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Seasonal Updates:   Summer Edition | August 4, 2009

When It Rains, It Pours

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Care Storm Damaged Tree Care
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Care   Storm damage.  

It is a cliché to say that Colorado has erratic weather. One would have to look no further than the events of this summer. An amazing 85% of the Denver metro area has experienced at least one major hail storm. The most recent hail storm was accompanied by 70 to 100 mph winds and several sightings of tornados. While the majority of the wind damage with uprooted trees, and broken limbs occurred in Wheat Ridge, Arvada, and north Lakewood there was damage in many others parts of the city. Thousands of trees were torn out of the ground, broken into pieces and even tossed onto homes and cars.

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Care Hail Damaged Tree Care
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Care   Fireblight Disease  

Unfortunately, while the damage from strong storms will linger long after the debris has been cleared. The damage from the hail, which affected even a larger area, will persist for many months to come. Several species of fungi and bacteria thrive under our recent conditions and are simply waiting for an opportunity to become active. Many tree species can become hosts for these pathogens, which include Spruce, Aspen, Locust, Crabapple, and nearly all fruit trees. As the hail falls to the ground it will create millions of very small wounds. These wounds are effective pathways for the various pathogens to enter the tree’s vascular tissue of the plants.

Some pathogens, such as Cytospora in Spruce and Aspens, are chronic diseases that slowly kill the tree over a period of several years. Others, such as Fireblight, can be more aggressive, and may effectively destroy the tree within just a year or two. Chemical treatments can be effective when used in conjunction with cultural practices such as sanitation pruning. Signs and symptoms of these diseases will become evident in the coming months.

Symptoms and signs will vary but may include:

1. Dead leaf tissue
2. Hooked appearance to terminal end of twigs & branches
3. Thin needle or leaf canopies
4. Stunted shoot growth
5. Discoloration of sap excretions
6. Lesions & fungal spores on diseased twigs & leaves

What to Do For Hail Damaged Trees & Shrubs

Many of the trees that were defoliated by the hail storms will, no doubt, react to the event by pushing out new leaf tissue. Since there are still several weeks of summer left we must do what we can to take care of the new plant material. Ensuring adequate watering and applying appropriate levels of nutrients and monitoring for disease activity must be the protocol for the next several months in order to avoid further losses.

When plants produce leaf and needle tissue in the middle of the season it is different than material produced in the spring. Leaf and needle tissue can be lighter in color and smaller in size. It is important for the new material to be as efficient as possible in order to help replenished the diminished energy reserves that resulted in the new leaf production. Slow release or timed release fertilizers help by supplying a controlled released of the needed nutrients to help improve leaf color and size. Adequate watering will ensure that any supplemented nutrients will have a carrier to be absorbed by the plant. Careful and diligent monitoring of the new plant material will ensure a fast and prudent reaction in the event that a pathogen becomes active. Mt. High has the resources to apply the needed nutrients to your trees and shrubs. Our Arborist’s are always available to consult with you in order to develop a plan after damaging weather events.

Inspect Your Trees!

While much of the storm damage to trees is obvious, some may not be. Branches can be cracked, or fractured, and may not be easily seen from the ground. It is always a good idea to take a slow walk around your property looking closely for signs of something out of place, such as branches angling down more than usual, or branches lying on top of each other. These damaged branches can become a hazard, and come crashing down when you least expect it. If you are not sure, please feel free to have one of our arborists do an inspection.

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Customer Testimonials:

I have been a customer since 1982, need I say more, and have recommended you to others.
Irma from Wheat Ridge
Customer Since 1982

Appreciated information provided by estimator, phone person, and a great work crew. We will continue to use your company. Keep up the good work.
Karen from Westminster
Customer Since 2006


Mountain High Tree,
Lawn & Landscape

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

Tree Care Tree
Care Ascochyta damaged turf. Care
Tree Care Tree
  Ascochyta damaged turf.  

How Does Hail & Heavy Rains Affect Turf

Heavy rains and hail also adversely affect turf areas. Our recent weather pattern has also brought slightly below average temperatures. Cooler temperatures, physical damage to turf material, and extended periods of wetness promote a few very damaging turf pathogens. Leaf blights and leaf spots are among the most prevalent diseases in turf.

Ascochyta leaf blight:
• Large uniform areas of affected turf will turn straw-colored.
• Leaves usually start dying back from the tips.
• Ascochyta can occur throughout the growing season, but is more prevalent in the spring when there are extended wet periods.
• The first line of defense against Ascochyta leaf blight is to manage the turf properly

Tree Care Tree
Care Example of Ascochyta damage. Care
Tree Care Tree
  Example of Ascochyta damage.  

Ascochyta leaf spot symptoms may develop throughout the growing season but are more common during hot, droughty periods that were preceded by cool, rainy conditions. Large irregular patches of turf rapidly turn a straw-color and appear dead. The overall appearance of the disease may resemble drought stress, except that the symptoms of Asochyta blight appear quickly (i.e. sometimes overnight). Although the blighting within an area appears complete from a distance, healthy leaves are interspersed within the patch. Blighting is usually restricted to the leaves; bluegrass crowns and roots typically are not killed.
Leaves infected with the Ascochyta fungus often exhibit a bleached tip dieback that extends approximately a third to halfway down the leaf blade. The margin between healthy and diseased tissue is abrupt and slightly pinched, but doesn’t have the dark brown to purple banding that is characteristic of another disease called dollar spot. In other cases leaves may exhibit white banding or entirely collapse and shrivel. These leaf symptoms resemble heat or drought stress.
The Ascochyta fungus produces minute yellow to dark brown, flask-shaped fungal fruiting bodies called pycnidia in diseased leaf tissue. These fruiting bodies, which are easier to view with the aid of a hand lens, are peppered throughout the dead leaves and can be very useful as a diagnostic feature.

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Mountain High Tree, Lawn & Landscape  | 5717 W. 11th Ave. | Lakewood, Colorado | 80214 | 303.232.0666
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