April 2008††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† E Newsletter
I still recall the March 2003 blizzard.† I see evidence of broken tree limbs and disfigured trees and quickly trace it back to the 60Ē storm that kept people at home for days.† Well, this year has already thrown a few surprises our way.† A mild March with very little precipitation of any kind is ending in a back and forth beginning to April.† Personally, I donít mind, I like the excitement of waking up to another unexpected day.† Unfortunately our plants donít share my childlike enthusiasm.† It is therefore very important to take an active role in protecting our landscapes.† Proper pruning, winter watering, insect and disease control are all ways to ensure the best chance for survival in the crazy Colorado weather.
Precipitation Update, (or lack of)Ö.
March did not contribute a great deal of precipitation to the yearís total.† Many of the predicted storms amounted to little or nothing, in the form of precipitation.† In addition there were no surprise storms that dumped the typical wet and slushy spring snow.† To put a value to the winter we have accumulated 3.96Ē of moisture in the Denver area since October 1st through March 1st.† This number is very important because we are getting so close to the time when trees and turf will become active.† Without adequate soil moisture in place the newly expanding roots will quickly die back, resulting in a stressed plant that is increasingly susceptible to attack from insects and diseases.†
Many irrigation systems have not yet been turned on due to the temperature fluctuations we often experience.† Any supplemental irrigation will be helpful even if you have to set up some overhead sprinklers or mess around with the old garden hose.† I understand that we expect the snow and moisture to eventually materialize, but for the health of the plant material and your landscape you must take a proactive role to reduce plant stress.
Maybe that isnít exactly how the saying goes, but regardless, it is true.† Each spring we enjoy the flowers of many Apple, Crabapple, Cherry, and various other trees.† Unfortunately, after the flowers are gone we can also expect to deal with the annoying fruit that comes as a result of flower pollination.† Walnuts, apples, and crabapples inevitably fall to the ground and begin the process of decomposing.† These once attractive fruit soon stain the ground and fill the air with the smell of fermenting fruit.† Some treeís fruit can be more than just a little annoying.† Many people have serious allergies, including symptoms of sneezing, runny eyes and headaches, to the cotton-like fruit produced by Cottonwood trees.
The good news is we at Mountain High can help.† Fruit reduction services can greatly help to reduce the amount of fruit produced by your trees.† The process involves using an acidic solution to burn the very sensitive male and female parts of the flowers.† The solution does not affect the flower petals and is very benign to the environment.† In order to achieve the best results it is important to target the flowers when they have opened.†
Benefits of Fruit Reduction:
Any applications made prior to flowers opening will be ineffective.† Weather conditions can also contribute to a longer flowering periods.† Moderate spring temperatures and ample moisture extend the time that flowers will open, and increase the need to do more than one application.† It is difficult to guarantee results due to the various weather factors and the genetic diversity of the plant material.† However, for many people who have suffered the aggravation of the cleaning up fruit for weeks on end, these applications can be invaluable.† Please give us a call if you would discuss specific options for Fruit Reduction.†
Are Trees Flowering Yet?
Many people miss flowers because they arenít as prominent on all trees.† Maple trees are some of the first trees to flower in the spring.† For me they serve as an indicator to the warm days that will soon be here.† The flowers on the Maple trees donít have nice colorful petals, they arenít sweet smelling and fragrant, but nevertheless they are there.† They release and receive pollen that will result in the next crop of seeds that will dangle from the same branches in a few short weeks.† It is an amazing thing to watch, and I wouldnít want anyone to miss it.†
Silver Maple Flower
Fortunately not all trees have the same bland flowers as the Maple tree.† Pears, Crabapples, Aspens, and Plums push out flowers early in the spring.† The Purple Leaf Plum is another very early flowering tree in Colorado.† The light pink petals are easy to recognize.† The Plum flowers arenít very fragrant, but I try not to hold it against them.† They make up for the lack of fragrance with the profuse amount of flowers that will last for over two weeks in optimum conditions.
Purple Leaf Plum Flower
If you are like me then you are always on the lookout for new trees that will offer great fall color, pretty spring flowers, and hardy enough to hold up to whatever Mother Nature throws at it.† So if you are looking for any tips, then we are here to help.† Here are a few trees that offer various desirable traits concerning both aesthetics and hardiness.
If you have interest in doing some planting at your house this year, let us help.† We have Arborist ready to walk through the entire process with you.† We will help you design a new space, select the appropriate species, and complete the rugged work of installing the new plant material.† Give us a call to help you get started.
Spring has arrived! Call now to schedule your sprinkler system turn-on. We will come out and inspect your system to make sure it is operating properly and check for repairs that may be needed.† We will also check the uniformity of your system to ensure you are getting proper coverage.† Many times it is as simple as straightening a crooked head or changing a nozzle.† Having proper coverage is essential to making your system as efficient as possible.
SPRING LAWN CARE
Spring has sprung! Lawns are coming out of dormancy; bulbs and the forsythia are blooming!†
There are several questions that arise throughout the season about lawn care.† Our lawn care professionals are a phone call away to assist in providing solutions.† Please continue to check our website for our monthly lawn care news and tips that will keep you informed about current lawn care issues and solutions.
Pre-emergentís are used for preventing crabgrass and some broadleaf weeds from emerging.† There are different types of pre-emergentís with specifics on where, when and how they can be applied.† Some are liquid and some are granular.† Pre-emergentís will be more effective when they are watered in within a few weeks after they are applied.† Pre-emergentís are not the all out answer to weed problems but will be a significant piece in combating weeds in your lawn and non turf areas such as beds, borders and rock areas. Pre-emergentís are typically used in spring but can also be beneficial in fall where there are high weed pressures.
Lawn fertilization is an important piece to achieving a healthy, lush, green lawn. Over or under fertilization can lead to insect and disease problems.† A properly balanced lawn program will ensure that the lawn is receiving the appropriate nutrients at the right time. With proper fertilization and cultural practices you will have a healthy lawn that will crowd out the weeds and look beautiful. All of our full lawn care programs include a pre-emergent in spring for crabgrass and early season weed control.† Every full lawn care program also includes broadleaf weed and insect control as needed.† We have organic and synthetic programs available.†
Lawn mite damage will become more evident as the lawn greens up.† The areas that††††††††† are damaged will remain brown and straw like.† Susceptible areas are south and west facing areas, slopes, edges along sidewalks and driveways.† Mites feed in the winter months and early spring in areas that are suffering from drought.† Winter watering will help reduce mites from feeding.. In most cases mite damaged areas will not recover. By the time the lawn comes out of dormancy the damage is already done.† Mountain High has a winter lawn mite program that will protect your lawn from costly damage.