Avoid Disruption By Following Recommended Practices for Safety Zone Pruning in Denver
Dev Team January 23, 2016

With any older city, the infrastructure of power lines can present problems with tree growth and overhanging limbs.  As a part of regular maintenance, you should always have a professional determine when to recommend pruning – especially if your tree crosses paths or comes close to power lines. There are specific rules in place, which your local Denver tree service will follow, in order to abide by the safety precautions in place for avoiding a power outage and maintaining proper space between power lines and tree branches. 

What is a Safety Zone / Line Clearance?

As trees continue to grow upward and outward, it is important for professional at your local power company to assess whether they infringe upon the safety zone. This area refers to a space designated by your power company around the power lines that will ensure no harm will come to either the power or the tree. This is typically a pruning zone on the side of the tree’s branches, or in a v-shape through the center of the tree. Xcel Energy has an informative flyer with visual representations of these spaces. Generally our team will always keep to a 10 ft clearance around the lines on any side. 

How Do You Determine If You Need Pruning Around Power Lines?

This is always best left to the professionals! At American Arbor Care, we work directly with your local power company, Xcel Energy. They have a specialized service for tree trimming and evaluations and will send a representative to determine the need for line clearance or safety zone pruning to safely and effectively trim the tree. 

Why Does It Matter?

Trees and electricity just don’t mix. With the high voltage power lines running so closely through or near a tree, there is a high chance of conductivity within the tree due to both moisture or dryness – trees have a conductive nature. When trees do conduct electricity, there are multiple ways in which it affects things, including blackouts, electricity shortages, cutting of cables and potentially dangling hot wires, bursts of electricity, and simply killing your beautiful tree. Sometimes the power company may recommend fully removing the tree in its entirety if there is not an adequate method of trimming and pruning to avoid potential issue in the future. 

How Does Pruning Effect the Tree in the Long Run?

Pruning actually will encourage the tree to grow in the direction it is pruned. When you remove branches, the nutrients and necessary components for growth will be redirected to the remaining branches. When you prune in a specific shape or direction, the tree is more likely to continue to grow in that direction and eliminate a lot of pruning work in the future. If you believe your trees are reaching a dangerous proximity to your power lines, contact the team at American Arbor Care. We will work with the professional to determine what the best course of action will be to avoid any major disruption or injury to you, your tree, or your neighbors!

We hope all of our friends, family, clients, and partners enjoy a safe and happy holiday weekend – Happy Thanksgiving from American Arbor Care!

How to Recognize and Combat Soil Compaction Around Your Trees in Denver
Dev Team January 18, 2016

Soil compaction is major issue in terms of tree care in Denver due to the suppression of oxygen and water to the roots. The more the soil is compacted, the tighter the space and the less space there will be for air and water to freely flow to the roots of the tree and deliver proper nutrients. Restricting nutrients can severely limit the growth of any plant – and is generally one of the first causes of a tree’s lack of growth. Think of it like water flowing through large rocks or gravel versus water flowing into a plank of wood. It would take much longer for the water to reach the center of the wood, but it would travel quickly through loose rock. Consistent pressure is typically the common cause of soil compaction around trees. 

How do you know if you have soil compaction around the roots of your trees?

Generally the most common areas where soil is compacted is in high traffic areas – meaning, places where there is a heavy degree of foot traffic. Because it happens deep beneath the surface of the ground, it is sometimes difficult to gauge whether the soil is heavily compacted, or minimally. Your local tree care service would be able to test by penetrating the soil with a device to manually measure where the soil begins to harden. 

Girdling Roots

Most homeowners would not be familiar with the term “girdling roots” but it is important to know how it happens and what it means for your trees. In the basic sense, trees are girdled by added pressure around the base of the roots – essentially cutting off the bottom of the root from any nutrients. A similar concept would be the way a tight rubber band on your wrist might cut off circulation to your hand and adversely affect the rest of your arm. Girdling roots can inhibit the tree trunk from continuing to gain strength and will slowly cause your tree’s health to diminish. 

So how do you treat compacted soil?   

Simply creating air space within the soil can remedy this situation. A common solution is aerating the ground around the tree. At American Arbor Care  we offer air spading services to assist with the assessment and remedy of this issue. Compacted soil can also be treated  by adding mulch or organic substances into the soil. Promoting air flow  through the soil will increase this space surrounding the roots and allow water and nutrients to flow freely to the most important part of the tree. Mulch can prove very beneficial on top of any compacted areas (once aerated)  by protecting the soil from becoming compacted again. Generally, wood chips will act as shock absorbers to ensure your soil is protected from further compaction in high traffic areas. Are you concerned about soil compaction and your landscape? Contact the team at American Arbor Care to help diagnose end remedy any ailments associated with your trees or plants. Our dedicated staff will ensure we provide you with the best solutions for your home and landscape. Another common root problem is how to effectively hide tree roots in your Denver landscape – learn more about how to combat this and other common issue through our weekly blog. Stay up to date with the best advice and recommendations from your local tree care service, American Arbor Care. Follow us on Facebook to get the latest updates!

Effectively Hide Tree Roots in Your Denver Landscape
Dev Team January 9, 2016

In cities like Denver, the nods to the past become that nostalgic element that remind us of the city’s history and life before our time here. Something that is inevitably part of our Denver landscape and comes along with age is tree roots. If you walk the sidewalks in any local neighborhood, you will likely need to watch your step, as tree roots frequently push the concrete up and create an uneven path. As much as we love the canopy of beautiful, old tree overhead, this root growth can become a bit of a burden to manage.

How Do You Cover Roots?
It is logical to think that removing the roots will not be effective in terms of keeping the tree healthy. Removing the roots is not an option, so the best way to effectively manage these roots is to cover them. It can be tricky to find the best solution, but we have a few suggestions to help you make an informed decision:

Other Plants
It might seem like a good idea to plant other types of leafy plants or grass near the roots to cover, but does the area get enough sunlight? If the tree is large (which it likely is with large roots) the branches and leaves overhead will likely block the plants or grass from receiving proper nutrients from the sunlight.

Sidewalk or Concrete
With concrete, it is best to take precautions and find alternative methods – as concrete can stifle roots and remove access to the oxygen the tree needs to be healthy. This also will eventually lead to those cracked sidewalks which are quite familiar in Denver. Consider using stones or rocks to create a walkway instead of laying a full slab of concrete down.

Alternative Options
There are a few other options available to cover the roots while maintaining the tree’s health. Mulch is a low cost and effective way to cover a tree’s roots. This actually is very helpful to the roots on top of the ease in installation, as it keeps them safe from the elements and even provides additional moisture for the tree. It can keep your landscape looking clean and organized.

Another way to manage this cover is with rock, sand, or gravel. If you choose this method, be sure to protect the roots by placing a layer of fabric between the roots and the rock. The weight can be detrimental for the health of the tree, so take care in how much is placed on top of the roots. Your local tree care service in Denver can assist you in understanding and deciding on the best method and amount to cover your roots.

Do you have a specific case of unsightly or troublesome roots that you need assistance with? Call the team at American Arbor Care today to learn more ways you can manage this – or let our team help! Look out for additional help and advice like how to maintain tree health in Denver with dry weather patterns. Call us today or tell us about your needs!

Take the Right Precautions to Protect Your Trees in Denver This Winter
Dev Team January 2, 2016

While we might be experiencing some warm weather at the start of our November here in Colorado, it is important to remember that no matter how sunny and temperate today might be, this weekend could bring some much chillier weather, and it is best to be prepared. Especially in regard to your trees – keeping them healthy during the winter ensures they will be able to flourish in the spring season.

Here are some helpful tips for your trees to maintain health in cold weather:

Winter Pruning Only

Many homeowners are not aware that the best time to prune your tree is actually best to perform major pruning when the tree is dormant. Generally the later winter months are the best time for any tree to be pruned, no matter the type. Pruning the tree’s dead limbs and branches will promote new growth once out of dormancy. A good rule to remember is to keep all branches and limbs unless you have a specific reason to remove them.

Water Thoroughly

While it might not seem like it is the best time for watering, during these warmer days and months before snowfall is a very important time to keep your trees hydrated. The best method would be to deeply water your trees and their branches completely and thoroughly – at about 10 gallons per inch of the tree’s diameter.

Make Your Own Mulch

Ever wondered how leaves can be recycled? Make a mulch from your fallen leaves rather than dispose of them. You can use the mulch to surround the bottom of your tree or within the soil. The mulch around the tree will give it insulation to help it retain its moisture and keep the roots from being affected heavily by cold temperatures.

Trunk Wrapping

It depends on the type of tree you have – and your local tree care service can assist in determining whether you need this – but many trees are susceptible to cracks in the trunk and bark in the frigid months. It can be prevented simply by wrapping the trunks throughout the entire winter season.

Take Extra Care of the Little Ones

Do you have any newly planted or younger trees on your property? Take extra care of these trees in terms of protecting and tending to the bark, trunk, branches, and limbs. These trees have not had time to fully develop at the roots, making them more susceptible to permanent damage due to lack of care.

Learn more about how to prepare your trees for winter from the Colorado State Forest Service.

If you are not sure how to maintain proper tree health through the winter, just ask the experts at American Arbor Care. Our team is ready to support you and determine the best action for your landscape. Be sure to read more about how to prevent damage through the winter and maintaining tree health in Denver with dry weather patterns. Our weather in Colorado can be unpredictable, so it is important to understand the right course of action so your plants to not experience drought or stress.

When was the last time you had a landscape assessment with a Certified Arborist?

Schedule your free assessment today!