Mountain High Tree, Lawn, and Landscape Co.  October ‘07


What is Your Spruce Tree Doing?

Small black fruiting
bodies turned out
to be Sirococcus

The signs and
symptoms looked like Sirococcus, but these fruiting bodies were Leptosphaeria.

A fungus pretending to be Rhizosphaera! 

We've recently received numerous calls concerning discoloration in Colorado blue spruce. This is not an uncommon occurrence, as this is also the time for fall needle drop. To distinguish between normal fall needle drop and disease, examine where needle drop is occurring. New growth should not be affected.

However, some samples we examined are not normal fall needle drop. In Colorado, blue spruce grows faster than some other evergreen trees.  Common contributing factors in blue spruce death are two diseases: Rhizosphaera and Cytospora. However, the blue spruce samples that we've received this year often have multiple disease disorders in addition to Rhizosphaera and Cytospora!

The disease Rhizosphaera needle cast frequently infects Colorado blue spruce. Rhizosphaera needle cast is a fungal disease that infects the current year's needles. These needles later turn purple to brown and fall from the tree prematurely, leaving the inner portion of the branch bare. As the disease progresses, severely infected branches die; leaving the tree with a hollow or thin appearance. The disease starts near the base of the tree where humidity levels are the highest, but continues to spread upward. As the disease continues, trees become unsightly and lose their value as a visual screen or privacy fence. The Rhizosphaera pathogen, however, sporulates in the spring.

Colorado blue spruce is native to Colorado, but it often suffers from environmental stresses such as drought, excessive heat, and compacted soils. Spider mites were seen in association with almost all samples we've received. Apparently, Colorado blue spruce is more vulnerable to infection and more severely affected than white and Norway spruce to some native fungi. To minimize future problems, make sure your blue spruce are well watered and mulched going into this winter. It may be the difference between a healthy spruce and one that should be pruned at ground level!








Fall Needle Cast


Similar to the natural cycling of needles in Spruce is the common occurrence of interior needle drop in Pines.  Ponderosa Pines will cycle their needles every two to three years, thus producing a nearly annual load of brown needles.  This annual needle drop comes around every September and October.  The look of the brown needles is alarming at times, but it is important to look around at the trees of your neighbors and parks.  The important tissue to check is the newest material.  If the needles of this year and last year are intact then there is probably nothing to worry about.  But please note that if you are still concerned you can always call us or take a digital picture and email it to us.



Winter Watering For Your Trees


The rainfall that temporarily graced us during later August and early September has abandoned us yet again.  Dry fall conditions damage tree roots through dessication, water loss, in the fine root hairs that are responsible for nutrient absorption.  When these roots dry up they die, and thus the potential for uptake is impacted.  The results manifest themselves in brown winter foliage, poor or no fall color, and branch dieback in the spring.  Undersized spring foliage can also result from insufficient winter soil moisture.  Due to low temperatures we will no doubt be turning off our irrigation systems very soon.  This adds to the depletion of soil moisture.  Applying a deep watering to the Critical Root Zone of your trees and shrubs when conditions warrant is an excellent way to ensure a good spring.  The Critical Root Zone is the area of soil where the highest percentage of fibrous roots exist. 


Contact one of our helpful arborist representatives to help you identify problem areas.



Christmas Décor


It is that time of year again.  Christmas lights will soon be going up all over town.  If you have used our holiday lighting service in the past you can give us a call to authorize for this season.  If  you are unfamiliar with this service just give us a call and one of our representatives will meet with you and discuss some options.  There are many advantages to letting Mt. High help with your holiday lighting. 

1.      Mt. High will install, maintain, and remove the lights for you…….           Trouble Free Holiday!!

2.      We will work with you to design a lighting theme that looks brilliant and fits your budget.

3.      You won’t have to waste time hanging off the roof or clinging to a ladder on a beautiful fall afternoon.

4.      You will be the envy of the neighborhood, and you won’t have to lift a finger.




With fall around the corner it is a critical time of the season to become proactive with our lawn care.  What are the most important lawn care factors to consider every fall to ensure that you have a healthy lawn when spring arrives?  The fact is if you combine a fall aerate and fertilization you are helping the roots of your turf retain water and the necessary nutrients during the very dry winter months that we experience in Colorado.  Falls plan is critical to the success of having a green healthy lawn in spring. 




Aeration is a major component to a healthy lawn.   Aeration helps to break up compaction, reduces run off and allows the lawn to uptake water, oxygen and nutrients. Aeration will promote root growth.  Roots continue to grow throughout the winter storing food that will allow the to plant survive until spring arrives.   For those lawns that have a thatch level greater than ½ inch are at risk for lawn problems.  Thatch robs lawns of key nutrients and water.  Thatch also provides an environment for damaging insects.  By core aerating you will help reduce thatch buildup.




Fall fertilization for lawns is one of the five most important applications of the season.  The benefits from fall fertilization includes a healthier turf and root system before winter and it will stimulate a lawn to green up earlier in the spring without excessive top growth. 




The cooler weather of fall is the prime growing season for our lawns but with that comes the cooler season weeds.  You may experience seeing the dandelion among other weeds. The best time to treat these weeds is in fall.  The battle to have a weed free beautiful lawn can be accomplished by staying consistent with a good fertilization and weed control program combined with good cultural practices.




Fall is an excellent time to reseed thin lawns or areas of the lawn that have been damaged from insects, drought stress, dog damage or disease.  It is important for you to remember that the seed must stay moist for germination to occur.  This typically is about 21-28 days.  Mountain High will be happy to provide you with an estimate for seeding!








Adequate water is essential for maintaining optimum growth, density and color of your lawn.  Even though temperatures will be cooling off and soon we may be able to reduce the amount of water we are applying our dry and windy conditions here in Colorado require us to continue to water throughout the fall and into winter. Apply enough water to moisten the soil to a six-inch depth. This will help develop a deep root system that can better survive drought conditions.  Winter watering is critical to our lawns just like trees.  The challenge being that sprinkler systems are shut down and we will have to hook up the hose and sprinkler.  This effort proves to be worth it verses having a lawn that in spring is damaged by winter desiccation and or mite damage.  Water is your best preventative against the brutal dry winters.  Despite what most of us think our snowfalls do not provide adequate water for lawns, trees and shrubs.


Please Call Mountain High Tree, Lawn & Landscape Company

to arrange for an estimate or to authorize your