September 2008                                                                                  Email Newsletter




A Little Rain Goes A Long Way


The few showers that graced us in August went a long way to help alleviate some of the stress in our trees and turf.  We are not out of the woods yet.  In fact, since September 1st of 2007, many locations in the Denver metro area have received less than 50% of our normal yearly precipitation.  The stress from low precipitation levels is often hidden.  Plant roots will dieback, making it difficult for trees or turf to acquire moisture and nutrients.  As fall approaches, many people will be shutting off their irrigation systems.  This is a great time to check your system for repair needs.  Making repairs now will help to reduce down time in the spring.  Let us know if we can help you with any of your irrigation needs. 



The Signs of a Long Summer


There is no disputing the fact that this summer has been one of our driest.  Weeks seemed to drag into months before we enjoyed the sweet smell of a summer shower.  As tough as it is for you and I, we must be careful not forget our woody friends.  The appearance of scorched leaves and dry lawns is common in Colorado, but must not be ignored.  Many people wisely adjusted sprinkler systems as the heat and dryness increased in severity.  As I travel around I see the effects on several of the usual suspects such as Lindens and Norway Maples. 

The damage created by the summer stress is, for the most part, unavoidable.  However, directing efforts to supplemental irrigation, proper fertilization, and insect control can help to mitigate the lasting effects.  Protecting the newly developed roots with timely watering will help to avoid root dieback, and the subsequent reduction in nutrient and water capture that follows.  The loss of absorbing roots exacerbates the leaf scorch symptoms due to a reduction in vascular flow within the tree.  All these conditions lead to a lower rate of photosynthesis, resulting in lower production of starch and lipids needed for the normal physiological processes in the plant. When a tree does not generate the necessary energy to conduct its operations, we see the end result in the form of early leaf drop, poor fall color, and short growth increments.


We cannot change the weather in Colorado, but we can be proactive when it comes to our plants.  The Arborists at Mt. High are here to help you identify problem areas and develop a plan to ensure a healthy landscape. 



Fall Pruning


As we move through September we can all start to feel the change from summer to fall.  A chill in the air when we wake up, the sun setting earlier and earlier, even a snow capped peak in the far off distance let us know that things are about to change.  People often recount the stories about snowstorms that have left scars on all our properties.  Disfigured Ash trees, and gaping holes in the canopy of a majestic Spruce are daily reminders of storms whose snow has long since melted and drifted away.  The former snow has no doubt made its way into an ice cube of a boat drink aboard Jimmy BuffettÕs sailboat.  IÕm sure many people would consider that a happy ending. 


No matter how much we would rather be sitting on a beach or sailing in a little boat, we need to look around our properties for potential problem areas.  Long, heavy ended limbs, or thick canopies are prime examples of high-risk areas that will feel the force of winter storms.  Selective pruning to reduce the length, weight, and density of tree canopies will help tremendously to reduce the likelihood of winter damage.  Take a walk around your property as fall approaches.  As you enjoy the fall leaf color, take notice of the structure of your trees and how they might react to heavy winter storms.  Let us know if you have any questions or would like help in determining problem areas. 


Mt. High offers various discounts for winter pruning.  Give us a call to help you protect your landscape, and help you save money while you do it.






ItÕs Never Too Early To Think About The Holidays


Just a friendly reminder that Mt. High offers Holiday Lighting.  IÕm sure we have all struggled up a ladder on a cold day in order to decorate for the holidays.  If digging through boxes and checking bulbs is not a task you look forward to, then let us help you out.  Give us a call now to plan ahead for a trouble free holiday season.




Lawn Care:  Turf Mites

Turf mites feed on lawns causing irreversible damage and costly repairs


Banks turf mite is a common mite species in Colorado damaging drought stressed turf. Mite damage is on the rise with natural moisture levels suffering.  Colorado winters are dry.  One foot of snow is equal to one inch of water.  It may seem like we are getting moisture in the winter but it is not enough to keep a lawn protected from mites moving in.   When turf becomes drought stressed it opens the door for a number of problems.  Turf mites will feed primarily in the winter months up until the time we begin to start watering our lawns in spring.  By then it is too late.  The damage is done and the areas where mites have fed will not green up in spring.   They mostly feed in areas that are sloped, west & south facing, around evergreen trees, along driveways, sidewalk and stone edges that reflect heat. 

Your best defense against mite damage is a combination of winter watering to mite prone areas along with Mountain HighÕs lawn mite program.  Call Mountain High to arrange for mite treatments that will occur over the winter months and into early spring.  Three (3) treatments are a minimal investment verses costly resodding or reseeding.






Lawn Care:  Necrotic Ring Spot

Necrotic ring spot disease is a difficult disease to control that affects many lawns in Colorado.   NRS is a soil borne fungus that survives from year to year on dead colonized bluegrass roots and crowns or in the surface of the living roots.


Necrotic ring spot often appears two to three years after lawn establishment, although in some cases may not develop for a decade or more. 

Patches of grass will turn lighter green in the beginning leaving a frog eye or doughnut pattern.  The rings may become matted and crater like whereas the grass inside the ring remains healthy and green.  Rings may eventually unite to create larger areas of dead turf.  Symptoms may persist throughout the growing season and increase in size and severity.

Necrotic ring spot is difficult to manage but there are cultural and chemical options that can help minimize the damage. 

á      Core aerate at minimum once a year in spring and/or fall

á      A proper fertilization program is vital.  Avoid fertilizers with excessive amounts of nitrogen and it should be a slow release type of fertilizer.

á      Proper watering in these areas is important.  Drought stress or overwatering adds to aggravating the disease.  Water the lawn to a depth of 6-8 inches as infrequently as possible without creating drought stress.

á      If NRS develops, water the grass lightly at midday during periods of high temperatures.  This will help cool the turf

á      Two treatments of fungicide is critical.  The timing of these applications must be in spring when soil temperatures are between 65 to 70 degrees at a 2Ó depth. 

Call Mountain HighÕs Lawn Department to obtain further information or to authorize your treatments.






Bug Barrier for Uninvited Guests

As temperatures cool off at night and winter approaches spiders and insects will start to find a home inside of your home.


Some of the most common concerns we hear about are spiders, ants and other common insects.   Most spiders are harmless but for most of us they are annoying and frightful.  A spider can biet when it is agitated or feels trapped.  Spider bites can cause a skin irritation or an allergic reaction.

House crickets are nocturnal insects that will hide in the day and become active and vocal at night. They will feed on almost anything, often causing damage to woolens and silk. 

There are many types of mites.  Some of our clients contact us asking about tiny bugs seen on their walls around windows and doors of their homes.  In most cases these are indentified as CLOVER mites. When crushed, the clover mite leaves a red streak that resembles blood. Clover mites feed on juices from plants and hides in the bark of trees.  If these plants/trees are close to a home the clover mite may consider the home the same as a tree.  We usually find them on south or west facing walls of a home.  They can enter the home through very small spaces.

As winter approaches spiders and insects will forage for food feeding on crumbs, or other spiders and insects that are inside the home.  Mountain HighÕs Outdoor Bug Barrier Program can resolve the problem by applying an outdoor perimeter applications.


Contact Mountain High with any questions.