Recent Drought in Denver – Proper Tree and Lawn Care
Dev Team August 26, 2016

According to a recent report by the Denver Post, a federal report announced last Thursday that areas of Colorado are experiencing a moderate drought. Specifically the area spanning I-25 from Denver to Fort Collins are in the midst of a dry spell.

The weather as of late has been drier than usual, and this stint of dry weather has affected unirrigated vegetation. The dryness is seen in the foliage of some plants and trees predominantly. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, moderate drought is considered “the second-lowest intensity on the monitor scale.”

Although not as great as other regions around the country, like California, for instance, the damage can still have a major impact on plants and pastures in the area and reduce the amount of overall water flow through smaller streams. It is not expected to continue – and is considered to be a short-term dry spell which should have no effect on our overall water supply.

There are a few trends that have been measured:

  • Many areas in the state of Colorado are experiencing a drop in rainfall
  • The dryness is outside of the norm
  • Around 248,000 people reside in these areas
  • Southern Colorado rainfall has been normal

There are some measures you can take if you notice the area around your home to make sure your grass, plants, and trees are getting proper hydration – while also being conscious of water conservation. Always remember not to water in the middle of the day – shoot for early, before sunrise and allow plenty of time for the water to be absorbed before the sun comes out. You can also water in the evening anytime after sunset. Consider manual watering of planters to make sure you are conserving as much water as possible.

It is very important to choose the most efficient system for your home and garden, and during warm weather, you can take measures to adjust your overall watering settings. Pay attention to the weather patterns and be sure to adjust your watering schedule accordingly. Overwatering can be just as detrimental to the health of your lawn as under watering.

Have specific questions about how to manage your home, lawn, garden, and trees? American Arbor Care can provide the advice you need. As the leaders in tree care in Denver, we keep up to date on all current trends and monitor everything from present diseases to levels of drought throughout the area. We can analyze your particular scene and recommend the best course of action to either maintain your space’s health or improve the current situation.

Call us today to get more information at 303-639-8584 or contact us through the web with questions or comments – our team is ready to assist you!

Top Categories of Shrubs that Will Thrive in Your Denver Landscape
Dev Team August 19, 2016

The best shrubs for Denver landscaping provide privacy screens, block unwanted sounds, provide habitat for wildlife, and add visual interest.

The state’s geography, high elevation and weather patterns combine to create gardening conditions that can challenge even the most seasoned gardener. Many regions of Colorado experience hot, sunny summers, cool nights, and short growing seasons.

When choosing shrubs for your Colorado landscape, take climactic characteristics into account, as well as soil conditions and elevation. Here are a few examples of different categories of shrubs: small deciduous, large deciduous, small evergreen, large evergreen, and shrubs for high elevations that you can choose for your Colorado landscape:

Small Deciduous
Deciduous shrubs lose their foliage during cooler months, but can provide flowers and fall color. Shrubs that grow to less than 6 feet tall include:

  • blue mist spirea (Caryopteris x clandonensis)
  • bog birch (Betula glandulosa)
  • cliff fendler bush (Fendlera rupicola)
  • false indigo (Amorpha fruticosa)
  • flowering quince (Chaenomeles speciosa)
  • golden currant (Ribes aureum)
  • golden vicary privet (Ligustrum x vicaryi)
  • Hancock coralberry (Symphoricarpos x chenaultii)
  • Kelsey dogwood (Cornus sericea),
  • eadplant (Amorpha canescens)
  • mountain ninebark (Physocarpus monogynus)
  • mountain spray (Holodiscus dumosus)
  • purpleleaf Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii atropurpurea)

Large Deciduous
Deciduous shrubs that grow to more than 6 feet tall and that are good choices for shrubs in Colorado include:

  • ash leaf spirea (Sorbaria sorbifolia)
  • burning bush (Euonymus alatus)
  • Cheyenne privet (Ligustrum vulgare)
  • mountain mahogany (Cercocarpus montanus)
  • PeeGee hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata)
  • Peking cotoneaster (Cotoneaster acutifolia)
  • pin cherry (Prunus pensylvanica)
  • redtwig dogwood (Cornus sericea)
  • Rocky Mountain maple (Acer glabrum )
  • serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia)
  • Siberian peashrub (Caragana arborescens)
  • smoketree (Cotinus coggygria)
  • smooth sumac (Rhus glabra)
  • spindletre (Euonymus europaeus)

Small Evergreen
Evergreen shrubs do not lose their foliage in winter, which means they are good choices for year-round privacy screening and color. Evergreen shrubs that grow to less than 6 feet tall include:

  • antelope bitterbrush (Antelope bitterbush)
  • ‘Blue Girl’ holly (Ilex x meserveae)
  • cliffrose (Cowania Mexicana)
  • common juniper (Juniperus communis montana)
  • creeping Oregon grape holly (Mahonia repens)
  • kinnikinnik (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi)
  • littleleaf boxwood (Buxus microphylla)
  • mentor barberry (Berberis xmentorensis)
  • rhododendron (Rhododendron spp.)

Large Evergreen
Evergreen shrubs that grow to more than 6 feet tall:

  • big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentate)
  • cut-leaf mountain mahogany (Cercocarpus ledifolius)
  • Japanese red pine (Pinus densiflora)
  • mugo pine (Pinus mugo)
  • Rocky Mountain juniper (Juniperus scopulorum)
  • Scotch pine ‘pumila’ (Pinus sylvestris)
  • spreading juniper (Juniperus x media)
  • Swiss stone pine (Pinus cembra)
  • white spruce (Picea glauca)

Shrubs for High Elevations
If your Colorado landscape is above 6,500 feet, choose shrubs that can thrive at higher altitudes. These include:

  • alpine currant (Ribes alpinum)
  • blueleaf honeysuckle (Lonicera korolkowii)
  • hedge cotoneaster (Cotoneaster lucidus)
  • forsythia (Forsythia x hybrida )
  • Lewis mockorange (Philadelphus lewisii)
  • purpleleaf sand cherry (Prunus x cistena)
  • red chokecherry (Aronia arbutifolia)
  • roses (osa spp.)

American Arbor Care offers professional tree, shrub, lawn, and landscape maintenance services across Colorado. Our services include shrub planting and pruning, insect and disease management, consultation, landscaping, free estimates and more. Call us today at 303-639-8584 if you have more questions about what shrubs would work best for your landscape and home environment and let the experts be your guide.

Dry Patches in Your Mid-Summer Denver Landscaping
Dev Team August 10, 2016

How is your lawn? The peak of summer heat is here and we are seeing lots of dry patches in yards. The summer season brings about glorious days of warm weather and outdoor activities that keep us outside. But scattered rain and hot weather also show us exactly where our sprinkler heads are hitting and where they aren’t. Everyone’s grass is stressed. Below are some tips and procedures that can assist you in making and keeping your Denver landscaping healthy throughout the hot summer season.

LIMIT WATER
Unfortunately, after (or during) rainfall, many people still irrigate their lawn. One collective misconception about maintaining grass in extreme heat is the necessity to overwater. Turf grasses do better managed on the dry side rather than wet. When soil is constantly wet, it creates problems for plants and soil organisms alike. The roots will be deprived of oxygen and may become more susceptible to disease because diseases thrive in wet conditions. In general, the drier the grass and soil, the less disease there will be.

Water deeply and infrequently. Water deeply to wet the entire root zone, and then do not water again until the grass is dry. To determine the next watering time, simply eyeball it. If it starts to look dry, then water. And if you have brown spots, water the hot spots (spots that get dry faster than the rest of the lawn) and then wait for the rest of the lawn to dry out to water the entire lawn. Do not water your grass daily. Lawns need only one inch of water per week, including rainfall.

THE ONE-THIRD RULE
When deciding on the correct height to cut your grass, it is important to remember the one-third rule:  Never remove more than one-third of the grass height at one time. By doing so, the lawn is kept cooler, because less plant tissue is removed. Grasses actually benefit in the heat of the summer by setting the blade higher. For example, if your lawn is normally cut at 2.5 inches, increase it to 3 inches in the heat of summer.

WHEN IN DROUGHT
Resist mowing wet grass, because you are going to cause clumping. But also avoid mowing the lawn during drought stress too. Dry lawns under drought stress are limited in their ability to recover from mowing and can be damaged further. So the best time to mow your grass is the day after a rainfall – or after irrigation day. The grass will not have visible water on it, but it is also not too dry.

American Arbor Care offers professional tree, shrub, lawn, and landscape maintenance services across Colorado. Our services include tree and shrub pruning (and removal), insect and disease management, tree planting, fertilization, weed control, stump grinding, mulching, consultation, landscaping, free estimates and more. Call us today at 303-639-8584 to get more information about the dry patches in your mid-summer lawn.  

The Denver Tree Pros Debunk the Most Common Tree Pruning and Trimming Myths
Dev Team August 5, 2016

With so much information in the world these days, it is hard for homeowners to figure out what is true and what is not – especially in the complicated industry of tree care. Most homeowners love their trees, but know little about how to care for them. Much of what you may have heard about tree care is incorrect. There are a lot of unsafe practices and old wives’ tales out there that may lead you to do the wrong thing, or hire the wrong person to take care of your trees. Here at American Arbor Care, we don’t want you to be fooled by tree care myths. Instead, read on to protect yourself and your landscaping by learning about the myths behind pruning and trimming your trees.

Myth #1:  Pruning trees and shrubs invigorates them
Progressive techniques can maximize the benefits of pruning while minimizing the negative impacts. Conversely, improper or severe pruning maximizes the negative impacts while realizing very little, if any, of the benefits of pruning. Severe pruning often results in the stimulation of dense, vigorous growth. However, this growth consumes a great amount of the tree’s energy, weakening its natural defenses. While the benefits of pruning are many, there will be some negative impact from the loss of foliage. Reduction of the foliage mass means a reduction in the tree’s capacity to photosynthesize, and thus reduces the energy available for all its life processes.

Myth #2:  Topping (the removal of the upper portion of a main stem) is good for a tree
Regardless of technique, topping is always a serious injury to the tree and usually results in serious, long-term structural consequences. A few of the negative impacts of topping:

  • Creates a denser foliage crown through rapid re-growth that then requires frequent maintenance for re-topping or restructuring.
  • Serious decay at the topping cut and poorly attached re-growth rapidly resulting in increased hazard potential.
  • Reduction of the tree’s energy producing capacity and thus its ability to resist insect and disease problems.

Myth #3:  Filling cavities in trees with concrete strengthens them and helps them heal
Generally, proper management of tree cavities is best left to the tree itself, because filling tree cavities does not increase structural strength. It may actually cause harm and increase decay.

Myth #4:  Making pruning cuts close to the trunk or parent limb will help the tree heal faster
To minimize decay and promote closing of wounds, do not penetrate the tree trunk but retain the branch collar (the slightly raised areas surrounding the base of most branches). Trees do not actually heal, in that they do not replace lost tissue, but only cover injuries with new layers of wood.

Myth #5:  Installing cables, bolts or other hardware will render a hazardous limb or tree safe.
The installation of cables, bolts, and other hardware in trees is intended to reduce potential hazards only and does not permanently remedy structural weaknesses – and is not a guarantee against failure. Sometimes, to preserve a substantial limb, trunk, or the entire tree, it becomes necessary to provide additional support through the installation of hardware, but such hardware must also be inspected periodically and adjusted or replaced as necessary.

Damage to trees is only occasionally intentional; more often it’s negligence – or even ignorance and belief of such myths as these. Need help deciding on the best approach to your tree care? Our arborist will visit and assess your property for your unique trimming and pruning needs. Give us a call today: 303-639-8584.

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