for plants to thrive. Extreme temperature swings, intense summer heat, prolonged drought, highly alkaline soils, and heavy clay soils all contribute to slow and stunted growth of our trees and shrubs. Many newly constructed homes are routinely scraped of their topsoil, which includes the soil horizons that include a substantial portion of the organic matter and nutrients. (A soil horizon is a layer generally parallel to the soil surface, whose physical characteristics differ from the layers above and beneath.) Plants often face an uphill battle starting from their first day in the landscape. Irrigation systems tackle the challenge of supplying adequate moisture, but improving soil quality is often ignored.

Over Fertilization of TreesMany people think that throwing massive amounts of inorganic fertilizers into the soil is all that is necessary to supply plant roots with everything they need to flourish. Over-application of inorganic fertilizers can actually contribute to high levels of salts accumulating in the soil. Additionally, research has shown that over-application of inorganic fertilizers can contribute to increased feeding by rabbits and deer.

Denver Tree Health improved with Mycorrhizal Fungi

Root density is greatly improved with Mycorrhizal Fungi present in the soil.

Our goal at Mountain High is always to create the best growing environment possible. Efforts to improve soil porosity, nutrient cycling and retention, soil micro-organism activity, and lower soil Ph can have dramatic effects on plant health.

Tree health Study Lakewood, ColoradoA four-year study conducted by Mountain High Tree, Lawn & Landscape at Morse Park in Lakewood, CO showed significant increases in root density on a variety of tree species when wood mulch, compost, and beneficial soil fungi were used as soil amendments. Root density was measured prior to soil amendments, and again each year for four consecutive years. Trees treated with mulch and compost as soil amendments showed an average of 28% more root tissue than trees that were not treated.

Lawn Health StudyWe also took qualitative assessments of the canopy of the trees. We noted distinct differences in leaf size and color. More than 90% of the treated trees showed better leaf color when compared to untreated trees. This was even true in the mature Silver Maple trees in the study. This was especially significant because of the difficulty that many Maple trees have when they try to acquire iron and manganese from soils with an elevated Ph.

In order to have a healthy landscape we must focus on our plants starting under the ground and working our way up to the very last leaf. Our Arborists are always available to help you determine if improving your soil conditions can improve the overall health and vigor of your landscape plants.

Call us at 303.232.0666 or send us an tree service estimate request below:
Estimate Request

 

 

The Lifecycle of the Emerald Ash Borer – a Video

Check out this great Emerald Ash Borer lifecycle video produced by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. This quickly shows how this pest can be spread through transported firewood, and then how it infests and destroys Ash trees.

This video was produced by MDA through a unique collaboration with faculty and students of Art Institutes International (Aii) and McNally Smith College of Music. The collaboration began back in October 2009 when an MDA staff member contacted Shannon Gilley, a faculty member and 3-D digital artist at Aii. Gilley and his students began creating rough sketches based on the concept Cycle of Destruction an idea that intended to show the entire life cycle of EAB while connecting its potential for killing ash trees.

After many sketches and a handful of revisions, the final draft was created in late March 2010 with assistance with sound design and soundtrack from McNally Smith College of Music faculty member Chris Cunningham and his students. This 30-second video is a unique specimen of technical communication in that it compresses a large amount of visual information into a small amount of time. The hopeful result is that viewers better understand the meaning behind the often-repeated message Dont Move Firewood in a way that reduces human-assisted movement of firewood that is one of the main ways that invasive species are spread.

This video was made with technical assistance from staff from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, and University of Minnesota Extension.

Production of this video was made possible with funding from the United States Department of Agriculture.

Learn more on our Emerald Ash Borer page »

Why prune trees in Winter in Denver

Pruning and trimming of trees is best done in the winter, as there are many reasons that it is more healthy for your trees in Denver.


Tree Trimmer in DenverWe are often asked “How do you know what to prune with trees are not leafed out?”

Here’s how our arborists know what to prune:

  • Dead branches will not have swollen (larger) buds, but will be dried out and a different color buds. They will also feel dry and are brittle when bent. Trained arborists can easily see the difference from their birds eye view when up in the tree.
  • Branch structure and defects are easier to see without the leaves.
  • Dead limbs are discolored, cracked, and dried out. Live limbs have a healthier, richer color tone.

Winter Tree Pruning advantages include:

  • Disease organisms such as Fireblight and Dutch Elm disease are not transmitted when trees are dormant making it a safer time to prune.
  • Flowers and bedding plants are less likely to be damaged.
  • Lawns are drier and harder which results in less damage.
  • Branches without leaves are lighter and easier to move.
  • Last, but not least – Mountain High Tree offers a 10% winter discount for tree pruning and tree removals  authorized to be done between December 1st and March 1st.

Denver Tree Trimming Service Deal

 

 

 

Denver Tree Removal

We had a large project in October to remove several trees from a Denver yard, what a  beautiful day for tree removals and what a view! Our expert Arborists used our new crane to handle this large tree removal job, which was an all day affair. Check out some of the photos from the day below… the last one is the view, wow!

Large Tree Removal in Denver with Crane Denver Tree Removal Company

 


Denver Tree Removal
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Emerald Ash Borer University

As Arborists in Denver, Mountain High Tree staff members attend and participate in many ongoing education programs so that we’re on the cusp of what is going on in the tree service industry.

One of the biggest tree service topics today is the arrival of the Emerald Ash Borer in Boulder, Colorado in 2013. This devastating pest affects all types of Ash trees, and once it has infested a tree, the tree will perish. Ash trees do not have any resistance and must be protected, so the best course of action is prevention. If you have Ash trees in your Denver landscape, contact Mountain High Tree and we can come out and determine if your tree is in danger. We don’t recommend treatments for all trees, as the Ash Borer has not yet been found in Denver, but as the years go by, we will likely see the need to protect many Denver trees with tree trunk injection and soil treatments.

Emerald Ash Borer in DenverIf you are a tree-lover, and are interested in learning more about the Emerald Ash Borer, check out this Emerald Ash Borer University webpage from USDA Forest Service, Michigan State University, Purdue University and Ohio State University – the page features links and info for upcoming Emerald Ash Borer Webinars that go into great depth about the pest, it’s affect on trees, and the range and effectiveness of the various trunk injections and treatments that are being used. You can also view past webinars on this page: http://www.emeraldashborer.info/eab_university_ondemand.cfm

Emerald Ash Borer in Denver - life cycle

The above screenshot shows the lifecycle of the Emerald Ash Borer, this image comes from the EAB Management Mythbusters Webinar from Oct 2014. To view this webinar, click on the “View Webinar” link on this page below: http://www.emeraldashborer.info/eab_university_ondemand.cfm

We will keep you informed of all developments of the Emerald Ash Borer in Denver, we are all working together to find out solutions and the best methods of protection for our Ash trees to keep this pest at bay!

Learn more about this Denver tree pest on our Emerald Ash Borer page

 

 

Tree Pests in Denver – Boxelder Bugs

Denver Tree Pests - Boxelder BugBoxelder Bugs are a common pest in Denver that primarily feeds on female Boxelder Maple. Boxelder bugs rarely cause significant damage to trees.

This time of year we typically see them gathering in warm places around homes, such as south-facing brick walls. They gather in large numbers in the fall to seek a warm place to hibernate, often becoming a nuisance as they want to overwinter in protected places like your house! They do not really cause any damage other than that they can stain draperies or light-colored surfaces if squashed.

Control:
Most exterior insecticides are not that effective against boxelder bugs, if they are a nuisance we recommend to use a mix of laundry detergent and water, and spray it on the Boxelder bugs around your home if desired. If they come into the house, use a vacuum cleaner to vacuum them up, and make sure to seal off any cracks or gaps coming into your home to prevent them from getting inside.

In the spring the Boxelder bugs emerge from hibernation and feed on a variety of plants, but their preferred food is boxelder seed pods found on female Boxelder trees. The females lay eggs on leaves and stones and in the cracks and crevices in the bark of female Boxelder trees. The most permanent solution to the Boxelder bug problem is the removal of female Boxelder trees, though this is not usually desirable or practical.

If you have questions about your trees or pests, give our Arborists a call or send us an estimate request online here »