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Happy Holidays from the Mountain High Family. We are very thankful for all of our customers and for our partnerships within your communities. May this New Year bring you peace and prosperity!

Thank you,

Ralph Bronk
Ralph Bronk and the MHT Team

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  Winter Watering for Tree Health
Tree Care

Winter Watering
for your trees

A lack of precipitation dominated Colorado’s urban forest landscapes in 2012. During the brutal record-setting heat of the summer, it was difficult to concentrate on our landscapes – especially with water conservation going on. Now that the temperatures have changed and the holidays approach, it’s even easier to neglect our landscapes. It is very important, however, that we remain vigilant and take the steps to maintain optimum plant health.

The following list shows the area precipitation
amounts for the year:

Brighton 7.65”
Southwest Denver 10.25”
Denver/Stapleton 8.99”
Denver Museum 8.25”
Fort Collins CSU 10.04”
Lakewood 13.10”
Northglenn 9.25”
Wheat Ridge 10.84”

To date, we are drastically below our average annual precipitation amounts. The impact of this to newly planted trees, trees in construction areas, and trees already under stress from previous storm or insect damage can be overwhelming. This will often result in tree death. With the cost of removing and planting trees rising every day, it becomes increasingly important to properly care for the trees that are already in your landscape.

Winter watering is one of the most valuable and overlooked practices that can keep plants healthy. The goal of protecting sensitive plant roots in the critical root zone is further achieved by the addition of natural plant extracts, such as Yuccah, that act to coat and condition the soil and roots to improve the retention of moisture for extended periods of time.

If “winter watering” your trees and shrubs is not something you can (or want to) handle yourself, give us a call and let us take care of it for you. Mountain High can take one more chore off your “To Do” list, and make the holiday season a little less hectic.

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Vole Damage

Vole Damage

Voles are rodents that are very common in the Colorado landscape. They are especially prevalent on properties located close to suitable cover, such as those adjacent to native areas, wooded open spaces, or tall grass areas. They also take cover in junipers, rocky areas, and other places with good cover.

The appearance of various voles resembles that of mice, although voles tend to be bigger than mice and have longer fur and shorter tails. Their color varies from grey to chestnut brown depending upon species, level of maturity and the time of year. A single, healthy female vole can give birth to several litters per year; females can become pregnant at 3 weeks of age. Voles do not hibernate, and are active day and night.

Voles have three chief priorities:
to reproduce, to consume vast amounts of food, and to avoid being consumed by an array of predators including hawks, owls, foxes, coyotes, raccoons, and house cats. Thus, voles are stealthy and seldom seen. They seek shelter and protection in burrows in the ground, mulch, tall grass areas, brush piles, wood piles, beneath rocks, upturned flower pots, etc.

Voles are frequently confused with another common landscape pest, moles. These two species are in fact completely unrelated. Moles spend nearly all of their time beneath the surface of the soil, excavating and navigating a network of tunnels which can be very disruptive to the turf surface. Aside from time spent in underground burrows, voles accomplish much of their scavenging and feeding above ground.

Voles are often implicated in damage to young trees and woody ornamentals such as junipers. Chewing by voles at the base of unprotected stems can cause girdling and result in substantial dieback and even plant death. In gardens, voles have been observed to gnaw on roots and crowns causing damage to plants such as parsley and celery. As turf pests, voles are among the vertebrate pests most likely to cause turf damage. Vole damage to turf most commonly occurs during the winter season under snow.

Winters with lasting snow cover provide relatively good protection from predators while allowing voles to enjoy the freedom to construct elaborate and frequently-used “runway” systems within the turf canopy. Daily vole activity normally consists of many short forays from the nest to seek food along these runways.


Turf damage is primarily caused by feeding. Additional damage is caused by wear from vole “traffic”, and also from the accumulation of vole excrement along the runways. Many homeowners are often unaware of the activity occurring beneath the snow until damage becomes apparent after the snow melts in March or April.

When the snow recedes and the turf first becomes visible in the spring, vole damage can appear dramatic, especially when coupled with other issues such as injury from low temperatures or snow mold. Very often, grass plants will re-grow in the damaged areas as the weather warms. Practices that can encourage rapid recovery include thorough raking (especially to remove accumulated excrement) and a light application of fertilizer. For extra insurance or repair of areas that do not recover acceptably, overseeding with a compatible mix of grasses is a good option.

Mountain High does have a professional vole control program. Please feel free to call with any questions.

Many people try to handle vole control on their own. This can prove difficult and frustrating. Bait placement must be done with care to prevent exposing pets to the chemicals while also placing the bait where voles will find and take it. Traditional mouse or rat “snap traps” baited with items such as peanut butter and placed at right angles to runways can be effective as well, but as noted above, a single female can produce several litters a year, so trapping often times does not do much to the overall population.

Additional practices that can help reduce the potential for vole damage include:

  • Mowing until growth ceases in the fall, and mowing slightly lower at the last mowing.
  • Locating wood piles, compost piles, brush piles and other sources of cover well away from the lawn area.
  • Protecting vulnerable trees and shrubs with tree wraps or hardware cloth set into the ground.

Holiday Happiness in our landscapes!

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We all love this time of year as we get the opportunity to decorate our landscapes with lights, figurines, luminaries and other decorations that bring the spirit of the holidays to life – right in our own yards! It’s so entertaining to get your family in the car and drive the neighborhoods. Ooooh! Ahhhhh!

Here is a link to check out the best neighborhoods or to upload photos of your home:

From all of us in the Landscape Department, thanks for your continued business and we look forward to the New Year. Another thought: we would love to have you Like us on our Facebook page and upload your photos to share.

Call our Design team to see what we can
do for your landscape at 303.457.5857

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Kevin Kelley
Get to know us!

Meet Kevin Kelley

Kevin Kelley, our trim supervisor in the Colorado Springs branch, has been with Mountain High for three years. He grew up in the tree world, working with his father dragging brush, hauling logs and playing around with a rope and saddle. He is an excellent technical climber with skills for difficult jobs. This year, Kevin placed 3rd in the Rocky Mountain tree climbing championships. Besides his dedication to his job, Kevin loves doing things with his wife, Val, and their 2 year old daughter, Shea. He is an avid camper, rock climber, snow boarder and mountain biker. We are happy to have Kevin as part of the team.

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Mountain High Tree,
Lawn & Landscape

5717 W. 11th Ave.
Lakewood, CO, 80214

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Mountain High Tree
Care & Consulting


3450 Astrozon Place
Colorado Springs, CO 80910

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from Craig Little
Craig LittleWhat trees to prune now?

The dormant winter season is here, and it is your best opportunity to prune many trees such as Apples, Peaches, Crabapples, Pears, and Plums to help remove diseased plant tissue. Give us a call to schedule an estimate.

Lawn Mite Coupon

15% OFF Winter Mite Sprays

$40 for 1st 3000 sq. ft.
(add $3 for each additional 1,000 sq. ft.) Call our office for an appointment.
Expires 1/30/13


Winter Watering Coupon

$25 OFF a Supplemental Winter watering program.

Call our office for an appointment.
Expires 1/30/13

See our reviews on Angie's List

Recycled Mulch


Mountain High Tree, Lawn & Landscape  | 5717 W. 11th Ave. | Lakewood, Colorado | 80214 | 303.232.0666
Mountain High Tree Service & Consulting
| 3450 Astrozon Pl. | Colorado Springs, Colorado | 80910 | 719-444-8800
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