Mt. High Tree, Lawn, and Landscape
August 2007 Email Newsletter
In case you didn’t notice, July was hot, dry, and hot! It is strange to think that only a few months ago I was struggling to find space to pile the snow from my driveway. Now I would welcome a chilly day as a temporary relief. It is important to adjust our thinking as the weather conditions change. There are many ways to also prepare for hot and dry summer of Colorado.
Ash trees in Colorado are often attacked by Ash/Lilac Borer. This insect emerges in April and May to do its damage. Damage by this borer can disfigure and eventually kill the host tree. The adult stage fades away in early July. This year we are seeing a higher-than-normal population of a similar insect known as the Redheaded Ash Borer. The adult stage of this insect becomes prevalent in July and August. The RAB usually attacks newly planted and severely stressed trees.
Treatments are available in the form of trunk applications. It is important to monitor the population of the insects, and the health of the trees in order to determine if the treatment is appropriate.
Keep An Eye On Your Oak Trees
Oak trees are in the minority of Colorado trees. It is then important to pay close attention to these woody friends. Be sure to check the size, color, and texture of the foliage. Small, yellow, or soft leaves are indicators of nutrient and moisture problems. These conditions are often treatable. There are several types of scale insects that cause severe damage in the form of tip and branch dieback. Lecanium and Kermes scale are two of the more common scale insects in Colorado. Although Lecanium scale is somewhat inconspicuous, Kermes scale is more obvious. The immature scale causes a very typical damage. As immature Kermes feeds they cause small tufts of leaves to fall to the ground. Small windstorms often dislodge these tufts and you may see an alarming amount of leaf drop.
New treatments for control of scale include growth regulators that are target specific. These products reduce the impact to non-target insects, including insects they may be beneficial for controlling other insects. These products require proper timing of applications to be effective.
If you have planted any new material this year or last be sure to take the time to check out their condition. Look for dead buds, dead twigs, brown leaves, or damaged branches. Check the soil for moisture content. Supplemental irrigation must be increased during times of extreme temperatures. These new plants have already undergone stress from the planting process, and require a little TLC for the new root system. Inspect any straps that are securing the trees. The straps should not be too tight that they are causing trunk damage. During very hot days you may see some wilting in the foliage. With proper irrigation this wilting should not persist.
Paying careful attention to new plants while they are becoming established will help to promote healthy and long-lived plant material.
Plants expend a great deal of energy to produce their green material. Some trees, such as Pines and Spruce, use a disproportionate amount of energy for foliar production. It is extremely important to care for this material until the equilibrium is reached between the energy used and the energy produced by this new tissue. Any energy produce after the equilibrium point(EP) is used for new bud formation and storage. Pruning before the EP is reached can adversely impact the tree.
Pruning is vital to maintaining a healthy and strong tree. Pruning at the proper time will not only prevent an exponential loss of energy reserves, but also prepare the tree for the unpredictable winter storms that plague our Colorado winters. As I travel to properties I often see damage that I can trace back to large storms. People often recount stories of shock concerning their reactions to seeing their precious trees torn to shreds under heavy snow or strong winds. Let us help you to avoid storm damage and ensure the health of your trees with proper pruning by our trained arborists.
As we move into August our hot and dry conditions here in Colorado continue which in turn challenges us with keeping our lawns looking green, weed free and healthy. Lawns that suffer from drought stress risk having broadleaf weeds, grassy weeds, disease and insect pressures.
Good cultural practices combined with a proper fertilization program are critical to the success of a healthy, green and weed free lawn.
What do we mean by good cultural practices?
· Keep your mower blades sharp & mow at 2.5-3” height
· Make sure you apply appropriate water to your lawn for the season
· Have regular irrigation checks to ensure that your system is operating to give you optimal coverage
· Make sure you are set up on a proper fertilization program
· Aerate your lawn one to two times per year in Spring and/or Fall
Consult with the professionals at Mountain High if you have any concerns about your lawn.